Where were you on Black Friday? No, we’re not talking about those big sales on the day after Thanksgiving. In the poker world, Black Friday was April 15, 2011. That was the day that the country’s poker renaissance, at least in its online presence, was snuffed out by the United States government, as Uncle Sam filed a criminal case against three of the country’s largest online poker companies related to illegally processed payments.
All In: The Poker Movie explores the full story of the worldwide poker boom that occurred during the first decade of the new millennium. Beginning in the underground clubs of New York City, poker’s popularity spread like wildfire across the country and around the world, giving players new channels to express themselves and realize financial returns. This film examines the links between poker and the fight for personal freedom, particular as politicians pushed to cut off the ability for millions of players to participate in the game and, in some cases, make a living.
This documentary provides a first-hand look at an unorthodox quest for the American Dream, as players worked to escape the cinematic image of poker’s undesirable stereotypes in order to realize a new kind of career. Directed by Douglas Triola, the film gives viewers a detailed look into the typically private world of professional poker. Follow the meteoric rise of Chris Moneymaker as he pursued his dream of a World Series of Poker championship, as well as the dramatic spike in popularity following his success in achieving this goal.
If you’re a fan of poker-based cinema, this film is sure to make you feel a bit nostalgic, as scenes from some of the most famous poker movies of all time, including The Cincinnati Kid and Rounders, help to illustrate the evolution of the world’s most famous card game. While the government’s pursuit of online poker had an undeniable impact on the future of the game, the film shows viewers that the love of the game remains strong in the hearts of poker’s most recognizable supporters.
The cast of All In features a host of legendary figures in poker, as well as notable Hollywood personalities. In particular, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Moneymaker, Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Barry Greenstein and Joe Hachem are featured, providing a first-hand account of the rapid boom in popularity that helped poker become a global phenomenon, and actor Matt Damon gives the film a unique prospective from outside the professional poker realm.
For fans of the game or those curious about poker’s roots in American culture, All In is a ‘can’t miss’ opportunity to gain insight into poker’s most prominent hour. From a little known game to a televised event, poker caught the attention of the world, and the game is continuing to thrive despite tight restrictions on online play. To learn more, check out All In: The Poker Movie, and find out for yourself why the American Dream can sometimes be as simple as two cards and a pile of chips. The film is currently available on iTunes and Video on Demand.