Top 13 Poker Documentaries

Top 13 Poker Documentaries

Poker has been one of the most popular gambling games for a long time. Over the years, it has become a game that can achieve the dreams of the players in a very short period of time. On the other hand, poker is also able to take away everything from the player in the same short period of time. The world of poker is full of stories of success but also the stories of failure that changed many lives. Besides that, the most successful poker players in the world have been some of the biggest stars in the world and poker tournaments all over the world have caught attention because of their prize pool.

  • While for many years poker was available as a table game, thelast couple of years have seen the rise of online poker
  • Underground poker has become huge problem for gambling authorities
  • Huge number of people are making a living by playing poker

Poker subject matter has been a theme of many different studies all over the world. Over the years, many documentariesmakers have decided to deal with this topic in their research and because of that, a huge number of documentaries about poker was created. In this piece, we will be bringing you the overview of many top documentaries about poker.

 

1.Nosebleed

  • Year: 2014
  • Author: Victor Saumont
  • Country: France
  • Cast: Alex ‘Alexonmoon’ Luneau, Sebastien ‘Seb86’ Sabic

Theme: The story of Alex Luneau and Sebastien Sabic and their attempt to win the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas
Nosebleed is adocumentary that follows two French poker players, Alex Luneau and Sebastien Sabic who were professional pokers players and who retired but who still want to try their luck at the poker’s biggest tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. This documentary follows these two players on their path to the World Series. This documentary provides an insight into the other side of the World Series of Poker from the player’s perspective. It also explores what several weeks of constant poker playing are doing to the players and what the consequences of that kind of competition.
This documentary also explores the relationship between these two players in a way that it explores the best qualities of both players and how they helped each other during their careers. As professionals players, both of them have been very successful and both of them won millions while playing poker. However, their biggest dream was to win the title at the World Series of Poker. Throughout the entire documentary, both players discuss their techniques and the recall matches where they have won or lost huge sums of money.

 

2.High Stakes: The Story of Sam Trickett

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Richard Adams
  • Country: the United Kingdom
  • Cast: Sam Trickett
  • Theme: The story of how Sam Trickett became one of the most successful poker players in the world

If you have ever wondered how does it look like to be a poker superstar than the documentary called High Stakes: The Story of Sam Trickett is the right documentary for you. Sam Trickett is one of the most successful poker players from the United Kingdom who has managed to win huge sums of money at many poker tournaments. Sam Trickett is known for his high stakes and for his risk play that brought him a lot of success over his career.
However, this documentary also takes a look at the darker part of Sam Trickett’s career. At one point in his career, Sam Trickett was struggling with depression that led to gambling addiction. That period in his life was especially tough on him as he was not able to perform well in the tournaments and his desire for playing poker and gambling has been growing strong. Eventually, he managed to overcome all those problems and he is still playing poker professionally. High Stakes: The Story of Sam Trickett is agreat insight into the life of professional poker player and all the issues that come with being a part of professional poker circuit.

 

3.’Anything to Win’ – Amarillo Slim

  • Year: 2006
  • Author: Kev Stovall
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Kathy Liebert, J.V. Martin, ‘Amarillo Slim’ Preston
  • Theme:The story of the most famous poker player in the world, Amarillo Slim

For many professional poker players, Amarillo Slim is one of the best poker players in history. This documentary provides an insight into the life of Amarillo Slim who is one of the most important figures in the development of poker in Las Vegas and in the entire world. Amarillo Slim was a gambler in full sense of that world and he would do anything to win. With strong intuition, Amarillo Slim was able to defeat even the best players during his career even when nobody expected him to perform so well.
Through a series of interviews with Amarillo Slim’s friends and fellow players, this documentary explores what made this poker player so great and so important for poker in general. Amarillo Slim is not your typical poker player as he has been playing illegal poker matches and he was called a hustler during the initial stages of his career. Besides that, Anything to Win: Amarillo Slim is also painting a very good picture of the society during the 1960s and the decades that followed as poker players were one of the most common targets of robberies and thefts at that time.

 

4.History of Poker

  • Year: 2009
  • Author: History Channel
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Tom McEvoy, Dave Schwartz, Jennifer Harman, Doyle Brunson, Mason Malmuth
  • Theme: Historical development of poker and the story about the best and the greatest professional players throughout the history

History of Poker is adocumentary that deals with the initial stages of poker. It also explores in what kind of conditions poker was developing and how Texas Hold’em Poker became the most popular type of poker. This documentary also explains the basic principles of the game as well as the importance of body language during the matches. Through a series of interviews, viewers are able to get the clear image of what the poker was like back in the 1960s and following years.
Besides that, this documentary also depicts some of the biggest figures in thehistory of professional poker. One of those players is Doyle Brunson who is considered to be one of the best poker players. Additionally, through the interviews with historians, this documentary explains some famous terminology from the world of poker, such as ‘dead man hand”. This documentary also reveals how poker players and the entire poker community handled the prohibition of gambling in the United States. Historically, this documentary is one of the best showings of the history of poker and what it took to bring poker to the level it is today.

5.The Million Dollar Deal

  • Year: 1999
  • Author: John Butler
  • Country: Ireland
  • Cast: Andrew Black, Donnacha O’Dea, Mike Magee, ‘Mad’ Marty Wilson, Mark Napolitano, Amarillo Slim, Scotty Nguyen, Dave ‘Devilish’ Ulliott, Matt Damon
  • Theme: The story of 1998 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas

In 1998, some of the biggest names in poker have met in Las Vegas to play at the biggest poker tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker. The Million Dollar Deal documentary follows six mostly Irish players and their experiences at this tournament. This documentary features some of the biggest poker names at that time in the world who talk about their experiences and how they started to play poker for the first time.
The stakes at the 1998 World Series of Poker were huge as players were fighting for several million dollars for the first place at the tournament. This documentary witnesses every stage of the competition and it explores what it takes to become a world-class player and what kinds of effects this kind of poker tournaments have on the players. The winner of 1998 World Series of Poker was Scotty Nguyen and he is also a part of this documentary and he speaks about what it takes and how it feels to win the World Series of Poker.

 

6.All In: The Poker Movie

  • Year: 2009
  • Author: Douglas Tirola
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Karen Abbott, Peter Also, Nick Brancato, Eric Morris, Matt Damon, Joe Cada,
  • Theme: Exploring the poker’s renaissance during the 2000s

All in: The Poker Movie is adocumentary that explores the state of poker during the 2000s and what led to poker becoming so mainstream. All the way until the turn of themillennium, poker was not widely spread and there were not a lot of fans outside the circle of professionals who competed in different tournaments. All of sudden, professional poker gained huge popularity and millions of people watched poker tournaments on TV. All these issues are explored in this documentary that might be one of the most important works when it comes to the topic of poker.
One of the reasons why poker became so popular was the fact that some of the world’s superstars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, George Clooney, and many others started to play the game and host matches. That brought poker to the mainstream and since then it became one of the biggest TV events ever. All in: The Poker Movie explores what led to that and why poker players became huge superstars in 2000s that people were screaming for and asking for an autograph.

7.A Kid’s Game: The Story of Online Poker

  • Year: 2011
  • Author: Li Dong
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Martin “Dr. Giggy” Giguere, Alexei “MagicNinja” Martov, Thuy “ShesNoGood” Doan, Di “URinDanger” Dang, Hac “trex313” Dang, Peter “apathy” Jetten, Isaac “LuvtheWNBA” Haxton, Andrew “Good2CU” Robl
  • Theme: Interviews with some of the best online poker players in the world

So far, all the documentaries on our list have been dealing with the standard table poker. However, A Kid’s Game: The Story of Online Poker covers the issue of online poker that has been gaining popularity recently. This documentary features interviews with some of the most successful young online poker players in the world and it covers a wide range of different topics. Each interview is a story about the player but also about the importance of online poker for those players. As mentioned, this documentary covers a lot of different topics and some of those include the importance of ego in the poker matches as well as the ups and downs of each player’s career.
Besides that, this documentary also explores the role of logic or rather logical thinking in poker matches as many have called poker a game for the mind. This documentary also explores the motivation that these players have to play online poker and is there anything specific that drives them to aim for the stars and the biggest success. They also take what it takes to play high stakes in poker matches and whether playing high stakes is a sign of bravery or illogical thinking.

8.Jennifer Harman: Poker Queen

  • Year: 2015
  • Author: Jennifer Harman
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer,
  • Theme: Documentary about Jennifer Harman, one of the most successful female poker players

Jennifer Harman is one of the most successful female poker players in the world. Throughout the years, she played head to head against some of the best poker players ever such as Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu and both of them have expressed their utmost respect to Jennifer Harman. Jennifer Harman: Poker Queen is adocumentary that explores the career of Jennifer Harman. Unlike many other poker players from all parts of the world, Harman managed to keep her consistency on a very high level throughout the entire career.
This documentary also explores the impact of online poker on the standard players and how online poker players have influenced other poker players at some of the biggest poker tournaments in the world. This documentary also reveals that some of the best poker players in the world have a lot of problems when facing players that have gained huge experience in online poker and whom they do not know. Jennifer Harman: Poker Queen is agreat documentary that explores the clash between the old generation of poker players and the new one that learn to play poker playing online.

 

9.Inside: Underground Poker

  • Year: 2012
  • Author: Jon Bulette
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Mikey Tats, Breezy, John The Banker, Joe Mush, Brad The Conductor
  • Theme: Investigation of the underground poker scene in New York City

The fact that underground poker matches are being organized all over the country is a public secret. Inside: Underground Poker is adocumentary about the underground poker scene in New York and the poker players who play in those matches. For many years, underground poker scene has been connected to the organized crime in almost every city in the world. However, this documentary reveals that underground poker matches are not different than the regular poker matches.
Besides that, this documentary also explores the effects that underground poker has on the players. Usually, people who play underground poker are people who are already struggling with gambling addiction and because of that, organizers of underground poker have been under criticism for organizing those matches. This documentary also reveals the details of what it takes to organize underground poker matches because many players have different demands for the matches.

 

10.Poker Kings

  • Year: 2004
  • Author: MaciekWszelaki
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Gary Bush, Carlo Citrone, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Mike McGee, Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, Simon Trumper, David Devilish Ulliott, Olga Varkony, Rober Varkonyi
  • Theme: The path of five players to win the World Series of Poker and $2.5 million

It took more than two years of filming and editing to finish Poker Kings documentary movie. This documentary follows five players, Garry ‘Whacker’ Bush, Simon ‘Aces’ Trumper and Carlo Citrone from the United Kingdom and two players from the United States, Phil Hellmuth, and Robert Varkonyi. This documentary is the story of the 2003 World Series of Poker and how previously mentioned players prepared for the biggest poker tournament in the world.
The director followed these players throughout the entire year, filming them while they were playing different tournaments all over the world as they were preparing to play in the World Series. According to the director of this documentary, he wanted to provide an insight into the behind the scene time of those players and to show what kind of passion, ambition, bravery, and skill is actually required to become world class poker player. Poker Kings is the story of the determination and devotion to the cause that only professional athletes are able to achieve.

 

11.2 Months $2 Million – Reality Show

  • Year: 2009
  • Author: Brandon Gross, Paul Reitano, Terrence Sacchi
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Jay Rosenkrantz, Dani Stern, Emil Patel, Brian Roberts
  • Theme: aReality show about poker players attempting to win 2 million dollars in 2 only two months.

2 Months $2 Millionis the reality show that aired back in 2009 that featured four online poker players whose aim is to win $2 million dollars in only 2 months. All of the four players featured in this reality show have already proven themselves in the online poker matches. All of those players have earned millions but they managed to do that during several years of their career.
This is a reality show which means that some aspects of the show are probably scripted but still, it is a good insight into the minds of professional poker players and what they go through while playing poker matches. Throughout the series, we have the opportunity to see what techniques these players are using while they are playing online poker and we can see that in many aspects it is much different than the standard poker that is usually played in the tournaments and in casinos.

 

12.Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Ryan Firpo
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Danielle Andersen, Tony Dunst, Martin Bradstreet,
  • Theme: The evolution of online poker industry and the clash between this industry and the US authorities and the events of the Black Friday in 2011

Bet Raise Fold is the documentary that explores the world of online poker and how it developed into a very rich industry. Besides that, it also explores the huge clash between online poker players and the US gambling authorities through the interviews with three online poker players, Danielle Andersen, Tony Dunst, and Martin Bradstreet who had their money frozen by authorities due to online gambling regulations. In 2011, the US Department of Justice completely shut down online poker sites in the United States and as a result, more than $500 million have been frozen.
Besides that, this documentary is also a story about the online poker and how it became one of the biggest gambling industries in the world. Additionally, this documentary also deals with the regulations that US authorities have imposed on this issue. This documentary deals specifically with the wish of the US member of House of Representatives and the Senate to completely ban online gambling.

 

13.One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stu Ungar

  • Year: 2006
  • Author: Al Szymanski
  • Country: the United States
  • Cast: Jason Blaine, Rusty Goehringer, Nicholas Sireci, Lyn Spencer
  • Theme: Documentary about the life and career of Stu Ungar who is considered to be the best poker player in history

When it comes to the biggest legends of poker in the entire world, ahuge majority of poker fans and professionals would argue that Stu Ungar was the best player that every played poker professionally. Stu Ungar overcame many difficulties in his life on his way to become one of the most successful poker players ever. Besides depicting the career of Stu Ungar, One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stu Ungar also depicts the dark side of this poker player.
For many years, this player struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for a long time and eventually, that started to influence his performances in the tournament. Even though he tried to get treatment for his addiction, he did not manage to overcome those problems and eventually drug addiction cost him his life as he died from anoverdose when he was only 45 years old. This documentary seems to be a proof that some of the world’s biggest geniuses are also very troubled people.