Poker Movies and TV Shows
Poker is one of the most popular games known to man. The game dates back to the early 20th century, with some reports stating that early versions of the game were around in the 1800s. Poker continues to enjoy great success with many variations and the ability to play online poker is now at the forefront. One of the reasons that poker has attracted so many fans is due to the many versions of the game that enable people from different walks of life to enjoy this competitive event.
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There are four basic groups or families of poker with additional versions under each category. These include straight poker, stud poker, draw poker and community card poker. Some of the versions associated with these groups include Texas holdem, Omaha, Five Card Draw, Seven Card Stud, American Revolutionary War and Three Card Brag. In addition to online poker there are more versions including video poker and Red Dog Poker. The game of poker is often featured in pop culture through a variety of forms including television, film, theater and books.
The following list includes movies and television shows that prominently featured this card game which is one of America's favorite pastimes; minus spoilers for those who haven't seen them yet, plus previews of the TV shows and trailers of the movies, if available.
1. Poker After Dark
"Poker After Dark" was a television program that aired on NBC for six seasons. The show debuted on January 1, 2007 and ended on September 23, 2011. Filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, the hour long show was presented by Shana Hiatt, Marianela Pereyra and Leeann Tweeden. Ali Nejad narrated the program. The program would follow a group of players as they started out the week playing the game until a winner was announced during the fifth weekly episode. The players would compete for a $120,000 prize.
Released on September 11, 1998, "Rounders" stars Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Turturro, Famke Janssen, Gretchen Mol, John Malkovich and Martin Landau. Matt Damon plays Mike McDermott, a poker player who loses his entire hand to Teddy "KGB" played by Malkovich, the film focuses on McDermott's attempt to win his money back.
Released on May 20, 1994, Maverick is a western comedy that takes place in the Old West and focuses on a five-card draw poker game. Starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner, the film follows Bret Maverick, played by Mel Gibson, as he sets out to win the game.
4. A Big Hand for a Little Lady
Released on May 31, 1996, "A Big Hand for a Little Lady," stars Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, Paul Ford, Jason Robards, Burgess Meredith, Charles Bickford and Kevin McCarthy. The film focuses on a high stakes poker game.
5. Honeymoon in Vegas
Released on August 28, 1992, "Honeymoon in Vegas" is a comedy starring Nicolas Cage, James Caan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Peter Boyle, Seymour Cassel, Pat Morita and Anne Bancroft. The film features Cage as Jack Singer who plans on marrying his girlfriend played by Sarah Jessica Parker. Before the wedding takes place, a poker game ensues.
6. High Stakes Poker
High Stakes Poker is a television series that premiered on the Game Show Network (GSN) on January 16, 2006. The show features contestants as they play no limit Texas hold' em. The show has been hosted by AJ Benza, Gabe Kaplan, Kara Scott and Norm MacDonald. Filming takes place at various casinos around the country with some episodes having been taped at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, Palms Casino Resort and South Point Hotel and Casino.
7. Celebrity Poker Showdown
Premiering on the Bravo network on December 2, 2003, "Celebrity Poker Showdown" aired for five seasons until its final episode on July 5, 2006. Seven tournaments were filmed at the Las Vegas based Palms Casino with other episodes taped at Harrah's Entertainment. The show consisted of five celebrities that would play no limit Texas hold ‘em for charity. Some celebrities that played on the show include Ben Affleck, Paul Rudd, Martin Sheen, Peter Facinelli, Sara Silverman, Shannon Elizabeth, Michael Ian Black, Jeremy Sisto, Danny Masterson, Rosario Dawson and Maura Tierney.
8. Cool Hand Luke
Released on November 1, 1967, "Cool Hand Luke" is a prison based drama that stars Paul Newman in the title role of Luke Jackson. Jackson was sentenced to two years in prison in Florida, and earns the title name "Cool Hand Luke" during a poker game.
"Tombstone" opened on December 24, 1993 and was a box office success. The film was directed by Kurt Russell and Kevin Jarre who also wrote the script. Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton and Powers Boothe starred in the film. The film tells the story of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Johnny Ringo and William Brocius. Poker games take center stage and are the backdrop for some of the film's most riveting moments.
10. The Gambler
In 1980, singer Kenny Rogers starred in a television movie series about a western gambler named Brady Hawkes. There are five movies in the series that was inspired by the character in Roger's song of the same name. The movies include: Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Kenny Rogers as The Gambler: The Adventure Continues; Kenny Rogers as the Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues; The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw; Gambler V: Playing for Keeps. As Rogers portrays a gambler and professional poker player, the game is featured predominantly throughout the film series.
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