So you’re spread across the couch after gorging on turkey and sprouts. The Queen is addressing the nation and the night is still young. It’s at this time of year when we are presented with a plethora of traditional Christmas movies to satisfy our festive urges. For the poker players amongst us, we are often left wanting. Fear not though as below we take a look some of the best poker movies to enjoy after the Christmas lunch.
This is definitely one to watch even if just for the dulcet tones of Kenny Rogers. The movie follows the adventures of a drifter (Kenny Rogers) who befriends a stranger on a train. It’s hard to forget the quote ‘”you gotta know when to hold em’, know when to fold em’, know when to walk away and know when to run” which any self respecting hustler should know.
Big Hand for the Little Lady
This film is great fun. Henry Fonda stars a down on his luck farmer who embarks on a phenomenal poker game whilst working his way to California with his family in tow. The irony here is that he is terrible at poker. In fact he is terrible at cards period. Of course that doesn’t stop him having a go though. The game itself draws in the richest men in the entire West but our protagonist subsequently has a heart attack. As a result, his family are left to play all the games which amount to some very exciting card playing scenes. This is not an Oscar winner but not one to miss either.
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Here we have a film for the ages and a Guy Richie masterpiece which introduced Vinnie Jones to Hollywood. Poker only plays a small part in the movie but that doesn’t detract from the notion that this is a must see by all accounts. The basis of the plot focuses on a dodgy poker game which renders some hapless small time crooks being indebted to the local crime lord to the tune of half a million pounds. Its fast paced and totally gangster. A great way to bring in the festive cheer.
There seems to be a theme here with crime lords. ‘Rounders’ tells the story of a law student (Matt Damon) and former poker player who turns his back on the scene in pursuit of a cleaner life. This of course is not how things turn out and he is soon drawn back into game by his unsavoury friend played by Ed Norton. The result as you might guess culminates in him owing a fortune to a Russian crime lord, portrayed by the brilliant John Malkovich.