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Poker Film Rounders celebrate its 20th Anniversary

Tags: Edward Norton, Matt Damon, poker movies, Rounders.
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by "T".

This week, September 11 to be exact, the famous poker movie Rounders hit theaters in America 20 years ago.

If you are a poker player or a fan of the game then for sure you have already seen the movie Rounders starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton. Guess what, the movie turns 20 years old this week! Time sure flies by so fast!

According to Wikipedia, the total budget back then to make the movie was $12 million. However, it did not make a first good impression at all as it made just $8.4 million on a wide release in its opening weekend, but fortunately it grossed $22.9 million in the end.

Despite the low turnout of its movie theater run, once it was distributed in its home video version, the John Dahl-directed film instantly developed a cult following, mainly fueled by the "poker boom" 5 years later when Chris Moneymaker took home the WSOP Main Event in 2003.

The video below shows the historical win of Chris Moneymaker vs Sam Farha:

Actually, in an effort to promote the movie, both the leading characters Matt Damon and Edward Norton competed in the $10,000 WSOP Main Event in 1998. Damon was distinctively eliminated by 10-time WSOP bracelet holder Doyle Brunson after running kings into aces.

In the IMDb site, the description of the film says, "A young, reformed gambler must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks, while balancing his relationship with his girlfriend and his commitments to law school."

Here's some trivia about the Rounders movie according to IMDb:

- Early on, Mike is seen taking money out of a poker book called "Super System", which was written by poker legend Doyle Brunson. He later pulls quotes from the book with the lines "Texas Hold 'em is the Cadillac of poker games" and "The trick to no limit is to put a man to a decision for all his chips."

- Rounders was set in New York City but all of the law school scenes were filmed in and around Rutgers Law School in Newark, NJ.

- In the original version of the script, Mike McDermott was going to make a move on Phil Hellmuth in the Atlantic City big-money game, not Johnny Chan.

- Scream movie series main character Neve Campbell turned down the role of Jo, who was replaced by Gretchen Mol.

- Despite the rise in No Limit Texas Hold'em interest in conjunction with this film's release, the characters play a wide variety of poker variants: No Limit Hold'em is played with Teddy KGB at the beginning and end of the film, the Judge's game is a 7 card Stud game, the College Boys are playing Stud variants (notably Chicago), when Worm and Mike go the Chesterfield the first time the game is Forced Rotation (alternating hands of Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Stud usually), Worm plays 7 card Stud later at the Chesterfield, the Taj Mahal game is Limit Hold'em, the Union game is a Draw or Stud game, Mike plays Draw or Stud (it appears in the short scene)with the Greeks, the Cigar Club game is 7 card Stud Hi-Lo, the Golf pro game is a Pot Limit Omaha/Stud game, and the State police game is 7 card Stud. All the games played are part of the World Series of Poker competition (though the main event is No Limit Texas Hold'em)

Pro poker players who admitted the film had gotten them into playing the game include the likes of Brian Rast, Dutch Boyd, Gavin Griffin and Hevad Khan.

American poker pro and TV personality Vanessa Rousso said, "There have been lots of movies that have included poker, but only Rounders really captures the energy and tension in the game. And that's why it stands as the best poker movie ever made."

Haven't watched the movie yet? Here's the official trailer of Rounders:


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14 comments for "Poker Film Rounders celebrate its 20th Anniversary"

 doubletop7779/12/2018 7:50:36 AM GMT
Rounders, in my opinion, is the best poker film ever made and i can't believe that it is twenty years since it's release. Even if you do not like poker, it is still a must watch film in my humble opinion
 Gerimantas9/12/2018 9:51:03 AM GMT
I not remember perfect but i thinking i see this movie, i not have good memory when read, but if i see some episodes from movie i remember quick if i see it or not. But i always like to see movies about poker casino, maybe because i play some games too
 Mober9/12/2018 3:21:25 PM GMT
What a reminder that was Smile
An old movie of course where you can see some of the actors on their youth.
Not that we were old then. But now... Smile
It was a good movie, either you like the theme of it or not.
 pajalnick9/12/2018 6:08:24 PM GMT
read this news and there was a desire to see this movie again ... already at 10 probably times .... the movie is certainly a classic film about the game of poker .... young Matt is also happy with his acting ..... and of course the inimitable Malkovich ... cool Worship
 CALICUL9/12/2018 7:16:27 PM GMT
It's a movie that i remember with pleasure. The main actor in the film had gambling problems and debts, then borrow money from his teacher and ultimately beating him at poker on John Malkovich, who plays the role of a russian. Beautiful movie with a very good script.
 watoba9/12/2018 11:11:37 PM GMT
Yes really a great Poker movie,its one of my all time favourite movies.
 bowie19849/13/2018 10:12:57 PM GMT
Posted by doubletop777:
Rounders, in my opinion, is the best poker film ever made and i can't believe that it is twenty years since it's release. Even if you do not like poker, it is still a must watch film in my humble opinion

Best poker film - certainly. Every other poker movie by far is having a plethora of ridiculous hands at the end so this one is at least a bit realistic...
 dule-vu9/13/2018 10:40:47 PM GMT
this year is great and for that time it was something special,when we didnt have effects and everything like we have in todays films!I was only 13 years old then,but remember of that film!didnt watch him for so many year and would be nice to watch again!
 Tony_MON7ANA9/19/2018 3:05:30 PM GMT
Wow, 20 years have passed? I was a student at the university pursuing my master's and doctoral degrees. Time just seems to fly. It's just unbelievable.
I actually don't remember the first time I watched "Rounder" from beginning to end, but I am pretty sure I didn't watch the movie when it was released in 1998.
 misteriopj9/20/2018 2:01:25 PM GMT
to be honest I do not remember having seen it, but with this news I will look for it right now to be able to see it and catalog it, hopefully what people say to buy popcorn and enjoy a weekend of movies
 CALICUL9/20/2018 9:59:14 PM GMT
You have to watch more movies about poker, if you like but you will not learn strategy there. Rounders, Molly's Game 2017, Runner Runner 2013, Maverick 1994 , Casino Royale 2006 etc... The movies are good if you like movies in general. Enjoy with these good movies. Blink
 TheIrish779/21/2018 5:32:06 PM GMT
Still can't believe it's been 20 years already. Where does the time go ? Great youthful time for me during the era and loved such a gritty Poker movie perfect that it was made in the 90's. fit right in.
 bowie19849/23/2018 4:07:25 PM GMT
Posted by misteriopj:
to be honest I do not remember having seen it, but with this news I will look for it right now to be able to see it and catalog it, hopefully what people say to buy popcorn and enjoy a weekend of movies

It just an entertaining movie with a great cast - the fact that it is about poker is just a cherry on top...
 Calmplay9/23/2018 4:31:52 PM GMT
IMO they should have celebrated it with a new film maybe Rounders 2. I miss poker movies like this one Sad

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