Mike McDermott: Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.
Mike McDermott: In "Confessions of a Winning Poker Player," Jack King said, "Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career." It seems true to me, cause walking in here, I can hardly remember how I built my bankroll, but I can't stop thinking of how I lost it.
Mike McDermott: You can't lose what you don't put in the middle.
Mike McDermott: But you can't win much either.
Mike McDermott: If you had it to do all over again, knowing what would happen, would you make the same choice?
Professor Petrovsky: What choice?
Worm: She's really got him by the balls.
Petra: That's not so bad, is it?
Worm: It depends on the grip!
[Mike's girlfriend has just left him over his broken promise not to play poker]
Worm: You know what always cheers me up?
Mike McDermott: No, what's that?
Worm: Rolled up aces over kings. Check-raising stupid tourists and taking huge pots off of them. Playing all-night high-limit Hold'em at the Taj, "where the sand turns to gold." Stacks and towers of checks I can't even see over.
Mike McDermott: Fuck it, let's go.
Worm: Don't tease me.
Mike McDermott: Let's play some cards.
Mike McDermott: I've often seen these people, these squares at the table, short stack and long odds against them. All their outs gone. One last card in the deck that can help them. I used to wonder how they could let themselves get into such bad shape, and how the hell they thought they could turn it around.
Mike McDermott: You were lookin' for that third three, but you forgot that Professor Green folded on Fourth Street and now you're representing that you have it. The DA made his two pair, but he knows they're no good. Judge Kaplan was trying to squeeze out a diamond flush but he came up short and Mr. Eisen is futilely hoping that his queens are going to stand up. So like I said, the Dean's bet is $20.
Mike McDermott: First prize at the World Series of Poker is a million bucks. Does it have my name on it? I don't know. But, I'm gonna find out.
Mike McDermott: Why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker EVERY YEAR? What, are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas?
Teddy KGB: Lays down a monster. The fuck did you lay that down?
Mike McDermott: Uh, you know what? I got my five grand here. That's just fine by me. I'm going home.
Teddy KGB: Fine. It's a fucking joke anyway. After all, I am paying you with your money.
Mike McDermott: What did you say?
Teddy KGB: Your money... I am still up 20 grand... from this last time I stick it in you.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating] They're trying to goad me, trying to own me. But this isn't a gunfight. It's not about pride or ego. It's only about money. I can leave now, even with Grama and KGB... and halfway to paying Petrovsky back. That's the safe play. I told Worm you can't lose what you don't put in the middle. But you can't win much either.
Teddy KGB: He beat me... Straight up... Pay him... Pay that man his money.
Teddy KGB: In my club, I will splash the pot whenever the fuck I please.
Mike McDermott: [quoting a gambling maxim] You can shear a sheep many times, but skin him only once.
Jo: Mike, I learned it from you. You always told me this was the rule. Rule number one: Throw away your cards the moment you know they can't win. Fold the fucking hand.
Worm: I guess the sayings' true. In the poker game of life, women are the rake man. They are the fuckin' rake.
Mike McDermott: What the fuck are you talkin' about. What saying?
Worm: I-I don't know. There ought to be one though.
Mike McDermott: I want him to think that I am pondering a call, but all I'm really thinkin about it Vegas and the fuckin' Mirage.
Worm: Why do you think your moves are so grand and noble and I'm always the idiot piece of shit!
Mike McDermott: Are you satisfied now, Teddy? Because I can keep busting you up all night if you like.
Worm: Like my uncle Les used to say "When the money is gone, it's time to move on". So enjoy it, you secret handshaking assholes.
Mike McDermott: You comin' up?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: No, I've been standin' out here all this time just to say hi.
Mike McDermott: All right, listen, things haven't been that smooth on the homefront so, you know, tone it down a little, all right?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: Tone done what, motherfucker?
Teddy KGB: Nyet! Nyet! No More! No! Not tonight! This son of bitch, all night he, "Check. Check. Check." He trap me!
Mike McDermott: That's 4,400. I'm gonna call you. Or else, I won't respect myself tomorrow morning.
Teddy KGB: Respect is all you have left in the morning!
Grama: Enough is enough, Teddy. Finish the fucking kid off.
Teddy KGB: Hanging around, hanging around. Kid's got alligator blood. Can't get rid of him.
Store Clerk: Hey, lemme ask you a question. In the legal sense, can fuckin' Steinbrenner move the Yankees? Does he have the fuckin' right to just move them?
Mike McDermott: How should I know that?
Store Clerk: You didn't learn that yet?
Mike McDermott: No, we get to Steinbrenner in third year law school.
Store Clerk: Oh...
Teddy KGB: It hurts doesn't it? Your hopes dashed, your dreams down the toilet. And your fate is sitting right besides you.
Mike McDermott: The game is no limit hold 'em. The Cadillac of poker.
Teddy KGB: That ace could not have helped you.
[drops all of his chips onto the table]
Teddy KGB: I bet it all.
Mike McDermott: [laughs] You're right Teddy, the ace didn't help.
[pushes chips towards the center and flops down his cards]
Mike McDermott: I flopped the nut straight.
Jo: What kind of a job is that going to be, Mike um, writing an opinion on high stakes poker?
Mike McDermott: Hon, you're the one that told me I should use my poker skills in the court room.
Professor Petrovsky: We can't run from who we are. Our destiny chooses us.
Mike McDermott: Would you stop fucking around, for five goddamn minutes for once in your fucking life?
Worm: Whoa, Jesus, what happened? My old man just walked in.
[His girlfriend says they don't have time for sex now]
Mike McDermott: I'll be really quick. You won't feel a thing.
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: Where did you come up with the scratch for that? You've been rolling fags in the Village again, haven't you?
Taki: What did you think he had? Does he look like a man beaten by jacks?
Zizzo: Jacks are a monster compared to the crap you've played
Taki: Fuuc you... fuck you...
Zizzo: Fuck Me? Fuck You!
Teddy KGB: [after Mike raises in the very first game against Teddy] That's a position raise, I call.
Mike McDermott: It's like the nature channel... you don't see Piranhas eating themselves, do you?
Worm: You wanna see the seventh card, stop speaking fucking sputnik! I'm sure you guys were talking about pirogies and snow but let's cut that out.
Joey Knish: I'm listening. What do you need? 500? A grand?
Mike McDermott: Huh? I need... I need 15,000.
Joey Knish: Fifteen?
Mike McDermott: Yep.
Joey Knish: I need a blow job from Christy Turlington. Get the fuck outta here. $15,000?
Professor Petrovsky: You're in trouble?
Mike McDermott: Yes sir, I am, not with the law, I owe
Professor Petrovsky: Gambling debt?
Mike McDermott: Yes, it's not mine, I vouched for the wrong guy, now it's on me
Professor Petrovsky: I understand, what will it take to be free of this?
Mike McDermott: I need fifteen thousand tonight
Professor Petrovsky: I'm not a wealthy man
Mike McDermott: I know, it kills me to ask you this, I don't have any other play, if you can help me at all
Professor Petrovsky: I hate to see you like this and I want to help you, if it must be tonight, ten is the best I can do
Mike McDermott: Will you do that?
Professor Petrovsky: Yes
[writes a check]
Professor Petrovsky: so you take this money and get yourself out of this trouble, you hear me?
Mike McDermott: I promise I'll pay you back
Professor Petrovsky: [nods] I know good luck
Mike McDermott: I never told anybody this, about eight nine months ago, I'm at the Taj it's late and I see Johnny Chan walk in and he goes and sits in the three hundred six hundred section and the whole place stops and everybody puts an eye on him, after a while there wasn't a crap going on because all the high rollers are over there watching and some of them playing but they're giving their money to him and say "oh", I played with the world champion", you know what I did?
Joey Knish: What?
Mike McDermott: I sat down
Joey Knish: You need fifty to sixty grand to play right in that game
Mike McDermott: I had six but I had to know
Joey Knish: what happened?
Mike McDermott: Played tight for an hour, folded mostly then I made a score
Joey Knish: With what? aces or kings?
Mike McDermott: Rags, I had nothing, but he raised and I decided I don't care about the money, I'm just going to out play the guy, I'm going to out play this guy, this hand, I'll re-raise
Joey Knish: Re-raise? You play right back at him?
Mike McDermott: Yeah, he comes back over the top at me trying bully me like I'm some tourist, I hesitate for like two seconds then I'll re-raise and he makes a move to his checks and he looks at me, check his cards and looks at me again, and he mucked it, I took it down
Mike McDermott: [Flash back narrates Johnny Chan] did you have it?
Mike McDermott: [Flash back narrates] I'm sorry John, I don't remember
Mike McDermott: I got up and walked to the cashier, I sat with the best in the world, and I won
Joey Knish: You made a fucking move on Chan you son of a bitch, so that's why you made that run at KGB's place
Mike McDermott: That's right I'll do it again if I can
Grama: You owe twenty five I'll take the rest in five days
Mike McDermott: Five grand a week and you keep the juice going we want what you want we want to square this thing but three days is impossible no one's saying "your not the man", just think of it as a business decision, he just got out let's put him on a plan
Grama: This is not the money store we're no negotiating I tell you how it works
Mike McDermott: Then I'm asking
Grama: [to Worm] you looking for some charity?
Worm: I need your fucking charity like I need your cock in my ass
Mike McDermott: Will you shut the fuck up?
Grama: It's too late for him to shut the fuck up
Mike McDermott: His good for it
Grama: If you think his good for it then it's on you too
Mike McDermott: Then it's on me too
Grama: Fifteen large five days or I start breaking things
Mike McDermott: It's plenty wise we know what we're holding and we know what you're holding
Judge Marinacci: The fuck you know what we all got
Mike McDermott: Summer clerkship in your office says I know what your holding
Judge Marinacci: I wouldn't bet with a job like that let's just say "I'll put you at the top of the list" if your right
Mike McDermott: What the fuck were you thinking?
Worm: I was trying to give us an edge
Mike McDermott: I had them
Worm: Look I'm sorry we got banged up, I took a shot and missed, it happens
Mike McDermott: Happens all the time around you
Worm: And it doesn't happen to you? You're the one that flushed his whole bank roll on one hand
Mike McDermott: Oh fuck you man, that was different
Worm: How is that different? What makes you so fucking special? Why are all your moves so smart and noble and I'm always the idiot piece of shit? You act like you're only one with any ambition
Mike McDermott: Then what's your ambition? I don't know, you tell me
Worm: I don't know, I don't think like that
Mike McDermott: No, you don't think
Worm: No, I don't think like you, you always think you can beat the game straight up, that's not me, and I'm always going to look for that edge, always
Mike McDermott: Alright, what's the edge now? We owe fifteen grand in a day and we're broke, what the fuck do we do?
Worm: That's easy, we get the fuck outta dodge
Mike McDermott: I feel like Buckner walking back into Shea.
Teddy KGB: If you don't have my money then you are mine.
Worm: Hey, I'm not gonna let a garbage can fall on my head.
Mike McDermott: No, you're gonna jump out of the way and let it land on me.
Professor Petrovsky: For generations, the men of my family have been rabbis. It was to be my calling. I was quite a prodigy. The elders said I had a 70-year-old's understanding of the midrahs by the time I was 14. But by the time I was finished with my studies I knew I could never be a rabbi.
Mike McDermott: Why not?
Professor Petrovsky: Because for all I understood of the Talmud, I never saw God there.