Mike McDermott: [Narrating first lines, while going through belongings to find "three stacks of society", hidden inside a cigar box on top of his desk, inside the top left hand drawer of the same desk, hidden inside an empty VHS box entitled Caro's Pro poker Tells by Mike Caro, behind hidden inside the bottom and back left hand corner of a picture frame, and hidden inside a book entitled Super System by Doyle Brunson] 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: [sitting across from each other in a bar] If you had it to do all over again, knowing what would happen, would you make the same choice?
Professor Petrovsky: [Smiling] what choice?
Mike McDermott: [Narrating] 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.
Teddy KGB: [Referring to Mike] He beat me... Straight up... Pay him... Pay that man his money.
Worm: [referring to Mike's girlfriend Jo being too restrict on Mike's social life] She's really got him by the balls.
Petra: That's not so bad, is it?
Worm: It depends on the grip!
Mike McDermott: [before their final game, putting his chips in a poker tray] 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: [turns around] 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: [to Mike] In my club, I will splash the pot whenever the fuck I please.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating a quote from a gambling maxim] You can shear a sheep many times, but skin him only once.
Mike McDermott: [Trying to impress Marinacci his observant skills is essential while playing poker] 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.
Grama: [referring to Mike, growing impatient by waiting for Teddy to win all of Mike's money] Enough is enough, Teddy. Finish the fucking kid off.
Teddy KGB: [referring to Mike] Hanging around, hanging around. Kid's got alligator blood. Can't get rid of him.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating] 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: [trying to convince Jo that his skillful in poker] 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? It's a skill game Jo.
Worm: [in a gymnasium] Now, what did I ever do to that guy?
Mike McDermott: You fucked his mother
Worm: [amused] yeah but she was a good looking older woman you gotta give me that.
Mike McDermott: [talking in one of the corners of the Russian and Turkish bathhouse] 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
Mike McDermott: [Narrating, after asking Jo to give his winnings to pay back Petrovsky, while on the street waiting for a taxi to bring him to the airport] 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's girlfriend has just left him over his broken promise not to play poker]
Worm: You know what always cheers me up, when I'm feeling shitty?
Mike McDermott: [siting in a chair in his apartment, with his head looking down] 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: [his head looks up] Fuck it, let's go.
Worm: [pointing at him] Don't tease me.
Mike McDermott: [smiles] Let's play some cards.
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.
Teddy KGB: [to Mike, after Mike slow rolled him] Lays down a monster. The fuck did you lay that down?
Teddy KGB: [referring to Mike wining every hand by slow rolling him] No More! No! Not tonight! This son of bitch, all night he, "Check. Check. Check." He trap me!
Mike McDermott: [Narrating, while playing against Teddy KGB] 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: [Pretending to be a sore loser at the college fraternity game] 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: [sarcastically] 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: [jokingly, intentionally, ignoring Mike's request] Tone done what, motherfucker?
Mike McDermott: [during their final game] 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!
Moogie: [behind the counter of his store convenient store] 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: [while dropping off deliveries] How should I know that?
Moogie: You didn't learn that yet?
Mike McDermott: No, we get to Steinbrenner in third year law school.
Joey Knish: [talking outside the sauna room in the Russian and Turkish bathhouse] 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?
Teddy KGB: [to Mike, referring to Grama watching them play nearby ] It hurts doesn't it? Your hopes dashed, your dreams down the toilet. And your fate is sitting right besides you.
Worm: [standing up facing him] I guess the sayings' true. In the poker game of life, women are the rake man. They are the fuckin' rake.
Mike McDermott: [siting in a chair in his apartment] What the fuck are you talkin' about. What saying?
Worm: I-I don't know. There ought to be one though.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating] The game is no limit hold 'em. The Cadillac of poker.
Mike McDermott: [after their final game] Are you satisfied now, Teddy? Because I can keep busting you up all night if you like.
Teddy KGB: [showing Mike he won the hand with a higher full house] Aces full, Mike.
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: [sitting on his lap] What kind of a job is that going to be, Mike um, writing an opinion on high stakes poker?
Mike McDermott: [sitting on their bed] Hon, you're the one that told me I should use my poker skills in the court room.
Teddy KGB: [after losing almost every hand because he underestimated Mike's poker abilities] Mr. Son of a bitch, let's play some cards!
Mike McDermott: [sees his mouth is bleeding] What happened?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: Nothing, she closed her legs too fast!
Professor Petrovsky: [to mike sitting across from him in a bar] The last thing I took away from the Yeshiva was this: we cant run from who we are, our destiny chooses us.
Mike McDermott: [in a gymnasium] 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.
Mike McDermott: [His girlfriend says they don't have time for sex now]
Mike McDermott: [sitting on their bed] I'll be really quick. You won't feel a thing.
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: [before being punched in the mouth by Grama in the bathroom of a strip club] Where did you come up with the scratch for that? You've been rolling fags in the Village again, haven't you?
Taki: [referring to Mike winning a hand against all three of them with triple aces] 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: [Narrating during the college fraternity game] It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating, while playing against other players at the poker room in the Mirage] It's like the nature channel... you don't see Piranhas eating themselves, do you?
Worm: [to Roman and Maurice, chastising them for deliberately speaking Russian to each other while playing poker] 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.
Professor Petrovsky: [in his office] 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
Grama: You owe twenty five I'll take the rest in five days
Mike McDermott: [trying to reach an agreement to pay off Worm's debt to and Teddy KGB] 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 not negotiating I tell you how it works
Mike McDermott: Then I'm asking
Grama: [Intentionally belittling Worm] you looking for some charity?
Worm: [feeling offended] , you know what?I need your fucking charity like I need your cock in my ass.
Mike McDermott: [to Worm, irritated by his ego] 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: [at the judges game] 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: [after have been caught base dealing, beaten up, and thrown out at the sheriffs game] 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, we stay clear of the city for a while, we'll hit the road, we'll be up again in no time, this will all blow over, we'll have a ball.
Mike McDermott: not a fucking chance I'm going to live like that, you talk to Grama, you get him to stake me
Worm: it's not going to work, we're not dealing with Grama.
Mike McDermott: [surprised] you said Grama was on his own
Worm: [looks down, remains silent, having been caught in a lie]
Mike McDermott: [insisting worm tell him the truth] you told me Grama was on his own
Worm: KGB bankrolled him
Mike McDermott: So you just fucked us right in the ass
Worm: [showing the car keys] yeah, all the way, you see what I'm saying. no fooling around, it's highway time, you with me or not?
Mike McDermott: no I'm not this time.
Worm: [surprised] , you're really going back there?
Mike McDermott: yeah
Worm: [while base dealing] Who wants more? I'm in, I'm staging a late night comeback, a "late night rally", just to warn you
Vitter: [Grabs Worm's hand] Hold on there
Worm: What are you doing?
Vitter: Give me the deck
Worm: Relax don't get so agitated
Vitter: Looks like we got a rogue game here
Worm: A what?
State Trooper: What the hell is going on over here?
Vitter: [Referring to Worm] This son of a bitch is base dealing, I caught a hanger
Worm: A "hanger"? What are you saying? I don't even know what you're saying
State Trooper: His saying you're dealing off the bottom of the deck
Worm: Come on guys
Sean Frye: [Referring to Mike] What'd he give him?
Vitter: Seven of hearts
State Trooper: [to Mike and Worm] You boys working? Are you professionals?
Mike McDermott: No listen I was winning before this guy got here
State Trooper: Let the cards do the talking, if the seven didn't help you we'll listen to what you have to say
Worm: [Ozzie turns mike's cards over] hey, three of a kind you've Ozzie three sixes like...
Vitter: SHUT UP
State Trooper: [Vitter gives him the deck of cards and he shows the ace of spades on the bottom] One last thing
Worm: [All the state troopers stand up] Alright take it easy are you going to read us our rights at least?
Mike McDermott: [talking privately in one of the corners of the Russian and Turkish bathhouse] What can you do for me? I mean five hundred isn't even enough to get me started
Joey Knish: Five hundred won't help, what's two grand going to do? What kind of trouble you in?
Mike McDermott: With the worst kind, with the worst guy
Joey Knish: KGB?
Mike McDermott: Yeah
Joey Knish: [referring to Worm] Didn't I tell you? Never let that guy ahold of you?
Mike McDermott: You told me a lot of things
Joey Knish: Yeah I did, and you don't listen, I tell you to play within your means, you risk your whole bank roll, I tell you not to over extend yourself, to rebuild, so you don't have to hock for more, I was giving you a living, showing you the playbook I put together off my beats and that wasn't enough for you
Mike McDermott: This is the one time I don't need you to tell me how I fucked up, I know I fucked up, what I need from you is money, I need whatever money you can give me
Joey Knish: That's the thing, this time there is no money, I give you two grand what's that buy you? A day? No I give it to you I'm wasting it
Mike McDermott: That's fucking great
Joey Knish: You did it to yourself, you had to put it all on the line for some Vegas pipe dream
Mike McDermott: I took a risk, I took a risk, you see all the angles, and you never have the fucking stones to play one
Joey Knish: Stones? you little punk, I'm not playing for the thrill of fucking victory here, I owe rent, alimony, child support, I play for money, my kids eat, I got stones enough not to chase card actions of fucking pipe dreams of winning the world series on ESPN, but about the money I've got to turn my back, I've got to say no
Mike McDermott: That's fine I understand
Mike McDermott: [In bar] Mind if I sit?
Professor Petrovsky: Please, have a seat
Professor Petrovsky: That was a nifty trick the other night
Mike McDermott: Thank you
Professor Petrovsky: Marinacci and the DA were ready to cut cards for your services, of course it was altogether a different trick you pulled today, the disappearing act at your meeting.
Mike McDermott: Yeah, I figured I owe you an explanation.
Professor Petrovsky: No, not to me, I'm sure there was a good reason you left, you just have to work harder, prepare and smooth things out with the others, I'm sure there was a good reason why you left.
Mike McDermott: [nods]
Grama: [referring to worm] Where's your friend?
Mike McDermott: His gone
Grama: So you brought my money?
Mike McDermott: I'm a little short
Grama: How short?
Mike McDermott: The whole way
Grama: There must be some kind of story
Mike McDermott: As you can see I can't pay you
Grama: I can see you're banged up pretty good, you never should've vouched for that scumbag
Mike McDermott: Maybe not
Grama: You're leaving me no outs here
Mike McDermott: Why?
Grama: I can't trust that you're not playing me
Mike McDermott: I'm not the one working with a partner
Grama: You want to take it up with KGB you go right ahead otherwise you got one day
Mike McDermott: [Narrating while waiting for a taxi to take him to the airport] I turned my ten grand into just over sixty, paid fifteen to Grama, six went back to the Chesterfield, and as for Worm, I figure we're even and after the ten going back to the professor I'm back where I started: "three stacks of high society"
Mike McDermott: [Narrating during their final game] Doyle Brunson says" the key to no limit is to put a man to a decision for all his chips" Teddy's just did it his representing aces the only hand better than my cowboys I can't call and just give him a chance to catch I can only fold if I believe him in a heads up match your stack is almost as important as the quality of your cards I chopped one of his legs off in the first hand now all I have to do is lean on him until he falls over
Mike McDermott: [Narrating] the rule is this: if you spot a man's tell, you don't say a fucking word I finally spotted KGB's and usually I'd let him chewing those Oreos until he was dead broke but I don't have that kind of time I've only got until morning not even Teddy KGB is immune to getting a little rattled
Worm: [to Mike after Worm was released from prison] You've got to understand there's two economies in there, there's cash and there's trade, so I've got to keep three games going at once, a game with the white guys, a game with the brothers and a game with the guards, the trick is I've got to skim enough cash off the white guys so I can lose it to the guards so they can keep doing me favors and then I've got to trim enough smokes off the brothers so I can trade and keep living in the "style" I've grown accustomed to and I've got to do all of this without getting my ass kicked.
Professor Petrovsky: [sitting across from each other in a bar] I know a magician doesn't reveal his secrets
Mike McDermott: I'm not a magician
Professor Petrovsky: If it wasn't "magic", how did you know what everyone held?
Mike McDermott: It's a combination of things: I was watching when the cards came out, that's just an old habit with me, it's like breathing
Professor Petrovsky: Watch the cards?
Mike McDermott: I watch the cards but I also watch the player react to the cards. That's how I knew the DA made his two pair and judge Kaplan missed the flush, I was watching their eyes when they checked their river cards, their faces tell you everything
Professor Petrovsky: [Confused] you watch the man? I never knew you had to calculate so much in cards
Mike McDermott: here's some advice, just play premium hands, you only start with jacks or better if its good enough to call you've also got to be in there raising, tight but aggressive and I do mean aggressive, you've got to think of it as a war
Professor Petrovsky: [Jokingly] you're officially never invited to our game again
Mike McDermott: I don't blame you, put a guy like me in that game, cards don't even matter I'll play it blind
Worm: [sitting inside Jo's jeep, outside the fraternity house] Here's the play: I know this girl Barbra I was so close to banging her before I went away, she works as a hostess for all the trust fund babies in there, she got me in their game, she introduces me as her "cousin" from out of town who loves to gamble and wants to win at poker.
Mike McDermott: It sounds solid, that's a nice hook up
Worm: It's all the way nice, but I got this "feeling".
Mike McDermott: What "feeling" is that exactly?
Worm: You know this "feeling", I got the table all set, knife, fork, sauce...
Mike McDermott: [Implying Worm doesn't have money to buy into this game] You just don't have the "steak"
Mike McDermott: [Giving Worm money] here's two twenty, that'll get you started
Worm: Two twenty? Thanks but that's like eleven bets I can't even get a table in here.
Mike McDermott: Then forget this game I'll straighten you out in the city tomorrow.
Worm: I'm already behind here.
Mike McDermott: You just got out, what's the big fucking hurry?
Worm: The hurry is other than you, there are five guys eagerly waiting my release.
Mike McDermott: How much do you owe?
Worm: Like ten.
Mike McDermott: Ten?
Worm: I can't even figure it out with the juice. I can get started on this easy if it's you and me working together.
Mike McDermott: I heard you asking me before and I hear you asking now but I can't do that, I just can't do that, I've made promises.
Worm: I totally understand, its fine. I'll just make a couple moves earlier than I would've before.
Mike McDermott: You have a respectable profession
Professor Petrovsky: Not to my family my parents were devastated, destroyed by my decision my father sent me away to New York to live with distant cousins I eventually found my place, my life's work
Mike McDermott: What then?
Professor Petrovsky: I amerced myself fully, I studied everything I could about the law I felt deeply inside that it was what I was born to do
Mike McDermott: Did your parents get over it?
Professor Petrovsky: No, I always hoped that I would find some way to change their mind, but they were inconsolable, my father never spoke to me again
Mike McDermott: [Narrating] Worm's dad did the grounds, when he wasn't too fucking drunk, that's when we did them, of course the grounds weren't all we did, Worm put us into a scam a day on all the young aristocrats we went to school with, selling them dime bags of Oregano, nunchakus, or fire crackers from Chinatown, kept us in lunch money until the time we went from more than just pocket change and got caught we had the starting five take a dive against Friends Academy the point guard snapped and gave Worm up, they hauled him before the school board and offered him a deal " tell us who else was involved and we'll go easy on you" Worm didn't say a fucking word and got himself expelled, I stayed in school and graduated, not many friends can stand up for a friend like that.
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: [referring to making money by playing cards after been released from prison] have you been working? Is your game sharp?
Mike McDermott: [while driving them away from the prison] No, I'm off it
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: You're getting cold cards?
Mike McDermott: No I quit
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: What, are you shitting me?
Mike McDermott: I got cleaned out
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: Mike McDe, you lost?
Mike McDermott: It was a real blood game over at KGB's place
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: You sat down with the mad Russian and he emptied your pockets?
Mike McDermott: Yeah I didn't want to tell you while you were in prison, I didn't want to dispirit you.
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: So you're just a student now? What are doing for money?
Mike McDermott: I'm driving Knish's truck
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: Oh my God, you're killing me, we've got to get you back in the game we're old partners, we're going to "run it" like we always did.
Mike McDermott: No, I'm off it I really am, I'm done.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating at the judge's game] The amazing thing is, in this collection of great legal minds there isn't a single real card player.
Mike McDermott: [Using Petrovsky's money to play for him and narrating] I don't know if I'm going to bring my legal career to a crashing halt before it even starts but sometimes I just can't help myself.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating, after leaving the judges game] I tell you it's hard leaving that game, an open invitation to lay with those lames but I'm retired, and in my playing days, it'd be pretty sweet to have anyone of them owing me favors. The truth is I could always find games though, easy games, tough games, straight games, crooked games, home games. I can turn this truck onto the Jersey Turnpike and be at the Taj Mahal casino in two hours, but I've made promises I'm just a law student now.
Mike McDermott: [talking on the street, outside Chester Field club] You're in town for five fucking minutes and you already got a sign on your back
Worm: That fucking Knish rat me out? Come on you've got to stop listening to that guy, he sees all the angles but doesn't have the balls to play any.
Mike McDermott: That guy hasn't had to work in fifteen years
Worm: You don't think that's work? Grinding it out on his leather ass? No thank you.
Mike McDermott: I thought so too now I know what real work is, speaking of which are you going to get a job? Are you going to look? Or you're just going back to printing those credit cards? Are you going away again?
Worm: First of all I wasn't "printing" I was "distributing" its different, second of all I'm never going back there, stop worrying so much.
Mike McDermott: I want you to think long term, be smart every place in Manhattan they all keep books if you get listed as a "mechanic" not only you're going to get the shit kicked out of you you're not going to get a game anywhere in New York, it's just stupid it's bad business.
Worm: This is what I love about you, you think about the big picture.
Worm: But it's not me, I don't play the game straight up then if I lose I find some real work I see a mark I take them down, that's what I do, that's the way I live.
Mike McDermott: I know you're the guy that taught me all the angles but I'm not the one with my nose open right now, I'm going to preach to you, those two guys in there they're not "rabbits" ,Roman and Maurice they're Russian outfit guys, not as bad as KGB but you don't want to be fucking around with those guys.
Worm: Those fake Versace shirts and shit?
Mike McDermott: You still got time, go back in there and lose their money back to them, and make it look good.
Joey Knish: [Referring to Worm] The guy's a cheat he always has been, right now his over at Chesterfield ruining your reputation with every lousy second he deals.
Mike McDermott: I told him, did anybody else see you?
Mike McDermott: No, nobody saw it I heard it, the snapping sound gave it away, had I known might not have noticed him turn around then I see him with the Mechanic's grip I know.
Mike McDermott: Did you get into the office?
Joey Knish: I tried to warn him but he looked right through me
Mike McDermott: Alright I'll go get him
Joey Knish: No, his ok now most of the players are at the tail end of a thirty six hour session they can't see straight, if his still there when Roman and Maurice start their game his going to wish he was still inside
Mike McDermott: I'm going to go get him
Petra: [hunched on top on the bar in the Chesterfield ] So how'd you do?
Worm: [Hands her his winnings in poker chips] So, so, six thousand, two thousand and here's two more
Petra: Alright so its ten grand total, take back the two we lent you, give you the "white meat."
Worm: [leaning on front the bar] you know what? Why don't you give me all of it?
Petra: Usually credit players leave with their profit otherwise the juice starts five points a week on Mike
Worm: Ok we'll owe you
Jo: [talking on the street] Do you know why I left this morning? I found that gangsters roll in your pocket
Mike McDermott: It's not what you think
Jo: Who do you think I am? You lie right to my face, in old days you never lied, you've lost everything but at least you never lied
Mike McDermott: Last night I sat down at this card table and it was the first time I felt alive since I got busted at KGB's joint
Mike McDermott: [Narrating] The game in question is no limit Texas hold'em minimum buy in twenty five thousand dollars a game like this doesn't come around often outside the casinos, the stakes attract rich flounders and they in turn attract the sharks, each player is dealt two cards face down then five cards are dealt face up these are known as community cards everyone can use to make the best five card hand, the key to the game is playing the man, not the cards, there's no other game in which fortunes can change so much from hand to hand, a brilliant player can get a strong hand, crack go on tilt and lose his mind along with every chip in front of him, this is why The World Series of Poker is decided on a no limit hold'em table, pro's won't play no limit they can't handle the swings but there are others like Doyle Brunson consider no limit the only pure game left, "Like Papa Wallenda said, "Life is on the wire, the rest is just waiting."
Mike McDermott: [Narrating while driving with Worm towards The Mirage] The poker room at The Mirage in Vegas is the center of the poker universe. Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth the legends consider it their office, every couple of days a new millionaire shows up wanting to beat a world champion. Usually they go home with nothing but a story, down here the millionaires are scarce or they're playing craps, there's still plenty of money there for the taking, in fact you can't game in the city because the New York rounders are taking out the tourists here.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating while driving Knish's truck and making deliveries for him] you don't hear much about guys who take their shot and miss, I'll tell you what happens to them: they end up humping crappy jobs on grave yard shifts, trying to figure out how they came up short. I had an picture in my head of me sitting at the big table Doyle sitting to my left Amarillo Slim to my right, playing in The World Series Of Poker and I let that vision blind me at the table against KGB now the closest I get to Vegas is West New York, driving down this lousy route from Knish to rounders who forgot the cardinal fucking rule: always leave yourself out.
Mike McDermott: [leaning on the wall, talking on the sidewalk outside Teddy KBG's gambling club, in the middle of the night] I lost everything I lost my case and I lost my tuition
Joey Knish: [standing in front of him] Happens to everyone, from time to time everyone goes bust, you'll be back in the game before you know it
Mike McDermott: I'm done
Joey Knish: They all say that at first, let me stake you, standard deal fifty percent of your winnings, if you lose it's on me
Mike McDermott: I'd just throw it away you still got the truck?
Joey Knish: Sure, come on
Grama: [coming up from behind him] I heard you were out
Worm: [sitting down at a strip club] Hey, how you doing? I was just thinking about you, I could use you see me in two weeks I'll put you back on the payroll
Grama: I got bad news for you Worm I'm out on my own now
Worm: Really? Go figure
Grama: A lot of people were angry when you went away
Worm: [shows him a roll of cash] I know that's why I'm trying to put together a roll here
Grama: A lot of people asking if I could help if I knew where to find you so it got me thinking
Worm: [sarcastically, before Grama drags him into the bathroom] Really? You're thinking now? That's big
Grama: [Inside the bathroom] Here's what I'm thinking: instead of you owing fifteen grand spread out to five guys, you owe twenty five to me
Worm: What? Where the fuck do you get off?
Grama: where do I get off?Here's how it is, twenty five to me and the juice is still running
Worm: Jesus Christ, what the fuck are you doing? You were my partner
Grama: No I was your lackey, but I learned a few things Worm I consolidated your outstanding debt
Worm: Where did you come up with the scratch for that?
Grama: What I did was go partners with an old friend of yours Teddy KGB backed me
Worm: Teddy has plenty of goons why would he put you under his play?
Grama: Because as soon as he heard your name he became excited about the prospect
Worm: So you bought me up Grama?
Grama: Yeah, a real sweet deal too thirty cents on the dollar, not a lot of faith out there in the business community
Worm: Great so you're a banker now? That's real classy
Grama: Not exactly I don't have to tell you my collection methods
Mike McDermott: [In a car outside the State Troopers game] How the hell am I supposed to get in this game?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: I told to its easy the whole time in the joint I was dumping money to guards this one guy Pete Frye, I must've lost ten grand over eighteen months, he said when if I ever want a game just look up his nephew, you just go in there and ask for "Sean Frye" you're going to clean this game up these guys are total suckers
Mike McDermott: Alright give me like eight hours come back at seven, seven thirty
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: I was thinking "what am I going to do for eight hours?" why don't I come in and just sit for a little while?
Mike McDermott: No, not a chance
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: I'll sit at the other table and play "straight"
Mike McDermott: You want to play "straight"? You go in there I'll be back in eight hours
Mike McDermott: [Realizes Jo left him, sitting in a chair in his apartment] I always told her she'd be a good card player, she'd know exactly know when to release a shitty hand
Worm: [standing in front of him] Oh come on forget that this girl is obviously wrapped way too tight for a living
Mike McDermott: I knew it, I fucking knew it
Worm: This is depressing you can't trust them, you can't trust them at all, you domesticated yourself for this girl you took yourself out of life you walked a fucking line for her and the minute you want a little of it back she walks out on you
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: [before heading to the poker room, a prostitute walks past them in the lobby of The Mirage casino] why don't you warm up a sit for me?
Mike McDermott: What?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: I got certain "needs" I have to attend to I'm overdue
Mike McDermott: [jokingly, referring to his time in prison] Good I was starting to wonder about you, I thought maybe the boys upstate brought about a few changes in you
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: hey, In your dreams lover
Mike McDermott: [narrating] I met Worm at Dwight-Englewood Preparatory Acamdemy in New Jersey, we were only two kids attending that didn't have a trust fund, my father's office was there,it said "custodian" on the door, that's why they took me.
Joey Knish: [walking up to their poker table with Mike playing with other rounders in the poker room at The Mirage] This is what I like to see Mike McDermott where he belongs, sitting with the scum bags telling jokes dragging the occasional pot.
Guberman: [sarcastically] occasional? like my occasionally went out with other men
Joey Knish: I was actually going to try to make some real money tonight but in Mike's honor return to the ring, I'll sit with you all for a while
Petra: don't do us any favors, they're about to go to the boards to fill these seats
Zagosh: you know if we wanted to take each other's "rolls" we could've just stayed home
Mike McDermott: [Narrating while playing with other rounders against tourists, conventioneers, and other players in the poker room at The Mirage in Atlantic City] these two have no idea what they're about to walk into, down here to have a good time they figure, "why not give poker a try? after all how different could it be from the home games they've played their whole lives?" All the luck in the world isn't going to change things for these guys, they're simply over matched, we're not playing together but then again we're not playing against each other, they wear their "tells" like signs around their necks, facial tics, nervous fingers the hand over the mouth, the way a cigarette is smoked, little unconscious gestures that reveal the cards in their hands. We catch everything if a fish acts strong he's bluffing, if he acts weak his got a hand, it's that simple.
Mike McDermott: [eating together at The Noodle Bat inside The Mirage] What's with kiting my checks?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: I'm on empty that's why
Mike McDermott: You're tapped again? How much was the hooker?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: "Relaxation therapist" that's not where it went
Mike McDermott: You lost it to Roman and Maurice? I told you, you didn't have to give it all back to them, take some money for your time
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: That's not where it went either. I ran into Grama tonight he took everything I had
Mike McDermott: Who's he working for?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: His sort of out on his own, this fucker went around and bought up all my debt
Mike McDermott: That turn coat motherfucker you kidding me? So what'd you owe him?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: I don't know his crazy gorilla math, like fifteen
Mike McDermott: Fifteen?
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: Yeah he said the juice has been running the entire time on my ten
Mike McDermott: Why didn't you tell me that? I could've paid that off, I had the money
Lester 'Worm' Murphy: I'm not going to sit in the can and have my friend pay off my debt, I'm not a leech, we can help each other like always that's why we've got to get into the bigger games
Mike McDermott: You know I'll help you, fuck that guy, we'll figure something out
Joey Knish: [interrupting their study group] Hey Jo, Long time.
Jo: Knish. How are you?
Joey Knish: The same.
Mike McDermott: [Narrating and entering KGB's underground gambling parlor] just walking in here makes me queasy, the brick walls, the fucking mopes at the table, the musty smell, I feel like Buckner walking back into Shea, but what choice do I have?
Teddy KGB: [to Mike, before their final game] If you don't have my money then you are mine.
Worm: [in a gymnasium] 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: [sitting across from each other in a bar] For generations, the men of my family have been rabbis in Israel before that in Europe, it was to be my calling. I was quite a prodigy. I was the "pride" of my Yeshiva. The elders said I had a forty year old understanding of the Midrash. By the time I was twelve by the time I was thirteen 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.