That isn't to say that Shade isn't entertaining. It looks good, it sounds good, and the performances are effective enough (Foxx is particularly...noticeable), but the film just isn't as well done as other con movies such as The Grifters (1990), and is way below the sophistication of bigger heist movies such as Ocean's Eleven (2001).
My biggest problem with Shade was the the final plot twist. It seemed a bit unnecessary. The biggest problem in terms of plot is that it's based on an a grudge from an event that happened before the film starts, that we only learn about through infrequent references. Sure, there's tension between Charlier (Grabriel Byrne) and Vernon (Stuart Townsend), but it's not enough, and it's something that could have been made clearer with a flashback or even a short conversation. After all, they did it enough for Stevens (Stallone), and he's a supporting character at the most.
That being said, Shade is still a decent enough con movie to be worth watching, and while it has a few problems, that doesn't stop it being enjoyable.
And it *did* make me want to play poker.