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Some games are played for fun, some are played for power, but this game is played for ultimate stakes. In the underground world of ultimate poker, only one person walks out a winner, but win or lose, sometimes winning just isn't enough.
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The lives of a nightclub owner, a crime boss, a stripper, a bartender, two hitmen, a prostitute and a psychic take a turn for the worse when they are trapped in an escaped mental patient's sinister path of madness and destruction.
As a young girl, Alicia "Ace" Anderson (Swain) had been taught the fine art and the mathematical probabilities of Texas Hold-em poker by the father she adored. But that world came to an end when her father was taken from her in a fatal auto accident. Years later, as she enters medical school, she will need to call upon the skills her father taught her as she struggles with the rigorous medical training, mounting financial pressures and the seamier side of medicine. Her friends and fellow students combine their unique talents and skills to produce a team who may well be the ultimate poker machine. But as the stakes in both the casinos and the operating room continue to rise, Ace comes to understand what her father taught her: in order to really live, you need to go all in. Written by
I feel awful for Louis Gossett Jr. and Micheal Madsen for having been involved in this farce. I have nothing against Dominique Swain or the rest of the young cast of characters that look like they belong in a late-night Cinemax flick rather than a movie about poker, but I am insulted at the way the movie was directed. "Ace" played cards like a novice, rather than someone who is supposed to be the daughter of a poker great. The scene in which she calls down a pair of fours to the river against trip queens, only to suck out and make her straight was absolutely grotesque. "Dead money" should have been her nickname.
I have to assume that this film was made by people who are either not very experienced at cards or were simply trying to cash in on the current popularity of the game. Not that I expected anything on par with the Stu Unger story or Rounders, but my god if you're going to make a movie about poker at least make sure you can do it justice. This film would likely be much more appealing to a woman's taste based on the storyline, but for true poker players and fans it's nothing but a waste of time. A fairly poor film all the way around. Very disappointing.
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