"Rounders" follows Mike (a talented reader of people) who has forsaken his gift of reading people to become 'normal', at the behest of his girlfriend. Like all people living for others, he is miserable. When his old running buddy "Worm" exits jail, they hook back up. "Mike" feeling obligated for "Worm" not 'ratting him out' decided to engage in a night of revelry (read Poker playing). He is suddenly reminded of what it was like to do what you are good at, something he has not done or felt in a long while. This leads to conflict with his girlfriend, and some 'soul searching' on his part. The who am I questions.
"Worm" is a character study of people who are talented, but decide to go down a destructive path. Much like in life; we never know why "Worm" is like that, just that he is that way. "Mike" likes to 'play it straight' and this leads to conflict as worm is in trouble and needs a quick score. "Worm" is always looking for an edge which gets them into trouble, leading to their split. "Mike" having agreed to 'go on the hook' for some money owed to a notorious individual by "Worm" must now play poker to pay the debt. He goes to his professor for help, and a loan. His law professor gives him the best advice anyone will ever give anyone: "Your destiny chooses you, you do not choose your destiny." In other words: be who you are. The inevitable show down scene is a bit simplistic, and unsatisfying, but does the job. "Mike" vanquishes his demons, by righting a previous wrong and overcoming fear to defeat his nemesis. No it is not "KGB" All is well in Pokerville as our hero, decides what his destiny is, and is not.
This movie is more of a caricature of the poker world. It is however accurate in the terminology, and play of poker for the most part. While you will not learn to be a master poker player watching this movie, you will get a taste of the world of poker.
Unfortunately this movie fails to make the point that you must follow your calling, as witnessed by artexploiter's comments. The characters are not well drawn, and some performances are stilted. Sadly most people will be more concerned with the aspect of poker, instead of the decisions made by the characters about life.