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High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)

Stuey (original title)
R | | Biography, Drama | 1 May 2003 (USA)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer
The story of poker legend Stuey Ungar. A gambler by the age of 10, Ungar won millions playing card games.

Director:

A.W. Vidmer

Writer:

A.W. Vidmer
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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Bernstein Al Bernstein ... Al Bernstein
Andrew N.S. Glazer ... Andrew N.S. Glazer
Michael Imperioli ... Stu Ungar
Brian Kaplan Brian Kaplan ... John Strzemp
Michael Pasternak ... The Stranger
Jonathan Press ... Young Stu
Evan Broder Evan Broder ... Goldstein
Todd Susman ... Max Ungar
Tommy Canary Tommy Canary ... Sol
Peggy Walton-Walker ... Flo Unger
A.W. Vidmer A.W. Vidmer ... Gin Victim
Michael Nouri ... Vincent
Lon Gary Lon Gary ... Poker Player #1
David Dwyer ... Poker Player #2 (as David S. Dwyer)
Steve Schirripa ... Anthony (as Steven R. Schirripa)
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Storyline

Stuey Ungar, in a motel room on the last night of his life, relays his personal story to an ominous stranger. He recounts growing up as the son of a bookie, his career as a tournament gin player, moving into poker, his marriage and the birth of his daughter, cocaine abuse, and the breakup of his marriage-all culminating in Ungar's third victory at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gambler. Addict. Loser. Legend.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where DJ (Joe La Due) bluffs his opponent, Mario, off of pocket Kings, while holding 7-2 off-suit, is based upon an actual hand that occurred between Jack "Treetop" Straus and an unknown opponent. The story goes, that while playing in a high stakes cash game, Straus had won several pots in row and decided that he would play the "rush" and raise the next hand regardless of what his cards were. When he looked down at his hole cards, he found that he'd been dealt 7-2 off-suit, the worst starting hand in Texas Hold'em. But he decided to raise anyway, he was called by a single opponent, and the flop read; 7 3 3. Straus bet and his opponent re-raised, indicating an over-pair to the board. Straus decided to call, in the hopes that he could perhaps bluff his opponent off of his hand on the turn or river. The turn brought a 2. It was no help to Straus though, as he could only play his two pair sevens and threes. The deuce didn't play. And it also meant that if his opponent did in fact have an over-pair, such as Kings or Queens, that Straus was way behind. Straus decided to bet again on the turn anyway, which made his opponent seriously consider whether to call or fold. Straus knew that if he were called, his chances of outdrawing his opponent were very slim, with only one card to go. After several minutes, Straus offered a proposition to his opponent, for $25 his opponent could choose either one of Straus' hole cards and Straus would show it to him. After more consideration, the opponent finally decided to take the deal, he tossed Straus $25 and chose a card, it turned out to be the deuce. Straus' opponent deduced that since he showed him one card, the other must be of the same value and so, he naturally assumed that Straus must have had pocket deuces, giving him a full house, deuces full of threes. It was considered one the most celebrated bluffs in all of poker history. See more »

Goofs

When Stuey first walks into a casino when he arrives in Las Vegas, the scene is supposed to take place in 1973. However the video slots on the other side of the glass doors he enters weren't invented until a couple decades after. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Al Bernstein: Welcome back, everybody, to the 1997 World Series of Poker, where Stu "The Kid" Ungar is attempting to make one of the greatest comebacks in poker history, by winning the no-limit Texas Hold'em Championship a record third time.
Andrew N.S. Glazer: And Al, the amazing thing about this is, that Stuey would be achieving that feat after sixteen years of personal struggle, where victories were really few and far between.
Al Bernstein: And standing between Stuey and history is John Stremp, a local casino executive who's ...
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

ORDINARY GUY
Performed by Rudy Guess
Written by Rudy Guess (ASCAP)
Published by Rude Stone Music (ASCAP)
Administered by Little Bully Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Bully Music, L.L.C.
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User Reviews

 
One of the great Poker tragedies
25 September 2006 | by harvard_guySee all my reviews

Wow, i just witnessed one of the greatest poker tragedies and I'm not talking about the premature death of the great stu ungar. This film I'm sorry to say was terrible. Absolutely terrible. A true tragedy in filmaking history. Well maybe I'm being a little harsh but unless you have some interest in the life of stu ungar then don't even consider coming near this one. And those that do have an interest in his life will find that most parts were trivialised and made out to be great novelty scenes. I watched it because of Stu UNgar but nearly wanted to end myself like he did while watching this movie 4 stars for effort but unpleasantly painful


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

AWV Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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