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High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)

Stuey (original title)
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Based on the true story of the rise and fall of poker legend Stu "The Kid" Ungar.

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 ... Himself
Andrew N.S. Glazer ... Himself
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 David Dwyer ... Poker Player #2 (as David S. Dwyer)
Steve Schirripa ... Anthony (as Steven R. Schirripa)
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Storyline

Based on the true story of the rise and fall of poker legend Stu "The Kid" Ungar.

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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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
See full technical specs »
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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 ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

(Introductions and Variations on a Theme from) 'DIE SCHOENE MUELLERIN' Op. 160
Performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal
Written by Franz Schubert
PD Arrangement by J. Baird (BMI), F. Gari (BMI)
Published by Arvee (BMI), Dingletown Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Bully Music, L.L.C.
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User Reviews

 
a tale so extraordinary you have to see it to believe it
31 January 2005 | by eminericSee all my reviews

stuey unger was a card playing legend. he was quoted in an interview as saying, "Some day, I suppose it's possible for someone to be a better No Limit Hold'em player than me. I doubt it, but it could happen. But, I swear to you, I don't see how anyone could ever play gin better than me." there's a gin rummy scene in this movie that is so amazing you could have plopped it in 'X-Men' as a showcase for a superhero's mutant power. that's how incredible this man was.

i have a few minor problems with this movie. as dark as this movie was, stuey's real life was darker. poker pro todd brunson said, "During the last World Series of poker, Bob Stupak, Mike Sexton and I had a drink and talked about Stu. Mike told us how he could barely talk, hadn't showered in weeks and how his fingers were burned black by a crack pipe." in the film, michael imperioli looked far too healthy to be stu unger in the final years of his life. when stuey won his last wsop he looked like a skeleton, but let's face it, this production lacked both the time and the "deniro" to make that kind of transformation. my other problem was that i wish there was more poker playing, with actual hands and situations. sure it might have bored the average non poker enthusiast, but it would have been nice for the hardcores. too bad the movie wasn't 6 hours or so longer.

i watched the movie with 3 non poker players and they all thoroughly enjoyed it. just like you don't have to be a former member of the colonial army to enjoy Gibson's "the patriot", you don't have to be a poker player to see this gem. can't wait for the DVD. (8 out of 10)


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