The Best Movies to Get Pumped for Ignition Poker Online
Let’s set the scene: you’re pumped for an upcoming poker tournament. You’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears (don’t worry, we won’t tell) into your practice rounds. You’re feeling good about your odds. You feel sharp and focused and confident. Most importantly, you’re hungry for a win. The atmosphere is nearly complete…but there’s still something missing.
And we know what it is: inspiration. We can find inspiration in all kinds of places. Some turn to music for inspiration, which others work out or get meditate.
At Ignition Casino, we’re firm believers that movies are perfect for inspiring online gamblers. For as long as we can remember, Hollywood has portrayed poker players as underdogs who have to overcome a lifetime of hardship. There’s something fascinating about the drama of playing poker to win enough money to climb out of poverty or save a family member’s life. There’s something so seductive about the tension of facing off with cheating opponents. There’s something so nail-bitingly intense about deadly face-offs until a miracle comes in at the last possible moment.
Needless to say, poker is a very cinematic game: the cons, the bluffs, the piercing eyes, the anxious shuffles, the betrayals, the scams. For the most part, it’s a fun little escape from the real world. But for online poker players, it can also be a huge source of inspiration.
So, where do you start? Here at Ignition Casino, we’ve compiled a list of our top five films that are sure to rev your engine before a big poker game. Read on to find out what they are!
Rounders: What Goes Around Comes Around
Dive into New York’s top-secret, high-stakes poker clubs with Mike McDermott (Matt Damon). After losing all his savings to Russian club owner Teddy KGB (John Malkovich), Mike gives up poker. Instead, he directs his attention to law school and his stunning girlfriend Jo (Gretchen Mol). But when Mike’s former gambling partner Worm (Edward Norton) is released from prison, Jo is quickly put on edge. Worm immediately pulls Mike back to the poker table, prompting Jo to move out and Mike to abandon his studies. Worm’s motive? Win enough to pay a prison debt to the terrifying Grama. Mike humours Worm and agrees to help him out. With five days to earn $15,000, the pair launch into a nonstop, sleepless gambling bender that culminates with a battle with the one and only Teddy KGB.
With high stakes and a healthy dose of tension, Rounders shines a light on the underworld malice that runs rampant in the poker world. With focused shots throughout the film, the director does an incredible job of capturing the violent emotional swings that often come with no-limit poker.
In fact, Matt Damon and Edward Norton actually got in on the fun themselves when they played in a no-limit $10,000 Texas Hold ‘Em competition at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. On the very first day, Damon scored pocket kings but was eliminated by poker icon Doyle Brunson, who landed pocket aces.
Molly’s Game: A Cruel Poker Mistress
Welcome to the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain). She was an Olympic skier who organised the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for an entire decade. Until she was arrested by a whopping 17 FBI agents, of course. From Hollywood stars to business giants to the Russian mob, Molly’s guest players came from all walks of life. Her only supporter is her criminal defence lawyer, Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who has discovered that there’s more to Molly than meets the eye.
In this masterpiece, writer Aaron Sorkin makes a clever poker metaphor; Molly Bloom rose to the top through sheer determination, luck, intelligence, and a limitless desire to be the best of the best. There’s a lesson in there for all poker players.
According to the real Molly Bloom, the biggest poker loss she had ever seen was a shocking $100 million. The loss happened in one night, but miraculously, the loser repaid his debt the very next day.
Casino Royale: Getting Back to Bond’s Roots
Le Chiffre is a banker whose clients are global terrorists. In Montenegro, he plays poker in an attempt to win back the money he’s lost and safeguard himself from the terrorists’ threats. MI6 boss, “M” (Dame Judi Dench) sends James Bond to play in this game and block Le Chiffre’s victory. With the help of Felix Leiter and Vesper Lynd, Bond plays the most high-stakes and dangerous poker game of his entire career. If he does defeat Le Chiffre… what then?
After 40 years of James Bond, Casino Royale is a refreshing change of pace, returning to Bond’s beginnings. He doesn’t use the oft-quoted introduction, “Bond. James Bond.” He doesn’t care whether his vodka martini is shaken or stirred. He simply plays poker.
On the set and even after production had wrapped, poker was a staple for the cast and crew. Interestingly, this was the norm within the 007 franchise. Former James Bond, Roger Moore, and producer Albert R. Broccoli also frequently played during filming. In fact, the cast and crew of many 007 films engaged in some shockingly high-stakes games.
Maverick. The greatest gambler in the west finally meets his match.
Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson) is a gambler and con artist. Rather than fight anyone, he’d much prefer to con them. But you see, he’s got a problem: he needs $25,000 to enter a winner-take-all poker game. And he’s only got a couple of days to find the cash. He tries to win some of it, collects certain debts, and recovers a reward, but still comes up short. Soon, he takes a partner in the form of gambler Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster). Together, they both try to get in the game.
This film is on the light-hearted side, which presents a nice change from most poker movies. It tells the funny story of Bret Maverick as he joins the region’s most profitable poker competition. Although it’s a comedy, it also integrates action and adventure. Plus, it pays cool and accurate homage to poker’s dangerous history in the Wild West.
To give you some context, the $25,000 fee Bret needed in the 19th century would be the equivalent of roughly $800,000 today. Yikes.
The Sting: With a Little Confidence, Anything Is Possible
Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) is a small-time grifter who unknowingly cons money from crime master Doyle Lonnegan. Needless to say, Lonnegan’s not too happy about it and kills Hooker’s partner. Hooker flees for his life with the help of Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), who is a long con expert. Wanting to even the score, Hooker seeks to use Gondorff’s expertise to con Lonnegan again -but this time, for a huge amount of money. He admits that this is because he doesn’t know enough about killing to actually kill him. Over time, their complex scheme attracts a gifted group of con artists, each one searching for their share. With the pair facing Lonnegan’s murderous intentions, the stakes have never been higher. To win against the brute, they’ll need all the talent, confidence, and luck they can muster.
“The Sting” won seven Academy Awards®, including best director, best picture, and best screenplay. It’s an iconic film that eventually carved the path for Redford’s and Newman’s buddy comedy “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid”. Incredible production, stimulating plot, and surprising twists and turns. It’s got everything you could want in a poker movie, which is no doubt why it’s secured itself a place as an all-time classic.
In one of the most crucial poker scenes, Paul Newman performs some intricate sleight of hand manoeuvres that could only have been done by an expert… and they were! They had a technical advisor’s hands as the double for Newman’s. It’s a clever way of incorporating some jaw-dropping moves while saving the actor’s time and energy.
You’re Up! Download Ignition Poker and Start Playing
Now, it’s your turn, mate. We want to see your face on the big screen! When you play Ignition poker online, you get to be anybody you want. Be James Bond, Annabelle Bransford, Maverick, or someone else! No matter what style you choose, you can apply those skills and strategies right here at Ignition Casino.
Best of all, you can play Ignition poker online from any device you like. Whether it’s a smartphone, desktop, or tablet, you simply enter your Ignition log in details and dive head-first into the action!
To get our full range of features, be sure to download Ignition for your desktop. But if you decide to play on your mobile or tablet, there’s no need to download any software. Simply hop onto our mobile site and start playing!
With that, we just have one question: ready for your close-up?