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Monday, April 30th, 2007

Poker Movie Opens This Week


A new movie about poker opens in theaters across North America and elsewhere on Friday, May 4, 2007.

Academy Award winner Curtis Hanson, who previously produced and directed “L.A. Confidential,” “Wonder Boys” and “8 Mile,” among other films, now presents “Lucky You,” a love story set in the frantic universe of the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP).

According to promotional material provided by the movie studio: “In ‘Lucky You’, Curtis Hanson brings us a story of human relationships set in the high-stakes world of Las Vegas. Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore) is a young singer from Bakersfield, California, with more heart than talent.

“Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a poker player whose emotions at the table often undermine his exceptional skill, especially when he is heads up with his father, poker legend L.C. Cheever (Robert Duvall).

“The one aptitude Billie and Huck seem to share is a knack for reading people–the difference is what they do with that gift.

“While Huck’s instincts enable him to take advantage of his opponents at the poker table and expertly avoid both emotional connections and long-term commitments in his personal life, Billie uses her intuition to see the emotional truth of those around her and sympathize with their pain.

“When these two meet, the real game begins. If Huck is going to win Billie’s heart, he must learn to play cards the way he has been living life and live his life the way he has been playing cards.”

The movie co-stars Debra Messing, Jean Smart and Horatio Sanz.

Professional poker player and former WSOP champion Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson served as a consultant for the film, and also makes a cameo appearance in it.

Other poker pros making cameos in the movie include Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Phil “Poker Brat” Hellmuth, Sam Farha, Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, John Juanda, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Johnny Chan and Daniel Negreanu, while poker pro Jennifer Harmon actually has a small co-starring role, playing–what else?–a poker player.

Chan, who is also a former WSOP champ, also made a cameo appearance in the 1998 poker movie “Rounders,” which starred Matt Damon.

News reports last year quoted Barrymore as saying she is “addicted” to playing online poker.

Hanson, 62, who won an Academy Award for writing the screenplay for “L.A. Confidential,” also wrote the screenplay for “Lucky You.”

Among his other credits are directing “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” “Losin’ It” and “Bedroom Window.”

In addition, he once directed a Bob Dylan music video.

He admits he plays in a regular poker home game wih friends.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected].)

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