An amazing movie on gambling is hard to formulate; Think about the risk, thrill, and skills involved that the actors are required to showcase smoothly without a hitch. The more accurately portrayed the better, and it can be rather arguable that no gambling movie hits the spot quite as well as a brilliant poker flick. How well-done a poker film can be is heavily reliant on the acting talent involved, as just about anyone can sit at the poker table and pretend to be playing it. While this list is subjective, the following is an evaluation of the best poker players from the movies. And if you want to live your life just like a poker player in these movies, be sure to give the gold coin casino at global poker a shot!
- Mel Gibson (Bret Maverick) — Maverick
While there’s no denying his off-screen antics, Gibson was once upon a time a highly demanded and versatile movie star. It can be said that Maverick was released at Gibson’s prime, where he had a great mix of confidence, charm, and swagger to showcase. In Maverick, Gibson had various iconic scenes to remember fondly, including the Five Card Draw sit-down against Jodie Foster, or the final poker game scene. While the reveal to Maverick’s big win was an excruciatingly slow one, it showed how he toyed with gunfighter Johnny Hardin brilliantly with his intelligence and skills.
- Bill Camp (Harlan Eustice) — Molly’s Game
Bill Camp acted out the role of a hardened detective brilliantly in HBO’s The Night Of, but in Molly’s Game, he plays a true grinder who goes off the rails. As an experienced poker player, Camp’s Eustice showcased a wide variety of emotions, which starts off from a controlled approach to the poker’s percentages to a complete unraveling that makes the full tilt seem like an easy feat. While Eustice was not necessarily the best poker player from the movies, his fantastic performance wonderfully displayed the highs and dark lows of high-stakes poker.
- Daniel Craig (James Bond) — Casino Royale
Now, Daniel Crag is famously known to play the legendary James Bond, but boy does he rock the poker player role just as well. The movie centers around him getting into high-stakes cash with Le Chiffre who plays the role of Mads Mikkelsen. Bond takes careful effort to slowly uncover Le Chiffre’s bluff, and just as he was close to doing so, he gets ambushed and has to approach things a different way. In all, he displays the suaveness of a secret agent who has to go through the highs and lows.
- Ben Mendelsohn (Gerry) — Mississippi Grind
Taking away the glamour and stardom, Mississippi Grind portrays Gerry as a struggling gambler and real estate agent whose gambling addiction has led him to amount debts. His life starts to see light when he encounters Curtis played by the handsome Ryan Reynolds. Working together, they rack up small wins and suffer a battering defeat. In the end, Gerry has no choice but to face his dark side. Ben Mendelsohn’s portrayal of his role and the gambling artistry involved is certainly one that every gambling fan should catch.
- Edward Norton (Worm) — Rounders
Rounders was a 1998 film on the underground world of high-stakes poker, where the story follows two friends who are desperate to win high-stakes poker so as to quickly pay off a large debt. With a vivid personality, Edward Norton’s Worm is able to get everyone at the table engrossed in his speeches. Apart from that, Worm is a loyal pal to Matt Damon’s Mike McDermott, but due to his mountain of debts, he is constantly on the lookout for fast earnings. With an amazing blend of poker game skills and bad etiquette, the result is a spectacularly fun one!
- Val Kilmer (Doc Holliday) — Tombstone
Although Tombstone was not all about Doc Holliday’s poker game skills but was mainly focused on Wyatt Earp instead, Val Kilmer managed to impress with how his art was more on his character and his crazy antics. He slayed the role so hard that Doc Holliday could not be absent from this list!
- Paul Newman (Henry Gondorff) — The Sting
Similar to Worm, Henry Gondorff by Paul Newman acts as a swindler who’s all out for his personal gain. However, the difference in The Sting is that Gondorff is after a prize much bigger in size, and he’s against a mob boss who’s quite the monster. Newman may not show off much poker playing skills, but he certainly holds his own in the high-stakes poker game. It is definitely entertaining to watch as Gondorff obnoxiously taunts and gloats at the opponent Doyle Lonnegan. In particular, Newman’s reaction towards his first win was precious, as he spared no joy in the faces of the other poker players.
- John Malkovich (Teddy KGB) — Rounders
Teddy KGB, with his labored Russian accent and all, was brought to life by John Malkovich. In Rounders, Teddy is a foe feared by many and is certainly tough to tackle. Matt Damon goes all out in an attempt to take him down early on in the movie, but Teddy proves to be too tough to be taken down that quickly. Malkovich is certainly iconic in the poker scenes that beautifully meld together; From the thick accent down to his mannerisms, Malkovich’s Teddy is one unique masterpiece.
- Steve McQueen (The Cincinnati Kid) — The Cincinnati Kid
This list would not be complete without Steve McQueen, who portrays a cold poker legend with his badass mannerisms. The Cincinnati Kid is a movie that isn’t all about winning, but more about the poker game itself, and how even the best do not always win. The final scene will always remain the most impressive, with McQueen’s realistic and sobering rise and fall beautifully showcased.
- Matt Damon (Mike McDermott) — Rounders
Matt Damon can most definitely take the top spot with how spectacularly well he plays the role of a poker player. Starting off the movie as a confident and experienced poker player who can perfectly scout the entire room, he faces a costly sabotage early on, which leads him to face greater challenges. In all, Rounders has to be one of the top gambling movies ever, and Matt Damon certainly reigns top in his poker persona.
This list is certainly subjective, but you’ve got to admit that these very actors have made a strong impact when it comes to gambling movies.