Bluefire Poker was nice enough to give us a look at their new poker documentary A Kid’s Game: The Story of Online Poker this week.
So we put the Jiffy-Pop on the stove, sat down on the coach, and opened up our laptops to play online poker, looking up from time to time. That’s just how we watch TV.
We’d seen the trailer for this doc some time ago and it looked promising. Get some of the biggest high-stakes players in the world in front of the camera and get them to tell the story of online poker. It made sense.
The cast includes Andrew Robl, Hac and Di Dang, Isaac Haxton, Peter Jetten, Shaun Deeb and Alec Torelli, successful online players who were there in the so-called Golden Age of poker and have survived through the developments of a post-boom industry.
The documentary is 70 minutes and it covers a lot of ground. For people on the inside the themes will be familiar, probably from a million conversations you’ve had with other players, your friends, or your family.
For the uninitiated this film provides an inside look at a group of young people who have taken advantage of one of the most lucrative employment opportunities in history. Online poker.
Like we said, this thing is 70 minutes long. That’s verging on feature film territory. There’s no narrative and a lack of supporting material to help it move. That's going to be a problem for those viewers who aren't super into poker.
The filmmaker takes a particular interest in Hac and Di Dang and this is one of the areas where the piece succeeds. Not a ton is known about these guys and they’re among the most successful high-stakes players ever.
The Dang brothers offer a lot of insight into how poker can be used responsibly as a very lucrative way of making a living. These guys are not your average online pros and it’s refreshing to see that it’s possible to have a level-headed, reasonable view of life as a millionaire online poker pro.
All in all we give this film a solid 6.5/10, and that's in the category of low-budget documentaries about poker. With a good narrative to tie it together, and more supporting material that score could have been a lot higher.
“If I woke up one day and found out I had cancer I’d be upset obv. But I would realize there’s a certain chance that it’s gonna happen, and given that I’m born and I accept those chances I can’t be that upset if it does.” - Alec Torelli
“If [people] have some prejudice against it going in they’re not going to listen to what you have to say. They’re going to assume that the stuff you’re saying they can’t understand, or don’t understand, are just the rationalizations of a compulsive gambler” - Isaac Haxton
“In my mind right now anything under $1,000 is free.” - Dr Giggy
You can check out the documentary by signing up for a trial account over at Bluefire Poker. Oh yeah, they also offer poker training.