[NARRATION] FOR MOST PEOPLE, A MIRAGE IS SOMETHING THAT RISES FROM THE DESERT. SOMETHING UNREAL. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
[NARRATION] IT'S A DISTORTION OF LIGHT. SOMETHING THAT CAN'T POSSIBLY BE.
[NARRATION] ANOTHER KIND OF MIRAGE IS THAT LIFE WILL ALWAYS BE AS IT IS NOW. A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD, A SUCCESSFUL JOB, A HAPPY FAMILY...
[CORNELIA] (laughing)... Monkey time...
[NARRATION] TWO YEARS AGO MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN. I TOOK TIME OFF FROM MY JOB AS A FILMMAKER TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH HER. MONEY RAN OUT. THEN THE ECONOMY CRASHED. JOBS IN TV DRIED UP.
[NARRATION] WE WERE BROKE AND I WAS UNEMPLOYED.
[NARRATION] THE PRESSURE WAS ON TO DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
[NARRATION] SO I WENT FOR THE EASY MONEY. FOUND OUT THE TRUE MEANING OF RISK.
[SUPER] Toronto, Canada
[VOICE ON PHONE] Hey Matt Gallagher, welcome to the world.
[MATT] Hey, man, I haven't seen you around lately. What's, uh, what's goin' on tonight? Do ya' got a game going on?
[VOICE ON PHONE] Oh yeah, we're rockin' tonight. We got a great game. I got, I got like a little 5 10, we're gonna eat dinner. We're gonna have a good time.
[MATT] Alright, man, I think I'll definitely pop by tonight if I can.
[VOICE ON PHONE] Okay, cool. We're rockin' tonight so...
[NARRATION] I WAS ALWAYS PRETTY GOOD AT POKER BUT NOW I'M TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING AT IT. I MEET THESE STRANGERS IN ILLEGAL CARD ROOMS ALL OVER THE CITY...
[UNIDENTIFIED CARD PLAYER] Okay...
[NARRATION] THE LOCATIONS ARE WELL GUARDED, BOTH FROM THE COPS AND THE CRIMINALS WHO KNOW THAT THERE'S A LOT OF CASH IN THE ROOM.
[NARRATION] I PLAY NO-LIMIT TEXAS HOLD'EM, A PERFECT COMBINATION OF SKILL, PROBABILITY, AND SOME SAY LUCK. EACH PLAYER GETS DEALT TWO CARDS, THEN COMES THE COMMUNITY CARDS - THE FLOP, THE TURN, THE RIVER. THE BEST 5-CARD HAND WINS THE POT.
[UNDENTIFIED CARD PLAYER] How much is it man? Five more? If I call 95 you wanna put me on...
[MATT] You may as well push all in, dude.
[CARD PLAYER 2] Ugh! Now you have push...
[MATT] I got you
[NARRATION] MY GOAL IS TO WIN A COUPLE OF BIG HANDS EACH NIGHT. HAPPY TO WALK AWAY WITH 500 BUCKS PROFIT FOR A DAY'S WORK. MOST OF THE GRINDERS IN THIS ROOM PLAY POKER FULL-TIME.
[ANDRE] Oh my god, flush (inaudible)...
[NARRATION] GUYS LIKE ANDRE.
[ANDRE] What did you have there?
[ANDRE] I'll tell you right now, to me grinding is, A, having no source of income but poker.
Dealer dropped a 7, you flopped it. Dealer, I need a 7 one time. Dealer.
[ANDRE] Meaning you are playing poker not for entertainment, for source of income. That to me is grinding.
[ANDRE ] Arrrrrgh! 9 then, 9. I'll be happy with chop. 9! Fuck, man!
[UNIDENTIFED CARD PLAYER] Can you please control the fat guy with the glasses?
[ANDRE] If you lose in poker today, it's not like, oh well whatever, I still have enough to pay the, you know, the milk and cheese and for the kid... No, that means you're screwed now.
[UNIDENTIFIED CARD PLAYER] (inaudible)...
[ANDRE] No, no, no don't do that! Oh you... Oh my god I have no pot now, oh my god...
[UNIDENTIFIED] Okay, let's all open up now to make it...
[ANDRE] No, no, no, no. I opened up last time, I lost bro.
[ANDRE ] I'll take Ace King suited over a blond any day. Call me gay.
[ANDRE] Whoa! Shabatcha! Yes! Don’t follow me, Marcus! Don't follow me! How do you call, with force? Oh, you're sick! How did I win that? The second he said he has a pair I thought I had no shot. Oh, Jack, it's going back on. Okay, we're here all night. We're here all night, bro. We're here all night! You're money is good. Whoa! Oh! Oh, Marc, you're money I love... Oh, I love your money, bro. Oh, I love your money. You're money is good. Oh I...
[ANDRE] Holy crap... Pocket 4s for sure, pocket 4's, eh? It has to be pocket 4s.
[ANDRE] Oh man. Matt (?), you might have to drive. I can just, you know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna pass out for a good 5-6 hours straight. No, but I can't. That's a, that's the irony of my life. Power naps, you know. I'm all about power naps. Hour here, hour there. Which is why I'm outa shape.
[ANDRE] And it's not that I don't eat... it's not that I eat bad, right, I just... My hours are horrible and without sleep that's like the number one... You know what I mean? That's... Sleep is the number one, uh, thing you need in order to get in shape. People don't... don't understand that.
[MATT] So over the city, like a city the size of Toronto, how many games are we talkin'?
[ANDRE] Oh my god! Phuggg, you don't even wanna know (laughing)... Like what, you're talkin' about legit games, or even like, like games in the houses, like home games. Like what do you need to know right now, you know? Like there's...
[MATT] I'm talkin' about the underground scene where people, you know, are workin'...
[ANDRE] Where people are working and playing poker? I'm gonna tell you right now, I mean, I don't even wanna say this 'cause I don't need to get shot out there but there's over... And keep in mind, this is from where I've been, right? I'm sure there's probably more. I would say, easily - easily - like 100, over 100 games guaren... even over 200.
[ANDRE] If you wanna be a degenerate, if you wanna be a grinder, you just gotta non-stop play poker (laughing)...
[NARRATION] ONE OF THE GRINDERS I MEET WHO PLAYS NON-STOP IS DANNY. SEVEN NIGHTS A WEEK YOU CAN FIND HIM AT ONE OF THE CLUBS AROUND TOWN.
[NARRATION] LIKE ME, HE SUPPORTS HIS FAMILY BY PLAYING UNDERGROUND. BUT HE'S A PLAYER WITH AMBITION FOR SOMETHING MORE.
[SUPER] B.C. Poker Championship
[DANNY] You know, what I'm doin' right now I'm doin' for my kids. I'm trying to make the best life possible for them and this is the, you know, the way I can go about it right now. I'm, I'm fortunate enough to be able to play poker and, you know, fortunate enough to, you know, with a tournament win you're gonna get a whole lot of money in one shot. So... and some recognition to go along with it, which I think really helps you get future tournament wins.
[NARRATION] DANNY'S ALWAYS LOOKIN' FOR THE BIG PRIZE. A PAY-DAY THAT COULD CHANGE HIS LIFE. HE'S ENTERED THIS TOURNAMENT WITH MONEY HE'S WON AT THE UNDERGROUND CLUBS.
[NARRATION] HE'S GOTTA BEAT OUT 550 PLAYERS TO CLAIM FIRST PRIZE OF $300,000.
[DANNY] I just think it's my time, man. You know what, I've been playing well for the last 3-4 months and I'm really zoned into this tournament. I don't... I think I'm playing really intelligently and I think a lot of people aren't gonna be as intelligent with their chips. There's gonna be some, some chips flying around. Just wait and to pick good spots, man.
[DANNY] I really feel like I'm dust in the wind this tournament. If not this tournament, some tournament sometime soon. If you can't get yourself motivated to, to be at your best and, and try and achieve things for your wife and kids, then, I mean, you're never gonna get motivated in any other way.
[DANNY] Be there! Be there! Yes!!
[NARRATION] BACK IN TORONTO, I'M STILL TRYING TO MAKE MY 500 BUCKS A DAY. RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL POKER ROOM IS ALL ABOUT KEEPING THE SEATS FILLED WITH PLAYERS LIKE ME.
[LAWRENCE] Yeah, a little north in plaza. ...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Okay, okay, as soon, as soon as you get to around plaza, come inside the plaza. You see...
[NARRATION] GAME RUNNERS MAKE THEIR MONEY BY COLLECTING A RAKE FROM THE PLAYERS, A COMMISSION FROM EVERY WINNING HAND. IN ONE NIGHT, A TABLE FULL OF PLAYERS CAN EASILY GENERATE A COUPLE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE HOUSE.
[NARRATION] I MEET LAWRENCE WHO RUNS HIS GAME IN THE EAST END.
[NARRATION] HE RENTS SPACE OUT OF A COMMERCIAL BUILDING. LAWRENCE PAYS THE RENT IN CASH SO THE LANDLORD TURNS A BLIND EYE TO THE ALL-NIGHT GAMBLING. HE BOUGHT THE CLUB FROM ANOTHER OWNER. FOR $40,000 LAWRENCE GOT THE TABLES, CHIPS, SECURITY CAMERAS, TV’S, AND HIS PERSONAL FAVOURITE, THE CLUB'S NAME... CINCINNATI KID.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] This move comes from a movie made in 1965
[LAWRENCE subtitled] called Cincinnati Kid.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] The actor I think was, uh, Steve McQueen. I think.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I've seen the movie many, many times so I try to learn it.
[LAURENCE subtitled] Uh, this is, uh, my club. That's the security.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] This is, uh, we call it Escola Table which people love.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] They waste right here and they enjoy it.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] That's a screen TV.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Uh, mostly they go, uh... for the sports channel because they like to bet.
[LAURENCE subtitled] Some of them, they come with the plan, some they don't.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Just they love to shoot!
[LAWRENCE subtitled] This is a poker table, this is a poker table.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] They sit behind the table. And they enjoy their time.
[LAURENCE subtitled] The people who make a plan, they win.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] The people who don't have a plan, they follow those kind of people.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] So they are a loser.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] So in real life, you better have a plan.
[NARRATION] WHEN YOU'RE WINNING AT THE TABLES IT'S EASY TO DREAM. YOU'RE MAKING MONEY AND YOU FEEL UNSTOPPABLE. MY PLAN IS TO WIN ENOUGH AT POKER SO WE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE BILLS OR WHEN I'M GONNA GET MY NEXT JOB.
[NARRATION] I DON'T NEED TO MAKE A MILLION BUCKS, I JUST WANNA BE ABLE TO WALK INTO A CLUB OR CATCH A PLANE TO VEGAS AND MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO KEEP THE FAMILY GOING.
[NARRATION] A FEW MILES FROM THE VEGAS STRIP I MEET A FORMER GRINDER FROM CANADA WHO'S MANAGED TO TAKE HIS GAME ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP.
[SUPER] Daniel Negreanu
[SUPER] Estimated poker career earnings:
$13, 080, 190.
[MATT] So Daniel, I've been looking around and thinking that this is definitely not Canada.
[DANIEL] (laughing)... Yeah, definitely not Canada.
[MATT] Can you tell me where we are?
[DANIEL] We are in Las Vegas, Summerland to be exact, in my backyard... working on my alternate putter. Hey, finally made one! Yeah, this is my green that I got built. It's a Jack Nicholson green that helps with chipping and putting, and since I not only gamble with poker, I gamble a bit at golf, having a good like short game it's kind of important. So every once in a while I'll come out here and just hit some short puts and do some chipping.
[DANIEL] Well, the way I did it or the way I got here to this point in Las Vegas and successful was very different than the way it should be done today. I did it grinding, you know. I did it starting out in poker clubs in Toronto, just Charity casinos and then taking my shots in Vegas playing bigger games until, you know, finally I struck gold in a tournament. The World Series Poker.
[DANIEL] I had already had some success up to the point, but then, uh, slowly but surely just started to move up in limits and, uh, poker got hot. I got hot at the right time and, you know, through that I was able to make some, uh, money on the business side of poker as well.
[DANIEL] Well, I've been on the road for a little while now. After the World Series of Poker in the fall, things start to move out towards Europe. And so I was, uh, just like on, uh, trip to Vienna, had to do a PR stop in Romania, a little bit of fun in Amsterdam, some fun in LA and then back home. I was in 4 countries in 5 days at one point. A lot of different planes.
[DANIEL] Uh, it worked out. I came fourth in the EPT Vienna. It paid like 170,000 Euros so it paid for the trip and some. But, uh, yeah, aside from that it's just a busy time, you know. I'm home for about a week, then off to Barcelona, back for a few days and off for a few days and off to Sydney, Australia. Get a couple weeks off for Christmas and then head out to, uh, the Bahamas for the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure Tournament, which is a big one. Every January.
[NARRATION] FOR ME, POKER IS ALL ABOUT RISK, ODDS AND SKILL. LUCK IS FOR SLOT MACHINES AND BINGO, GAMES OF CHANCE. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO LIFE, I'LL TAKE ALL THE LUCK I CAN GET.
[NARRATION] MY WIFE TELLS ME THE UNEXPECTED NEWS - WE'VE GOT A SECOND BABY ON THE WAY.
[NARRATION] IT'S ANOTHER HIGH RISK PREGNANCY. FOUR YEARS AGO, WHEN WE DECIDED TO START A FAMILY, OUR DOCTOR WARNED US THAT MY WIFE'S BIOLOGICAL CLOCK WASN'T JUST TICKING, IT WAS CHIMING. THREE MISCARRIAGES LATER, OUR LITTLE GIRL WAS BORN. MY DAUGHTER IS THE LUCKIEST THING THAT'S EVER HAPPENED TO ME. NOW WE NEED TO GET LUCKY AGAIN.
[SUPER] B.C. Poker Championship
[SUPER] Final day
[NARRATION] DANNY'S CLOSE TO WINNING THE $300,000 TOURNAMENT WHEN HE'S DEALT THE SECOND BEST HAND IN POKER. POCKET COWBOYS. A MONSTER HAND. ODDS PREDICT THAT YOU'LL SEE POCKET KINGS ONCE EVERY 221 DEALS. WITH THESE TWO CARDS, IT'S ALMOST NEVER WRONG TO GO ALL IN.
[DANNY] I'm all in.
[UNIDENTIFIED CARD PLAYER] All in.
[NARRATION] ... UNLESS OF COURSE IF SOMEONE, LIKE THIS GUY, TURNS OVER POCKET ACES. WHEN THAT HAPPENS, ODDS SAY THAT YOU'RE GONNA LOSE 81% OF THE TIME. IF DANNY DOESN'T SEE A KING HIT THE TABLE, HE'LL BE ELIMINATED FROM THE TOURNAMENT.
[NARRATION] IF YOU BELIEVE IN LUCK, THIS IS WHAT LUCK LOOKS LIKE AT THE POKER TABLE.
[DANNY] That was ridiculous. I'll take it though.
[DEALER] I'll show you (inaudible)... You enjoy that.
[DANNY] You gotta get lucky sometimes.
[SUPER] 60 million Americans
The 3rd best watched
sport in the world
with over (flashes over screen too fast to read...)
[ANNOUNCER] This is team victory behind me. Ladies and gentlemen, this is team victory right here. One lucky person out there will win $100,000 in tournaments buy-ins, a furnished condo in the Las Veg...
[NARRATION] I GET A CALL FROM ANDRE. HE TELLS ME ABOUT THIS ONLINE CONTEST. IT'S A REALITY SHOW THAT'S GONNA BRING 25 POKER PLAYERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO COMPETE IN LAS VEGAS.
[NARRATION] ANDRE WANTS ME TO HELP HIM MAKE AN AUDITION VIDEO.
[ANNOUNCER]... basically, a whole new life!
[MATT] Okay, so what's the plan? Like you just show your lifestyle to these people who are choosing this...
[ANDRE] This... Basically, yeah, and let them know that, you know, that I'm basically a degenerate and I do it every day. I don't know, what do you think? What's your idea of... any ideas?
[MATT] I think you have to sort of address the camera. We'll put the camera on tripod and you address the camera. You say, listen, this is this, this is who I am, this is what I do. Okay, ready? And... action.
[ANDRE] Hello. My name is Andre Adwokat and I'm here to tell you why I should be the next Victory Poker Pro. I'm telling you right now, besides the fact that I wanna get the hell outa Canada, besides the fact that I'm sick of beavers, besides the fact that I'm sick of casinos in Canada that make you wait for a seat, and they move you here, and they tell you, "No, this is not good, and that's not special, and, no, you can't move over here..."
[ANDRE] You know, you go to Vegas, you just grab a seat. Seat open? I'll take. This seat open? I'll take it. I wanna shoot, take my money!! Why can't you take my money?!!
[ANDRE] Yeah, this is where it all happens. This is where I take people's money, people take my money. Mostly they take my money, but, uh, that's where you guys come in. See, I wanna take this to a professional level. I need a lot of professionals around me and I would love if you guys picked me 'cause I know for a fact we can make Victory Poker bigger than it already is. I mean, I need this so much. As you can see, I need a condo, I need a car, I need a watch, I need... Like, you know what I mean? I need a whole new life!
[NARRATION] MY NEW LIFE STARTS AT 10 PM, AND ENDS WHEN I WIN ENOUGH TO GO HOME. OR WHEN I BUST OUT. WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.
[NARRATION] LAST NIGHT I WENT TO CINCINNATI KID. THE PARKING LOT WAS EMPTY AND THE DOORS WERE LOCKED. I FIND OUT THAT THERE HASN'T BEEN A GAME THERE IN DAYS.
[NARRATION] IT TURNS OUT THE LANDLORD HAS LOCKED LAURENCE OUT OF HIS OWN CLUB. LAURENCE TELLS ME THAT HIS LANDLORD WANTS AN EXTRA 6,000 IN CASH. UNTIL THEN, HE CAN'T GET ANY OF HIS STUFF.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] ... This guy without any reason. Change the lock. He's telling me I got to give him $6,000 extra. He using this excuse saying I haven't paid him rent. Any right-minded landlord won't let it go this far. Two or three months not paying. This guy is blackmailing me and he knows why. I'm not gonna give him a penny, right, unless he comes to his right mind.
[NOTICE ON DOOR] Notice
These premises are under the possession of the landlord, no one is permitted to enter these premises with-out the consent of the landlord.
All enquires must be directed to... (out of frame)
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I'm a gambler. I don't rip people off. But this guy is not a gambler, but he's ripping people off. That's the difference between me and the landlord. And the law protect these kinds of fucking people. Not normal and regular people like me, they won't survive.
[NARRATION] DANNY'S BACK FROM THE TOURNAMENT AFTER FALLING SHORT OF FIRST PRIZE. AFTER COVERING HIS EXPENSES, HE CAME HOME WITH $7,000 PROFIT.
[DANNY] Hi Nicole, it's Dan Kalpakis, how are ya? The payment that I needed to make for that cheque that came back, uh, was made on Friday at your, at your branch. They have the payment. Um, I need, I need to see if you could release the hold on my account. Can you give me a call back once you, once you have it sorted out with her? Thanks, Nicole. I appreciate it.
[DANNY] Okay... I'm playing 5 games right now. Uh, it's a little bit of a mixture. The bottom right screen is a hundred dollar double or nothing sit and go. Top five players double their, their money. Uh, left side of the screen is a 1-2, no-limit cash game. Excuse me for a sec. Sorry, MATT, I've gotta take this.
[DANNY] Hello? ... Okay, it's... So I can take that out any time? ... That's awesome. Thanks so much Nicole, I appreciate it. Alright.
[MATT] You were talkin' about the relationship you have with you wife and how she supports your playing. Can you talk a bit about that?
[DANNY] Yeah, no, she doesn't... she actually supports me. She's actually the one that, that, you know, pushes me forward and she's very supportive. So there's, there's some days where, um, you know, just like work, I should go and, and play live or I should play on line, especially live and I don't feel like going, and she'll say like, "Well you know what, you really should go."
[DANNY] And, uh, I'll turn around and I'll go like, "You're right, I should go for a couple days." And, um, yeah, so she's, she's almost, almost like a poker coach at times. She helps, helps get me motivated and keeps me going, so that helps a lot.
[CORNELIA] Come on, turn around. Turn around, we'll walk first.
[NARRATION] MY WIFE? SHE'S NOT THRILLED WITH ME PLAYING CARDS FOR A LIVING. UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THE RISKS I'M TAKING.
[CORNELIA] Where could we put a swing? I can't carry you...
[NARRATION] THE LATE NIGHTS AND UNRELIABLE INCOME ARE TAKING THEIR TOLL. AND NOW, WITH A SECOND BABY ON THE WAY, I'M FEELING EVEN MORE PRESSURE TO DO WELL AT THE TABLES.
[NARRATION] BUT GETTING DEALT POCKET JACKS HELPS.
[ANDRE] The true sounds of a pro (laughing)... Work, bro. 30!
[ANDRE] We got one bird that calls (chuckling)... Why don't you just stick to Hollywood, buddy, to directing, okay, and leave the poker to us? I know, he's...
[NARRATION] A THIRD JACK ON THE FLOP MEANS I CAN MAKE A LOT OF MONEY WITH THIS HAND.
[NARRATION] BUT I GOTTA BE CAREFUL THAT TOO MUCH AND ANDRE WILL FOLD.
[ANDRE] Oh... god, MATT, MATT, MATT! Why do you do this, bro? Why do you even have to pretend? How much more is it?
[NARRATION] WHEN THE TURN HITS, I'M CONFIDENT MY SET OF JACKS IS CRUSHING ANDRE. I'M ALL IN.
[ANDRE] Aghh! What a fuckin' beautiful turn for you! I'm not good enough to lead this... I shoulda laid this down, snap, but I have a 9 for a draw. 9, bring a 9. You got a set of jacks?
[ANDRE] Yeah, I know you have a set of jacks. I'm not even surprised. A 9 or a queen. A 9 or a queen. Agh...
[NARRATION] WHEN A BLANK HITS ON THE RIVER, I'VE MADE MY QUOTA FOR THE NIGHT.
[ANDRE] Tonight, my bro, tonight's your night. Yeah, soak it in, buddy. Soak in the glory, buddy.
[NARRATION] A BIG PART OF POKER IS THE BLUFF, THE ABILITY TO IGNORE YOUR CARDS AND PLAY THE PLAYER. IF YOU'RE GOOD, YOU CAN TAKE DOWN A POT WHEN YOU'RE HOLDING NOTHIN'. LAURENCE GOES TO THE POLICE TO LODGE A COMPLAINT AGAINST HIS LANDLORD. HE KNOWS THE LAW CAN'T HELP HIM IF THEY FIND OUT HE'S BEEN RUNNING AN ILLEGAL POKER GAME, SO HE TELLS THEM HE RUNS A SOCIAL CLUB AND LEFT HIS MEDICATION THERE.
[POLICE subtitled] Can I help you?
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Uh, just I was at the landlord, right. He changed the lock, right, he didn't give me any reason he just said, "You owe me $6,000."
[POLICE subtitled] I'm not gonna advsie you...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] No, I know. No, I'm not saying that. I can't get in. Because I have my medication there, I've gotta get...
[POLICE subtitled] I was told you were renting it as a commercial.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Yeah, it is commercial but I still have personal stuff there. ? This guy is illegally taking advantage of me.
[POLICE subtitled] Like this is kinda... you feel like...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Like extortion.
[POLICE subtitled] ... you've being mistreated then, I mean...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] That's illegally.
[POLICE subtitled] Hopefully you guys can find at least a common ground for the medication. I'll let you guys figure it out.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I went to the police today. You told them I owe six thousand dollars?
[DIEGO subtitled] You went to the police? So leave it at that. Let me get…
[LAWRENCE subtitled] So all the payments you received in cash...
[DIEGO subtitled] Hello?
[LAWRENCE subtitled] He knows I can't say anything. So he wants six thousand dollars.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Everybody, when it comes to money, they wanna grab something. This is one of them, a grabber.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] That's the kind of shit I'm in.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] It's very hard, very hard. Very, very hard.
[NARRATION] IT'S 7 AM AND I'VE BEEN PLAYING POKER ALL NIGHT WITH DANNY. WE'RE ON OUR WAY TO THE CASINO TO PLAY MORE CARDS.
[DANNY] Good morning, pumpkin. ... Are you still sleeping? Hmm? Well, it's time to get up, gling, gling, gling!
[DANNY] When daddy gets home we'll go out and do something fun, okay? ...
[DANNY] Okay, bye honey. Have a great day, okay? Dad loves you. (kissing sound)...
[DANNY] I can't start my day without saying good morning to the girls.
[DANNY] I play poker for a living, it's all I do. I don't have any other source of income. All my income is poker related and I love to do what I do. In June of 1991, um, my gambling got really bad. I was drinking and doing drugs and, you know, a little bit of everything and, uh, I decided to go to rehab in Philadelphia for three weeks for my gambling. And that, that seemed to work, you know.
[DANNY] I came back, I never gambled. I was going to Gamblers Anonymous meetings 4-5 times a week, and I didn't gamble for about a year. And anybody who knows anything about compulsive gambling knows that once you become a compulsive gambler, it's very difficult if not almost impossible to go back to regular gambling.
[DANNY] And nowadays I, you know, I seem to have conquered that part of my life. I'm fortunate enough to be able to play poker for a living. I'm not, I'm not a high stakes player but I'm able to make a living by just thinking about what I work for, and that's my wife and two girls at home, and my oldest daughter that doesn't live with us. And that keeps me motivated. It makes me, you know, it makes me go out and do what I need to do.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I'm at your office waiting. ... We are there anyway.
[NARRATION] IT'S BEEN TWO WEEKS SINCE LAWRENCE WAS LOCKED OUT OF HIS CLUB. THE LANDLORD STILL REFUSES TO GIVE HIM THE CONTENTS OF THE UNIT.
[LAWRENCE] What's the time?
[NARRATION] IT'S $40,000 OF POKER GEAR. TOOLS OF HIS TRADE. LAWRENCE TELLS ME THAT THE LANDLORD IS PLANNING ON SELLING ALL HIS STUFF TO A COMPETING CLUB OWNER.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] It's a gambling place. (M'hmm) Landlord knows it. He was blackmailing me. (Okay).
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Not only rent, something else he was asking.
[LAWYER] Do you have proof?
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Yes, I do have proof. That's why I want you as my lawyer to call the cops. Tonight they're gonna have a game. In my place with my stuff. I don't want them gambling with my stuff.
[LAWYER] Okay, you have to fully understand. Yes, you can access the police directly and say this is what he is doing, but make sure what sure you are asking the police, don't put yourself in the soup saying that it is a gambling place so I was gambling...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] No. No, I said they're using it as gambling now. Okay, I'm done.
[LAWYER] You fully understand, right?
[LAWRENCE] I'm done.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I'll give you something.
[LAWYER] Are the... should the cameras be on?
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Yes, shut that down.
[LAWRENCE] Okay, I appreciate it anyway.
[LAWYER] Thank you very much.
[LAWRENCE] I know you did your best.
[LAWYER] Yes. Thank you.
[MATT] So tell me what happened up there.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Shit happened. What happened? Everybody wants a piece of something. Nothing happened.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] That's it, that's life.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I lost the 40 grand. So far.
[MOM] Andre? Come down, come on. We're all waiting for you. Come on.
[ANDRE] Yeah, I'm up. I'm so tired. Hey.
[MOM] Hi! How are you?
[ANDRE] Good, good. I woke up late, man. I had like four hours of sleep, not even. Yeah, it's gonna be in Mississauga though if you wanna... Yeah, so I... That's what I'm saying, I don't know if...
[ANDRE] Uh, like 8? I'll probably leave here in a couple hours, something like that. I can meet you... If you want I can give you a ride.
[MOM] We're not gonna throw out nothing. Leftovers will stay.
[ANDRE] I know, I just... Papa!
[MOM] Come on, papa!
[PAPA] Let me explain something to you.
[ANDRE] Yeah. Go on.
[PAPA] A degenerate (M'hmm) is a person who does something and then hurts himself in the process. That's a degenerate.
[ANDRE] Really? I'm gonna quote you on that, I'm gonna look up the word degenerate. So it's a person who does something and hurts themselves in the process?
[ANDRE] To gain something, or just...
[ANDRE] To gain something?
[ANDRE] Or just does whatever, whatever it is.
[PAPA] No, a drug addict is a degenerate.
[PAPA] Okay. A person who plays poker is far away from being a degenerate.
[MOM] He likes it.
[PAPA] It's his passion.
[MOM] As I said, it's beautiful. We're happy for him
[PAPA] I support him as long as he doesn't go overboard. That's all.
[MOM] Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
[PAPA] So you're good.
[ANDRE] For now at least.
[PAPA] Well, for now you don't have a mortgage, you don't have kids, you're not worried, what are you worried about?
[ANDRE] I'm worried about going to Vegas and putting everything on red.
[PAPA] You'd never do that anyway 'cause I know you. I know you, this is a joke!
[ANDRE] I know.
[MOM] He likes to joke also. He...
[PAPA] He likes to joke, he's very funny.
[MOM] He's funny, that's right.
[PAPA] He should be a comedian rather than playing poker. Actually he would make a great, great comedian.
[MOM] Lots of sense of humour.
[PAPA] I already told you, you would make the greatest comedian.
[ANDRE] Oh my god, okay. So I'll go to Yuk Yuk's every Friday like your friend Howie Mandel. I'm talking about something legit though, not dreams in la-la land. Like I'm gonna become an astronaut slash cowboy.
[PAPA] And I think he would be a better comedian than a poker player for sure. Absolutely. He's even making us laugh.
[MOM] Well, but actually he's a better poker player than comedian.
[PAPA] No, I think he's a better comedian than a poker player.
[ANDRE] Harley, slow down! (laughing)... Come on. Okay, okay.
[ANDRE] Degenerate, the reason I say, I qualify myself as a degen-... I know everybody's saying, oh you live in a nice house, oh, two beautiful dogs, whatever, it's the way I lead my life. It's my lifestyle, okay. For example, I don't... At the age of 25 I should be having a calendar or, you know, writing like you know, doctor appointment, Friday. Write it down...
[ANDRE] No, I live life day to day. That's why for you feel like you hit the jackpot every time you get to do an interview with me, and I don't mean because of who I am. I mean because you finally got in touch with me, you know. Instead of you calling me... And think about this, think about the things that you do, right.
[ANDRE] Instead of you calling me to set up an appointment, what do you do?
[MATT] I go to...
[ANDRE] You show up at my spot and hopefully you bump into me. That my friend is why I'm a degenerate.
Harley, sit! Sit! It's a documentary. People are gonna think you're crazy. Sit. Come on Harley.
[ANDRE] I'm dreaming right now if I think I'm gonna have a family in the next like 2-3 years. You know, the only way I can have a family is if I trade in poker...
[ANDRE] Okay, guys...
[MATT] Oh, there's mommy. Audrey, look, there's mommy! Audrey, mommy is home.
[CORNELIA] Hi, sweet pea! (Audrey crying)... Oh, oh. Hi sweat pea! Hi. Hey baby boo, how are you doin'? Mommy's home. There's my gloves.
[CORNELIA] Hey. So you wanna know what the odds are for a miscarriage.
[MATT] Oh, what?
[MATT] Really? Why?
[CORNELIA] Because of my age, because of... Well, 50-50. So it's really high.
[CORNELIA] Uh, I did the blood test today so they'll call later today. But then I have to go back in two days and have another blood test and they'll measure the amount of hormones in my system. And, uh... and that will tell if it's like going well, like if the hormones double that it's... But it's 50-50, MATT.
[CORNELIA] It's really high.
[NARRATION] I THOUGHT I COULD HANDLE RISK, BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT. 50-50 IS JUST A FLIP OF A COIN.
[NARRATION] FOR POKER PLAYERS, RISK IS A RELATIVE THING. AFTER EIGHT HOURS AT THE CASINO, DANNY'S BACK IN HIS HOTEL ROOM GAMBLING ON LINE. EVEN DECADES AFTER REHAB, JUST SITTING DOWN TO PLAY CAN BE DANGEROUS.
[DANNY] Right now I'm playing, uh, Championship of online Poker on Poker Stars. I'm playing the, uh, the two star events (?). Don't ask me what I drink, just pour anything. I drink anything. The same thing.
[DANNY] You know, and this is getting me ready for Vegas, man. I'm gonna be like be totally peaked if I can get a piece here, like right now.
[MATT] So a best-case scenario cash-wise, what are you hoping to get from this?
[DANNY] Well, because it's such a small tournament, first prize in the 320 buy-in is only 17,000. Um, last year was a little over 40, but 17,000 will set me up good for... just in time for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
[DANNY] I'm also playing a $33 tournament, which is a much weaker field. Um, first prize is just under 10,000 and that. And... but the field there is 17,000. It don't Matter if it's a hundred-player field or if it's a thousand-player field, I always feel that I can win and I will win when it comes to 7-card stud (?).
[DANNY] I think the only thing that prevents me from not winning tournaments in 7-card stud is bad luck.
[DANNY] So right now there's, there's 203 players... uh, 291 players. I'm 203rd out of 291. But no panic in here. I know I will get it back.
[DANNY] I usually lose the 2-pair here. So this guy's probably got a 2-pair of kings, something. I'm hoping he's got kings only. Let's check it out. This is playing for a third (inaudible)...
[DANNY] Kings and 7s. As usual, my aces lose to kings. Which is really sad, but so common.
[DANNY] Anybody else would panic. This is my game. I just... I stay level. Leve, level, level, and pick my spots. I get my money in good and, you know what, I will make a come back in this tournament. Some how, some way.
[DANNY] The only way you can lose money online overall is if you're - in my opinion - is if you're a horrible player. You can sit there and blame it on bad beats, this and that, whatever, all day long but you're only gonna lose it if you're a bad, you know, like a real bad player.
[DANNY] Because there's so many bad players, I don't care if it's today, next week, next month, online, there's money to be made. But you've gotta be able to spot those bad players. If you've got a bad player selection, and you just plays hands the same way with every player? I'm sorry, man you're not fit to play online. But I'm not able to pick those things off. Totally sober or after 20 drinks, I know who's weak and who's strong.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I'm not a bad guy.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I cruise around the law, I don't break the law. (laughing)...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I run things for excitement.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] The reason I've gone forward I've gone forward, not money, not only for stuff, I spend a great a deal of the money on that place...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] It's not that. They took away the excitement and the things I love.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I think that's my desire to go on. So they took away that part.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] They hurt me in this area, which I'm not gonna take it easily.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] So that's the reason I've gone to the cops.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] It makes you seriously feel like shit.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] So then I said, okay, right. You guys wanna take away...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] ... what my life is all about...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] It's nothing to do with the money. Desire is the thing.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I lost it in some place.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] It's not with me so...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I have to take it back.
[MATT] It's gonna be very difficult to get your stuff back, all the poker tables and the poker chips. But, I don't know, I think that you might... You'll probably stop them playing there with the police.
[LAWRENCE] So let's bet.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] A hundred bucks if I get my stuff back!
[MATT] A hundred bucks? If you get your stuff back I pay you a hundred bucks?
[LAWRENCE] Yeah, if I don't...
[MATT] And if you don't you pay me a hundred?
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Yeah, let's make a bet.
[MATT] Okay, I'll take that bet. A hundred bucks.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Okay. I'll get the hundred bucks.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Because without the betting, right, there is no excitement (laughing)...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] We made it official.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I've survived a lot of things. I'm gonna survive this one too.
[DANNY] The king won't win it. Anything else, it's like I'm not sure.
[DANNY] Yeah! Come to papa, baby!
[MATT] You get it?
[DANNY] What the fuck did that guy have? Holy fuck! Oh, I lost it. I kept my best card. I had a straight. Did he have a full house?
[DANNY] Wow, that's ugly.
[TATIANA] Hi, this is Tatiana calling from Dr. Sierra's office. This message is for Cornelia. I'm calling you with the result of the test from today, the pregnancy test and the result came back really positive. Uh, the level is 900,835, which is a really good level. And I want you to book your first pregnancy ultrasound. It should be tomorrow.
[TATIANA] If they don't have time for that tomorrow, maybe you can do it on, uh, Monday? Okay? After you do your ultrasound that day...
[NARRATION] WHEN A MIRAGE APPEARS, YOU KNOW THAT IT CAN'T BE REAL. YOU KNOW THAT WHEN YOU GET CLOSER, IT WILL DISAPPEAR. DESPITE KNOWING ALL THIS, YOU'RE STILL DRAWN IN.
[DANIEL] I can still remember the first time I landed in Vegas and just walked the strip and thinking, wow, this is like fantasy land. It didn't seem real. And I remember like after that first week feeling like I never really wanted to leave. It just has that perfect appeal of like serenity, action, calm...
[DANIEL] Well, a typical day for me depends where I am, you know. If I'm at home, a typical day is waking up around 11 am... having some breakfast my assistant makes, a little protein shake. And go play golf all day with some friends... and, uh, you know, pretty much do it all again the next day.
[MATT] Tell me, what is the most important thing to you?
[DANIEL] As far as?
[MATT] Life. What's the most important thing in your life?
[DANIEL] I guess the most important thing in my life is freedom. I think I always, um, was pretty... was like a... I just never liked having a boss. I don't like people telling me what to do. And I like the freedom to be able to do whatever I want to do and poker afforded me that.
[DANIEL] Look at that.
[DANIEL] I'm safe now, I don't really have to worry about risk. I don't have any financial fears. I haven't ever really, even when I didn't have any money. If I were to lose everything tomorrow, I wouldn't even be worried about it because I know that I could go back on the grind and I'd build a bankroll, and it would actually be kinda fun (laughing)...
[RADIO ANNOUNCER] Good afternoon Las Vegas, WKLP coming this afternoon on a sunny 96 degrees in the city. Oh my...
[SUPER] World Series of Poker
[RADIO ANNOUNCER]... goodness, this is a big weekend. Everyone in town for the big event...
[DANNY] Hi. Hi baby. Thank you for that card. I got it yesterday. ... You know what, that was really special, honey. Thank you so much for making that for me for Father's Day.
[DANNY] I haven't played yet, honey. I gonna play now in a couple of hours.
[DANNY] Okay, listen... Listen, dad's gotta go, okay. I just called to say I love you, okay and daddy will talk to you again tomorrow. You have a great sleep, okay?
[NARRATION] THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD ARE IN THIS ROOM.
[NARRATION] IT'S A 4-DAY EVENT AND TO WIN FIRST PRIZE, DANNY HAS TO BEAT OUT 830 PLAYERS.
[DANNY] He's hoping that this is the tournament that will finally change everything for him and his family.
[MATT] Okay, so how's it goin'?
[DANNY] Well, so far so good. We started with, uh, 4500 chips. Got a great draw for table. I got John D'Agostino at my table. He's a top pro and an on... a full tilt pro. Outside of him, really the table is soft, man. Real, real soft. I've got about 9,000 right now which is above average.
[DANNY] I think the average right now is probably about 6800. And, uh, you know, I could easily have 15,000 if I didn't have a couple of bad beats at this table. I've had about 15 drinks, I'm having fun out there, I'm relaxed, it's goin' real good, man. You know what, I feel great about tonight.
[DANNY] There's absolutely no reason I can't go into tomorrow with huge chips for tomorrow and dominate tomorrow.
[DANNY] So I wanna make good business decisions while I'm here. I wanna eat decent, I wanna sleep decent, I wanna play decent. I wanna play long hours 'cause the top pros play long hours. And I'm sure not all of them can be thrilled about playing long hours. You know, I wanna force my body to play those hours when I don't want to.
[DANNY] So I've gotta keep myself motivated, I've gotta keep myself not distracted, and I think if I can do that, I think really there's... there's money for me on this trip.
[MATT] What about the alcohol? Are you keeping that under control?
[DANNY] Well, anybody that knows me well enough knows that I play just as well if not even better when I've been drinking. I... You know, it makes for a good time, it doesn't bore me. I've got something to do. It's... I think it helps keep me patient and I feel like I play even better when I drink.
[DANNY] So this is not a no-limit game where getting drunk and making one big mistake costs you all your chips, it's a limit game. I think I have such a big edge I can afford a few mistakes in this tournament.
[MATT] What happened?
[LAWYER] Yeah, basically, uh, he had a landlord tenant vote and, uh, Mr. Lawrence Stanley was... I'm representing for Mr. Lawrence Stanley. He's a tenant, I'm a legal representative. And we were arguing about this locked out, uh, from the unit and, uh, we are trying to get him to access the unit...
[NARRATION] LAWRENCE'S LEGAL COUNCIL TELLS ME THAT HIS CASE WAS A DIFFICULT ONE. HE CALLED IT A LONG SHOT. THE COURT HAS HEARD BOTH SIDES, AND WILL MAKE A DECISION WITHIN A FEW WEEKS.
[NARRATION] UNTIL THEN, EVERYTHING LAWRENCE OWNS IS IN THE HANDS OF HIS LANDLORD.
[VIDEO CLIP] Hello? Is anyone there? It's me, Kim. 23 years old from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
[VIDEO CLIP] How you doin'? My name is Andy, I'm from Santiago and I will be the next Victory Poker Pro.
[VIDEO CLIP] This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me and I am the one you are looking for.
[VIDEO CLIP] Hey guys, how's it goin'? My name's Dave Simmons and all I do is play poker.
[VIDEO CLIP] I should become the next Victory Poker Pro.
[VIDEO CLIP] I could surely use some time off work and...
[ANDRE] Just go to www.victorypoker.net, okay, then look for my video at the bottom. Click on... there's gonna be.. You're gonna see $100,000 link at the top, click on it, then you're gonna see my video at the bottom. Click on my video and vote for me.
[ANDRE] Hello, my name is Andre Adwokat and I'm here to tell you why I should be the next Victory Poker Pro. I didn't lie to you, but did I lie to you the first time?
[ANDRE] Okay, please do it, man. I gotta get in there. Please, bro. Alright, man? Thank you.
[ANDRE video] I need good, smart, intelligent, professionals around me to take my game up to the next level. Ship it! Yes!! Don't follow me Marcus, don't follow!
[ANDRE] I just sent out all the text messages for, uh, for people to vote for me for that Victory Poker situation, the contest. So I'm gonna mute it 'cause I'm sure I'm gonna get texts now.
[ANDRE] Please, just please, get me outa Canada. Please, one time make me a pro, and you could do it. Victory Poker, one time. Please! Ship It! Oh, Marc, you're money! I love your money, bro! Oh, I love your money.
[ANDRE] I'm going to represent a poker site, to represent like a crew is kind of like... would be my dream. 'Cause then I know it's... once you're in, that's it. It's... you're in, you know what I mean? Like there's... there's only money to be made. Plus they have so many like...
[ANDRE] Oh my God, I don't even wanna talk about all the Playboy models and... Like these guys are partying every day and that's... You know, that's actually what I've been lacking because I've been playing so much and I guess they know how to balance it, they know how to, you know, play poker at poker time and they know how to party.
[ANDRE] And, uh, I don't know, I'm just dying for that. I just... I don't even know. It's too good to be true. But you know, I have a cousin that tells me not to... not to get my hopes up too much. Like if it happens it happens, if it doesn't just keep on grinding, you know. But, uh, yeah, that's about it.
[SUPER] World Series of Poker
[NARRATION] THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER IS ABOUT AS FAR AS YOU CAN GET FROM THE GRINDER CLUBS BACK HOME. A SEAT AT THE TABLE COSTS AS MUCH AS $50,000. A FINANCIAL BACKER IS COVERING ALL OF DANNY'S EXPENSES. IN RETURN, THAT BACKER OWNS 50% OF EVERYTHING DANNY WINS.
[DANNY] Ray! What's goin' on, buddy? ... No, today's final day, bro. There's only 24 left. I'm 11th place out of 24 players, so as of right now I have cash for $7,000. So 3500 for you as of right now, so but first place is 268, man. So, yeah, I'm gonna go down and play in about a half hour.
[DANNY] Oh man, I wish you were here to watch final table too, man if I get there.
[DANNY] Hey, how are you doin'? ...
[DANNY] How are the girls?
[DANNY] Well, here's my, here's my plan. If i finish top three, which I'm hoping I'll do and which I think I can do, um, there's another horse event that starts tomorrow, I want you guys to fly in at the... on the last day of that horse tournament. Um, and the girls will have a great time here. Like the weather's perfect.
[DANNY] It's not even like it was last year, it's like... it's 90s but it's breezy. It's so nice.
[DANNY] Alright, give the girls a big kiss for me and I'll touch base... I'll send you a text later. ... I love you too. Okay, thanks.
[DANNY] I will win. Alright, see ya.
[LAWRENCE] Only 6 wins (?). Okay, thank you very much. Okay, that's it.
[NARRATION] LAWRENCE'S VERDICT IS FINALLY IN.
[LAWRENCE] Oh come on, Ken! I've got a high pocket! Queens.
[UNIDENTIFIED CARD PLAYER] Queens are no good.
[NARRATION] THEY DECIDED IN FAVOUR OF HIS LANDLORD.
[LAWRENCE] Holy shit, man!
[NARRATION] ALL OF LAWRENCE'S LEGAL OPTIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.
[LAWRENCE] I have no fucking luck with this game.
[NARRATION] IF YOU'RE GONNA PLAY POKER FOR A LIVING, YOU GOTTA BE ABLE TO SURVIVE THE BAD BEATS. EVERY GRINDER GOES THROUGH A PERIOD WHEN HE'S DOWN. I'VE BEEN LOSING AT THE TABLES LATELY. 500 HERE, 300 THERE, ENOUGH TO MAKE ME QUESTION THE IDEA OF EASY MONEY.
[NARRATION] AT HOME THINGS ARE GOOD. THE BABY IS DUE TO ARRIVE THE DAY AFTER AUDREY'S SECOND BIRTHDAY. WE'RE 10 WEEKS IN AND THE DOCTOR TELLS US THAT OUR CHANCES OF A SUCCESSFUL PREGNANCY HAVE JUMPED TO 80%.
[ANDRE] Hello, this is Victory Poker Pro Antonio Esfandiari. Today's winner is Andre from Canada. Andre, congratulations. I really liked your video. So congrats once again and welcome.
[ANDRE] What are you saying, Yo man, what are you saying, man? I made it in, bro! Then I go to my room, I’m like, you know, I'm probably not gonna win. Fuck it, I don't even need... You know what I mean? Like I don't even...
[ANDRE] You're telling me you don't believe it? I can't even believe I'm gonna be on this show, man!
[MOM] I love you (?).
[ANDRE] Thank you.
[ANDRE] How will it change my life?
[ANDRE] See, that's a funny question because what do you mean by... It's not gonna change my life, it's gonna change my life in here.
[ANDRE] Do you read me? I'm in the fuckin' contest, bro!
[ANDRE] That's all I want, bro, is just, its just to know that I fantasized about it, I wanted it so bad, and now it's gonna happen.
[ANDRE] I can't believe it, bro. I know, me too! Bye, bro. Bye.
[MATT] What happened?
[DANNY] I busted out of the horse tournament in 11th, um, 3 spots off of the final table finish. Picked up just under 13,000 for that finish. It's, uh, it's a bittersweet finish. I, um, you now, I really thought I could win that tournament and I took two bad beats right down the stretch for huge pots.
[DANNY] Otherwise I definitely would have made the final table and where I would have finished then would remain to have been seen.
[MATT] I don't understand why you feel bad about this. I mean, you've come here, you beat 800 players out, you... you've won $10,000, you know, profit. Like tell me why you feel bad about this.
[DANNY] You know what, there's... it's not... I don't feel bad about it entirely. It's a bittersweet finish. I, uh, you know, I feel great about the way I played the whole three days. I feel like in three days I really can only recall one really hand that I would like to take back and play differently, that I feel like I misplayed.
[DANNY] You know, I... It's at this point in finish, knowing that you're that close to a quarter of a million dollars that, you know, a few breaks go my way and, you know, it changes my whole results. But finishing 11th was still disappointing because I know I could have had a better finish than that.
[NARRATION] MY WIFE WENT FOR ANOTHER ULTRASOUND.
[NARRATION] THEY DIDN'T GIVE US A REASON FOR THE MISCARRIAGE. ALL THEY SAID WAS THAT THE FOETUS WASN'T VIABLE. WE'VE BEEN THROUGH THIS BEFORE BUT THIS FEELS DIFFERENT. SOMEHOW, IT FEELS WORSE.
[NARRATION] WE KNEW IT WAS RISKY, WE KNEW WHAT OUR CHANCES WERE. BUT PROBABILITY AND ODDS DON'T MEAN MUCH OUTSIDE THE POKER ROOM.
[NARRATION] I HAVEN'T HEARD FROM LAWRENCE IN MONTHS. HIS CLUB, CINCINNATI KID HAS FINALLY RE-OPENED BUT NOT WITH LAWRENCE RUNNING IT. HIS LANDLORD SOLD ALL THE POKER EQUIPMENT TO THE NEW TENANT.
[MATT] You've had a couple bad breaks in the last 6 months. Your club Cincinnati Kid was taken over by somebody else, and I've seen you lose some money here and there. You get attacked by a crazy man at the club. It sounded very serious, you were taken away in an ambulance and...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] No, it wasn't that much.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] It wasn't like that.
[MATT] You weren't taken away in an ambulance?
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I don't say it that way.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] They guy couldn't control himself.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] It wasn't me only, he was throwing things around.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] So anybody would have gotten hurt.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] If you wanna call it bad luck, so it was me.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Because I didn't move. I should have moved.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I didn't wanna move.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I let the guy hit the target.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I made that decision.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] If you want to call it bad luck, you can.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] But it was my own decision.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] I take a punch good.
[MATT] That's what it comes down to?
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Yeah. I take a punch good.
[NARRATION] SOMETIMES, ACCEPTING THAT THE MIRAGE IS GONE IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK.
[NARRATION] MY WIFE AND I ARE TOLD THAT THE CHANCE OF US HAVING ANOTHER BABY IS NOW LESS THAN 5%.
[MATT] It's 10 am Sunday morning and you've been playing poker all night. You must be exhausted.
[DANNY] I... Actually I'm in second wind mode right now. Uh, I'm out apple picking with my girls right now and I feel fine. And, you know, I will probably get a 3-hour nap probably from 3 'til 6 and then I'll go out and do what I do every night. Play cards.
[ANDRE] The fact that my dream and my goals are coming true, that's just proving to me there's no "I wanna be". Just shut your mouth, don't say it, think it, and do it. Go out there and do it.
[ANDRE] And I'm telling you right now, I will be the next Victory Poker Pro. I will be. I will be it.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Part of life, it's adventure. Part of life, true, it's a risk.
[LAWRENCE subtitled] Without risk and adventure...
[LAWRENCE subtitled] ... life is not life.
[NARRATION] THE KEY TO BEING A WINNING GRINDER IS KNOWING THE RIGHT TIME TO CASH IN YOUR CHIPS AND GO HOME.
[NARRATION] YESTERDAY, AUDREY TURNED 2 YEARS OLD.
[CORNELIA] You wanna blow the candles out, sweetie. Go ahead.
Nick Hector CCE
[SUPER] Commissioning editor, TVO
David Wall & Adam White
With Additional music by
Independent Production Officer, TVO
Mike Ellis Mark Caswell
Sound Jason Milligan
The Dark Studio Sound Company
"Ribbon" and "My Face is a City",
"Sad Dreams Dark Trees",
Written and Performed
and High Fidelity Recordings
Victory Poker Contest Footage
Courtesy of Victory Poker
Produced in Association with -
[ROLLING CREDITS: LOGOS]
Makes you think
Director, Original Programming
Sylvie de Bellefeuille
with the Participation of the
- With the Assistance of -
Shaw Media - Hot Docs Completion Fund
The Canadian Film
or Video Production Tax Credit
[SUPER] Border City Pictures Inc.