Cannily launched in Las Vegas slap in the middle of the World Series of Poker action, a new documentary on poker has started to attract attention this week. Some say that director Douglas Tirola’s documentary All In: The Poker Movie could be the definititive factual overview of poker’s place in society today.
The timing and location of the premiere meant that big names in poker were among the 300 invited guests who viewed a comprehensive study of the industry generously interlaced with commentary from over a hundred well known poker celebrities, together with up-to-the-minute as well as extensive archive footage on the game.
The film ackowledges and records other poker movies, immediately recognisable personalities and both live and online poker action in a 2 hour screening time as it takes a chronological look at how the modern game has developed into the massively interesting and, for some, lucrative component of society and major spectator sport that it has become.
Chris Moneymaker – the unknown online poker player who went on to win WSOP Main Event fame and is widely viewed as the celebrity who triggered the explosion of interest in Internet poker, receives a lot of attention in the online poker section of the documentary, as does the advent of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, although there are many who will vehemently disagree with the documentary's proposition that this controversial American legalization ‘effectively ended the online poker boom'.
Some reviewers complained that the film does not pay enough attention to the burgeoning European online poker scene, but there is nevertherless little doubt that the presentation is a valuable addition to the reference works available on what must surely be one of the world's most popular gambling genres ever.