4 Must-Watch Documentaries For Poker Enthusiasts

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A few years ago, it was proclaimed that the “Golden Age of Documentary Filmmaking” was upon us. Now, that proclamation seems to be bearing out. That’s right: Documentaries are no longer the spinach of the film industry. Today’s documentary filmmakers are taking the medium to new heights, and in doing so are competing more closely with conventional films. And the best part is that these projects’ non-fictional nature enables them to cover an endless variety of subjects: food, pop culture, technology, politics –– and to our subject in this post, even poker.

In the centuries since its creation, poker has intrigued and won the hearts of millions. And today, high-level poker players do more than just entertain us. Their journeys teach us how to play on the felt — and in some cases, convey valuable life lessons we can take with us anywhere.

If you want to experience some of this and learn more about poker in general, documentaries are among the best ways to do so. Below, we’ve rounded up some must-watch titles that are sure to keep you glued to your seat for hours at a time.

Nosebleed (2014)

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to play on the competitive circuit, look no further than Nosebleed. In this 2014 documentary, you can follow the journey of French poker players Alex Luneau and Sebastien Sabic as they vie to compete in the world’s largest poker tournament: the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Luneau and Sabic discuss their techniques, experiences, and successes throughout their careers, all while showing you how strenuous training for a tournament can actually be.

Director Victor Saumont has made the documentary free for viewing on YouTube.

KidPoker (2015)

When it comes to the pro game, Daniel Negreanu –– known as “Kid Poker” –– is Canada’s pride and joy. For those who don’t know the name, Poker.org’s player profile for Negreanu lauds him not just as one of the most popular poker players of all time, but as one of the best by the measure of achievement. And the reasons behind that status are made abundantly clear in this documentary. KidPoker explores Negreanu’s story, from his humble roots in Toronto to his breakout success as a poker celebrity –– ending neatly during the events surrounding his induction to the Poker Hall of Fame. You’ll become familiar with the charisma, discipline, and humility that bolstered Negreanu’s journey of self-discovery and helped him become the success he is today.

Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker (2013)

It wasn’t until Chris Moneymaker qualified for the 2003 WSOP through an online poker site –– and then won the whole thing –– that the world was swept up in the famous poker boom of the early 2000s. Bet Raise Fold tackles the hard questions posed by the skyrocketing popularity of the game at that time: How did online poker start? Where did it begin? What did it mean for the people who played? To address questions like these, the documentary follows the journeys of poker pros who found success during the poker boom. As a bonus, it even pulls the curtain back on the strategies of multiple players, with one particular sequence breaking down the same hand from the viewpoints of pro players Phil Galfond, Justin Bonomo, and Dani Stern. 

Poker Queens (2020)

Poker Queens communicates one clear message: Poker isn’t just a man’s game. The women poker pros featured in this movie prove that though they may be outnumbered in the game, they’re definitely not outmatched. Author and poker pro-Sia Layta is even seen disguising herself as a man, resulting in her winning triple the amount she would usually win as a woman. The film effectively sends a message to men who want to keep women out of the poker room and effectively establishes various women as role models for the next generation of poker players.

Poker is a world unto itself, and these titles are great for immersing poker enthusiasts and novices alike in that world. And if you’re looking for the best ways to watch these movies, our Fire TV Blog can help bring your streaming experience to a whole new level.

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