(aka 'Stuey' or 'High Roller - The Stu Ungar Story')

Directed by A.W. Vidmer
USA
2003

 

  Firstly, I suppose it is impossible to fully cover someone like Stu Unger's life in a 100 minute movie. It would be like trying to write the complete history of The Beatles in a 10 page essay. Too much information is left out. Perhaps to truly appreciate the incredibly gifted persona of the man in question it is necessary to read Nolan Dalla's book One of a Kind : The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player . Suffice to say the film "High Roller" doesn't enforce the distinct possibility that there will never be anyone like Stu Unger in the history of card playing ever again. Like many single-minded achievers Unger had a fatal flaw(s) that destroyed every facet of his short life.

To put in context some of Stu Unger's legacy;

1) With a genius level IQ and a photographic memory he was the undisputed greatest Gin Rummy player of all time. After 6 discards he knew every card in your hand.

2)  His accomplishments in poker are second to none. For years, the second largest poker tournament in the world was Amarillo Slim's Super Bowl of Poker. Like the World Series of Poker, the main event at the Super Bowl of Poker was a $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em championship. Only one man in history captured titles at both the WSOP and the Super Bowl of Poker, and that man was Stu Ungar. And he won them three times each!

3) He made over 30 million dollars playing poker but died a pauper at age 42.

 

Although Vidmer's film touches upon these characteristics, it truly never emphasizes them to the degree that they deserve to be presented. It's the only movie out about Stu Unger's life so I enjoyed it, but being a huge fan, it should have been more detailed and 3-4 times as long.

Gary W. Tooze

Poster for the film and two pictures of Stuart Unger. CENTER winning his 1st World Series of Poker title and RIGHT winning his third.

Theatrical Release: May 1st 2003 - Nashville Independent Film Festival

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DVD Review: New Line Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution New Line Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:49:24 
Video 1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.48 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: New Line Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary track with cast, director Vidmer and poker expert Vince Van Patten.
• Music video called “Yesterdays” by Marc Eric

DVD Release Date: March 15th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 22

 

 

Comments:

Although I have some reservations about the depth of the film, the DVD is very well produced. Tight, anamorphic, progressive, optional subtitles and a commentary - which I thought was average but had more interesting anecdotes near the end. The image is not perfect but I expect this is how the film actually looks - tending to appear a little low-budget. We get a wasted optional Dolby Digital 5.1 track and DTS Surround but you will find the DD 2.0 Stereo Surround gets the job done. For those thirsting for more on Unger - this may be a temporary fix - but I still strongly recommend Nolan Dalla's book One of a Kind : The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player .  

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Highly Recommended Reading on Poker (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

Hold'Em Poker for Advanced Players (Advance Player)
by David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth

out of

Doyle Brunson's Super System: A Course in Power Poker (Paperback)
by Doyle Brunson

out of

The Theory of Poker (Paperback)
by David Sklansky

out of

One of a Kind : The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player

by Nolan Dalla

out of

Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King, The : Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time
by Michael Craig

out of

Harrington on Hold 'em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments: Strategic Play (Vol. 1)
by Dan Harrington, Bill Robertie
Caro's Book of Poker Tells (Paperback)
by Mike Caro
The Making Of A Poker Player: How An Ivy League Math Geek Learned To Play Championship Poker (Paperback)
by Matt Matros
Ace on the River: An Advanced Poker Guide (Paperback)
by Barry Greenstein, Doyle Brunson

 

 

 

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Distribution New Line Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!

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