And it's about time too....The story of Online Poker is to be released in a full length documentary, Bet Raise Fold has been made and completely funded by a group of high stakes online poker players, they were there from day one and therefore in a great position to make the film. It tells the story of how online poker became so popular in the United States, the boom years and how the government got involved leading to Black Friday. Also, and just as importantly it tells the tale of the poker sub-culture that was created in unison with the growth in the industry. It explains how the timing was just perfect as Chris Moneymaker went from a $39 buy in playing online, to winning the main event at the World Series of Poker combined with the launch of the World Poker Tour, the huge viewing figures on the Travel Channel and the coverage that all of this got. It led such a growth that it turned online poker from just a game played online to a whole lifestyle.
The makers of the film are Jason Rosenkrantz, Taylor Caby and Ryan Firpo. Jason is a Boston University graduate in film and television and has also made two short films about online poker players along with featuring in a Forbes video documentary alongside Taylor that looked at poker coaching as an emerging business. He is now a screenwriter and producer and is the co-creator of the animated poker comedy The Micros. Taylor is an entrepreneur and former pro player and co-founded the Poker Training site CardRunners. He also founded the fantasy sports website DraftDay and has a degree in finance from the University of Illinois. Ryan works as a freelance filmmaker and spends most of his time in the Bay area. By his own admission he has been involved in some rather strange productions about telepathic rabbits and Estonian voice over super stars!
The Film Itself
It tells the story through the eyes of poker players themselves and how the online revolution changed their lives. The three main characters are Danielle Moon Anderson who was named as one of pokers leading ladies by Bluff magazine and many believe her to have won more than any other female player online. The documentary follows her in her attempt to become a sponsored player. Tony Dunst played poker so that he could travel the world, and he did. He returned to his native America and landed the job as the host of 'The Raw Deal'. The third player is Martin Bradstreet who has loved playing games all of his life. He has spent hundreds of hours studying optimal strategy which has led him to play in some of the biggest games in the world. Along with the 3 stars you'll find a host of famous faces from the world of online poker. Daniel Negreanu and Greg Raymer both contribute interviews, as well as some of the biggest online players in the world, including Tom Dwan, Phil Galfond, Dani Stern, Chris Vitch and Aaron Wilt. There's more than just players in front of the cameras too as the President of the WPT Adam Pliska makes an appearance as does Mike Sexton the great poker commentator and reporter BJ Nemeth.