The number of participants in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event went from 839 in 2003 to a whopping 8,773 in 2006. For a bunch of people I know, ESPN's coverage and Rounders had a lot to do with the added success. Too bad the WSOP hasn't been nearly as nice to Hollywood.
Lucky You has a lot of things going for it. It's directed and co-written by an award winning filmmaker in Curtis Hanson. It has an interesting cast with Eric Bana, Robert Duvall and Drew Barrymore. It has a ton of cameos by real poker professionals and a decent respect to the game.
What it doesn't have is an interesting story. The plot involves a young poker hotshot who is trying to raise capital for a buy-in to the Main Event at the 2003 WSOP. Along the way he has to deal with his daddy issues - his father is a 2-time champ at the Main Event - his own hubris and his failed attempts at a love life. All very Greek tragedy-ish, if you ask me.
It was just plain boring. And the message boards on the Internet are filled with poker players shouting their disdain at the film for it's portrayal of the game itself. I don't really care about that, since I don't know that much to begin with. I just want a movie that's exciting and fun filled with characters that I care about. Like Rounders.
Finally, is there a less engaging lead actor out there besides Eric Bana? I thought this guy was gonna be the shit after his big break-thru performance in Chopper. But it's been boring role after boring role after boring role for this guy since Hulk. He's better than a half-bottle of NyQuil for a good night's sleep. He needs to harden the fuck up!