Left Pocket Winnings

It all starts with Chico Banh’s pair of Eights losing to Ralph Kaczynski’s Ace King, with the hand being King pair and an Ace kicker, that opens on the river, as soon as Chico Banh calls Ralph’s raise to four hundred thousand.

We’re talking about Lucky You, a movie based on Poker, starring Eric Bana in the lead role, with Drew Barrymore and Robert Duvall as his girlfriend and father, respectively. The movie also has a supporting cast of Robert Downey Jr. with appearances of Daniel Negreanu and Aleksandr Kuznetsov, so we know we’re talking serious poker!

Getting back to where we left you off, Ralph asks Banh how much he has, and raises, knowing Banh has only two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. And his face is grumpy, while raising, to begin with. There’s a hint of detest in Huck Cheaver’s eyes, as he looks at Banh leaving without being afforded a hand-shake. Some lack of sportsmanship in the winner. Consequences shall follow, read Huck’s eyes. Beware, Ralph.

And then, L.C. Cheaver wins the next round, pitched against Michelle Carson’s All-In, with a Straight Flush. Which is a sight in itself. A Straight Flush winning against a Flush of Clubs with King high, leaves Michelle sighing a “Shit!” and applauding L.C.’s luck. L.C. kisses her to a respectful farewell.

The next scene brings us to a chance meeting between father and son. That’s when L.C. and Huck Cheaver, the father-son duo, have a heart to heart after ages, and the latter accuses the former of breaking his own wife’s trust, by gambling Huck’s mother’s ring. L.C. defends himself saying that he kept the ring all his life, as his wife’s forgiveness means a lot to him. Huck questions him, on why then, he gambled with the ring, when betting against Huck’s hand in a previous scene in the movie. L.C. tells him, that the ring belongs to his son’s mother after all. It’s a moment loaded with an epiphany, that strikes Huck.

The father has won two WSOPs already. This will be the third, and he’ll be in the Hall of Fame, having won three. That’s what L.C. tells Huck. That’s why L.C. is playing this tournament: “I believe it’s my time,” says the father, and leaves.

The son looks on, thoughtfully as the father walks away.

The screen takes us to the game again, the final table of the World Series of Poker. The round on the screen has Huck go All In against Ralph Kaczynski. They show their cards on the Turn, and Huck already has a Three of a Kind of Threes, while Ralph has a King pair. Ralph loses to Huck with a Bad Beat, and when he looks up, Huck is calmly collecting his chips, with no amount of Fu(%s given to Ralph, who looks up to him, then disappointed in himself, leaves the table.

Consequences did follow. Huck is Chico’s good friend, for starters. And friends do not like to see each other being humiliated by a random guy.

The final table now hosts Huck Cheaver, L.C. Cheaver and Jason Keyes. Now Jason is a first time Live Poker player, which he entered, having learnt how to play poker- online. He’s also a fan of #PokerAnytimeAnywhere, apparently.

There’s a father-son duo on the table, but that’s going to end soon. Jason Keyes fold the next hand early on, in the round. Huck has an Ace Pair, L.C, a pair of Kings, as their pocket cards, respectively. L.C. goes All-In, and Huck calls. Huck has a winning hand, but the father’s wish, in the previous scene, has him thinking. He lets his father win with Kings and Deuces, Two Pair, and does not show his Pocket Aces.

L.C. loses to Jason Keyes in the next round, nonetheless. So, an effort that went waste on a poker table. But an effort that wins back a son his father. An effort, for the win!

Just a scene later, L.C. confronts Huck, accusing him of folding a better hand. Huck replies: “let’s just say, I thought it was your time.”

The father invites his son to play a few rounds of poker with him. ‘Like the old times: with Pennies, Nickels and Dimes’. A father wins back a son.

“So, how did the tournament go?”

“Win some, lose some.”

“Easy come, easy go.”

“Yes, same old story.”

“And the money is just a way of keeping scores.”

“Yeah, except for my left pocket winnings.”

“The important money.”

“Four dollars and thirty-seven cents.”

“Pennies, Nickels and Dimes, like on the kitchen table.”

“You got it.”

And that’s the last 25 minutes of Lucky You. Which is a movie of bonds. And a movie of relationships. And a movie of trust.

It’s a movie of friendships, and betting on skills, and passion, and realizations, and nostalgia.

Lucky You is a movie depicting poker. Lucky You is a movie depicting life. Showing the importance of left pocket winnings. The important money. The currency of life. Keep that secure!



Ankit Malhotra

Ankit Malhotra is an erstwhile practising advocate and an active poker enthusiast. He is professionally a content consultant, who happens to be a published poet as well.