Online Poker Film Could Resemble 'Rounders' Plot
Ben Affleck Will Play Corrupt Owner of an Online Poker Site
According to reports from Variety Magazine, the new gambling film starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake will depict the shadowy past of abysmally regulated online poker — and could loosely parallel the plot of the 1998 film Rounders.
Runner, Runner, which is slated for 2013 on IMDB.com, will reportedly involve Timberlake’s character traveling to Costa Rica to reclaim his tuition money that he was cheated out of on a poker site owned by Affleck’s character.
In the 1998 poker cult classic, Matt Damon’s Mike McDermott suffered a brutal loss (no cheating) of his law school tuition money, before finally confronting gambling kingpin Teddy KGB, played by John Malkovich, in a climatic rematch.
However, in Runner, Runner, Timberlake will reportedly become the right-hand man of the corrupt site owner Affleck.
In April 2011, the real-life major offshore poker sites — PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet — were booted from American cyberspace after their respective owners were indicted by the federal government.
In an earlier scandal not directly linked to the Black Friday indictments, UB principal Russ Hamilton was accused of cheating customers out of millions. Hamilton was never charged with a crime for his alleged theft.
Variety also reported that actor Anthony Mackie will play a FBI agent trying to investigate the fictional crimes in Runner, Runner.
While Hollywood prepares to capitalize on the past online poker crimes, a handful of state governments around the country are trying to legalize and regulate the activity. Nevada, with extensive safeguards in place to prevent cheating and fraud, will license its first sites this summer.
The plans for the film come after rumors of a Rounders sequel have seemingly died out. The online poker film is penned by Brian Koppleman and David Levien — the screenwriters from Rounders.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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