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Lucky You Premieres in Las Vegas Tonight

Many Poker Players Expected to Show at Event


Lucky You, staring Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, and Robert Duvall, opens across the nation tomorrow, but many of the people who helped make the film will be at Red Rock Casino's theater tonight for the Las Vegas premiere.

Card Player TV will be there to cover the red carpet event, which will feature many of the players who appeared in the movie. The players who took part in the production include Johnny Chan, Hoyt Corkins, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, Mike Matusow, Phil Hellmuth, Chau Giang, Dan Harrington, Karina Jett, John Juanda, Mike Matusow, and Erick Lindgren.

Las Vegas, Benny's Bullpen, and the Bellagio's poker room circa 2003 are also featured heavily in the movie.

Check back tomorrow for interviews from the event.

The movie had its world premiere last night at the Tribeca film festival. It was directed by Curtis Hanson, who also directed 8 Mile and L.A. Confidential.

The following story about Lucky You was first published in March:

Poker Movie "Lucky You" Hits Theaters First Weekend of May

Producers Promise Authenticity

Poker movie Lucky You, staring Eric Bana, Robert Duvall, and Drew Barrymore, opens nationally May 4.

With both the writer and director of Lucky You formerly nominated for an Oscar, sets that include the Bellagio's poker room and Benny's Bullpen at Binion's, and an all-star lineup of poker superstars, it's a movie that promises poker authenticity, as well as a good love story.

The movie is set in 2003. Bana plays the tough poker sharp Huck Cheever, who lives the untamed life of a professional poker player. Duvall plays the part of his father, L.C. Cheever, who left Huck and his mother long ago. The two cross paths during the 2003 World Series of Poker, in which L.C. already has two bracelets.

"Like Huck, Eric Bana is a blaster; he came at his part full out," says director Curtis Hanson. "During the rehearsal period, he not only worked on his scenes but immersed himself in learning the game of poker. He is a true chameleon."

Barrymore plays Billie Offer, Bana's love interest, and when the two characters meet, their lives change forever.

Serious poker fans will be most interested in the film's portrayal of the WSOP main event and the Big Game that still goes on at the Bellagio. The producers of the movie made sure to get some of the most respected players to both act in the movie and be consultants to make sure eagle-eyed poker fans come away from the film impressed.

Players who actually play in the Big Game - Daniel Negreanu, Sam Farha, Ted Forest, Barry Greenstein and others - play themselves in the movie. Other players like John Hennigan, actually act. Hennigan, for example, plays a rival of Bana's, and they clash during the WSOP.

The producers hired Doyle Brunson, Matt Savage, and Jason Lester, who made the final table of the 2003 WSOP main event, as consultants to make sure all the details in the film were poker-right. The list of poker players in this film is astounding, and includes Johnny Chan, Hoyt Corkins, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, Phil Hellmuth, Chau Giang, Dan Harrington, Karina Jett, John Juanda, Mike Matusow, Erick Lindgren, and many others.

The movie makers got lucky themselves while filming. When they heard that the Bellagio planned on remodeling its poker room, producers secured the fixtures of the old room, packed everything up, and moved it to California. Everything, from the light fixtures to the wall paneling, was retained and reassembled on a sound stage, where the scenes of the Big Game were filmed.

Filmmakers also recreated on a sound stage Benny's Bullpen, which is where the main even final table was played for the last time in 2003, the year that poker changed forever when Chris Moneymaker won the real championship, something that probably doesn't happen here.

See for more information and to view a trailer of the film.