How difficult can it be to make a great poker scene in a movie? According to James bond director Martin campbell the ‘Casino Royale’ remake poker showdown was as elaborate as any stunt 007 was involved!
The 2006 movie brought home a monster $ 606 million at the box office, with Daniel craig‘s’ Bond’ and Mads Mikkelsenthe villain with the blood eyes ‘The number’ involved in the highest stakes poker game of all time.
For poker fans, of course, seeing their beloved game portrayed on the big screen is almost always more “failed” than “successful”, so how did director Campbell manage to produce such an intense facsimile? of a real highstakes game?
“What you realize is it’s not just the card games, it’s the stakes. It’s also two guys kissing each other’s eyes, basically. It was the secret, ”Polygon.com explained.
With No Limit Hold’em replacing the Baccarat Chemin de Fer of Ian fleming book version, and the film version from 1967 …
… The cast and crew had to learn the game from scratch to make sure that everything from the continuity to the poker stories was as realistic as possible.
Not an easy task for a poker consultant Tom sambrook, the 2002 winner of European Championships explaining:
“I would just tell them what was the absolute bare minimum they needed to know to look like they played this game.”
Sambrook also admits to making some extra money on the side, taking the actors for their “per diem” in hastily arranged games in the studios.
The Englishman, who finished ahead of Hendon Mobster Barny boatman and EPT legend Jean Duthie to win his title, explained:
“We were playing games constantly between takes,” adding insolently, “I considered it their privilege to learn by paying me this money.”
Director Campbell kind of pulled all the elements of the game together into a series of almost believable poker scenes mixed with the usual action-packed adventures of a typical Bond movie.
He believes the 30 minutes of gameplay that made the final cut, showing three massive hands, was essential to the film’s success, admitting:
“This is the thing that I sweat more than anything else.”
After discovering Le Chiffre’s “tell”, Bond must survive two assassination attempts in an effort to end the villain’s hopes of winning the $ 130 Million Poker Game.
“Dramatically speaking, each of the card games has a good climax,” says Campbell, and if the final scene still irritates some poker fans, there’s a reason.
The four-way all-in sees Le Chiffre’s full house lose to Bond’s straight flush, with most fans expecting a Royal Flush to win the day for the film’s hero.
“He wins with a low-key straight flush, rather than the royal flush,” Sambrook says, adding to director Campbell’s vision of a “new Leap,” a less flashy and more believable hero.
Check out the final yourself!