Rounders: How Not to Lose?

Rounders was quite a moderate hit at the box office when it came out but later on, with the rise of casinos and online casinos and the popularity of poker, this movie became one of the most famous. A “Rounder” is someone who travels around, hopping from one city to another city, competing in high stakes poker or any card games.

The Rounders portrays a story that is the epitome of Hollywood’s main lead- he is smart, successful and even if he loses, he wins in the end. In real life, this would hardly happen but that is the charm of the film. Janet Maslin wrote for The New York Times that this movie is “mischievously entertaining”. This movie might just be promoting the utopian dream for Poker fans. The Rounders made around $22.9 million within the United States.

About the Plot

The Rounders is a movie that gives us a peek into the world of underground high-stakes poker. The Story follows law student Mike McDermott played by Matt Damon who is a genius when it comes to poker. Mike plays at an underground Texas Hold’em game and loses $30,000. This loss shocks him and reminds him that gambling can be very dangerous. So, he decides to quit it and concentrate on his studies and girlfriend. But all go to waste, when his childhood friend, Lester “Worm” Murphy, asks for his help to pay off a debt. The worm starts playing under Mike’s name and ends up owing a lot of money to dangerous men.


The climax happens when Mike in order to save himself and everyone challenges KGB to the second round of poker game and KGB accepts the offer. Mike wins the first round and secures enough cash to pay off his debt but he gets riled up because of KGB’s taunts, he decides to play again. But because it’s a movie, he wins it all. With over $60,000 money he wins, he settles his debts and Worm’s. Then, he bids goodbye to Jo, his ex-girlfriend, and drops out of his law school. Mike bets his future as he decides to play in the World Series of Poker.

Director John Dahl
Written by David Levien
Brian Koppelman
Starring Matt Damon
Edward Norton
Release date 1998
Run Time 121 minutes

The Only way Not to lose – Do not Gamble

Gambling can be exciting entertainment since as humans we are built this way. Every day we take certain risks in our life. We are motivated by risks as they release dopamine. When it comes to gambling, if we practice Responsible Gambling, there would be no problem. That is, if one gambles just for the sake of fun and not to repay debts or earn money (as we see in the movie), we are safe but problem gambling has become a very huge issue in recent times. According to the BBC, problem gambling has affected almost 1% of the population!

  • Certain symptoms are overwhelming feelings of anxiety or stress.
  • When you have no control over the betting amount and one gamble more and more to feel the old “high”.
  • Gambling addiction is crippling as it not only destroys one’s life but also their loved ones. Mike in The Rounders ends up alone as he keeps gambling.

But like any other illness, gambling addiction can be solved.

  • It has been clinically proven that Cognitive Behavioral therapy can be very helpful.
  • One can check out the website of GamCare which offers help regarding addiction.
  • The National Centre for Behavioral Addictions (NCBA) includes many clinics for treating the gambling problem. NCBA includes The National Problem Gambling Clinic, Young persons’ Problem, and The National Centre for Gaming Disorders.
  • Gordon Moody Association provides residential treatment for men and women who are overcome with this addiction. And last but not least, if you live in the United Kingdom, Gamblers Anonymous UK provides a similar treatment as Alcoholics Anonymous to help you recover.

Remember that one can fight the urge. Remember to pay important bills right after you get paid so as to avoid gambling it away. Spend quality time with your peers or family who do not engage in gambling. This helps raise morale and also keeps your urges in check. Instead of the possibility of increasing your debts by gambling, try and pay them in an orderly manner. There are also websites that block online gambling such as GamStop, GamCare, BetBlocker, and Gamban. But many players do not want to be restricted and choose various casino sites not with GamStop using CasinoGap, those sites offer you the highest-quality gaming experience and umpteen features which you can find only there.

Final Thoughts

Yes, one can totally imagine their life to be like Mike who loses but also dramatically wins in the next step. But life is seldom so kind and glamorous. Addiction can happen to anyone and is also treatable.

Problem gambling results in the loss of real relationships or total financial destruction. Mike might have won big at the end of the movie but who knows for sure, if he becomes a billionaire or a broke man in his next step?

Theo Gill
Thoe Gill is a content writer who specializes in SEO-friendly, keyword rich, persuasive copy. With over 10 years of experience writing for the web, Thoe has an uncanny ability to create content that sells. With expertise in digital marketing and website management, he knows how to get your company found online. He understands the importance of creating engaging content that will keep readers hooked on your site all day long.

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