Shade (2003) Movie Script

# Don't know why #
# there's no sun
up in the sky #
# stormy weather #
# since me
and that little girl #
# ain't been together #
# keeps on raining #
# all the time #
# life is bare... #
Games of chance.
Not the way we play.
Seconds, centers,
stacking the deck,
mucking cards...
The tools and terms
of the trade.
But just having
a pair of hands ain't enough.
If you don't have
the stones to move under fire,
you'll never
get the money.
So you work
in fast company,
hone your chops,
learn to deal
with the unexpected.
And that's how
you become a pro.
That's how you
become the Dean.
- Are we going to play some cards or what?
- Everybody freeze!
Don't anybody
fucking move!
Come on, get your hands up.
Get 'em up.
Put your fucking
hands up!
What the fuck is this, huh?!
What is this?!
What are you
talking about?
You guys know
who's running this game?
Shut up, you fat fuck!
Now get your money out.
Get your fucking
hands up!
Look, I'm not going
to do anything, okay?
Get 'em up now!
The appropriate
term here is...
You mother...
- Fill it up, please.
- Yes, ma'am.
Oh, shit!
Are you all right?
I just took my ring off in
the washroom and dropped it.
If you or anybody else
finds this ring...
Actually it was
really expensive...
Whoever finds it,
I'll pay him a $1000 reward.
Why don't I give you
$100 for it?
This ring is worth
more than $100.
Don't waste my time.
Well, how much
you want for it?
260, 280,
Come on, baby.
How much you get?
Let's go.
Charlie, here's your money.
Plenty there, all right?
About fucking time,
Hey, Charlie,
van morrison, Vegas.
Van morrison,
count me in.
Hey, Vespa,
Hey there.
Hey, Cody,
how are you, man?
Hey, hey, hey.
That's enough of that.
- Hey, Charlie.
- How are you, baby?
- Charlie.
- Carl, good to see you, man.
Jack of clubs,
nine of hearts,
eight of spades.
All in.
I call.
All bets are in,
On their backs.
Three nines,
pair of kings.
- Oh, God, that's gotta hurt.
- Three kings.
Baby, you're a 10,
but I really
need a nine.
I'm out.
That's how we do.
Oh, this is great.
Baby, you are a 10. I know you
thought I was bullshitting.
High five.
- Hey, Larry.
- Hey, baby.
- How you doing?
- I'm handling mine, taking all of this.
- Mm-hmm. Big man.
- Yeah.
Yeah, you bet
your ponytail.
You know,
Miller's here.
Who's that?
Come on, Miller, the guy
I was telling you about.
So Larry,
this is Charlie Miller.
Miller, this is the Jennings,
Larry Jennings.
Larry, that was pretty
hot shit downstairs.
- Oh, yeah.
- Yeah, it was all right.
T. Tells me that you play
pretty good yourself.
Now and again, yeah.
Yeah, right.
- Can I get you some drinks, guys?
- Yeah, I'll take a refill.
Okay. Charlie, you
still jd on the rocks?
- In a bucket, baby.
- You got it.
So Larry,
what do you know so far?
What I do know is
that you and your partner
found some seats
at a soft game
and you guys have been doing
pretty good on the regular.
Yeah, that's right. It's taken
quite a while to set it up,
but it's beginning
to pay off.
Yeah, it's worth it.
10 to 20,000 a game.
10, 20 thou?
That's nice.
We could be doing a hell
of a lot better, you know?
If we had a third player,
we'd tear this game apart.
You're making money already. How
did I become the lucky guy?
It's pretty obvious that you can
handle yourself well in a game.
And Tiffany says
you're cool, so...
Can I get you
a drink?
Well, uh...
Can I get you
some of me?
No, actually.
I'm Jeff.
Go away, Jeff.
W-whoa, whoa, where do
you think you're going?
My God!
Hey, listen, get out
of my face, Jeff,
or I will gladly shove my
heel down your throat.
I like the sound
of that.
- Really?
- Mm-hmm.
You stay here and think
about that, Jeff,
while I walk away.
Well, consider me
You got to raise
at least 15 to 20,000.
15, 20... what, you want
me to give you the money?
What, you trying
to pimp me now?
It's the stake
we all put in.
It's a cash only game.
You need
the playing money.
Come on, baby, I thought
you'd be interested in this.
Charlie's come
all the way down here.
But it's okay,
maybe he's just not...
I know Charlie came
all the way down here.
The money is no problem.
The point is, I don't know
him, he doesn't know me,
and I don't want to be wearing
a thong at the end of the day.
For fuck's sakes, we're going
to be giving you the money,
not the other
way around.
This is a hell
of an opportunity, Larry.
What about the third musketeer?
When do I meet him?
- Ohh!
- Ooh.
Come on,
let's go.
I'm not feeling
real well.
- Jesus!
- Fuck!
Watch where you're
going, bitch!
Who are you calling
bitch, cocksucker?
- Oh!
- Play nice, play nice!
Get away from me!
- Over here.
- Fuck that! Fuck you, bitch!
Fucking bitch! Fuck,
she fucking ruined it!
Take 'em away from
me, all right?
Give me a napkin,
will you?
- You okay there, miss?
- Oh, fine.
- You, sir, how you doing?
- Yeah, I'm fine.
Aside from being down
20 grand, I'm just great.
Any chance of raising
the limit on this table...
To be
five grand a hand?
Let me see
what I can do.
What the fuck
are you looking at?
Your tits.
He wants to raise the table
limit to five gs a hand.
He's on a fresh shoot.
Fade him.
It's done.
Five a hand.
Damn nice of you.
Dealer busts.
Tearing me apart
over there.
Good work, ladies.
40 gs for a half hour's work.
Not bad.
You bet.
There's your cut.
You sure you don't want
to reconsider Reno?
Oh yeah,
I'm sure.
Besides, Jackie's good
enough to pull it off.
Good enough
for Reno, anyway.
I'm almost out of beer.
You got something set up?
Who, me?
Great. I'll be in town
later this evening.
Okay, see you then.
God, I wish the mob
still ran this town.
So do I.
This is a hell
of an opportunity, Larry.
So what about the third musketeer?
When do I meet him?
You can meet him
anytime you want.
You can
meet him now if you like.
So how do we know
this is going to pay off?
Listen, come to this
address in an hour.
Go to the back room,
ask for me. I'll be
there with my partner.
If the cards come funny
to all of us,
how you gonna
fix that?
Yeah, look, lady luck can
be a bitch at times.
But fortunately, the guy
we're going to meet...
My partner,
he's a...
Larry, do you know
what a "mechanic" is?
Christ, I can see
debris from here.
I'm not even
dealing deuces, asshole.
Pretty ugly-looking
taps then.
Maybe the chaps
are getting rusty.
Is that so?
Big slick in clubs.
Pretty good.
That'd get the money.
Yeah, but I always preferred
American airlines myself.
Son of a bitch.
Well, good to see you're
keeping the hands in shape.
It's a hard
habit to break.
So what happened,
You disappeared like a fucking
ghost after the Ross game.
I just needed
to get away for a while.
- Oh, yeah?
- Mmm.
Well, for what it's worth,
Tiffany and I were...
We were worried
about you.
We thought you'd gone South
because you'd taken some heat.
It wasn't
the cool thing to do.
Yeah, well,
neither was Atlantic city.
So how is Tiffany?
We're great.
Very great.
She is
an amazing woman.
- You know, I never thought...
- What's the word on the game?
Are we...
Are we set?
Yeah, I'm starting you
at the game.
Just got to get
your head in the moment.
That guy I was telling you about,
he's coming here in a few minutes.
I want you...
Speak of the devil.
That must be him.
And the devil appears.
Fuckin' a.
Come on in.
Yeah, I heard
you were back in town.
But you know
what hurts me the most is,
goddamn it,
you didn't even call.
It must've
slipped my mind.
What the fuck
do you want, scarne?
What the fuck
you think I want?
You know, we're kind of
in between jobs at the moment.
Why don't you come back
in a couple of weeks
and we'll see
what we can do?
Okay! Okay!
I'll tell you what,
can we make that on a...
Ah, come on.
Jesus, come on, scarne,
you don't have to do that.
See what you
made me do?
We don't have anything
going on right now, okay?
Bullshit. If you didn't
have a line on something,
you wouldn't
be back here.
He's telling you
the truth. The only...
Hold it.
When I want your opinion,
I will dial
your fucking asshole.
I'm kind of tapped
at the moment.
All I got
is a nickel on me.
Jesus Christ. You weren't
kidding, were you?
We're in a recession,
didn't you hear?
Well, whatever.
But just remember, boys,
I want my cut.
And I will get it
one way...
Or another.
Uh, how's your...
How's your leg, by the way?
It still hurts
when it rains.
Son of a bitch.
Do yourself a favor, scarne,
keep to extortion and leave
the real work to the pros.
Hear Skinner got...
Got run over by a car?
Yeah, yeah.
Unsolved hit and run.
Real tragedy.
To protect
and serve, huh?
Fuck off.
Some things
never change, huh?
You're going
to dial your asshole.
Oh, shit.
Who is it?
This is the guys
t. Was telling you about.
She says you know
your way around a game.
Just got lucky.
So Miller says
You're the real deal
holyfield with the cards.
I can handle
a deck pretty well.
What is this,
modesty night?
Show him something.
Four aces.
That's kind of dope.
I told you
he was good.
He's a goddamn
So you know
the situation...
We need a third to take
down some of the big pots.
If the same man keeps winning,
it arouses suspicion.
It's a big game.
Soft game.
Guys go all their lives trying
to get into a game like this.
So we've got to be really
careful how we handle it.
We need
a top notch man.
So what you
want me to do?
You play on the square
during most of the game,
except on my deal.
Like your hand?
Get the fuck out of here
with that Copperfield shit.
Yeah, I like my hand.
That's what's known
as base or bottom dealing.
But I will vary it
by stacking as well
and dealing the punch,
whatever it takes.
But don't worry. You'll end
up a winner every time.
So are you our man?
I'm gonna fuck
with y'all.
- Great.
- For sure.
We'll give you
most of the stake,
so don't go
blowing it on a hunch.
Just save it for the sure
thing on my deal, okay?
Here's five,
10 grand.
With your 15
that's 25.
That gives us
enough money to play.
But you are going to be the
one making the big bets.
You are the one going to be
taking down the big pots.
I'm good with that.
I like big shit.
Show me the shit.
Well, I think we're all here now.
You all know
Mr. Charlie Miller.
- Hey, Charlie.
- And this is Mr. Jennings,
who will be
joining us tonight.
Would you sit there,
Mr. Jennings, please?
Thank you.
This is
Mr. Andrews,
and Mr. ose,
Mr. leipzig,
Charlie of course you know, Dr.
Daley and Mr. Vernon.
- Good to meet you.
- Call me Larry.
Mr. Jennings, we play
regular poker here.
Stud, draw,
dealer's choice,
no limit.
And of course, I take a small
percentage for the house.
Have a wonderful game,
all of you, and good luck.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
Okay, high card gets to deal.
Good luck, everyone.
You get the ace.
It's your call.
Let's ante up,
Nothing fancy,
nothing wild,
just pray for cards
that make you smile.
Corny corn.
Baddest guitarist in a white band, ace freely.
Three aces.
Yeah, I know you're
in for that $25.
Gonna put your kids
through school, grade school?
Nice-ass house, man. We should
be playing some bigger hands.
Know what I'm saying? Are we men, or...
What's going on?
I done came all the way up here.
Got my suit on and everything.
What's with
the arcade money?
We gonna throw some logs on the
fire and let it blaze a little bit?
Ace bets.
I'm going to get it
cracking already.
Let's pop this cherry. Shall we fellas?
Can we do this?
- Go ahead.
- Can we do this? $500.
- Oh.
- Spend some of that hmo money.
I'm out.
- Too rich.
- Too rich?
- I'm out.
- I'm in.
My man.
- Are you out?
- Out.
Then stay out.
Me and my man will do it.
Mmm, holler back.
You know what I'm gonna do?
Since I done
already popped the cherry,
I'm gonna take her out for a date.
2000 right there. Now what?
Take it.
- Take what?
- Take it.
Y'all got to be
bullshitting with this.
I spend more than this
in a strip club.
- You want to tell me how to play cards?
- I'm not trying...
- you want my chips, too?
- I would like to get some of those chips.
I can't get 'em unless you
put 'em on the table.
- Get a drink around here?
- A drink?
Shit, what is these chips,
potato chips?
Shit, come on, man, this is poker.
$200. Somebody bounce with me.
- I'm out.
- I'm out.
- You pushed me out.
- Fuck.
- I'm out.
- Me too.
You folding too.
I'm with you, bro'.
Let's keep it black.
It's 200.
I'll raise you 200 more.
That's for Jesse.
"Keep hope alive."
I'm going.
Okay, I'm gonna
keep it black like my ass,
and I'm gonna raise you three grand.
Check your rent money.
What's your wangdang
look like?
- Hmm? Come on, black.
- Too rich for my blood, bro'.
Fuck on, man, this is
supposed to be a big game.
We're supposed to be playing some big money.
What is this?
G-15, bingo! You all playing
bingo in this bitch,
'cause you
ain't spending no money.
This is bullshit.
I can't believe this.
I think it's time we took a
little break, gentlemen.
Sounds good to me.
Got some kool-aid
in this motherfucker?
Where'd you get
this big man?
Let's just
take a break.
I thought we had a civilized game.
Everybody calm down.
I can't believe this.
$5, $10.
You want to tell people
how to play poker,
maybe you could open
a school.
I can tell you about the
hair on your chest.
Are you cool?
No, I ain't cool. Five hands, I'm
only up a few hundred dollars?
Fuck it, man. It's not
an exact science.
You just have to wait
for the right time.
Fuck that. This is
wasting my time.
I could do better
by myself.
Relax, will you?
You cannot control
how the other players bet.
You just gotta wait
your time, be patient.
It'll pay off,
I promise you.
Yeah, it better.
Five card draw,
nothing's wild.
We don't need no drinks.
We just need to play.
- Let's get it cracking.
- Let's do that.
Looking good
All right,
let's start with 100.
Your hundred,
and 200 more.
300 to me.
Let's do three more.
Six to me.
Make it four more
for an even grand.
How about that?
- I'm out.
- Going, huh? Little thick?
I'll see your grand,
and I'll raise you two
granddaddies... that's 2000.
Holler back.
I'm out.
The man with style
is a man that can smile.
- I'm out.
- You should come out with a rap album.
Two grand to me.
I'm gonna take a look at my cards.
Call that.
I think I'll
follow your lead.
Cards, fellas?
Two please.
- Two.
- Just give me one, man.
One card
like my bitch.
The dealer
takes one.
All right,
holler back.
Two grand again.
I'm out.
Come on, brother.
Nothing, huh?
Well, what the hell?
It feels about like
it's 12 gs.
All right, well...
Whoo, it's getting hot.
Hot in here.
Let's say...
Five grand more?
I assume cash
is acceptable, right?
Of course. - 'Cause I happen
to have a little bit on me.
Jesus Christ.
That calls your bluff
right there.
That's $82,500.
No limit, right?
This son of a bitch
gonna buy it.
Oh, it's bought.
Excuse... excuse...
Excuse me.
Excuse me,
Mr. Jennings.
- Is my marker good here?
- Of course.
Hell no. What the fuck is that?
I'm American express up in here?
What the fuck is this mark shit?
If you don't have the chips...
Excuse me,
but I have the money.
I just don't
have it on me.
I got a jet,
I just didn't fly here.
Mr. Jennings, I can assure you
that he has plenty of money,
and he always
pays his debts.
Now his marker is good at this table.
You are called.
Fuck it,
it don't matter.
I've only had four
girlfriends in my life,
and they was all 10s.
You motherfuckers.
Excuse me. I guess every
one of those girls
was fucking a guy
named Jack.
Take a look.
No, that's not...
Whoa, whoa!
Hey, hey,
hey, hey!
Let me explain.
What I'm saying is, look,
this money is not the money
that I'm trying to bet with.
- Let me give you an iou.
- A little cab fare, there you go.
Dina, can't you take his iou?
The cash right here
is not the money I'm supp...
Miss whatever your name is...
Look, my man,
let me get you an iou.
What were you
thinking, Larry?
You were told just to bet
on Vernon's deal, right?
I know, I know.
And what's with pulling
out the big bankroll?
Because I had
a four of a kind.
Okay, just relax, man.
Relax. You know what?
We're going to get those sons
of bitches the next time.
But you've got
to start listening to me.
You got to start getting
with the program, Larry.
You don't...
You don't understand.
Listen, if you're
short of some cash,
I can lend you
a couple hundred.
A few hundred dollars ain't
gonna do nothing for me.
That just
went swimmingly.
Were we not clear,
Only bet heavy
on my deal.
That way I can
control the outcome.
You know, cheat.
Man, I don't want to hear
this shit right now.
- Fuck!
- Larry... Larry, listen.
This is just
a bump in the road.
We're going to get
this back tenfold.
Only if Nick the Greek here
learns to control himself.
Would you leave him alone?
Leave him alone.
- Relax.
- Fuck!
You'll get back twice what you
lost in a couple of weeks.
- I swear to you.
- I don't have a couple of weeks.
Damn! Motherfuckers ain't
hearing what I'm saying?
- Hey, Larry.
- Don't give me that shit right now.
Nice to see you, too.
What the hell
was that about?
He had a...
A really bad night.
Fuck it.
To your health.
I wish that you
could've joined me.
They do a lovely
lichee-nut Martini here.
I think respect
is one of the Paramount
of human relations.
It says in the Bible,
"thou shalt respect
thy mother and thy father."
I respect Mr. malini.
He has respected me as a
father respects his son.
We've respected you.
But frankly you've
disappointed us.
Hello, Nate.
Would you care
for something to eat?
No, thanks.
You see my friend here,
he probably prefers
a double king chili cheese
with an egg on it.
And a shake.
And I respect that.
Oh, excuse me.
I'm vibrating.
Hello, marlo. Yes?
Who is this?
Is that so?
I'll do that.
Who is this?
They hung up.
No respect.
You're hitting
the hard stuff
kind of early,
aren't you?
What the fuck
y'all want?
Mr. malini would like
to have a word with you.
Right now?
Patience isn't
one of his virtues.
Larry, I understand you're
a very good card player.
Yeah, I mess around
a little bit.
- Do you?
- Yeah.
Pick up
the motherfucking phone.
I heard you're quite a
brilliant poker player.
Well, if that's what they say,
then that's what it is.
How's it going?
It's got its ups and downs.
That's how it goes.
- Ups and downs?
- Yeah.
You know, I'm not
much of a card player,
but would you say
that losing
80,000 U.S. dollars
is a down?
Yeah, that's...
Yeah, that's a down.
And would it be a down
if I lost that 80,000
out of last week's take?
I said it would be
a down, man.
If you already know, you know.
What's with the silly questions?
Did you really think you could
lose 80,000 of Max's money
and he'd not find out
about it in this town?
I'm gonna square that
away with Max.
How could you be
so fucking stupid, Larry?
I'm in it with these guys, one guy can
do anything with a deck of cards.
They take me to this game.
We're supposed to win it.
I get carried away
on this one had and I...
I shouldn't have
bet on it,
and I lost. I can't blame
nobody but myself.
I just... I didn't do
what they said to do.
Did it ever
occur to you
that you were
the one hustled, Larry?
That your so-called
were professional grifters?
They were con men?
No, no, no,
because they lost
their money, too.
Well, I think we're all here.
This is...
Boy reaches for his stash and I
thought I was going to shit.
- Hey, baby.
- Do you like that?
Hey, I told you it would feel good.
The whole thing was a setup.
I got 60 even.
You believe me
now, Larry?
They had...
A buffet.
a pleasure.
Son of a bitch
never knew what hit him.
Five card draw.
Nothing's wild.
- Work of art.
- Drinks, gentlemen?
No, we don't need no drinks.
We just need to play.
Francis brought in the drinks
as Jack brought in the cooler.
Cooler on his own deal.
It is good
to be back.
It's certainly turning out
to be profitable.
I've got to say, you sure
know how to pick 'em, baby.
That's what
I'm here for.
This is a hell
of an opportunity, Larry.
So when do I meet
the third musketeer?
Anytime you want. You can
meet him now, if you like.
I'm gonna go
cash out.
I'll call
you later.
He's pretty good.
Where'd you
get him?
A couple of weeks ago
at another club.
Y'all count 'em.
He had the rolex,
he had a brand new lexus.
He's made for it.
I've always
said it, baby...
You are the best.
Have you seen
Vernon yet?
I'm seeing him
later on tonight.
How is he?
You know Vernon.
Vernon's Vernon.
- You know how he is.
- Yeah.
What are you doing?
You've got one lit already.
Listen, if...
If working with Vernon
is going to be a problem...
Come on, Charlie...
Don't worry about me.
It's me.
Got it.
I'll meet you there.
Well, well, well.
Looks like you're
all alone now, huh?
Lucky me.
Who is that?
None of your fucking
business, that's who.
Do you know what
a "mechanic" is, Larry?
So were you
serious before?
Is that your scene?
Yeah, or were you just talking
shit trying to get laid?
Oh, I'm...
I'm into it, mate.
Yeah, well, we'll
see about that.
Come on, Jeff.
Okay, so what about
a safe word?
You know, in case
one of us feels
we're going
too far.
how about...
Either one of use
feels uncomfortable,
we say eclipse,
we take a time out.
Sure, baby,
whatever you want.
So how do you
like it, Jeff?
Hey, Tiffany,
how are ya?
Hey, Teddy, I'm good.
How's your family?
Oh, they're great...
Great, thanks.
Say, it surprised me a little
to get that telephone call.
I didn't know
you still did this.
- Yeah, well, I needed some fast cash, you know?
- On the road with Miller?
Something like that.
What did you say?
I can't hear you
with that thing in your mouth.
Rough enough
for you, baby?
I've got to say, you sure
know how to pick 'em, baby.
That's what
I'm here for.
So you think Jennings
will be back for more?
Fish like that
always come back.
- I wouldn't be so sure.
- No? Why not?
Jennings, he seemed...
Something was off.
He just dropped his entire
life's savings in one hand.
Tends to wig a guy out.
- No, it was more than that.
- Fuck him.
You know that's a trait you're
going to have to get rid of...
Feeling sorry for the mark.
The way I look at it,
guy isn't smart enough
to hold on to his money,
he doesn't deserve
to have it. Right, baby?
- You said it.
- See? She understands.
Let's go get a drink.
Come on. Let's go.
The suspense is killing me. What's
the word on the game? Is he sitting?
Yeah, he's in.
Holy shit.
Come on, guys, who?
Dean fucking Stevens,
that's who.
"Dad" Stevens.
The man himself.
I mean, this guy,
he's a legend.
He was younger than I was when
he started playing the big time.
Big time? This guy sat
down with gangsters,
fucking killers,
Not for the money... - no,
no, just to hone his chops.
I guess that would do it.
There was one night
in Philadelphia,
all these mobsters
sitting around a table,
he's working the game
when out of nowhere, bang...
- Everybody freeze!
- ...The place gets hit.
Everyone's got
their hands in the air.
- What is this?
- Everyone but Stevens.
As luck would have it, he'd just
gone South and was holding out.
Well, the place explodes.
A huge gunfight
and everyone but Stevens
and one of the wise guys
go down.
Stevens and the other guy,
they end up in a standoff.
Yeah, and they had three choices...
Start shooting, walk away
and leave the money...
...or three?
We cut for it.
High card
takes it all.
I know which I prefer.
Nothing ventured...
Nothing gained.
He walked away with 50 grand,
not even a scratch.
Maybe it's just a fucking myth.
Maybe Stevens
made the whole thing up.
It's a great
fucking story, though.
There are guys that'll
drop their entire bankroll
just to say they sat
at the same table as him.
The Dean.
- So will you be staying with us very long?
- Just a few days.
- Business or pleasure?
- Business.
Whoever takes the Dean
becomes the Dean.
Well, he's never
been taken.
Not yet.
Don't' get so cocky. I don't
want a repeat of Atlantic city.
Yeah, well,
neither do I.
Well, I'll be damned.
Good to see you, Eve.
It's good
to see you, too.
It has been a while,
hasn't it?
Yeah, it's been a while.
You look good.
I do, don't I?
You don't look
so bad yourself.
Nice place
you got here.
Yeah, a lot
of work.
You should have seen it
when I first got it.
I was just in town for this
game and I thought I'd...
You hungry?
So you saw
Stevens play, right?
Oh, I sure did.
Omaha, Nebraska,
24th of may, 1986.
I'll never forget it.
I saw him gut a mob
that tried to set him up,
and he did it in such a way
that it was a thing of beauty.
I will never forget it
as long as I live.
Quit trying
to scare me.
I'm not trying to scare you. I'm
just trying to prepare you.
This isn't some whale
who sits down beside you
and says, "here, please,
take my money."
This guy can cut you into little
pieces, you won't even know it.
So are you...
Are you happy?
I mean, sometimes.
You know,
that's life.
Well, it looks like things are
really working out for you.
You never know what's
going to happen to somebody
once they get off
the grift.
But I'm happy
for you, really.
No husband or kids?
God... no.
- Not for a lack of opportunities, though.
- Of course.
I guess you're
a tough act to follow.
When you have
your life's savings
riding on the turn of a
card every other night,
then paying a mortgage
can seem rather mundane.
Yeah, I guess.
Lately I've been thinking that
worrying about paying a mortgage
might not be
such a bad thing.
- Oh, come on.
- No, I'm serious.
More and more it's starting
to feel like work.
I know the feeling.
I'm starting to feel
like this old gunfighter.
Like every game I go to,
every town,
there's always
some kid
who's dreaming about
knocking off the Dean.
And I used to love it,
'cause everybody wanted
a piece of me,
sitting around that table
and knowing
that no one
could even touch me.
But these last
couple of years,
I'm just going through
the motions,
getting lazy,
not caring.
I'm losing my edge.
So I say to myself,
maybe I oughta retire,
go out gracefully,
before some kid comes along
and just rips me apart.
One small problem...
we need 250
to get into the game.
- Whew, man, that's quite a stake.
- Prime rib.
The way I figure it
is this...
Six, seven,
'round the table,
the pot's two million at least,
just for starters.
- I've got 100 grand.
- I don't know.
You really think
you can take Stevens?
The Dean retire?
That would be
a first.
I don't know,
seeing how well you've done
just gets me
Thinking can
get you in trouble.
Maybe I don't know
what I'm talking about.
So are you
a restauranteur now?
Well, I'm still trying
to figure that one out.
Do you think
a happy restauranteur
could be...
Happy with
a retired card man?
Well, I'll let you
know when I meet one.
Maybe we should
meet again tomorrow night.
Maybe we should.
Come to the game.
"Come to the game,
I might be able
to come by
when I close up.
I'd like that.
I always did love
to watch you play.
But the best mechanic
doesn't always win the game.
Don't worry.
This time
I'll be patient.
I'll wait
for the right moment.
And when he
makes his move,
I'll gut the son of a
bitch in one hand.
That's what I
like to hear.
Okay, I'm in.
But I am coming
to this game.
I've got to watch
over my investment.
Well, this puts us
over the top.
I guess I'll go
make that phone call,
tell them
we're in the game.
You know what's
really cool?
We're back
together again.
The old team,
just like the old days.
It's good to have
you back, kid.
It is, you know.
Is what?
Good to have you back.
I'm not back. I'm just
here for the game.
All right.
So how's
working single o?
It's fine.
It must be sort of
limiting though, huh?
Yeah, but it's
got its advantages.
- Oh yeah?
- Mm-hmm.
I don't have to worry about your
partner stabbing me in the back.
Or waking up
with a kidney missing.
Tell Charlie
I'll see you guys tomorrow.
Do not sneak up
on me like that.
Oh God.
Are you okay?
Yeah, just checking
my messages.
So where
did Vernon go?
I don't know.
He split.
What do you want?
I need to talk.
- Now?
- Yeah, now.
Such a moody guy, that Vernon.
Tell me about it.
now that he's back,
there's a couple of things I
want to talk to you about.
Oh, Charlie,
I'm beat.
I wanted to explain about Atlantic city.
I don't need an explanation.
Well, I need to. I didn't mean for it to happen.
I don't see the point. Once the game is over,
I'm out of here
and you and Charlie
can go back to whatever
it is you have going on.
There is nothing going on. We're just partners.
Last time I saw you two,
it appeared a lot different
than just being partners.
- It doesn't mean anything.
- Tell that to Charlie.
- I was just frustrated.
- Yeah, I can see how frustrated you are.
Come on, t., nothing with
you ever just happens.
I don't know what your
angle was,
but I wasn't going
to stick around and find out.
There wasn't any angle. I just made a mistake.
I mean, you just
took all that cash.
I had a right
to be pissed and upset.
Charlie was just there
saying all the right things.
I should never have fallen in love with you.
You had me
feeling like a mark.
How can you say that?
You were the only one I didn't
have to play a role with.
I miss that.
I miss it too.
So what are we going
to do about it?
We're not going to do
anything about it.
I'm not going
to hurt Charlie.
You mean, like the way
he hurt you?
I thought you quit.
Yeah, well...
You, smoking,
all my old vices
are becoming versas.
Oh good.
Listen now,
can you do me a favor?
Can you come by
tomorrow around 2:00?
There's a couple of things I
want to talk to you about.
You know, personal,
just you and me.
I'll see you then.
These motherfuckers set me up, all right?
That bitch had
something to do with it.
These motherfuckers... I
usually don't work like that.
I usually work by myself...
Should've been by myself.
They disrespected me
in doing that.
They disrespected Max.
They disrespected everybody.
Max is looking at me now
like it's some fucked up shit.
Like I would really
steal from Max.
Max is my dawg, man.
You know what I'm saying?
I couldn't believe
I didn't see it coming,
but I had a great hand, and then
I didn't have a great hand.
Motherfuckers, they... motherfuckers
is good... they good.
I'm going to take care
of a couple things.
I'll be right back.
Don't worry.
Yeah, sure, sure.
Take care of that.
Oh, fuck.
Hi, I'm looking
for a Mr. Miller,
a Mr. Charlie Miller.
Do you know him?
You're kidding me,
The corner booth.
I just needed change for the
condom dispenser. Thank you.
Take a seat.
Are you Charlie Miller?
Charlie Miller?
I know who you're
talking about.
Cool guy,
kind of handsome.
You want to get
a message to him?
I'll take that
as a yes.
God, I'm hungry.
I've got to watch
the cholesterol, though.
You want to split
a chicken Caesar?
I have some important information
for you, Mr. Miller,
which may be
of interest to you.
You're not one of those
Jesus guys, are you?
Because it's not for me.
You're in way over your head, Mr.
and you don't
even know it.
Is that so?
You and your crew
knocked off
someone last night
for 80 large.
Don't worry, it doesn't matter to
me how a man makes his living.
Schmuck probably
had it coming to him.
It would be
of no concern to me
except that the 80 grand
he lost was not his.
It was his employer's.
And his employer
is a man by the name
of Mr. malini.
Does that name sound
familiar to you, Mr. Miller?
Yeah, it rings a bell, yeah.
Then now, perhaps,
you realize
the situation in which
you find yourself.
Listen, I don't know
who the fuck you are,
but let's just take
a couple of seconds here
to pretend I know
what you're talking about.
I ain't dumb enough
to play with mobbed-up money.
No, not on purpose, no.
But you see the problem,
it still remains.
The money,
Mr. Miller...
Do you still
have it?
No, I don't.
It's all been
divided up.
And how much
do you have?
Well, not much.
Had some expenses.
It's unfortunate.
Yeah, I'm beginning to feel
that might be the case.
And what about
your crew...
And Vernon?
Listen, that 80 gs...
No sweat
to get it back.
In fact, why don't you
tell Mr. malini this...
Tell him to consider it
in the context of a loan
and I'll keep the juice going,
give him an extra 20,000.
Let's say, I'll have 100
grand in a couple of days.
- Two days?
- Two days.
- 100 grand.
- Mm-hmm.
So you already
have your mark set up?
Yeah, no sweat.
No sweat.
I'll make sure that
I get the message out.
You do that.
- Oh, and one more thing.
- Oh, yeah, what's that?
Give up smoking. It takes
years off your life.
You know, it's funny
you should say that
because I've been...
Hey, Charlie.
Stained the fucking suit!
come on!
Come on,
What the fuck was that about?!
Who were those guys?!
Muscle for malini.
- Malini?
- Yeah.
Obviously Jennings was working for malini.
It wasn't his money to lose.
You think?
You were supposed
to check him out.
Oh, come on, Charlie. I knew he
was connected, but not connected.
Fuck, fuck,
fuck, fuck!
Okay, okay,
calm down.
Good timing, t.,
saved our asses in there.
We just have to figure out
what to do next, that's all.
It's time to get
the hell out of dodge.
- After the game.
- What?
- After the game.
- Are you insane?!
Malini's connected all over L.A., Vernon.
It's highway time.
We haven't gone
through all of this
not to play in that fucking game.
I'm playing in that game.
- You want to split? Feel free.
- Shut up!
Malini's never going
to find us that fast.
All we got to do is lay low
for a bit, that's all.
Let's get cleaned up. I know
a place no one will look.
Open sesame.
- You're kidding.
- No shit.
It's the magic castle,
what do you want?
There's no way malini's going
to find us in this place.
It's kind of
Yeah, I used to spend a lot of
time here before I met Charlie.
Before I rescued you,
you mean.
You okay?
Well, yeah, other than
being shot at, I'm great.
No, I mean, between you
and me, are we okay?
Yeah, we're fine.
Look, after the game,
I'll talk to Charlie, okay?
We'll work it out.
What the hell's
vice doing here?
You run out
of hookers to bust?
Yeah, I...
I think the last one
I busted was your mama.
Of course, don't worry,
she's out on bail.
- So who's this guy?
- Not sure yet.
We think he's connected
to malini's crew.
The waitress in back.
She didn't see anything.
People outside
said they saw
three people tear ass out
of here just afterwards.
Two guys and a girl.
Two guys
and a girl?
Jesus, I don't believe it.
- What?
- Look.
What the fuck
is he still doing here?
- Who?
- Professor.
Put the cards down.
Just put them down.
Jesus, you have no idea
what you're doing.
That's horrible.
Absolutely horrid.
Go read eardonachs.
But I didn't get... - no,
no, it actually hurts me
to watch you
hold a deck.
I suggest taking up a new
hobby like stamp collecting.
So Professor,
what is the best advice
you've ever given
a card man?
Sleep with as many
different women as possible.
Hey, guys, what do you
think of this?
Not bad.
Not bad.
What do you think,
Well, the move
is pretty open.
It'll work here, but forget
about it at the card table.
You need some kind
of shade.
I'd say make the shift with one
hand as you ante with the other.
That's good.
Very good.
Boys, I'd like you to meet
one hell of a card man.
- This is Vernon.
- Hey.
Hey. Professor,
this is Tiffany.
If I knew that hustling
had such benefits,
I never would have
gotten into magic.
Why thank you.
- And you remember, uh...
- Miller!
Surprised you're
still alive.
Funny, I could've said
the same thing about you.
You still hustling old ladies out
of their social security checks?
Still pulling rabbits
out of hats, Professor?
Boys, entertain
the lovely lady
while Vernon
buys me a drink.
Just don't pull any
rabbits out of your hats.
- Been a while.
- Quite a few years.
What brings
you here?
There's a big game
at the Roosevelt tonight.
You boys
are going to work?
Stevens is playing.
- The Dean?
- Yeah.
Be careful,
he's damn good.
So are we.
- Don't you mean he?
- No, I mean we.
Who do you think got your
little magic boy here
into someone who could
make a real living?
It hasn't hurt you
at all, has it?
Give us a minute, Charlie, will you?
Look, there's some loose change
over there on the floor.
Keep an eye
on the clock, okay?
I want you
to think
of any card in any
of the three rows.
- You look a little haggard, son.
- It's been a long week.
Being on the grift
is a tough life.
It can wear you down.
I've seen it before.
I know, I know.
You told me.
I'm not knocking
the profession, my boy.
Hell, I've been
with most of the top
mechanics and hustlers
of the last century.
I just hate to see
you go down that road,
with Miller.
- He's not that bad.
- He's a street hustler...
Who's glommed onto you because
he sees you have talent
and he has none... other
than being a good liar.
We made a good team. I mean,
what did you want me to do?
Make a grand or so a week
doing tricks for tourists?
I make that
in one hand.
Of course.
You just have
to make a choice.
At some point,
is it about the art,
or the money?
I remember when you and I
used to stay up all night
just discussing
one move.
Yeah, I miss that.
I still don't have
the finger floater
on the bottom palm
covered yet.
We should work
on that.
You always know
where to find me.
Resident legend,
Ask yourself if this is
what you want to be doing
for the rest
of your life.
It gets harder
every day
and every dollar
to get out.
Just remember,
some things are
more important than money...
I've known a lot of mechanics
and hustlers in my time,
but I've yet to meet
a retired one.
They're using bee, red back.
Nice work, J.J.
I'm... I'm looking
for Mr. Hemingway.
Try room 808.
Thank you.
We're in.
- How do you feel?
- I'm good. I'm loose.
Okay, remember
what I said...
Play the man,
not just
the cards.
Take your time.
Be patient.
Quit it, Charlie. You're
making me nervous.
No, nerves are good.
Keeps you sharp.
Ready to do this?
Okay, let's go.
Can I help you?
I'm looking for
Mr. Hemingway.
Please come in.
Hey, now you
must be Mr. holden.
That's right.
How're you doing?
- How do you do?
- This is Miller.
- How are you?
- And this is Tiffany.
A genuine
pleasure, ma'am.
- Thank you.
- I'm Tony d. From Austin, Texas.
This good old boy
is Mr. thornhill.
- Hey.
- Call me Jack.
Hey, Jack.
And if you'll allow me to introduce
you to our host this evening...
Mr. malini.
Good of you
to join us, Mr. holden.
It's good of you
to have me.
These are my friends.
They tend to bring me luck.
Any problem
with them observing?
Not at all.
I hope this
will prove to be
an entertaining evening
for all of us.
If you'll allow me to introduce
you to the other players?
You didn't know malini
was going to be here?
No idea.
- Great.
- Stay cool.
This is
Mr. Stevens.
Mr. Stevens...
Mr. holden.
- Nice to meet you.
- And you.
I hear you're from
the Cincinnati area.
around there.
Then you must know
lady buck Johnson?
I've met her. I don't
really know her, though.
Too bad about her
husband, isn't it?
I wasn't aware
that she was ever married.
Oh, that's right.
I don't remember
seeing you around the clubs
the last time I was
around Cincinnati.
- I'm more or less a weekend player.
- Right.
This is Tiffany.
very expensive name.
Worth every penny.
- This is Miller.
- Charlie, Charlie Miller.
good memory.
You sitting in,
Not me, no.
I'm a dice man.
Are you stake horsing?
Well, yeah, I guess
something like that, yeah.
You must be
pretty good, kid,
if he's willing
to risk money on you.
very conservative.
You're not a hustler,
are you, kid?
What do you say, Max? Are we going
to start this thing or what?
There you go.
Can I get a receipt
for that?
Yeah, after the game,
dice man.
Mr. holden, take your seat over there.
Feel free to reload
at any point.
If the Dean would
do us the honor?
Sure, Max.
Texas hold 'em,
straight up.
Ante, gentlemen.
Ah, what the hell?
10 more.
I'll just take
one card, please.
I'm out.
I'm in
for a thousand.
20 more.
That's it for me.
- Well, Tony?
- Yeah, yeah.
Okay, heck yeah,
I'll call you.
Let's see what you
got there, buddy.
We got a big ouch.
Heck yeah. I guess you
won that one, too.
Oh, yeah.
Something says
five more.
Yeah, I'll raise you
another 5000.
My goodness, I'm getting
weak at the knees.
Let's see if I can
dig down and get the courage
to match that
hefty wager.
Stevens is going to go
for the kill on Tony d.
Why don't
we make it...
That's 45,000 more.
What do you think?
Yes, um...
I don't think
I have that much...
With me.
Really, Tony, it's not that complicated.
How much do you
think you have, Tony...
Anthony from Austin
or whatever...
In that little saddlebag
that you brought with you?
Well, let's see.
I'm sure you got a few
more nuggets in that bag.
It appears I only have
Now I could be cruel,
but you would think
badly of me
if I just
bought the pot.
So Tony,
since you flew in
and you look
like a nice guy,
I am going
to accept that bet.
So 25,000
it is to you.
I'm awfully sorry.
Oh, no.
Easy, easy,
Back off,
let's go.
Bad manners, Tony.
It appears
my evening has drawn
to an embarrassingly
dramatic close.
Good night, Tony.
Hundred thousand.
I'm out.
All in.
I'll call.
Trip 10s.
- Sweet.
- As pie.
But I've
got the nuts.
- Ace high.
- Son of a bitch!
Some luck.
So much for
my lucky hat.
Well, gentlemen,
that's all for me.
I think I'll
call it a night as well.
Very impressive, kid.
And then
there was three.
My lucky number.
How about five-card stud
from here on out?
Music to my ears.
Yeah, that sounds quaint.
And how about
a break?
What, are you tired?
Just distracted,
- Cincinnati.
- Sorry, same state.
Back in 20 minutes,
Man, am I glad
you came by.
Like I said, I always
love to watch you play.
- I like that.
- How's it going?
I'm doing the obnoxious
bit with this kid.
Nothing seems to rattle him.
He's good.
He's just
very, very good.
As good as you?
Well, I didn't
say that.
Charlie, will you
fix me a drink?
- Mmm, are you okay?
- Yeah, I'm good.
You want me
to get you a drink?
I'd love a drink.
Keep your mind
on the fuckin' game.
Do you "folly"?
Hey, count the chips
on the table.
- So how is he?
- He's really good.
I've double duped him a couple
of times and he won't bite.
- So what do you think?
- I don't know.
He's folded a few times
with bad hands.
It's like he's
reading my cards.
- So maybe he is.
- Marked cards? Come on.
The Dean's not going
to use paper in a real game.
That's just
for hustles and squares.
You don't use it
in fast company.
Maybe he doesn't
consider you fast company.
You know what?
Let's find out.
Come with me.
I don't see any edgework,
no shade or flash,
no block out or black line either.
It's clean.
- Son of a bitch.
- What?
It's juice. The bastard
is using a juice deck.
Juice deck?
Yeah, look.
It's a way of marking cards
so you can only read it when
your eyes are out of focus.
Try it.
Oh my God.
Oh my God.
I've only heard
of juice decks.
- So what now?
- Now?
I think the Dean
is about to take a fall.
I think I'll quit
while I'm still behind.
I guess it's just
you and me, Cincinnati.
So romantic.
King speaks.
I like round numbers.
Let's make it 10.
King agrees.
King says bet.
Make it 50.
King likes that.
Cowboy still
thinks big.
How's 100 grand sound?
Weekend player,
Last time I recall,
ladies beat Jacks.
If that's all I have.
Well, let's find out.
Starting to feel
like a healthy pot.
I'm all in.
I'm short...
50 grand.
- Really?
- Mmm.
Nothing ventured.
Nothing gained.
That's 3-0.
Here's 20 more.
It's good
to have friends.
You bet.
All the way.
I'm looking
for Mr. Hemingway.
I don't know any Hemingway.
Now you listen to me,
you son of a bitch,
I'll squeeze
your goddamn balls
till you shit
in your britches.
Now where's
the goddamn game?
So let's see what you've
got up your sleeve, kid.
- Wait.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa!
- Come on.
- These are the guys.
- What?
- What is this?
That's Vernon,
These are the guys who
took Jennings for 80 g.
I don't know you.
- Hey! Hey!
- Not so fast, slick.
- Put down your gun.
- You so much as move, your boss...
- Drop the gun!
- Fuck you!
- You're Vernon?
- Malini, tell 'em to drop 'em.
- Drop it, sweetheart.
- Fuck you, man!
- Fuck you!
- Drop the fucking gun!
- Put the gun down.
- Charlie, shut up!
- Put it down!
- You see what I'm fucking doing?
- Be nice, lady.
- You're the Vernon from Kansas City?
- Put it down now!
- Fuck you!
Watch your language.
Yeah? Eat my shit,
Drop the fucking
gun, bitch!
- I heard a lot about you.
- Thanks.
- Fuck you!
- Put down the gun.
Malini, tell him
to drop it!
- I hear you've been looking for me.
- Well...
- I guess you found me.
- Put it down!
Goddamn it,
No, I don't know anything
about a fucking ring.
Things okay at home,
are they, Charlie?
Who the fuck is this?
Thank God,
it's the police.
- Who are you?
- Who am I?
- Who the fuck are you?
- Great timing, scarne.
- Another friend?
- You have no idea.
Max, why don't you
tell your boys to relax?
You can take care of him
after the game.
All right.
Now I'm guessing that you and your
friends are completely tapped out
and I can buy this pot
for say, $10.
Don't bet on it,
Considering the circumstances,
I'll let it pass.
Let's see your card.
Do it, Vernon.
Trip Jacks.
Hell of a hand, kid.
You surprised?
You could say that.
I guess I always knew
this day was gonna come.
It just ain't today.
Three ladies.
No, no, no.
That's not possible.
Anything is possible.
Tough break, kid.
- What does that mean, Charlie?
- We're fucked.
What does that mean,
We're fucked.
You're good, kid. Really,
you're very, very good.
But as long as I'm around, you're
always gonna be second best.
Jesus Christ.
What did you do?
Hey, you want to get that
thing away from me, please?
- You're making me nervous.
- You're making me nervous, too.
Not exactly a private
place for murder.
Put it away.
Jennings was
an idiot, anyway.
I would, however,
strongly suggest
the three of you
get out of the racket,
'cause if I see you again,
I won't see you again.
About my cut...
Forget it.
Forget about it.
You know, this almost
makes up for my leg.
See you around...
Nice play, Dean.
- Here are your winnings.
- Thanks.
I'll let you know when we
set another game, Dean.
Sure, Max, but this is
my last one for a while.
- Eve.
- Good night.
Hey, always reject
your hold cards.
Hell, I was mucking cards
before you were born.
The Dean, huh?
You know, it's probably
none of my business...
But Jennings never knew
he was being conned.
Someone must've
tipped us off.
- Who is this?
- Seems one of your mules
dropped 80 grand
on a poker hustle tonight.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa!
- Hey, hey!
One more thing,
if you want
the cash back,
you might want
to talk to a guy named...
Charlie Miller.
He'll be at a bar...
Now.. Please,
let us know if we can
be of some assistance.
You got a cigarette?
$2 million.
I can't believe it.
You let $2 million
slip through your fingers.
You fucked it.
He outplayed me.
Outplayed you?
Look, Charlie I'll make it up to you, okay?
The next time...
There isn't gonna be a next time.
Don't you get it?
It's over.
I wash my hands of you.
So that's it?
That's it.
Come on, baby,
just leave him.
Well, this is familiar.
Yeah, well,
it's over.
Oh, yeah,
it's over, baby.
Wait a minute.
# Stormy weather #
# since me
and that little girl... #
sir, I'm sorry,
there's not supposed
to be any smoking in here.
Hell with it.
Go ahead.
Stupid-ass law anyway.
# Life is bare #
# there's gloom
and misery everywhere #
# stormy weather #
# since me
and that little girl #
# been together... #
good work, kid.
Everything except
for malini.
Oh hell, there's
always complications.
Dealing with it is
what takes skill.
Which reminds me, it was a
good call bringing in scarne.
- Nice work there, John.
- My pleasure.
Thanks for
coming in, John.
This actually does
make up for my leg.
Besides, I never liked
Miller or that broad.
Mean, mean...
So did you get
your answer, kid?
Unfortunately, yes.
Oh, come on, anybody can
take a sucker.
That's what
they're built for.
But to take down a pro... someone
who's wise, your partner...
Now that's
a real score.
There's nothing more satisfying
than taking down your partner,
especially when
they deserve it.
Yeah, that they
definitely did.
So you really out?
Oh, hell yeah.
Gotta go out sometime.
- Might as well be while you're on top, right?
- Right.
What about you? You
goin' back on the road?
Nah, I don't know
what I'm gonna do,
but I'm finished
for a while.
It's too bad though.
Oh, why's that?
We never got to sit
at a table for real.
Yeah, that is a shame.
I always wondered
how it would turn out.
I guess one of us
would have lost.
I guess so.
See you around,
Hey, Vernon...
See ya around,