Rounders: Know When to Stop

First off, you should understand that the word “rounder” Is the name for anyone who travels from one city to another in search of high-stakes card games to play. Moving forward, we hope to help every rounder out there to the understanding of the fact that there is a time to call it quits, while you are at it. We will be making reference to the cult hit 1998 American drama, “Rounders”. The movie journeys through a plot that portrays the likely consequences of a rounder lacking knowledge about when to stop and when to forge ahead. This plot makes the movie a perfect point of contact for this article.

About The Plot

Anyone will stop to wonder what a 1998 American movie can portray about betting in general, let alone the life of a rounder. Well, we must tell you, there are a ton of lessons to collect from this movie. This John Dahl drama follows the escapades of two friends who must win at a high-stakes poker if they must save their lives and settle a huge debt. The movie got to hit the biggest in the early 2000s with the poker boom.

The story is of Mike McDermott, a talented poker player who is also a law student from New York. He relishes a dream of a victory at the World Series of Poker. We wouldn’t expect such a feat to come easily to him, by the way. This whole escapade kicked off when a presumptuous Mike forfeits his whole $30,000 bankroll in a sole hand. This loss happened at an underground Texas hold ‘em game operated by Russian mobster Teddy “KGB”.

As an effect of this loss, Mike vows to his girlfriend Jo, who is likewise a fellow student, to stop playing poker at sites not on Gamstop. He shifts his whole attention towards completing his law school program. His mentor, Joey Knish proposes to restore his bankroll,  but Mike declines, and rather takes up a side job to fend for himself. After many months, Mike holds on to his promises. But, this will all be gone when his boyhood buddy Lester “Worm” Murphy is released from jail.

Note: While Mike is a responsible player, Worm on the other hand is a charlatan and unrepentant phoney.

As assistance to Worm who has to settle a debt, Mike provides him with games across town. In one of these games, he hesitantly sits in. This affected both his relationship with Jo and his studies negatively. To add to the damage, Mike permits Worm to play on his credit at the Chesterfield Club. A worm takes out $10,000 and opens a tab in Mike’s name.

Unfortunately for Worm, he runs into Grama (a ruthless pimp who works for KGB), who he owes $25,000. Grama takes the $10,000 from Worm and frightens him to pay the rest. Mike discovers later on that Worm has further incurred a debt of $6000 in his name at the Chesterfield Club. As this becomes his mess also, he has no other choice than to help Worm out, even though he loses his relationship with Jo.

At a point on this quest, Worm flees leaving Mike to settle the mess on the ground. Frantic, Mike borrowed $10,000 from his law school professor Petrovsky which he used to challenge KGB himself to a No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em game, in order to settle what is left of the debt. It was a winner-take-all stake and KGB accepted.

After the first round, Mike has almost enough to pay off his debt with a $20,000 win. He was willing to leave at this point, despite KGB’s bait to make him play on. He caves in eventually due to a particular dig from KGB. Mike threw in all he had after assessing the situation and came out victorious once more with a win of over $60,000.

He settles all his debts and reimburses his bankroll. He drops out of law school, bids Jo farewell before heading to Vegas for the World Series of Poker.

Stop Gambling At The Right Time To Avoid Problems

Drawing from the plot of “Rounders”, there are a lot of pointers to the need for every person who bets as a rounder to understand when to stop staking and to not repeat The Gambler movie situation. From the movie, Worm never learns when to stop and when to go on. Hence, he ends up losing more than he can control. This leads him into a huge debt that made him flee eventually as he could not pay off the debts.

Mike on the other hand adds a good mastery of the moment to keep going and when to stop his dexterity at the game of poker. This knowledge is the only reason for his eventual conquest and the happy ending he enjoys at the climax of the movie. At different points in the movie, he pulled the brakes on his betting activities to save himself further problems. And, if he had stopped after the first win against KGB, there would have not been enough to clear all his debts and set him right back on track.

So, while we urge you to bet responsibly, we enjoin you to also add to your skills set, that invaluable knowledge of the perfect time to stop.


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