Kid Poker (2015) [Review]


I don’t care much for poker, only because I’m not very good at it, but there is something quite fascinating about individuals that appear to buck the trend. If you want a documentary on something like that, then this is not the place to start.

This is a heavily sponsored 90 minute documentary on Daniel Negreanu, a man who if you don’t watch poker, will have little idea who he is other that perhaps seeing one of his outspoken tweets appearing on Buzzfeed or some other aggregation website. This feels like a rebranding exercise, we learn about his upbringing and then the money, which then evolves into many clips of him getting mouthy at the poker table and winding people up, but ultimately winning everything most of the time.

He’s like that annoying person on the train or bus who wants everyone to hear what they have to say, but you’d rather just sit in quiet and get on with what you need to do. He clearly wants to shift that perception of him, because as the story progresses you have every single person under the sun praising him for being a great person, and him looking remorseful for how he behaved as an outspoken, young, rich kid.

It’s not all that good, even if you were interested in poker I can’t imagine it being any more intriguing, because the actual poker element is marginalised in favour of a character assessment. It’s just a surface level review of a guy who earned a lot at a young age, said a few things he wished he didn’t, only to grow up and realise he can still be good at poker without being annoying to people, and is now one of the best ambassadors for the game. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe a bit more about the poker game itself, similar to the way King of Kong did with Donkey Kong , but it told me very little about the game – just how good he is.

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