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Bet Raise Fold Hits the Big Screen
First feature length documentary film about the American online poker boom, covering everything from Moneymaker 2003 to Black Friday and beyond.
BET RAISE FOLD: The Story of Online Poker is a feature-length documentary that explores the rise and fall and possible rise again of American online poker - from the boom of the early 2000s through to the ban on online gambling and the Black Friday indictments of 2011, and then back again.
The story focuses around three main characters: Danielle Moon-Andersen, aka "dmoongirl," a young mother from rural Minnesota who used online poker to support her family; Tony Dunst, aka "Bond18", who used to host "The Raw Deal" World Poker Tour segment; and Martin Bradstreet, aka "AlexeiMartov", whose obsession with chess and Starcraft led him into the world of online poker.
BRF covers everything from 2003, when the aptly named amateur Chris Moneymaker shocked everyone to win the $2.5 million World Series of Poker Main Event, a moment that coincided perfectly with the launch of the televised World Poker Tour to spark a new interest in the "American dream" of online poker among millions of hopefuls.
Through the three main characters and interviews with dozens of executives, poker pros, online gaming lawyers and experts, BET RAISE FOLD takes us from that boom period and explores the effects of Black Friday, when the US Department of Justice unsealed indictments against the major American online poker sites and turned poker pros into outlaws.
Like its predecessor All In: The Poker Movie, BET RAISE FOLD began filming before the events of Black Friday changed the face of online poker forever. For that reason, it is worth commending the BRF producers for adjusting the film in the same way that one has to constantly evaluate a tough poker hand.
BRF handles this sensitive topic by showing interviews from both before and after Black Friday, with the aim of giving viewers a feeling for how online poker pros were affected by the DoJ actions. In fact, BRF begins and ends with Black Friday, with all the other material placed in between for context.
This is an online documentary in every sense of the word. It is about online poker, is available online through the BET RAISE FOLD website and was funded primarily through crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It is a valuable resource for the online poker community, although it remains to be see whether the movie will take off in the offline world.