When thinking about the greatest poker themed movies of all-time, movies like Rounders and The Cincinnati Kid come to mind. However, the reality of movies like those is that they by and large look at either the world of professional poker or even the world of underground poker. Those are worlds that many poker players will never be a part of. A movie that came out in 2010 took a different approach and looked at poker at the way that most of us experience it, the amateur level. That movie is Hitting the Nuts.
Hitting the Nuts is a movie about a poker championship in Scott County, Indiana. While it is the “big time” for the little community that it is held in, it is the truest form of poker and that is amateur poker.
The first half of the film sets up the characters that will be followed in the film, including Ezekiel Yoder. Yoder is a Amish farmer who is about to lose everything because his cows have turned gay. He discovered poker while looking for a get rich quick scheme for his family and thinks he can use it to save his farm.
Other characters in the film include a middle-aged flirtatious waitress, a know-it-all two-time local poker champion, a gambler turned preacher, and a crazy cat lady. These characters and others all come together to take their shot at winning it all and along the way learn a lot about themselves and life.
The film was shot in a mockumentary style which means that there were no set scripts, and the actors improved a good bit of the film. It received mostly positive reviews from the poker community despite the fact that it was an over-the-top parody. The main reason it was so well received was because the film accurately portrayed the game of poker as many of us will see it.
Most of us will never play with the Daniel Negreanu’s and the Phil Hellmuth’s of the world. However, we will sit across the table from the crazy cat lady and some random guy who won some small-time tournament and thinks he is God’s gift to poker. Hitting the Nuts doesn’t try to become the next poker epic. What it does is takes a look at a game that many of us enjoy and show us what the reality is for many of us, minus the homosexual cows.