Netflix's “Win It All” Is Not Your Typical Poker Movie

Netflix’s new original movie “Win It All” seems to be about the usual story of a man who has been caught in a downward spiral because of certain events that made him resort to take desperate actions, but a closer look will reveal that this film offers a lot more depth and meaning. The movie centers around Eddie Garrett (played by Jake Johnson), a thirty something guy from Chicago who works as a parking attendant at Wrigley Field and loves to go to Chinatown to play underground poker come nightfall.

Despite Eddie being broke that he cannot even buy a cup of coffee, he makes sure he is able to keep playing poker. And while for most, Eddie seems to be an irresponsible adult who never assumes responsibility, it is admirable to see how he is very determined to win big in high stakes poker game someday and finds ways to be able to play the game on a regular basis.

Generally, playing poker is not a bad thing, and it's become increasingly more popular in the past few decades. In fact, there are a lot of online poker sites which offer a safe, fun, and secure gaming environment for players in addition to a number of different variants, including speed poker and classics like Omaha and Texas Hold'em. At 888poker alone, there are 10 million registered members, and their EGR Award as Socially Responsible Operator of the Year show that online poker operators take this game seriously and aim to provide a positive online gaming experience for players.

It is a bit surprising that this movie only focused on live poker and did not have any references to the online version of the game, given that players of online poker can also win big. In fact, online poker started to gain popularity and attracted more players when Chris Moneymaker became the first person to win the World Series of Poker after qualifying online back in 2003.

And just when it seemed impossible for Eddie’s life to get any more complicated, his friend Michael (played by Jose A. Garcia), who is was sentenced to six to nine months in jail, asked him to keep a duffel bag for him. In exchange, Michael would pay him a lucrative amount which Eddie will receive once Michael’s sentence ends. He agreed to take the deal.

Once he got the bag, he took a peek and found that there were rolls and bundles of cash inside. Eddie decided to borrow some of the money inside the bag to finance another poker game. He got lucky, but then ended up losing more money than he initially planned to borrow. Eventually, Eddie lost a lot of the cash that Michael entrusted him and needed to find a way to get it back.

Desperate, Eddie runs to his brother, Ron (played by Brooklyn Nine Nine's Joe Lo Truglio), who manages their family-owned landscaping business. Ron has always wanted Eddie to become his partner, but he never had the interest until now when he has no other choice. Ron and his wife, Kris, has always welcomed Eddie in their home as he is such a loving uncle to their young son, Jude.

Eventually, Eddie meets a woman, Eva (played by Aislinn Derbez) in a neighborhood bar. Eva is a nurse by profession. At the bar, Eddie literally bumps into her and makes his way into her acquaintance. Their relationship started to develop steadily, but then Eddie realizes that he would need to leave town immediately and for good.

What makes this movie something worth watching is, it is not just about someone who was hooked to gambling. It is not even just about winning or losing in the game of poker. Netflix’s “Win It All” is also about love, particularly the love of a couple. There is conflict and drama that stems from violence that looms from beginning to end. Michael was not just Eddie’s friend, his presence in this story gives so much tension and fear as a result of his entrusting his bag full of money to Eddie. It is also a story about secrets and lies, of keeping quiet, of deception. [Trailer via Facebook]