Help me turn my short 13 minute documentary "Drawing Dead", into a full length feature!
Poker has been a part of my life since I was "knee high to a grasshopper" (to quote Jeanne Weeks). Some kids bonded with their fathers over a game of catch in the backyard. For me and my dad, it was poker.
When I was as young as 9 years old, I was saving up all the change I could get my hands on in order to play a game of seven card stud with the old man once he got back from work.
The game stayed with me through high school and college. Then in 2003, poker became cool. ESPN introduced the "pocket cam" which turned the game of poker into a spectator sport. Then, when a chubby accountant shocked the world by turning a $40 into over $2.5 million dollars by beating out all the big names in the game, poker became a way of life for the masses. It became another option for twenty somethings who were bored in school, for 30 somethings that hated their jobs, for 40 somethings who wanted to retire early.
This explosion in the popularity of the game created a million different stories to tell. Pro players got endorsement deals and became pop culture celebrities. Television shows showcasing the game sprouted up on what felt like every channel. Membership to online poker sites grew exponentially, and a new wave of amateur poker players were born.
After time, a two clear facts about the game emerged. First, anyone with a credit card and a computer can play. Second, not everyone with a credit card and a computer should play.
My film explores two extreme stories that came out of the internet poker boom. The first story is that of Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt. Dusty hasn't worked a legit 9-to-5 since his early twenties. He turned a close brush with financial ruin after a job he was depending on fell through, into almost a million dollar yearly salary job, via online poker. Now his name is known across the globe as one of the best online poker players around today.
The second story comes from a 24 year old named Michael Korpi Jr. Michael like many others fell in love online poker at a young age, and experience all the highs and lows of the game until finally, his hobby turned into a problem. His problem cost him his lunch money, his tuition money, and finally his collegiate career as he began to fund his gambling addiction using his roommates credit card. His college gave him the boot when they found out about his actions. He faced his demons, went to another college, relapsed, and let his problem get the best of him for a second time. Now he is walking....yes, walking, across the country to clear his mind from gambling, and hopefully share his story with others that struggle with gambling addiction.
Poker is a game of skill not to be confused with fast money games like blackjack, craps, or roulette. A mathematical mind and a ninja like discipline can give you a big advantage at the table. But in a game where everyone can play, but not everyone should, a lot of controversy arises.
The short version of my film introduced you to the two characters I mentioned above. Hopefully the full version will shed light on the true scope of online poker. The prestige, the controversy, and everything in between.
Please help me bring this story to the masses.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $5,000 goal
seconds to go
Jun 7, 2011 - Jul 7, 2011 (30 days)
Pledge $10 or more
A high five and a big bear hug the next time I see you in person.
Pledge $50 or more
A copy of the DVD when the film is finished accompanied by a hand written thank you note that I will force my girlfriend to write to you.
Pledge $100 or more
All of the above, and a signed copy of one of my favorite hip hop groups latest album: Tanya Morgan's "Brooklynati". These are the guys who's dope instrumental tracks made my short film watchable. Thanks Don, Von, and Ilyas! Oh, signed by the group, not me. Although Ill sign it too if you really want me to.
Pledge $250 or more
The hug, the high five, the DVD, the signed copy of Brooklynati, aaaaannnnddd an autographed copy of one of Poker Pro Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt's 2 books: "Treat Your Poker Like A Business" or "Don't Listen to Phil Helmuth: Correcting the 50 Worst Pieces of Poker Advice You've Ever Heard"
Pledge $500 or more
All of the above, as well as a 2 pairs of adidas kicks of your choice (must be available on shopadidas.com at time of donation). And that's not all! For one easy payment of $500 I'll throw in a producer credit in the films final credits. What a resume builder!
Pledge $1,000 or more
What can I say, if you contribute over $1000, you are clearly deserving of all of the above, as well as a super secret mystery prize to be revealed when I reach my goal.