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A documentary on the rise and fall of the multibillion dollar online poker industry and its impact on a new generation of poker pros.
A documentary on the rise and fall of the multibillion dollar online poker industry and its impact on a new generation of poker pros.
1,141 backers pledged $49,210 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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BET RAISE FOLD: The Story of Online Poker is a feature documentary that follows a new generation of Internet poker professionals during the meteoric rise and sudden crash of the multibillion dollar online poker industry of the 2000s.

Blu-ray and ADD ONS!

We're now happy to announce that we're adding the ability to add on to your initial pledge in order to obtain a blu-ray or additional product! To add on to your pledge, all you need to do is 1) increase your pledge by the correct amount (see below for prices); 2) send us a private message with how much you added and what extras you would like. We'll also (once the campaign ends) send out a survey asking what add-ons you requested.

ADD ONS:

*You must currently have the item in your tier to get an extra one*

+$10 for each additional digital copy of the film (standard edition) for a friend or loved one.

(For physical pledged tiers only - additional shipping fees may be required)

+$10 for a blu-ray instead of a DVD

+$35 for a blu-ray

+$25 for a DVD

+$20 for a t-shirt

+$15 for a movie poster

+200 for a signed movie poster

+$15 for a mousepad

+$300, $500, or $1k for poker coaching/Skype discussion (depends on tier)

We're willing to work with anyone who may want one of the products. So, just contact us and let us know what it is you would like.

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NOTE ON SPECIAL THANKS IN CREDITS: because of the turnaround time on hosting the final film for 6/30 release, any pledges we receive after 6/22 won't appear in the credits in the initial version of the film put out on 6/30.

However, we plan to re-do the credits after the Kickstarter campaign closes and get a new version up that includes Special Thanks for everyone who pledged (as long as the pledge includes Special Thanks!) during the first week of July. Everyone who purchases/purchased the movie will receive an update when that version is live.

***So, if you want your name in the credits for 6/30, make sure to get your pledge in ASAP (before end of day on 6/22)!***

*****STRETCH GOAL #2*****: $50k! If we hit $50k, all backers unlock:

-Tommy Angelo e-book #1: "A Rubber Band Story and Other Poker Tales" <--free for all backers

-Tommy Angelo e-book #2: "The Elements of Poker" <--free for all backers

-BET RAISE FOLD custom deck of playing cards! Will feature characters from the movie/online poker superstars! <--free for all backers at $35+ level

-theatrical premieres in LA, NY, and AUSTIN for Summer 2013! <--free for all backers

FIRST STRETCH GOAL: $35k! [ACHIEVED] All backers unlocked:

-additional theatrical screening of BET RAISE FOLD in Las Vegas during the WSOP. <--- free for all backers

-BRF digital wallpaper package for mobile/desktop

-early access to the complete BET RAISE FOLD digital soundtrack

-new deleted scene featuring Martin "AlexeiMartov" Bradstreet

NEW REWARDS ARE UP! Poker coaching, signed movie posters, advance screenings, dinner with the cast of 2M2MM and more!

REWARDS PHOTOS!

THE T-SHIRT!

THE MOUSEPAD!

artist's rendering (the mousepad will use this green table design)
artist's rendering (the mousepad will use this green table design)

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WHY DID WE MAKE THIS FILM?

1) POKER PLAYERS ARE MISUNDERSTOOD

One of the major goals of our film is to tear down misconceptions that the general public has about poker and online poker. Our film humanizes professional poker players and reveals the truth about poker culture, poker strategy, the poker community, and the incredible passion so many people have for the game. It is a character-driven documentary that follows three different types of people from different walks of life as they were swept up in the incredible story of the online poker boom. 

2) THE POKER INDUSTRY IS MISUNDERSTOOD

Another important part of our film is the story of the rise and fall of the online poker industry from 2003 to 2013. How and why exactly did it happen? Who were the major players and how did they impact or cause major events? Much of the complexity of this story is overlooked or painted with broad strokes by the mainstream media. Our film was shot from within the eye of the storm; we interviewed experts from within the poker world in order to show the true story of dramatic conflicts like the passing of the UIGEA and Black Friday.

3) TO TELL THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF ONLINE POKER

The story of online poker is a great, universally appealing story. Poker is a part of America's history. It's a game that is in line with the American ideal - that life is a meritocracy and anyone can be successful if they work hard and hone their skills. Poker is a dream factory the same way that sports or art are - there are people everywhere who love the game and want to make a life out of it. 

The online poker story was about a boom period where millions of people around the world dreamed of forging a life out of poker. Then that dream was taken away. This story is about people pursuing true freedom through highs and lows, risk takers chasing their dreams and waking up to a new world after those dreams disappeared. Everyone has dreams, everyone wants to do or be something that they're not. That's part of what's appealing to people about poker. You can start with $50 and build it into an empire. It's everybody's fantasy, and during the online poker boom it became a reality for many normal people who simply followed their hearts to pursue their passion.

4) TO "DO GOOD" FOR POKER

There has never been a feature film made that covers the whole story of online poker. Our team came out of the online poker community: we were fully funded by a group of elite online poker pros, our producers are poker players and filmmakers, and we painstakingly worked to create this movie over the course of 3 years because we felt a deep responsibility to finally do our passion justice.

Frankly, this is a dark time for online poker. In 2011 it was banned from the United States. Two years later and Nevada and New Jersey have legalized, but it's still only slowly creeping back. There's no better time than now to show more people why we love this game, why it was shut down, and why it should be completely regulated around the world. Poker has always existed and it will continue to exist and evolve - that is an undeniable fact, and our film helps prove it with a powerful emotional argument. Let's use it to "do good" for this game!

SO WHAT'S THE STORY?

Originally slated to be a documentary about the evolution of poker and the unique characters surrounding the game, cameras were already rolling as the most infamous day in online poker hit – April 15, 2011. On that day, now known as “Black Friday,” the US Department of Justice unsealed indictments against the major US-facing online poker sites, bringing the multibillion dollar industry to a grinding halt.

The documentary follows three online poker professionals: Danielle Moon-Andersen, a mother pursuing her dream of becoming sponsored by an online poker site to secure a more stable future for her family, Tony Dunst, a young world-traveler dealing with the responsibility of his first real job as the host of the World Poker Tour on television, and Martin Bradstreet, a strategy-obsessed hyper-intelligent grinder playing the highest stakes games among the top one percent of online players.

BET RAISE FOLD gives viewers a backstage pass to the online poker community, lifting the veil on a sub-culture shrouded by screen names and mystery. Completely funded by online poker winnings and created by poker professionals, this film brings you the true story of online poker by the people most capable of telling it – the players. Shot from inside the eye of the storm, BET RAISE FOLD captures how the fallout of "Black Friday" ripped the livelihoods and future plans away from these modern day, mouse-clicking mavericks. The poker table, where our characters had found their version of "the American dream," was caught in the middle of political crossfire.

BET RAISE FOLD is not Rounders. This is real, this happened, this is poker. Overall, this is a coming of age story about the boom that manufactured a dream, and the forces that took it away. It's about risk takers who followed their passions to achieve their dreams, fully aware of the consequences if their decisions did not work out.

It's for the poker player in all of us.

THE CURRENT STATUS AND WHY WE NEED YOU

We’re done filming and editing, and the movie is now coming out of sound editing and mixing. For all intents and purposes, the film is complete.

Inspired by the new movement in independent film distribution pioneered by Indie Game: The Movie, we will be distributing the film for digital release directly from our website (made possible by VHX) on June 30, 2013. After the digital release, we would like to team up with Tugg for a theatrical tour of the film, so that poker fans in all cities across the United States have an opportunity to attend screenings, meet the filmmakers, and share their passion with friends and family in a movie theater setting. We have a private theatrical premiere planned for June 12 in Las Vegas, but we'd like to run more screenings during the World Series of Poker, and following the WSOP Main Event expand to as many other cities as possible.

So far, we’ve done everything ourselves on this project: funding, producing, directing, cinematography, editing, and writing. But now we need your help to take things to the next level (or to borrow a poker saying, “maximize the EV of distribution”).

Your contributions will help us accomplish our ultimate goal of getting the true story of online poker in front of as many people as possible. We will use the funds towards finishing costs and to tap into new methods of distributing independent film, expanding our reach further and further beyond the boundaries of only the poker community. The funds will go towards:

1) Paying final licensing fees for video and music included in the film

2) Paying contractors who helped with the film (motion graphics, sound editors and mixer)

3) Renting a booth at the 2013 World Series of Poker with a mounted TV, to play clips from the film and talk to poker players about it

4) Generating publicity for the movie - (advertising, partnerships, etc.)

5) Costs of theatrical screenings/tour

6) Additional efforts to obtain wider distribution

STAY UPDATED

Join our email list, then follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and here for more updates!

If you like what you see in the trailer and on the website, please consider pre-ordering your copy today. These pre-orders will really help us out.

Please pass on the trailer and tell your friends about this project. We hope to get a lot of people to see this film and learn more about the online poker story. Many thanks!

Jay, Taylor, Ryan 

Risks and challenges

Many of the high costs and risks associated with making a film – production insurance, contingency plans and an experienced production team -- have already been taken care of by the Poker Gods!

For all of us, this is our first time making a feature documentary. We’ve fully embraced the new online marketing and distribution plan for independent films and have consulted with industry experts for professional advice. But like anything else, there are always risks. Since we are first time filmmakers, there may be risks we aren't aware of. These risks could delay the release date or permanently prevent the film from being released. Please understand that before you make a contribution.

This movie is funded by personal investments. This is an independent documentary made by poker players and filmmakers to celebrate the poker boom, the evolution of poker, and the modern poker professional. It was made with nothing but love and respect for the institutions of poker and hope for the future of the game.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A digital copy of BET RAISE FOLD: The Story of Online Poker, and Special Thanks in the credits! (***PLUS a code to access the digital Special Edition when it's ready)

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    A BET RAISE FOLD: The Story of Online Poker T-Shirt, a digital copy of the film and Special Thanks in the credits. (***PLUS a code to access the digital Special Edition when it's ready)

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    A BET RAISE FOLD: The Story of Online Poker DVD, a digital copy of the film, and Special Thanks in credits. (***PLUS a code to access the digital Special Edition when it's ready)

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    A BET RAISE FOLD: The Story of Online Poker T-Shirt, the DVD, a digital copy of the film and Special Thanks in the credits. (***PLUS a code to access the digital Special Edition when it's ready)

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    Ultimate Grinder Package! The official Bet Raise Fold Movie poster, a custom Bet Raise Fold mousepad, the T-shirt, the DVD, a digital copy of the film, and Special Thanks in credits. (***PLUS a code to access the digital Special Edition when it's ready)

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    Attend the worldwide theatrical premiere of BET RAISE FOLD: the Story of Online Poker on June 12th at the Palms movie theater in Las Vegas, + join the producers, cast and crew for pre-movie snacks (travel not included, must be in Las Vegas)

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    The official BET RAISE FOLD: The Story of Online Poker movie poster - signed by the producers, director, cast, and famous online poker pros!

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    One hour of private poker coaching with one of online poker's top coaches (backer will be matched with most suitable coach in this group)! Group includes Dan "DJSensei" Morris, Ariel "FoxwoodsFiend" Schneller, Aaron "aejones" Jones, Andrew "good2cu" Robl, Jay "KRANTZ" Rosenkrantz. Plus everything from the $85 reward level (Ultimate Grinder Package).

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    PHIL GALFOND VOICE GREETING: Fifteen seconds of Phil Galfond (aka OMGClayAiken) providing a custom voice greeting! It can be your full name, your favorite pet, whatever you want! Usually, this is where we have to insert "within good taste". We will send you the MP3 file so you can use it as your outgoing voicemail, to prank call a friend, whatever your heart desires. ***PLUS: You will also get the Ultimate Grinder Package!

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    An hour of Skype discussion with BRF executive producer and poker entrepreneur TAYLOR CABY. Talk poker, the poker industry, entrepreneurship or anything you like!

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    An hour of Skype discussion with BRF producer and poker entrepreneur/filmmaker JAY ROSENKRANTZ. Talk poker, the poker industry, entrepreneurship, filmmaking, storytelling or anything you like!

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    An hour of Skype discussion with BRF director/editor/producer RYAN FIRPO. Talk independent filmmaking, screenwriting, producing, or anything you like!

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    One hour of private poker coaching with one of DeucesCracked.com's top coaches (backer will be matched with most suitable coach in this group)! Group includes Chuck "danzasmack" Danielsson, Aaron "WiltOnTilt" Wilt, Josh "sthief" Plotkin. Plus everything from the $85 reward level (Ultimate Grinder Package).

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    One hour of private poker coaching with one of online poker's elite players (backer will be matched with most suitable coach in this group)! Group includes Dani "Ansky" Stern, Brian "flawless_victory" Roberts, Martin "AlexeiMartov" Bradstreet, Peter "apathy" Jetten, Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo. Plus everything from the $85 reward level (Ultimate Grinder Package).

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    One hour of private Triple Draw or Limit Holdem' coaching with expert coach Chris "DeathDonkey" Vitch! Plus everything from the $85 reward level (Ultimate Grinder Package).

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    A complete set of poker strategy books courtesy of TwoPlusTwo! Set includes ALL TwoPlusTwo titles (nearly 40 books).

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    The BET RAISE FOLD poker boom collectibles package! As seen in the movie poster. It's 5 rare bobbleheads (Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari), a vintage Full Tilt clock, a World Poker Tour clock, and the Bill Frist dartboard. ***PLUS, the Ultimate Grinder package with the movie poster SIGNED by the producers and cast!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    One hour of private poker coaching with one of online poker's superstars (backer will be matched with most suitable coach in this group)! Group includes Ben "Sauce123' Sulsky, Vanessa Selbst, and Brian "Stinger88" Hastings. Plus everything from the $85 reward level (Ultimate Grinder Package).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    One hour of private poker coaching with one of online poker's superstars (backer will be matched with most suitable coach in this group)! Group includes Daniel "Jungleman" Cates, Dan "KingDan" Smith, Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger, Emil "Whitelime" Patel, David "Raptor" Benefield. Plus everything from the $85 reward level (Ultimate Grinder Package).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    One hour of private poker coaching with online poker superstar Brian "Stinger" Hastings! Plus everything from the $85 reward level (Ultimate Grinder Package).

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Dinner in Las Vegas with JAY ROSENKRANTZ and TAYLOR CABY. Talk poker, business, BET RAISE FOLD and more while enjoying some fine LV dining!

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    Dinner in Los Angeles with JAY ROSENKRANTZ and RYAN FIRPO. Talk poker, business, BET RAISE FOLD, movies and more while enjoying some fine LA dining!

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: For your amazing support at this level you will be credited as Associate Producer in the final credits and on IMDB. You will receive invitations to the premiere and regular updates on our progress. You will also be invited to join us on stage during the screening of the film. Plus we'll design you a *CUSTOM AVATAR*! And you'll get the Ultimate Grinder package for #rungood!

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Dinner for you and three friends in Las Vegas with JAY ROSENKRANTZ and the cast of 2 MONTHS $2 MILLION! Pick the brains of the four friends and "former high school math whizzes" who starred on the cult classic poker TV show!

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: For your generous donation you will be credited as Executive Producer in the final credits and on IMDB. You will receive invitations to the premiere and regular updates on our progress. You will also be invited to join us on stage during the screening of the film. Plus we'll design you a *CUSTOM AVATAR*! And you'll get the Ultimate Grinder Package for #rungood!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    The MiCROS poker party! Creators JAY ROSENKRANTZ and JOHN WRAY will throw a MiCROS themed viewing party for you and ~10 friends in Los Angeles, CA. Meet the creators, learn about the future of the show, watch all the episodes and celebrate the "South Park" of poker!

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    POKER GOD! You'll be named a POKER GOD in the end credits of the film (and an Executive Producer), be recognized as an Executive Producer on IMDB, and we will be eternally grateful! You'll receive invitations to the premiere and regular updates on our progress. Your contribution will allow us to make great leaps forward in distributing the movie. Plus we'll design you a *CUSTOM AVATAR*! And you'll get the Ultimate Grinder package for #rungood!

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Funding period

- (29 days)