The Last Casino

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The Last Casino
The Last Casino poster.jpg
Directed by Pierre Gill
Produced by Greg Dummett
Lorraine Richard
Madeleine Henri
Written by Steven Westren
Starring Charles Martin Smith
Katharine Isabelle
Kris Lemche
Julian Richings
Albert Chung
Music by Martin Roy
Edited by Sylvain Lebel
Distributed by The Movie Network
Running time
92 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
French

The Last Casino is a 2004 Canadian film on the subject of card counting. This film is also in French, titled La Mise Finale. [1] The film was produced by Greg Dummett, Lorraine Richard and Madeleine Henri, directed by Pierre Gill and written by Steven Westren. The Last Casino stars Charles Martin Smith as Barnes, Katharine Isabelle as Elyse, Kris Lemche as Scott, Julian Richings as Orr and Albert Chung as George. [2]

The Last Casino draws heavily from the story of the MIT Blackjack Team. [3] The MIT Blackjack Team was a group of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology who were trained by Bill Kaplan.[4] Kaplan delayed his entrance to Harvard University because he believed he could create a mathematics model that would assist him in being successful at blackjack. [4] In 1977, Kaplan turned $1000 into $35000 within a nine month period.[4]

Summary[edit]

Mathematics Professor, Doug Barnes, play the game of blackjack at casinos using a tactic known as card counting to move the odds in his favour. Wilson, a casino security manager, captures Barnes' face, and effectively blacklists him from the casino. Barnes' usurer, Orr, meets with Barnes to discuss how he will get his money back after Barnes is banned from the casino. Barnes suggests the idea of creating a team of card counters from the students at the university where Barnes teaches. Orr snips off one of Barnes' fingertips explaining that this will assist Barnes in remembering him, and tells him that he will consider his team proposal.[5]

After searching around the university, Barnes recruits three students: George, who has memorized pi 70 units past the decimal; Scott, who aces a complex memorization test; and Elyse, a waitress who successfully memorizes a complicated order Barnes makes for a pizza in a short period of time. After convincing them that his plan has little risk, Barnes proceeds to teach the students to count cards. Barnes brings the students to Orr, and tells them that he is their investor. Orr agrees to give money and tells Barnes that they are partners and he will get 75% of Barnes' 50% share. [5]

Prior to the group going to their first casino, Barnes gives them different identities. At the first casino, George becomes overwhelmed by the game and Elyse jumps in to help. After their first night, they make $6,000. The film goes into a montage of the students at the casino and outside of the casino, earning and spending their money on luxurious items. One night at the casino, Elyse is approached by a man who claims he chases gamblers. Elyse asks him if he noticed any pros at the casino that night and he points out Scott, saying that it is obvious that he is a card counter.[5]

After an off night at the casino, Orr tells Barnes that the deal is off because the kids are struggling and Barnes' gambling is out of hand. He gives Barnes one week to pay back his $100,000 debt. Barnes meets with the students and tells them that they have one week to earn $500,000. Barnes tells them that Orr is not a man they want to mess with; and the students start to make a plan to play at all the casinos in the Ottawa and Quebec area.[5]

The casino discovers their team and attempts to get them all in a room to talk. The casino questions Scott and George. The students then move onto the Ottawa region, hoping that the casinos have not heard about them. After their night in Ottawa, Elyse discovers that Scott lost $20,000. George goes back to the casino in attempt to make the team money. After hours at the casino, George was taken by the casino management where he gets in a fight because he did not want to give up the money he made. [5]

The team buys their way into a secret game, where they discover that their card counting will not work. The team bets big and in the beginning loses their money. After a big win, Elyse suggest they take a break. Elyse tells the secret casino manager that the deck is short four cards and asks for them to be counted. The team packs up and decides to bring the money they have to Barnes. When they hand over the money to Barnes, they arranged for Orr to meet as well, to ensure Barnes does not steal the money. The movie concludes with them finding out that Barnes lied about the amount owed. George gives Elyse money to help her with school and they part ways.[5]

Cast[edit]

Critical Responses[edit]

A user known as "The Editor" on Hollywood North Magazine said that the film is engaging and can appeal to a variety of viewers. [6] Many users on IMDb ranked the film a 10/10, commenting that it was "exceptional" and how "Canada is catch[ing] up". [2] A couple users on IMDb had opposing reviews on The Last Casino, commenting that the film was "total nonsense" because the plot was not realistic. [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Canadian Feature Film Database. (2015). "The Last Casino", Retrieved on April 2, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Last Casino on IMDb
  3. ^ The MIT Blackjack Team. (2018). "The Last Casino", Retrieved on April 2, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Ball, Janet. (2014). "How a team of students beat the casinos", Retrieved on April 2, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gill, Pierre. (2016) "The Last Casino (Master)", Retrieved on April 2, 2018.
  6. ^ The Editor. (2018). "Review of The Last Casino", Retrieved on April 4, 2018.

External links[edit]