Rounders is a 1998 American drama film about the underground world of high-stakes poker, directed by John Dahl and starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton. The story follows two friends who need to win at high-stakes poker to quickly pay off a large debt. The term rounder refers to a person traveling around from city to city seeking high-stakes card games.


New York City law student and gifted poker player Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) dreams of winning the World Series of Poker. At an underground Texas hold 'em game run by Russian mobster Teddy "KGB" (John Malkovich), an overconfident Mike loses his entire $30,000 bankroll in a single hand. Shaken, he promises his girlfriend and fellow student Jo (Gretchen Mol) he has quit poker, and concentrates on law school. His mentor Joey Knish (John Turturro) offers to stake him to rebuild his bankroll but Mike declines, and instead accepts a part-time job to make ends meet.