There are lots of stories surrounding Stuey 'The Kid' Ungar, a man many feel may have been the best poker player to ever play the game. Unfortunately his life was cut short and the poker world lost one of its legends. If he were still alive today, everyone would be talking about him, especially during the most contested World Series of Poker ever, an event he won three times in his short life.
Despite his death, Stuey Ungar and his legend remain in the consciousness of poker fans and players everywhere. It's as though his ghost reminds players of the greatness a person can achieve and the pain that can follow it.
Stuey Ungar's life story was amazing and Hollywood is taking notice yet again. There has been a movie about Ungar's life already, but interest in his story has been re-kindled by the recent release of the book, "One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey 'The Kid' Ungar" and the increasing boom in poker's popularity. WSOP media director Nolan Dalla is one of the authors of the book, and really the man whose undying passion for the subject matter led to the release of the book.
Warner Brothers has acquired the rights to the book about one of poker's most successful and most tragic figures. Big name support is already being thrown behind the project. Graham King, the producer of "The Aviator", will produce the feature adaptation through his Initial Entertainment Group divison. King's group is currently producing the Martin Scorsese directed "The Departed," staring Leo DeCaprio and is currently developing "Shantaram" with superstar Johnny Depp.
King believes that the estimated 50 million United States online players will help this picture find success and give him an amazing opportunity to tell this dramatic tale. According to King, it was Ungar's immensely dysfunctional personality that is the main reason for doing the movie.
"I am always driven to biopics about mad geniuses, and when I read about Stuey, I couldn't help but think about Howard (Hughes). Put Hughes in an editing room or in competition or with a woman and he was the best. Otherwise he was a lunatic. Stuey at the poker table was on his game. Away from the table, he was lost," said King.
Ungar's story is sure to make excellent cinema. He came out of nowhere to beat the best players in the world, winning back-to-back WSOPs in his mid-20s. He made an estimated $30 million playing the game, but his self-destructive personality left him with next to nothing when he died in 1998 from the results of years of drug abuse.
"For those who don't know Stuey's sad story, well let's just say that it's riches-to-rags to somewhere even worse," said King.
Ed Note: WPT host Mike Sexton proudly endorses Party Poker ...Can the Ambassador of Poker be wrong?