The Hustler – The Fall and The Redemption of a Gambler

Long gone are the days of the prohibition. Not only that of the alcohol, and up to some extent, the drugs and other things that for centuries have been look down and has only been the disgrace of many.

Now in days, the industry of gambling and casinos have found a way in our society and we no longer have to pack our bags and fly all the way to Las Vegas to find some of the fortune or just pure fun waiting for us thanks to online casinos like NetEnt and many others. Every day we get to hear and learn more about different countries around the world, from most of the US (where even a few ethnical groups find their riches and feed their family thanks to the casinos) to even remote places on the other side of the world as New Zealand.

This popularity has found its way also into the big and small screen. All the way to the popular show starring James Caan titled Las Vegas to film like Ocean’s Eleven, 21 and The Cooler. All of these series and feature film each bring their own approach and take on the whole concept of gambling.

And sure, while there’s many fun to be had and thank god the house never gets to win, people get to have a nice time and win some good cash. Card games in a way also helps chopping some skills that will be useful for the future.

Not Everything Is Shining

Sadly, we are all humans. And there’s also a negative undertone that comes with this. Some are repairable, while some fall into a sickness like Mr. Franklin Gibbs on that Twilight Zone episode called “The Fever.”

So how does one actually gets to manage to leave this and become a better person? Thinking about this, I immediately thought about the classic movie starring the great Paul Newman by the name of The Hustler about a man that becomes obsess about winning at all cause, no matter what.

And by no matter what I mean so, as the big game between him and Jackie Gleason’s Minnesota Fats derails into an insane game of more than continuous 24 hours. Bear in mind, at the beginning he was looking for only 10k and by the end he got 18k, just to lose it all in a game.

Resultado de imagen para THE HUSTLER

The Turning Point

Midway through the film, this somewhat rich man that walks the thin line between eccentric and a mob, wonderfully played by the also awesome George C Scott gives the advice that will serve as a turning point for “Fast” Eddie Felson: “You gotta have a character.” I’m paraphrasing there, but that’s in a nutshell what he meant.

Sadly, Felson it’s a hothead and you know those don’t get to learn things the easier way. In order to archive this he must lost one more time, the biggest loss of his life. Now, I don’t want to get into more details because if you haven’t seen the film you must; but for those who have seen the movie know how it all ends.

On any of the many moral tales, this is where everything would have ended. Perhaps there would’ve been a big sign that says “Gambling will ruin your life.” But if you look at the story again you will realize the addiction comes from something much deeper and complex.

The Character

Many people walk into casinos and do some gambling, sometimes they lose, sometimes they win, but in the end they all walk happy ever after.

And while there’s truth some casinos use some trickery to make people stay longer and in some way rip them off their money, here’s where the “character” comes in. The morale of the story is that you should learn when to say “stop.”

In the end, there are some priorities in your life and by the end, as the market for casinos keep growing and growing, they will not be going anywhere. So you may come back later, just remember to have some fun.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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