Charlie Waters (Gould) is an obnoxious, talkative compulsive gambler. He makes friends with magazine writer Bill Denny (Segal). Bill likes to gamble too, only a bit at first, but soon he joins his pal on the same downward spiral. Eventually, he ends up in debt to his bookie.
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The two men pool all their money so Bill can play in a high stakes poker game in Reno. (One of the other players is real-life poker player Amarillo Slim.) Bill goes on an incredible winning streak. He can't lose, no matter what game he plays - blackjack, roulette and finally craps. However, his luck always changes each time Charlie comes around to see how he's doing. Superstitious, he refuses to give Charlie any of the money and chases him away. Charlie is in agony; he doesn't want to do anything to end the streak, but he also craves desperately to gamble himself. Finally, Bill quits. After they split up $82,000, Bill tells Charlie that he no longer feels the urge to gamble, and they go their separate ways.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's a gritty, unglamorous look at gambling addiction.
Best scene in story:
You can really feel for Charlie as he incessantly talks out his need to gamble at the Reno casino gaming tables (annoying everyone within earshot).
Opinion about the main character:
Segal does a good job playing Bill as a weak everyman.