I’m not finished with the following scene, but there is a lot to it. It’s been a hard one for me to write. I think this is my fourth rewrite of it already. I play a lot of poker and I know all the subtleties of it and I keep wanting to include that in the script. But that’s a big no-no. The more complex you make a script, the worse it becomes. You don’t want to include what a character is thinking or feeling, but what his actions are. You also don’t want to include what the screenwriter is trying to convey with exposition. You’re not writing a book. You only want to write action that the audience can see and dialogue. Everything else is unnecessary.
Martin is sitting at a poker table with nine other POKER PLAYERS and a
The dealer deals two cards to everyone.
PLAYER #4 throws his cards into the muck.
Make it forty dollars.
Forty dollars to play.
PLAYER #7 gives his cards back to the dealer.
PLAYER #8 is getting a cocktail from the waitress.
Sir, it’s forty dollars to stay in.
Oh, I’m sorry.
He turns to his cards and looks down at them. He pushes his cards into the muck.
We have one caller.
Martin looks down at his cards and see two kings. He calculates before he acts.
I raise. Make it two-forty.
Another raise. It’s now two hundred and forty dollars to stay in.
PLAYER #1 folds.
PLAYER #2 folds.
Player #6 hesitates for several seconds before announcing…
How much is in the pot?
I’m sorry sir, I’m not allowed to count it for you.
Two-forty, two-forty, four-eighty plus fifty-five is five-thirty. Eh, it’s almost three to one. I call.
We have two callers.
The Dealer scoops all the chips into one big pot. He burns a card and turns over three cards on the center of the table.
King, king, ace.
Wow, what a flop.
Again, Player #6 hesitates before he acts.
I bet three hundred and fifty.
He stacks up the chips in front of him and pushes them forward.
That’s an easy fold for me.
He mucks his cards.
Martin plays with his chips as he calculates for several seconds.
Martin counts his chips and pushes them forward.
The Dealer collects all the chips and puts them into the pot. He burns a card and turns one to the center of the table.
Player #6 takes his time before he taps the table indicating a check.
Martin takes his time as well.
I’m going to bet.
Martin starts counting chips.
Player has announced a raise.
Fourteen hundred dollars.
Player has announced a raise of fourteen hundred dollars.
Player #6 looks visibly shaken. He leans back into his chair and crosses his arms. He waits a couple of minutes before announcing…
There’s a quiet murmur from the other players and everyone is leaning forward in their chairs.
Player #6 counts his money and puts them forward.
The Dealer collects them and puts them into the pot.
The Dealer burns a card and turns the river to the center of the table.
There’s another collective moan from the table.
Player #6 hesitates, but it’s shorter than the other times, before he announces…
I’m all in.
Martin stands and quickly shouts…
Player #6 turns over a pocket pair of aces.