Dead Man's Hand

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Dead Man's Hand

A high-stakes poker game at a party in the Hollywood Hills. MARCUS, the host, dominates, talks trash, picks on Toby, a pale, weak, sickly, player -- Marcus claims he had an affair with ALEX, Toby's wife, and that he's their child's real father. On the last hand of the night it gets to him and Toby impetuously bets his HOUSE. Then Toby falls to the floor. They try to revive him, but Toby dies. He had a weak heart and was on the transplant list. Everyone wants to call the cops, but Marcus insists they ditch Toby's body in his car -- there are hookers and drugs at the party. Alex, Toby's wife shows up, Marcus tells her she's lost her home as well as her husband... when he won't listen to her begging, she makes a desperate move: if the house is community property, then the cards Toby was playing are too -- she inherits them and sits down to play out the rest of The Dead Man's Hand...

Fighting for her home and her child, Alex pulls on all resources. In the next round, "the flop", Marcus bets more than she can afford, but she remembers Toby's million-dollar life insurance policy and calls. Before the next round, THE POLICE arrive -- they've found Toby's body and want to question those at the party. All the poker players keep their cool and deny knowing him, following Marcus's lead... but are shocked when Alex follows suit. The cops leave, suspicious... and on the next card, Marcus bets HIS house... and Alex has nothing left. Or does she? Alex knows of Marcus's interest in her... offers to give her body and soul to him if he wins. The bet's called and another card turns. Marcus checks... but Alex has a secret to reveal: Marcus IS the father of her child. If he wins, he can have the family and house he's always wanted, that's her bet. Will he dare?

Marcus plays out the night...she bet a million dollars...her ass...her child. He stares at Alex, but can't read her... maybe she wants him to win, maybe she's got a hand that will cost him everything. Alex has the perfect poker face... he realizes she could have gotten all her money and her house back when the cops were there... but she didn't. Did she think she could win more? He dives across the table and kisses her... nothing. He realizes... if she does want him, he's already won.. if she doesn't, even to possess her body will be never to really have her. He folds.

Alex rakes in the pot, millions. Marcus protests... still can't tell what she wanted. He demands to see his daughter, even if he can't have her... Alex laughs. It's not his daughter... in fact, they never even slept together, Marcus was too drunk. It was all a bluff. In fact... she turns her cards over to reveal the worst hand in poker... it was all a bluff. She leaves... the police pull up... but wink and pull off into the night. The other poker players stop by and congratulate her. Toby leans up from the back seat... IT WAS ALL A BLUFF.

They drive off into the sunrise together, millionaires.

Dead Man's Hand

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