Filmmaker Ryan Filpo is venturing yet again into the world of online poker, but this time in a scripted format. The creator of BET RAISE FOLD has recently finished production on the pilot of a new scripted series that follows a group of young online poker players as they try to make it big.
Luckboxes: An Original Series About Hitting It Big is being billed as a poker comedy but from the clips posted online, it appears to be more of a dramedy with both element of drama and comedy mixed.
It features an ensemble cast and if the current clips are any indication of the overall quality of the pilot, we could be seeing a full season of this show in the near future.
@luckboxes_tv is something I'm so proud of, this scripted comedy is hilarious AND dramatic showing what it's like to gamble on a dream.— michael monsour (@monsooncomedy) September 20, 2016
Relative Unknown Cast Anchored by Veteran TV and Film Actor
Not surprisingly, the cast of this program consists primarily of relatively unknown actors and actresses. Taylor Cross plays Ariel, a recent college graduate that is having trouble finding work in his field and is forced to work with his brother Sean, played by Austin Arnold. Both currently work as furniture salesman.
While making a delivery of a massage chair to a mansion, they meet Zoe, played by Samantha Jayne. She is a high-stakes online poker pro known as “durp” and is also the head of an online poker stable.
They see Zoe’s setup, complete with Sushi chef Fujimoto (Steve Huang) and end up convincing her to back them in an upcoming online poker tournament. The brothers desperately need to raise cash to prevent their mother’s home from going into foreclosure.
The members of durp’s stable include Cates/”SirMucksALot” (Jordan Vandina), Larry/”OliveJuice” (Michael Monsour) and Duane/”ninja_beard” (Devin Crossett). They don’t appear to support her choice to back Ariel and Sean in the event.
Later, Zoe reveals to Ariel that she was studying International Finance at Brown University and playing online poker on the side to “blow off steam.” She soon realized she could quit school and become a multi-millionaire by 20.
She tells Ariel that anyone that understands mathematics and has even a small shred of discipline can make it big in online poker. This is clearly setting up Ariel’s character as he graduated with a double major in applied mathematics and mechanical engineering.
Out of the primary characters, Samantha Jayne (Zoe) may be the most recognizable. She has appeared on a couple of nationwide commercials for Credit Karma and Pepsi in the past. She also has a strong resemblance (in my opinion) to former Battlestar Gallactica badass Katee Sackhoof.
Jordan VanDina (SirMucksALock) may not be well known as an actor, but he has some impressive credentials as a Visual Effects Editor. His credits include San Andreas, Godzilla (2014), Into the Storm, The Legend of Hercules and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
The cast is anchored by veteran actress Sydney Walsh who plays Joan Reynolds, Ariel and Sean’s mother. Film credits include Point Break, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, and 3 Men and a Little Lady.
Her TV credits include The Twilight Zone (80’s Version), T.J. Hooker, The Young Riders, Dream On, Melrose Place, Murder She Wrote, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Touched by and Angel, NYPD Blue, CSI:NY, Castle, and The Young and the Restless.
Series Shows Promise
I’ll be the first person to admit that a well-written ensemble comedy or drama will hook me in a minute. Shows like M*A*S*H and Modern Family are fantastic to watch. From the clips that I’ve watched to this point, this series (if produced) has a lot of promise.
The characters that have been introduced thus far are an eclectic mix and each has their own unique personality that gives the series a broad brush with which to paint. While it is tough to judge a show based on a few clips, I do look forward to seeing this pilot in its entirety.
This seems like the perfect show to be picked up by Poker Central for their new Digital Platform. If they don’t pick it up, NetFlix or Hulu would be solid options if it doesn’t somehow end up on a network.
Check Out the Trailer and Clips and Judge for Yourself
Now it is time for you to form your own opinion by checking out the trailer below and heading over to luckboxes.tv to view clips and learn more about the show. While I could continue giving my opinion about the show, the poker community needs to band together and show your support of the show (if it appeals to you.)