No Limit: A Search for the American Dream on the Poker Tournament Trail, is an American documentary film that follows the life of Susan Genard and her family, as she enters various poker tournament held across Omaha.
The film takes a first hand look into the lives of those who make a living in professional gambling and the sport of poker, while providing insight into Genard’s production company, and their aim to save it by documenting and winning the tournaments.
Directed by Brian O’Hare and Timothy Rhys, and with Mark Peterson on cinematography, this film had a creative edge on filming, as well as a budget of 450 000 US dollars.
There is an extensively long list of professional poker players that are featured in No Limit, with more than 40 interviews of the world’s best players weaved into the documentary.
Some of the interviewed subjects include professional players such as Barry Greenstein, Dave Ulliot and Tom McEvoy as well as CEO of Mirage Resorts in Las Vegas, Bobby Baldwin.
No Limit Overview
No Limit follows producer Susan Genard in her very own quest for the American Dream. The documentary follow Susan, along with her husband Tim, and 4 year old son as they travel across the country of Omaha and play in 7-card Stud, high-stake poker tournaments.
The couple owns an independant film company that has seen better financial days, and plans to take the entire family on a journey into the world of gambling, in order to win money, later release a documentary providing insight, and of course, save their company.
Susan and Tim seem to disagree on a regular occasion, with Susan appearing to be a confident, high energy gambler who doesn’t always take some needed advice, and Tim appearing to be her sensible conscience, who doesn’t always take the risks needed to win.
Audiences are guided through the highs and lows of their journey, with an interesting look into the lives of those that surround the couple in the poker tournament circuit, and their thoughts on the relation between poker and the American Dream. They go on to mention the benefits of taking risks as well as the depth to which a player needs to understand the psychology of others. All players appear passionate about the lifestyle they live, evidently seen in them still following strict poker rules and conventions, providing an extremely colourful and cultural aspect to this particular film.
Susan battles the expected lows of gambling and the audience is treated to true insight into the strains this lifestyle can take on a family, as No Limit explores themes such as greed, talent and priority.
Release and Reception
The premiere screening for No Limit was held at The Palms Hotel and Casino on the 27th of July, before it toured the film festival circuit (both in the year 2006).
The documentary was well-received and was said to be a completely relatable film for those involved in the world of both poker and gambling.
A-List Magazine stated that No Limit is a “complete slice of poker heaven”, while the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) rated the film a 6.8 out of 10 stars.