Last game of the poker tournament in the movie Casino Royale (2006), in which Daniel Craig aka James Bond beats the bad guy Le Chiffre and grabs $115 million. The final hand worked perfectly for him. However, what was his odds of winning on the beginning and during the course of play?
In the movie version of Casino Royale the British secret agent 007, James Bond, takes part of the poker tournament in Monte Negro (however it was filmed in the beautiful city by the name of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic). One of the most popular poker games is played: Texas Hold'em. In the book version Baccarat was played instead. Le Chifre attempts to regain the lost ground after his stock market speculation was spoiled by 007. James Bond must not lose; otherwise the British government would happen to be the biggest sponsor of international terrorism...
The last game is announced with no more buy-ins and a million dollar big blind. There are four players left in the game and all of them received their two pocket cards. In the bracket are the odds to win the game before dealing up to five common cards (flop + turn + river). It shows whose hand is the most promising at this stage of the play. There is also a tiny chance for a tie, 0.14% to be exact.
1st player: (34.51%)
2nd player: (30.87%)
3rd player – Le Chiffre: (22.18%)
4th player – James Bond: (12.30%)
We can see that James Bond's chance to win the game after two initial cards is by far the lowest. The odds will get more interesting for him after the flop—the three common cards that are dealt at the same time). This is just exciting about Texas Hold'em, each new card can change the course of events dramatically. It belongs to the arsenal of a good poker player to estimate their chances and keep betting as far as appropriate (positive expected value). And that is what poker is about.
After the flop James Bond's odds improve nicely to 28.29%, despite the second player now holding three eights is still a hot candidate to win the game from the probability point of view. However, thanks to 8 and 6 of spades James Bond has got an open-ended straight flush draw and it means that both 4 and 9 of spades will secure him an invincible poker hand and thus seal his victory in the tournament. On the other hand the winning chances of Le Chiffre drop at this stage.
1st player: 15.00%
2nd player: 47.68%
3rd player – Le Chiffre: 9.02%
4th player – James Bond: 28.29%
The four of spades appears on the board as the 4th community card (the turn). Now it is clear that James Bond holds an unbeatable poker hand – the straight flush of spades 4-5-6-7-8. The straight flush is the second best ranked poker hand.
Now James Bond knows he can just relax, wait how much money is piled in the pot and then grab it all. Cleverly enough he lets his opponents to "look" at the last community card (the river) and eventually create some nice hand. Not nice enough though. Unfortunately for them they all are lucky to get quite strong poker hands, which make them go all-in.
1st player: (flush)
2nd player: (full house, stronger than flush)
3rd player – Le Chiffre: (stronger full house)
4th player – James Bond: (straight flush, the winning hand)
The last game of Casino Royale, a well-shot movie and Daniel Craig's first appearance as James Bond, proves how dynamic Texas Hold'em poker can be. That is the biggest lesson from the movie. It is interesting that after the deal of two initial cards the odds were descending according to the order of the players. But finally it ended up complete reversed. James Bond who had supposedly the weakest hand on the beginning of the game ended up with the strongest one winning the whole tournament.