- Crowning Moment of Awesome: "You're right, Teddy, that ace didn't help me. I flopped the nut straight."note
Chen: Did you have it?Mike: I'm sorry John, I don't remember.
- Mike has another one even before the start of the movie; he tells Knish about how months earlier, he wound up playing against Johnny Chen, recognized as one of the best players ever. With only $6,000 in chips and folding almost every hand, Mike finally played aggressive on one hand and eventually bluffed Chen into folding, then walked away after that. "I sat with the best in the world. And I won." Knish can't help but be impressed.
- Fanon: It's never shown what Teddy KGB was holding in the final hand of the film. However, among fans of the film it's generally agreed upon that he was holding pocket Aces, as evidenced by:
- He beats Mike at the beginning of the film with the same hand (the Ace of Hearts and the Ace of Diamonds)
- His remark when the river card is the Ace of Spades ("That Ace could not have helped you.")
- He taunts Mike when the Ace shows up on the river ("It hurts, doesn't it?"), likely believing himself to have the best hand with a set of Aces versus a probable busted draw from Mike.
- His decision to go all-in on the river.
- His breakdown when he loses the hand.
- Earlier in the film he slow-played his pocket Aces, when his Aces full beat Mike's nines full. Teddy was likely trying to slow play his pocket Aces again.
- The DVD features a commentary track from four real-life pro poker players. They also believe that Teddy was holding pocket aces.
- Fan-Preferred Couple: A lot of people who have seen this movie don't understand why Mike rejected Petra's advances, due to the fact that she seems to be a much better match for him than Jo was.
- Ho Yay: Mike seems far more concerned with Worm than any of the beautiful women vying for his attentions at any time. See Fan-Preferred Couple for a demonstration.
- Heartwarming Moments: Despite being totally flabbergasted at the amount that Mike is in debt for, Petrovsky still cuts Mike a check for $10,000; the reason he gives is that he is essentially paying forward a service that was done for him when he was younger. Mike, ashamed that he has to go to his professor in the first place, looks like he's about to break down and weep.
- Narm Charm: John Malkovich's over-the-top portrayal of Teddy KGB is widely considered to be one of the most entertaining things about the movie.
Pay heem. Pay that man heez mun-eyyy.
- Retroactive Recognition: The film was released before major poker players became television personalities, so the cameos and named references will nowadays be already familiar to many viewers.
- What an Idiot: It looks like Mike is going to get hit by this trope during the game against Teddy KGB at the climax; he had won enough to pay off Worm's debt and still have half of what he needed to pay back to Petrovsky left over, only to have the poker game he lost at the beginning of the film rubbed in his face, making him opt to continue playing, and wind up one hand away from losing everything again. Then he spots KGB's tell...