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Seven Arts’ in the cards

Cates takes gamble with 'Deal'

Seven Arts Pictures has optioned the rights to the script “Deal,” written by Gil Cates Jr. and Marc Weinstock, which Cates is attached to direct.

Pic is set against the world of high-stakes poker and follows the story of an ex-gambler who meets up with a hot-shot, card-playing college student and teaches him a few things about the game. Then the aging pro returns to the game he left 30 years ago and must face his protege in the finals of the world series of poker.

Production is slated to begin later this year in Louisiana.

Cates’ directing credits include “$pent”; “The Mesmerist,” based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story; and “A Midsummer Night’s Rave,” which was released by ThinkFilm last year.

Weinstock is the senior VP of marketing at Sony’s TriStar Pictures.

Seven Arts’ “Asylum” will have its world premiere at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival. The company’s other recent films include “Stander,” directed by Bronwen Hughes, and “The Believer,” written and directed by Henry Bean.

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