A Matchlight/Grifter Co-Production, (C) Matchlight/Grifter, 2012
Star of BBC3's hugely popular The Real Hustle, Alexis Conran is definitely someone you don't want to be playing cards with. An expert poker player and a man thoroughly at home in a casino and on a racecourse, Alexis enjoys the thrill that comes with gambling. But what for Alexis is a pleasurable past-time and part of a lucrative career, ruined his father. Alexis's Greek father was a gambling addict who committed fraud to get money for betting and went to prison for his crimes. He lost his wife and brought his family to the point of ruin. Because of his father's experience and because of a growing realization that his own gambling habits are different from his friends, Alexis has become increasingly interested in exploring the tipping point that turns the odd flutter into something darker and more dangerous. Why can most people place one bet and then walk away; when some men and women are compelled to lose their shirt, their house and their families on a losing streak? The answer is important to Alexis - because it could identify both the differences between him and his father and the worrying similarities. In this documentary for BBC3, Alexis wants to explore what happens when gambling becomes an addiction.