I got the opportunity to ask Jason Rosenkrantz (known as Krantz online), some questions about poker and life. If you aren’t familiar with Jason, he’s one of the founders of Deuces Cracked, the popular online poker training site, and also the creator of the online poker documentary, BET, RAISE, FOLD, along with several other on screen projects. He’s a very easy going guy, and a great poker player as well. Here’s what we got to ask him:
Q: As a Boston University graduate, with a degree in screenwriting, at what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a screenwriter, and why?
Jason Rosenkrantz: The itch probably started after seeing Star Wars on VHS for the first time, then became a full blown obsession around the time of Rounders (which neatly coincided with the first appearance of my poker itch!) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Movies and television were an escape to new worlds of thinking. They inspired me and formed a lot of my ideas about what was possible for myself. Curiosity for how these experiences were created kept pushing me forward.
Q: You’ve been involved in several on and off screen projects, like G4’s “2 month, 2 million”, The micros, and your recent documentary on the poker boom, BET, RAISE, FOLD. What project are you proudest of so far, and why?
Jason: I’m proud of all of them. 2 Months $2 Million captured a wild time in my life that no longer exists, and did so with a style that’s irresistible fun to revisit. It never fails to make me laugh, and the bonds my friends and I forged making that show together seem almost timeless. The Micros represented a huge leap in my creative development. I learned so much from John Wray and Marc Brody about making creative content, and we laughed our asses off the entire time. We were all so happy to be making something fun for the poker community that the poker community embraced so wholeheartedly. BET RAISE FOLD challenged me in ways only the marathon of making a feature film could. At times it seems astounding that we were able to complete a film, let alone a film that people seem to feel accurately captures the history and spirit of the online poker boom. I’m immensely proud of everyone who contributed to its making, in small ways and big, and how our team poured our hearts and souls into settling for nothing less than the best we could possibly do.
Q: If you had an ideal setup to create any TV or movie if your dreams, what would you like to create?
Jason: That’s a seriously tough question. I’d love to make a movie or TV show for the new Star Wars universe. I’d love to make something with the spirit of a Hayao Miyazaki or Wes Anderson film. I’d love to make a TV show that feels like Neon Genesis Evangelion or Fullmetal Alchemist or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Recently I’ve had dreams of adapting some of Lois McMaster Bujold’s sci fi/fantasy work. There’s also a not-insignificant part of me that wants to make a kung-fu comedy or breath fresh air into the romantic comedy movie genre. But really, I just want to make things that pump people up and make them laugh and cheer and feel good. So something awesome that does that!
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re working on that you can share with us?
Jason: I’m in development on a few different projects, mainly films and fiction, though I’m growing interested in the work Oculus VR is doing in virtual reality. jayrosenkrantz.com is where people will be able to find the latest news, or on Twitter. For 2015, I’ve got a steampunk novella on the way that I think could hit the sweet spot for both gamblers and adventure fiction fans.
Q: You’ve stated you’re a former online poker pro, what primarily lead to your exit of the online poker world?
Jason: Black Friday, no question. If Black Friday didn’t happen, I think The Micros would have grown into something much larger than the handful of episodes we made, and I think I would have kept playing poker alongside it. But after Black Friday, I couldn’t see a near future for myself that included online poker in a central role. I decided that to keep growing, I needed to find a new way forward.
Q: Are you still doing any poker coaching, and who are your ideal clients?
Jason: Yes, but in limited capacities. I can usually only manage one student at a time. My coaching is process oriented, meaning its dedicated to improving your process for playing and thinking about poker, and teaching you how to build the skills you need in order to continually grow your game over the course of a poker career. Ideal clients are live poker players and small stakes online players.
Q: Do you have any personal poker goals that you’d like to achieve that you haven’t yet?
Jason: Winning the Main Event, of course! I’d also like to play in a game where they use those James Bond plates for betting, those are so cool and I’m so jealous of anyone who posts photos in front of a stack of them.
Q: What do you think about the current state of online poker?
Jason: Not good, but not hopeless. I think more people invested in online poker’s future need to think much longer range. There has to be a vision of what a healthy online poker economy looks like in ten-twenty years, and that goes hand in hand with what new technology is going to do to disrupt the game again. Without that vision, the political and corporate forces moving into the game will transform it according to their desires, which are in conflict with the reasons people like to play poker in the first place. I look forward to a day where I can play online poker freely again, as its meant to be played: for the financial and spiritual fun and profit of the player. And for some good lols!
We appreciate Jason’s time. I’d highly recommend checking out his BET, RAISE, FOLD documentary on online poker. You can check out his website HERE. Also his animated series “The Micros” is great, along with all of his work. Check it out!
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