Awkwafina to Play Casino Gambler in The Baccarat Machine

Awkwafina in the Baccarat Machine

Awkwafina, the Golden Globe-winning actress and comedian, has accepted the role in The Baccarat Machine, a movie that is still under a working title. The movie company behind Crazy Rich Asians, SK Global, is also involved with this new film. It is inspired by the female gambler Cheung Yu “Kelly” Sun, and her partnership with Phil Ivey, the epic poker player.

News Highlights

  • Awkwafina (Nora Lum) to star in The Baccarat Machine
  • The movie will tell the story of Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun.
  • Crazy Rich Asian producers will finance and produce the movie.

The Story of Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun Depicted by Awkwafina

The comedian Nora Lum, known with her stage name Awkwafina, has agreed to bring the story of Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun to the big screens.

The actress will go all-in in the movie The Baccarat Machine, which is a working title. She will portray the life of the female gambler who wanted to beat the machine.

A Rising Star


Awkwafina currently stars in Comedy Central’sAwkwafina Is Nora from Queens, which has been renewed for a second season.

You’ve probably also seen her recently in Jumanji: The Next Level or The Farewell. The latter earned her this year’s Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

The Film’s Storyline

The idea for the movie comes from an article written by Vegas insider, Michael Kaplanpublished in Cigar Aficionado.

Movie Script

strategy to play 2 to 1 baccarat

The story follows the young Chinese woman whose painstakingly-gained talent and huge obsession for beating the system got her to partner with Phil Ivey, the international “King of Poker.”

The two planned to take on the system from the inside, using pure daring and deception, which resulted in one of the most ingenious legal gambling runs ever recorded.

They allegedly used a technique called “edge sorting,” playing real money baccarat, essentially cheating. With this technique, they cut the edges of the cards unevenly by only fractions of an inch. They managed to win $20 million playing at the UK casino, Crockford’s, and the New Jersey casino, Borgata.

Film Production

It is still unknown who will play Ivey in the movie, but the info on the additional cast is expected to be published shortly. Sharp Independent Pictures’ Jeffrey Sharp will produce the film, and Andy Bellin will write the script. Producers are in talks with potential directors currently.

SK Global will Finance the Film

SK Global Entertainment

John Penotti, the co-CEO at SK Global, said that they couldn’t have thought of a better way to start the project than by announcing that Awkwafina –their friend– would play Kelly Sun.

Penotti added that the actress was the perfect person for bringing Kelly to life on the big screen and that she would boost the role with her genuine humanity and humor. 

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About the Author
Shelly Schiff

Shelly Schiff - Collaborator

Especially enjoys writing about casino and bingo, but she also has experience creating content about crypto and partnerships.