EXCLUSIVE: OBB Pictures has optioned rights to The Smart Money, Michael Konik’s 2006 memoir about about life inside one of the world’s most sought after gambling rings run by the industry’s most feared player. OBB is teaming with 3 Arts Entertainment to fast-track development, with plans to adapt the book into a half-hour dramedy series for a cable or streaming network.
OBB president and CEO Michael D. Ratner, Scott Ratner and Eric D. Cohen will executive produce with 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Jonathan Berry. OBB’s Matthew Hirschhorn and Kfir Goldberg will co-executive produce.
In the book, Konik, a journalist, unfolds his story of landing an interview with one of Las Vegas’ most prolific sports betters, unknowingly becoming a patsy in his gambling ring. Using his real name with a fake backstory, Konik begins working for the ring, wagering hundreds of thousands of dollars on a given day, and as much as $1 million on one event. The fun and excess gives way to a stress-induced world, from the casino’s unrelenting suspicion of who Konik might be working for, surveillance from the industry’s most seedy characters, and paranoia when it becomes clear the powerful gambler will stop at nothing to keep his machine running.
“Michael’s story is a riveting firsthand account of the Vegas experience we all dream of, yet few could actually stomach,” said OBB Pictures’ Michael D. Ratner. “With so many ups and downs, this is truly a thrilling and terrifying account of an unsuspecting man who gets in way too deep in a world where both friend and foe will do anything to keep their business running.”
It’s the latest deal by OBB, which last week inked a co-production agreement with Eli Roth’s Crypt TV to develop and produce horror and thriller series starting with Thing in the Apartment. OBB’s scripted comedy series for go90, The 5th Quarter, launches Season 2 on Thursday. It also just wrapped post on an untitled Kevin Hart series for release at year’s end.
Michael D. Ratner and OBB are repped by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson. Konik is repped by ICM Partners.