Jim Bennett (Academy Award-nominee Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and offers his own life as collateral. Always one stepahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring (Alvin Ing) and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother (Academy Award-winner Jessica Lange) in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit,underground world while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennetts future. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance.