The film begins as the young Johnny playing a friendly match of pool with a local hustler named Rex as they chat about the old days where hustlers rule the land or in this case the pool halls, and the pros were nowhere to be found. Johnny expressed his aspirations of becoming a professional someday, and more than that he just wanted to be the best. Fate, however, had different plans for the gifted youngster since his backer/mentor/father figure Joe would not allow Johnny to leave his sights to become a pro because he fears that he would astray from him the moment he sits on the lap of luxury that professional pool can bring. Being a selfish person that Joe is, he entraps Johnny within his clasp and indoctrinated unto him a mentality of inferiority despite his obvious talent. Fifteen years have passed, and Johnny now all grown up, is the most renowned hustler in Southern California. Assimilating Joe's principles of street smart and guile, he was controlled under a string where the potential to make money by insidiously trapping less skilled players to play against him was the priority and not the maximization of his true abilities. After discovering the truth about how Joe secretly concealed tournament invitation letters for a chance to become a pro, Johnny becomes infuriated and he deliberately dogged a shot in order to lose the game, while Joe as his backer, suffers the consequences of a beat down because of his inability to pay for the bet. This was Johnny's revenge, and a chance to start a new life away from pool since he felt it did not do him any good. After only a few weeks, Johnny was missing the game, he immediately accepts a friendly game as he quits his job at the construction site. He discovers that he loves pool so much and that he can never escape it. But it doesn't end yet as Joe returns to exact his revenge at Johnny by getting his brother imprisoned after losing to his new protege who is very skilled. In the final part of the film, an all-out battle of nine-ball pool ensues between Johnny and Joe's protege and the stake is at its highest. Johnny knows that this is the most important game of his life not only because of the money involved enough to bail his brother out of prison but because for the first time in his life, his real ability will be tested.