When unemployed dockworker Joey Coyle finds $1.2 million that fell off of an armored car, he decides to do the logical thing: take the money and run. After all, he says, finders keepers. He turns to his ex-girlfriend Monica, who works in an investment firm, for advice, before turning to the mob for help laundering the money. While Joey makes plans to leave the country, however, a detective is following his ever-warmer trail in order to recover the cash.
Former pool hustler “Fast Eddie” Felson decides he wants to return to the game by taking a pupil. He meets talented but green Vincent Lauria and proposes a partnership. As they tour pool halls, Eddie teaches Vincent the tricks of scamming, but he eventually grows frustrated with Vincent’s showboat antics, leading to an argument and a falling-out. Eddie takes up playing again and soon crosses paths with Vincent as an opponent.
Tommy has lost his job, his love and his life. He lives in a small apartment above the Trees Lounge, a bar which he frequents along with a few other regulars without lives. He gets a job driving an ice cream truck and ends up getting involved with the seventeen-year-old niece of his ex-girlfriend. This gets him into serious trouble with her father.