Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi), a19-year-old college dropout, runs a casino out of his Queens apartment.
When his father (Ron Rifkin), a well respected judge, discovers that he has dropped out of school and begun to engage in illegal activities, he expresses his continued disappointment with Seth. Seth is overcome with the need to be accepted by his father, and after being introduced to Greg (Nicky Katt), a successful stockbroker, he uses this as an opportunity to go straight and redeem himself in the process.
Walking into the offices of J.T. Marlin in suburban Long Island, he encounters a world that at first overwhelms him, but eventually wins him over. The individuals who inhabit these "boiler rooms" (basically sweatshops for business types) are young, aggressive, and driven by an animalistic greed for money that borders on the psychopathic.
Seth learns the ropes from the more experienced Greg and Chris (Vin Diesel), and falls under their materialistic influence. It doesn't help that he has an obvious knack for the craft, and pretty soon he's on his way to closing deals of his own.
After he starts dating Abby (Nia Long), the firm's receptionist, he slowly begins to learn that J.T. Marlin isn't the honest firm that he initially thought they were.
By the time he makes the decision to get out of the game, it might already be too late.