Molly Bloom’s Riveting Story
|Release Date||September 8, 2017|
|Running Time||141 Minutes|
|Directed by||Aaron Sorkin|
|Box office||$59.3 Million|
|Genre:||Biographical Crime Drama|
Molly Bloom’s story is one that is filled with drama. A former member of the US ski team, her sporting ambitions were halted when she took a nasty fall during a qualifying run for the Olympics. Molly moved to LA in 2003 where she got a job as an office assistant. It was there that she started to help organise private poker games. She went on to host some of the most exclusive poker games in the world, that were frequented by Hollywood celebs, Wall Street fat cats and business titans.
She was investigated by the FBI, developed a drug addiction and had a gun put in her mouth by a member of the Russian mafia. In 2014, she released her memoir, Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World!. The book was the inspiration behind the film.
- From Novice to Poker Princess
- Dark Times in New York
- Legal Woes
- Molly’s Game – The Book and the Film
From Novice to Poker Princess
Molly took a year off before law school and moved to LA in 2003. She undertook a variety of jobs, including a cocktail waitress to pay her way. The most pivotal role she took was that of an executive assistant. Working for the man she called Reardon in her book, she was asked to help organise private poker games. The games were held at the infamous Viper Room club.
|Date of Birth||April 21, 1978|
|Occupation||Author / Enterpreneur|
|Famous Work||Molly’s Game|
The buy-in was $10,000 and the games were frequented by big celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Toby Maguire.
Bloom knew little about the game and took to googling to build her understanding. Soon, she was hosting her own games and attracting a bevvy of high profile, high rolling players. She established her own business, Molly Bloom Inc in 2007.
In her book, Bloom recounts how Toby Maguire won millions at her table but tipped very little.
One time he offered her a $1000 tip, but she would have to bark like a seal to earn it. Her tempestuous relationship with Maguire was underlined when he called to gloat that her game had been taken over by another player.
Dark Times in New York
Bloom moved to New York in 2009 where she began to operate exclusive poker games that attracted wealthy players. Soon she started losing control over her life. She began to depend on drugs to keep her awake to host the games and alcohol to calm her nerves. She also began to take a rake. By taking a percentage of the pot, her actions crossed over to being illegal.
Bloom describes how she was approached by the Russian Mafia in 2010, offering protection in exchange for cash. When she declined this offer, a mobster broke into her home, beat her severely, robbed her of cash and jewels and threated her with a gun to her head. Despite the desperate situation, she could not escape the pull of running the games. In an interview, she described how dire the situation had become.
“I lost myself when I started making a lot of money and became consumed with greed. It’s a sad thing to see yourself so spiritually bankrupt.” Molly Bloom
In 2011, a game organised by Bloom was raided by the FBI. It was shut down as part of an investigation into an illegal Ponzi scheme, ran by one of her LA players, Bradley Ruderman. In fact, it was due to the investigation into Brad Ruderman that the feds became aware of the underground poker games that she was running. Lawsuits detailed how Ruderman had lost $5million of his illegally gained money in the poker games. It was through these lawsuits that the names of some of the high-profile players were released. Players including Toby Maguire, Nick Cassavetes, Gabe Kaplan and even top pro player Dan Bilzerian were sued by the bankruptcy trustee for the money they won from Ruderman.
In 2013, the Poker Princess – Molly Bloom was arrested along with around 30 others as part of an illegal gambling and money laundering operation. Under the charges, Molly faced up to 10 years in jail if convicted for operating illegal gambling. Her assets were seized and in 2014, she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Under the plea deal, she could have faced up to 6 months in prison. Yet the Assistant US Attorney, Joshua Naftalis recommended that she avoid jail time, due to her role in the illegal gambling ring being a minor one. Molly Bloom was sentenced to probation for one year and also received a $200,000 fine along with 200 hours community service.
Molly’s Game – The Book and the Film
During the sentencing, the judge referenced Bloom’s upcoming book. He said he hoped that she had truly learnt her lesson and that the book did not undermine the lenient sentencing she had been given. Bloom described her story as a cautionary tale.
Molly continually declined to expose the names of the players who had attended her private poker games. The celebrities she referenced in her book were only those who had previously been named publicly. Bloom maintained her stance, stating that it was vital for her to maintain her integrity.
Molly wrote the book in part to pay off the huge debts she had built owing to legal proceedings. She personally pursued Aaron Sorkin and eventually convinced him to turn her book into a film.
The movie stays remarkably true to the real story. The skiing accident is there, and although Player X is not explicitly named, there are clear comparisons between the character and Bloom’s experiences with Toby Maguire. Even the Viper Room is given a tongue in cheek nod in the film, with poker games taking place at the Cobra Club. Although Bloom’s lawyer, Charlie Jaffrey (played by Idris Elba) is a fictional character, it has been claimed that this character stands in for Sorkin himself, as he evolves from scepticism of Bloom to respect.
The movie was a commercial success and Aaron Sorkin was nominated for an Oscar for best-adapted screenplay. In Molly Bloom’s case, it is fair to say that the truth is, in fact, stranger than fiction.
Freqently Asked Questions about Molly Bloom
Molly Bloom lit up the interest of millions of people all over the world. And of course, a lot of questions were posted on the internet regarding the topic. We did our best to gather the most significant ones and we gave them answeres based on extensive research. Hopefully, like this, we will satisfy your curiosity.