Behind the Movie Molly's Game - The Poker Queen Molly Bloom Then and Now

The crime drama movie, Molly’s Game was released in December 2017. Directed by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jessica Chastain, the film gives a fascinating insight into the world of underground poker. The movie was inspired by Molly Bloom, the poker princess who ran exclusive high-stakes poker games for the rich and famous. In this article, we’ll delve into the intriguing real-life story behind the movie.
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Molly’s Game is Based on the True Story of Molly Bloom Share on Pinterest

Molly Bloom’s Riveting Story

Molly’s Game Movie
Release Date September 8, 2017
Running Time 141 Minutes
Country United States
Language English
Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Budget $30 Million
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.

  1. From Novice to Poker Princess
  2. Dark Times in New York
  3. Legal Woes
  4. 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.

Molly Bloom Facts
Date of Birth April 21, 1978
Nationality American
Occupation Author / Enterpreneur
Famous Work Molly’s Game
Net Worth $500,000

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.

❓ Who is Molly Bloom?

Molly Bloom was a member of the ski team of the USA, but a trauma during qualifications for the Olympics changed her life. She moved to LA and worked as an assistant and helped the organisations of private poker games. Then she started hosting exclusive poker nights with celebs and business titans.

💰 What is Molly Bloom net worth?

According to the latest data that we found, Molly Bloom, as an entrepreneur, author and speaker, has an approximate net worth of around $500 000. This number, of course, is the one after the loss of all of her illegal assets.

🤔 What is Molly Bloom doing now?

The best answer would be 'flying low'. After all the drama in her life, after writing her memoirs and so on, Molly Bloom stated that she wants to do something 'purposeful'. This, though, definitely doesn't mean that she is going to do it under the projectors' light. Whatever she is up to, we are sure that she can pull it off!

🎥 What celebrities played in Molly's game?

While the director Aaron Sorkin doesn't name them, Molly Bloom herself, in her book, gives credits to some celebrities that played in Molly's game. Among them are stars such as Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

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