Molly Bloom offers one of the most intriguing movie-like stories that we have encountered. The story that ultimately earned her a nickname – poker princess. Her life story was so exciting and unbelievable that it came as no surprise that the movie was released in 2017. While there are some similarities, and the movie Molly’s Game was based on her memoir, the book offers an accurate description of the events that happened. On the other hand, in the movie, they changed names, and there are several other changes in order to follow the story better.
At one time, Bloom was the third-best skier in the U.S. when it comes to mogul skiing. She came from a family of skiers. Her mother was an instructor with her own brand of clothing. Furthermore, her brother was a two-times Olympic skier, as well as a professional football player. Finally, her other brother was a surgeon. Molly’s life took an unexpected turn when she suffered from a serious injury during her Olympic qualifying run. Molly Bloom’s age is 41, and her life story is inspiring to many.
Moving to Los Angeles
Instead of going to the Olympics, Molly went to Los Angeles. For Molly Bloom, ski accident played a major role. She took a year off between her undergrad and supposedly law school. Due to her injury, she was unable to continue skiing and had to find her path elsewhere. In 2003, she moved to Los Angeles and started working as a cocktail waitress in the Viper Room, and soon her life changed. One of the co-owners of the club she was working in, Darin Feinstein, received an interesting proposal.
Tobey Maguire, the famous actor, approached Feinstein with the idea of organizing a high-stakes tournament in the basement of the club. Feinstein asked Bloom to help him organize the poker game and cater to guests, and she left home to do her research. She knew nothing about poker games or even what kind of music players listen to. However, she created the playlist using famous, well-known, cliché songs and with a cheese plate and cute outfit entered the room. Of course, she had no idea what was going to happen, but she quickly realized that this opportunity is not something she should take lightly.
The first thing Bloom would notice is that Maguire was serious about the high-stakes tournament. Furthermore, the guests or other players was exclusively A-list actors and celebrities she could only see on TV. Of course, the Viper Room was already famous in Hollywood, and its previous co-owner was Johnny Depp.
During the first night she helped her boss, she received a tip worth of $3,000. It’s not a surprise that she was agog, and only wanting to learn as much as she could about poker games. The research and money made her fully embrace the world of illegal underground gambling.
For four years, she was a part of these tournaments, catering and learning about the nature of the game. Her boss, Feinstein, was never a pleasant, charming man, and in 2007, he fired her from her job. One of the main reasons for her firing was because Feinstein noticed how informed and independent she became. He tried to control her, and when he failed, he fired her. However, this was not the end of her gambling journey, and she decided to up her job.
Molly Bloom – Poker Princess
After getting a taste of what poker tournaments could be, she knew that she couldn’t just let it go. In 2007, she started her own event and catering company called Molly Bloom Inc. Since she knew how these games work, she decided to organize tournaments on her own. She used connections she had from the Viper Room to organize tournaments by herself. By next year, the tournaments gradually evolved to private homes and hotels, with incredible amounts needed for buy-ins.
Bloom was already famous in the underground world, and initially, the buy-in for her tournament was $10,000. The tournaments became a destination for high-stakes rollers from actors, sports figures, celebrities, and other wealthy individuals. The minimum buy-in for her games only grew, and she earned her nickname Poker Princess.
At the time, Molly ran two different underground games in Hollywood that attracted actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Alex Rodriguez, Pit Sampras, Matt Damon, and many more. Of course, in her book, she only mentioned celebrities that were already known to partake these underground tournaments, and she refused to mention anyone that was unknown for being part of these games.
She mentions in her book that she saw someone lose $100 million in a single night. The person that lost the money paid everything the next day.
Moving to Manhattan
Several things happened in 2008. One of the players from her games got into conflict with Bloom or more like disagreement, so they left her games and moved elsewhere. At the same time, thanks to the recession, underground games became less popular and less common. Molly decided that it was time to move. She found a place in the Upper West Side and decided to continue organizing tournaments in New York.
The games took place in locations like the Plaza Hotel and the new Astor Place. Because she had fewer contacts in New York, there were underground raids that forced them to relocate to Long Island. Her main “customers” were businessmen coming from Wall Street with much smaller bids than the ones in LA.
Because the bids were smaller, Bloom became eventually unable to cover her losses in cases that player was unable to pay. Eventually, her dealer advised her to start taking a percentage of the games or large pots. She started extending credits to players that were unable to pay, and she was basically lending them money. As a result, she got cheated a lot. She had to cover the game, and some players simply refused to pay.
Shutdown and Feds
Molly started taking the percentage of the table similarly like casinos in Las Vegas. However, by doing this, she directly broke the federal law. In 2011, feds shut down one of her games in Los Angeles. The reason for this was because one of the players were running a Ponzi scheme. Around this time, she became addicted to drugs, and because she was often cheated for the money she was owed, she had to start taking percentage.
Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud where a person finds investors and pays profit to earlier investors using money from more recent ones. The idea is that the investor or a victim will believe that the money comes from sales or profits, while it actually comes from other investors.
The player of the Los Angeles’ game, Bradley Ruderman, lost around $5 million of his investors’ money. The feds shut down the game as a part of bankruptcy investigation, and thanks to it, they discovered about her involvement. At the same time, they also discovered celebrities and their involvement, and they started following Molly.
Eventually, she was accused of receiving money from Ruderman or his bank for settling his debt. While she claimed that she was not involved in the illegal gambling ring, the bank showed nineteen transfers to her account.
Bloom was arrested in 2013 for money laundering and illegal gambling operations.
Light at the End of a Tunnel
Molly was facing up to ten years in prison and several million fine. In 2014, she pleaded guilty in order to lessen the sentence. The original sentence was one year of probation, as well as 200 hours of community service with two hundred thousand dollar fine.
Her lawyer stated that Bloom was already in debt and that her boss ordered her into the gambling business. Furthermore, he said that she moved to New York, where she started her own games. Because she forfeited part of the money as her plea, she was sentenced with $1,000 fine in the end.
Her mother helped her pay the legal bills by putting her house up. After realizing how messy her life became, she started taking steps toward creating something better. She also mentioned in several interviews that she reconnected with her father as well.
The Book, Movie, and Life
Molly Bloom biography or a memoir about the incredible story that, at moments, sounds like something from a movie came in 2014. She decided to use her knowledge to create something good. She started searching around Hollywood for someone who would be willing to turn her life story into a movie. After trying several times to meet with Aaron Sorkin, her persistence finally paid off, and he agreed to turn her story into a movie.
The movie came out in 2017, with Jessica Chastain in the main role. The movie shares the name with the book – “Molly’s Game,” and it premiered on Toronto Film Festival.
Molly admitted that after spending so many years in fear that someone will catch her, that when it finally happened, she felt liberating. Today, she uses her knowledge to help other women become successful. She also says that she has a lot of lessons and that she would love to help. Furthermore, she traded alcohol and drugs for the twelve-steps program and working out.
Molly Bloom’s family stayed in Colorado, and she decided to go back home. Bloom currently lives in Colorado, and she decided to make her second chance count. She said that she is finally ready and willing to do something that really matters. Ten years ago, for Molly Bloom poker was essential, but now she decided to help others and focus on creating a better community. Finally, Molly Bloom’s boyfriend announced on his Instagram profile that Molly said yes. She managed to find happiness, and they will get married soon. So, for all of you asking if Molly Bloom is married, there’s your answer.