“I can't go back to yesterday. I was a different person there. Nothing was the same after that night. ” So it says in Molly Bloom's memoir about that fateful night in 2004 when she first served a secret poker game of super-rich drinks in the basement of the famous celebrity club“ Viper Room ”in Los Angeles. Hollywood star Tobey Maguire had invited. Before she became a host herself, Bloom actually only worked there as a waitress. That night she went home with a $ 3,000 tip and tasted blood, bought a designer dress. She also learned everything about poker and prepared herself for a new life in a parallel world - an environment in which money is a minor matter and which is completely dominated by men.
What was Molly Bloom thinking about ten years later, on the night of April 16, 2013, when 20 FBI agents opened her door and ripped them out of their dreams at machine guns? Bloom was 36 years old at the time. It had become a brand for the scene. Addicted to power and drugs, she had made $ 4 million a year at her peak. She had lost a sexist power struggle with poker regular Tobey Maguire. She had to relocate her legendary, until then secret, poker rounds from Beverly Hills to New York. At least that was what she had tried. Because in addition to stars and business giants, the Russian mafia was now also sitting at the table. She was arrested as the only woman among 34 people for illegal gambling and money laundering in the millions. It wasn't the first broken dream in Molly Bloom's life.
Roller coaster between the extremes
Molly Bloom was born on April 21, 1978, in Loveland, Colorado, USA, and originally wanted to be a skier. Like her brother, Jeremy, Olympic ski world champion. Her father, a psychology professor at Colorado State University, both drilled on the slopes. Molly also made it into the top 3 North American mogul skiers until a back injury broke her dream. The already strained relationship with his father continued to deteriorate. Where should she go? Mediocrity has never been an option for anyone in the family. Back then, Bloom only went to California to recharge his batteries for a year - to study law at Harvard. She had already secured the place, but things turned out differently.
Instead, the attractive ex-athlete made herself popular with influential guests in the dark backrooms of the Viper Room. “I could read my audience,” says Bloom, “emotional intelligence” is their weapon. In fact, she skillfully paired her sex appeal with discretion and professionalism: Bloom's influence on the select circle grew so far that the players ultimately stood behind her when her boss tried to boot her out. As a result, Bloom moved the game round to the exquisite rooms of noble hotels. She had champagne served by beautiful women and was now the head of what is probably the most secret and richest poker game in the world.
Participation, the so-called buy-in, at Molly Bloom's poker table initially cost $ 10,000. There were ten places and games were played six days a week. Bloom chose her guests carefully. Receiving an invitation from her was considered a status symbol. She was not influenced by alleged bribes - gifts such as expensive trips, gold bars, or expensive cars, as she says. The men around them completely respected her. There were no sexist references. Soon the buy-in was over $ 300,000. "Eyes change, humanity disappears, and players become bloodthirsty predators," writes Bloom in her memoir, about people's greed that "can't stop". She tells of players who gambled away 100 million US dollars in one night.
Not barked and not sung
Hollywood stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, or Tobey Maguire were among their guests, as were various top athletes, stock market sharks, and corporate bosses. The public will probably never know who, when, and how often - even the film does not reveal any more than is already known. After her arrest, she did not reveal more to the FBI than the agents already knew, despite threatened imprisonment of more than ten years. The name Molly Bloom stood and still stands for absolute integrity. Many voices were trying to prevent the film from being released, according to a recent Stern report: "I had so many famous, powerful people who were afraid of stories I would tell about them."
However, Bloom didn't leave a good hair on one thing: on actor Tobey Maguire, the most influential player at the table, who has repeatedly introduced rich gamblers to rounds. Bloom describes him as a "puller", describes him as a borderliner and a bad loser. For a $ 1000 tip, Maguire asked Bloom to crawl on the table and bark like a seal, which she had to refuse several times. The fact that the Spiderman actor Maguire, who is considered a smart gentleman, entered into a power struggle with her - which Bloom ultimately lost - is just as strange and bizarre as the verdict that Bloom received in 2014: one-year probation, a $ 1,000 fine plus 200 social hours. Shortly after the verdict, Bloom launched her book. It is said that Bloom learned what a comeback looks like while playing poker.
The film "Molly's Game - Everything on One Card" was nominated at the Oscars 2018 in the category "Best Adapted Screenplay". So far, the flick has been quite successful in terms of box office results. It has been shown in German cinemas since March 8th. According to Wikipedia, around 46 million US dollars have been earned so far. Molly Bloom's mountain of debt from legal fees and tax repayments has, however, been reduced to 'only' one million dollars. So maybe there is more.