Molly Bloom (born April 21, 1978) is an American entrepreneur, speaker,[1] and author of the 2014 memoir Molly's Game. She had trained for years to become an Olympic skier, but was injured while trying to qualify for the Olympics.

Molly Bloom
Born (1978-04-21) April 21, 1978 (age 45)
Loveland, Colorado, U.S.
Occupation(s)Entrepreneur, speaker, author
Notable workMolly's Game
RelativesJeremy Bloom (brother)
Colby Cohen (cousin)

In April 2013, she was charged with running a high-stakes poker game that originated in the Viper Room in Los Angeles, which attracted wealthy people, sports figures, and Hollywood celebrities.[2] In May 2014, after pleading guilty to reduced charges, she was sentenced to one year of probation, a $200,000 fine, and 200 hours of community service.[3] In addition, she was required to forfeit $125,000 in earnings from the games she operated.[3]

A film adaptation of her book, Molly's Game, starring Jessica Chastain and directed by Aaron Sorkin, debuted in December 2017.[4]

Early life edit

Bloom was born on April 21, 1978, and grew up in Loveland, Colorado. Her father, Larry Bloom, is a clinical psychologist and a professor at Colorado State University.[5] Her mother, Char, was a ski and snowboard instructor and a professional fly-fisher with her clothing line.[6] Bloom's father is Jewish and her mother is Christian.[7] Her brothers are Jordan Bloom, a cardiac surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital,[8] and Jeremy Bloom, an American Olympic skier and professional American football player with the Philadelphia Eagles.[9] She was a competitive skier and at one time ranked third in Nor-Am Cup season ranking for women's moguls skiers; she later suffered an injury while trying to qualify for the Olympics.[10] She attended the University of Colorado Boulder, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.[11]

Career edit

In 2004, Bloom moved to Los Angeles and found work as a bartender. In 2004, Darin Feinstein, one of the co-owners of The Viper Room nightclub, was approached by actor Tobey Maguire about hosting a high-stakes poker game in the club's basement. Feinstein recruited Bloom to cater to the players and manage the game. In 2007, Bloom started her business, registering Molly Bloom Inc. as an event and catering company to host poker tournaments.[12] By 2008, the games had graduated to private homes and hotels like the Peninsula Beverly Hills, with hands going as high as $4 million.[13] In addition to Maguire, many wealthy people, celebrities and sports figures were known to frequent the games including Leonardo DiCaprio, Alec Gores, Macaulay Culkin, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Alex Rodriguez, Nelly, Mary Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Phil Ivey, Rick Salomon and Andy Beal.[14]

Arrest and sentencing edit

In 2011, one of Bloom's games in Los Angeles was shut down as part of a bankruptcy investigation into a Ponzi scheme run by Bradley Ruderman, one of the players.[15]

On April 16, 2013, Bloom was arrested and charged along with 33 others as part of a $100 million money laundering and illegal sports gambling operation.[2] Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, charged 12 people with racketeering. Others were charged with money laundering, extortion, fraud and operating illegal poker rooms in New York City. Bloom, who was 34 then, faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, six years of supervised release, a fine of $1.5 million or twice the amount gained from the crimes or twice the amount lost by victims, and a $200 special assessment.[16][17]

In May 2014, Bloom pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to one year of probation and 200 hours of community service. At the sentencing, Bloom's lawyer, Jim Walden, told the court that Bloom was in severe debt which included forfeiting $125,000 in poker proceeds as part of the plea.[3] He stated that Bloom had "been ordered into the gambling business" by her boss at a Los Angeles real estate company,[3] then went on to create her own illegal poker game in New York in 2009.[3]

Book and film edit

Bloom's memoir about her experiences, Molly's Game, was published in 2014.[18]

A film adaptation of the book, also called Molly's Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8, 2017.[19] Jessica Chastain plays the role of Molly Bloom.[20] The film received a 2018 Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay.[21]

References edit

  1. ^ "How to Create An Authentic Customer Experience, According to Poker Entrepreneur Molly Bloom - Business101.com". Business101.com. June 19, 2018. Archived from the original on July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Nancy Dillon; Robert Gearty; Daniel Beekman (April 17, 2013). "Feds take down high-stakes poker, sports booking ring used by A-list celebs, Wall Street fat cats". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on December 16, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gregorian, Dareh (May 2, 2014). "So-called 'Poker Princess,' implicated in $100 million gambling ring, ducks jail time, gets probation". Daily News. New York, NY. Archived from the original on April 28, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  4. ^ Ray Rahman (August 14, 2017). "Aaron Sorkin on Directing His First Movie With 'Molly's Game'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  5. ^ Nate Day (March 8, 2017). "New book-to-movie adaptation has connection to daughter of CSU faculty". Rocky Mountain Collegian. Archived from the original on April 28, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Charlie Meyers (February 25, 2006). "Bloom to appear at sports show". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  7. ^ Bloom, Nate (November 22, 2017). "Hollywood's Celebrity Jews – Movies and more". The Detroit Jewish News. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  8. ^ "Jordan Bloom, MD, MPH". Archived from the original on October 6, 2022. Retrieved August 28, 2022.
  9. ^ Pullen, John Patrick (March 2013). "World-Champion Skier Jeremy Bloom's Unconventional Path to Entrepreneurship". Entrepreneur. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  10. ^ "Molly Bloom – Cup Standings". FIS-ski.com. International Ski Federation. Archived from the original on January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  11. ^ John Wenzel (August 27, 2014). "Molly Bloom's 'Game' reveals stacked deck of ambition, drama in world of high-stakes poker". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Robert Kolker (June 30, 2013). "Manhattan Fold 'Em". New York Magazine. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  13. ^ Seth Abramovitch (September 10, 2017). "Hollywood Flashback: In 2008, Molly Bloom Was Tinseltown's Poker Queen". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  14. ^ LandShark (August 8, 2013). "Hollywood's Elite Exposed in Gambling Crackdown, Guilty Plea Entered – PocketFives". PocketFives. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  15. ^ Duke, Alan (June 23, 2011). "Celebs play high-stakes poker in Beverly Hills hotels, lawsuits say". CNN. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  16. ^ "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges 34 Members and Associates of Two Russian-American Organized Crime Enterprises with Operating International Sportsbooks That Laundered More Than $100 Million". FBI (Press release). April 16, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  17. ^ Santora, Marc; Rashbaum, William K. (April 16, 2013). "Agents Raid Gallery in Carlyle Hotel in Gambling Probe". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  18. ^ Bloom, Molly (June 24, 2014). "Her House of Cards". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  19. ^ Debruge, Peter (September 9, 2017). "Film Review: 'Molly's Game'". Variety. Archived from the original on September 9, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "'Molly's Game': Film Review | TIFF 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. September 8, 2017. Archived from the original on December 21, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  21. ^ "Oscar Nominees Writing Adapted Screenplay Nominee". Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.

External links edit