11 Quotes from Hollywood’s Poker Princess — Molly Bloom on Money & Life
Molly’s Game, a 2017 film by award-winning director Aaron Sorkin, depicts the true story of a young American woman who founded “…the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World.” Sorkin adapted the screenplay from a book by the same title, written by the woman herself — Molly Bloom.
In its heyday, Bloom’s poker game served some of the biggest names in Hollywood and New York, as well as business tycoons and the Russian mob. The tables frequently turned over hundreds of millions of dollars in a single night.
However, a few years after Bloom’s underground game took off, she was served with an IRS levy of $116,133 for failing to pay appropriate taxes. A few years later, Bloom found herself as one of 34 accused participants in a $100 million money laundering and illegal sports gambling scandal.
Facing a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and already deeply in debt, Bloom had a choice to make: Expose the activities of her customers in exchange for clemency, or risk facing the maximum penalty.
In May of 2014, Bloom pled guilty to the charges against her. However, the judge who heard the case deemed prison “too harsh” of a punishment given the nature of Bloom’s crimes. He instead ordered the “poker princess” to pay a fine and complete 200 hours of community service.
When asked why she chose to protect her clients, Bloom responded, “When the prosecutors put this deal on the table — ‘we’ll give you all your money back [the poker proceeds she had forfeited] and we’ll give you immunity’ — I knew that the only shot for me to have a second chance was to continue to act with integrity… I wasn’t protective of those guys, I was protective of this thing I had reclaimed… dignity.”
It was during her trial that Bloom became convinced that her story, as told in her soon-to-be-released book, was her only remaining asset. Not long after receiving her sentence, she marched into Aaron Sorkin’s office and pitched her story to him.
“Never have I met someone so down on their luck and so full of themselves,” the Oscar-winning screenwriter said in response.