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Molly’s Game: A True High-Roller Poker Story

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The Elite in Hollywood and Billionaire Boys Club on Wall Street at Molly’s feet

When we hear the word “poker”, the first thing that crosses our minds is a mixture of mind-blowingly appealing images and multi-million grand hotels with first-rate amenities filled with sassy ladies, expensive champagne, and many other things associated with the good life. Of course, we can’t forget to mention the cream of the crop business tycoons, the royalty, A-list actors and singers, sports superstars, and renowned world poker champions in the list.

All of the aforementioned, as well as a truly gripping insight into the psychology of those engaged in high stakes, have skillfully been presented in Aaron Sorkin’s suspenseful crime drama film – “Molly’s Game”.

Is it a worthwhile poker flick?

Molly’s Game is a flick based on the true and rather incredible contemporary story about Molly Bloom, an exceptionally talented woman, who, being a professional freestyle skier, one day happened to run a multimillion underground poker industry.

While the movie itself revolves around poker, and we do watch the professional players raise and fold at the game table, Molly’s Game is much more about digging into the nature of the poker princess Bloom, which proves to be nothing but the bomb, the explosive revelation of the character undergoing the twists and turns of the poker life of high rollers. And what excites me the most is that the events are not fictional, and you can bump into this most influential character in the poker industry somewhere on the streets of the US, just like most of the other characters that happen to be worldwide known cinematic names.

A brief summary of the plot

A young, strong-willed and very resolute Sportsgirl Molly Bloom has experienced her share of ill-fortune. She was about to make it to the Olympics when a malign accident crushed all her hopes and aspirations to become a number one skier in the world. It was a combination of chance, grit, brain, and self-confidence that took her to the realm of high-stakes poker business where the elite in Hollywood and Billionaire Boys Club on Wall Street were at Molly’s feet.

Her game was not for every Tom, Dick, and Harry. It took place in LA, and only high rollers could participate, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the table. The game was blooming with success, and consequently, Molly thrived. So-called Player X stood out not only as a savvy poker player but also as a malign person, who eventually cut off all Molly’s business.

Being more resolute than desperate, Bloom moved to New York where things went great guns, as big bosses from Wall Street were drawn to Molly’s game like moths to the flame. That’s when she started to take a rake, crossing the border of legal activity. Not long after her tangling with the Russian mob, the poker princess was nabbed by the FBI. Applying threats, they wanted Molly to cooperate and give them big names, but she refused not wanting to ruin loads of lives and families. All she had was her good name, and she didn’t want it to go down the drain just because of snitching.

Tobey Maguire is supposedly the movie’s Player X

Although there is no direct reference to the honest-to-goodness celebrities in the film itself, in her bestseller book “Molly’s Game” Bloom openly alludes to Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck as her regular visitors, to name a few (however, she named only the figures who had already been revealed before her writing the book, disguising identities of loads of her famous players). And thus, having connected the dots, people started to assume which celebrity is represented by one of the leading characters in the movie referred to as Player X – a role that was exceptionally played well by Michael Cera.

It appears most likely to be Tobey Maguire, and both on the big screen and in the book, he is portrayed as a way less attractive character compared to his superhero protagonist in “Spiderman”. Player X is a malign figure who does play well but tends to get his kicks out of “ruining lives” as he says in the movie. He is a powerful player, bringing big fish into the game. Eventually, he gets obsessed with the ripe tips Bloom gets from players, asserting that her money is his money. Shortly after their falling out, Player X notifies her that she lost her authority to host a game and mockingly throws at her, “You’re so f**ked”. And the book’s episode, which didn’t make it into the movie, puts us wise to a really infamous act of Maguire.

Allegedly, once he was holding a chip worth $1000 in his hand and offered it to Molly as a tip on the condition, she will get into the table and bark like a seal. The incident was taking place in front of the eyes of many players, and Bloom, innerly blushing with shame, on the outside maintained composure and gracefully riposted, “You can keep your chip, I won’t do it”.

Closing thoughts

Undeniably, Molly’s Game is a delicacy to watch! And Jessica Chastain executed her role with such a style. Once you get to watch it, you’ll agree with us that she executed the role of Molly Bloom perfectly from the first minute to the end. Humane, graceful, intelligent, beautiful, that’s how she looks for over two hours of a mixture of pleasure and tension.

Her perfect execution of the role in the movie has seen Molly’s Game get several nominations – including an Oscar for the “Best Adapted Screenplay”, and has won multiple awards at different cinematic festivals. It is absolutely worth watching how a woman managed to make an enviable 6-digit fortune, applying her brain and wits not at the poker table but standing very close to it.