Actor Tobey Maguire was the ring leader in the real-life “Molly’s Game,” according to a New York Post article. And the popular poker movie, the published article claims, inaccurately depicted Molly Bloom’s role in the underground high-stakes game.
The 2017 flick, based on a true story and starring Jessica Chastain, portrays the life of Bloom (Chastain), a former world-class athlete from Colorado who moved to Hollywood and eventually ran an underground card game for celebrities and other wealthy amateurs.
You can watch the movie on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it yet, we won’t spoil too much. But the movie’s storyline depicts Bloom as the head honcho of the game. According to a New York Post interview, that isn’t completely accurate. As a matter of fact, it’s far from the truth, assuming one player in the game is telling the truth.
New York Post Gives Insight into Real Infamous Poker Game
The New York Post interviewed Houston Curtis, who recently released his book, “Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist,” which he claims tells the true story about the game featured in “Molly’s Game.”
Curtis, a card cheat-turned TV producer, claims he, along with actor Tobey Maguire, ran the biggest Hollywood games ever seen. He disputes Bloom’s role in running the game, as depicted in the movie and Bloom’s own memoir.
“Molly had nothing to do with anything,” he told journalist Michael Kaplan. “Initially, she just served drinks and we gave her numbers to call the guys.”
The movie, however, portrays Bloom as the game’s ring leader who was responsible for setting up the game, finding players, and setting house rules. That contradicts Curtis’ claims in his new book.
He says that his pal Maguire, who played “Spider-Man” three times, originally ran the game at his house, not Bloom. He also claims that Maguire, who has competed in the WSOP multiple times, wasn’t a very gracious host.
“Kevin Washington chewed tobacco and spit into a cup; Tobey hated that,” he said. “And, since Tobey was a vegan, it really bothered him when people ordered pepperoni pizzas. He said to me, ‘Dude, I have to get these scumbags out of my house.’ ”
Game Moves to Sunset Strip
According to Curtis, Maguire couldn’t stand having players over to his house, so the game moved to The Viper Room, an upscale nightclub on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in 2005.
At the time, poker was growing exponentially, thanks in large part to Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 Main Event title. Card rooms all across the country packed with low- to mid-stakes players back in 2005. Wealthy celebrities and business people were getting in on the craze and Maguire, a solid poker player, saw a golden opportunity.
The Viper Room game began blowing up. A-list celebs such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Alex Rodriguez, and Ben Affleck, who was the 2004 California State poker champion, played in the supposed “Molly’s Game.”
Curtis estimates he won around $15 million during the game’s four-year run. The game eventually moved to New York. Bloom began taking a rake in that game and, as a result, was arrested and charged with running an illegal gambling operation.
“Molly’s Game” used fictional names for players in the game. So, if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t expect to catch Tobey Maguire playing cards. But Michael Cera plays the role of “Player X,” who is presumably Maguire.
Curtis estimates that Maguire won at least $30 million in his Hollywood home game over the years, approximately the same amount he made for starring in the first three “Spider-Man” films.