Poker princess Molly Bloom is spilling all her secrets on some of Hollywood's biggest names!
In her memoir Molly's Game, the 36-year-old describes her years spent running one of the most exclusive and high-stakes gambling parties in Los Angeles, and she came across known poker fans Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio during her years in the business.
The attractive brunette organized high-class poker games at luxurious locations like The Four Seasons, The Peninsula, and the Beverly Hills Hotel, and she scheduled all the accommodations, amenities and food. These events were not licensed or regulated by federal state or local authorities. After she moved from L.A. to New York, however, Bloom got involved in organizing poker games for profit, which is against state law. In April 2013, she was arrested in New York by the FBI and charged with profiting from hosting illegal poker games; she pled guilty in December. Five months later, Bloom was sentenced to 12 months of probation, fined $1,000 for her involvement and agreed to forfeit $125,000.
But while she's got stories aplenty about her dirty dealings, the tidbits about celebs playing in regular, legal games are juicy enough! Here are six revelations from her new book:
1. Leo marches to his own drum.
"Leonardo DiCaprio, maybe the most recognizable movie star in the world. Not only was he devastatingly handsome, he was incredibly talented," she writes.
"He had a strange style at the table, though; it was almost as if he wasn't trying to win or lose. He folded most hands and listened to music on huge headphones."
2. Tobey Maguire was nicknamed after a serial killer.
"I had taken to calling him Hannibal Lecter after a recent game. That evening, I watched as he talked a guy into folding a winning hand, also known as ‘folding the nuts' in poker terms," Bloom recalls.
"‘I swear on my mother's life I have you beat,' he said, convincingly and earnestly. ‘I wouldn't lie to you, man.' His opponent had gotten confused. I had watched him stare at the cards he was holding, knowing full well he had the winning hand but suddenly unsure after Tobey's performance. Tobey was incredibly convincing, and so earnest that the guy eventually, although reluctantly, gave in. To add insult to injury, Tobey then victoriously showed his bluff. To me, his actions were in really bad taste."
3. Famous people are always allowed to break the rules.
"I felt that a huge part of this enterprise depended on discretion, so I tried to discourage spectators when I could, but I couldn't stop the guys bringing girlfriends along to show off in front of, or the occasional celebrity stopping by. Celebrities were always allowed, to be honest. Like when [Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen] showed up with a billionaire I was trying to land for the game. They were in, no questions asked."
4. Ben Affleck was smart with his money.
"By now I had learned something about the psychology behind the way a guy asks for chips. Wanting to be overstocked or short-stacked at a table is a clear indication of playing style and ego," Bloom explains.
"Whereas some guys want the tallest piles they can manage to bully the table and scare people, Ben's buy-in choice told me that he was a smart player who liked to limit his downside, especially at a table with a bunch of guys he wasn't used to playing with."
5. J. Lo has a "nice" butt.
"As Rick Salomon took a seat, I saw him focus on Ben. I saw the wheels turning. Oh God, I thought, don't let him say anything embarrassing. Rick had no filter," she writes.
"‘Hey, yo, did that Jennifer Lopez's ass have cellulite on it, or was it nice?' The table went silent. Ben looked at Rick. ‘It was nice,' he said and pushed into a huge pot. The table laughed and the ice was broken."
6. Tobey was a sore loser and made outrageous demands.
"Tobey was the worst tipper, the biggest winner, and the absolute worst loser, but I had to worry about my job security if he lost" because he had all the connections.
After one game, "he held a thousand-dollar chip in his hand. He flipped it over a couple times in his fingers. ‘This is yours,' he said, holding it out to me…if you do something to earn these thousand dollars. Get up on that desk and bark like a seal.' I looked at him. His face lit up like it was Christmas Eve, ‘I'm not kidding. What's wrong? You're too rich now? You won't bark for a thousand dollars? Wowwww…you must be really rich.'
‘No,' I said quietly. My face was on fire. I knew he would be angry, especially because he had now engaged the whole audience, and I wasn't playing his game. I was embarrassed, but I was also angry. He gave me an icy look, dropped the chip on the table, and tried to laugh it off, but he was visibly angry."