Molly Bloom, the author of “Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World,” became famous in celebrity circles for running the most exclusive underground poker game. The stakes were so high she witnessed one man lose $100 million in one night. Following is a transcript of the video.
This game was populated by some of the world’s most famous, wealthiest, and most powerful men. My regular game in New York City was a $250,000 buy in — no limit. So people were burning through that, a lot of times in the first 30 minutes. I saw someone lose $100 million in one night.
Hi, I’m Molly Bloom. I am the author of “Molly’s Game.” And, I’m here to talk about, I guess, why my life got made into a movie.
So I moved to Los Angeles. My parents were not on board with that and so I had to get a lot of different jobs. One of them was working for a man in Hollywood who had a weekly poker game. And he said that he was going to — it was going to be part of my responsibilities to help him out at the game. And the first night I was there I recognized a really interesting opportunity to build a network and access to incredible information because this game was populated by some of the world’s most famous, wealthiest, and most powerful men.
I think what set this game apart was, I wasn’t a gambler and I wasn’t running a game because I wanted to play in it. I looked at it as a business. I looked at it as a startup and I wanted to be able to expand my business and so I started seeking out players. I started kind of looking in different corners of the country, of the world, and finding these whales, finding these big gamblers, that would contribute to this very compelling, larger-than-life environment.
You know, I recognize that these men had massive privilege. They weren’t interested in acquiring things. They wanted experiences and I think I was able to create an experience that was very exciting, there was an adrenaline component to it, there was a bloodsport component to it. Ultimately, I recognize that there was certainly an addiction component to it.
I saw someone lose $100 million in one night. When you watch that, as an owner-operator of a game, you realize that these numbers are incredibly unsustainable, incredibly unhealthy. So, I was not happy about this loss. It brought me no joy or adrenaline. I recognized it as really unhealthy and unsustainable.
There were millions and millions and millions of dollars changing hands sometimes in a night. It just kept growing bigger.
I kept these games pretty intimate. You know, with this much money on the table, with this much risk, you wanted to make people feel safe. They don’t want to feel like they’re part of a spectator’s sport — well the winners do, but the losers do not.
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