Molly's Game (2017) Movie Script

A survey was taken
a few years ago
that asked 300 professionals
one question:
"What's the worst thing
that can happen in sports?"
Some people answered
losing a Game 7.
He scores! Bruins
win in seven games!
And other people said
getting swept in four.
Some people said it was
missing the World Cup.
Guatemala is eliminated!
And some Brazilians said
it was losing to Argentina.
Not just in the World Cup--
anytime, ever, in any contest.
But one person answered
that the worst thing
that can happen in sports
was fourth place
at the Olympics.
This is a true story,
but except for my own,
I've changed all the names
and I've done my best
to obscure identities
for reasons that'll
become clear.
I'm Molly Bloom
and right now, I'm ranked third in
North America in Women's Moguls.
I grew up in Loveland, Colorado
about two hours north of Denver.
I have a BA in Political Science
from the University of Colorado
where I graduated Summa
Cum Laude with a 3.9 GPA.
The median L-SAT score at
Harvard Law School is 169.
My score: 173.
Number 87 up.
56 on deck.
I've spent 16 years
chasing winter
and being coached
by the best in the world.
Sundays were for
working out with my father.
Something's really wrong.
When I was 12 years old,
for no particular reason,
my back exploded.
Tough it out.
Good advice.
And lose the attitude.
Less than ten minutes later,
I was in the back of an ambulance.
I had what's called
rapid onset scoliosis.
My spine was curved
at 63 degrees
and I'd need a 7-hour surgical
procedure that involved
straightening my spine,
extracting bone from my hip,
fusing 11 vertebrae together
and fastening steel rods
to the fused segments.
She's gonna be fine.
I wouldn't let her ski anymore.
Definitely not moguls.
And obviously, skiing competitively
is out of the question.
Oh, I know.
I was on skis again in a year,
running moguls in 18 months
and by my 20th birthday,
I'd made the U.S. Ski Team.
It's the last round of qualifying
for the Salt Lake City Olympics.
This is the Champion Run
at Deer Valley.
The altitude's 8,100 feet
and the pitch is 52 degrees
which is the same as the
sides of the Great Pyramids.
The wind's 20-25 miles an hour
blowing left to right.
It's three-below zero
at the top of the slope
and with 17 skiers
in front of me,
it's gonna be like trying to stick a
landing on a frozen infinity pool.
Kiki blew out of her line.
Shannon was off-balance
on her second landing.
He's talking about Kiki Bandy
and Shannon Keebler,
my two toughest competitors
who had significant point
deductions on their final runs.
I can make the Olympic
team right now.
Go get it.
And if I had three perfect
runs in Salt Lake...
the best runs of my life...
I can beat the Austrians
and the Swiss
and have a realistic
shot at the podium.
Then law school
and then a start-up.
A foundation that seeds
entrepreneurial women.
My father's at the
bottom of the slope
telepathically telling me
to check my line.
Check your line.
I check my line.
Competitor ready.
Good snow contact,
calm upper-body,
legs together, good shape,
no line deviation,
set up for the D-Spin, and...
stick the landing.
Now two things
you need to know
before the second trick
which'll be a 720.
The first is that when visibility
is bad the way it is now,
race officials toss pine
boughs on the course
so the skiers have some
foreground depth reference.
The second is that the
tightness of your bindings
is determined by what's called
a DIN setting.
If you're a beginner, your DIN
setting is probably a two or three.
If you're an experienced weekend
skier, it's probably seven or eight.
Mine's 15.
My boots are basically
welded to my skis. how does this happen?
It happened because
I hit a pine bough
that had become
frozen in the snow.
And I hit it so precisely
that it simply snapped the
release of my bindings.
Right in that moment,
I didn't have time
to calculate the odds
of that happening
because I was about
to land pretty hard
on my digitally
remastered spinal cord
which is being held together by
spare parts from an Erector Set.
Back up! Back up! Move!
-Watch out!
-Give her room!
That way, move!
None of this has anything
to do with poker.
I'm only mentioning it because
I wanted to say to whoever
answered that the worst thing
that could happen in sports
was fourth place
at the Olympics...
seriously, fuck you.
-Molly Bloom?
-Is this Molly Bloom?
This is Special Agent
Tomasino at the FBI.
We have a warrant
for your arrest.
-We're outside your door,
we want you to come
out here, okay?
Listen to me now.
-Make sure we can see your hands.
-Who is this?
This is Special Agent Tomasino
of the FBI, Miss Bloom.
You've got 30 seconds
to open your door
or we're breaking it down.
Do you understand
what I just said?
Hands in the air.
Put your hands in the air.
-There's been a mistake.
-Are you Molly Bloom?
Yes, but there's--
I want you to walk
toward me very slowly.
Okay. Go ahead.
Slower. Slow down.
Come on. Come on.
-I'm having a hard time seeing--
-Walk slower.
-the flashlights in my eyes--
-Walk slower.
Yes, sir.
Hands on the wall.
Spread your arms and legs.
Is there anyone in your
apartment right now?
Uh, no, sir.
Are there any firearms
in your apartment right now?
No, sir.
You're under arrest for running
an illegal gambling operation.
Do you understand?
Say you understand.
I understand.
There's been--a mistake because
I haven't run a game in two years.
I want you to take a look at
this piece of paper right here.
Can you see what it
says at the top?
Read to me what
it says at the top.
United States of America
vs. Molly Bloom.
I'd bet heavy on the favorite.
What do you um, think about
the following concepts?
Just gonna run 'em by you.
It is a trap.
It is a joke.
I...think there's good and bad.
But I don't trust them.
I don't trust people.
Every year on our birthdays,
my father would interview
my younger brothers and me.
Who are the heroes or
heroines in your life?
Who uh,
who do you really respect?
I don't have any heroes.
You don't have any heroes.
How's this for hubris?
I don't.
Because if I reach the goals
I'd set out for myself,
then the person I become,
that'll be my hero.
Even by teenage girl standards,
I would appear to be irrationally
angry at nothing in particular.
It would be another 22 years
before I'd find out why.
After my colossal
wipeout at Deer Valley,
I decided to take a year
off before law school.
I needed to go away,
sever myself from reality and
come up with a new plan.
So, I chose Los Angeles.
A friend of mine
from the ski team
had agreed to let me crash
on her couch for a while.
My father had disapproved
of postponing law school
and so declined to help out.
But I had $1700 I'd saved from
babysitting money and
that would support me until
I found a waitressing job.
I'd already had a career
and retired from it.
I wanted to be young
for a while in warm weather.
I think that's what
I wanted at first.
It's hard to remember.
I got a job working
bottle service
at a club in Hollywood called
Nacional Nightclub.
It was Cuban-themed.
So my uniform was camouflage
short-shorts and a wife-beater.
The promoter would go over
which record producer
was sitting where...
which hot designers,
which Lakers,
and Boris Lava, the
Bulgarian billionaire,
who didn't drink but
who ran $100,000 bar tab.
My job was to get people to spend
more money than they needed to.
Could we get a bottle of Sky?
You guys look like
you deserve Grey Goose.
What do guys who deserve
Grey Goose look like?
To begin with, they got a bottle
of Grey Goose in front of 'em.
You're quick. Very clever.
Uh, all right, yeah. Grey Goose.
They just spent an
additional $300,
bringing their total to $900
for $8.50 worth or vodka.
But the club doesn't need
you to buy a bottle.
They need you to
buy five bottles.
So these girls over here,
they let you buy them
shots for a living.
It would be like waiting in a
long line to get into the Gap
so you can pay a 1,000
percent mark-up
to buy all the employees
a pair of pants.
I only had one shift a week.
I didn't want to tell my parents
I was a cocktail waitress.
And back then, I
never turned down
an opportunity to
make more money.
So I found a second job
as an office assistant
and that's how I ended up
working for Dean Keith.
Dean was a partner in
Blackhues Investments.
He was a regular at the club
and one night, he said,
People seem to take to you.
Hey, how'd you like to get
paid to go to grad school
and get an MBA in
how life works?
What makes you think
you know and I don't?
I'm a regular here
and you're a waitress here.
Look at the fuckin' scoreboard.
Dean explained what
my job was by saying,
Me. I'm your job.
I answered the phone, made
coffee runs, set appointments,
-made spreadsheets.
-What is that?
and showed Dean what
a spreadsheet was.
But I made $450
a week on top of
the $300 I was
making at the club,
which would be enough to
get off my friend's couch.
I remember the day started
by being about bagels.
-This is Molly.
-Get to the office. Pick up bagels.
Do you mean now?
Dean was a Hollywood staple.
Over-leveraged, going broke,
trying to prove he wasn't broke
and making a true effort
to be as vulgar as possible.
Honestly making an effort.
I hadn't told anyone
I was a skier
and it was hard not to
laugh when Dean said...
Anyone ever teach you
how to fuckin' hurry?
-What are those?
-Are these from Bluebell?
-It's on the way from my house.
You might as well have stopped
at a fuckin' homeless shelter.
You might as well
have walked into
a motherfucking homeless
shelter and said,
"I'd like a dozen bagels from
this homeless shelter, please!"
I do not eat bagels from
Blue fucking bell, Molly,
because these are
poor people bagels!
From where would you like me to
get your bagels in the future?
Forget about the fuckin' bagels.
-Except smarten up.
-Got it.
-Hang on.
Like I said, the day started
by being about bagels.
But that would abruptly change.
My weekly poker game's
moved to the Cobra Lounge.
Tomorrow night and then
every Tuesday night.
You'll help run it.
Take these names
and numbers.
Tell 'em to bring 10 grand in
cash for the first buy-in,
the blinds are 50-100.
-And Molly.
Don't fuckin' tell anybody.
I'd regarded Dean as a nitwit
when I regarded him at all.
But on that pad were nine names
along with phone numbers
of some of the most wealthiest and
most famous people in the world.
I put the numbers in my phone
and composed a simple message.
There'd be a game tomorrow
night at the Cobra Lounge,
there was a $10,000 buy-in.
All nine players confirmed
that they'd be there.
All withing 90 seconds
of my sending the text.
The Cobra Lounge sits on the
edge of the Sunset Strip.
And in its heyday was famous
for introducing unknown bands
like The Doors
and The Beach Boys.
All I knew was
schoolwork and skiing.
I'd always figured
would be easy to learn
if I ever needed it.
My cheese platter had
a sticker that read,
"Cheese: From the Great
State of Michigan."
Diego, a professional dealer,
was setting up the table
when I got there.
I Googled,
"What type of music do poker
players like to listen to?"
And then tried to figure
out how to make a playlist
out one Kenny Rogers song.
I set up the bar,
put out my cheese platter
and positioned
myself at the door
where I'd been instructed to only
let in the names on the list.
I was wearing my best dress,
which I'd bought two years
earlier at JC Penney for $88.
The players started to arrive.
I introduced myself as Molly,
-Dean's assistant.
-For you.
Asked if I could
get them a drink,
and took from each
of them $10,000 in cash.
I know.
-Everybody here?
Hey, buddy.
Fuck off.
I'm gonna own your shit.
Ugly dress. Ugly shoes.
Let's play!
Diego fanned nine cards
out on the table
and the players chose for seats.
-11 and 11.
I'd just finished counting
out $90,000 in cash.
I was in a room
with movie stars,
And the award goes to...
-Oh! he's in trouble!
and business titans.
They were going
all-in all the time,
burning through their
buy-ins over and over.
-There you go, good luck.
-Thank you so much.
I Googled every word
I heard that I didn't know.
Flop, river, fourth street,
tilt, cooler, boat, nuts,
-Yeah, he's pot committed.
-playing the rush...
You keeping track
of the buy-ins?
-Where? Where's the paper?
Ray's all in.
Get him, motherfucker!
All in.
The game ended at 3:30.
And when it did,
that's when Dean shouted out--
Hey! Tip Molly if you want to
get invited back next week.
"Tip Molly."
Deep down I didn't like
the sound of that.
Thank you so much.
Deep down I knew that
when your boss says,
-And Molly.
Don't fuckin' tell anybody.
that's usually not the beginning
of a promising law career.
See you next week.
But that was deep down.
I'd just made $3,000.
What are you reading?
The Crucible.
For school?
My father assigned it.
Do you know how many witches
were burned in Salem?
-How many?
They didn't burn witches,
it's a myth. They hanged them.
Or drowned them or crushed
them with heavy rocks.
Wait, aren't--
You're Molly Bloom, right?
You don't look the same
as in your photos.
None of us do.
Charlie Jaffey.
Thank you again for
seeing me so early.
-This is my daughter, Stella.
-We met.
Isabel will be here in 45 minutes
to take you to school.
-Finish your math?
-Do you know it?
Could you teach it
in class today?
If I asked you to teach me
Roman law, could you do it?
So, first things first,
when was the last time you slept?
Today's Friday.
Tuesday morning at 5 a.m.
I was arrested by the FBI,
I spent Tuesday in
L.A. County Jail.
I was assessed to be
a minimal flight risk
and bail was set at $100,000.
My mother signed over her house.
I was released on Wednesday and
ordered to appear in Federal Court
in New York's Southern District
at 10 a.m. today.
In here.
Close that will you?
I flew here Wednesday and met
with five attorneys yesterday.
Have a seat.
You didn't hire any of them?
Three of them had
already been taken.
Yeah, 31 people were named
in your indictment.
It's Black Friday for
criminal lawyers.
What about the other two?
One told me money was his
second favorite form of payment.
I know him.
The fifth was also taken
but he recommended I call you.
I told him I wanted someone who'd
worked in the prosecutors office
and wasn't even a
little bit shady.
Do you know about me?
Um, I've been briefed a
little by my daughter
who knows a lot about your story
because her mother's a moron.
Her mother reads the tabloids.
Yeah, and I read them too.
I read your indictment after
I got your call last night
and I bought your book.
I'm only on page 112, but Molly,
did you commit a felony and
then write a book about it?
I haven't run
a game in two years.
Not to spoil the ending, but
that's when the government
raided my game and
took all of my money,
assuming all of it was made
illegally which it wasn't.
I've been living in my mother's
house in Telluride and...
I wrote the book so I could
start paying off debts.
I just finished a press
tour for the book
and I moved back to Los Angeles
so I could start over.
You ran games in L.A. for
roughly eight years?
-Without taking a rake?
And then you ran games in
New York for roughly two?
I took a rake
the last six months.
In the first 112 pages
you name a bunch of names.
Uh, you named the name
of some movie stars
that played in your game.
That not against some
sort of poker code?
Am I supposed to be sitting
all the way over here?
Can you hear me from there?
Are you taking me
on as a client?
My retainer's $250,000.
Do you have $250,000?
No, I don't have anything.
What about the sales
from your book?
The book isn't jumping
off the shelves
but I will find a way
to pay you, Charlie.
Ask around about me.
Unfortunately, the people
I'd ask are going away for a while.
What happened on
Tuesday morning
was called a
GPS Takedown.
31 people were arrested
in the same instance.
Something in excess of 600 agents
were dispatched to locations in
New York, and L.A.
in coordinated strikes
with automatic
weapons and you're
trying to tell me
you're in my office
because you raked a
game of Texas Hold 'Em?
Have you seen the other
names in your indictment?
Nicolas Koslovsky,
Peter Druzhinsky,
Peter Antonovich,
the Gershen brothers,
I mean, come on, Molly,
just how deep into
the Russian mob were you?
Because your book doesn't say.
Why are you making your
daughter read The Crucible?
So she can see what
happens to a group
of bored teenage girls
when they gossip.
I never read the play.
Many consider it to be
the best play of the 20th Century.
Is that what many
consider it to be?
I don't defend
violent criminals.
I've never hurt
anyone in my life.
-Your friends have.
-I've never heard of 90 percent
-of the names in the indictment.
-And the other 10 percent?
I didn't know they
were connected.
I had no idea
who they really were.
Let me ask you a question.
The character in the
book you call Dean Keith,
he didn't say "Poor
people bagels," did he?
I think I know who he is,
I think I know a real estate lawyer
that worked with him and quit.
He said,
"nigger bagels," right?
I'm not telling you his real name,
he's not involved in this.
But you were willing
to name some names.
Why is the FBI arresting me
two years after I've
stopped running games?
Were you paid extra in your book
deal to name the movie stars?
I'm not your guy, Molly.
I wish you good luck
but this just isn't for me.
I didn't know who
the Russians were.
I can get you the 250,000,
I left ten times that on the
street, it'll just take some time.
We regularly lend out our best
litigators like me to the ACLU,
Southern Poverty Law
Center, veterans groups,
but I don't think I can
convince my partners
to take a flyer on
the Poker Princess.
I didn't name myself
the Poker Princess.
Uh, "Molly Bloom, the
self-proclaimed Poker Princess..."
Is that Us Weekly?
I would agree it would
be unusual for them
to print something
that wasn't true
but it's not true and
if you think a princess
can do what I did,
you're incorrect.
I'm getting you don't
think much of me
but what if everyone
of your ill-informed,
unsophisticated opinions
about me were wrong?
I'd be amazed.
Yeah, you know what, bud?
You would.
You don't need me,
you need a publicist.
No, I need a fucking lawyer!
You didn't answer my question.
When was the last
time you slept?
It was a while ago.
All right.
I'm gonna walk you through
the arraignment this morning
'cause you shouldn't
do that alone.
I'm gonna put some bodies on you,
walk you through the side door.
'Cause I don't know what
you got on the Russians
but neither do they
and the Russians
take care of shit.
Do you understand
what I'm saying?
Almost. You gotta keep
your eyes up, okay?
Always gotta look ahead.
If you look down, that's
where you're gonna go.
If you look down,
that's where you'll go.
You ready?
Let's go.
My father's a therapist
and a psychology professor
at Colorado State.
The second rule of his house
was that academic excellence
and athletic excellence
weren't optional.
You can't be afraid of it.
All right?
Don't play defense.
And the first rule
-was that he made all the rules.
Dad, I'm pretty tired.
Hon, she's tired.
We've been out here since 6:00.
Her lips are blue.
-You tired?
What's another word for tired?
Name a synonym for tired,
and we'll get in the car.
That's right.
Let's go home.
I decided to postpone law
school another year.
After six week of tips,
I went to Barney's and
asked for a dress
that made me look
nothing like myself.
I'd overheard stories about games
that folded after one bad night
and I needed this
one to keep going
and I needed to
bring value to it.
Good night, Molly.
Thanks very much.
I knew if I wanted
to cement my place,
there was one guy I
needed to team up with.
-Ten thousand.
And that was this man.
The game had regulars
and the game had guests.
Check or bet?
And four of the regulars
were famous actors.
And I'm gonna call
one of them Player X.
I'm all in.
Player X subscribed
to the belief
that money won was twice
as good as money earned.
He lived to beat people
and take their money.
Here's Player X talking
to one of the guests.
into folding the winning hand.
I swear on--look at me.
I swear on my mother's life
I have you.
Player X was the best player
at the table and tonight
this guy was the worst.
He's staring at his cards.
Even a reasonably good
amateur would know it was
the best hand
which in poker is
called the nuts.
There was $47,000 in the pot
and the guest was
holding the nuts
but he was starting
to get confused
because a movie star
was talking to him.
My mother's life, man,
I'm not messing with you.
Why would you be telling me?
Either I am messing with you
or you're new to the game,
you've had bad cards all night,
you should've folded
after the flop
and I don't wanna win more
of your money this way.
I got queens under here.
Take your time.
Fuck you.
A fish is a particular
kind of player.
A fish has money.
A fish plays loose and
doesn't fold a lot.
A fish is good
but not too good.
Good night, see you
up in the hall, bro.
The Cobra Lounge may have
belonged do Dean Keith
but the game belonged
to Player X.
People wanted to say
they played with him
the same way they wanted to say
they rode on Air Force One.
My job security was gonna depend
on bringing him his fish.
But where would I find
people with a lot of money
who didn't know
how to spend it
and liked to be
around celebrities?
If they say they're interested in
poker you give them my number.
I vet them. They end
up playing in the game
I'll give you $1,000
the first time they play,
$500 every time after that.
Be sure to mention... these
guys are all regulars.
Is this true? These guys play?
The Commerce Casino is off
the 5 freeway in East L.A.
and no one's ever gonna
confuse it with Monte Carlo.
I'd watch the tables
for a while
before I approached
a friendly-looking pit boss.
Third chair at Table 8
can't lose.
Unless there are players
at his table who can win.
You know about the game at
the Cobra Lounge, right?
$1,000 for every
player you send me.
You get a piece of
what they lose.
No pros.
I'm Molly.
Poker was my Trojan horse into
the highest level of finance,
technology, politics,
entertainment, art.
All I had to do was listen.
The art world is controlled
by a few major dealers.
China's telecom companies want
to partner with other providers.
The owners don't mind spending
30 million on an outfielder
who hits 320 with 110 RBI's.
They alone control the market.
They choose the artists
they want to be important.
They mind spending
ten million on a pitcher
who is 8 and 14 this season.
It's gonna be Gephardt.
They set the prices,
they mark 'em up
70, 80, 90 percent.
They're all very excited about
a company called Twitter.
Unregulated money,
usually all cash...
-His days are numbered.
-His days are numbered.
I don't know how much longer
she's gonna be in the job.
-He's done.
-She's gone.
All in.
People have asked me what
my goal was at that point,
what was my endgame.
Back then, I would've
laughed at the question.
I was raised to be a champion.
My goal was to win.
At what and against whom?
Those were just details.
I'm all in.
I had my own apartment now.
I'll take it.
A new car.
And $17,000 in a shoe box.
Law school could wait
one more year.
Next please. Come on through.
Come on up please.
Thank you. Come on through.
So, here's all that's
gonna happen today.
The judge is gonna
ask each defendant
if they've read the indictment
or if they'd like the
court to read it to them.
Then the judge is gonna
ask how you plead
and you're gonna
answer, "Not Guilty."
I'll make it clear for the record
that I'm not your counsel
but I am appearing on your
behalf at the arraignment.
In propria persona.
"In propria persona"
means on your behalf.
No, I'm saying it
means on your behalf.
I am appearing on your behalf.
"In propria persona" means
you're appearing on your behalf,
not my behalf.
I'll check that out
but the point is
I'm not your lawyer and I'll
make that clear for the record.
That's us over there.
You've got a good judge.
He's a good guy.
How 'bout the prosecutor?
Good morning, Your Honor,
Harrison Wellstone,
Assistant U.S. Attorney
for the Southern District,
joined at counsel table by
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Eric Brennan,
and FBI Special Agent
Deborah D'Angelo.
Thank you.
Are there any oral
motions at this time?
Switch with me.
Just in case your lawyer
doesn't mention it,
next time you appear
in front of the judge,
you might wanna
re-think your clothes.
Okay? You look like the
Cinemax version of yourself.
I sold my clothes when
the government seized
all of my money
two years ago
which incidentally was
the last time I ran a game.
But I think I already
mentioned that.
Hey, switch back.
Nicholas Siegel.
Has the defendant seen a
copy of the indictment?
Yes, Your Honor.
Have you discussed
it with your lawyer?
Switch back.
-And how do you plead?
-Not guilty.
Thank you, you may have a seat.
Your old boss,
the one in the book
you call Dean Keith,
he was terrible to you.
Why cover up for him by changing
it to "poor people bagels"?
I promise you,
it couldn't matter less.
Has the defendant seen a
copy of the indictment?
Just making conversation.
Hey, switch back.
And what do you plead?
Not guilty.
Have a seat.
Defendant number four,
Molly Bloom.
Good morning, Your Honor.
Uh, Charles Jaffey
for the defendant
just for the purposes--
Well, it's good to see you,
Mr. Jaffey.
Are you with us this morning?
Mr. Jaffey?
Uh, yes, sir.
Just uh, one moment.
-Switch back.
You said you got ten times
that much on the street
in my office when I said
my retainer was
$250,000, you said,
"I have ten times that much."
Counsel! I need to
record your appearance.
Please the court, Your Honor,
just one moment.
You extended credit.
You're destitute
and you leave two and a half
million dollars on the street?
I had to.
Didn't anyone try to
buy your debt sheet?
Everyone tried to buy my debt
sheet, is this the right time...?
Why didn't you sell it like
you sold your clothes?
I couldn't.
I couldn't be sure how
they were gonna collect.
I was afraid you
were gonna say that.
Yes, Your Honor, uh,
Charles Jaffey for the defendant.
For the purposes
of this hearing only?
No, sir, I am
Molly Bloom's attorney.
Uh, she's read the indictment,
discussed it with her lawyer,
waives the right to have
it read to her and pleads
"Not Guilty".
Thank you, you may be seated.
Defendant number five.
Gilyard Kirshman.
Gonna have to keep
reading your book.
There was a track star in the
1930's named Matthew Robinson.
Matthew Robinson shattered
the Olympic record
in the 200 at the
Berlin Games in 1936.
Absolutely shattered
the Olympic record...
and came in second.
The man who came in first
was Jesse Owens.
Jesse Owens went
on to be a legend.
Matthew Robinson went
on to be a janitor
at a whites-only middle
school in Pasadena.
The difference was
four-tenths of a second.
As if that wasn't enough,
Matthew Robinson
had a little brother
who was also an athlete.
His name was Jackie.
I have two younger brothers
who were overachievers as well.
While I was ranked third
in North America,
my brother Jeremy was
number one in the world.
And while I was placing into A.P.
Chemistry as a sophomore,
My brother Jordan was
doing it when he was
12 years old or something,
I don't know.
I was a hotshot student
and a hotshot skier
everywhere but my own house.
As I got older, I began to
bait my father into fights.
without really knowing
why I was doing it.
What did everyone learn
in school today?
I learned that Sigmund Freud was
both a misogynist and an idiot
and anyone who relies
on his theories
of human psychology
is a quack.
I don't know
why you'd say that.
You asked me what
I learned in school today.
-Is this Mrs. Linwood?
Did she happen to
mention anything about
his work on the
unconscious mind?
His dream analysis has the
credibility of a horoscope, but
what got my attention
was that he opposed
the women's
emancipation movement.
He believed that a woman's life is
about her reproductive function.
So you're really getting
to the nuts and bolts
of why middle-class
suburban white girls
have been oppressed
for centuries.
Mrs. Linwood was
just teaching us--
Barbara Linwood doesn't
like men, Molly.
She doesn't like dicks, Dad,
there's a difference.
Don't disrespect me
like that at the table.
I wasn't disrespecting you,
I was disrespecting Freud.
And it's the kitchen table, not the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
And I'm a professional
psychologist, not a quack.
-I never said you were a quack.
-Yeah, you did and don't do it again.
And don't ever use
language like that again.
Ignore my teachers,
watch my language
and respect the kitchen table.
What else do I need to do
before I'm allowed
to disagree with you?
Make your own money
so you can live
in your own house
and eat your own food.
I've been running the
game for three years
and saved $58,000.
I was recruiting and
vetting players,
-keeping the books,
collecting and delivering checks,
meeting the needs of all the
players throughout the week
and still working
full-time for Dean Keith,
who made it clear that
if I quit the office job,
-I'd lose the game.
Eights full of nines.
-That's how it is.
-Every time.
I thought he had trips too.
He was slow-playing
into the river and
he hid the pocket
eights pretty well.
Tough beat, man.
-You owe the game--
-I know what I owe the game.
I wanna talk to you a minute.
-In the hall.
? He came from an island ?
? And he died from the streets ?
Is he cheating?
How would you know?
I'd know.
He and Diego aren't
in bed together?
What about him and you?
A 52 card deck produces hundreds
of millions of random patterns
but every time one of you
loses two weeks in a row,
you're sure something fishy's
going on? Come on.
I'm gonna stop paying you.
-What do you mean?
-As my assistant.
-You firing me?
-I'm not firing you
I'm just gonna stop paying you.
You get paid once a week from
the game, it doesn't seem fair.
But I also have a job
working for you
-24 hours a day.
-And if you didn't have that job
you wouldn't have the game.
You understand what I'm saying?
I understand each of the
words that you're saying,
-but I don't understand--
24 hours a day
every day.
You're gonna stop paying
me to do that job
because I'm making
too much money
doing my second job
and if I say no
I'll lose both jobs
because "it doesn't seem fair"?
Business is bad right now.
Welcome to the real world.
All right, here it is.
Banks are loaning you money
and they shouldn't.
You're a bad risk, they know it.
So the debt service on your
loans is close to 20 percent
which is crazy.
20 percent is barely survivable
if it's a bridge loan
but like, for instance,
it's taken you ten years
to build seven houses,
all of which are worth less than
they were before you built them
because the housing market
is on a downward trajectory
for the first time in
the history of houses
and that's why
business is doing bad,
not because you're
paying me $450 a week.
You're a business savant?
I've read every piece of
paper in your office.
You're making thousands
in tips every week,
Why do you care about
-$450 a week?
-Because I don't want to
pick up your dry
cleaning for free.
You don't have
bargaining power here.
You can refuse the pay cut
but you'll lose the game.
Cash me out, please.
I wasn't gonna wait for Dean
to take the game away from me
before I put a plan in place.
The next morning, I made
appointments at the Four Seasons,
the Peninsula and the
Beverly Hills Hotel.
The suite was $5,200 a night.
I spent $17,000 on a
Shuffle Master
that was installed in the table.
Faster, more reliable shuffles,
less downtime between hands.
Food was brought in
from Mr. Chow
and available to eat
on the side tables.
There was Macallan 18,
Belvedere, 1942,
Remy Martin, and an
'88 Lafite Rothschild
served by a bartender who'd
already memorized your drink.
Cohibas, Monte Cristo
in the humidor
A professional stylist turned me
into what my defense attorney
would later call the
Cinemax version of myself.
I spent almost
everything I had
in preparation for the phone call
I knew was coming.
I want you to listen to me.
'Cause you need to hear this.
Where are you?
I need to tell you
something in plain English
and I need to know that
you understood it.
You are unimportant,
did you hear me?
And you are fired.
The job, the game, you're fired.
Can I ask why?
How many of my friends
are you sleeping with?
I'm not sleeping
with any of them.
That's not what I heard.
Listen to me,
with a Hazmat suit,
I wouldn't--
Can I give you some advice?
Lose the bitchy air.
Lose the superior air.
And go to the office
and get your stuff
and be out of there
before I show up.
Hey, are you Molly?
I'm Leah. Uh, Dean asked
me to pack your personals.
I appreciate it.
He also asked me to get the
numbers of tonight's players
so I can confirm the list.
I'm really sorry.
Don't be.
My phone's in my car. Uh,
I'll text you all the numbers
you need when I get downstairs.
I texted my replacement
a bunch of random numbers
with 310 area codes.
Then I sent a text to
the players for tonight
and told them the
game had been moved
to the Four Seasons Hotel,
Suite 1401.
? C'est si bon ?
-Hey, how you doing?
? De partir n'importe o? ?
-Thank you very much.
? Bras dessus, bras dessous ?
-Scotch, please, yeah?
? En chantant des chansons ?
? C'est si bon ?
? De se dire des mots doux ?
? De petits riens du tout ?
? Mais qui en disent long ?
Fellas, can I have your
attention for a moment?
Where's Dean?
I'll be hosting a game in this
suite every Tuesday night.
If you play tonight, you'll be
guaranteed a chair for a year.
If you prefer to play
at the Cobra Lounge,
there'll be no hard feelings.
Let's play.
The game was mine now.
I incorporated and Molly Bloom
Event Planning was born.
I paid taxes and
1099'd my employees.
I never became romantically
or sexually involved
with any of the players.
The game would've fallen apart.
This was back when I was
still making good decisions.
And I went to a lawyer to make
absolutely sure all this was legal.
Are you taking a rake?
Then you're not
breaking the law.
-Can I give you some advice?
There's a saying in my business.
Don't break the law when
you're breaking the law.
What do you mean?
No drugs, no prostitutes,
no muscle to collect debts.
Oh, I don't do
anything like that.
But you just said
I wasn't breaking the law.
Keep it that way, because you
don't want to break the law
when you're breaking the law.
Am I breaking the law?
Not really.
We're able to find out
for sure, aren't we?
Laws are written down.
You're not taking a
percentage of the pot?
You're running a square game.
My game had a tricky ecosystem.
These guys could buy anything
but here in this room
you couldn't buy your win.
You couldn't buy me,
you couldn't buy the girls
and you couldn't buy
a seat at the table.
There's nothing as sweet as
a win you have to work for.
And the wins and losses were
compelling and they were real.
Of course it helped that the
players were gambling addicts.
Can I see you for a second?
Jay, you're famous.
You are an international
rock star.
Oh, I wasn't sure you'd noticed.
You can't send
e-mails like that.
Well, it's not a federal
production, okay? I just...
invited you to Cabo
for the weekend.
The next woman you send
an e-mail like that to,
it's not gonna be me. It's
gonna be someone else.
You're playing with fire.
I'm telling you that
I'm in love with you
and you are worried about
me getting blackmailed.
Oh, my--that just makes
me more into you.
Lemon head, they won't
need to blackmail you.
They can get just as
much money from TMZ.
And TMZ will give them
what they really want--
Tell me the truth,
was mine the first
love letter you've
gotten from a player?
It was the seventh.
All digitally transmitted.
You are begging
for your life
to be turned into a
very public hell.
So that's a no on Cabo?
Why don't you just give
your wife and kids a break
and run them
over with a limo?
I love the way
that you talk to me.
Oh, God.
I've had a thought.
-Raise the stakes.
To what?
50K buy-in. Blinds are 250-500.
-That's a 500 percent hike.
I don't think it's a good idea.
You guys give me the
room for a second?
The players that are
losing 100,000 a week
are gonna be losing
half a million.
And the players are
winning 100,000 a week--
Will have no one
left to play with.
Players are gonna get hurt,
others are gonna get killed and
some will drop out.
It's not sustainable.
We'll lose the game.
Find new players.
He meant find new fish.
I went recruiting again.
First up was Donnie Silverman.
Donnie won the World
Series of Poker last year
and got in touch with me
through one of the players.
Are you fuckin' nuts?
Donnie Silverman won
the World Series of Poker.
You can watch it online.
He took 11 hands
at the final table.
But he had the nuts
on eight of them.
And three of those...
three were two-outers with
four players still in the hand.
He ran hot. He doesn't
lock his chips down,
he's reckless,
he gives tons of action,
and he's got
12 million dollars.
You know,
I don't like playing poker.
Why do you play?
I like destroying lives.
Give him a chair.
-The next recruit...
-Good evening, gentlemen.
was Brad Marion, who
everyone called Bad Brad
because he was uniquely
terrible at this game.
If there was a worst
player in the world,
Brad would still
find a way to lose to him.
Sorry, I don't have a chair,
but you're welcome to a drink.
No, I just came to
introduce you to uh, Brad.
All in.
I just wanted to introduce you to
Brad Marion, he wants to play.
Give me his information,
I'll check him out.
No, Derrick's gonna
vouch for him.
"Derrick's gonna vouch for him"
meant Derrick would cover
any losses if Brad didn't pay.
Up to any amount.
-Hi, I'm Molly Bloom.
-Brad Marion.
-Nice to meet you.
-You too.
But he could pay,
and had to
because he embraced the fallacy
of being pot-committed.
I'm all in.
You've invested so much,
you might as well see
it through to the end.
Move it up, $2,000 to call.
Bad Brad had raised
700 million dollars
for a fund that
traded oil futures.
And every week,
he came to the game.
Lost $100,000 and
tipped me $5,000
so he could
play the next week.
Thank you.
He wasn't getting any better.
And the guys were
feasting on him.
Can I get another fifty?
-Can we talk for a second?
Brad, this game might
not be for you.
I know I'm no card shark.
No, you're not.
Here are your losses
after ten weeks.
And you've won...
It's actually a
statistical anomaly.
Yeah, I know.
I like playing with the guys.
I don't have that many friends.
Don't take my seat away.
-I can tip you more.
Your tips are very generous.
How about I-I give
you some books?
Or even a pro to
give you some lessons.
Yeah, uh, maybe.
Let me think about it.
Turned out Bad Brad
knew what he was doing.
He was getting customers.
He'd drop his
100K at the game
and pick up four million
for his hedge fund.
-Tell 'em what's smart this week.
-Not me.
More on that later,
but first...
Harlan Eustice.
Player X said he met Harlan
at the Commerce Casino
and that he'd be
good for the game
but I wasn't seeing
what he was seeing.
He played tight, folding
after the hole cards
64 percent of the time.
It wasn't clear where
his money came from.
He produced backyard
wrestling videos
and other low-rent
But worst of all, Harlan Eustice
was a good card player.
Why would Player X want someone
at the game who could beat him?
I'd learn the answer to
that one the hard way.
-How was your flight?
-Just fine.
How are you paying for tickets
between L.A. and New York?
I had 2 million points
left on my Amex.
They took the card but
let me keep the points
which I thought
was nice of them.
You had meetings.
You had meetings in L.A. about
your book and life rights?
-I did.
-Was there any interest?
A company that owns 4,000
video poker machines
wants to put my face on 'em.
Anything else?
Treat Magazine made
a generous offer.
It's a new magazine for the
high-end photography enthusiast.
-They want you to pose naked?
-I'd be the April treat.
I meant interest in your book.
Uh, yeah.
Any offers?
A few I guess.
A couple.
I passed.
You're destitute and
you passed on five offers
-to turn you book into a movie?
-You will be paid, Charlie.
I'm just curious as to
why you passed
on what appear to be
the only way out you have.
-Creative differences.
Should we start?
You know, I am gonna
figure you out.
Well, let me know what you find.
You see this?
This is discovery.
Let's see what we discovered.
Over here, we have
Peter Druzhinsky,
Peter Antonovich and
Peter Slobo. The three Petes.
Now the three Petes run a chain
of corrupt medical clinics
and have been committing
insurance fraud,
wire fraud and mail
fraud on an epic scale.
Now over here, we have the
Rachniana-Gershen Organization.
They're a worldwide
bookmaking operation
handling hundreds of
millions of dollars a year
in illegal sports betting.
And over here, we have the
Alexander Habib organization.
This is also an illegal
sports betting organization
but this one, financed by an art
gallery owned by Shillel Habib
-who everyone calls--
This is the Russian mafia.
And the three are tied together
in the indictment through...
A poker game.
Were they tapping my phones?
-Thank God.
They were tapping the phones
of everyone you talked to.
They've got you confirming
that you ran rake games
at the Plaza Hotel and
various locations in New York.
They've also got a confidential
informant confirming
that you ran raked games
at the Plaza Hotel
and various locations
in New York.
You were in violation of 1955,
which is the part of the U.S. Code
that makes it illegal to run
an illegal gambling business.
You know what you did?
You finished writing a book
before the good part happened.
You really get a kick out
of yourself, don't you?
You know,
-I don't like this picture.
-Thank you.
You look like the cat
that ate the canary
and then told the canary's
parents about it.
It's the picture the publisher
wanted and I didn't get a vote.
I like the book.
Good story, well told.
-Thank you.
-I need you to tell it again, though.
From the beginning
and this time
without skipping
over the Russians.
-Would you like a glass of water?
-I'd like a glass of bourbon.
-One more thing.
I need your hard drives.
-Going back how far?
-What do you mean?
Well, I kept my hard drives
when I'd buy a new laptop.
You're kidding.
No, it had a record
of who owed what
and spreadsheets
on the players.
It has more than that.
Every time you charge
your phone by plugging it
into the computer,
the computer takes a record
of all your text
messages and e-mails.
My laptop has a record
of all text messages
and e-mails received
years ago on phones
that have been smashed
with an aluminum bat?
I want to run forensic imaging
on your hard drives.
Oh, no, thanks anyway, but I'll
be destroying those hard drives.
Well, you can't do that,
they're evidence.
Well, I'm gonna blow 'em up, I am
literally gonna use explosives
and scatter the
remains in the sea.
Except you told me they exist.
You're gonna have to
pretend I didn't tell you.
-Can't do that.
-Yes, you can.
You were the one who
wanted a lawyer
that wasn't even a
little bit shady.
New information has
come to light,
now I see that that was stupid.
-There are no hard drives.
If you destroy evidence
and obstruct justice
on top of the charges already
brought against you in this case,
you will be, I promise,
You don't understand what's
in those text messages.
I understand you've
had boyfriends
and there'll be some exchanges
that are a little bit,
you know, embarrassing.
I don't care about embarrassing
text messages from boyfriends
as there's not left a small
corner of my private life
that isn't available
for public scrutiny.
There are messages that
would destroy other lives.
There are messages
that would end careers
and obliterate families.
If those text messages
were to be made public,
-They won't be.
-If they were,
-They won't be.
-it would be catastrophic
-for many people.
-I'm a lawyer. I'm legally--
-Listen to me,
I am legally prohibited
from disclosing anything--
Someone leaked my last deposition
to the National Enquirer, Charlie.
My last lawyer's
name was Butterman
and he was one of five people
in the room besides me.
But the information
in that deposition
would be nothing compared
to the consequences
of those text messages--
Ah! I just got it.
showing up everywhere.
I couldn't figure out why you
named some people but not others.
I thought that maybe
some people paid you.
You were wrong but
it doesn't matter.
No, the only people you
named in that book
were the ones that
were already named
in the Bad Brad
Marion deposition
-which you think
-I know.
-somebody leaked it
-Sold it.
-to the tabloids,
-maybe even Butterbean.
-Butterman, but...
I don't know who it was.
I watched Jenny McCarthy beat
you up for naming the players.
Why don't you just say,
"Hey, those names are
already public record."
I don't know.
'Cause it wasn't on The View
under subpoena.
Can we please get back
to the e-mails and texts?
Is that why you have
creative differences
with the Hollywood office?
Because they want information
you won't give them?
I don't owe you.
If what happened last time
were to happen this time,
it would make what
happened last time--
What is this for?
It's got every text message and
e-mail I sent in the last year
as well as a variety of
incriminating evidence
about my clients.
Now, if anything of
yours gets leaked,
you can sell my phone
to the highest bidder
and I'll lose my job
and get disbarred.
So, in order to demonstrate the
sanctity of your attorney/client
you're betraying
the confidentiality
of all your other clients.
I know you're
not gonna look at it.
How do you know?
I don't know.
I'll fly home to Colorado
and be back the next day
with the hard drives.
Harlan Eustice was excited about
the surprise 40th birthday party
he was throwing for
his wife in 24 hours.
Rented out the whole courtyard
at the Buffalo Club.
Gonna be about
a hundred people.
Kumamoto oysters,
snow crab, lobsters,
He wasn't ticking off
menu items to show off.
He was genuinely excited about
the party he was giving his wife.
She doesn't know
anything about it.
She thinks we're having dinner
with her brother and his wife.
I liked Harlan.
But nobody else like
him except Player X.
He played tight,
didn't give a lot of action
and always got his
money in good
which means he was
running the odds.
-Five thousand to call.
In other words,
he was playing poker
and the others were gambling.
And he won.
By midnight, Harlan had tripled
his original $50,000 buy-in
but everything came off
the rails with one hand.
And that's how it happens.
That's how you go full tilt.
Harlan, the best
player at the table,
the best player at most tables,
was about to get bluffed off
the win by, of all people,
Bad Brad.
Because Harlan had never
played with Brad before
and didn't know yet
that Brad was bad.
Harlan's got a boat, nine's full.
Brad's got nothing
but his pre-flop
betting made it look,
entirely accidentally,
like there was a chance
he had pocket kings,
20 thousand.
which, if true, would give
him the better full house.
Brad's counting off 20 thousand
which means he's gonna call
and Harlan knows that if Brad's
gonna call and not raise
it means he didn't have the boat
and he's betting a high two-pair,
probably kings and queens.
But then instead of
calling the bet,
Brad pushes 72 thousand
dollars into the pot.
I'm all in.
Harlan looks a Brad.
Every tell Harlan knows about,
carotid artery pumping,
stiff hands,
Brad's doing the opposite.
Brad's betting had
represented a huge hand
by calling on the flop,
check-raising the turn
and bombing the river.
Of course, Harlan didn't
know that Brad didn't know
what any of that meant.
So Harlan, always
a good sport, said,
Nice bet. I'm laying this down.
as he tossed in what
he didn't realize
was the winning hand.
Brad tosses in his cards too
and one of them flips
over and Harlan sees...
You didn't have pocket kings?
I didn't have any kings.
Except the one in the middle.
You had two pair?
I had one pair,
the nines in the middle.
Harlan, what are
you thinking, man?
Thank you.
It wasn't even that
it that much money.
Harlan only lost about
$40,000 on the hand.
But a circuit breaker blew and
Harlan was out for blood now.
You have 112,000 on the table,
you want another 50?
Give me another hundred, please.
Sign here for 100,000.
By 5 a.m. Harlan was
down half a million.
He'd abandoned everything
he knew about poker
and was playing like a frat kid,
swinging for a home run
on every hand.
Another hundred, please.
-Hey, bud--
Please. Let's go.
Sign here for a hundred.
Six a.m.
Text messages
were going out
letting everyone know
Harlan was bleeding.
Guys were coming by to play for
a couple of hours before work.
They'd been losing
to him for months.
Everyone wanted a check
from Harlan Eustice.
If you go home now,
you can have
a few hours of sleep
before Sheila's party.
Come talk to me.
Hi, guys, help yourselves
to some coffee.
You're on tilt.
Everybody knows it.
You're playing without the
weapons you need to win.
You're right.
All right, thank you.
Just give me 500,000.
I just gotta get back to even.
That should be the second
line of every gambler's obit.
"Mr. Feldstein died while
trying to get back to even."
Harlan never did.
And he never got to his
wife's birthday party.
She filed for divorce
two days later.
There was one last punch coming
that would put Harlan
on the floor for good.
Harlan was heads-up against
a guy named Frederick
who was Austrian royalty.
Harlan had pocket queens.
His Excellency had ace-king.
They were both in 65K pre-flop.
Flop's queen-seven-seven.
Harlan has a full-house again,
queens full of sevens,
with three rounds of
betting in front of him.
The Count has nothing.
All in.
And the Count goes all in.
He wants Harlan to think he's got
two more sevens under there.
Nope, says Harlan, he's not
falling for this again
and he snap calls all in.
There's $750,000 on the table.
Diego burns a card
and deals the turn.
A king.
Otto von Bismarck
now has two pair,
kings and sevens,
but two-pair's nothing
next to a full house.
And at this point,
the only hand left that can
beat a queen full house,
is a king full house.
Captain Von Trapp
-All right.
bluffed two pair
and rivered into kings full.
Fuck you,
you fucking mechanic!
Fuck you! You bottom-dealing
party magician!
Get out on the terrace.
You've been pullin' this
shit on me for two days!
Come on! Come on!
Party magician.
-You good?
-I'm good, thanks.
What the hell?
I'll apologize to Diego.
And you're gonna go home.
I'm making a floor call, that's it.
Did you hear me?
I don't have it.
A million two.
I don't have it.
I'm sorry.
Go home.
I'm very sorry.
You gotta tell Sheila
the truth, okay?
Tell her the truth.
Tell her what happened.
I'm gonna help you,
I'm gonna get you to a meeting.
We'll meet tomorrow and
figure out what to
do about the money.
Harlan and I didn't
meet the next day.
He just called me and
said everything was okay
and showed up the next
week with a bank check
for a million two hundred
thousand dollars.
Where'd he get the money from?
I loaned it to him.
Loaned it?
I get 50% of his wins
until the debt's paid off
and then 50% for the next
two years with no exposure.
You're getting 50% of the wins
and no exposure on the losses?
First of all, he'll never
climb out of that,
that's sharecropper math.
It's also usury,
it's racketeering.
Second, you can't
stake a player
and play in a game
at the same time.
I've been doing it for two years.
-You've been staking Harlan?
-Jesus Christ.
-It's not cheating.
It creates the opportunity for it.
Tell me how.
-Are you kidding me?
-Tell me how.
If you have an interest in
another player winning?
You think I'm gonna
take a dive?
And if I did,
who would care?
You fold your hole cards,
five of clubs, jack of hearts,
he's still in the game.
It would benefit him to know
-that the five of clubs--
-You think I'm signaling him?
I'm saying it can't
fucking happen again.
You disapprove of me.
It's not personal.
It feels personal
when you chat up
every other guy at
the game except me.
When you stay late for a
drink with JT but never--
Have you visited his Oscar?
I think it's bolted on
the hood of his car.
It's noticeable
when you go out of your
way to demonstrate
that you have
no interest in me.
You did the
same thing to Dean.
These guys wanna play
cards with me, not you.
Be that as it may--
You know who the biggest
winner in this game is?
It's you.
You know who he second
biggest winner is?
-It's you.
What are you taking home,
ten thousand a night now?
That is my business, literally.
Between you, the dealers,
and the servers,
you're taking a lot of money
out of this game.
Not as much as
I'm bringing to it.
That 10,000 is 10,000 that
doesn't go in my pocket.
Again, my money--
Your money is my money.
Is it?
I think we should talk
about capping your tips.
You want to get together
with the other players,
who on my tax return
are called clients,
and discuss putting a
ceiling on my wages?
That's right.
It'll be America's most
closely-watched anti-trust case.
Right there, right then,
that fast,
I lost the game.
It was the next Tuesday,
game night.
He waited until he knew I'd
be on the way to the hotel
and then sent me a text.
It said, "We're playing
at Dave's tonight."
"No need to show up."
And I knew the truth
even before
I answered the call
that came next.
You are so fucked.
There's no such word
as verticality.
In the book, on page 152,
when you lose the game in L.A.
and you come to New York,
you admire the city's verticality.
It's a word.
Once you're in New York,
you talk about games
lasting all night, two nights,
being up for days, but
you don't mention drugs.
There were drugs.
I'm two years clean.
You left the drugs
out of the book.
You know what, I'm not
paying you $250,000
for your Amazon
customer review.
So far, you're not
paying me for anything.
I just e-mailed you verticality from
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary.
What's an advance
on a book like this?
The advance?
It depends.
If you guarantee the
publishers certain elements,
then I can get you a
million and a half
which you'll probably double in
sales plus ancillary rights.
What kind of elements?
You have to use real names.
There's a guy who sits outside
my Starbucks with a uh
with a cardboard sign that says,
"Vietnam Vet"
and every morning
I give him a quarter
and right now the only
difference between you and him
is that you have a story.
I'm one thousand percent sure
that the homeless Vietnam
vet has a better one.
You have one asset.
Write your story
and I can get you
a million and a half
and-and that's the floor.
Go big or go home and
live with your mother.
For the rest of your life.
What if I...
What if I told the
publishers that I would...
name the players who are
already named
in the Brad Marion
All four?
I'll use the real names of the
players who are already named
by Bad Brad, what if
I told them that?
You spent eight years
in Hollywood
and two years in New York
running the world's
most exclusive, glamorous,
and decadent man-cave.
So what do the publishers
get from you
about people with real names?
My advance was $35,000.
Well, the first thing I'm gonna do
is get you a minor role reduction,
get the 12 points
knocked down to 10.
What's a minor role reduction?
I'm gonna argue to the
prosecutor that you were uh,
an employee that was hired
and fired by the players.
Not a chance.
I think we got a good chance.
No, not a chance I'm letting
make that argument.
-Why not?
-It's not true.
Let me explain how the
point system works.
I know how it works.
Points correspond
with the prosecutor's
sentencing recommendation.
You try to get a point reduction
based on a variety of factors
including, say, prior
criminal history
which I don't have,
or whether the defendant
played a minor role
which I certainly did not.
You really think this is a
good time to hog credit?
I built it from scratch.
No, there was already a
game at the Cobra Lounge
when you came along.
The New York game is what I'm talking
about, I built from scratch.
I wasn't fireable,
I made sure of that. So no.
I wasn't really listening.
I'm refusing you permission
to seek a minor role reduction.
I'm refusing you permission to
invalidate my entire career.
And I'm not caring.
I built a successful--
Hey, do you want kids?
You interested in
having a family?
Very much.
I don't get you some
point reductions
and the sentencing
recommendation guidelines
say 8 to 12 years
and that's before
they try to jam you up
more for money laundering.
-Money laundering? Are you--
-The moment you changed...
the Russians' money for chips.
I would've had to
have been aware
-where the money was--
-Find me 12 men and women
who'll believe that you
weren't aware of exactly
who was sitting at your table and
where their money came from.
So, that's it.
You were a cocktail waitress.
When I lost the L.A. game,
I told myself it was no big deal.
It was just supposed
to be an adventure
and a way to meet
influential people.
And I'd saved over $200,000.
But that was just a weak
firewall I'd hastily built
to keep out the humiliation
and depression
I knew was coming.
It had to end sometime.
I just thought it
would be on my time.
The game had given
me an identity,
and a defined place
in a world that was inaccessible
and in one irrational heartbeat
it was taken away.
I was irrelevant
and forgotten overnight.
It'd been two weeks
since I lost the game
and I made an appointment
to see someone
because now the humiliation
and depression
had given way to blinding
anger at my powerlessness
over the unfair whims of men.
It was that there
weren't any rules.
These power moves weren't
framed by right and wrong,
just ego and vanity.
Selfish whims with no
regard for consequence.
No fairness, no justice.
And that giggling, cackling
call from Player X.
You are so fucked.
I couldn't lose to that
green-screened little shit
and I didn't want a therapist
to make me feel okay about it.
You know what makes me
feel okay about losing?
I got on a plane to New York.
Wall Street, Madison Avenue,
Fifth Avenue, the Dakota,
the San Remo...
the players were here,
I just had to bait the hook.
This time, I didn't
have movie stars.
This time, I used
Playboy Playmates.
These weren't just any Playmates.
Jesse was a
Puerto Rican knockout
who grew up working
in card rooms
and was a
good player herself.
I could stake her,
infiltrate other games
and poach their
big-ticket players.
You ready to make some money?
Shelby could write code
and run more thorough
background checks than the TSA.
Here's your account
at Citibank.
Winston was the daughter
of an American diplomat.
She's lived in nine
different countries
and had the e-mail addresses
of half the Saudi royal family.
Who's the biggest
game in Manhattan?
On any given night, it's either
Teddy Chin or Tooty Tiscano.
-But that's Manhattan.
-What do you mean?
The biggest game in New
York is in Brooklyn.
Russian Jews.
Buy-in's 100K.
No one runs the game,
they just play and pay.
We couldn't promise anyone they'd
rub elbows with movie stars.
But New York has one thing
Hollywood doesn't.
The Yankees.
And there was one
Yankee in particular
that every man in America
would line up to lose to.
Don't say his name out loud.
Write it on a cocktail napkin,
crumple the napkin up,
put it in a glass of water
so they can see the ink dissolve.
-That's really necessary?
-No, it's not at all necessary.
When do we tell them
the game's gonna start?
Tell them it's been
happening once a week for
about six months at a location
you won't disclose right now.
There's a pretty long waiting
list for a chair but
Molly's... here somewhere and
I'll introduce you to her.
50K buy-in,
blinds are five and one?
Yeah, fifty...
50K buy-in?
Two hundred and fifty.
That's gonna make noise.
Enough to be heard
on Rodeo Drive.
The Gold Coast of Long Island
has been home to the Vanderbilts,
Roosevelts, Whitneys,
J.P. Morgan, and F.W. Woolworth.
It's an impossible
ticket to get,
but I can talk to Molly.
Tonight was a ten-thousand
per person fundraiser
to pay for major renovations
at the East Hampton Yacht Club.
Molly's around here somewhere.
I can introduce you but
I wouldn't get my hopes up.
That's for real.
If there was a charity event
for residents of the Hamptons
who own yachts,
in my business, that's called
a target rich environment.
I have to tell you the
initial buy-in is 250,000.
250,000, that's almost as
much as my second car.
Your friends
come to the games?
It took only seven
weeks of recruiting
to get ten players and
seven on a waiting list.
And in these circles,
that was more than enough
to start the mythology.
By morning, gamblers would
be telling and hearing
stories about this
game in London,
Tokyo, and Dubai.
All in.
At the end of that year,
I reported an income of
four million, seven hundred and
seventy-three thousand dollars.
Every square inch of it legal
and on the books.
I was the biggest
game runner in the world
All tips.
I still hadn't taken a rake.
And I still hadn't
accidentally recruited
members of a
Russian crime syndicate.
In the beginning, I was
using drugs to stay awake.
First Adderall.
Then Adderall crushed up
to defeat the time release.
Then coke, Valium, Vicodin,
Percocet, and more Adderall.
I rented a penthouse apartment
and installed plasma screens
for the sports bettors.
I had the lower-stakes
games on Wednesdays,
Thursdays and Sundays
at my place,
with Tuesday night at
The Plaza being the big game.
At seven, the dealers came,
the table was set up and polished
and ten chairs were placed around it
exactly twelve inches apart.
I used custom chips and two
dealers who worked an hour on,
an hour off, with a new crew
coming in after 12 hours.
Casinos had discovered that
certain scents make people
more likely to place big bets.
The casinos pump those scents
in through the ventilation.
I had custom candles made.
I had been working with
a new dealer named B.
Not like Beatrice, just the initial.
She'd been working on trashy
card rooms on the East Side
and we became friends.
Tone it down.
The big players
don't like fast hands.
Sarcastic dealing.
You've gotta do it.
Not doing it is insanity.
You must be able to see that.
You've been stiffed
four or five times.
You've got hundreds of
thousands on the street,
That's money you're
never gonna see again.
B have been suggesting
it for a long time.
She was suggesting it again
because of an incident
the week before.
-Hey, Cole.
-Come on in.
-Thanks. You got my check?
I do.
-It's right here.
-Thank you.
Hey, can I show you
something on TV?
Uh, actually I'm...
kind of a hurry.
It'll just take a second,
have a seat.
This is last Tuesday's game.
Shit, Molly, if the
guys find out that
you've got cameras on 'em,
they're gonna go nuts.
Yeah. That's you in
the seventh chair.
Look at your stack of chips.
I got a cab downstairs, just--
Look at the time stamp.
1:06 a.m.
Let's fast forward to 1:07.
1:07 you lose the hand to Boosty.
-What is this?
Our sheets say that you didn't
buy in again between 1:06 and 1:08
but look at that...
your stack's bigger.
-I can explain, this is just a--
-Okay, let's rewind.
This screen's got the
dealer changeover
while the same time
on this screen...
there we are.
This is why I can't reconcile
$57,000 from Tuesday's game.
A 7-11's got security cameras
on their Slushy machine,
I've got a million dollars changing
hands every two minutes, imbecile,
you don't think I've
got eyes on the table?
-I, uh, I owe people money.
-I know.
Why isn't it coming
from the trust fund?
I need my parents'
permission to get that much.
And they'd kill me. You don't
even understand what it's like.
People just don't realize
trust fund kids are
suffering in this economy too.
I realize what I did was wrong.
Did it take a lot of soul
searching to get you there?
-I meant that--
-Okay, first of all,
the guys that are making
the counterfeit chips
are taking you for a ride.
They know that there are
signatures built in the chips,
exact weight, infrared markings--
Breathe. Second,
don't try this at
anyone else's game
because if you do, they're
gonna express their anger
in a much different
way than I am.
You owe me $57,000,
when I get it
you get the tape,
but until then
you don't play in
anyone's game.
So when Tuesday night came,
B was at it again.
Your exposure's crazy.
It's not if, it's when.
You're gonna get blown up.
Your risk is nuts.
If I took a rake, this game
would no longer be legal.
And if you can't cover,
this game will no longer exist.
You're the bank now.
You're guaranteeing the game.
If you see a hand
you don't want to carry,
just look at me,
flash me a number,
and I'll take it off the table.
Most runners cap it
at five percent.
-I'll see you out there.
-See you out there.
Two weeks later around 2 a.m.
there was a pot that was
up to 1.3 million pre-flop
with five players still in.
My hope was that the flop
would chase four of them off
Raise 100,000.
300,000 to you, sir.
There was now
2.1 million on the table.
300,000 to you, sir.
Plus 200.
2.6 million.
Three million.
She was right,
I was extending credit,
big numbers.
And it's not like Harlan Eustice hadn't
already put the fear of God into me.
If I couldn't pay, one time,
that'd be the end of the game.
I was the house.
That's how quickly
I made the decision.
And just as quickly, B calculated
two percent of the pot
and took it off the table.
That was it.
I'd just taken a rake,
in violation of U.S. Criminal Code
It's time to introduce
Douglas Downey
'cause Downey's gonna take us
all the way home.
Downey was a drunk and he'd stay
after the game and hang out
while I did the books.
He was hard to understand
when he was drunk
and his conversation openers
would always sound
like the title of a
detective novel.
Victim of circumstance.
Story of, you know...
story of my proverbial...
you know...
He'd talk about his marriage.
I married young, Mol.
I married young
and I married dull.
If I'd been born in Greenwich
instead of Flushing?
He talked about wanting
a better life.
New Canaan?
Gone to...
Rye Country Day, Princeton.
The life I'd have.
The wife I'd have.
-I'd be a playuuuh.
Victim of circumstance.
Mol, these are things
I only say to you.
Good call.
And he'd talk about another
game he played in.
It was the Brooklyn game.
The Brighton Beach game where
they played all night and all day.
The game that was
populated by Russians.
I'm the only Irish
guy they let play.
Mol, these are the nicest guys
I've ever met.
Then one night, Douglas Downey
lost 80,000 at my game
and didn't have it.
Winston, could I have
the room, please?
-I'll see you tomorrow.
You won 190,000 last week.
I owe Teddy Chin and Tooty.
All right.
And some sports bets.
I'm a winner.
Trapped inside the body of a--
The Brooklyn game.
Is everything I've heard true?
What have you heard?
The Russians have
deep pockets,
bad at poker, give action
and pay instantly
and wear a coat and tie.
That's all true
Bring me some of those
players and I'll give you
a piece of the game until
your 80K's paid down.
Loser, is what I was gonna say
Winner trapped inside
-the body of a
-I know.
-Got it.
Can you bring me some players?
I'm the only
Irish guy they let play.
Do you understand
the deal I'm offering you?
No, I'm saying this
because you're Irish
and they may not want to
play in your game.
I'm the only
Irish guy they let play.
I'm not Irish.
-You're not?
Molly Bloom?
You're thinking of the
James Joyce character.
I always thought you were Irish.
I'm not.
Can you bring me some players?
-Isn't there a famous book?
-Okay, Douglas.
Focus up. Yes, there's
a book by James Joyce
called Ulysses and there's
a character named Molly Bloom
and that is why
you think I'm Irish
but now it's time
to move past that.
Can you bring me some
Brighton Beach players?
If you're not Irish,
what are you?
I'm a Russian Jew.
The next week,
I had some new players.
Mike was the first
one to arrive.
Good evening. I'm Jesse.
I'm Mike Davidov.
Mike owned a chain
of medical clinics
and had already posted
with a wire transfer.
Next were the Gershen brothers.
Illya and Alexey.
They were in the business
of exporting steel to China.
Alexey brought a quarter of a
million dollars in a backpack.
Mr. Habib, good evening.
I'm Shelby.
I'm Shelly, only one
letter's different.
Also, I'm a billionaire, I think
I may have seen you naked.
You'd remember.
And then Shelly Habib.
The Habib family owns
the largest collection
of classical art in the world,
valued at three billion dollars,
and Shelly runs the Helly
Gallery on Madison Avenue.
As for tonight, I was not able
to put my hands on cash today
because I woke up this morning
after the banks have closed.
So, I'm hoping you'll accept
this as temporary collateral.
That is...
an authentic Monet.
Grabbed it right off the wall.
You came over here
carrying a Monet.
I was driven. And I have
security outside the door.
Shelly, here's what
I need you to do.
I need you to get this,
what, four--?
Seven million dollar painting
out of here right now.
And your, I assume,
-armed security--
can't stand
in front of the door.
Fix this up, come on back
and I'll extend your credit
tonight up one and a half.
You're a very beautiful woman.
Pleas be careful
with the painting.
Mike, Illya, Alexey and Shelly.
Those were the players
Doug Downey brought me.
As advertised,
they played loose,
gave action,
lost to the regulars,
and settled right away.
People have asked,
"Wasn't there any way to tell
that some of the players
"at your game are connected
to one of the darkest, deadliest,
and far-reaching organized
crime syndicates in the world?"
There wasn't.
-I'm gonna go all in.
I wish I had better news.
Harrison Wellstone didn't go
for the minor role reduction?
He didn't buy that I was
a cocktail waitress?
Was it because I wasn't?
Hey, I tried, which is what
you're not paying me to do.
So what now?
The government is expressing
an interest in you
being a cooperating witness.
-You don't say.
Who could have possibly
seen that coming?
Let's have the conversation.
It'll be short because
I don't know anything
-at all that can help them.
-You don't know anything
that can help them
convict the Russians
but you know things
that can help them.
Did you know
that 97 percent
of federal cases
never make it to trial?
Even though the chances
of being convicted
at trial is a little more
than one in a hundred.
If you want to go to trial,
that's fine
but it's gonna cost
you in the area of
three and a half
million dollars.
Which the Justice Department
knows I don't have
because they took all of my
money in a civil forfeiture
which they can do
without a warrant
because my property doesn't have
a presumption of innocence.
Then after I'm
arrested by 17 agents
holding automatic weapons,
totally necessary
and not at all meant
to intimidate me,
I'm given two days
to hire a lawyer
and appear in a courtroom on
the other side of the country.
If you are saying that
everything that happens
from the moment you are
arrested is designed
to persuade you to plead
guilty, you are correct.
So tell me all the
ways I can help
'cause I really feel
I owe it to them.
Oh, speaking of owing,
the IRS put a tax lien on the
money they took from me.
Are you ki--
All right. None of that matters.
Taking my money wasn't a tax,
I also need to
give them my money
Or they'll take it again.
-None of that matters.
-It needed to be said.
Not really.
So, to be clear, you're not
interested in entering
a cooperation agreement
with the prosecutors.
If I had testimony that would lead
to the conviction of a bad guy,
no one would have to coerce
me into cooperating.
But I don't. I have dirt.
I have dish. I have gossip.
So my value to the prosecution
is exactly the same
as it is to Hollywood.
I'm here to ensure the New
York Post covers the trial.
I'm here to sell tickets.
Which is nonetheless
value to the prosecution
so what we do is leverage it
to get you a favorable
sentencing recommendation
or, better yet,
complete immunity.
Oh, hey, honey.
-Hey, Stella.
What does he have you
doing now?
An essay on three poems with what
he believes are a common theme.
Not an essay.
Two paragraphs.
Which three poems?
"Close", "Rush" and "Walls".
Oh, I know those.
What's the common theme?
Things with one-word titles.
Are you sure youre qualified
to be teaching her poetry?
Hang on.
And yes.
Anytime you want to
run away form home,
you can come live with me.
Then you discover she
doesn't have a home
and you come back to me.
This is good. Great.
Why don't you grab a snack,
start your homework in
one of the conference rooms.
Okay, see ya.
There's no law that says you
can't just hit him in the head.
There is a law
that says that,
it's the first thing
I taught her to read.
My father used to
give us extra work.
Can I ask you a question?
You think I'm too hard on her?
I met a girl when I first
moved to L.A. she was 22.
Someone arranged
through a third party
to spend a weekend
with her in London.
You know what she got?
For the weekend?
Five grand.
A bag.
A Chanel bag she wanted.
Whatever you're
doing with Stella,
double it.
Where's your father in all this?
You mean physically?
He's in... Colorado.
Your parents still together?
You and your father close?
Was he tough on you?
You know how many girls at the
Olympics have demanding fathers?
All of them?
That's right.
I was tough on him.
What do you mean?
I was a brat.
Fathers don't care.
I'd start fights with him.
You were lying!
Why would I start
fights with him?
I put you through grad school.
I raised the kids.
I did every God--everything.
No, you listen to me.
All you do is cheat on me.
And lie to me.
And lie to the kids.
You lie to your wife
and you lie to your kids.
I don't know.
For the record,
the law, 1955, that I'm
accused of breaking,
it defines gambling as
betting on games of chance.
-Poker isn't a game of chance.
Roulette's a game of chance.
Poker's a game of skill.
Still, if I were you--
I'll tell them anything
they want to know about me.
About me.
That's it.
Remember Bad Brad Marion?
It turns out his
700 million dollar hedge fund
wasn't what you would call...
It was a Ponzi scheme.
He'd been falsely reporting
profits for years.
He wasn't even
registered with the SEC.
With the money given to him
by friends and family
and players of the game,
he bought several
Malibu beach houses,
an airplane hangar
full of cars,
another one
with an airplane,
and the life he wanted.
When he was arrested,
he had $740 in the bank.
Brad cooperated with the FBI
and gave them hours of testimony
on a range of subjects,
including how three years earlier,
he'd lost 5.2 million dollars
in an underground
celebrity poker game
that was run by a girl
named Molly Bloom.
His story was that I'd induced him
to play in a high-stakes game.
I just wanted to introduce
you to Brad Marion.
And that due to my enabling,
he'd become a gambling addict.
who made me become
a gambling addict.
Brad, this game
might not be for you.
Federal bankruptcy lawyers
were brought in to recover
as much of the boosted
money as they could.
I was sent a subpoena and
flew out to L.A. to be deposed.
Can you confirm the
names on the list
all played poker
with Brad Marion?
This list was provided
to you by Brad Marion?
I just need you to
confirm for the record
that your game included but was
not limited to the players on this list.
I understand. What I'm
trying to get on the record
is that I'm not the one
who provided the list.
These names were
provided by Brad Marion.
So under oath--
I can confirm
the list is accurate.
The L.A. players and I
were given a choice.
Testify against each
other in open court
or help make restitution to the
victims of Brad's Ponzi scheme.
I wrote the government
a check for $500,000.
And somewhere in an FBI
field office in New York,
someone was pinning
my picture to a wall.
I was running six games a week,
sometimes at two different
locations in a night.
And by this point,
I was addicted to drugs.
Adderall, Ambien, Xanax, coke,
alcohol, Valium, Ativan, Trazadone--
anything that could keep
me up for a few days
and knock me out
for a few hours.
But I wasn't just taking them
to stay awake anymore.
It was dark and
friendless where I was.
I felt like I was in a hole so deep,
I could go fracking.
It didn't feel like depression,
it felt more violent.
I was tired of living in the frat
house I'd built for degenerates.
I was tired of the greed--
mine, not theirs.
I was sick of being
high all the time.
I was sick of living
in the gray area.
I couldn't recognize myself
and what I recognized,
I couldn't stand.
After a game one night,
Douglas Downey surprised
me with a confession
after opening with another
detective story title.
Gut shot on the river.
I want to say something.
I want to say um... something.
I'm just gonna say it.
'Cause there's a poem...
a famous uh...
a poem about...
thoughts left unexpressed.
Two roads emerged
from the woods.
Do they explode?
I don't know.
You like poetry?
I did until a second ago.
I'm gonna call you a--
I'm in love with you.
This isn't happening.
Plain and simple.
You're the woman I've
always dreamed of
and I've been dreaming--
Shhh stop it.
Listen to me, Douglas?
I'm the woman all of you
have always dreamed of.
I'm the anti-wife.
I encourage your gambling.
I have drinks served
to you by models
who simultaneously
create the impression
that you're the
kind of guy who can
score a dime piece
anytime you want.
It's nice for you in here.
Do you know who Circe was?
Used to play in
Teddy Chin's game?
Circe did not play
in Teddy's game.
She was the Greek
goddess of magic
and she gave men feasts
with wine and honey
and then turned
them into swine.
Fantastic question.
I would never do that to you.
Missed the point by miles,
but that's okay.
Um, Molly...
Shelby and Winston
will close up.
I'll see you next week.
Here you go.
-Thanks a lot, Randy.
-Thanks, Molly.
-Good morning.
-Morning, Pat.
Pat was my driver and security.
Straight home?
We didn't know much
more about each other
than we needed to know
but I liked him.
We were friends.
I used to be
a competitive athlete.
-I didn't know if you knew that.
-What sport?
Were you good?
I don't know.
Pat asked me a favor.
He said there were a
couple of hedge fund guys
in New Jersey who
wanted to play and
he could score points
with them
if he was able to get them
a meeting with me.
I said sure and set the meeting
for 5 p.m. on a Thursday
at the Four Seasons bar,
knowing that if they were legit,
they'd recognize someone
in the crowd at Happy Hour
at the Four Seasons right
after the closing bell.
It turns out I didn't
need to be that clever.
These weren't finance guys,
they were from
the cast of Jersey Boys.
They looked around
the bar self-consciously,
they were out of their element.
And tough guys try to look
tougher when they're insecure.
I had a good hunch
what they wanted
and I was gonna have to shut
down this meeting quickly
but without being rude to
Joey Bag-a-Donuts
and Secaucus Sal.
I'm Molly Bloom,
nice to meet you.
John G.
-And you are?
How do we get a drink?
I don't remember what
the other guy ordered
but I'll never forget
what John G. had.
He looked at the waiter as if to
say that he could handle himself
just fine among the
Manhattan elite and said,
I'll have an appletini.
So, how was your week?
My week? Uh, it was fine,
thank you.
Pat said you guys might
be interested in a game.
We want to partner with you.
-We've talked to Tooty, Will--
-Teddy Chin.
Teddy Chin.
We do a little work
with them too.
We can make your life easier.
Nobody'll fuck with you.
Nobody'll stiff you.
I appreciate...
the offer but really...
I'm fine. I don't carry a
big debt sheet.
I feel safe--
You lied just then.
When you said you don't
carry a big debt sheet.
You've got 2.8 million on
the street right now,
right as we're sitting here,
we do our research.
That money should
be in your hands
'cause it's yours.
It's yours.
And if you don't have it,
you gotta go into your pocket
to pay the wins.
Fellas, I'm sorry,
it's just a friendly
game with higher stakes.
It was really nice
to meet you though.
Let me know if there's
anything I can do for you.
I like to do favors.
They'll put your
drinks on my card.
There are some
gaps in my memory,
which they say is common when
you've had what's called an event.
For instance, I don't remember
where I was coming from
when I calked into my building.
Just that my doorman, Reggie,
said he had packages for me.
I think I've got some things
for you in the package room,
-I'll bring them on up.
It was the first night
of two weeks off
for Christmas and New Year's.
And my plan was
to take a bath
and try not to take drugs.
Reggie came up with my packages.
Uh, sorry, you're in the wrong--
Wait! Okay, hold on a second,
I have--
Not a sound.
Do you get me?
I have money.
It's all cash.
Where is it?
It's in the closet.
Show me.
Put the money and
jewelry in a bag.
Gold bars too.
Come on.
Open your mouth.
Open your mouth.
It wasn't an offer they made.
It wasn't a suggestion.
This'll be your only reminder.
Your mother lives alone
in Telluride, Colorado.
Right, Molly?
She doesn't live there anymore.
Yes, she does.
I couldn't call a doctor
or go to an E.R.
They'd take one look at
me and call the police.
My eyes were swollen and black.
my lips were cut and bloody.
I couldn't feel my face.
Pat had set up the meeting.
And he was how they
knew where I lived.
I stayed in my apartment
for two weeks
waiting for my face to heal.
and waiting for the phone
call I knew was coming.
But the call didn't come.
Where was the call from John G.
"So maybe you've had
a change of heart?"
After ten days I opened my
front door for the first time.
People were coming
back into town
after New Year's in Cabo and
St. Bart's and South Beach.
My phone was blowing up with
"When's the next game?"
But nothing from John G.
And then right there
on the front page
of the New York Times
from eight days ago--
"Nearly 125 Arrested in
Sweeping Mob Roundup."
Those guys were
either laying low
or they were in custody.
Sometimes God happens fast.
My face had healed enough
so that a little make-up
would hide the bruises
that were left.
I put together a week of games.
One week of games
to get the 2.8
million I was owed
and then I was out,
I was done.
One week of epic games.
I had some of my
London players in town
and the Russians had visiting
friends form Moscow.
Jesse and Shelby had already
started the game at the Plaza
and reporting heavy
early action.
I was on my way when
the phone rang.
It was Douglas Downey.
I'm on my way, Doug.
Wait. Molly, wait.
I'm hiding in the bathroom.
I just, I-I need you
to believe me, okay?
Who's bathroom?
believe me because--
at the suite, at the Plaza.
Why are you hiding
in the bathroom?
I would never tell them
anything about you.
I said, "Guys, you
want me to go further,
"you want me to go other
places, I'll do it.
"But nothing about Molly,
she can't be touched.
"Just the Russians."
'Kay, you're drunk and a
little difficult to understand
so I'll see you in a few
minutes when I get there.
I was, uh, I was...
I was cited for securities fraud.
It was scrubbed from my record,
that's why you don't know.
Did you say securities fraud?
I would never help them
build a case against you.
I would never give them
anything against you.
I'd commit perjury
before I did that.
It was such bullshit,
it was 2006.
If you had an arrest,
I'd have known.
-It was bullshit.
I told them, I'll go further,
I'll go other places.
But not you. I love you.
I-- I love you--
Doug, listen, I need you to pull
it together for a second.
Did they scrub your record
because you've been informing?
Should I... should
I have told you?
That's a question that'll-
that'll haunt me for all my days--
Why are you hiding
in the bathroom?
for my days, Molly.
Always know that I was
trying to protect you.
Five blocks away,
the FBI had raided my game.
I fully expected the lobby
to be filled with guys
wearing windbreakers,
but it wasn't.
Ms. Bloom. Haven't
seen you for a while.
You need a cab?
I guess you never made it
upstairs with the packages.
Maybe I didn't tip you
enough before Christmas.
Then you got into a cab,
took the cab to JFK
and flew to your mother's
house in Denver.
My mother lives in Telluride.
That was two years ago.
In the cab on the
way to the airport,
I checked my bank
account balance.
There should have been a little
over 4 million dollars, but instead
it said the balance was
zero and there was a note
telling me to contact
the Justice Department.
I just want to mention
that she also voluntarily
checked herself into
28-day rehab
and has been sober
and clean for two years.
I don't care. Were the women
that worked for you call girls?
No, sir.
They never exchanged
sex for money?
Have you ever exchanged
sex for money?
I think he was talking to me.
I meant, no, she's not
answering that question.
-The purpose of this meeting--
-I know.
-The purpose of this meeting--
-We're off the record.
We're not off the record.
Do you see a
stenographer in here?
We're off the record
inasmuch as
there is no record,
but you're free to use
the information you're given
and we're not giving the
information for free.
I've been sitting at this
table for five hours,
waiting for the opportunity to
implore you to do the right thing
while begging my client
for the last three weeks
to act in her own best interest.
And neither of those
things should be hard.
The purpose of this meeting is
for you to meet Molly Bloom
and discover, as I have,
that she is not the person
the press has invented.
She's not under federal indictment
for getting bad press, Charlie.
And the purpose of
the meeting, for me,
is to discover if your client
is willing to cooperate
with the government in
putting away some bad people.
You're not willing to cooperate?
Uh, no, I never
traded sex for money.
I'm still not sure if there's
a record but if there is
I wanted to be certain
that was in it.
It appears to me throughout
your career as a game runner
you're extremely diligent
about vetting players?
I was.
But you let four guys
play in the game
without knowing they
were connected?
Yeah, plus an FBI informant,
it's embarrassing.
I was high at the end and...
doing my job badly.
I'll also add that in
my limited experience
with the Russian mob,
they don't immediately
present themselves
as mobsters.
My experience with
the Italian mob--
Help us.
I don't know anything
that can help you.
-If I did,
-Yes, you do.
You can provide color.
You can paint a picture.
You can tell us Druzhinsky
wore a $100,000 Patek Philippe
and drove a Phantom.
You can tell us
Illya Gershen showed up
with a quarter million
dollars cash in a backpack
and you can tell us
how much action
Shelly was taking
on a sports bet.
No one was allowed to place
sports bets inside the room.
They would have to go outside.
So I had no idea how
much anyone was taking or--
So now you're saying
you knew
they were making and
taking sports bets?
That's the point of
them going outside
they could have been calling
their mother for all I knew.
-Yes, sir.
I don't believe you.
In Mike Davidov's phone
intercepts alone,
just Davidov, your name
comes up 19 times.
"We need Molly," "Get Molly,"
"Bring Molly"
It strongly suggests you're
important to his business
so it's hard for
me to believe that
someone with your savvy
and obvious intellect--
They're talking about the drug.
"Get molly", "Bring molly",
"We need molly", its...
They're talking about
the drug, ecstasy.
Shit, my office was next
to yours for two years and
I've seen you make
some bone-headed moves
but I've never seen any
prosecutor step in it
the way you just did.
You should thank all of the gods
that there is no physical evidence
-of that exchange.
-Hey, look--
No, you look, Harry--
What, are you gonna implore
me to do the right thing?
This woman does not belong
in a RICO indictment.
Are you out of your minds?!
She does not belong
in a mob indictment,
she raked a game, that's it,
for seven months two years ago!
And why? Because she was
giving credit in the millions
and she didn't want to
use muscle to collect.
She has had opportunity
after opportunity
to greatly benefit herself
by just telling the real
stories that she knows.
Okay? I have the forensic
imaging going back to 2007.
And I'm talking about
text messages,
e-mails, movie stars,
rock stars, athletes,
billionaires, all explicit,
some married with kids,
and that's just the
tip of the iceberg.
What about the guy
who comes this close
to being the U.S.
Ambassador to Monaco?
He's withdrawn from consideration
at the last minute.
No one knows why.
She does.
CEOs with college-age
an SVP of an investment bank
who wanted Molly to put
a marked deck in a game,
the head of a movie
studio who texted her
that a particular star was
too black for his liking,
I mean, J. Edgar Hoover didn't
have this much shit on Bobby!
You know, she could've written a
bestseller and been set for life,
easy, she's got the-she's got
the winning lottery ticket
and she won't cash it.
Your office took
every dollar she has
in a constitutionally
fucked up seizure
and then put the IRS on her
to tax what you seized?
I mean,
I've been in those
strategy meetings.
You broke her back so she couldn't
possibly afford to defend herself.
And now she has an opportunity
to guarantee her freedom
by "providing color" and
she still won't do it.
This woman doesn't belong
in a RICO indictment,
she belongs in a box of Wheaties.
So, yes, Harrison,
I am imploring you to
do the right thing.
She knows nothing about
the three Petes.
Nothing about Rachniana.
Nothing about RGO
or insurance fraud.
Between the two of us, we've
appeared in front of this judge
28 times as prosecutors
and not once
has he deviated from our
sentencing recommendations,
he's not gonna start now.
I know you've been putting this
bust together for three years
and there's no one who doesn't
want to see mobsters go to jail
including and especially
the one person in the room
who's had one of them
put a gun in her mouth.
Probation. Community service.
Or better yet, just consider that
all she did is run a poker game
exactly the same way every
casino in America does
and drop the goddamn charges.
Anything else you'd like to add?
There's nothing else
she'd like to add.
Uh, I'd like to talk
to Charlie in private
if that'd be okay with you.
Why don't you just grab
some dinner for an hour
and meet me back in the office?
Huh? I'm sorry?
Did you want a hotdog?
I'll have a pretzel, please.
? All it's got to take is
some warmth to make it ?
? Blow Away, Blow Away,
Blow Away ?
? All I got to do is to
to love you ?
? All I got to be is
be happy ?
Here you go.
I would like to rent a pair
of skates, size seven.
But I don't have any money.
These are $800 leather
Chanel gloves.
I'll trade you.
$800 gloves?
And they keep your hands just
as warm as the $10 kind.
Miss, are you all right?
I'm fine.
I'm divesting.
? These dreams go on
when I close my eyes ?
? Every second of the night ?
? I live another life ?
? These dreams ?
Hey! Slow down!
Hey, miss, slow down!
Catch me.
Come on, catch me.
Hey, slow down!
Bend your knees.
You all right?
Sorry about that.
Taking you off the ice right now.
How's it going?
What are you doing in New York?
How'd you know I was
at the skating rink?
I'm a doctor of the mind.
Oh, Dad.
I'm here in New York because
that's where you are.
I called your mom at the hotel
and she said you were here.
Listen, it's not a big deal,
but from what I saw out there,
I think you're having
a small breakdown.
That's weird. I can't think of why.
Probably because of the arrest
and not knowing what's
going to happen next.
Old man, do you really
not recognize sarcasm?
Do you?
Here, drink this.
I'm an alcoholic, I can't drink
but thanks for remembering.
It's hot chocolate.
And for diagnostic purposes,
do you think that we're on a
cocktail lounge right now?
You seeing waiters with
trays of champagne?
I want to check your pulse.
Have you found a pulse?
Yeah, just admiring my watch.
I can see you're
getting warmed up
but I really don't have
the emotional bandwidth
to defend my "as usual
irresponsible behavior."
I know, I got your e-mail.
I get that I'm not welcome in your
life right now as your father
though you should know I could
give a shit if I'm welcome or not.
But I'm not here in my
capacity as your father.
I'm indifferent to whether
your father lives or dies.
I'm a very expensive therapist
and I'm here to give
you one free session.
You think what I need
right now is a therapist?
I have to be back at my
lawyer's office soon.
Do you like your lawyer?
I wasn't asking for money
when I called you, Dad.
I just needed my dad.
God forbid you part with a nickel.
Yeah, Tiny Tim, you
grew up on a lake
and you've skied all
over the world,
were those work houses tough?
I gotta go.
-I gotta go.
Molly, sit the fuck down!
All right, we're gonna do three
years of therapy in three minutes.
I'm gonna do what patients
have been begging
therapists to do for
a hundred years,
I'm just gonna
give you the answers.
To what?
Well, let's start with this
Why does a young woman who,
at 22, has a gold-plated resume,
why does she run
poker games?
Why did I choose to
make a ton of money?
That's a head scratcher.
You were gonna be a success
at anything you wanted,
you know it.
If you'd gone to law school
you'd have
you'd have owned the
law firm right now.
Why did you do...
the other thing instead?
I don't know.
You didn't start with
the drugs until the end.
They weren't the problem,
they were the medicine.
It was so you could
control powerful men.
Your addiction
was having power
over powerful men.
Is that what you really think?
I know it for sure.
You've now completed
your first year of therapy.
I saw an opportunity,
it wasn't about you.
Nah, it wasn't just about me.
-It wasn't at all about you.
-It was.
Second year, second question.
Do you think you
were a good husband?
What do you care?
I care because you were
married to my mother.
I care because
my father's an asshole.
you've completed Year Two.
And for the record,
your father raised
three kids on a college
professor's salary.
One of them
is a two-time Olympian,
a sixth round draft pick of
the Philadelphia Eagles
and a leading philanthropist.
The other is a cardiothorasic
surgeon at Mass General
and the third
managed to build a
multi-million dollar business
using not much more
than her wits.
I'm about to plead
guilty in federal court.
Well, nobody's perfect.
The point is
I did a few things right.
Last question.
No, I have to go.
Last question, Mol.
I'll answer it
but you have to ask it.
You have... to ask it.
Why didn't you like me
as much as my brothers?
There it is.
I did.
It only from time to time
appeared that I didn't.
It only appeared that you didn't?
That is some Schedule 1 bullshit.
Why would--it only appeared--
Why would--
Okay, I had an attitude problem.
I talked back.
I broke some normal
adolescent rules.
I snuck phone time after curfew,
I took your car when I
wasn't allowed to--
And drove it into a McDonald's.
And kids get punished for
that, but they don't--
Did I not say the McDonald's?
I mean, did you misunderstand
what drive-thru meant?
You turned into
a different person,
-your voice, your face.
-It's because I knew you knew.
I didn't hear what you said.
I said
I knew you knew.
You knew I knew what?
What do you uh,
think about the following concepts?
Just gonna run 'em by you.
It is a trap.
That I was cheating on Mom.
I knew you knew.
-It is a joke.
No, I didn't know unt--
until I was 20.
-I don't trust people.
No, you'd known since
you were five.
You saw me in my car
and you really didn't
know what you saw.
I don't have any heroes.
You knew, honey.
And I knew you knew,
and that's...
That's how I reacted
to the shame.
And you reacted by showing
seething contempt for me,
by driving my car
into a McDonald's
And wanting to have power
over powerful men?
That was a red herring
just to make you mad.
-You're such an--
-You tripped over a stick.
Twelve years ago
you tripped over a stick.
It was a one-in-a-million thing.
You tripped over a stick.
That's what you did wrong.
There's your session.
It's funny how much
faster you can go
when you're not
charging by the hour.
I'm your father.
Trying to comprehend
how much I love
you would be like
trying to visualize the size
of the universe.
I didn't know
you got beaten up until I
read it in your book.
It was a hell of a way
to learn about it.
You should know
that I'm hiring someone to
find the guy who did it
then I'm hiring
someone to kill him.
Don't even joke about that.
I'm not.
It wasn't a purse snatcher,
Dad, it was the mafia.
I don't care if it's
the leader of Hamas.
Someone put their hands on you.
They're gonna suffer.
-Dad, I'm fine.
-No, they're gonna suffer.
Dad, I'm all right.
No. They're gonna suf--
Really, I'm fine.
-Did you know--
I didn't see you.
Did you know that we know
what the center of our
galaxy smells like?
Smells like rum and raspberries.
The center of the galaxy
is ethyl formate,
which is the same gas
that gives rum its smell
and raspberries their taste.
How do you know these things?
To stay busy during games,
I surfed the internet.
Then I started taking
online courses.
I'm 12 credits away from
a degree in astronomy,
I didn't even know
I was enrolled.
I want to thank you
for what you said tonight.
It was Stella
who asked me to be your lawyer.
She read the book,
I accused her of
reading trash but she
defended the book impressively.
And then defended you.
You're her role model.
I'm gonna give her that.
There's a new offer on the table.
What is it?
We hand over the hard drives.
I don't get it.
We hand over the forensic imaging
of the e-mails and texts
in exchange for uh--
Exchange--What could they
possibly offer for me to do that?
I wrote it all down, it's um...
Your money back.
They'll give you all your
money back plus interest.
It's over 5 million dollars.
Is that why they took
it in the first place?
So they could offer it back to me?
For what it's worth,
if we went to trial
you'd have to hand over the
forensic imaging in discovery.
But that's different from
voluntarily handing it over.
Sure, but it's not
really voluntary anymore
when the alternative is prison.
And that's what they're
gonna recommend, 42 months.
Why do you keep breaking
eye contact with me?
I-I'm looking right at you.
You think I should do it.
You gotta let me keep
you out of prison.
You've seen what's on
those hard drives.
It's a lot more than
a little color.
Yeah, but complete immunity.
All right? You get
all your money back.
You'll be the first defendant
to walk out of a courtroom
better off than
when you walked in.
Careers will be ruined.
Wives, lives on both coasts--
Hey, when a rich
guy goes to jail
he spreads his money around.
His-his lawyer knows how
to take care of that.
He spreads his money around.
You don't have any!
The composition of female
inmates in federal prison--
they did not commit
financial crimes.
They're drug dealers.
They get raped
by prison guards. will not
be anonymous, Molly.
You will be a target!
Children will read their
father's text messages
saying he wished
he'd never had kids.
These guys--
These guys, where are they?
Why are you in this alone?
Where are your friends?
Where is the one guy saying,
"Hey, you know, Molly, I know you're
doing everything to save my life,
what can I do for you?
Let me buy you a sandwich.
Where are they, Molly?
You kept their secrets.
Where are the people
you're protecting
by not telling the whole
story in the book,
by settling the
Brad Marion suit,
by not taking five million
dollars of your own money,
by going to jail?
Where did everybody go?!
It's not their names I'm
protecting, Charlie, it's mine.
Oh, that's great. Well,
we don't have the luxury
of integrity. You have
to take the deal.
You stay out of jail,
you get your money back,
you pay your debts,
you start a new life.
Is this self-imposed punishment
for naming four guys in a book?
It's not.
You didn't do anything wrong.
I threw four people under
the bus for $35,000, Charlie.
I noticed you kept that out of
your speech to the prosecutor.
-No, don't do that to me.
-I took advantage
of gambling addicts.
Donnie Silverman, my
brilliant find, he lost
-six million dollars on my table,
-Molly, stop, stop.
-moved to Florida,
got a job as a
substitute teacher,
-and the hanged himself
-in the shower.
-and that's your fault?
-Donnie Silverman's dead.
-That's not your fault!
Harlan Eustice is in jail
in Nevada wishing he was.
But that's not why
I'm saying no.
You're not saying no.
I was named after
my great-grandmother.
I don't care.
-Molly Dubin Bloom
-We will stay here all night
-is my name.
-until you understand--
until you understand
nobody gives a shit
about your good name.
I do.
-Tell me why!
Because it's all I have left.
Because it's my name.
"And I'll never have another."
Now you read The Crucible?
Yeah, everyone's right, it's great.
It is great.
I want to go into the courtroom
and plead guilty.
No deals.
No trades.
And you're very sure?
All rise.
The business of the court began.
We stood for the Honorable
Judge Dustin Foxman
and counsel entered their
names for the record.
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Harrison Wellstone
The docket was called
and some pro forma instructions
were given to counsel.
And I was asked a series
of questions from a script
the judge had in front of him.
-What is your full name?
Molly Dubin Bloom.
How old are you?
Have you taken any drugs,
medicine or pills
or had any alcoholic beverages
in the past 48 hours?
Is there anything about the
reasons for you taking Sudafed
that would interfere with
what's going on here today?
87 questions he was
required to ask
before he'd permit
me to plead guilty.
Is your mind clear
today, Ms. Bloom?
It is.
Do you understand
what's going on here today?
I do.
Under the Constitution and
laws of the United States
you have a right to plead to
the charges in the indictment,
do you understand that?
Yes, Your Honor.
-And do you understand that?
-Yes, sir.
At that trial you would be
presumed to be innocent
and would not have to prove
that you were innocent,
-do you understand that?
-Yes, sir.
Yes, Your Honor.
Yes, sir.
If you plead guilty
and I accept your plea,
you will give up
your right to appeal
along with all other
rights I've enumerated,
do you understand?
Yes, sir.
Do you understand that you
are charged in count 20
with operating an illegal
gambling business
in violation of Title 18
United States
Code Sections 1955 and 2?
Yes, I understand.
Understanding everything
you've been told,
do you now wish to enter a plea?
Yes, sir.
How do you plead to the charge?
Guilty, Your Honor.
Your plea has been so recorded
and you may take your seat.
Before we move to the
sentencing phase,
I would like a word
with counsel, please.
And then something happened.
Pardon me, Mr. Jaffey,
just government counsel.
Yes, sir.
What's going on?
What are they doing?
Wait for it.
Would the defendant please
rise for sentencing.
Based on all available
this court manifestly disagrees
with the government's
sentencing recommendation.
This courthouse is located
within spitting distance
of Wall Street.
I know this from my
personal experience
trying to spit at it.
The men and women who
work there will commit
more serious crimes
by lunchtime today
than the defendant has
committed in this indictment.
I simply don't see how
either the people
or the cause of
justice are served
by locking Molly Bloom
in prison.
It was as casual as if he was
ordering lunch off a menu.
Ms. Bloom,
this court sentences you
to two hundred hours
of community service,
one year of supervised
probation, drug testing
and a two hundred
thousand dollar fine.
This case is adjourned.
And that was that.
It was crying and hugging,
jokes from my brothers.
Tough talk about how no one
messes with the Blooms
and level-headed talk about
Christmas miracles.
Steaks and beer
bought by my father
and full reenactments.
And in the middle of it all,
as grateful as you are,
the reality starts creeping
toward you like the tide.
And that's the first time
you have the thought...
"What do I do now?"
We're gonna race her down.
We need a tobogan
or a backboard.
I'm a felon.
I'm 35 years old, unemployed,
and pled guilty
in a mob indictment.
People, make way!
Move away, move away!
I owe the government close
to two million dollars
in taxes assessed on
the civil forfeiture
plus the two hundred
thousand dollar fine.
And you better believe
they're gonna come get it.
Is there a pass?
Come on back, please.
I have a quarter of a million
dollars in legal bills.
I don't know what
I'd say in a job interview,
or if I'll ever be given
a job interview.
I'll never be allowed
to vote again.
Gonna need a set of vitals.
And for some reason,
I'm not allowed to go to Canada.
Molly, can you hear us?
Pelvis is stable.
Her dad's here.
What's her LOA?
Uh, she's comin' around now.
Open your eyes
if you can hear us.
She's conscious.
Molly, what day is it?
You need to stay down, okay?
You need to go to a hospital.
What day?
Dad, I'm fine.
Caution you
not to move, Molly.
Let go of my arm.
-Trying to get up, hon?
She wants to get up.
Our cameras can't get in
there, so we don't know--
I wonder if Tracy's got an
update for us on the ground?
-She's moving, guys.
-She's moving!
-You sure you're good?
Okay, here we go.
We can see that she's being
helped to her feet now.
Molly Bloom is of course
the sister of Jeremy Bloom
who holds the world's
number one ranking.
That's her long-time
coach there, Ted Keene
and her father.
She came back from an injury
when she was just 13.
You know, you have to wonder
about the psychological toll
coming that close
only to lose it like that.
Did anything good come of this?
Not really.
But I learned something encouraging.
I'm very hard to kill.
You and I both know people who
have never gotten over it.
I don't know if the young woman
we've just seen is-
is one of those people.
We may not see her ski
competitively again
but I think we're gonna see her.
Winston Churchill
defined success as
The ability to move
from failure to failure
with no loss of enthusiasm.
I guess I'm pot-committed.
She'll be back.
All right, up next to the
gate is Whitney Summerhill
who's currently in
12th place after--