‘Poker Princess’ Molly Bloom Launches Zoom-Based Group-Help Podcast1 month ago
Famed underground poker-game organizer Molly Bloom, who was arrested in 2013 as part of a larger illegal-gambling sweep and later wrote the book Molly’s Game about her poker-game experiences, has emerged back into public view by launching and hosting OneWorldGroup, a daily Zoom-powered podcast exploring ways to deal with adversity.
Bloom, who has returned to Colorado following her trials of various sorts in the underground gambling world, pulls from those experiences as a way to help viewers deal with the isolation and adversity of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The podcast was launched on the BigSpeak.com platform and is titled, simply, Combat COVID-19 Isolation with Molly Bloom.
The podcast features frequent guests, already including actress Jessica Chastain, who played Bloom in the movie version of Molly’s Game. Other guests have included Molly’s brother, Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom (Molly was also an elite amateur skier before a severe knee injury ended her competitive career).
“When you sit in a group of people like this and you talk about what's going on, what happens is you realize how similar we all are,” Bloom told a Colorado news outlet about the OneWorldGroup podcast.
The show also allows viewers to call in with their own questions and requests for advice about dealing with the new realities of life under COVID-19-induced isolation.
Bloom suffered somewhat less isolation than most of her 33 co-defendants in the sweeping 2013 Taiwanchik-Trincher indictments, which cracked down on illegal gambling operations in New York City -- and, to a lesser extent -- Los Angeles, and which featured extensive ties to Russian organized crime. Former WPT event winner Vadim Trincher was revealed as a Russian mob underboss and was sentenced to five years in prison. Other defendants received lesser sentences; most received fines, community service, and suspended sentences. That group included Bloom, who paid about $125,000 to resolve a back-tax lien.
Bloom was, in essence, collateral damage in an FBI case that sought to slice the tentacles off of Russian mob activity in and around New York City. Bloom came out better than most. By the time of her sentencing, Bloom had already contracted to write Molly’s Game, the somewhat glossed-over story primarily about her infamous LA poker games. Regular game attendees included Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alec Gores, Macaulay Culkin, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Alex Rodriguez, Nelly, Mary Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Phil Ivey, Rick Salomon, Andy Beal, Dan Bilzerian, Gabe Kaplan, Nick Cassavetes, and many others.
Bloom’s famed games drew from a wide swath of Los Angeles’s celebrity community, though battles over “ownership” of the games spelled their demise after a few years. Bloom then tried to run similar games in New York, though with lesser success, and it was there where authorities arrested her in 2013.
Besides the legal troubles for Bloom and others of the underground games’ organizers, many of the players in her LA games later found themselves the targets of a clawback lawsuit by victims of another of those game’s attendees, convicted investment fraudster Bradley Ruderman. Ruderman bilked his clients out of millions, a good share of which he then punted away in Bloom’s underground games while living a generally grandiose lifestyle. Some of the Molly’s Game players admitted reaching a financial settlement with the victims of Ruderman’s embezzlement, though exact numbers were never disclosed. Ruderman was likely the real-life figure behind the “Bad Brad” character in the Molly’s Game movie.
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