Was Molly Lying? The Truth Behind Molly’s Game

5 months ago
Was Molly Lying? The Truth Behind Molly’s Game
10 Apr

In 2017, Molly’s Game hit theatres. This was a big deal for the poker world. The book on which it was based garnered some buzz back in 2014, mostly around what a total sack Tobey Maguire appeared to be in it. But it was the movie, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, that made the splash.

Now a new book is using the movie’s sucess to sell a few extra copies. In Houston Curtis’s new book Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist: The A-List Kingpin and the Poker Ring that Brought Down Tinsteltown, Curtis accuses Molly Bloom of being “not the mastermind she purported to be” but also little more than a fancy bauble that he and Maguire brought on to distract the other players.

As a marketing strategy, it seems to be working. Michael Kaplan’s review for the New York Post eats up Curtis’s claims which challenge Molly’s account of the book. But it’s hard to see Curtis as a reliable narrator

He is a self-professed card cheat for one thing. Though since he suffered enormous gambling losses in 2008 and ended up indebted to his “pal” Maguire we can assume he was not a very good cheat.

For another, even the title is nonsense. Not only was there no heist (though one player did turn out to be running a Ponzi scheme on his own time) but Tinseltown was largely unaffected by the story. So we can add self-aggrandizing to Curtis’s flaws.

The title is good marketing though, as are the claims that Bloom and Sorkin lied. And the poorly disguised misogyny works well with the target market of casual poker players.  

There is one positive in all this, given that Curtis’s TV credits are largely sub-drek reality TV series, this might be the best thing he’s ever worked on.

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Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more


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