Tobey Maguire Poker Game – The Real Truth About Molly’s Game Story
While most poker professionals enjoy showing off their skills on TV, amateur high-stakes gamblers prefer to play the game in a private environment.
Most of the things related to these games, except the fact that they exist, were a mystery to the general public until the former Olympic-class skier, Molly Bloom, decided to share her life story in her book, which was later turned into a poker movie, Molly’s Game.
In her memoir, Bloom talked about high-stakes poker games that she hosted for some of the biggest Hollywood celebrities including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Leonardo Di Caprio.
However, the one name that stood out was Tobey Maguire. But what made Tobey Maguire that special and why did he stand out? We answer this question in the article below.
Tobey Maguire Poker – Was He Any Good?
In order to fully understand the role of Maguire in private high-stakes Hollywood poker games, we first need to explain his poker skill in comparison to most other movie celebrities.
According to multiple sources including both the book and the movie, most celebrities that played in these games were amateurs who were looking for some additional thrill. However, this was not the case with Maguire.
Not to get things wrong, Maguire’s level of skill was not near that of the professional poker players that you see on TV. However, according to those involved, he was still miles ahead of the players that he played against. Or at least he was good enough to take their money.
People who played in Molly’s Game or were involved with the game in some other capacity, claim that the movie’s portrayal of Molly Bloom as the main organizer was vastly exaggerated and that the person behind it all was the ex-Spiderman actor.
They claim that it was Maguire who came to the idea to put together a high-stakes poker game in Hollywood. He saw it as an opportunity to make some easy money.
The TV producer Houston Curtis explained this in his own book “Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist.” In 2005 Maguire reached out to him, looking for help to organize what would later be known as the “Molly’s Game.” As he states, it was more of a Tobey Maguire poker game.
He is adamant that there was no cheating going on, and that Maguire was just a better poker player that the celebrities he invited to play in the games. Thanks to this, he managed to win millions during the several years that the game went on.
Curtis adds that it is true that Molly organized her own high-stakes poker games, but only later on.
Molly Bloom Poker Game – Player X
In the book, Molly mentions Maguire as a “powerful and tactical character” and talks about his moves at the tables several times. However, in the movie, Maguire’s name is never mentioned, instead, he is referred to as “Player X”.
The interesting thing is that although he is mentioned under his real name in the book and under an alias in the movie, the one constant is that he is portrayed as a villain.
Player X lies, schemes, and swears just to make as much money as possible.
One of the most memorable scenes in Molly’s Game shows Player X making a big bluff and swearing that he has the good to make his opponent fold, and then showing his cards followed by a curse word.
However, the biggest reason why the audience saw Maguire as the villain in Molly’s game is that in one of the scenes he buys more than a million dollars of another player’s debt.
In exchange, the player agrees to give Tobey half of his winnings until he pays off his debt, but at the same time, the player alone will be responsible for all of his losses.
According to Molly Bloom, the player in debt was Curtis. She adds that he was one of the best players that played in those games, but like all other players, he was not immune to the variance.
In addition to this, on most nights the stakes in these games were $200/$400 or higher, so losing seven figures was nothing unusual.
Why Do Tobey Maguire and Molly Bloom Hate Each Other?
The high-stakes poker games that Toby Maguire organized were kept running on the principle of giving tips since taking rake in poker games in the state of California is illegal.
In the beginning, Molly Bloom was a host in these games and she was getting paid throuhg tips.
Bloom was great in her role, and as time passed, she became a favorite face for many of the players, which increased her tips and earnings significantly.
She was making so much money, that even Maguire, who was raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit, became envious. He thought that since he was the one who run those games, he should also take a part of the profit from the tips.
Of course, Bloom refused, and this led to one of the most disrespectful scenes in the movie. In the mentioned scene, Player X takes out a poker chip worth $1,000 and tells Bloom that this is her tip.
However, when she reaches to take it, he stops her and says that she needs to earn it first.
Bloom stated in her numerous interviews that this scene happened in real life in the same way as it was depicted in the movie and that Maguire requested her to “bark as a seal” to earn the tip.
Not long after the incident, Maguire decided to move the game and cut Bloom off. Because of this, she was forced to move across the country to New York and start organizing her own poker games.
Tobey Maguire Molly’s Game Winnings
One of the things portrayed in the same way in the book, the movie, and by witnesses who participated in the game in some way is that Maguire was the biggest winner.
But how much money did Tobey Maguire win in Molly’s Game? Well, because the games were private and invite-only, it is hard to give an exact amount.
The information that is available suggests that on most nights the games run $200/$400 or higher, which means that wins on any single night could reach seven figures.
There were some reports that the billionaire Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque de Soleil and a familiar face from the TV show High Stakes poker, lost around $2 million in Maguire’s private games.
When asked how much money Toby Maguire won in private Hollywood poker cash games, Houston Curtis estimated that the ex-Spiderman actor won anywhere between 30 and 40 million dollars. Of course, due to the nature of the games, this was never confirmed.
Tobey Maguire Civil Lawsuit
One of the main reasons, why Molly’s private poker cash games came into the public spotlight is because of the civil lawsuit that was filed against some of the participants.
As it turned out later, apart from Hollywood actors, rich investors and hedge fund managers also participated in these games. One of them was Brad Ruderman, who played poker with the money he earned through a Ponzi Scheme.
During the investigation, in which the FBI was trying to find out where all of the investors’ money went, he confessed that he lost “some of it,” $25 million to be exact, in private Hollywood poker games.
In an effort to get at least part of the money they lost, the investors sued some of the participants of those games including Maguire, Gabe Kaplan, Nick Cassavetes, Dan Bilzerian, and Bloom.
Maguire had a $300,000 lawsuit against his name, but like most of the participants we mentioned, he made a deal to pay only $80,000.
Final Thoughts on Molly’s Game
Although the book and the movie depict the high stake Hollywood poker games as run by Molly Bloom, based on the statements of those involved, it seems that this is not the case.
Houston Curtis, states in his book “Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist” that Tobey Maguire came up with the idea of organizing high stake poker games and inviting Hollywood actors who, in his opinion, were worse at the game than him.
Maguire saw this as a perfect business opportunity in which he can make a lot of money with not much risk involved.
If we consider reports that Maguire was the biggest winner in these games, it is safe to say that this was his game and not Molly’s.
On the other hand, Molly Bloom was a host in these games but not in the way that it was depicted in the movie. In reality, she had a much smaller role when it came to organizing games.
Because of this, it was easy for Maguire to cut her off when she started earning too much from her tips, forcing her to set up her own home game in New York.