Molly Bloom (@immollybloom) is an entrepreneur, speaker, and author of Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World.
What We Discuss with Molly Bloom:
- What Molly Bloom learned by running underground poker games for some of the world’s wealthiest and well-known.
- The psychology Molly used to control the games — and their players.
- The secrets of generating rapport and trust among those who aren’t in the habit of trusting anyone.
- The strategies Molly utilized to become indispensable to her players.
- How Molly got involved in the world of poker in spite of unlikely beginnings, and what happened to make her quit it for good.
- And much more…
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Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World author Molly Bloom didn’t set out to run the most celebrated game in town, get taken down by the FBI, or have a movie made about her experiences, but here we are.
In this episode, Molly shares the business and psychology lessons she learned over eight years of running these underground poker games, why she took responsibility for her actions instead of selling out her former clientele when the FBI showed up on the scene, and what she’s looking forward to next. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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More About This Show
Before she lived the events documented in her book Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, Molly Bloom had been a straight A student and Olympic-class skier from Colorado. So what led to her rise and eventual fall in the underground poker circuit?
“I think that a huge factor here was that I was born with this hard-driving ambition and with this, from the get go, need and desire to be significant and to be seen as significant,” says Molly. “Unfortunately for me, I was born into a family with two brothers who were legitimate prodigies early on.”
One brother went on to become a Harvard-educated cardiothoracic surgeon, and the other is a two-time Olympian and the youngest freestyle skier in history to be inducted into the United States Skiing Hall of Fame.
“Starting with my dinner table, I was never the most talented or the smartest person in the room — combined with this deep need to be someone special,” Molly says. “I went out into the world feeling invisible, feeling like I want to matter. I wanted to be an Olympic skier — that’s the first thing I wanted to do. I didn’t have the natural talent that my brother had, and on top of that I was diagnosed with scoliosis.”
Even after undergoing painful surgery and being told she would never ski again, Molly persevered to make it all the way to the Olympic qualifiers until a freak accident took her off that path for good.
“I was in my last year at University of Colorado,” says Molly. “I’d done extremely well on the LSATs — I had a 3.9 GPA and I was headed to a future of law school. I just wanted to take a year off before becoming super serious again. I went to L.A. and needed to get the first job that I could. I got hired by this guy who was a pretty demanding boss; I was his personal assistant. One day he said, ‘I need you to serve drinks at my poker game.’ I googled ‘What kind of music do poker players like to listen to and what do they eat?’ Very professional and sophisticated!
“I actually made this embarrassing playlist with songs like The Gambler on it and I’d bring my playlist and my cheese plate and I’m thinking the players are going to be these overgrown frat boys, but Ben Affleck walks in the room, and Leo DiCaprio, and a politician who was very well-recognized, and heads of studios, and heads of banks, and all of a sudden I had this light bulb moment that a young girl from Loveland, Colorado at 23 years old doesn’t get this opportunity to network with people like this. This is a very strange and unusual opportunity and I saw it as access to money and to power and to information — and I wanted to stay in the room.”
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about what Molly did to stay in the room, the tactics she learned for navigating her shady boss’ impossible requests, why Hollywood in particular is such a ripe environment for making people feel like they don’t matter, how Molly was able to use her high-stakes poker games as a trojan horse for networking and infiltrating any subset of society, the psychology Molly used to control the games — and their players, the secrets of generating rapport and trust among those who aren’t in the habit of trusting anyone, the strategies Molly utilized to become indispensable to her players without appearing obvious or needy, Molly’s observations on the power of fear, celebrity quirks you’re curious about even though you wish you weren’t, and much more.
THANKS, MOLLY BLOOM!
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