Comedic poker commentator Joe Stapleton teased an upcoming “Poker Night Live” episode, announcing that players from the real-life “Molly’s Game,” a Hollywood high stakes poker game that became the basis of a hit box office flick, will compete in a low-stakes game Tuesday night on CBS Sports Network.
“Poker Night Live,” a 2018 creation of “Poker Night in America,” is a live, low stakes cash game at Gardens Casino in Los Angeles featuring different weekly celebrities and Stapleton, the show’s host who also competes in the game.
We’ve got a very cool episode of #PokerNightLive coming up this Tuesday.
Remember Molly’s Game?
Well, we’re having some of the REAL-LIFE players from that game.
And the original dealer, Manny Lopez!
— Joe Stapleton (@Stapes) June 7, 2018
Stapleton, a regular commentator on “Poker Night in America,” is beloved by many (and probably disliked by those who are easily offended) for his irreverent sense of humor. His poker broadcasting “hits” include, “Phil Hellmuth is tilting like paintings on Stevie Wonder’s wall.”
The comedian who recently performed a stand-up routine at West Hollywood’s legendary Comedy Store will bring that witty commentary to the table on Tuesday from 5-7 pm PT on CBS Sports Network.
Molly’s Game, Revisited
Stapleton will be joined in a $2/$5 no-limit hold’em cash game by four players who competed in some of the Hollywood high stakes cash games that were hosted by Molly Bloom, dubbed the “Poker Princess,” before being shut down by the Feds.
Bloom was contacted by “Poker Night Live” and asked to appear on the show but, “she doesn’t want to be on camera,” Stapleton told CardsChat.
Bloom, once a world-class skier from Colorado, moved to California after injuries ended her athletic career to pursue a career in acting. But instead of appearing on the big screen, she became the host of an underground poker game for celebrities such as Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio and wealthy businessmen.
To keep the game legal, she didn’t charge a rake and instead accepted tips, which made her a millionaire. She eventually moved the game to New York City where she made the costly mistake of taking a rake out of the pots.
Molly was charged in 2013 for her role in a $100 million gambling ring that involved two Russian mob enterprises. Although she admitted to authorities that she was a key player, she now claims she had no connection to the Russian mob and her only illegal action was taking rake in the poker game.
She avoided jail time after pleading guilty in 2014 and was sentenced to a year probation. She earned up to $4 million per year from the game but lost it all due to excessive drug use, legal fees, and some of her money was seized by the FBI.
She published her first autobiography, “Molly’s Game,” in 2014. The book receives a 4.4/5 rating on Amazon. On Christmas Day in 2017, the movie “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain as Molly, was released in theaters. The critically-acclaimed film has an 82 percent score from Rotten Tomatoes.
If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, consider doing so before catching “Poker Night Live” on Tuesday.