Searching for Player X – what is true in the Molly’s Game movie
As far as poker themed movies go, Molly’s Game does not cover the subject from a technical point of view but has been eagerly anticipated by fans nonetheless. The true story of Molly Bloom, involving the presence of famous celebrities, is nothing if not exciting. Uncovering the mysteries is what Hollywood loves the most.
The movie sure attracted a lot of attention from all around. That includes the most prominent industry media, although it was not technically about the game. According to PokerNews, Sorkin’s film does not disappoint, even if the poker part plays rather a background role. They are not alone when it comes to the appraisal – the movie generated mostly positive reviews, with audience appreciating the story and interesting characters. It tells about Molly Bloom, former professional skier, who became hosting high stakes poker games in Los Angeles for rich and famous clientele.
However, the most exciting part of the plot, especially for local Hollywood community, seems to be about events concerning famous actor involved in cash games held by Bloom. The identity of so-called Player X, portrayed on the screen by Michael Cera, lights up fans’ imagination. There are few ideas about who could that be in real life, based on known celebrity involvement in high stakes poker: Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tobey Maguire. They all participated in her games. That last name comes up a lot also in Bloom’s memoirs, usually not in a positive way.
The famous Spiderman was supposed to be a dedicated player who was responsible for bringing certain wealthy clientele to the tables and even lent her his personal card shuffling machine to speed things up. Apart from that, big money wagers seemed to have gotten to his head. Allegedly, he once asked Bloom to bark like a seal for 1000 bucks and stormed off when she refused. The real Molly accused him of stealing the games from her when he began to feel upset about the money she was getting from the tips. It seemed however, it was another player who did the stealing, much to Maguire’s delight.
It looks consistent with what the director, Aaron Sorkin, said about Player X actually not being one specific guy, but more like a collective personality, assuming the characteristics of a few individuals. Nevertheless, many believe the base for Player X character bears the most resemblance to Maguire. Some of the other things have, understandably, been dramatized for the big screen purposes as well. Like that frozen twig that resulted in career-ending fall which didn’t happen. Generally, however, the movie storyline was faithful to actual events.
Molly really was a good skier competing on an Olympic level, with her dad being hard on her the whole time, but resigned for personal reasons. She was then, working as a waitress in L.A. and an assistant to this unpleasant entrepreneur, who ultimately introduced her to a high-end poker game. Later on, she used her contacts to take over the games and start her own thing. Plus, she really did face the dangerous encounter with gun threatening mobster because of all this.