If you’ve read the book Molly’s Game (or seen the movie of the same name), one thing you come to realize is that its subject, former poker organizer Molly Bloom, knew how to hustle to make a buck. That same drive comes to the fore for Bloom, but this time it will take place in Barcelona, Spain. In September, Bloom will an important part of a major gaming conference and will be the focal point of a poker tournament during her stay in Spain.
SBC Barcelona to Feature Interaction with Bloom
The SBC Summit Barcelona, one of the major European gaming conferences that has come back to life since the COVID pandemic, will be held from September 20-22. Over those few days, more than 6000 delegates and 2000 operators will hear from some of the top executives and business minds in the gaming industry. As a part of this conference, Bloom will be the keynote speaker on September 22, billed alongside DAZN Chief Executive Officer Shay Segev and Johan Tjarnberg, the Chief Executive Officer of Trustly (a payment processing company).
What might be more fun for selected individuals may be the chance to network with Bloom herself. On Wednesday, September 21, the night prior to the keynote speeches, Bloom with take part in a poker tournament with a €10,000 prize pool. This tournament, billed as “Molly’s Barcelona Game,” will be by invitation only and is limited to 100 participants. Some of those who are being mentioned as participating in the tournament are the Chief Executive Officers of companies like Betcris, the Betsson Group, the Canadian Gaming Association and Pinnacle.
“We are delighted to have the legendary Molly Bloom joining us in Barcelona this September,” Rasmus Sojmark, the Chief Executive Officer and founder of SBC, stated during the announcement of Bloom’s involvement with the conference. “Molly’s story is undoubtedly unique and will hugely contribute to the daytime content at the event.” For her part, Bloom was looking forward to the trip to Catalonia, saying, “This industry thrives on strong and resilient people, and I know what it takes to succeed. That’s why I am excited to share my story with the SBC Summit Barcelona audience – we have a lot to discuss.”
High Stakes Poker, Celebrities – and Bloom in the Center of It All
Bloom is remembered mostly for operating one of the most lucrative, popular, and exclusive poker games in Hollywood during the Aughts. As poker exploded on the scene, a local businessman needed someone with organizational talent to operate the games fairly and make sure that all the essentials were taken care of. Enter Bloom, a former athlete who was trying to find her direction in a city that is notoriously tough on its inhabitants.
Bloom began organizing poker cash games, complete with qualified dealers, proper masseuses for the players, drink and food, and the ability to bring the players together in a secure location. It was not uncommon for players to play for high stakes, with some players losing upwards of $100,000 in an evening. “Molly’s Game” also drew in a celebrity clientele; it was alleged (since proven) that actors Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and many Hollywood directors and businessmen would step to the felt for these games.
Bloom accepted tips for her work (making a significant amount of money) in organizing these games, becoming so proficient at it that she was eventually fired by the very businessman who had wanted her to do the job because she was doing too well. This resulted in Bloom moving to New York to attempt to organize private poker games there, but it also became quite dangerous for Bloom. She was attacked and robbed, allegedly by Russian mob figures, and was the only woman arrested in a massive sting that netted several prominent criminal figures who were operating a gaming ring.
Bloom eventually was arrested and pled guilty to a singular illegal gaming charge. She would pay a fine and give up a significant chunk of money, resulting in her writing the book Molly’s Game that became an Oscar-nominated film of the same name starring Jessica Chastain. Since then, Bloom has been a public speaker, talking about her experiences in gaming. That has led to her trip to Barcelona, which could be very intriguing for Bloom and for her audience.