Molly Bloom brought sports stars, billionaires, and Hollywood A-listers together by hosting high-stakes poker games in deluxe hotel rooms. The former waitress earned a modest fortune by hosting games worth millions of dollars before authorities caught up with her and arrested her. Molly got off with a slap on the wrist: she was ordered to forfeit $125,000, pay a $1,000 fine and serve 200 hours of community service. 

Bloom wasn’t done yet, however. She wrote a tell-all book – Molly’s Game – about her story and experiences with the elite. Jessica Chastain stars as Molly in the book’s film adaptation which recently appeared on Netflix US.

Molly currently hosts the Torched podcast and is raising her daughter Fiona

Molly Bloom married her husband, neuroscientist Devin Effinger, in 2019 at Piney Lake, Colorado. Devin was a homeless heroin drug addict who turned his life around and studied neuroscience and addiction. 

“Both of us have radically transformed our lives and who we are on the inside. We both were uncomfortable in the world and turned to substances,” Molly told RTE. Bloom turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with the stress of hosting secret, high-stakes poker games. 

Bloom told RTE that she and Devin had developed a program to help people overcome addiction. “Through a 12 step program and understanding neuroscience, we have created a program for people to change their lives,” she said. “We’re in the process of developing an app that would bring that to the world.”

Devin and Molly currently have their hands and hearts full raising their daughter, Fiona. She arrived on the morning of 8th February 2022.

Molly Bloom and her daughter Fiona

Bloom wrote on Instagram that she struggled to get pregnant and was advised by some doctors to explore other plans, but she didn’t give up. “Time marched on and I watched my friends, and family start their families; those were some of the darkest days of my life,” she wrote in late March 2022. 

Molly wrote that Fiona’s birth changed her ‘completely and irrevocably.’ “I have been seeking this wholeness for as long as I can remember, and nothing, not success, relationships, notoriety, or the darker forces produced it, but you did,” Molly added. 

Thanks to Fiona, Molly’s life has profound meaning, she added. When unoccupied by Fiona, Bloom’s working on her podcast, Torched, which she launched in January 2020. 

Bloom wrote in her announcement post that the first season would focus on the scandals and controversies faced by Olympians. The goal is to ‘give deeper insights into the minds of these athletes.’ “It’s a very worthy exercise to seek to understand before we condemn,” she wrote. 

Bloom promised to focus on women’s empowerment after serving powerful men for years

It’s a testament to Bloom’s resilience that she survived nearly a decade in a man’s world. She Told RTE that she learned from the men she served: “Learning about how these people got to the top… it was just an incredible education that allowed me to walk into any room in the world and not be daunted.”

After her house of cards crumbled, Bloom abandoned the world of high-stakes poker and promised to pursue a noble path: women empowerment. 

“So I want to help women to be successful and I’m interested in localized co-working spaces for women ’cause I like building community around that, and also a social media interpretation that I’m working on right now,” she told Ellen DeGeneres

Molly told The Los Angeles Times that she planned to launch a company named Full Bloom, which would ‘oversee co-working, membership-only spaces for women.’ Bloom wrote on her website:

“I built the most exclusive and decadent high profile club for powerful men. Now, I’m opening doors for ambitious women so that we can connect, grow, and succeed together.”

Molly Bloom
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Bloom appears to have shelved her women empowerment plans: her site is no longer operational. However, one theme appears in most of her post-Molly’s Game quotes: purpose. 

“Do I want to be successful and ambitious?” Bloom told The Los Angeles Times. “One hundred percent. That’s just who I am. But this time I want it to have meaning.”

Molly Bloom might yet rekindle he plans for women’s empowerment if she feels that such projects add purpose to her life. “This time I will use everything I learned to do something that matters,” her site read. 

Bloom has no interest in Hollywood or writing despite experiencing success in both fields

Bloom wrote Molly’s Game planning for it to form the basis of a Hollywood project. “I was just, like, ‘You’ve gotta finish this book. Own this IP. Pitch to Hollywood,” she told The Los Angeles Times

After the book’s release, she pursued Aaron Sorkin, who met her as a courtesy to a friend. Sorkin said he loved the book but didn’t think the story was up his alley. His perception changed when he met Molly. Aaron Sorkin said:

“There was an inner strength built out of integrity: Far from cashing in on her decade-long brush with celebrity, she was refusing to dish on anyone. This wasn’t the female ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’ What I saw was an honest-to-God movie heroine found in a very unlikely place.”

Bloom had lived with the Hollywood-type for a decade, so she knew how to charm them, but Sorkin viewed Bloom as honest. The pair got so close during production that Amy Pascal – former chair of Sony Pictures – thought they were dating. 

The film turned out to be a huge success, which presented a problem for Bloom: she would inevitably bump into some of the characters in the book and movie – some of whom she didn’t portray favorably. 

Molly Bloom speaks about her life during the Molly’s Game Speaker Series on August 17, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. | Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images

Bloom told Vulture that it had been a while before she’d spoken to the characters in her narrative and hoped that a meeting with any of them would be pleasant. She said:

“It does, and that might happen! I hope it’s a situation where it’s a pleasant run-in. It was an interesting time in my life. I had relationships with people and I understood after I got in trouble why no one wanted to get in touch. I got that. But I hope it’s all good now.”

Molly told Vulture that despite her success in film and literature, she harbored no aspirations of a career in both fields. She explained:

“Yeah, I don’t think I necessarily have a huge talent, or any talent, with the film world. I think I just got really lucky with the people who want to tell my story. I think my gift lies in being a startup entrepreneur and creating environments and experiences.”

Molly wrote her book to regain her spirituality and steady her finances

Molly’s work had its highs, but it gradually ate away her spirituality. She loved the money and power to attract the rich, but deep down, she knew she was taking advantage of gambling addicts, and it started weighing on her. 

“I stayed, even until I saw that it wasn’t aligned with my moral code,” she told RTE. “Ultimately, that made me really spiritually sick.”

The secrecy of the whole operation made her exhausted and lonely. “I couldn’t tell my boyfriend’s parents what I did!” Molly told Vulture. “I could barely tell my parents what I did. You’re as sick as your secrets, and my whole life was a secret.”

Bloom wrote in her book that she needed energy drinks, drugs, and alcohol to get through the day. She talked to Vulture about the lowest points in her life:

“It was a really dark time for me, because I imagined them walking home to their families and their lives, and I was just in this tower of a degenerate empire that I’d built, and I didn’t feel empowered anymore. I just felt sick.”

Molly was offered a chance by authorities to escape prosecution and keep her fortunes by wearing a wire. However, she didn’t perceive informing on her friends as the best way to restore her morality. “I knew that a moral compass and a moral code was critical for a comeback,” she told RTE.

In some ways, Molly had no choice but to write a book – her dire financial situation demanded it. However, writing turned out to be more than a means to monetary freedom – it provided a path to moral and spiritual redemption. She told Vulture:

“After living your life for so long in secret because of the nature of the game, and the component of doing drugs, and all these things … to be able to live transparently and own it all is a much better place. It’s been really healing and I’ve found a lot of inner peace by just owning everything and moving forward from there.”