Thursday December 28, 2017 at 12:05 am
FUN

Award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin made his directorial debut with Molly's Game, which is the story of Molly Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain), the media-dubbed "poker princess" and poker host who ran high-stakes poker games in Hollywood and NYC. In real life, celebs like Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, and Leo DiCaprio were regulars in games that Molly ran in Los Angeles. Idris Elba played Bloom's lawyer tasked with keeping her out of prison. The buzz in the Hollywood press is that Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba are contenders for this upcoming Oscars race.

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Molly's Game is getting Oscar buzz and the high-paced story about a high-stakes poker host Molly Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain) the film just opened in limited markets on Christmas. Molly's Bloom was a highly-anticipated film in the poker/gambling world. Poker players around the world were united in wondering how Hollywood would screw up another poker film. To increase the overall stakes, Molly's Game marked the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin. The award-winning writer and showrunner took his first shot behind the camera with an epic story about a young woman up against The Man.

How did a Colorado girl get sucked into the fast-paced degen-world of high-stakes poker in Hollywood and New York City? Molly had an overbearing shrink of a father (Kevin Costner) who pushed all of his kids toward athletic excellence. Bloom's brother was a top-ranked skier and she had a specific goal to make the Olympics in freestyle skiing. After an accidental fall, Bloom's dreams were crushed. When Molly Bloom's aspirations to make the U.S. Olympic ski team never came to fruition after a nasty crash on the slopes, she took a year off before entering law school.

While in Los Angeles in the mid-2000s, Bloom got sucked into the world of high-stakes poker... and she knew nothing about the game when first started. Molly got her start running a game for her boss, a surly real estate investor and degen gambler. His weekly game ran out of the basement of the Viper Room, the infamous club on Sunset Blvd., where Molly was introduced to Hollywood stars and other industry big wigs. After a fall out with her boss, Bloom moved out on her own. She created her own hosting company and ran high-stakes games in swanky hotel suites in Beverly Hills.

The games were built around Player X (changed for legal reasons, but named as Tobey Maguire in Bloom's book), who had a knack for the game but played for more sinister reasons... and none of them had to do with financial incentives. "I don't like playing poker, I like destroying lives."

Player X (Michael Cera) convinced Molly to host bigger stakes (from $10K buy-in 50/100 to $50K buy-in and 250/500 blinds), which was running awesome for a while until she Player X butted heads over tips and how she ran the game.

The supporting players in the game have some of the funniest scenes. Bad Brad, a hedge fund manager, is the biggest fish in the game. Harlan, a regular at Commerce, is biggest nit who goes on mega tilt in one epic scene of degeneracy.

After a rift with Player X and a dead game in Hollywood, Molly moved to New York City to focus on running games for Wall Street banksters, hedge fund bros, and trust fund degens. Even one of the N.Y. Yankees played in her NYC game. She eventually bumped up the stakes to $250K min buy-in and she recruited regs from a high-stakes game in Brooklyn... Russian businessmen. Molly didn't know they were mobsters... but the FBI did... which is why the Feds raided Molly's apartment and froze her bank accounts.

Molly convinced a high-priced criminal attorney (Idris Elba) to represent her without an upfront cash retainer either. The lawyer read her book, but Bloom filled in the rest of her story... which Sorkin told in a series of flashbacks. Bloom was up against The Man and her only crime was charging a rake in her game.

Sorkin's characters have always been quick-witted, go-getters... including Molly Bloom. Sorkin depicted Bloom as an entrepreneur operating in the shadowy world of gambling. In Sorkin's universe and in poker, Bloom was one of the few trustworthy people with integrity and honesty. Even facing imprisonment and up against the intimidating U.S. government, Bloom held steadfast to her beliefs.

I really didn't like the book, but enjoyed the film. The Oscar-winning Sorkin also wrote the script, which meant he had strong material to work with from the start. Molly's Game is not really a poker film. Sure, there's several poker scenes and those are some of the funniest in the film, but it's more of a sports underdog movie than an actual poker flick. I think it's sorta funny... how do you get a bunch of degen dudes to go see a movie about feminism in a corrupt capitalist world... make it about high-stakes poker.

Watch the trailer...

Latest news
Wednesday January 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm
LIVE
Three Platinum Passes to PSPC up for grabs at the PokerStars London Festival

The PokerStars London Festival set a £500K Guarantee for the Main Event in their upcoming series, which starts next week on January 22 and runs thru January 28. Three Platinum Passes to the 2019 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship (PSPC) will be awarded in London. The winners of the Main Event, London Cup, and High Roller will also walk away with a Platinum Pass prize package valued at $30K USD. In addition, PokerStars added four new dates to PokerStars Live events including the MEGASTACK London, MEGASTACK Sanremo, Manilla MEGASTACK, and the APPT Korea.

Sunday January 14, 2018 at 8:21 pm
LIVE
2018 PCA: Adrian Mateos final table chip leader; Watch live

Spanish pro Adrian Mateos and recent addition to Team Winamax started Day 5 of the PCA Main Event as the short stack with 16 players remaining. Mateos conjured up his short-stack-ninja skills and managed to advance to the unofficial final table. Late on Day 5, Mateos snagged the chip lead and he heads into the final table with the big stack. Also, still alive... Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan, Maria Lampropulos, Koray Aldemir, Daniel Coupal, and Christian Rudolph. Who is going to ship $1 million in the Bahamas?

Saturday January 13, 2018 at 5:32 pm
LIVE
2018 PCA: David Peters leads final 16

The PCA Main Event started with 582 entrants and after four days of action, they played down to the final 16 players. The Sweet 16! American pro David Peters leads the remaining field with a stack worth 3.1M. On Day 5, they will play down to an official final table. Can Peters stay on course en route to a million dollar payday? Maria Lampropulos bagged up the second-biggest stack with 2.3M. Also still left in the hunt... Adrian Mateos, Shawn Buchanan, and Koray Aldemir.

Friday January 12, 2018 at 4:57 pm
LIVE
2018 PCA: David Peters leads Main Event with 43 remaining

Sun. Sand. Cash. The poker action continued at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas. Only 43 players remain in the hunt for the 2018 PCA title and $1 million in cash. Karl Stark and David Peters both have big stacks in excess of 1.1M. Liv Boeree, Adrian Mateos, Jack Sinclair, Shawn Buchanan, and author Maria Konnikova are among those still alive. Meanwhile, Jason Koon binked the single-day $25K High Roller for a $420K score.

Thursday January 11, 2018 at 6:17 pm
LIVE
2018 PCA: Watch Day 3 of the Main Event with 101 players remaining

Day 2 of the 2018 PCA Main Event in the Bahamas ended with 101 players (out of 582). Those 101 are still in the hunt for the PCA title and $1 million in cash. Only the top 87 places paid out this year. The money bubble will burst early on Day 3. Oleg Titov from Russia bagged up nearly 500K in chips. Several notables still alive including former champ Harrison Gimbel and author Maria Konnikova.

Wednesday January 10, 2018 at 6:24 pm
Telex
Jason Mercier parts ways with PokerStars

American pro Jason Mercier will no longer be a sponsored pro for PokerStars. After 8.5 years as a Team Pro, Mercier decided to not renew his contract, which expired at the end of 2017. Mercier is a new father and he made the tough decision to stop traveling internationally to play tournaments, while focusing on his family instead. For more details, read Mercier's farewell post on PokerStars Blog. In addition to Vanessa Selbst's venture into hedge funds, Mercier is the second high-profile American pro who did not renew their sponsorships with PokerStars in 2018.

Monday January 8, 2018 at 4:48 pm
Breaking News
LIVE
2018 PCA: Ivan Luca and Daniel Negreanu lead Super High Roller final table

And then there were seven! The 2018 PCA Super High Roller had a $100K price tag and a total prize pool worth $4.7M. Only seven players are remaining at the final table. Ivan Luca from Argentina is the big stack with Justin Bonomo and Daniel Negreanu right behind in third overall. Also still alive: Bryn Kenney, Ike Haxton, Cary Katz, and Sam Greenwood. Lots of familiar faces, eh? First place pays out $1,492,340 and the runner up banks at least $1M.

Saturday January 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm
LIVE
The 2018 PCA Returns

Welcome back the PCA! The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) returns to its old glory after one awkward year with that odd name change to PokerStars Championship Bahamas. See ya, PCB! And welcome back PCA! The PCA has become one of the most recognizable brands in poker and the 2018 PCA will be the biggest series ever assembled with 31 events including a 100K Super High Roller. Platinum Packages to the 2019 Players Championship are also up for grabs.

Saturday January 6, 2018 at 7:02 pm
FUN
Online Poker: 20 Years Later

January 1, 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of online poker when Planet Poker became the first virtual card room to host real money games. Planet Poker took their first steps into online poker approximately nine months before Rounders appeared in movie theaters. Talk about a blast from the past. Planet Poker is making me a feeling a little nostalgic for online poker via dial-up modems!

Wednesday January 3, 2018 at 5:58 pm
SCOOP
Vanessa Selbst retiring from professional poker

Another American pro is hanging it up in 2018. On New Year's Eve, Vanessa Selbst posted on Facebook her intentions to step away from the game on a professional level. Selbst took the poker world by storm when she was still a student at Yale law school. The 33-year old Selbst amassed $11.8 million in tournament winnings and won three WSOP bracelets. After 12 years in poker, Selbst will shift her focus to the financial world as a strategic analyst at a hedge fund.

Monday December 25, 2017 at 3:42 pm
FUN
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidaze!

From all of us at Club Poker, here's to a happy and healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy belated Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa. We hope you have a fantastic end to 2017. Best wishes to a healthy and flop-heavy 2018. And to our 420-friendly readers... blaze on and happy holidaze!

Monday December 25, 2017 at 3:20 pm
PokerStars Winter Series begins on Christmas

The Winter Series will run on PokerStars starting December 25 and running through January 7, 2018. The Winter Series offers four buy-in levels to fit everyone's bankroll needs with Micro levels up to $5.50 and High up to $5,200. There will be plenty of Hold'em, PLO, Turbos, Prog-KOs, and Zooms. Plus, much much more. Four Platinum Passes to the $25K PSPC will be awarded during the Winter Series, so here's your first online chance to win one! Also, PokerStars is hosting a year-end New Year's Eve Magic Freeroll, which starts on the morning of December 31st.

Thursday December 21, 2017 at 7:51 pm
PSPC: How to win the first 19 Platinum Passes

PokerStars announced two paths how you can win one of the first 19 Platinum Passes to the inaugural $25K buy-in PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship (PSPC) at the 2019 PCA in the Bahamas. Platinum Passes are valued at $30K. Players have 4 chances to win one online during the upcoming PokerStars Winter Series Main Event, which kicks off on Christmas. Players hunting for a free seat to the PSPC will also have a shot to win a Platinum Pass by playing in live events in Macau, Brazil, London, Ulster, Italy, and at the 2018 PCA.

Wednesday December 20, 2017 at 5:09 pm
Telex
Fedor Holz invests in eSports team

Will Fedor Holz conquer eSports next? The German wunderkind banked $26.7 million in tournament earnings in a small window of time (including over $16M in one year). Holz recently stepped away from full-time grinding to pursue other business ventures, but even playing part-time, Holz won over $6M in events this year. Word is out on the street that Holz invested an undisclosed amount into an eSports company that is the parent company of Team Envy and the Dallas Fuel. For more details, read the ESPN UK article.

Sunday December 17, 2017 at 11:30 pm
HOT !
PokerStars Championship Prague: France's Kalidou Sow leads Main Event final table

The PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event final table is down to six players at the Casino Atrium Prague at the Hilton. Kalidou Sow from France is the chip leader heading into the final day, but American Jason Wheeler is right behind him. Michal Mrakes, Gabriele Lepore, Colin Robinson, Harry Lodge rounded out the final table. First place pays out €775,000. Who will win the last major tournament in 2017? Final table resumes Monday afternoon.

Friday December 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm
Breaking News
LIVE
PokerStars launches Players Championship and the return of the EPT, LAPT, and APPT

Say hello to the newly launched PokerStars Players No-Limit Championship a.k.a. PSPC to commence in the Bahamas in 2019. And welcome back to the mix to the EPT, LAPT, and APPT. The regional tournament series got shelved after the introduction of the PokerStars Championship brand. But the old-school tours will return! The PCA returns in January 2018 and the other tours will soon recapture its old glory, especially the EPT. It's been a busy day of announcements for PokerStars and they also began pushing a themed-hashtag #AreYouPlaying.

Wednesday December 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm
Breaking News
HOT !
2018 WSOP Schedule officially released

A version of the 2018 WSOP schedule got leaked last week, but the folks at the World Series of Poker HQ finally released the official schedule. The 2018 WSOP will be in its 49th year featuring 78 bracelet events. The cheapest buy-in will be $365 and the largest is $1 million for the Big One for One Drop. Several new events are on the schedule this year including... $100K High Roller, $50K High Roller, $365 PLO GIANT, $1,500 BOUNTY PLO, and the new $1,500 THE CLOSER with 30-minute levels. The 2018 WSOP begins May 29 at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas and runs through July 17. The $10K Main Event begins on July 2 and plays down to a champion, which will be crowned on July 14.

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