Molly Bloom, dubbed the “Poker Princess’ for hosting games in which Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street hotshots played high-stakes poker, agreed to plead guilty in order to receive a lesser sentence.
Bloom was charged with operating an illegal gambling business, a felony. The 35-year-old claimed ignorance to the severity of the charge lodged against her, telling a Manhattan federal judge that she thought her offense was merely a misdemeanor. The guilty plea carries with it a possible sentence of probation up to a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of $250,000, the New York Post reported.
Bloom, the sister of Jeremy Bloom, a World Cup skiing gold medalist, hosted poker parties attended by the likes of Matt Damon, Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio. Damon, of course, played the lead role in “Rounders,” regarded by many to be one of the best poker movies ever filmed. A law student who left school to pursue his dream of competing at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Damon’s role resonated with poker players who dream of doing the same.
The home games organized by Bloom were relocated to high-end Manhattan hotels after first being played in Los Angeles. The Poker Princess collected rake from the players, a no-no in the eyes of the law.
Bloom was among 33 defendants charged in the gambling case that was tied to the Russian mafia. She was facing five years in prison before reaching a deal with federal prosecutors. Sentencing is set for April 30.