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Molly “The Poker Princess” Bloom pleads Guilty, gives up $250k

Another loose end has been tied up in the high-profile case involving a Russian mob-run poker ring. Famed high stakes poker hostess Molly Bloom pleaded guilty to helping stage underground games in New York’s Plaza hotel.

By pleading guilty, Bloom avoids an almost-guaranteed prison sentence. However, she still faces up to six months in jail when sentencing commences on April 30th, 2014. Her plea deal also requires her to fork over $250,000 in cash.

Still, this is a small price to pay for a woman who helped run high stakes games in a ring that pulled in over $100 million. Bloom explained her role in the operation by telling the judge that she and other organizers would take rake from each pot. As many poker players know, it’s illegal to organize raked poker games without a gaming license.

Bloom is most famous for the Hollywood poker ring that she ran a few years ago. This game saw several A-list movie stars take part, including Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Tobey Maguire. Baseball star Alex Rodriguez also played in this ring, and he had to deal with a Major League Baseball investigation afterward.

These poker games were busted up when it was discovered that a crooked hedge fund manager named Brad Ruderman was playing in them. Ruderman stole $35 million from his investors and lost around $5 million of the money playing poker. Looking to salvage some of their life savings, these investors sued those taking part in the games. A settlement was eventually reached, whereby the investors received about a third of the poker money that Ruderman lost.

The fact that Bloom organized this ring made her a minor celebrity. She was even working on a memoir that would take readers inside of the Hollywood ring. Maybe now that Bloom’s legal matters are almost behind her, she’ll work towards getting the memoir released.