Arts & Entertainment | April 6, 2020 10:37 am

New Book Reveals the Details of Tobey Maguire’s High-Stakes Poker Games

Card cheat-turned-TV producer Houston Curtis penned the book about running the game with the actor

New Book Reveals Tobey Maguire’s High-Stakes Poker Game
Tobey Maguire attends a Winter Gala on January 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills. (Stefanie Keenan/Getty for PSLA)
Stefanie Keenan

A new book by card cheat-turned-TV producer Houston Curtis claims the 2018 movie Molly’s Game really should have been called Tobey’s Game. In his book The Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist: The A-List Kingpin and the Poker Ring that Brought Down Tinseltown, Curtis writes that he began running a high-stakes game with Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire back in 2005.

On Tuesdays from 2005 until 2009, Curtis and Maguire hosted a game featuring stars like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio at The Viper Room or Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel. The game was originally held at the vegan actor’s home, but he decided he wanted it moved after pepperoni pizzas got ordered too many times for his liking.

Though Molly Bloom, the basis for the 2018 film, was involved, the former Olympic-class skier was not the brains of the operation, Curtis told The New York Post. “Molly had nothing to do with anything,” Curtis said. “Initially, she just served drinks and we gave her numbers to call the guys.”

The point of the game wasn’t to take money from “guys” like Affleck, Damon and DiCaprio — who reportedly would only play if he was staked — but to win cash from players like Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté and hedge fund manager Brad Ruderman.

“The first time I won a quarter-million dollars was Guy’s first night in the game,” Curtis said. “One morning, a bunch of guys took him up on it. They beat him for like $2 million [in Hawaii] and he flew them back on his jet.”

Curtis, who now lives in Phoenix and is working on another book, thinks he won around $15 million during the game’s four years but lost nearly all of it due to a series of bad bets at the table and in real life. Maguire did even better than his one-time partner and “could have made up to $30 to $40 million from the games,” according to the book’s introduction.

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