The story behind the celebrity poker-ring crackdown by the FBI (featuring Tobey Maguire and Matt Damon, among others) just got more noir: The woman who runs the West Coast games, a "stunning brunette" with the unlikely name of Molly Bloom, previously arranged a similar setup in Manhattan for finance types, reports the Post. But she was plagued by rumors she was talking to federal authorities, and her lawyer says two Eastern European "thugs" came to her Upper West Side apartment and "pushed her around a little bit." Frightened, Bloom ended her New York poker involvement. (She also happens to owe more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes for her time here.) Meanwhile, in other poker news, following U.S. crackdowns on online gambling, British regulators have shut down a Channel Islands–based online poker operation. It's all very cinematic, and we know a few actors who have some extra time on their hands.
Regulator Closes Full Tilt Poker Website [WSJ]
Celeb-poker promoter roughed up by 'thugs' fearful she was blabbing to feds [NYP]
Related: Tobey Maguire Sued for Attending Hollywood Poker Games [Vulture]