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She then gets a call from the cackling celeb, who triumphantly tells her, “You are so fucked.” How it plays out in the book: , the film is very much centered on Bloom as she weaves her way through the poker scene in Los Angeles and New York, before it eventually catches the attention of the FBI.Chastain is magnetic—so focusing on her character was a solid choice—and as Sorkin told , he wanted to make Bloom’s riveting true story the center of his film, rather than the celebrities that inhabited the world she created.

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Player X agrees to cover the losses with an exceptionally unfair deal: He will get 50 percent of Eustice’s wins until the debt is paid off, and none of his losses. Eustice is an on-screen stand-in for television producer Houston Curtis, who had the same lopsided arrangement with the actor—though Curtis said Maguire eventually let the debt slide.“He told me, ‘Listen, I was never going to keep all those wins anyway,’” Curtis told the No poker player can beat that juice, but Houston said he agreed. There were plenty of people who would have staked him for better terms …hell, he could have gotten money on the street for better terms.The truth is, Player X is less of a collection of stories relating to different celebrities, and more of a stand-in for one star in specific.In , Sorkin narrows the focus of the book while letting its less impactful anecdotes fall to the wayside.When the other player—a weak link on the table that others were feasting on—folds, Player X flips his cards over to reveal he had nothing, tossing in a very satisfied, “Fuck you.” How it plays out in the book: His opponent had gotten confused.

I had watched him stare at the cards he was holding, knowing full well he had the winning hand but suddenly unsure after Tobey’s performance.

, it only invites speculation about who that character represents.

And when your movie is based on the memoir of the same name by Molly Bloom, who ran a real-life underground poker scene for the wealthy elite in the late 2000s, it isn’t very hard to convert that speculation into something tangible.

In her time running the game, Bloom crossed paths with A-listers like Leonardo Di Caprio, Ben Affleck, Nelly, and even Alex Rodriguez, so there are many sources of inspiration for Player X, played by a twitchy Michael Cera in .

Is he an amalgam of the poker players’ worst tendencies, wrapped up into one, smarmy character?

But I think he realized, like I had, that staying in Tobey’s good graces was essential to staying in the game.