Midway through The Hollywood Reporter’s entrancing cover story this week on how David Milch blew an enormous fortune gambling, there is this paragraph:

[The bets of Hollywood actors] paled beside those of some really high-stakes gamblers, according to a regular on the gambling circuit. In one game alone, attended by an L.A.-based investor, the pot rose to $100 million. “Everyone was out of the game except the billionaires,” says the insider.

Let us step back and comprehend what is being alleged here: it is alleged that there was a private (illegal) underground poker game in L.A. for high-rolling billionaires (more than one billionaire), and that in one single game the pot grew to one hundred million dollars. Consider the implication that one billionaire or another won an illegal pot of one hundred million dollars.

How was that money laundered, exactly?

Who are these mysterious high-rolling L.A. billionaires? How is it that one hundred million dollars allegedly came to be wagered on a single hand of poker in a private game without the security and infrastructure and regulations that accompany gambling in a casino? Is it in fact possible to win one hundred million dollars on a single hand in a private card game and to take possession of that money without being either arrested or audited or shot at, by one person or another?


I asked THR how reliable this story was supposed to be—was it just a wild rumor tossed into the story for color, or should it be taken as a piece of information that is sourced anonymously but is true to some level of journalistic confidence? Peter Flax, the story’s editor, said: “Can’t really divulge details but feel confident about that anecdote and the source who relayed it to us. I wouldn’t classify it as gossip.”

Anyone know anything about a one hundred million dollar poker hand? Email me.

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