Ben Affleck – Master in Blackjack and Poker Average

Ben Affleck (whose real name Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt), two times Oscar-winning filmmaker and actor who has 71 other winnings and 110 nominations. Recently Ben was well known for his superhero “Batman” role in 2016 hit “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice”. By the way, recently some well-informed sources stated he may once again appear in upcoming “Batman” movie. It seems like Ben may be called the real Batman, but this time we want to look closer at his gambling career. He is well known for his affection for card games, especially blackjack and Texas Hold’em poker. Affleck has been playing in cash poker tournaments for over a decade and has tried his luck several times in the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Let’s deep dive into his gambler’s career and see how it all went for him, was it a success or failure?

Blog » Ben Affleck – Master in Blackjack and Poker Average
  • Ben Affleck was backed off for card counting at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas in April 2014. He was simply asked not to play blackjack by casino staff. The reason – just because he got really good at it. […]
  • It looks like Affleck is not addicted to gambling as he may appear at first. […]
  • Still, Ben does have or had a habit of going missing in Vegas for days at a time. His record shows that he may win big in blackjack, but loose in poker during those times. […]
  • Affleck’s divorce with Jennifer Garner is not due to his gambling habits. And what about his drinking problem? It may be a different story. […]
  • “Ben still attending underground gambling parties,” some informed sources state. […]

Once I became decent [at blackjack], the casinos asked me not to play

Ben Affleck about reasons behind his ban at Hard Rock Casino in Vegas

Sometimes, though, the stars are not quite as appreciated as you would think. Such was the case with Ben Affleck, who learned to count cards and managed to bring down the house at the Hard Rock Casino in Vegas. Things ended for him in the same way that they end for most any advantage player, famous or not. A casino security guy tapped him on the shoulder and, according to Variety, said, “You’re too good at this game”. If it’s any consolation, he can heed the words of legendary Bill Benter, formerly a card counter and now one of the world’s most successful horse betters.

If the casinos are not chasing you out, you’re doing something wrong.

Bill Benter

That said, Affleck’s back-off must have annoyed at least one of those groups – dealers, pit-bosses and/or cocktail waitresses. During a particularly lucky night at the tables, he managed to rake in almost 130000 euros and showed his appreciation by giving it all away to casino employees.

Card Counting

Returning to Vegas story, when Ben Affleck was backed off for card counting at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas in April 2014, his story was similar to Joseph Stiers, who is former Poker Pro and called a poker mob by some media sources. Stiers and Affleck have something in common – they both used a method of so-called advantage play that has been an industry obsession for over 50 years. Even one episode of The Simpsons featured card counting.

Counting cards is probably the best-known advantage technique in the casino—it’s certainly the well-known advantage gambling technique in blackjack. But a surprising number of people don’t understand how it works. They think you have to be some kind of mathematical genius or idiot savant (a la Rain Man) in order to pull it off. The reality is that it’s a lot easier to count cards than most people think. That’s because you don’t have to track exactly which cards have been played and which ones are still in the deck. You only have to track the approximate ratio of high cards to low cards.

Every casino that offers blackjack has some understanding of how card counting works and how to identify card counters. In the wake of the MIT team, the “Holy Rollers” and other professional card counting teams and individuals, casinos are on guard whenever a high-roller makes a wager. No wonder card counters are quickly identified and backed off.

As avid poker players, there can be little doubt that both Joseph Stiers and Ben Affleck have been following Phil Ivey’s edge-sorting lawsuits. But even with this knowledge, these individuals chose to be card counters. As a result, they were quickly identified and backed off. While Stiers and Affleck may never get to play another hand of blackjack, those who are beating the house using more sophisticated methods are quietly celebrating from the shadows. The casino industry is quick to forget the hard lessons it learns.

Addiction to Gambling?

No matter what method Affleck used, the question is does he really have an addiction to gambling? An addiction to gambling would be defined as a situation where the player feels unable to stop playing casino games, whether in land-based or online casinos. This can place the player in considerable financial danger as they usually wager more and more funds, sometimes these are funds they don’t have, in an effort to continue playing the game with the hope that they will win big. So, does Ben Affleck suffer from a gambling addiction? Based on the evidence, the answer appears to be a solid ‘no’. So, what led to the rumours that Affleck has a gambling problem then?

It all started from the story in 2014 with play ban in Hard Rock Vegas we have already detailed in the beginning. Keep in mind, however, that he wasn’t kicked out of the casino nor was he barred from it, he was simply asked not to play at blackjack, because he got really good at it. As Affleck himself states when he gets into something, he wants to become really good at it and therefore he started learning how to count cards. This made him an excellent blackjack player to such an extent that the casino realized it was losing money, while Affleck was coining it. According to Vanity Fair, the experience seems to have taught Affleck something about Vegas’s gambling system:

They don’t even want you to have a sporting chance, really. There’s a lot of hospitality, backslapping, when they think you’re gonna come in and dump money, and if they think you might leave with some money, it’s like, ‘You know what? Why don’t you try craps or roulette?

Ben Affleck about Las Vegas casinos

Personal History with Blackjack and Poker

Allegedly, the movie star has “a habit of going missing in Vegas for days at a time”. So, what does he do when he’s there? He certainly cleans up well. For example, before being booted out for counting cards at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel, he made nearly $1 million in two trips, as reported by the New York Times. The Oscar winner won about 125000 Eur in a single sitting while playing with a friend, Matt Damon, in 2000, according to The Post. A year later, he won over 710000 Eur while playing three simultaneous hands at 17785 euros each. This is the same time when the back then 41-year-old actor was in it more for adrenaline than for money as he gave away every one of his 130000 Eur in chips to casino staffers on the 2000 trip, sources told The Post.

No Luck with Poker

He hasn’t had the same luck with poker. Affleck ran into trouble when he hosted a regular Hollywood poker game for A-listers in a posh cigar bar in Beverly Hills, Star magazine reported. “Ben’s Game” was high stakes and drew celebrities such as Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tobey Maguire to the Grand Havana Hotel. One night, Affleck bet too much on a bad hand and was forced to pay 355K euros to movie mogul, Ron Meyer. The star had better luck in 2004 when he won the California State Poker Championship. He took home 316585 euros, which qualified him for the 2004 World Poker Tour final tournament. He has since competed several times but has never won any cash, despite top-notch training from poker superstars such as Iranian-born poker whiz, Amir Vahedi, and his personal coach, Annie Duke.

The Batman - movie Affleck played superhero role in.

Divorce is NOT due to Gambling

Apart from rumours of gambling addiction, rumours also spread about the back then 42-year-old actor’s divorce from Daredevil actress, Jennifer Garner. These, unfortunately, were true. It appears that despite a marriage of 10 years and three children together, the actors couldn’t keep things together. Gambling, however, doesn’t appear to be the main reason for this. Instead, the actor’s infidelity on the set of his new movie, Gone Girl, added to a drinking problem are connected with the divorce. Multiple sources told the Daily Mail that Garner had no choice but to call it quits after various incidents of infidelity during their 10-year marriage. Affleck had allegedly had several one-night stands which Garner was fed up with.

Drinking Incidents and Rehabs

He entered a rehab clinic for alcohol in 2001, although he has remained sober throughout most of his marriage. However, his alcohol consumption has become more public over the last few years and while filming Gone Girl, the actor is said to have drunk to get into character as Nick, telling Details magazine that according to the book he was supposed to be “puffy and hungover” and that he “dedicated himself to that.” In 2014, Affleck’s drinking led to an incident that was embarrassing for his wife as she was “seen trying to drag him home from an Oscars party heavily inebriated.”

Divorce was inevitable

And so after a decade of struggles, years of couples’ therapy, and a recent 10-month trial separation the former Alias star decided she had had enough. After weeks of speculation Affleck and Garner said in a joint statement:

After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding.

Affleck and Garner joint statement

According to the Daily Mail, Affleck and Garner – who were allegedly worth 133 million euros back then – were said to be using a mediator and business managers ahead of the divorce and plan to share custody of their children, according to TMZ. People magazine, on the other hand, was told by a source that Garner was taking extra special care of her children during this difficult time and was being very open with them. “She’s such a good mom and she’s honest with them – she’s not sugarcoating this.”

Does He Again/Still Gamble?

Are Ben Affleck’s friends worried about him gambling again? That’s the premise of a new tabloid report. And while it’s true the actor is a good card player, a mutual pal of Gossip Cop and Affleck’s assures us the claim is “so false.”

According to one of the latest issues of Life & Style, while Affleck hasn’t been spotted drinking since his latest stint in rehab, he “can’t seem to drop his other bad habits,” like gambling. A so-called “source” is quoted as saying, “Ben has been attending underground gambling parties.” “Going to private parties at private houses, like he is now, means he has to worry less about [ex-wife Jennifer Garner] finding out,” adds the supposed tipster.

It’s extremely convenient for the tabloid to contend Affleck plays cards at “underground gambling parties,” or that these are secret games at “private houses.” Of course, if the outlet truly had the goods on Affleck, it would have offered some details, including where these homes allegedly are and how often and on what nights he’s slipping into places to gamble “underground.” It’s also hard to believe that Affleck, who’s frequently photographed going to church with his estranged wife and kids, is somehow leading a secret gambling life that the paparazzi knows nothing about. You’ll recall they repeatedly caught Affleck buying alcohol when he was still drinking.

Interestingly, the magazine notes how Affleck has “denied having a gambling addiction,” and even includes in its current article that “an insider denies that Ben is gambling,” and yet it still chose to publish its highly sensational claim. The reality is that a pal of ours and Affleck’s also confirms he’s not gambling. Our impeccable insider calls the tabloid’s report “so false.”

This is hardly the first time the magazine has run a provably wrong article about the actor. In November 2017, for example, Gossip Cop busted the outlet when it published an untrue cover story about Garner taking Affleck back. At the time, the actor was already dating “Saturday Night Live” producer Lindsay Shookus, about whom the tabloid printed a number of falsehoods, as well.

In March (2019), Gossip Cop corrected the outlet when it wrongly asserted Affleck and Shookus were talking about having a baby. They also debunked articles that maintained Affleck and Shookus were getting married and starting a family. In each and every one of those stories, Gossip Cop was right and In Touch was dead wrong. You can bet the tabloid is mistaken once again about Affleck gambling in private homes.

And what do you think about all those romours around Ben gambling again? Do you know more of them? Post some hints in comments below and we will add more interesting stories about Affleck here.

To be continued …

Have you found any unclear concepts and/or words in this article? We’ve got you covered! It is usual thing for any industry to have its own specifics in wordings / expressions. There is no exception in iGaming and Casino World. We have prepared extensive glossary for all known terms and expressions, you will definitely find definition for unknown term there!

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