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CNN: Ben Affleck finds his calling


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Affleck wins poker tourney, $356K

Victory earns actor place at World Poker Tour Championship

Tuesday, June 22, 2004 Posted: 8:49 AM EDT (1249 GMT)

COMMERCE, California (AP) -- Matt Damon may have been the poker stud in "Rounders," but his friend and "Good Will Hunting" writing partner Ben Affleck is one in real life.

Affleck won $356,400 at a poker tournament that also earned him a seat in next year's World Poker Tour Championship, casino officials said.

The 31-year-old actor outlasted a field of 90 players to capture the Commerce Casino's California State Poker Championship.

At the final table, Affleck beat poker pro Stan Goldstein, who finished second, and knocked out Chuck Pacheco, president and co-founder of Castle Rock Entertainment, who finished third.

Fellow actor Tobey Maguire went out on the first day of the three-day tournament that ended Sunday.

The win in the $10,000 buy-in event earned Affleck the opportunity to take a $25,000 seat in the World Poker Tour Championship to be held next April in Las Vegas.

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Affleck also is a notoriously generous winner. He once won a couple of hundred grand and gave half of it to the staff and employees working around him at the casino. He's also said to be one of the nicest celebrities in terms of acknowledging the staff and wait on him when he flies.

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