Posts Tagged ‘Ben Affleck’

AGA Plans to Use Online Poker Movie to Make Case for Regulation

by , Aug 23, 2013 | 2:17 am

Gaming leaders are looking at leveraging the release of a feature film that depicts the seedier side of illegal Internet poker to raise awareness of the need for proper regulation of online wagering.

American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman, in an email to the organization’s board of directors last week, said the Oct. 4 release of “Runner Runner” presents the Washington-based lobbying group an opportunity to state its case for Congress to pass regulations governing Internet gaming in the United States.

The movie, which stars Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, centers on illegal offshore Internet poker and the cheating of U.S. gamblers. According to the plot summary on, Affleck portrays an online gambling tycoon in Costa Rica who is confronted by Timberlake’s Princeton graduate school student who believes he’s been swindled by the website.

“This film provides our industry with an opportunity that the AGA will capitalize upon,” Freeman said. “The AGA will leverage the certain coverage this film will receive to raise awareness about the need for proper regulation of online gaming.”

Freeman, who became the association’s president in June, said tactics could include releasing research data on the amount of illegal Internet gaming that is estimated to be taking place in the U.S.


Poker Riding SNL’s Ratings Coattails?

by , Nov 2, 2008 | 2:03 am

Just curious. We all know the presidential election has been a boom for Saturday Night Live’s ratings … tonight I was watching to see John McCain’s guest appearance. Gotta say, he was pretty damn good:

The host was Ben Affleck — real poker player — and in the group farewell, it was like a sincere, conciliatory ovation to the honorable senator. Majillions had to be watching … and from that scene, at least here on Cox cable in Las Vegas, it went right to Poker after Dark. (And a good episode, too! Mike Matusow vs. all previous champs, director’s cut.)

Certainly at least a few folks (thousand? hundreds of thousands?) had to be drawn into poker for their first time in a while with that fortunate positioning, right?


Poker’s No-Strings Fling With Politics

by , Sep 2, 2008 | 8:19 am

Poker is having an affair with politics and the mainstream media, and it seems to be one of those flings…not sure where it started or where it will end, or even what it means, but enjoying it nonetheless.

Sure, the UIGEA was the first to act, but it was the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) who bought the drinks and started the bigger conversation. Most recently, the poker lobbying organization did something that didn’t seem like a big move in the beginning but is turning out to be an ingenious one. They established two charity tournaments to benefit the Paralyzed Vets of America, one to be played at each of the political conventions. The Democratic National Convention was the stage for the first, where none other than Ben Affleck won it. The second event will take place tomorrow in Minnesota, close to the site of the Republican National Convention. Both events are getting wide mainstream media coverage, i.e. Bloomberg, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, and The Denver Post.

The poker/politics affair goes even further, as poker has also become the analogy of choice for many writers and reporters well outside of the poker community. Terms like “poker face” and “all in” are finding their way into articles about Barack Obama and John McCain, either because Obama has been known to play poker or simply because poker is a good analogy. For example:

Chicago Sun Times: Does Barack Obama Really Have a Poker Face?

The Times Herald: America Needs a Decent Poker Player

Lastly, poker veteran Bob Ciaffone got a nice write-up in The Bay City Times when he recently traveled to Denver as an Obama delegate.

Poker at the Democratic National Convention

by , Aug 12, 2008 | 8:58 am

When it comes to charitable causes these days, paralyzed vets are better than kids with cancer … especially when trying to make a political statement with your fundraising. The politics of poker have gotten funky of late as the election season kicks into higher gear — so what better way to warm some electoral hearts than with a good-ole-fashioned charity tourney?

It’s gonna be a late-night event at Coors Field on Tuesday, Aug. 26. $500 a seat, with proceeds going to the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Hosted by the PPA, with Andy Bloch, Barry Greenstein, and Ben Affleck serving as poker ambassadors. Sponsored tables available for businesses looking for a meaningful way to spend their charitable dollars.

Cerebral Palsy Charity Tournament – August 3rd

Location: Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles

by , Jul 31, 2008 | 12:43 pm

There should be a big turnout for this one. The “All In for CP” tournament will be held on at noon Sunday, August 3rd (this weekend for the calendar-challenged) at the Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles. The event has been organized by Jacob Zalewski, pictured at right, who spent countless hours at the Rio during the WSOP gathering support for this tournament and his organization, the One Step Closer Foundation. The non-profit is his brainchild, and as a person who has dealt with cerebral palsy throughout his life, he hopes to raise funds to help others, as well as the researchers and scientists who are working toward a cure.

The $500 buy-in tournament (with $100 rebuys for the first 90 minutes) looks to have some famous names in the field, like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Mekhi Phifer, Montel Williams, Jennifer Tilly, and Norm MacDonald. It is open to the public. The only poker pro officially on board is Jamie Gold, but it is likely that others will attend, as they often do when charity events are held in the L.A. area.

A silent auction will accompany the festivities, where memorabilia will be up for bid, as well as prize packages donated by Ray Romano and Brad Garrett.

I have family (with two kids) in town this weekend, so I will not be able to attend, but my hope is that others in L.A. will go enjoy a day with the celebs for a good cause. (And if you see Mekhi there, take photos please.) For more info, visit the official website.

Kumbaya Poker (at the WSOP)

by , Jun 18, 2008 | 12:48 pm

The RSVP’s for the Ante Up for Africa tournament (July 2) are coming in. Confirmed celebrity charity players so far:

Don Cheadle
Matt Damon
Ben Affleck
Adam Sandler
Ray Romano
Charles Barkley
Jason Kidd
Kevin Pollack
Cheryl Hines
George Lopez
Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy)

Sweet … as the song goes, “Ain’t no party like a J. Kidd party ‘cuz a J. Kidd party don’t stop!”

It’s a $5k buy-in for a luck-heavy blind structure. Remember when the concept of paparazzi-able celebs playing terrible poker used to make for good TV? Click here for a special registration form for Event #167.

The beneficiaries of this event (which raised $700k last year) are and