The Nature of the Problem
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 in an online gambling site. This can place the player in considerable financial danger as they 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? In this blog post, we’ll tell you about the sequence of events that led to this, so stick around.
It all started in 2014, when Affleck was playing blackjack at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He was doing so well at the game that the casino’s management eventually asked Affleck to stop playing the game. 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. Why you may ask? The answer is 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. “[T]hey don’t even want you to have a sporting chance, really,” he says. “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?’”
Affleck’s History with Blackjack
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 $140,000 in a single sitting while playing with friend, Matt Damon, in 2000, according to The Post. A year later, he won $800,000 while playing three simultaneous hands at $20,000 each. With $75 million in net worth, the 41-year-old actor is in it more for adrenaline than for money as he gave away every one of his $140,000 in chips to casino staffers on the 2000 trip, sources told The Post.
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 $400,000 to movie mogul, Ron Meyer. The star had better luck in 2004, when he won the California State Poker Championship. He took home $356,000, 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.
Affleck’s Divorce Is Not Due to Gambling
Apart from rumours of a gambling addiction, rumours also spread about the 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 a 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.
In addition to this, he appears to have had a drinking problem, entering 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.”
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 on June 30: “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.”
According to the Daily Mail, Affleck and Garner – who are allegedly worth $150 million – are 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 is taking extra special care of her children during this difficult time and is being very open with them. “She’s such a good mom and she’s honest with them – she’s not sugarcoating this.” The pair are continuing to share their 8800 sq ft mansion in Pacific Palisades, California, in the meantime, so that Affleck can remain close to the kids.