Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are names not commonly seen together, but in the context of poker films and the game of poker itself, Damon has kept his interest mostly independent of the duo’s power-fame in screenwriting, production, and acting.
Appearing in the 1998 film Rounders, Damon brought character Mike McDermott to life as a more-or-less rehabilitated gambler who turns to the game to help a friend pay off a group of loan sharks. While Damon received no nominations or awards for his involvement with the film, it still stands as one of the best poker movies ever made. Unfortunately we can’t say the same for partner-in-crime Affleck’s go at the felt on film inRunner Runner.
A rounder is someone who “…[makes] their living or a significant amount of their income from playing poker.” The underground poker circuit perhaps got more attention than it wanted with the film’s production, so much so that we can expect a sequel, aptly dubbed Rounders 2, with Damon and key actor Edward Norton already signed on and in production. There’s also a speculated super-villain performance from Robert De Niro.
Aside from being a household name in the context of movies, Matt Damon has also been spied at the poker tables playing as himself on a number of occasions, even having a bad bluff moment chronicled by PartyPoker as a Best Poker Clip in 2009. Turns out Damon is a regular at the WSOP in Las Vegas, the notable recent stop being at the 2012 WSOP Main Event along with Ben Affleck.
While neither Damon nor Affleck won the bracelet in the event, we can be sure they tried to act their way out of a bust! With heightened interest in the production process of Rounders 2, we’re all looking to get lucky with a release date soon!