The World Series of Poker regularly attracts more than just professional poker players. Over the years, some of the world's most popular celebrities have competed at the WSOP. One such celebrity is certainly no stranger to the poker community, and that's Rounders’ star Matt Damon.
Starring in the 1998 film as law student and poker player Mike McDermott, Damon’s popularity in the poker community eventually led him to playing at the 2009 WSOP in the $5,000 buy-in Ante Up for Africa Charity Event.
Hollywood celebrities, sports legends, and the elite of the poker world all took a seat in the 138-player event in a bid to raise money for charity. Matt Damon was among the field along with actors Jason Alexander, Brad Garrett, Don Cheadle, and fellow Good Will Hunting writer Ben Affleck.
Damon’s best hands from the Ante Up for Africa Charity Event are all captured in this PokerGO video. Action begins early in the tournament with Damon bluffing the river with ace-high against Tiffany Michelle of Los Angeles, California, before Affleck makes an appearance while Damon is seated on the feature table. Damon proceeds to call out of the small blind holding ten-six and manages to flop a full house.
Down to 35 players, Damon raises ace-seven on the button before Erik Seidel of Las Vegas, Nevada, moves all-in from the small blind. Damon contemplates a decision and prods Seidel with some questions before eventually decided to fold. The final hand sees Damon commit the last of chips holding pocket tens but runs into Seidel’s ace-jack on an ace-high flop to be one of the last celebrities to fall just prior to reach the money-paying top 18.
The 2009 Ante Up for Africa would crown Alex Bolotin of Belarus as the winner, and once he was awarded the $177,730 first-place prize, he proceeded to donate half to charity – as did nearly every player that cashed in the event
The 2009 WSOP Ante Up for Africa event, along with WSOP coverage from 1973 to 2020 can all be found exclusively on PokerGO.com.
About the World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker® is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world, having awarded more than $3.29 billion in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest-running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2019, the event attracted 187,298 entrants from 118 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and awarded more than $293 million in prize money. In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent of WSOP Europe in 2007 and the WSOP Asia-Pacific in 2013 and the WSOP International Circuit Series in 2015. All WSOP events are subject to the then-current and applicable WSOP tournament rules. For more information, please visit www.wsop.com.