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Ben Affleck on blackjack story: It ‘took place’ but wasn’t that bad

Ben Affleck knows a thing or two about media scrutiny and is setting the record straight about that so-called gambling addiction that’s been purported in the tabloids.

The star of David Fincher’s adaptation of “Gone Girl,” whose character, Nick Dunne, similarly goes through the media wringer when he’s implicated in his wife’s disappearance, spoke candidly about his infamous ejection from a Las Vegas casino last spring.

First things first: He wasn’t ejected. Second: He was totally counting cards and seems to be proud of it.

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“That is a true story. I mean, that took place,” the actor-director told Details, the October issue of which he covers. “I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack. I mean, the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at the casinos should tell you something about casinos.... They don’t even want you to have a sporting chance, really.

“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?’”

Reports indicated that the 42-year-old became a persona non grata after being accused of counting cards. TMZ said at the time that he’d been escorted out of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and banned for life. But Affleck said that wasn’t the case at all: “They only said, ‘No blackjack.’”

The “Batman vs. Superman” star said it’s the only game of chance he’ll play. Despite reports that he had a gambling addiction, Affleck noted that he doesn’t really gamble at all otherwise.

“I knew with blackjack that there’s a way you can improve your odds. And so I started trying to learn. And then I just got to a point in my life where I’m like, ‘If I’m going to do something, I’m going to try and do it really well.’ It was sort of presented like I did something illegal. You know what I mean,” he added. “I got good. I’m sort of obsessive. I tend to get myopic and get into one thing. And really get into it. And then get bored and switch to something else.”

As for the rumors that he was addicted and that wife Jennifer Garner growing tired of his purported habit, Affleck said those tabloid stories were all a bunch of crap.

“They completely lie. I mean, I can show you 10 articles of Star and OK! — those magazines feel totally comfortable absolutely fictionalizing every single element of the story. And there’s nothing you can do about that,” he said. “My only hope is that people with any common sense recognize that those stories are false. And, I don’t know, there’re worse stories.... [With the blackjack story], it’s like saying you’re good at something! Usually they say, like, ‘He’s homeless!’

“‘He’s good at blackjack!’ Well, I’ll take that.”

You gone boy. Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.


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