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Affleck leads 2009 WSOP Main Event
Matt Affleck has already had a few strong results in his short poker career, but he now finds himself one of the chip leaders in the biggest game in town.
It's been a long five days of play for the Seattle, WA native and the magnitude of the situation is just beginning to sink in.
"It feels kind of surreal. I'm playing really good. I'm playing a lot of small pots and at every table I pretty much take control," he said during the first break of Day 5 at the Main Event of the 2009 World Series of Poker.
Affleck has been playing professionally for a couple of years already.
He is on track to graduate from the University of Washington this year but with his eyes focused on winning the Main Event, he says anything is possible.
"Senior year in a fraternity can be a lot of fun. The deal with my parents before was that if I was going to play poker I couldn't drop out, but we'll see what happens."
His parents have known about his moonlighting: college student by day, high-stakes tournament player by night. They were a little uneasy about it at first.
"At first they didn't like it, but I've had some results so they're turning around."
Matt already has posted some results here on his native soil as well as overseas.
His biggest cash was at the the $5,000 buy-in California State Poker Championship in Los Angeles earlier this year. There he pocketed $124,306 for his third-place finish but the past month and a half here at the Rio has been far less lucrative.
Up until this point he had only managed one cash at this year's WSOP.
"I only cashed in a Razz tournament. It was only my second time ever playing Razz and the first time live. I was one-for-15 [in cashes] before coming into the Main Event."
His WSOP has been pretty uneventful thus far. Having only made it to four dinner breaks, he has been spending most of his days relaxing by the pool at a house he rented with five friends.
That has all changed and he now spends most of his time sitting behind a mountain of chips. He wouldn't say getting to this point has been easy, but the going has been smooth.
"I haven't been all in yet the whole tournament. It reduces a lot of the stress when you haven't had to be all in."
Just like any good player, Affleck has a plan for the rest of the tournament. It's simple and to the point.
"My plan is to keep chipping up - and not get sucked out on."
For more of what's going on at the WSOP Main Event, check out our live coverage.