BEN AFFLECK THROUGH TO WORLD POKER CHAMPIONSHIP

22 JUNE 2004

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Screen heart-throb Ben Affleck has secured a place at next year's World Poker Tour Championship after winning a major event in California on Monday night.

In nail-biting scenes worthy of a Hollywood script, Ben saw off 90 other players, including the former world champion John Esposito, to rake in the $356,400 prize money at the Commerce Casino's California State Poker Championship.

The 31-year-old actor, who's taken the game seriously for some time now, becomes the first celebrity to win a seat at the world championship, which takes place next April. One of his opponents in California was Spider-Man's Tobey Maguire, who went out on the first day of the three-day event but stuck around to see Ben's triumph.

And while Ben's savouring his victory at the poker table, it looks as though he's also got reason to be pleased with his personal life. Although his former fiancee, Jennifer Lopez, surprised everyone by suddenly marrying singer/actor Marc Anthony a couple of weeks ago, Ben's back in the dating game himself.

He's said to be stepping out with Enza Sambataro, a 26-year-old Bostonian who works in media sales and shares the actor's love of sport. The two met at a charity bowling tournament in May and have been spotted together at several sporty events since.

Word has it that poker champ Ben's got reason to smile about his personal life too: he's said to be dating Bostonian Enza Sambataro, who works in media sales and shares his love of sport

Photo: © Alphapress.com

Click on the photo to enlarge

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Word has it that poker champ Ben's got reason to smile about his personal life too: he's said to be dating Bostonian Enza Sambataro, who works in media sales and shares his love of sportClick on the photo to enlarge
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