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World Series of Poker -- Getting To Know Your Chip Leader -- Matt Affleck

Young Pro One of Top Stacks on Day 5 of the Main Event

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Matt AffleckFor the second straight year, Matt ‘MCMATTO’ Affleck has been among the chip leaders at the end of day four of the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Affleck was chip leader with 1,819,000 when the chips were bagged and tagged on day four in 2009. This summer, Affleck sat in fourth place with 1,395,000 when day four concluded.

Friend and fellow poker pro, Tony Dunst, who had the chip lead entering the day with 1,546,000, drew a seat directly to Affleck’s left.

While Dunst’s chip count had tumbled in the middle of the day, Affleck’s had grown to just under 3 million before the dinner break, good for the chip lead with 312 left in poker’s most prestigious tournament.

Affleck is hoping to improve on his performance deep in the 2009 main event, when an ill-fated bluff on day six cost him most of his stack. He eventually faded in 81st place, for a payday of $68,979.

Affleck, winner of a PokerStars SCOOP event in the spring of 2009 for $550,500 and a Full Tilt FTOPS event this past Febuary for $80,842, has gained notoriety in the online world. He currently sits in 46th place in Card Player’s Online Player of the Year standings. Affleck has $1,274,716 in career tournament earnings, but that could drastically change soon.

Card Player caught up with the Seattle native on one of the breaks to discuss how he will approach the remainder of the event this year, now that he has another shot at a deep run.

Brian Pempus: How has your table been today?

Matt Affleck: Pretty good. I’ve been winning a lot of small pots. Bryn Kenney just got moved to a seat four to my right, so that’s never fun. The table is going to tip over, there are three million dollar stacks on this side and another one over there. It’s crazy. There are a lot of chips at my table.

Tony DunstBP: Are you surprised with your table draw?

MA: Yeah, I think they are only 15 or 20 people over a million, and four of them are at my table. I like it though. Deep stack poker is fun. However, I’m getting to play a lot of small pots right now, which is nice. I don’t have any need to take a really big gamble right now. I am just raising and taking the blinds a lot. Especially when me and Tony are in the blinds, everyone just folds to us. Everyone is giving us a ton of respect because of our stacks.

BP: Last year after day four you were the chip leader, is there anything you learned from that run?

MA: The person that wins this tournament is the person that can lose half their stack on a standard hand and not let it affect them, and have 30 to 40 big blinds and still realize there is plenty of play left. There are still two or three days left and you are going to get coolered eventually.

BP: Is that what happened last year?

MA: I just tried to bully everyone. I decided it was a good idea to four-bet shove all in with 10-7 high on a 9-9-2 flop. It didn’t work out too well.

BP: Are you going to try to avoid the massive bluffs this year?

MA: Yeah, we’re going to try and avoid the Matt Affleck blow ups. But we’re going to see what happens. I am never afraid to put chips in the pot and go with my gut.

BP: What about your poker game do you think suits you so well for this event?

MA: I feel like I am a really good post-flop hand reader. I have made some really good call downs, put people on hands, and bluffed some people off hands. The tournament being deep stacked helps a lot.

BP: Has Tony Dunst been causing you any problems on your left?

MA: We are good friends. There haven’t been too many confrontations. I have won some chips off of him, which is nice. He has three-bet me a few times, but I’ve had to put an end to that early.

Stay tuned for Card Player for more coverage of the 2010 Main Event!