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Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Jason Alexander play poker for charity

May 23, 2011 |  1:41 pm

Ben Affleck and Paul Rudd

In the event that the apocalypse were to have transpired during the May 21 Celebrity Poker Tournament at Hank Azaria’s Bel-Air home, the actor well-known for his voices on “The Simpsons” had a solution. 

“The world is going to end at 3 o’clock today, 6:00 p.m. New York time, so I think whoever is chip leader at that point wins,” he announced to the 200 players, who also included Ben Affleck, Brad Garrett, Jon Hamm, Don Cheadle, Richard Kind, Kevin Pollak, Jason Alexander and Nigel Lythgoe. “We’ll sort out the prizes in heaven or hell.”

Jon Hamm “There was a little tremor last night, and I was just a little worried,” confessed Alexander, who had earlier tweeted, “Surely God wouldn’t strike down charity poker players.”

And when the tournament ended without incident past 9 p.m., two organizations split $220,000. Funds went to the Geffen Playhouse for its education and outreach programs and to Determined to Succeed, which mentors and tutors youngsters, “who want to learn, but without help would fall through the cracks,” Azaria said.

By the first break, Cheadle said he had doubled his chips. Affleck said he was only slightly ahead. But winning was hardly the reason for the exceptional turnout. “I love the game, I love the causes. I love Hank,” said Pollak. “If I try to come up with a reason not to be here, I can’t.”

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-- Ellen Olivier

Photos, from top: Ben Affleck, left, and Paul Rudd; Jon Hamm. Credit: WireImage