Annie Duke and Don Cheadle have gotten together with Harrah's and the World Series of Poker to host the $5,000 "Ante Up for Africa" tournament at the 2007 WSOP at the Rio hotel. The tourney will take place at 4PM on July 5th and will feature stars of the poker and entertainment world such as Jennifer Tilly, Matt Damon, Adam Sandler, Howard Lederer, Phil Hellmuth, Barry Greenstein and Doyle Brunson. All celebrity appearances are based on availability.
"While a donation is not required to enter, we are respectfully asking players who win prize money to donate half of their winnings to the ENOUGH Project and the International Rescue Committee - organizations whose goals include raising public awareness and providing aid to the survivors of Darfur," Duke said.
The tournament is open to anyone who wants to buy in, and the participants are also free to attend a private party at the Voodoo Lounge at the Rio at 10PM on July 5. The tournament blinds will be structured so as to end the event within five hours. Seating is limited and pre-registration is available at www.worldseriesofpoker/anteup.
"We're honored to host this event and hope that entrants - particularly those fortunate enough to win money - will make donations to help ease the human suffering that defines the crisis in Darfur," said Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the World Series of Poker.
"Four years ago, the specter of genocide reared its ugly head in an area of the Sudan called Darfur," said Cheadle, whose role as a hotel manager in the true-life film "Hotel Rwanda" earned him an Academy Award nomination. The movie told the story of the government-sanctioned slaughter of more than a million innocents in Rwanda in 1994.
For more than two years, Cheadle has worked to raise public awareness of the Darfur humanitarian crisis. He recently testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about his visits to Darfur and refugee camps in neighboring Chad. "Not On Our Watch" - a book he co-authorized with human-rights activist John Prendergast - was released into bookstores nationwide this month.
Cheadle and Duke are supporting the work of two non-profit organizations as part of their efforts. The International Rescue Committee is a charitable organization that provides help to refugees in more than 25 countries around the world, and the ENOUGH Project is dedicated to raising awareness and activism for causes such as Darfur.
The 2007 World Series of Poker Presented by Milwaukee's Best Light will begin June 1 at the Rio® All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. More information on the tournament is available at http://www.worldseriesofpoker.com/.