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Poker News | World Poker News

Ante Up for Africa Scheduled for July 3 at WSOP

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With the 2010 World Series of Poker just around the corner, the spotlight is already on some of the more exciting events on the schedule. The Rio in Las Vegas will be buzzing each day with poker tournaments, but only one will raise money for some very worthy charity, and that one is the fourth annual Ante Up for Africa Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament.

Saturday, July 3 will be the day of the event, and the lineup of celebrities and poker pros confirmed to play is consistently growing. All will be playing the $5,000 buy-in Ante Up for Africa no-limit holdem poker tournament at 2:00pm that afternoon at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, just down the Convention Center hallway in the Pavilion Ballroom. Though it will be a fast-paced tournament structure in the hopes the tournament will be completed in five hours, footage from past years is testament to the fact that it is an exciting event that allows anyone to play with some of the biggest names in poker and Hollywood. And those not playing are welcome to watch for free.

The confirmed names from the television, film, and sports worlds include Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Brad Garrett, Hank Azaria, Ray Romano, Tracy McGrady, Kenny Smith, and Sara Rue, though there are others to be announced in the coming weeks. On the pro poker side of things, those on the list to play thus far include Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, Erik Seidel, Howard Lederer, Phil Gordon, Phil Hellmuth, and Annie Duke.

Ante Up for Africa is a non-profit organization that was launched in 2006 as a collaborative effort by Annie Duke, Don Cheadle, and Norman Epstein. The purpose was to host poker tournaments with the goal of raising money for Africans in need as well as awareness of the dire situations taking place in areas like Darfur, Sudan. The genocide in Darfur, for example, has killed more than 300,000 people and left 3 million more as refugees. Through funds raised, such as the $3 million already raised by Ante Up for Africa, organizers hope to continue to provide humanitarian assistance and encourage politicians to enact policies that end the tragedies. Ante Up for Africa donates money to organizations like Not On Our Watch, ENOUGH, and The International Rescue Committee, all of whom work to help the people of Africa, abolish genocide, and work toward peace.

Duke spoke of the upcoming tournament: “It is an honor to be working with the WSOP and the Rio for the fourth year of Ante Up for Africa. We created this event to make a positive impact on the lives of those in Darfur and throughout Africa. I am delighted the event continues to grow every year boasting more celebrities, more players and more poker pros.”

Cheadle added, “We are so thankful to everyone who has participated in Ante Up for Africa throughout the years and are thrilled to have raised nearly $4 million to date to assist those in need. We are making tremendous strides in raising awareness and hope this year’s tournament is a huge charitable success.”

In order to raise money through the tournament, players are asked to donate half of their winnings to Ante up for Africa. Nevada gaming laws prohibit the prize money raised by players to be donated directly to the charity, so organizers trust that players will keep the charity in mind when they finish in the money and cash out their winnings. Someone will be at the cashier cage to assist anyone interested in donating to the cause.

For more information about Ante Up for Africa, visit

*Photo courtesy of Ante up for Africa website*

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