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Celebs Reveal Why They Ante(d) Up for Africa

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Celebs Reveal Why They Ante(d) Up for Africa

Posted by Laura Heaton on July 7, 2009

The setting – the Rio casino in the heart of Vegas – might surprise you, but it turns out that when celebrities and world class poker players team up, they can shine a bright spotlight on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

From the red carpet at the third annual Ante Up for Africa in Las Vegas last week, celebrities gave thoughtful testimony about why they participated in the celebrity-charity poker tournament. And their interest in supporting humanitarian relief efforts in Sudan didn’t end with them using their star power to draw attention to the crisis in Darfur; the tournament raised over $360,000 to support advocacy work to end the cycle of violence in Sudan and relief efforts to help alleviate the day-to-day hardships. Enough and Refugees International are fortunate to be the recipients of these generous donations. Here’s what Matt Damon, Sarah Silverman, Jason Alexander, Annie Duke, and Nelly had to say about why they felt compelled to take part in Ante Up for Africa:



By all accounts (read one from poker world champ and Ante Up’s co-founder Annie Duke here), the event surpassed expectations and will gain an even wider audience through coverage by ESPN coming up in August.

Actor Don Cheadle and poker star Annie Duke created Ante Up for Africa to raise money for Darfur relief efforts through poker tournaments. To buy in to last week’s event, players had to pay $5,000 and agree to donate at least half their winnings to the cause. To date, Ante Up for Africa has raised $2.1 million for Darfur advocacy and relief efforts.