With the next Ante Up for Africa benefit poker tournament right around the corner, the organization kicked off an effort yesterday to raise $10,000 between now and July 5, when the World Series of Poker opens in Las Vegas.
“With the poker world focused on the WSOP right now, we’re hoping poker players will once again step up and contribute,” said Ante Up for Africa co-founder and world champion poker player Annie Duke. “$10,000 is enough to change one person’s life at the World Series of Poker. But in Africa, it can change thousands of lives,” she said. Duke founded Ante Up for Africa in 2006 with actor Don Cheadle and Norm Epstein.
Previously, Ante Up for Africa generated all of the funds it donates by hosting benefit poker tournaments that have attracted celebrity poker enthusiasts like Matt Damon, Jason Alexander, Sarah Silverman, and Ben Affleck. Last year’s tournament raised $360,000, which Ante Up for Africa donated to the Enough Project, Refugees International, and the Darfur Peace and Development Organization. Since 2006, Ante Up has raised and donated $3 million to support the work of organizations that advocate for an end to mass atrocities and help alleviate suffering in conflict zones in Africa.
This newest campaign enables supporters to donate money directly to Ante Up for Africa, rather than having to buy in for a poker match.
“We realize not everyone has the bankroll to ante up the $5,000 to play our tournament on July 3 but many still want to contribute and make a difference. Now they can do so easily online,” said Duke. “Whether it’s $10, $100 or $1,000, every donation will help us reach our goal by the time they say ‘Shuffle Up and Deal’ on July 5 and make a huge difference to those who have already suffered too much.”
In a statement announcing the launch of the campaign to raise $10,000, the organization emphasized just how far those funds could go: The buy-in for the least expensive single table satellite event for the World Series of Poker is $100. For the same price, a Darfuri refugee student could attend school for a year and receive basic school supplies, such as books and chalk boards. $1,000 can help outfit a school of more than 2,000 children with sports equipment. $10,000 can provide books, uniforms, and school supplies for Darfuri students for an entire year – the same price that it costs to enter the World Series of Poker tournament.
The Enough Project has very gratefully been an Ante Up for Africa beneficiary in recent years. Click here to check out the highlights reel from last year’s tournament.