Celebrity poker players turned out in full force yesterday for the 3rd annual Ante Up for Africa, a charity tournament co-hosted by world poker champ Annie Duke and actor Don Cheadle. Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Charles Barkley, Sarah Silverman, Jason Alexander, and Mike Tyson were just a few of the poker aficionados who took to the red carpet to talk about the importance of supporting humanitarian relief efforts in Sudan.
The tournament is part of the World Series of Poker, covered on ESPN. Players are asked to donate half of their winnings to Enough and Refugees International.
From Las Vegas, Enough’s Robert Padavick had this to say:
We know that the celebrities and poker stars that are part of Ante Up care about bringing peace to Darfur and to Sudan as a whole. We heard that refrain loud and clear. But Annie and Don were the talk of the red carpet. Almost everyone we interviewed said they were here to share in the excitement of this event they’ve built.
As Darfur’s humanitarian crisis continues, and the 2005 peace agreement that ended the war between the North and the South threatens to collapse, attention to Sudan is urgently needed. It will take a dynamic international effort to move beyond simply managing Sudan’s multiple crises and forge a lasting and equitable peace for all of Sudan that ensures genuine power-sharing, and the United States must be at the forefront of these efforts. Events like Ante Up for Africa are important for keeping the Sudan’s crises in the spotlight while also contributing to relief efforts that help to alleviate the day-to-day hardships.
Check this space early next week for full coverage of the Ante Up celebrity-charity tournament, including more pics from the red carpet.