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Las Vegas is to host a star-studded poker tournament on July 5 to raise much needed aid for the current humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The Ante Up For Africa event will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, and will see “Ocean’s 13” stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon compete in the high stakes world of Texas Hold ’Em against a host of other celebrities.

The event has been organised by actor Don Cheadle and professional poker player Annie Duke, and will coincide with the annual World Series of Poker. The pair hope the event will generate funds to help the “millions of people who must roll the dice every day in their struggle to survive (in Darfur).”

The Ocean’s 13 actors are expected to join fellow celebrities Ben Affleck, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, George Lopez, Willie Garson and many others in the all-night tournament. There is also the opportunity for non-celebrities to pitch their skills against the stars, as anyone over the age of 21 can enter the tournament for a $5000 “buy-in”.

“While a donation is not required to enter,” said Duke in a recent press release, "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."

Don Cheadle, an accomplished poker player himself, is co-author of Not On Our Watch, a book about the crisis in Darfur, and co-founder of the non-profit organization of the same name. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film “Hotel Rwanda”, which tells the story of the government-sanctioned slaughter of more than a million people in Rwanda in 1994, and has spent the last two years heavily involved in humanitarian causes.

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