Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Brad Garrett, Mekhi Phifer, and top poker professional Phil Hellmuth have joined the growing list of celebrities who plan to play in the Ante Up For Africa charity tournament July 2 at the 40th annual World Series of Poker.

Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars are expected to go all in for the 3rd Ante Up For Africa (AUFA) Celebrity-Charity poker tournament.

Annually, the largest celebrity poker tournament in Las Vegas, the event is accessible for the public to play with their favorite stars or watch as spectators. A full house of celebrities will join Academy Award Nominee, Don Cheadle and “Celebrity Apprentice Star” and WSOP Bracelet winner Annie Duke at the event taking place during the 2009 WORLD SERIES OF POKER® (WSOP) at Rio in Las Vegas on Thursday, July 2 at 2 PM.

This No-Limit Hold’em poker tournament has an entry fee of $5,000 and provides entrants the opportunity to walk away with a six-figure payday. The event allows players to rub elbows with top Hollywood stars, athletes and poker professionals while contributing to a great cause.

Celebrities and athletes will join poker’s most notable players to raise public awareness and funds to support the victims of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

Among those confirmed to participate, subject to availability, are Cheadle, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Brad Garrett, Cedric the Entertainer, Charles Barkley, Danny Masterson, Hank Azaria, Herschel Walker, Jason Alexander, Kenny Smith, Marlon Wayans, Montel Williams, Reggie Miller, Tia Carrere, Sarah Silverman, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Cheryl Hines, Mekhi Phifer, Rob Schneider; Poker Professionals Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, Tiffany Michelle, Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth with more to be confirmed.

The tournament will feature a fast-paced structure designed to complete the competition within five hours. Seating for the tournament is open to anyone age 21 or older.

This event, as is every World Series of Poker tournament, is open to the public for viewing and admission is free. The event will take place in the famed Amazon Ballroom in the Rio Convention Center, just one day prior to the start of the WSOP Main Event, the game’s most prestigious poker event.

Cheadle, an accomplished poker player, and Duke, who has more than $4 million in tournament winnings, are committed to raising both public awareness about the tragedy in Darfur and funds to aid its victims. As the world’s richest sporting event, the WSOP awarded more than $180 million in 2008 and attracted participants from a record 124 nations.

In the previous events, many of the in the money finishers volunteered to donate half of their winnings to the charity. Proceeds from the event will go to the ENOUGH Project and Refugees International, organizations whose goals include raising public awareness and providing aid to the survivors of Darfur.

More information about the tournament is available at www.worldseriesofpoker.com. If you would like more information regarding the organization, please log onto www.anteupforafrica.org and follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/anteupforafrica.

ABOUT THE WSOP
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2008, the event attracted 58,720 entrants from 124 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $180 million in prize money. The creation of the new delayed Main Event final table more than doubled ratings on ESPN year-over-year. In December, 2008 the WSOP was named the 7th most admired sports brand in North America by the Turnkey Team Brand Index trailing only the more established NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA Tour among sports properties. In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit our website at www.worldseriesofpoker.com.

ABOUT ANTE UP FOR AFRICA
Ante Up For Africa (AUFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 by Don Cheadle, Annie Duke and Norman Epstein. We are dedicated to raising money and awareness for Africans in need. To date, Ante Up For Africa has raised close to $2 million for the cause and has donated to organizations such as Not On Our Watch (NOOW), ENOUGH and The International Rescue Committee. For more information, please log onto www.AnteUpForAfrica.org.

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