Many would love the opportunity to play poker with some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the most skilled poker professionals. Now you can.
The 2010 Ante Up For Africa Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament on Saturday, July 3 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas offers a special opportunity as the only event of its kind where the general public can participate.
Created by Oscar nominee Don Cheadle and Celebrity Apprentice star and WSOP bracelet winner Annie Duke, the Ante Up for Africa tournament will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 3rd at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, home of the 41st Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP).
This No-Limit Hold’em poker tournament has an entry fee of $5,000, and places players side-by-side with Hollywood hotshots, superstar athletes and poker professionals, battling it out in a unique charity tournament where you can walk away with a six-figure payday and contribute to a great cause too.
Celebrities and athletes all over are gearing up to return and will join poker’s most notable players to raise public awareness and funds which make a tangible impact on the ground in Africa. Through humanitarian assistance and policy work the organization seeks lasting solutions to Africa’s worst conflicts like the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan. In 2009, the WSOP attracted 60,875 entrants from 115 different countries and awarded over $174 million in prize money.
“It is an honor to be working with the WSOP and the Rio for the 4th year of Ante Up For Africa,” said Annie Duke. “We created this event to make a positive impact on the lives of those in Darfur and throughout Africa. I am delighted the event continues to grow every year boasting more celebrities, more players and more poker pros.”
Among those confirmed to participate, subject to availability, are: Cheadle, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Tracy McGrady, Brad Garrett, Hank Azaria, Ray Romano, Kenny Smith and Sara Rue with many more in the process of being confirmed and expressing their interest to play. Also playing, subject to availability, will be poker professionals Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, Phil Gordon, Andy Bloch, Chris Ferguson and Phil Hellmuth with many more to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
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. Players can register in person at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, or online up to two weeks prior to the event at www.wsop.com under the registration tab.
“We are so thankful to everyone who has participated in Ante Up For Africa throughout the years and are thrilled to have raised nearly $3 million to date to assist those in need,” said Don Cheadle. “We are making tremendous strides in raising awareness and hope this year’s tournament is a huge charitable success.”
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 Pavilion Ballroom in the Rio Convention Center, with the WSOP Main Event, beginning just two days later on Monday, July 5th.
“This is a great cause and a great event,” said WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart. “Annie and Don have established quite a tradition with this event and we are honored to host it as part of the World Series of Poker.”
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.
Last week, Ante Up For Africa awarded two grants of $50,000 each to support the Eastern Congo Initiative founded by Ben Affleck and Water.org founded by Matt Damon – organizations focused on supporting local, community-based solutions to some of Africa’s greatest challenges.
Nevada Gaming laws prohibit money being given directly from the prize pool to the charity. Accordingly, in the previous events, many of the in the money finishers volunteered to donate half of their winnings to the charity and Ante Up for Africa encourages participants to do the same this year.
More information about the tournament is available at www.wsop.com. If you would like more information regarding the organization, please log onto www.anteupforafrica.org and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/anteupforafrica.