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The 2008 ‘Ante Up For Africa’ Poker Tournament at the World Series of Poker will be held on July 2 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament is the brainchild of actor Don Cheadle and poker pro Annie Duke, who created the event to raise money and awareness for the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.

“After the success of last year’s tournament, we are looking forward to another exciting year while raising awareness for an ongoing crisis,” Duke said. “It is exciting to bring the world of poker and entertainment together, and we are once again asking players who win prize money to donate half of their winnings to our charities.”

Last year’s inaugural event raised more than $700,000, thanks in part to the stellar list of celebrities, athletes, and poker professionals who participated.

Confirmed to participate in this year’s event are Cheadle, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, Charles Barkley, Jason Kidd, Kevin Pollack, Cheryl Hines, George Lopez, Joe Trohman from Fall Out Boy, and more.

“The poker community has a unique opportunity to help ease the suffering in Darfur,” said Jeffrey Pollack, WSOP commissioner. “The stars are coming out for this special event once again and we encourage everyone to register early before we sell out.”

Two charities will benefit form this year’s Ante Up For Africa showdown – the ENOUGH Project and Not On Our Watch.

ENOUGH is joint initiative of the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress, which aims to end crimes against humanity in Darfur, Northern Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The organization also hopes to prevent future mass atrocities around the world.

Not On Our Watch, which was founded by George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, strives to focus global attention and resources on putting an end to mass atrocities around the world. It takes its name from the book authored by Cheadle and John Prendergast, and draws on the voices of celebrities, cultural leaders and activists to help bring the crisis to the public’s attention and generate humanitarian assistance for the nation.

The tournament is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on July 2.

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