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Don Cheadle, Annie Duke to Headline WSOP Darfur Fundraiser

A growing lineup of poker players, sports figures and Hollywood celebrities have pledged their efforts on behalf of a special fundraising tournament on behalf of survivors of the Darfur crisis, to be held at this summer's World Series of Poker® Presented by Milwaukee's Best Light.

The 'Ante Up For Africa' tournament came to be through the efforts of Annie Duke and actor Don Cheadle of Hotel Rwanda fame. The event is scheduled to be held at 4:00 pm on July 5 in the Amazon Room at the Rio. The event carries a $5,000 entry fee, with participants also invited to a private party held at the Rio's rooftop Voodoo Lounge that night.

The list of fundraiser participants is impressive and continues to grow daily. Poker pros already signed up or expressing plans to participate include Duke, Erik Seidel, Howard Lederer, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Gordon, Joe Hachem, Andy Bloch, Chris Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Robert Williamson III, Phil Laak, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow and Clonie Gowan.

Film and screen stars will also make their presence felt, with that list of probable attendees already including Cheadle, Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Jason Alexander, Jennifer Tilly, Hank Azaria, George Clooney, Matt Damon, George Lopez, Danny Masterson, Mekhi Phifer, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler and James Woods. NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley also plans to attend. "We're honored to host this event and hope that entrants – particularly those fortunate enough to win money – will make donations to help ease the human suffering that defines the crisis in Darfur," said Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the World Series of Poker.

Duke noted that an added donation isn't required of entrants, but further contributions are hoped to be generated for the ENOUGH Project and the International Rescue Committee – both of which assist Darfur victims. Cheadle has also been an activist in bringing awareness of the Darfur crisis to the world, recently testifying before a U.S. Senate subcommitee about his visits to the embattled Sudan/Chad region and co-authoring the recently released Not On Our Watch book about the struggle.

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