Saturday, August 15, 2009

Prendergast's ENOUGH Project: Poker players Ante Up for Africa charity - Sudan, Uganda, Congo, Chad, and Somalia

Posted to YouTube by ENOUGH - Ante Up for Africa, June 25, 2008:
ENOUGH is the project to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Focusing on the crises in Sudan, Uganda, Congo, Chad, and Somalia, ENOUGH uses a 3Ps crisis response strategy: promoting peace, protecting civilians, and punishing the perpetrators.

This year ENOUGH again joined the benefit poker tournament Ante Up for Africa, hosted by Don Cheadle and Annie Duke.
To learn what you can do to join the fight against genocide, go to ENOUGH.

© Center for American Progress
Category: Nonprofits & Activism
Tags: Cheadle Prendergast genocide Sudan Khartoum Uganda Somalia ICC advocacy Gayle Smith Africa war ENOUGH Ante Up Poker charity benefit Hollywood
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From Thursday, 13 August 2009 by Bruce:
Full Tilt Poker's "Ante up for Africa" Charity Tournament
As part of Full Tilt Poker's FTOPS XIII online poker series, they are holding a special charity poker tournament known as "Ante up for Africa". The tournament will be held at 3 p.m. on August 15th [2009], and it will raise money for the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. The tournament will be hosted by actor and avid poker player Don Cheadle. The buy in for the tournament will be $100+20. The twenty dollar tournament fee will be donated to the charity. This charity tournament will be part of the FTOPS VIII online poker championships, which will feature more than $16 million in prize money over various tournaments. The last of the tournaments is known as the main event, and it will be held on August 16th with a massive guaranteed prize pool of $2.5 million.

Back in 2007, Cheadle co founded an Ante up for Africa Poker Tournament with Norman Epstein and Annie Duke. At the recent 2009 World Series of Poker, the third annual Ante up for Africa charity tournament was held. The tournament attracted some of the top celebrities from both poker and entertainment. Some of the stars in attendance were actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and they were joined by poker pros Erick Seidel and Jennifer Harmon. The tournament had a $5,000 entry fee, and the players were asked to donate 50% of their winnings to the charity. When the tournament was complete, over $600,000 was raised. Since the Ante up for Africa charity was formed a few years back, over $2 million dollars has been raised. The funds have been distributed to organizations such as "Not on Our Watch", "Enough Project", and "International Rescue Committee". The upcoming online charity tournament will help raise even more money for such a good cause.

The FTOPS XIII charity tournament will take place on a Saturday afternoon giving most players the opportunity to play and help raise money for a good cause. Even though the tournament is designed to raise money for the Ante up for Africa charity, there is plenty of money to be won as well. The tournament will have a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool, with the winner guaranteed to walk away with at least $22,500. Players can take that their shot at winning some serious cash, while raising money for a great organization. Along with the chance to play with many well known poker professionals, players who play in the tournament will also get to play alongside celebrities such as Matt Damon. This will be another opportunity for poker players to help raise money for the ongoing crisis in Darfur.

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From Wednesday, 12 August 2009 by Elaine Chaivarlis:
2009 WSOP Ante Up for Africa Recap
ESPN’s third week of 2009 WSOP coverage aired last night with the Ante Up for Africa event. Dozens of celebrities and poker pros showed up for this event. This was the first time that Ante Up for Africa was aired on television.

The event had a $5,000 buy-in and attracted 137 players. The total prize pool generated for the event was $665,820. It was suggested that players donate 50% of their winnings to the charity.

Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Sarah Silverman, Montel Williams, Nelly, Cedric the Entertainer, Herschel Walker, and Charles Barkley were among the notable celebrities at the event. Several poker pros played the event as well, including Annie Duke, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow, Peter Eastgate, and Dennis Phillips.

Let’s face it, there weren’t a lot of stellar players, or plays in this event, as the event was created more as a fun way to raise money and awareness for the Darfur region.

Charles Barkley and Herschel Walker were two celebrities that might be able to benefit a little from the PokerNews strategy section. They both made this event entertaining to watch with their interesting plays. In one hand, where he rivered trip queens, Walker doesn't even know what the minimum bet is, but was happy with the face time he got from his hollywooding. Charles Barkley got it all in post flop when he flopped a flush draw with his . He never got there and was eliminated.

Mike McDermott (or Matt Damon, whatever you like to call him) ended up at the feature table sitting next to Erik Seidel. This is significant, only in that because of the movie Rounders, Erik Seidel's second place finish to Johnny Chan in the 1988 WSOP has been seen millions of times. So maybe Seidel had it out for Damon a little. Damon, like every other celebrity in this event, didn't make it to the final table. Wonder what happened to all those tells he used to pick up on.

The final table was, not surprisingly, packed with poker pros. Jennifer Harman, Matt Kay, John Hennigan, Phil Gordon, Chris Ferguson, Erik Seidel, Rafe Furst, Adam Richardson, and Alex Bolotin all made the final table of the Ante Up for Africa event. Five of the players at the table, Harman, Hennigan, Ferguson, Seidel, and Furst hold a combined 18 WSOP bracelets.

With the super fast structure, the final table saw its players drop rather quickly with Adam Richardson all but out the door at one point when he was all in and went runner runner clubs to stay alive. Richardson ended up going heads up against the eventual winner, Alex Bolotin, who won $176,449 for his first place finish.

There have been numerous opinions about whether or not there should have been more events from the 2009 WSOP aired on television. We're sure the minds over at ESPN had a reason for the lack of other coverage. We're not sure, however, if this will be the trend next year. What we can say is, in regards to this event, people watch what their favorite celebrities are doing, and if their favorite celebrity is playing poker, then they’re watching them play poker, bringing a more mainstream audience to the game, and that much we like. No matter what the broadcast schedule is next year, we definitely hope this event will be in the mix.

Be sure to tune into ESPN every Tuesday night for continuing coverage of the WSOP, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter.
Good luck to all.  


ENOUGH was conceived in 2006 by a small group of concerned policymakers and activists who wanted to transform their frustration about inaction into pragmatic solutions and hope. Co-founded by Africa experts Gayle Smith and John Prendergast, ENOUGH launched in early 2007 as a project of the Center for American Progress. John Norris is Enough’s Executive Director. Read more about ENOUGH at

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