Ante Up For Africa raises $600k

Don Cheadle
'We're grateful to all who participate in Ante Up For Africa.'

The poker community really anted up for Africa at the 2009 World Series of Poker.

Ante Up For Africa released the official numbers from its WSOP charity tournament Monday and it appears the non-profit organization will be donating $600,000 to three Darfur-related charities.

"The crisis in Darfur is not over and we're grateful to all who participate in Ante Up For Africa to make these donations possible and hope that many more people will join us in the future," said actor Don Cheadle, who founded Ante Up For Africa with poker player Annie Duke and Norman Epstein.

A ton of Hollywood, sports and poker celebrities turned out for the $5k buy-in event including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Sarah Silverman, Jason Alexander, Mike Tyson, Charles Barkley, and Montel Williams.

In the end it was poker professional Alex Bolotin who outlasted 136 others to take the title.

ESPN will debut its coverage of the event Tuesday night Aug. 11 at 8 p.m.

Of the $600,000 raised, half will be donated to the Darfur Peace & Development Organization, a Darfuri-led non-governmental organization that provides aid to those in need in Darfur and the refugee camps.

The donation will allow the organization to continue the Women's Center in the Kassab refugee camp in North Darfur and provide the money necessary to complete the construction of El Fasher High School for war-affected teens.

Annie Duke
'We had no idea that so many people would respond and participate.'

A $150,000 donation will also be made to Refugees International, an organization that advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people.

Refugees International has earmarked the money to conduct assessment missions in South Sudan.

And finally, another $150,000 donation will be made to the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, which is working to build a permanent constituency to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

"When we started Ante Up, we had no idea that so many people would respond and participate to combat the devastation in Darfur," said Duke.

"It reaffirms our belief in humanity and drives us to do more for people in need."

Hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions driven from their homes in the humanitarian crisis taking place in Darfur, located in Western Sudan.

Ante Up For Africa has raised $2.5 million for the cause since launching in 2007 and contributions have gone to leading aid organizations to relieve suffering as well as fund advocacy on behalf of people affected by the violence.

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