The red carpet opening ceremonies for the Ante Up For Africa event was pure spectacle, the pinnacle of poker's existence as part of mainstream pop culture. Media coverage for the event was overwhelming, with anywhere from 200-300 people on the floor, ranging from photographers, television camera operators, public relations specialists and reporters. Brad Garrett was the first celebrity to come out and he literally took more than 30 minutes to pose for every camera and talk to every reporter on the carpet. Other celebs, like Ben Affleck, were over the whole thing about halfway through the carpet walk. Affleck ignored everyone on the second half of the carpet and made his way into the Amazon Room. The official after-party for the event went down at Pure Nightclub inside Caesars Palace, and it was a much more subdued affair than the actual tournament. The entire main room was roped off for the party, which featured Charles Barkley partying it up and two of poker biggest names getting a lot of attention. Barkley went up to the DJ booth at one point and gave a tribute speech about Michael Jackson, saying that the two were good friends, and making sure the DJ followed with a Jackson song. On the other side of the club, a group of about 8-10 young women surrounded a booth that appeared to be the life of the party, with the females taking lots of pictures and generally having a good time. At the center of the chaos? None other than poker bad boys Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth.
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