A total of 88 professional poker players and other celebrity types threw down the $5,000 buy-in to get their poker on, with a large percentage of the proceeds going to provide relief for the situation in Darfur.
The charity tournament took a bit of a hit compared to the tournament's inaugural run last year, which saw 167 players get involved, but organizers still raised over $400,000 for charity.
This year Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Ray Romano, Shannon Elizabeth, Erik Seidel, Beth Shak, Andy Bloch, Dan Shak, Mike Matusow, Clonie Gowen, Casey Affleck, Annie Duke, Don Cheadle and many others all saddled up for some celeb-poker action.
The event was emceed by perpetual poker tournament host Phil Hellmuth, who frequently let the crowd know who was all-in and what the cards were, as well as sharing other useful information, like who Ben Affleck is.
The NBA had a visible impact on the event with Jason Kidd, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith all trading the hardcourt for the poker table. They might want to stick to either playing or commentating on b-ball, however, as all three busted early.
One of the highlights was overhearing two heavyweight loudmouths in Charles Barkley and Mike Matusow talk some trash to each other.
"You are a has-been," Matusow said as Barkley walked by.
"Better than being a never-was," retorted Barkley.
Later in the day Matusow got in the habit of standing on his chair every time he was all-in and screaming profusely. At one point Matusow nearly fell off his chair and Dan Shak jokingly asked the tournament director if the excessive celebration rule was in place in the event.
Dan, who won this event last year, was chip leader for a large portion of the day with $200,000 chips, but it wasn't all good for the stock trader. His wife, Beth, who was at the same table, was upset about Dan eliminating Hollywood heartthrob Ben Affleck in the middle stages of the tournament (seems like it would make for a good episode of Mad About Shak).
It wasn't all bad for Affleck as Phil Hellmuth, who was really more interested in doing the MC thing, let Affleck play his stack. We're assuming the whole "one player to a hand" thing wasn't really in place for this tournament.
When asked how he felt about playing the Poker Brat's stack Affleck told us, "It kinda feels like I'm playing for Satan."
Comedian Ray Romano was another player that went deep in the event after winning a couple of pivotal all-ins.
One of our favorite moments in the tournament occurred when Hellmuth described Romano as a TV/movie-star.
"I'm not a movie star," joked Romano. "Anybody that has seen Mooseport can attest to that."
The final two tables included some marquee names with Ben and Casey Affleck (although Ben was playing Hellmuth's stack), Shannon Elizabeth, Ray Romano, Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell, Clonie Gowen, Mike Matusow and Andy Bloch all still in the running.
However, it was looking more and more like Dan "Deece! Deece!" Shak would repeat as Ante for Africa champion as the day wore on. As of 8 p.m. he was the chip leader at the final table. To see if he pulls it off, check out our recap blog at the end of the day.
The real winners are of course the people of Darfur. If you would like to make a donation or learn more about the crisis in the African nation, go to www.anteupforafrica.com.