Celebrities ante for Africa at World Series

Don Cheadle

Hollywood and poker collide in another charitable venture this July, as the big players in both industries park themselves at the felt to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region.

"Ante Up for Africa" will be hosted by actor Don Cheadle and poker great Annie Duke, who are among more than a dozen celebrities to play in the July 5 tournament at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

B-listers the invitees are not. Among those who've expressed an interest in playing, depending on their schedule, are: Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Ray Ramano, Adam Sandler and Charles Barkley.

Poker players Erik Seidel, Howard Lederer, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Gordon, Joe Hachem, Andy Bloch, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Doyle Brunson, Barry Greenstein and Phil Ivey are only a few of the pros who've also signed up to play.

To keep the action moving, the tournament will feature a fast-paced blind structure that should see the event wrap within five hours. Seating is open to anyone, but is limited, so players are encouraged to pre-register here.

Whoever plays in the $5,000-buy-in tournament can attend a private party at the Voodoo Lounge at the Rip starting 10 p.m. July 5.

Money raised will go to support two non-profit organizations: The International Rescue Committee and The ENOUGH Project. Duke and Cheadle are asking anyone who wins prize money at the event to donate half their cash to the charities.

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