Ante Up for Africa cashes in at Monte Carlo

Isabelle Mercier
Isabelle showed no mercy and took down the Ante Up for Africa charity event.

The stars were out in force last night in Monte Carlo raising more than €260,000 during the inaugural Ante Up for Africa Europe.

The big winner from the event is Ante Up for Africa and its efforts in Darfur, but it was PokerStars pro Isabelle Mercier who actually won the tournament.

She defeated a final-table full of poker pros and a tough set of celebrities as well to end up facing England footballer Teddy Sheringham for the title.

"It was great fun to play, but overall I am very proud to have helped raise so much money," Mercier told PokerStars after her win.

Hosted by, the tournament attracted 40 players and celebrities such as Nelly, Christina Milian, The Dream, James Kyson Lee, Jason Lewis and Joel Madden.

There were plenty representing from the international sports and entertainment realm as well with U.K. TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher, French rapper Bruno "Kool Shen" Lopes, F1 racing driver Nico Rosberg, Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina and rugby stars Sebastien Chabal and Mike Tindall playing the event.

Some of the pro poker players in the event included PokerStars' own team members Daniel Negreanu, Victor Ramdin, Joe Hachem, Peter Eastgate, Dario Minieri, Vanessa Rousso and Greg Raymer .

They all anted up €4,000 for the buy-in for a total donation of €160,000, to which PokerStars added another €100,000.

While many of the stars and some of the pro poker players fell by the wayside, the final table ended up being a tough mix of poker players and a few of the celebrities. They were:

  • Seat 1: Dario Minieri, 43,400
  • Seat 2: John Duthie, 39,000
  • Seat 3: Patrick Chene, 20,100
  • Seat 4: Sebastian Chabal, 20,300
  • Seat 5: Luca Pagano, 41,500
  • Seat 6: Tony G, 18,200
  • Seat 7: Daniel Negreanu, 151,000
  • Seat 8: Teddy Sheringham, 44,900
  • Seat 9: Isabelle Mercier 42,700

Negreanu had a sizeable chip lead going into the final table, but he would see his chips whittled away and finally disappear as he ended up out in fifth place.

Chabal, Duthie, Chene and Pagano were out before him, and Tony G didn't last long after him. Finally Minieri was taken out by Sheringham who faced Mercier heads-up with a 3-1 chip advantage.

Mercier didn't get the nickname "No Mercy" for no reason though. She battled back, finally gaining the lead and then the win.

As runner-up to a Team PokerStars Pro winner, Sheringham won the tournament prize, a trip to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas in January.

The Ante Up for Africa charity tournament helped kick off the PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final this week as well. The tournament started today in Monte Carlo, and you can get the latest updates in the Live Tournaments section.

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