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Cheadle and Duke to Host Poker Tourney for Darfur

Event Will Be Held at the Rio During WSOP

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Don Cheadle and Annie Duke are putting their weight behind a poker tournament that will try to raise public awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur this summer. The Ante Up for Africa poker tournament s scheduled to take place July 5, at the Rio, the home of this year's World Series of Poker.

The tournament costs $5,000 and is open to anyone. The price includes admission to a party that will be held at the VooDoo Lounge on the roof of the Rio that night.

A list of the poker players and celebrities who've "expressed their intent to play," are Cheadle, Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Jason Alexander, Jennifer Tilly, Hank Azaria, George Clooney, Matt Damon, George Lopez, Danny Masterson, Mekhi Phifer, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler, and James Woods.

The list also includes Charles Barkley and poker notables Duke, Erik Seidel, Howard Lederer, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Gordon, Joe Hachem, Andy Bloch, Chris Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Robert Williamson III, Phil Laak, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow, and Clonie Gowan.

Because seating is limited, people are encouraged to preregister by visiting the WSOP website.

Cheadle has a history of speaking up for causes based in Africa. He was nominated for an academy award for his role as a hotel manager who tries to save lives in Hotel Rwanda. He also recently testified in front of Congress about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, and this month released Not On Our Watch, a book about the crisis that was written by him and human-rights activist John Prendergast.

While players in the tournament aren't required to make a donation, Duke hopes those who make the money will step up.

"While a donation is not required to enter, we are respectfully asking players who win prize money to donate half of their winnings to the ENOUGH Project and the International Rescue Committee, organizations whose goals include raising public awareness and providing aid to the survivors of Darfur," Duke said.

WSOP Commissioner echoed Duke's statement:

"We're honored to host this event and hope that entrants, particularly those fortunate enough to win money, will make donations to help ease the human suffering that defines the crisis in Darfur," he said.

Harrah's is stepping up for good causes this year. It is also hosting a 24-hour VIP lounge open to anyone willing to donate $1,000 to the Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI). Click here to read more about it.