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Poker Community Coming Together for Crisis in Darfur

Celebrity Charity Event Takes Place July 2 and Annie Duke Supports Marathon Run to Spread Awareness

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Don CheadleThe humanitarian crisis in Darfur has continued over the last four years, and with the dedication from much of the poker community, some relief is possible.

There are a number of ways in which players can become involved. The second edition of the Ante Up for Africa (AUFA) charity poker tournament is taking place next Wednesday, July 2. The event starts at 2 p.m. inside the Rio in Las Vegas. Annie Duke and Don Cheadle are once again hosting the event, and, in addition to many poker pros, dozens of celebs are slated to attend, including Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, Charles Barkley, Jason Kidd, Cheryl Hines, and George Lopez.

Annie DukeSeating is limited, but the event is open to the public for anyone willing to put up the $5,000 buy-in. Players can preregister at the World Series of Poker website. Last year, the event raised more than $700,000 for the cause, and organizers are hopeful for an even bigger amount this year. Card Player spoke with Shannon Elizabeth before the 2007 event and also attended the red-carpet ceremony, both of which can be seen in the Card Player TV archives.

The money generated will go to related charities that provide assistance and support for the victims in Darfur. The two benefiting organizations this year are Enough, a joint initiative aimed to end crimes against humanity in Darfur, northern Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to prevent future mass atrocities wherever they occur, as well as Not On Our Watch, which was founded to focus attention and resources toward putting an end to mass atrocities around the world.

Players who are athletes or looking for a reason to get in shape and want to support the tournament and the cause can run the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Sign up on UltimateBet, and during registration, players must indicate that they want AUFA on their bib to spread awareness of the issue. Duke planned to run the marathon with participants, but due to a recent injury, she will not be able to. She still plans to have dinner with the runners the night before the race and to be in attendance to cheer them on. UltimateBet is also taking UltimatePoint donations that will be converted into cash and sent to Ante Up for Africa.

The fighting in Darfur has caused more than 200,000 deaths and has caused 2.5 million people to be displaced from their homes. Survivors are living in refugee camps in Chad and Sudan and are looking for any aid possible. More information can be found on the Ante Up for Africa website.