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Alex Bolotin Wins Ante Up for Africa Poker Tournament

Tourney Raised Money for Humanitarian Causes


The RioActors, comedians, athletes, poker professionals, and a host of other celebrities were on hand yesterday at the Rio \for the third-annual Ante Up for Africa charity poker tournament.

The $5,000 event attracted some of the biggest names in Hollywood, with stars like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Don Cheadle, Sarah Silverman, and Nelly all in attendance. Several current and former athletes such as Charles Barkley and Mike Tyson also played in the event.

At the end of the day, Alex Bolotin won the $176,449 first place prize and promptly donated half of it back to charity.
Alex BolotinProceeds from the tournament will directly benefit Refugees International’s efforts in Darfur and Sudan. Ante Up for Africa has raised more than $2 million for the cause since its conception.

Cheadle and poker pro Annie Duke, who gained quite of bit of her own fame with a runner-up performance in this year’s Celebrity Apprentice television show, will host the event. Cheadle, Duke, and Norman Epstein created the non-profit organization in 2006. This is the third year the event will be played at the World Series.

“It is important to me to show people that it is possible to make a difference for the people of Darfur,” said Duke. “I am thrilled that this event has become such a success and that it will generate support for efforts by Refugees International, the Enough Project and others to end the crisis in Darfur.”

For the first time ever, ESPN will be filming the event for a future broadcast. The guarantee of TV time likely bolstered the size of the field with sponsored entries and raise additional money for charity.

Several poker pros besides Duke have played in the tournament, including Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel, Andy Bloch, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Peter Eastgate, and Howard Lederer.

John Hennigan won last year’s event and donated all of his $136,860 first place prize back to the charity.



almost 13 years ago

Congrats to all who participated and contributed! Wish I could have been there. I heard somewhere Full Tilt was going to have an online version to raise funds, but have been unable to find such a game and the Tilt site seems unreachable. Help? Good luck in the M.E. everyone!