Band: George Clooney's "Ante Up For Africa"
Venue: The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date: 7.2.08

By: By Robin Roth, Photography by Robin Roth

              NOT JUST A GAMBLE

On July 2, 2008, at the Rio All-suite Hotel and Casino Over a dozen Hollywood celebrities and sport legends joined pokers greatest players to raise public awareness about the Humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

This very special annual “Anti Up For Africa", tournament was at the 2008 World Series of Poker. The tournament not only raised awareness, but funds for the "Ante Up For Africa" project with proceeds going to the “not on our watch” project.
Last year the inaugural tournament raised over 700,000 dollars for Darfur and had more ‘A’ list Celebes than any other charity poker tournament ever.
Hosted by Annie Duke and Don Cheadle, “Noow”, which was founded by actors George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, has set out to focus global attention and resources toward putting an end to mass atrocities around the world. This amazing group has adopted the crisis in Darfur Africa as its inaugural campaign. From the public voices of mega artists, activists, and cultural leaders “NOOW”, will no doubt bring about lifesaving humanitarian aid and protection for the vulnerable, marginalized and displaced.
Among the stars who took time out of their busy schedules to partake in this brilliant and important cause were: Don Cheadle, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Adam Sandler, Charles Barkley, Jason kidd, Ray Ramano, Scott Ian (Anthrax), Jason Alexander, Cheryl Hines, George Lopez, Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy), Jerry Cantrell, and poker pros, Annie Duke, Daniel Negraneu, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak, Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, Phil Gordon, Rafe Furst, Barry :Greenstein and others.
When speaking with Don Cheadle and Annie Duke, They said that “We founded the organization for Darfur , but hopefully we will be on to something else next year. We’re not sure people know what the magnitude of what is happening in Darfur.  A lot of people know what is going on in Darfur is bad, but we don’t think they know how bad” I asked Mr. Cheadle what does this cause mean to you as an actor and as a man, to which he responded, “Well, as an actor it is really irrelevant, but, as an actor it allows me to talk about it to actor friends and get them to come here. I think it is great that we have the opportunity to use something like poker, where there is a lot of money around and people that are willing to spend it, and are willing to come together for a cause like this and spend it in this way.”

They also stated, “What we would like people to do is to organize, educate them selves, go on line and find out more about this. We should all be educated about these topics because we all live on the same earth, so it should be important to us. We can’t really blame people for not knowing, because it is not really covered by the media. The goal is that this atrocity will stop and then we can focus our attention on something else. We hope to become obsolete.”
It was an honor and a privilege to speak with these two amazing human beings.
This is such a wonderful event, with wonderful people involved, for a truly important and crucial crisis happening in our world today. Get involved.
If you want to help and get more information just contact
I want to thank Reid Rich for all her help in this event. She rocks.