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Ante Up For Africa

Day 1
Buy-in: $5,000
Players: 138
Prize pool: $670,680

July 2

This Ante Up For Africa poker charity event is the 4th one held here at the RIO during the WSOP. (All information from the WSOP will be in Italics.)

"Ante-Up for Africa" is a charity-motivated poker tournament which attracts celebrities, poker pros, and concerned citizens alike who want to make a positive change in the world. The first "Ante-Up for Africa" tournament was held at the 2007 World Series of Poker. Through this year, the charity has raised nearly $2.5 million for the ongoing crisis in Darfur (Africa).

The "Ante-Up for Africa" tournament is played on the main floor of the World Series of Poker and costs $5,000 to enter. No monies are withheld from the prize pool, nor are players required to donate their winnings. However, the overwhelming majority of players who participate and finish in-the-money donate between half to the full amount of their winnings to the charity.

WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel and his staff ran the tournament from start to finish, which lasted about ten hours. Ante-Up for Africa attracted a mix of celebrities from the worlds of film, television, and sports. In addition, several CEOs and other business leaders "anted-up" for the cause. About one-third of the total field was comprised of professional poker players.

Many of the faces in the field include Ben Affleck, Jason Alexander, Charles Barkley, Andy Bloch, Justin Bonomo, Humberto Brenes, Chad Brown, Dean Cain, Actor Patrick Bruel from France, Chau Giang, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Brandon Cantu, Annie Duke, 2008 Main Event Champion Peter Eastgate, Chris Ferguson, Brad Garrett, 2005 Main Event Champion Joe Hachem, Jennifer Harman, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Hennigan who won the event last year, Cedrick the Entertainer, Howard Lederer, Victor Ramdin, Montel Williams, Mike Matusow and Jennifer Tilly.

The fourth annual "Ante Up For Africa" Charity Poker Tournament champion is Aleksandr Bolotin. Bolotin collected $177,730 for first place. He donated half of his cash winnings -- $88,865 to Ante Up for Africa.

The crisis in the country of Darfur is alarming, taking the lives of over 400,000 people so far and forcing over 3 million of its citizens to flee their homes. Many refer to the events taking place in Darfur, Sudan as genocide or human catastrophe. Many of the victims are children who have no available food or medical support and become casualties of either violence or disease. Attempts to cover the crimes by Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir from the eyes of the world who has been accused by many of masterminding and implementing plans to destroy opposition have resulted in the International Criminal Court (ICC) filing 3 counts of genocide, 5 of crimes against humanity and 2 of murder on July 14, 2008. On March 4, 2009 a warrant for his arrest was issued by the ICC. His response was to kick out many of the humanitarian efforts that came to the Sudan to help. More about the efforts to help can be found at the Ante Up For Africa website.

Annie Duke, Alex Bolotin and Don Cheadle

  1. Aleksandr Bolotin -- $176,449
  2. Adam Richardson -- $109,194
  3. Rafael Furst -- $72,308
  4. Erik Seidel -- $51,601
  5. Chris Ferguson -- $38,550
  6. Philip Gordon -- $30,760
  7. John Hennigan -- $25,900
  8. Matthew Kay -- $22,970
  9. Jennifer Harman -- $21,439