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Matt Damon and Friends Ante Up for Africa

Last updated: July 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm. Posted by in Celebrities, Charity, Gaming, Las Vegas Casinos, Rio Las Vegas. Comments Off on Matt Damon and Friends Ante Up for Africa.

Big screen actor (and Oscar-winning screenwriter) Matt Damon joined a slew of celebrities at Rio Las Vegas for the fourth annual Ante Up for Africa charity poker tournament, in conjunction with the World Series of Poker.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon debates whether to "get all Jason Bourne" on a player who bested his hand.

Of course we got exclusive photos of the Jul. 3 event! That’s how we roll.

While the event had a serious mission, there were plenty of lighter moments, courtesy of folks like “Everybody Loves Raymond” alum Brad Garrett (who recently opened his own comedy club at the Tropicana).

Brad Garrett

Comedian and actor Brad Garrett is quite the card. See what we did there? It was a poker tournament.

The star-studded event raised more than $275,000.

Annie Duke Don Cheadle

The event is co-hosted by poker player Annie Duke and the actor with the unfortunate accent in "Oceans 11," Don Cheadle.

Professional poker player Phil Gordon won this year’s Ante Up for Africa, then immediately donated 100% of his winnings back to the charity. Translation: Dude rocks.

Phil Gordon

Phil Gordon, photographed early in the tournament, making it appear this blog was prescient in predicting the winner, whatever "prescient" might actually be.

Honestly, we called this one! We were so sure about Phil Gordon winning, we took a picture of his chips.

Phil Gordon

Our exclusive photo of Phil Gordon's chip shuffle. Because "exclusive" just makes things sound cooler.

The second place finisher was the radiant Shannon Elizabeth. Aside from being a popular actress (her entirely unforgettable and pulchritudinous role in “American Pie” helped her become a household name), Elizabeth is also an accomplished poker player.

Shannon Elizabeth

Told you. Radiant. We are a Las Vegas blog. We don't exaggerate.

Other celebrities on-hand included Brad Garrett, Montel Williams, David Alan Grier and athletes Evander Holyfield and Jerome Bettis.

Phil Ivey David Alan Grier

Poker legend Phil Ivey gets some poker tips from comedian David Alan Grier. Grier made us say that.

Ante up for Africa is a non-profit founded by Don Cheadle, Annie Duke and Norman Epstein, and the group has raised nearly $4 million in support of organizations such as Refugees International, Darfur Peace & Development Organization, (a group with which Matt Damon is actively involved, read more), Eastern Congo Initiative and Enough Project. For more information, visit

Evander Holyfield

It's SO not intimidating playing in a tournament against boxer Evander Holyfield.

Learn more about the World Series of Poker. The Main Event is currently taking place at the Rio.

Now delve into our exclusive (we obviously need a Thesaurus) photo gallery from Ante Up for Africa, including far, far too many photos of Matt Damon. But, come on, who doesn’t  love those Bourne movies?

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