Ante Up for Africa, founded by Don Cheadle, Annie Duke, and their friend Norman Epstein to raise money and awareness for Africans in need, hosted its second annual Ante Up For Africa charity poker tournament at the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino on October 29. The San Manuel Band Of Mission Indians has pledged $500,000 to the charity for the event, building on the more than $2.5 million that the charity has raised for Darfur-related charities since its inception in 2007. Get some prime poker tips from the man himself, Don Cheadle, as well as Annie Duke.
1. What is your one poker tip for the tournament?
Don Cheadle: Be aggressive early. You’ll need lots of chips to survive the fast blinds structure.
Annie Duke: Have fun. In this tournament, the blinds are fast so just focus on having a good time for charity.
2. What is your choice of attire when playing?
DC: Usually something with a hood. I like to hide sometimes. But if I’m hosting, I’ll try to dress it up a little bit.
AD: Casinos are freezing, so I always have a hoodie or a scarf. Also, it is all about comfort because when you are playing you are in it for the long haul.
3. You are making charity fashionable; why did you start up “Ante Up For Africa?”
DC: We (Norman Epstein, Annie Duke and myself) started Ante Up in an effort to raise funds and awareness for those suffering as a result of the acts of genocide that have occurred over the last five years in Darfur.
AD: I decided to help start Ante Up for Africa, because I realized that I am a part of a generous and influential community that is strongly committed to doing good; the poker community. I realized I could tap into this amazing resource to help bring awareness and change for those in Darfur.
4. Tell us when you last used your poker face in your everyday life?
DC: I have teenage daughters. I use my poker face every day.
AD: I don’t usually use my poker face in everyday life. It is confined to the tables when emotion is needed to be hidden.
Me with Ante Up For Africa co-founder Annie Duke
Comedian George Lopez