The World Series of Poker flexed its social conscience Thursday evening as 170 celebrities and poker pros played a charity tournament to raise money and awareness for the human rights catastrophe in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Hank Azaria and Shannon Elizabeth were among the celebrities who braved the WSOP red carpet to play with the likes of Annie Duke, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Phil Gordon and Daniel Negreanu in Ante Up for Africa.
Damon is also serious about the Darfur cause. "I'm here to try and raise money and awareness for the tragedies taking place," he said. "I really hope it becomes an annual event. I hope it does and I hope it doesn't. I hope we can solve this issue and refocus the efforts on something else in Africa."
Damon elbowed his was through ESPN reporters to pop by and support his Boston pal Affleck.
Damon and Affleck, gambling Thursday at the high-stakes Mint lounge at the Palms. They flew in from Hawaii on Wednesday, missing their family Fourth of July parties, to support Cheadle's "Ante Up for Africa" tournament. They were staying in the Sky Villas at the Palms' fantasy tower.