2008 World Series: Ante Up for Africa

Let's face it, we see a lot of celebrities around these parts. After you spend a few weeks (or, in our case, years) doing this, running into the glitterati of the world becomes sort of old hat. That is to say, when we see Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, or Isabelle Mercier, we usually just say "hi" rather than asking for them to sign our shirts (although with Isabelle, the latter always remains an option).

Today, however, is a different kind of day at the World Series. The flashbulbs and people standing on tiptoe are the first indication. The red carpet is the next. The following photo should pretty much firm up the idea that this final day before the World Series Main Event is more about seeing and being seen than a bracelet.


Yep. That's Team PokerStars Pro's own Joe Hachem arm-in-arm with Matt Damon. While not necessarily the thing that we go for (where is Isabelle again?), it's driving the girls crazy around here. What's more, it's all for a good cause.

Today marks the second annual Ante Up for Africa tournament, a $5,000 buy-in poker tournament to benefit Not On Our Watch. NOOW was founded by actors George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt to aid the suffering in the Darfur region of Africa.

PokerStars is one of NOOW's original sponsors. Last year, PokerStars ran charity tournaments and raised more than $40,000 to help aid the Darfur suffering. PokerStars added $1 million to the donation.

Today, Team PokerStars Pro is giving its money and time to the celebrity event. Who wins will largely be a matter of pride. The poker is more a matter of fun. Regardless, it's all for a very important cause and it's providing hours of enjoyment for celeb-hunters in the crowd. Here's a larger look at the Ante Up for Africa event, courtesy of Joe Giron, IMDPI.


Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson


Matt Damon and Jason Alexander


Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin


Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer and Jason Alexander on the red carpet


Matt Damon hugs Hachem