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Ante Up for Africa tournament a success

12 May 2008

MANUEL INDIAN NATION, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Last night, professional Poker player Annie Duke and Academy Award nominee(R) Don Cheadle, hosted the Ante Up for Africa celebrity Poker tournament and exclusive VIP after party at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino to raise awareness and funds for the Darfur crisis in Africa. Together with San Manuel's $500,000 donation and the proceeds from the silent auction, which totaled over $4,000, they were able to raise a significant financial contribution for the Not On Our Watch project.

"When I heard about San Manuel's decision to increase the donation to $500,000, I couldn't believe it," said Don Cheadle, co-founder of Ante Up For Africa. "I am so very grateful to them for their generosity and for helping us continue to bring the plight of the refugees of Darfur into the light." Poker professionals and celebrities alike were all-in for the Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament. Aside from Duke and Cheadle, other celebrities and Poker pros included Willie Garson from "Sex and the City"; Josh Malina from "The West Wing"; Tia Mowry, of "Sister Sister; Scott Ian of "Anthrax"; LA Dodgers James Loney, Scott Proctor and Gary Bennett; Howard Lederer ,two-time World Series of Poker Champion; and Poker Pros, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Phil "The Unabomber" Laak, and Andy Block.

In a generous gesture, winner of the tournament, Bill Pedigo, of AEG Worldwide, decided to donate his win to the second place winner, a regular casino Poker customer, who wished to remain anonymous. The lucky customer took home the celebrity and poker professional autographed custom poker table, courtesy of the casino.

Annie Duke will also be making another appearance at San Manuel on Wednesday, May 14, when she hosts an intensive day of Advanced Texas Hold'em Poker training. Seating is limited to the first 60 people. Tickets are still available at the San Manuel Box Office for $500 each.

After the tournament, the poker pros and celebrities signed autographs and joined other VIP's to celebrate the grand opening of the casino's chic and trendy new steakhouse/ultra lounge, "The Pines". Opening to the public at 5 pm today, "The Pines" is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, 5pm to 10pm. Then "The Pines" is transformed into an ultra lounge for late night fun, open Thursday through Saturday 10pm to 3am.

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