Sir Charles vowed about a month ago to not step foot inside a casino for at least two years and apparently charity Poker events at the Rio don’t count….

Charles Barkley is headed back to the tables in Las Vegas to play in a poker tournament about a month after pledging not to gamble. He says it’s all for charity.

The former NBA star is scheduled to play in a celebrity poker tournament at the 2008 World Series of Poker on July 2.

The “Ante Up for Africa” event is designed to raise money and awareness for the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. More than 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced since ethnic warfare began in 2003, according to the U.S. presidential envoy to Sudan.

Players in the poker tournament put up $5,000 to play, and are asked to donate at least half their winnings. The event raised more than $500,000 last year and finished with the top two players agreeing to pool their winnings and donate the full $350,000 to the cause. Of the field of 167, 18 players won money.

Contributing to charity is always a good thing, but not if it comes at someone’s own harm. It only takes addicts one hand or one drink and they’re back in the swing of things. I know Chuck is kind to a fault, but if he really wanted to donate to charity you can’t tell me that couldn’t just cut a check.

Charles Barkley enters celeb poker event in Vegas (FOX Sports)

(Thanks to JMK for the tip)

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