Posts Tagged ‘Ali Nejad’

Epic Poker Inks TV Deal with CBS, Discovery Development Channels

by , Jul 26, 2011 | 11:03 pm

You’d think practically living at the Palms with @Ziggy_Susan from Epic Poker League for the past, um … summer … that I might get a little inside info hook-up, but alas, I have to read about it in the “Hollywood media” upon retweet from @Mark_Gahagan. I’m away for barely a week and outta-sight outta-mind, I guess?

Anyhow, so Epic Poker League … the one with a $1,500 Pro-Am that I won a seat into and will air in Heartland Poker syndication … continues to develop, and it looks more and more like a real poker contender, with the league now having locked down the “pro” part of their TV deal.

Major network CBS will be airing Epic’s big $20k invitational events, with ousted WSOP film crew 441 Productions handling camera duties under the aegis of former NBC Sports exec David Neal. Longtime real-sports dude Pat O’Brien will be the TV host, with Ali Nejad as his analyst sidekick.

In my mind, this is yet another part of “the reconstruction” of poker we are currently witnessing, and testament to what can be may have to be done without the help of traditional online poker sites that previously pushed poker on TV but now face criminal indictment.

Also in with this deal is additional TV coverage — live-minus-30 maybe, or is that just wishful thinking on my part — on a soon to be relaunched Discovery B-side channel called Velocity. It’s supposed to be “a turbocharged network for an upscale male audience” now, according to the network … which, I dunno, haven’t seen yet so not gonna diss — channel launches in October; real, fully legal advertisers to follow — but sounds kinda, um, Epic?

The Second Coming of PartyPoker?

Sexton welcomes new Zynga players; Hellmuth shares his poker-brat services

by , Mar 27, 2011 | 2:26 pm

mike sexton zynga pokercon partypoker wpt

Sexton: Ever-gracious ambassador.

I’m pretty sure you’re gonna be hearing about Zynga for awhile … not just because I still have lots of pictures and audio to unload from Zynga’s inaugural PokerCon at the Palms last weekend … but because, imho, as plenty of industry stalwarts seemed to recognize, this company that didn’t even exist in 2006 (that oh-so-glorious year of Jamie-Gold-boom-and-UIGEA-bust) has something that every other big-idea “revolutionary” poker undertaking has lacked since, well, PartyPoker.

Have a listen to Hall-of-Famer Mike Sexton, invited to simply share his brand of poker lore while mingling with Zynga players, give his quick take on the relevance of this relatively small little event and the booming company behind it:

Mike Sexton at Zynga Pokercon 2011

Hellmuth: Party crasher?

Phil Hellmuth musta seen something more than just a $100k freeroll going on, too. Whether delivering a “bonus” to Pokercon attendees out of the kindness of his heart or just because his feelings were hurt for not being asked to take part in Zynga festivities, the “poker brat” slipped in as an uninvited (but presumably still welcome?) guest and revealed his presence at the Pokercon final table to a smattering of gasps and boos. When poker’s self-proclaimed badboy tried to educate the fans that they were supposed to boo him, the nice Zynga people didn’t exactly oblige — giving him instead a polite round of applause. You can tell, however, at least a few in the crowd understood the subtext of his unscripted exchange with host Ali Nejad — effectively trying to put PokerStars back in its (2nd) place.

Phil Hellmuth at Zynga Pokercon 2011

George Stephanopolous Playing Poker w/ the ( Pros

by , May 9, 2010 | 4:00 am

Old news, but first time I’m seeing it … (thanks KevMath for the embed code) … a very positive-for-poker segment on Good Morning America, with George Stephanopolous playing a private Poker After Dark sunrise sit-n-go against Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, Jason Lee, and Steve Begleiter. George played admirably and finished 3rd, after getting it in with the best hand.

Nice. What I couldn’t help but notice:

  • Sweet mini-gig for Ali Nejad, getting to host an event on Good Morning America.
  • Duke, who understands a thing or two about Washington and proper patching up, wore no UB.
  • Hellmuth did however — and not just, but dot-COM. Did Phil miss a memo or something?

Seriously, not to take away from the respectability of this sorta TV play … nice job by all, and hearing Stephanopolous declare his excitement about playing Ante Up for Africa-DC probably couldn’t have been a better result. But really … UB.COM? Notably either bold, ignorant, or inconsequential.

Poker Lifestyle: Ali Nejad’s Car

by , Aug 18, 2009 | 12:18 pm

Speaking of bankroll management … an @Ali_Nejad tweet reminds me of the power of network television, and provides a glimpse of what serving as tournament director on the lowest-rated show on prime-time TV can get you:

@Ali_Nejad At BMW dealer finally gettin break-in service on M5. Sure it only gets 10mpg, but I only drove it 900mi in 3 months! “Green?” What say u?

No blood for oil, dude. Props for going green to show your support for Iran!

Watch Episode 2 of Face the Ace

by , Aug 10, 2009 | 7:10 am

Since less than 1,500,000 people watched the original run of the episode last Saturday – which featured someone playing for $1,000,000 – here’s another opportunity. Now the show will air monthly on Saturdays starting September 12.

Barack Obama in Vegas, Just in Time for WSOP

by , May 26, 2009 | 4:30 pm

Air Force One just landed at McCarren airport. The President is headed to Caesar’s Palace, for apparently what is a semi-controversial “junket” fundraiser for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). We can not, however, confirm the rumor that he is in town to give the WSOP Stimulus tourney a $1 trillion overlay, nor that he plans to satellite into a Venetian Deep Stacks event.

Poker players arriving in town for the WSOP (via delayed flights) are twittering about it.

@Ali_Nejad has a pic of the motorcade.

LOL: Evelyn Ng and Erica Schoenberg just got done with their bikini photo shoot (with Tiffany Michelle) for Knockout magazine, and they’re all pissy about being stuck in traffic on the Strip — presumably unaware of why things are extra-congested on a Tuesday afternoon.

UPDATE: @JeffreyPollack is off to meet @BarackObama right now. Pre-emptive conclusion: good for poker!

UPDATE: President now headed to the Caesar’s Palace poker room. (Seriously.) via @Andy_Bloch.

RE: RIP, Justin Shronk (5)

The PokerRoad Tribute Show

by , Apr 24, 2009 | 8:50 pm

PokerRoad did an amazing tribute show to Justin Shronk, featuring Joe Sebok, Gavin Smith, Ali Nejad, Court Harrington, Scott Huff, and special guest BJ Nemeth.

If you knew Shronk, this is well worth the time. If you didn’t, it gives some insight into a life lost too early but a life well-lived and filled with friendship, respect, and love. Click here to listen to the heartfelt tribute.

On a personal note, thanks to the guys for putting together this show. Almost as difficult as feeling the loss of Shronk was hearing the heartbreak and sadness in your voices, but it is deeply appreciated.

Rest in peace, Shronk.

NHUPC Field Whittling, Being Whittled

by , Mar 6, 2009 | 3:04 pm

Crap, one of my final four picks is already out. Erik Seidel. I so almost went the other way with that one, too.

Otherwise, all is well in my bracket. Got the 4 3 other matches right — Farha d. Cunningham, Eastgate d. Bloch, Lindgren d. Lederer, Elezra d. Chan. Alas, we will not be seeing Gowen vs. Lederer deep, which Ali Nejad reminded us yesterday woulda been great for poker, because it probably woulda been followed on Court TV.

CORRECTION: I guess I changed my pick on Chan vs. Elezra / didn’t go with my gut. Of course Eli was gonna win.

If you wanna follow a little more play-by-play, take your pick:

Flipchip for really good photos.
Audio stuff TK at PokerRoad.

And it’s still not too late to get in on the bracket-picking action … though points scored on matches already started won’t count in the end. We’re doing this with our forum friends at PokerRoad. Show who’s boss.

UPDATE: Yang defeats Gowen! Boo Jerry Yang! Makin’ us rankers eat it!

Currently Listening to: PokerRoad Radio

Annie Duke on 60 Minutes, Washington Post

by , Dec 15, 2008 | 7:09 am

The new episode is a pretty good one … Joe, Gavin, Shronk (via robot voice), a hot girl, and the other guy Ali Nejad haven’t even gotten to the Annie Duke interview that I clicked over to listen to yet … but they’ve kept me thoroughly infotained talking about the Bellagio 5-Diamond blind structure, November Nine TV appearances, and a few poker hands.

Good stuff. Goes well with FoxNews in the background: PokerRoad Radio, with Annie Duke

UPDATE: OK, I listened … and though I’m not sure I cared to know so many details about Annie Duke-Joe Reitman sex, she does answer some questions revealing why she didn’t participate with 60 Minutes (her claims of their falsehoods to lure her into the story seem totally believable to me — media people do say these things — though I do wonder could they have gone with a more regulation-oriented storyline had she or Paul Legget gone on camera), why she is indeed so confident about AP/UB/Cereus’ commitment to running an honorable business, why she remains a loyal face for the brand (it’s not the money), and how she wants to see Russ Hamilton burn in non-Atheist hell.

She also dances around questions about her rumored appearance on the upcoming season of The Apprentice in a way that semi-confirms she has intimate knowledge of a show beginning in March with a finale in May.

[Bleeping] Erick Lindgren

by , Aug 31, 2008 | 2:38 pm

Click, and enjoy.â„¢

From the always clickworthy good folks at RawVegas.TV

The media event

by , Jul 7, 2008 | 3:02 pm

As the lone Pokerati participant in the annual WSOP media push fest, I tried to represent the best I could and made it through about half the field before succumbing to the blind onslaught (i.e. I ran 9-9 into A-A), but along the way there was fun.

I had hoped to take out Jason “Spaceman” Kirk since he crippled me in the event last year, and was fortunate enough to not only draw his table but also the seat to his immediate left. However, we never tangled in a large pot. Instead, I doubled up early with A-A against the 10-10 of the guy who won the 30-minute massage at a drawing before the tournament began.

“I still get the massage, right?” he asked before putting his chips into the pot against my all-in bet. (The action was 150 from me, 350 from him and all in from me…25-50 blinds and 2,000 starting stacks)

Anthony Holden was moved to my table and I had to take a shot at busting him. I limped for 100 with 10-J and Seth Palansky, the Harrah’s PR guy, made it 200 to go. Holden called in the BB and I called. After a flop of 10-3-2 I checked to Palansky and he only bet 300. Holden pushed in for 650 and I had to take a shot at a good story so I pushed. Palansky called for his last chips. I was ahead on the flop — K-5 for Holden and 4-6 for Palansky, but the 5 on the turn gave SP a big pot.

I then got crippled when Ali Nejad was moved to the table and shortly pushed with A-6. I called with 10-10 and the ace hit the flop. I doubled through Palansky on a coin flip and was able to push a few people around on blind steals when the stakes went to 200-400 with a 50 ante before running into aces.

Poker TV Review: NBCNHUPC

by , May 4, 2008 | 4:07 pm

I’m currently watching the Heads-Up Championship on NBC — round of 16. Mildly entertaining … it was fun to see Orel Hersheiser slightly outplay Freddy Deeb in a hand, and Full Tilt has some pretty cool new commercials. But still, the show as a whole isn’t as exciting as the commercials for the PGA Players Championship. Maybe someday … This would be much better, of course, were it being aired pseudo- or semi-live, when we still cared about our brackets.

The side profiles are pretty good — Doyle Brunson on the old guys, Orel on the similarities between poker and baseball … And I gotta say, Ali Nejad is proving he’s a top-notch color analyst — witty and well-informed.

Overall, the show is sucking me in. I give it a solid A-minus. 90 if you’re using numbers. I know Oliver (Tse, not Nejad) will have many thoughts on the ratings this show is getting, and what that means for the future of televised poker. I say more coverage of the outside tables — with or without hole-card cams — would make it better. (They only had two tables cammed up when they recorded it.)