Ali Nejad

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Ali Nejad
Ali Nejad.jpg
Born (1978-02-25) February 25, 1978 (age 36)
Occupation Television poker commentator

Oliver "Ali" Nejad is an Iranian-American television personality, who currently hosts "Road Trip" on ESPNU, and occasionally serves as a fill-in host for "UNite," also on ESPNU.

Though he has worked on-air since age 17 on a variety of projects, he is best known for his work as a poker commentator. Nejad served as the off-screen announcer on NBC's Poker After Dark and the color commentator on NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship.[1] He has also served as a correspondent for ESPN.com's World Series of Poker coverage, commentator for ESPN's Pro-Am Poker Equalizer series, co-commentator with Chad Brown on the Ultimate Poker Challenge series, and alongside Daniel Negreanu on the PCA 2009 series.

Nejad has made 3 appearances as a player on commentators week on Poker After Dark. In his first appearance, he finished 6th after Gabe Kaplan flopped a set of 10's to his set of 4's. In the 2nd, he finished 2nd to winner Mark Gregorich; and in the 3rd appearance he finished 5th, again being knocked out by Kaplan. He is a former "friend of Full Tilt Poker" and former co-host of the Poker Road Radio podcast on pokerroad.com.

Biography[edit]

During high school in Albany, CA through to college at UC Berkeley, Nejad hosted and reported for "First Cut," a local NBC affiliate show in the San Francisco bay area, where he began his television career.[2] Having been a recreational poker player for years, Nejad dropped out of Berkeley in 1998 to pursue playing poker full-time. He worked as a dealer and prop player before eventually becoming a successful high limit cash game player.[2] But despite his success in the poker world, Nejad still had the broadcasting itch. After 4 years playing poker, he returned to television in 2002, hosting an MTV pilot about video games that despite not get picked up for a full season, marked his return to TV.[2]

In 2003, aboard the PartyPoker Million cruise, he met Mori Eskandani, then the Tournament Director of FSN's Poker Superstars, and future producer of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship and Poker After Dark.[1] Eskandani hired Nejad as the Master of Ceremonies for the Poker Superstars event in 2004, which marked the beginning of a long working relationship in televised poker.

On the February 7, 2008 episode of Poker Road Radio, Joe Sebok announced that Ali would be the new host of the Poker Road Radio podcast. His tenure began on February 26, 2008 at the WPT Commerce event, and ended right before the start of the 2009 WSOP.

Nejad is one of the poker players who believes he was a victim of the Ultimate Bet cheating scandal.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Host With The Most". Bio Poker After Dark. NBC. Retrieved 26 Jan 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Biography of Ali Nejad". WSOP Academy. WSOP. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 26 Jan 2010. 
  3. ^ Freedman, Michael (Sep 2009). "Part-Time Poker Player Full-Time TV Personality: Ali Nejad". Bluff Magazine. Archived from the original on 16 December 2009. Retrieved 26 Jan 2010. 

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