Ultimate Poker Challenge

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The Ultimate Poker Challenge (UPC) was a series of weekly poker tournaments acting as super-satellites into the series semi-finals.

The first and second seasons are available on NTSC DVD. In the United States, it was a syndicated program.

Format[edit]

Players are entitled to enter multiple super-satellite tournaments (entry into the semi-finals is transferable.)

Players can also qualify for the semi-finals based on the points leaderboard for their finishing position in each event. In the first season, "Silent" Steve Simmons placed highest on the points leaderboard and received $40,000. The second place finisher received $20,000.

Beginning with season 4, the show was renamed to Ultimate Poker Challenge Presents Cash Poker: The Ultimate Gamble. The format changed from weekly tournaments to following the action at cash games.

Crew[edit]

Each tournament was commentated by Chad Brown, with Brandi Williams performing interviews along with intros and outros to commercial breaks. Daniel Negreanu provided cover for Chad Brown in episodes 19 and 20. Each tournament featured a professional poker player as guest commentator, who would offer poker tips for the home viewer along with their commentary.

Beginning with season 4, Brian Mollica took over commentating duties with Williams continuing in her role as interviewer. Brown is frequently featured in the game.

The on-camera Poker Tournament Director starting in Season 2 was Brad Thomte.

Executive producer Dan Pugliese played in several tournaments throughout the series.

Results[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Week Guest Presenter Winner Prize Runner-Up Other Finalists
1 Chris Ferguson Nick Bouyea $10,000 Phillip Matthews
2 Chris Hinchcliffe Erik Seidel $8,000 "Silent" Steve Simmons
  • Michael Ross
  • Brian Nadell
  • Renee Wexler
  • Ken James
  • Mike Turner
3 Rob Huxley Andy Bloch $13,500 Cong Tran
  • Dan Pugliese
  • Erik Seidel
  • Nick Bouyea
  • Mel Judah
4 Jennifer Harman James Van Alstyne $12,600 Todd Brunson
  • Allyn Jaffrey Shulman
  • Jimmy Ngoc Tran
  • Ron Blenski
  • Maureen Feduniak
  • Max Pescatori
5 Kyle Morris Ken James $12,640 Dan Alspach
  • Chris Ferguson
  • Robert Tolliver
  • Mel Judah
  • Thor Hansen
  • Chris Hinchcliffe
6 Mike Matusow Kathy Liebert $11,500 Don Barton
  • Eric Nickelson
  • Chad Layne
  • Rick Russell
  • Jimmy Ngoc Tran
  • Gary Beck
7 Robert Williamson III David Luttbeg $8,000 Matt Dean
  • Daniel McGrew
  • Tim Waterhouse
  • Renee Wexler
  • Cong Tran
  • Dan Pugliese
8 Clonie Gowen Steve Simmons $13,400 Kristy Gazes
  • Max Pescatori
  • Andy Bloch
  • Nick Bouyea
  • Eli Balas
  • Evelyn Ng
9 Renee Wexler Kenna James $8,400 Tony Toscano
  • David "C-4" Plastik
  • Gerry Drehobl
  • Todd Brunson
  • Amir Vahedi
  • No seventh place finisher
10 Daniel Negreanu Joe Toth $6,800 Tony Kassab
  • Chad Layne
  • Max Pescatori
  • Paul V Carroll
  • Howard "Tahoe" Andrew
  • Kal Stiles
11 Brandi Williams Recap Show N/A N/A N/A
12 Mark Tenner Chris Hinchcliffe $8,000 Max Pescatori
  • Matt Russell
  • Ned Shabou
  • Rick Russell
  • Evelyn Ng
  • Larry "Sig" Sigety
13 Antonio Esfandiari Vandy Krouch $8,200 Dr Andy Robins
  • Kenna James
  • Kenny Wagner
  • Clarence Moore
  • Eric Nickelson
  • Ken James
14 Phil Laak Champie Douglas $8,000 Ned Shabou
  • Jason Buckley
  • Max Pescatori
  • Pete Ostrowski
  • Nikki Harris
  • Michael Abdoulah
15 Kenna James Pete Lawson $8,000 David Plastik
  • Rich Lister
  • Howard Andrew
  • Connie Kim
  • Renee Wexler
  • Rick Russell
16 Russ Hamilton Robert Keith Young $4,400 Nick Bouyea
  • Max Pescatori
  • Kenna James
  • Tom "John" Ralis
  • Howard Andrew
  • Chris Hinchcliffe
17 Phil Hellmuth Kris Crudup $6,000 Avi Freedman
  • Renee Wexler
  • Tom Robinson
  • Dan Pugliese
  • Terry Nachtergaele
  • Steve Simmons
18 Amir Vahedi John Cernuto $6,800 Scott Epstein
  • Dan Pugliese
  • Nick Bouyea
  • Howard Andrew
  • Rich Lister
  • Kenny Robins
19 Matt Savage Kenna James $9,000 Karina Jett
  • Paul Magriel
  • Greg Moran
  • Larry Sigety
  • Chris Ferguson
  • Julie Liebel
20 Evelyn Ng Robert Bright $7,400 Shawn Rice
  • Larry Sigety
  • Steve Simmons
  • Warren Briscoe
  • Kenny Robbins
  • Max Pescatori
21 Daniel Negreanu Jeff Shulman $8,400 Jim Meehan
  • Max Pescatori
  • Howard Andrew
  • Dan Hart
  • Andy Bloch
  • Eon Marshall
22 Paul Phillips Dennis "Mickey" Seagle $8,000 Steve Simmons
23 Robert Williamson III Joe Awada $7,400 John Phan
Semi-Final Pt. 1 Daniel Negreanu (leads to Semi-Final 2) N/A N/A N/A
Semi-Final Pt. 2 Daniel Negreanu (leads to Grand Final) N/A N/A N/A
Grand Final James Van Alstyne $100,000 Jeff Stoff
  • Jim Meehan
  • Jeff Shulman
  • David Plastik
  • Chip Lightman
  • Scotty Nguyen

Season 2[edit]

Week Winner Prize Number of

players

Buy In Prize Pool Runner-Up Other Finalists
1 Vince Burgio $41,020 61 $2,000 $118,340 George Bartlett
  • Luis Santori
  • Dwayne Vetter
  • David Levi
  • Stephen Huang
  • Petar Ivancevic
2 Rafe Furst $35,650 70 $1,500 $101,850 Santiago Terrazas
  • Richard Brodie
  • Mike Cordell
  • Keith Cordell
  • John Murphy
  • Darren Brandes
3 Ronnie Ebanks $51,410 53 $2,500 $128,525 Dan Pugliese
4 Bill Edler $61,110 60 $3,000 $174,600 Todd Brunson
5 & 6 Roy Obriecht $21,140 146 $500 $70,810 Ben Hutton
  • John Pesch
  • Brad Varnell
  • Kyle Tupp
  • Michael Souza
  • Phil Humphries
7 Rukhsana Guevarra $28,235 194 $500 $94,090 Ali Lari
  • Irving Overman
  • Kenny Robbins
  • Dan Johnson
  • Dan Kaufman
  • Chung Ng
8 Tom Cope $45,740 139 $1,000 $134,830 Sandy Blecker
9 Vince Burgio $24,055 31 $2,000 $60,140 V S Senthil Kumar
  • Hymie Dahar
  • Jane Gamble
  • Edward "Bolivia" Moncada
  • Kenny Robbins
  • Clonie Gowen
10 & 11 Bon Phan $21,680 149 $500 $72,265 Howard Andrew
  • Erika Obst
  • Rick Fuller
  • Jeff Blenkarn
  • Andre De Montesquiou
  • Dan Johnson
12 Gary Do $24,445 42 $1,500 $61,110 Matt Sterling
  • Anders Berg
  • Renee Wexler
  • David Singer
  • Kevin Ratliff
  • Allen Kessler
13 & 14 Ryan Larsen $32,980 100 $1,000 $97,000 Derek Harrington
15 Bill Edler $32,010 33 $2,500 $80,025 Richard Brodie
  • Jesse Martin
  • Cliff Pappas
  • Gavin Smith
  • Sean McCabe
  • Kevin Chan
16 Joe Bartholdi Jr $27,160 35 $2,000 $67,900 Don Mullis
  • Kristy Gazes
  • Dan Pugliese
  • Al Ciaglia
  • James English
  • James Hofheinz
17 & 18 Michael Mizrachi $41,905 36 $3,000 $104,765 Kathy Liebert
19 & 20 Allen Cunningham $34,920 30 $3,000 $87,300 Gavin Smith
  • John Roveto
  • Kevin Chan
  • Sean McCabe
  • David Singer
  • Tony Malcein
21, 22 & 23

Grand Final

Andy Bloch $167,500 55 $10,000 $541,750 Blair Rodman
24 Bon Phan $47,000 24 $5,000 $117,600 Herbert Montalbano
  • Allen Kessler
  • Phillipe Rouas
  • "Pistol" Pete Lawson
  • Joseph Saunders
  • Chris Gilvone

Season 3[edit]

Week Winner Prize Runner-Up Other Finalists
1 John K Robertson $9,470 Max Grottschneider
  • Chris Par
  • Gus Ruelas
  • Ted Melikian
  • Stan Schrier
  • Brian Faires
2 Brian Riley $7,385 Brian Faires
  • Dan Reitberg
  • Johnny Scott
  • Steven Ellwood
  • Pete Kaufman
  • Edward Teems
3 David Brooks $7,855 Rami Owera
  • Bruce Gallion
  • Don Lambertus
  • Isaac Do
  • Tex Bronson
  • Jae Chun
4 Michael Gambony $12,050 Cal Dykes
  • Jim Olsen
  • Todd Peterson
  • Carl White
  • Warren Karp
  • Timothy Belstner
5 Paul Buntin $10,365 Roxci Rhodes
  • Dale Tarbet
  • Dan Pugliese
  • Chris Williamson
  • Marikiyo Adachi
  • Rory McHugh
6 Ed Tonai $6,015 Rick Troendly
  • Mark Casipong
  • Rory McHugh
  • Scott Coffee
  • Chris Truppi
  • Marty Wong
7 Rick Fuller $10,670 Ken Wa
  • Craig Gray
  • Jim Lea
  • Jenny Kang
  • Michael "Shoes" Gambony
  • David Levi
8 Stacey Guenther $6,180 Mike Giordano
  • Tam Ho
  • Douglas Carli
  • Ric Tuholsky
  • Chris Mankameyer
  • Jenny Kang
9 Ted McNeely $12,950 James Carroll
  • Ut Nguyen
  • Men Nguyen
  • Becky Makar
  • Douglas Carli
  • Michael Miner
10 Craig Gray $29,255 Kris Crudup
  • Nathaniel Parks
  • Neil Wright
  • Mike Laing
  • Kevin Jessie
  • Al Ethier
11 Patrick Fee $21,040 Matthew Lesage
  • Rory Monahan
  • Mike Bond
  • Stan Jablonski
  • Tristam Coffin
  • Max Pescatori
12 Christy Combs $5,790 Ted McNeely
  • Eric Crain
  • Steffen Kurz
Grand Final Amir Vahedi $181,390 Chip Jett
  • William Edler
  • Douglas Carli
  • Luke Neely
  • Blair Rodman
  • Tom Koral
Additional Event Dan Pugliese $5,780 Becky Makar
  • Jack Jobe
  • Allen Kessler