|Born||February 25, 1978|
Oliver "Ali" Nejad (born February 25, 1978) is an Iranian-American television personality, who has hosted several shows including "Road Trip" on ESPNU, and has served as a fill-in host for "UNite," also on ESPNU. In May 2014 Ali began working at HLN and hosted the network's programs The Daily Share . He also executive produced and hosted his own award nominated show The Social Life.
Though he has worked on-air since age 17 on a variety of projects, he is also 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. 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. In 2014 Ali hosted Alpha 8 for WPT.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.