Poker After Dark: Wikis


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Poker After Dark
From left: dealer John Waltermeyer, Gus Hansen, Phil Hellmuth, Shawn Sheikhan.
Format Poker game show
Presented by Shana Hiatt (S1-2)
Marianela Pereyra (S3)
Leeann Tweeden (S4-6)
Narrated by Ali Nejad
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 330 (= 46 tournaments, 9 cash games)
Producer(s) Poker Productions (Eric Drache and Mori Eskandani)[1]
Location(s) Las Vegas
Running time 1 hour (with commercials; about 42 minutes without)
Original channel NBC
Picture format 480i (SDTV) 2007-2009
(HDTV) 2010-Present
Original run January 1, 2007 – present
External links
Official website

Poker After Dark is an hour-long poker television program on NBC.[2] The show made its debut on January 1, 2007.[1] For its first two seasons, both of which first aired in 2007, the show was presented by Shana Hiatt.[3] The host for season 3 was Marianela Pereyra, and Leeann Tweeden took over starting with season 4.[4] All seasons have contained voice-over commentary by Oliver "Ali" Nejad. On January 4, 2010, the show was broadcast in high definition for the first time.[citation needed]



The Poker After Dark format features an "intimate look at one table as it develops over the week."[1] Blinds start at $100/$200 and slowly escalate. Commentator Ali Nejad's commentary is limited, allowing viewers to hear much of the table talk among the players, all of whom are miked.[1] The series was originally structured as a series of week-long No Limit Texas hold 'em mini-tournaments for six top poker professionals. Each week the players vied for a $120,000 winner-takes-all prize pool, with each paying a $20,000 buy-in.[5] By the end of the fifth show, a winner is determined. The sixth show is a "director's cut" that includes excerpts from the action from the previous five days, interspersed with talking heads commentary from the participants. Beginning with Season 4, the producers began to experiment with different formats, including no-limit cash games, and a double-elimination Heads Up battle between the first 4 winners of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship.[6] Also, Seasons 3, 4 and 5 had a "Dream Table," pitting an amateur against five pros.


Poker After Dark airs six times a week, at 2:05 a.m. ET (1:05 CT) Tuesday through Saturday, and then at 1:00 a.m. ET (12:00 CT) on Sundays, though times vary according to the preferences of the affiliates.[7] The early Sunday show is a "director's cut" weekly summary of the previous week's shows. NBC affiliates that do not air the show include WNYT Albany, New York, KPRC-TV Houston, WDIV-TV Detroit, KSL-TV Salt Lake City, WMC-TV Memphis, WBBH-TV Fort Myers, WTAP-TV Parkersburg, West Virginia, KDLT-TV Sioux Falls, South Dakota and WNWO-TV Toledo, Ohio; also WMGM-TV Atlantic City, New Jersey.[citation needed]


In Canada Poker After Dark airs afternoons and late nights on Rogers Sportsnet and, since fall 2009 on the french network V.[citation needed]

In Germany, Poker After Dark airs on DSF. German commentary is provided by Michael Körner.[8]

In Ireland, Poker After Dark aired on Setanta Ireland and Setanta Sports 1[9] on most weeknights with little change from the US version.

In The Netherlands Poker After Dark airs on Veronica, on weekdays around 2:00am with on Saturday the Director's Cut, also around 2:00am.[citation needed] The episodes contain the original commentary by Ali Nejad and Dutch subtitles are added.

In Brazil, Poker After Dark airs on BandSports on Mondays through Saturdays after midnight, with analysis provided by Full Tilt Poker pros Leandro Pimentel, Christian Kruel, and Raul Oliveira.[citation needed]

In Sweden "Poker After Dark" airs on afternoons and nights on TV4 Sport.[citation needed]

In Latin America, Poker After Dark airs on People+Arts on Mondays through Saturdays after midnight.[citation needed]

"Full Tilt Poker - After Dark, Director´s Cut" with Spanish dubbing has cancelled agreements with TV AZTECA 7 and Proyecto 40 of Mexico for all 2010 and 2011.[citation needed] The last show on the TV stations operated by Grupo Salinas was aired on December 31, 2009.


In the U.S., the show had some early ratings success: during season one's second week, it attracted on average a larger audience among adults 18-34 than The Late Late Show did the same week, even though the latter is broadcast 90 minutes earlier.[10]


Full Tilt Poker regularly advertises during Poker After Dark broadcasts and in some countries, Full Tilt Poker is included in the show's title, which for a time prompted players associated with a rival site (Poker Stars) to stop appearing on the show. Full Tilt Poker holds promotional tournaments that offer a seat on the show as the grand prize. The first of these winners, Ken Light, appeared on the first week of Season 3, and was said to have picked his own opponents, though Light later said on the show itself that he was only asked to provide a list of his favorite players and that he did not know that players from the list would join him on the show.[3]

Episode guide

Season 1 (2007)

Week Episodes Original Airdates Title Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6
1 1-6 Jan 1-6 Poker Brat Attack Gus Hansen Phil Hellmuth Shawn Sheikhan Annie Duke Steve Zolotow Huck Seed
2 7-12 Jan 8-13 Play Anything Mike Matusow Gabe Kaplan David Grey Doyle Brunson Jerry Buss Daniel Negreanu
3 13-18 Jan 15-20 WSOP Champions Chris Moneymaker Jamie Gold Johnny Chan Chris Ferguson Doyle Brunson Carlos Mortensen
4 19-24 Jan 22-27 Earphones Please Sam Farha Tony G Mike Matusow Phil Hellmuth Phil Ivey Andy Bloch
5 25-30 Jan 29-Feb 3 Phil Phil Phil Hellmuth Jennifer Harman Phil Laak Erik Seidel Antonio Esfandiari Doyle Brunson
6 31-36 Feb 12-17 Talking Heads Michael Konik Phil Gordon Howard Lederer Chad Brown Gabe Kaplan Mike Sexton
7 37-42 Feb 19-24 Against All Odds Chris Ferguson Clonie Gowen Sam Farha Gus Hansen Ted Forrest Tony G
8 43-48 Mar 12-17 Killer Table Phil Ivey Erick Lindgren Jennifer Tilly Patrik Antonius Jennifer Harman Phil Gordon
9 49-54 Apr 16-21 Loose Lips Mike Matusow Allen Cunningham David Benyamine Barry Greenstein Shawn Sheikhan John Juanda
10 55-60 May 14–19 Ladies' Week Clonie Gowen Evelyn Ng Dee Luong Vanessa Rousso Jennifer Harman Cyndy Violette

Season 2 (2007)

Season 2 was taped in May 2007 at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas.[11]

Week Episodes Original Airdates[12] Title[11] Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6
1 1-6 Jun 11-16 Golden Men Jamie Gold Joe Hachem Greg Raymer Huck Seed Doyle Brunson Johnny Chan
2 7-12 Jun 18-23 International Gus Hansen David Benyamine Patrik Antonius Daniel Negreanu Marco Traniello Brad Booth
3 13-18 Jun 25-30 Queens and Kings Gabe Kaplan Howard Lederer Ali Nejad Vanessa Rousso Annie Duke Kristy Gazes
4 19-24 Sep 10-15 World Series Legends Doyle Brunson Layne Flack Phil Hellmuth Chris Ferguson Erik Seidel T.J. Cloutier
5 25-30 Sep 17-22 WPT All-Stars Erick Lindgren Howard Lederer Daniel Negreanu Michael Mizrachi Gus Hansen Tuan Le
6 31-36 Sep 24-29 Live To Hurt Antonio Esfandiari Shawn Sheikhan Mike Matusow Phil Hellmuth Phil Laak Daniel Negreanu
7 37-42 Oct 1-6 Poker Prowess Phil Laak David Williams Annie Duke Andy Bloch John Juanda Clonie Gowen
8 43-48 Oct 8-13 Mega Match David Benyamine Allen Cunningham Jennifer Harman Phil Ivey Barry Greenstein Eli Elezra
9 49-54 Nov 5-10 Of Mouth and Men Alan "Boston" Dvorkis Antonio Esfandiari Mike Sexton Mike Matusow Jamie Gold Paul Wasicka
10 55-60 Nov 12-17 Signature Week Howard Lederer Phil Ivey Chris Ferguson Phil Hellmuth Jennifer Harman Gus Hansen
  • Week 8 (Mega Match) required a $50,000 buy-in rather than the usual $20,000, resulting in a $300,000 first prize.
  • Week 10 (Signature Week) was so named because the participants were those featured in the show's 2007 opening credits.

Season 3 (2008)

Season 3 was taped in October 2007 at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas.[11]

Week Episodes Original Airdates Title[13] Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6
1 1-6 Dec 31-Jan 5 Dream Table Daniel Negreanu Phil Hellmuth Jennifer Harman Mike Matusow Scotty Nguyen Ken Light
2 7-12 Jan 7-12 19th Hole Gavin Smith David Oppenheim Erick Lindgren Phil Ivey Doyle Brunson Daniel Negreanu
3 13-18 Jan 14-19 Hecklers Gavin Smith Sam Grizzle Jean-Robert Bellande Mike Matusow Shawn Sheikhan Phil Hellmuth
4 19-24 Feb 11-16 World Champions Chris Ferguson Johnny Chan Berry Johnston Jamie Gold Phil Hellmuth Huck Seed
5 25-30 Feb 18-23 Cowboys Doyle Brunson Chris Ferguson Chau Giang Andy Bloch Hoyt Corkins Gabe Kaplan
6 31-36 Feb 25-Mar 1 International Patrik Antonius Johnny Chan Roland De Wolfe Daniel Negreanu Gus Hansen John Juanda
7 37-42 Mar 24-29 Jam Up David Williams Howard Lederer Mike Matusow Barry Greenstein Antonio Esfandiari Eli Elezra
8 43-48 Mar 31-Apr 5 Gus and the Ladies Gus Hansen Vanessa Rousso J. J. Liu Clonie Gowen Beth Shak Erica Schoenberg
9 49-54 May 12–17 Love at First Raise Jennifer Harman David Benyamine Jennifer Tilly Marco Traniello Erica Schoenberg Phil Laak
10 55-60 May 19–24 Commentators Mark Gregorich Chad Brown Ali Nejad Robert Williamson III Phil Gordon Howard Lederer
  • Week 1 (Dream Table) featured the winner of a Full Tilt Poker sponsored contest (Ken Light) and was billed as the five professionals Light chose to play against, though Light said in an interview during one of the week's episodes that he was only asked to list his favorite players,[3] and did not know that the list would be used to form the table.
  • Week 9 (Love at First Raise) featured three pairs of players who were couples at the time of filming: Jennifer Harman & Marco Traniello, David Benyamine & Erica Schoenberg, and Jennifer Tilly & Phil Laak.

Season 4 (2008)

Season 4 was taped in April 2008 at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas.[6] Season 4 episode titles and presumed seating order taken from NBC's Web site.[13]

Week Episodes Original Airdates Title[13] Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6
1 1-6 Jul 14-19 Cash Game #1 Tom Dwan Phil Hellmuth Mike Baxter Allen Cunningham Guy Laliberté Dave Peat "Viffer"
2 7-12 Jul 21-26 Nets Vs. Vets Brian Townsend Doyle Brunson Tom Dwan Johnny Chan Huck Seed Andrew Robl
3 13-18 Jul 28-Aug 3 Heads Up Challenge Phil Hellmuth Ted Forrest Paul Wasicka Chris Ferguson
4 19-24 Sep 22-Sep 27 Mission Impossible Mike Matusow Phil Laak Phil Hellmuth David Williams Clonie Gowen Gavin Smith
5 25-30 Sep 29-Oct 4 Dream II Mike Matusow Phil Hellmuth Mike Sexton Jennifer Harman Gavin Smith Paul Featherstone
6 31-36 Oct 6-Oct 11 Mayfair Club Jay Heimowitz Howard Lederer Mickey Appleman Dan Harrington Steve Zolotow Mike Shichtman
7 37-42 Oct 13-Oct 19 Cash Game #2 Patrik Antonius Dee Tiller Howard Lederer Doyle Brunson Gabe Kaplan Eli Elezra
  • Dream II was the second tournament consisting of the winner of a Full Tilt Poker sponsored contest (Paul Featherstone) and the five professionals he chose to play against.
  • Heads Up Battle was a double elimination heads-up format featuring the first four winners of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship and required a $50,000 buy-in resulting in a winner-take-all $200,000 prize.[6]
  • The two weeks of cash games were a $200/400 no-limit game instead of a winner take all tournament. During most of the second cash game, the players agreed to $100 antes and the occasional $800 straddle.[citation needed]
  • Mission Impossible Week was named in deference to Mike Matusow, who entered the game winless in three-plus seasons of the show, while each of his opponents had won at least once.

Season 5 (2009)

Most of Season 5 was taped December 19–21, 2008 at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. The season's first three weeks include episodes originally announced as Season 4 episodes and were taped at South Point.[14][15]

Week Episodes Original Airdates Title Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6
1 1-6 Dec 29-Jan 3 Close but no Cigar Andy Black Lee Watkinson Dewey Tomko David Williams Allen Cunningham Mike Matusow
2 7-12 Jan 5-Jan 11 Speak Your Mind Todd Brunson Phil Hellmuth Phil Gordon Gabe Kaplan Cory Zeidman David Grey
3 13-18 Feb 9-Feb 14 Brilliant Minds Brandon Adams Chris Ferguson Andy Bloch Bill Chen Jimmy Warren David Sklansky
4 19-24 Feb 16-Feb 21 Nets vs. Vets Cash Game Taylor Caby Cole South Gabe Kaplan David Benefield Doyle Brunson Eli Elezra
5 25-30 Mar 23-Mar 28 Dream Table III Johnny Chan Jennifer Tilly Arnold Thimons Mike Matusow Phil Laak Daniel Negreanu
6 31-36 Mar 30-Apr 4 International III Brad Booth Allen Cunningham David Benyamine John Juanda John Phan Ivan Demidov
7 37-42 May 4-May 9 Hellmuth Bash Cash Game I Tom Dwan Kenny Tran Phil Laak Antonio Esfandiari Phil Hellmuth Bob Safai
8 43-48 May 11-May 16 Hellmuth Bash Cash Game II Tom Dwan Antonio Esfandiari Kenny Tran Phil Hellmuth Bob Safai Phil Laak
9 49-54 Jun 15-Jun 20 Sit-n-Talk Jennifer Harman Mike Matusow Antonio Esfandiari Jean-Robert Bellande Vanessa Rousso David Grey
10 55-60 Jun 22-Jun 27 Celebrities and Mentors Barry Greenstein Jason Alexander Phil Gordon Orel Hershiser Don Cheadle Gavin Smith
11 61-66 Sep 7-Sep 12 Top Guns Cash Game #1 Tom Dwan Patrik Antonius Howard Lederer Eli Elezra Ilari Sahamies Phil Ivey
12 67-72 Sep 14-Sep 19 Top Guns Cash Game #2 Eli Elezra Tom Dwan Howard Lederer Phil Ivey Patrik Antonius Ilari Sahamies
13 73-78 Sep 21-Sep 26 Magnificent Six Phil Hellmuth Chris Ferguson Howard Lederer Phil Ivey Doyle Brunson Daniel Negreanu
14 79-84 Sep 28-Oct 3 USA vs. Italy Howard Lederer Marco Traniello Dario Minieri Erick Lindgren Max Pescatori Chris Ferguson
15 85-90 Dec 7-Dec 12 Railbird Heaven Cash Game #1 Patrik Antonius Daniel Negreanu Gus Hansen Phil Ivey Tom Dwan Phil Hellmuth
16 91-96 Dec 14-Dec 19 Railbird Heaven Cash Game #2 Tom Dwan Gus Hansen
/ David Peat
Phil Ivey Phil Hellmuth Patrik Antonius Daniel Negreanu
  • Close but no Cigar Week consisted of players who at the time of taping had played at a WSOP Main Event final table but did not win.
  • Dream Table III was the first time the contest winner did not use Seat 6.[citation needed]
  • Mike Matusow is the only pro to participate in all three Dream Table games.
  • The two weeks of Hellmuth Bash games were the first time the same six players appeared over 10 consecutive episodes of play.
  • Celebrities and Mentors week was completed in four episodes. The director's cut was aired as the fifth episode, and a "Best Of" look back at Seasons 1-5 was aired at the usual time for the director's cut.
  • Eli Elezra has only played in cash games or during weeks when the final prize was larger than the normal $120,000. Until this season, he always occupied Seat 6 when appearing.
  • During "Railbird Heaven Cash Game #2," David Peat substitutes for Gus Hansen.[citation needed]
  • Magnificent Six featured five of the six players shown in this season's opening credits.
  • Gus Hansen's participation in the Railbird Heaven Cash Game was his first appearance since Season 3.

Season 6 (2010)

Season 6 was taped in October 2009 at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas and is scheduled to have 13 weeks of episodes.[16]

Week Episodes Original Airdates Title Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3 Seat 4 Seat 5 Seat 6
1 1-6 Jan 4-Jan 10 Commentators III Howard Lederer Gabe Kaplan Joe Sebok Ali Nejad Mark Gregorich Kara Scott
2 7-12 Jan 11-Jan 17 Nicknames Annette Obrestad Mike Matusow Antonio Esfandiari Erick Lindgren Phil Laak Phil Hellmuth
3 13-18 Mar 15-Mar 21 Cash Game 50k, Part 1 Chris Ferguson Phil Hellmuth Antonio Esfandiari Brandon Adams Todd Brunson Mike Matusow
4 19-24 Mar 22-Mar 28 Cash Game 50k, Part 2 Todd Brunson Mike Matusow Phil Hellmuth Brandon Adams Antonio Esfandiari Chris Ferguson
5 25-30 Apr 19-Apr 25 My Favorite Pro Craig Ivey James Ashby Steve Bartlett Phil Hellmuth Jens Voertmann Chris Ferguson
6 31-36 Apr 26-May 2 He Said, She Said Erica Schoenberg Jean-Robert Bellande David Grey Karina Jett Mike Matusow Annie Duke
  • New graphics debuted with Season 6,[citation needed] including a notation of which player has the button. Previous seasons sometimes used a non-standard "first to act" graphic. Percentages to win the hand are shown more frequently than in past seasons, especially pre-flop, and a trailing player's outs are shown during all-in situations.
  • In previous seasons, all segments were ended with Ali Nejad commentating over a stock shot of Las Vegas. In Season 6, a quick recap is sometimes done by Leeann Tweeden on-camera before going to a commercial break.[citation needed]

Results and notes

The following tables do not include results of unaired episodes, even if such information is available online.

Season 1 (2007)

Week Title 6th Place 5th Place 4th Place 3rd Place Runner-Up Winner
1 Poker Brat Attack Phil Hellmuth Steve Zolotow Shawn Sheikhan Annie Duke Huck Seed Gus Hansen
2 Play Anything Jerry Buss Doyle Brunson Gabe Kaplan Mike Matusow David Grey Daniel Negreanu
3 WSOP Champions Carlos Mortensen Jamie Gold Doyle Brunson Chris Ferguson Chris Moneymaker Johnny Chan
4 Earphones Please Sam Farha Phil Hellmuth Andy Bloch Tony G Mike Matusow Phil Ivey
5 Phil Phil Doyle Brunson Erik Seidel Phil Hellmuth Jennifer Harman Antonio Esfandiari Phil Laak
6 Talking Heads Chad Brown Michael Konik Mike Sexton Gabe Kaplan Phil Gordon Howard Lederer
7 Against All Odds Sam Farha Ted Forrest Clonie Gowen Gus Hansen Tony G Chris Ferguson
8 Killer Table Erick Lindgren Phil Gordon Jennifer Tilly Phil Ivey Patrik Antonius Jennifer Harman
9 Loose Lips Barry Greenstein Mike Matusow David Benyamine Shawn Sheikhan Allen Cunningham John Juanda
10 Ladies' Week Vanessa Rousso Evelyn Ng Dee Luong Cyndy Violette Jennifer Harman Clonie Gowen
  • In the third episode of Week 1, the players continued to talk and make noise while Phil Hellmuth was trying to decide whether to go all-in against Annie Duke. Hellmuth held A♥ 10♦, while Duke had K♠ K♥. The lack of decorum caused Hellmuth to lash out at Shawn Sheikhan, call over the show's executive producer, and leave the table. Hellmuth also threatened not to participate in future Poker After Dark tournaments unless the show implemented a rule that encouraged people to stop talking when a player is making an important decision. Immediately after the incident, producers put in place a rule which states that if a player wishes to have silence at the table when faced with a tough decision, the player need only inform the dealer, who will then notify the other players of the request. Failure to comply will result in a "time-out" period of one lap of the button for the offending player(s), with blinds forfeited during this time.[17]

Season 2 (2007)

Week Title 6th Place 5th Place 4th Place 3rd Place Runner-Up Winner
1 Golden Men Greg Raymer Jamie Gold Huck Seed Doyle Brunson Johnny Chan Joe Hachem
2 International Gus Hansen Daniel Negreanu Marco Traniello David Benyamine Brad Booth Patrik Antonius
3 Queens and Kings Ali Nejad Annie Duke Vanessa Rousso Howard Lederer Kristy Gazes Gabe Kaplan
4 World Series Legends Chris Ferguson Layne Flack Erik Seidel T.J. Cloutier Phil Hellmuth Doyle Brunson
5 WPT All-Stars Michael Mizrachi Erick Lindgren Daniel Negreanu Gus Hansen Tuan Le Howard Lederer
6 Live To Hurt Mike Matusow Daniel Negreanu Phil Hellmuth Antonio Esfandiari Phil Laak Shawn Sheikhan
7 Poker Prowess Phil Laak Andy Bloch David Williams Annie Duke John Juanda Clonie Gowen
8 Mega Match David Benyamine Jennifer Harman Barry Greenstein Phil Ivey Eli Elezra Allen Cunningham
9 Of Mouth and Men Mike Matusow Alan Dvorkis Antonio Esfandiari Paul Wasicka Jamie Gold Mike Sexton
10 Signature Week Jennifer Harman Gus Hansen Chris Ferguson Phil Hellmuth Howard Lederer Phil Ivey
  • In "International" week, Gus Hansen was knocked out after 6 hands, and heads-up play started after 53 hands, both record lows for the show.[18]

Season 3 (2008)

Week Title[13] 6th Place 5th Place 4th Place 3rd Place Runner-Up Winner
1 Dream Table Mike Matusow Daniel Negreanu Scotty Nguyen Ken Light Jennifer Harman Phil Hellmuth
2 19th Hole David Oppenheim Erick Lindgren Daniel Negreanu Doyle Brunson Phil Ivey Gavin Smith
3 Hecklers Mike Matusow Sam Grizzle Gavin Smith Jean-Robert Bellande Shawn Sheikhan Phil Hellmuth
4 World Champions Huck Seed Chris Ferguson Berry Johnston Jamie Gold Phil Hellmuth Johnny Chan
5 Cowboys Hoyt Corkins Doyle Brunson Chau Giang Chris Ferguson Andy Bloch Gabe Kaplan
6 International Daniel Negreanu John Juanda Gus Hansen Roland De Wolfe Patrik Antonius Johnny Chan
7 Jam Up Barry Greenstein Mike Matusow Eli Elezra Howard Lederer Antonio Esfandiari David Williams
8 Gus & Ladies J. J. Liu Gus Hansen Erica Schoenberg Beth Shak Clonie Gowen Vanessa Rousso
9 Love at First Raise Erica Schoenberg Phil Laak Jennifer Harman Jennifer Tilly Marco Traniello David Benyamine
10 Commentators Howard Lederer Phil Gordon Robert Williamson III Chad Brown Ali Nejad Mark Gregorich
  • "Dream Table" week featured a Poker After Dark first: Phil Hellmuth won by calling an all-in bet from both Ken Light and Jen Harman on the last hand, resulting in the first match to end with no heads-up play.[citation needed]
  • "Hecklers Week" featured a controversial situation which necessitated the producer having to come to the table. Phil Hellmuth attempted to bluff the river with pair of aces on the board in a hand against Jean-Robert Bellande, and Bellande called. Hellmuth then said "you got it" and held onto his cards, waiting for Bellande to show the winner. Bellande felt he did not have to show his hand, while Hellmuth thought "olden day etiquette" indicated that he should. The tournament was stopped for 5 minutes while all players voiced their opinions and eventually the producer came over and then Hellmuth showed his hand, necessitating that Bellande show his to claim the pot.[19]
  • "Jam Up" week featured a rule that allowed any player knocked out over the first six hands (once around the table) to rebuy. On the first hand, Eli Elezra was knocked out when his AK didn't crack Howard Lederer's AA when they both got all their chips in pre-flop. Eli was allowed to rebuy for another $20,000, which brought the total chips in play to $140,000, and the first place prize to $140,000.[18]
  • The "Best Of" episode that closed Season 5 featured Elezra's knockout on the first hand of Jam Up week, but did not make clear that he was able to rebuy after busting out on the first hand per that week's rules, and insinuated he was eliminated.[citation needed]

Season 4 (2008)

Week Title[13] 6th Place 5th Place 4th Place 3rd Place Runner-Up Winner
1 Cash Game #1 --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
2 Nets Vs. Vets Andrew Robl Johnny Chan Tom Dwan Huck Seed Doyle Brunson Brian Townsend
3 Heads Up Challenge ---- ( N/A ) ---- ---- ( N/A ) ---- Paul Wasicka Ted Forrest Chris Ferguson Phil Hellmuth
4 Mission Impossible David Williams Gavin Smith Mike Matusow Phil Hellmuth Phil Laak Clonie Gowen
5 Dream II Mike Sexton Mike Matusow Paul Featherstone Jennifer Harman Phil Hellmuth Gavin Smith
6 Mayfair Club Dan Harrington Mike Shichtman Steve Zolotow Mickey Appleman Howard Lederer Jay Heimowitz
7 Cash Game #2 --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
  • The Heads Up Challenge used a double-elimination format. In the opening round, Chris Ferguson defeated Paul Wasicka and Phil Hellmuth defeated Ted Forrest. Hellmuth then defeated Ferguson to move on to the final, while Forrest's win against Wasicka eliminated Wasicka. Facing off with one loss each, Ferguson defeated Forrest to set up a Hellmuth-Ferguson final, where Hellmuth only needed to win one out of two matches while Ferguson needed to sweep both matches. Ferguson won the opener before Hellmuth won the finale. In each of Hellmuth's wins against Ferguson, he had pocket tens on the final hand.

Season 5 (2009)

Week Title[13] 6th Place 5th Place 4th Place 3rd Place Runner-Up Winner
1 Close but no Cigar David Williams Dewey Tomko Allen Cunningham Lee Watkinson Andy Black Mike Matusow
2 Speak Your Mind Phil Hellmuth Todd Brunson Gabe Kaplan David Grey Cory Zeidman Phil Gordon
3 Brilliant Minds David Sklansky Bill Chen Brandon Adams Jimmy Warren Chris Ferguson Andy Bloch
4 Nets vs. Vets Cash Game --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
5 Dream Table III Mike Matusow Daniel Negreanu Phil Laak Arnold Thimons Jennifer Tilly Johnny Chan
6 International III David Benyamine John Phan Brad Booth Allen Cunningham Ivan Demidov John Juanda
7 Hellmuth Bash Cash Game I --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
8 Hellmuth Bash Cash Game II --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
9 Sit-n-Talk Mike Matusow Antonio Esfandiari Jean-Robert Bellande Jennifer Harman David Grey Vanessa Rousso
10 Celebrities and Mentors Jason Alexander Orel Hershiser Phil Gordon Barry Greenstein Don Cheadle Gavin Smith
11 Top Guns Cash Game #1 --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
12 Top Guns Cash Game #2 --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
13 Magnificent Six Howard Lederer Phil Ivey Doyle Brunson Daniel Negreanu Phil Hellmuth Chris Ferguson
14 USA vs. Italy Marco Traniello Chris Ferguson Max Pescatori Erick Lindgren Dario Minieri Howard Lederer
15 Railbird Heaven Cash Game #1 --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
16 Railbird Heaven Cash Game #2 --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
  • Season 5 started with three veteran Poker After Dark players securing their first PAD wins (Matusow, Gordon and Bloch).
  • In Celebrities and Mentors, the mentor-celebrity relationships were Greenstein-Alexander, Smith-Hershiser and Gordon-Cheadle.[citation needed]
  • Chris Ferguson had lost six times, including the Season 4 Heads-Up Challenge, before his Magnificent Six win became his first win since Season 1.
  • Howard Lederer became the first player to place last one week, and win the next week.[citation needed]

Season 6 (2010)

Week Title 6th Place 5th Place 4th Place 3rd Place Runner-Up Winner
1 Commentators III Kara Scott Ali Nejad Mark Gregorich Howard Lederer Joe Sebok Gabe Kaplan
2 Nicknames Erick Lindgren Annette Obrestad Mike Matusow Phil Hellmuth Antonio Esfandiari Phil Laak
3 Cash Game 50k, Part 1 --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
4 Cash Game 50k, Part 2 --------------------------------------------- ( Not Applicable ) ---------------------------------------------
5 My Favorite Pro
6 He Said, She Said
  • Gabe Kaplan's win in Commentators III week marked the greatest comeback in Poker After Dark history.[20]
  • Phil Laak's win in Nicknames week marked the first time a single player has won two Poker After Dark titles against the same opponent heads-up (he won both of his titles against Antonio Esfandiari, the first being in Phil Phil week from Season 1).


These statistics are meant to help readers judge the players' relative performances in the main type of event featured on "Poker After Dark": The six-player winner-take-all tournament. So, with the exception of the "Total appearances" column, the statistics omit all "Cash Games" (which do not even have declared winners) and the one "Heads Up" event played so far (Season 4, Week 3, won by Phil Hellmuth). The notations (x2) and (x3) mean the player achieved that placement two or three times, respectively.

Stats updated to reflect results through Season 6, Week 2.

Most wins

The following players have won more than once. (Aired episodes of regular-format tournaments only.)

Player Wins Appearances  % Won Other finishes
Johnny Chan 4 6 67% 2nd, 5th
Clonie Gowen 3 5 60% 2nd, 4th
Gavin Smith 3 5 60% 4th, 5th
Gabe Kaplan 3 6 50% 3rd, 4th (x2)
Howard Lederer 3 10 30% 2nd (x2), 3rd (x3), 6th (x2)
John Juanda 2 4 50% 2nd, 5th
Vanessa Rousso 2 4 50% 4th, 6th
Phil Ivey 2 6 33% 2nd, 3rd (x2), 5th
Phil Laak 2 7 29% 2nd (x2), 4th, 5th, 6th
Chris Ferguson 2 9 22% 2nd, 3rd (x2), 4th, 5th (x2), 6th
Phil Hellmuth 2 14 14% 2nd (x4), 3rd (x3), 4th (x2), 5th, 6th (x2)

Never won

The following players have appeared more than twice, but have yet to win. The list is limited to episodes of regular-format tournaments that have been aired.

Player Appearances Highest finish
Antonio Esfandiari 6 2nd (x3)
Erick Lindgren 5 3rd
Jamie Gold 4 2nd
Barry Greenstein 4 3rd
Huck Seed 4 2nd
Annie Duke 3 3rd (x2)
David Grey 3 2nd (x2)
Ali Nejad 3 2nd
Jennifer Tilly 3 2nd
Marco Traniello 3 2nd

Most appearances

The following players have been invited to play on Poker After Dark more than twice. ("Total appearances" column includes all filmed events; "Aired" omits non-regular format tournaments as well as yet-to-air episodes.)

Player Total
Aired Highest
aired finish
Phil Hellmuth 23 14 1st (x2)
Mike Matusow 17 14 1st
Howard Lederer 13 10 1st (x3)
Chris Ferguson 13 9 1st (x2)
Doyle Brunson 11 9 1st
Daniel Negreanu 11 9 1st
Antonio Esfandiari 10 6 2nd (x3)
Phil Ivey 10 6 1st (x2)
Jennifer Harman 9 9 1st
Gus Hansen 9 7 1st
Phil Laak 9 7 1st (x2)
Gabe Kaplan 8 6 1st (x3)
Patrik Antonius 8 3 1st
Tom Dwan 8 1 4th
Johnny Chan 6 6 1st (x4)
Eli Elezra 6 2 2nd
David Benyamine 5 5 1st
Phil Gordon 5 5 1st
Clonie Gowen 5 5 1st (x3)
Erick Lindgren 5 5 3rd
Gavin Smith 5 5 1st (x3)
Allen Cunningham 5 4 1st
Andy Bloch 4 4 1st
Jamie Gold 4 4 2nd
Barry Greenstein 4 4 3rd
John Juanda 4 4 1st (x2)
Vanessa Rousso 4 4 1st (x2)
Huck Seed 4 4 2nd
Shawn Sheikhan 4 4 1st
David Williams 4 4 1st
Annie Duke 4 3 3rd (x2)
David Grey 4 3 2nd (x2)
Ali Nejad 3 3 2nd
Mike Sexton 3 3 1st
Jennifer Tilly 3 3 2nd
Marco Traniello 3 3 2nd
Jean-Robert Bellande 3 2 3rd
Erica Schoenberg 3 2 4th
Brandon Adams 3 1 4th
Todd Brunson 3 1 5th

References and footnotes

External links

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