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First Nationally Syndicated Weekly Poker Show Premieres September 4; Clears 146 Television Markets Representing Over 80% of the Country

Los Angeles, CA (August 19, 2004) – On the heels of the exploding poker phenomenon, the Average Joe will now have a chance to play like a pro with the premiere of The Ultimate Poker Challenge . Debuting September 4 , the first-ever nationally syndicated poker tournament show will feature amateur players competing head-to-head against the pros for a shot at winning a grand prize in excess of a million dollars. The Ultimate Poker Challenge has already built momentum, clearing over 80% of the country with major support of 30 markets from the Viacom and Sinclair Broadcast Groups, including numerous double-runs such as Chicago , Seattle and Las Vegas .

“Every station on our line-up cleared the show with a specific desire and purpose, including over 75% of them airing it in prime, access or fringe time periods,” says Ed Baruch, head of syndication for Passport Entertainment.

Hosted by Chad Brown, formerly of As the World Turns and himself a tournament poker player, The Ultimate Poker Challenge is taped before a live audience at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas . Amateurs as well as the top poker players from around the world will apply their poker prowess in 23 “Texas Hold ‘em” individual tournaments. Top point winners from each game move on to the semi-finals with only the eight finalists competing for millions of dollars in the championship round. Weekly winners will receive a cash prize in addition to a free round-trip for two to Europe . Each show will feature insightful host and special poker guest commentary.

The Ultimate Poker Challenge will be executive produced by Dan Pugliese. Television veteran Sam Riddle, who has produced such network and syndicated hit shows as the original Star Search and Showtime at the Apollo , will serve as producer. Lisa Tenner, President of Tenner and Associates, brokered the deal with Rich Rose from the Plaza Hotel and Casino. National advertising sales are being handled by TVi Media in New York .

2 / Ultimate Poker Challenge Premiere

“Over 50 million people are estimated to play poker in the United States yet no nationally syndicated show has opened its doors for the masses to take part in until now,” explains Pugliese. “What American Idol did to music, The Ultimate Poker Challenge hopes to do with poker. Anyone in this country has the chance to be a champion and walk away with a million dollars or more!"

The Ultimate Poker Challenge is produced by the International Poker Championship Series and distributed by Passport Entertainment. For more information, please visit . For ad sales information, please visit .



Passport Syndication will launch its newest weekly show The Ultimate Poker Challenge on September 4.  Taped at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas , the series features run of the mill players as well as professionals and they butt heads in hopes of winning the pot.  Cleared in 80% of the country, the show picks up with cable's successful infusion of poker players series. The show is hosted by Chad Brown (formerly of As the World Turns), and is exec prod by Dan Pugliese, with Sam Riddle as producer.