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Nevada-Based Ultimate Poker Signs Terrence Chan as Sponsored Pro

Ultimate PokerPoker pro Terrence Chan announced today he has signed with Nevada-based Ultimate Poker as a sponsored player. The online poker site belongs to Ultimate Gaming, in turned owned by Fertitta Interactive LLC, one of the companies that has been approved for an interactive gaming license (as a service provider) by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Fertitta Entertainment, Fertitta Interactive’s parent company, owns and operates the Station Casinos.

Formerly sponsored by Hero Poker, Chan amicably ended his relationship with Hero last month after a two-year long association. His signing by Ultimate Poker represents the first significant sponsorship of a player by one of the new U.S.-based online poker sites.

Feritta Interactive has been developing Ultimate Gaming since purchasing the assets of gaming company CyberArts Licensing LLC in October 2011. In June 2012, Ultimate Gaming was launched as a social gaming platform that forged branding ties to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), also owned by the Fertitta group.

The connection between poker and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting makes Chan a logical choice to represent the new site. Chan describes martial arts — specifically those associated with MMA — as a “main hobby and passion.” I spoke with Chan not too long ago about his interest in martial arts and how the sport overlaps with poker in certain respects.

“The most similar aspect of poker and martial arts is the way both require discipline,” said Chan. “You can be very good at either, but if you don’t actually lead a disciplined lifestyle, it’s very hard to be successful in the long term as a poker player or in martial arts.”

Chan also noted how as someone who competes in both MMA and poker tournaments, he has come to appreciate how doing both tends to help provide a kind of balance that can help him succeed both as a fighter and as a poker player.

“I think martial arts is one of those things that can complement a poker career very well,” he said. “It’s a physical activity, but it’s also a mental activity. When you’re playing poker a lot of times you’re using a lot of mental energy but not a lot of physical energy. Meanwhile in martial arts you have to use both, but you can’t think too much at the same time.”

Chan has experienced success of late in both realms. He currently possesses an amateur MMA record of 3-0 and is also 1-0 as a professional after defeating Alex Lee in the Legend Fighting Championships in Hong Kong in 2012 (as pictured below).

Terrence Chan

Meanwhile on the poker side the Vancouver-based player tied a World Series of Poker record last summer by cashing 10 times at the 2012 WSOP. Chan has over $1.1 million in tournament winnings over the last decade, plus owns one World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) title and two Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) titles on PokerStars.

In addition to battling both in the ring and at the tables, Chan also keeps a popular blog and today took to it to announce his signing with Ultimate Poker. There Chan explains how he was initially contacted almost a year ago regarding the possibility of representing the site.

There, too, Chan speaks of his past experience working with another “start-up” online poker site, PokerStars. Way back in late 2000, Chan was involved with pre-beta consulting for Stars on various features and website design, then in the summer of 2002 was hired to a full-time position in support where he remained until late 2004.

Indeed, it was Ultimate Poker Chief Marketing Officer Joe Versaci who formerly served a similar position with PokerStars (mostly after Chan’s tenure there) with whom Chan says he mostly talked before deciding to join Ultimate Poker.

Incidentally, besides the coincidental naming, neither Ultimate Gaming nor Ultimate Poker has any connection to the erstwhile and scandal-ridden Ultimate Bet online poker site.

Photo courtesy Terrence Chan.

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