Las Vegas, NV
I would not want to be Tiffany Michelle right now. The entire fate of poker and all of Western Civilization has been thrust upon her supple shoulders. Should a 24-year old have that much pressure on her?
Tiffany Michelle is poker's most marketable asset right now. Michalksi said that out of the last 27 players, she has the potential for the biggest "Moneymaker Effect." In three years, will I be writing about another poker renaissance in America and citing the "Tiffany Michelle Effect?" Come to think of it, that wouldn't be a bad thing. The poker world could use an influx of young women.
Tiffany Michelle, an actress/musician from Los Angeles and a Poker News employee, is among the final 27 players in the WSOP main event. With the Final Table Delay on the horizon, the WSOP Hype Machine ready to whore out Tiffany to boost ratings. She's the last female standing. She's a heavy fan favorite. She's also a controversial figure and the quality of her play is getting questioned by pros and pundits alike, while her ethics and morals are being examined for her decision to wear Ultimate Bet logos over the last two days.
The 2+2 forums and other knitting circles have been blowing up over the last 48 hours with various 'Tiffany Michelle... Hot or Not?' threads while other threads are havens for Tiffany Michelle and UB haters who have been referring to her as a sellout for wearing UB stuff, not to mention the latest bombs being dropped on the UB scandal since former WSOP champion Russ Hamilton was fingered by Nat Arem as one of the superusers who cheated players out of millions.
There's a circus within the circus. An enigma wrapped up inside a riddle. I'll do my best to connect the dots that I have discovered. Because what's really going on right now is a battle for prime real estate. Whoever holds the center of the chess board will gain an edge. And the center of the board? It's Tiffany's breasts. OK, not just her chest area, but also the spot on her trucker's hat.
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Let's start from the beginning. Tony G and Jeff Lisandro backed Tiffany Michelle into the Main Event. I believe it was a even 1/3 chop. I cannot verify the exact amount, but out of her 33%, she may have sold or swapped percentages with other players and friends such as Greg Mueller. I'm gonna estimate that she has about 30% of herself.
The Main Event is a super long shot. I'm sure when all three parties (The G, Lisandro, and Tiffany) agreed on a staking arrangement, none of them expected that Tiffany would get this far. Otherwise, their contract would have been worded differently and some ambiguous situations that arose during the last 48 hours would have been clarified. For the first few days of the Main Event, Tiffany wore a PokerNews patch. But on Day 5, things changed and The G got angry.
Tiffany is a hot chick who can get some face time on ESPN cameras and she was a perfect target for product placement, specifically around her boobular area. Since she only had a small percentage of herself, she welcomed the opportunity to get some extra endorsement dollars. I can't blame her there, especially since her staking contract did not say she was exclusive to Poker News. Tiffany's agent Katie arranged a deal with Ultimate Bet. Tiffany has previous connections to UB since her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend Hollywood Dave was a member of the UB Black Jack team and Tiffany is also tight with Annie Duke. I dunno how much her personal relationships came into play or it was a simple matter that they offered more than Full Tilt. I also cannot verify how much she was paid to wear UB. It could have been just a contingency deal (if she finishes in X place, she gets Y dollars) or it could have been some sort of deal that included a bonus as well.
On Saturday before cards were in the air, Tiffany added two logos in addition to her PokerNews logo. One UB patch on a hat and another on a hoodie type jacket that she wore. The problem was that her jacket covered up her PokerNews patch. All you could see was UB and no PokerNews. That's where the G had an issue; it was his money (and his buddy Lisandro's) so he was entitled to have Poker News on her breasts. They eventually cleared up that issue and Tiffany proudly displayed a triumvirate of patches... Poker News on one boob, UB on the other, and a "Suited Connections" patch in the middle which happened to be the name of her agent's management agency.
I don't know what exactly went down, but between Day 5 and Day 6, the G and UB got into some sort of spat. Tiffany was still their horse and all parties involved knew it was essential for them to work something out themselves and not be a distraction to Tiffany. After all, the deeper she went, the more money everyone stood to make. Tiffany. Her backers. Her agent. Poker News. UB. Harrahs. ESPN.
While all of that went down, Tiffany took a few punches to the gut on 2+2 for shilling for UB. To make things worse, more fuel was added to the UB cheating scandal inferno. And Tiffany was a byproduct of that fiasco. Do you really want to be be wearing a logo of a company that is in deep shit?
The G is pissed. The masses are pissed. It would definitely be in Tiffany's best interest to pull a Rizen and walk away from UB. Yet, on Sunday once cards were in the air, her boobs had a UB patch and a PokerNews patch. Nothing had changed. She eventually sat at the featured TV table and ended the day among the Top 5 in chips as she closed in on 10 million. Hot Chips with chips. With Hellmuth's and Matusow's eliminations, she was the most popular player left in the mix.
Photos by flipchip • lasvegasvegas.com
While everyone flocked to Tiffany's table, I watched the spectacle unfold outside the ropes on what was previously the killing fields. Early on Day 6, I spotted several Poker Royalty (PR) agents talking to Jeff Lisandro. If you have no idea who they are, but they are like the NY Yankees or JP Morgan of poker agents. They were the top dogs in the industry and represented the biggest stars in poker such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Greg Raymer. There were many small time agents (like Katie and Oliver Tse and others) with a handful of clients, trolling the hallways at the Rio, but combined they couldn't even compare to the dominating influence that PR had on the poker scene.
After his happy chat with PR, Lisandro found Tiffany's agent Katie and he put his arm around her just like Tony Soprano as they both walked to the other side of the room to engage in a private conversation. I have no idea what exactly went down but I knew something was up. Throughout most of the day, different PR agents and Katie were talking shop. One of my sources confirmed that a deal was being discussed between Tiffany's people and PokerStars.
As soon as I found that out, I started booking action on what site will be on Tiffany's boobs at the start of Day 7 (provided she made the last 27). I'm betting it's PokerStars. Tiffany would be a perfect match for PokerStars instead of UB, especially if she become the next Moneymaker. As of 3am Vegas time, nothing has been finalized. This is all speculation. I might be completely full of shit and Tiffany might waltz into the Amazon Room with a UB patch. Or how about a Full Tilt hat?
Tiffany Michelle is the hottest commodity in poker right now. Word is out on the streets of Las Vegas that she might drop UB due to massive backlash that both Tiffany and UB had been getting. If that's the case, then it boils down to the two biggest online dogs on the block... PokerStars and Full Tilt. Never underestimate FT, they have often swooped and snatched players up at the last possible second.
The breasts of Tiffany Michelle have become a battle ground on the eve of Day 7. If it's this bad right now, what will it be like in the weeks leading up to the final table in November?
I haven't talked to Tiffany about any of this drama. She's getting pulled and tugged in hundreds of different directions from her friends, from her fake friends, from the Man, from everyone in the media, and everyone else who wants a piece of Tiffany. I'm letting her play poker. Unlike the hordes of other media, I have been leaving her alone and focusing on the behind the scenes drama that unfolded when she was playing on Day 6.
Tiffany occasionally winked at me or smiled when I stood on the rail sweating her table on Sunday, which is enough interaction for me. I'm the last person she wants to have to deal with right now as the vultures are circling and ready to peck apart her eyeballs. The pimps are brawling outside the ropes trying to figure out who they're gonna sell her off to and for how much? A hot actress from Hollyweird like Tiffany who is extremely media savvy can go a long way in poker.
I've known Tiffany for almost two years and we've shared assignments for Poker News in several different countries. She gives the best massages in the business and saved my ass in Monte Carlo in 2007 when I had a bum arm and kept me loose enough so I could keep writing. I'm really excited for her in the same way that I was rooting for Jeremiah Smith during his run earlier in the Main Event. However, with all the bullshit that has been going down, I hope she's able to settle down and focus on the next goal... make the final nine.
With Matusow and Hellmuth gone, the onus is on Tiffany Michelle. As much as she never asked for that responsibility, it has fallen into her lap. You would think that this was all about poker. Um, it's not. Behold! The powers of big business. It's probably more important what patch that Tiffany wears on Day 7 than what specific cards that she plays.
The endless war of global domination between online poker sites are being fought out on Tiffany Michelle's breasts. Who will emerge as the victor in this battle? Full Tilt? UB? PokerStars?
We'll find out in a few hours.
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