Tiffany Michelle / PokerNews Scandalette Brewing

Agent Warfare, Ultimate Bet Cheating, and Whatdafug Is Poker Media Anyhow?

by , Jul 15, 2008 | 12:27 am

An oddly timed official statement, released from PokerNews Mgmt:

PokerNews Official Statement
July 14, 2008
PokerNews Management
The last 48 hours have been a crucial and trying time for PokerNews.

On the outset of the World Series of Poker, we have been associated with an outstanding female poker player, who until a few hours ago, was the last woman standing in the original field of 6844 entrants in the 2008 WSOP Main Event. Official PokerNews representative, Tiffany Michelle, was one of the chip leaders for the better end of her run in the Main Event and was poised for a brilliant Final Table appearance that would make her the second woman in history to achieve such a feat.

As a company that truly believes in this industry and in the importance of supporting aspiring poker players, PokerNews sponsored her Full Tilt Poker into several buy-in events at this year’s World Series including the Main Event, enabling Tiffany to showcase her irrefutable talent and flair on the felt. However, a few days into the Main Event, several media outlets published reports and images showing Tiffany donning an UltimateBet.net logo during her play at the ESPN feature table.

It was later confirmed that without any consultation with PokerNews, Tiffany went ahead and signed a sponsorship deal with Ultimate Bet. While we welcome such sponsorship deals between online gaming operators and players, as a company we could see no reason as to why we were left out of such negotiations, especially considering the relationships that PokerNews has with all such entities. Tiffany was bought into the event by PokerNews and had a signed player contract with PokerNews Ltd. We believe, that based on advice from her agent that the contract may have loopholes; she went and made a deal with an online gaming operator that completely contradicted the trust that we had put in her, both as an employee and as a sponsored player. As an organization we felt completely sabotaged by Tiffany, her agent and Ultimate Bet.


In fact, PokerNews was looking forward to and expected a large number of sponsorship offers from the world’s biggest poker rooms – Tiffany’s career was about to explode and we could not have been more proud for her. Therefore, we are incredibly disappointed with Tiffany and her agent’s lack of respect and professionalism. We are currently seeking legal council on this entire situation and potential damages to PokerNews.

In regard to the Ultimate Bet and PokerNews relationship, Ultimate Bet has come under considerable scrutiny from the Poker Community for several scandals involving high-ranking employees and the use of defective software that allowed these users to see their opponent’s hole cards. As a result of such breaches in the online communities trust, PokerNews has decided that it will no longer promote this site within its network.

Despite the disappointing circumstances, we extend our deepest congratulations to Tiffany on her outstanding achievement. Tiffany finished in 17th place and left the room to a standing ovation.

On behalf of PokerNews, I would like to thank the millions of faithful viewers who have supported us throughout this time, and who have continued to come to us for reliable, timely and in-depth reporting of the world’s biggest poker tournaments. I truly believe that this year we were able to showcase to the world the incredible team of people that we have working for this organization. The live updates this year set a precedent and I am proud of our efforts.

Justin Robert Huxley
PokerNews Ltd Vice President


  • Wow.

  • I knew that some people were unhappy with Tiffany’s deal choices, but I didn’t see it coming down to this.

    Serious biz.

  • tbonezz111

    I guess she has decided to give up her “real” job! I’m betting that she is going to, after a day or so of “back to reality” realize this was a mistake. I’m sure w/all the craziness involved at the time she allowed someone else, her agent, to just make a decision for her so she could continue to concentrate on poker. Like so many before her and probably many yet to come, it’s better to take the time and keep a thumb on anything and everything that you will personally have to answer to!

    I am sure she will land on her feet!! She seems to smart not to!!

  • ***She seems to smart not to!!***

    That is to/too/two/2 funny.

  • has she signed a playboy deal yet ?

  • Aaron A

    Lisa: “Wow” is right. Although signing more than one contract is somewhat normal in the poker biz with poker professionals, signing without permission of the original contractor(sp) is not to/too/two smart. Would like to see how this plays out with her “agent”.

  • Whoops

    Tiffany Michelle isn’t the only one who better lawyer up. Her agent “Katie” better get a good litigator as she probably is liable under a theory of Tortious Interference with Contract.

    Money + Real Sharks = Circling Attorneys

  • Jason B

    Awesome!!!! I love when players jump ship as quick as possible with other companies. I think this is the first mile stone in poker with “contract talk” for players already under contract like in college sports etc. I prefer the Scotty Nguyen method of taking money from anyone who will sponsor him ala “fulltilt” “pokerstars” “cherokee casino” etc …..

  • edbucks

    “has she signed a playboy deal yet ?”

    I wouldn’t mind seeing her two-too’s

    The Real Fake Ed

  • Whoops, I gotta think the threat of legal action is an obvious over-aggressive Tony G bluff.

    Because if they were to take her to court — over what, I’m not sure — then everything comes out in the open … because it would be a reasonable part of a TM defense to look into how the PokerNews machine works, how agents work, how backing deals work, how WSOP “media” deals work, etc. especially when dealing with companies the U.S. may or may not consider criminal.

    Now mix in the jurisdictional difficulties as it pertains to comapnies like Full Tilt and Poker stars … it all turns into a delightful mess.

    I for one kinda hope it does go to court — just for the sake of so many juicy documents being made public. Maybe it’s a semi-bluff on Tony G’s part?

  • It just hurts my soul so deeply to see PokerNews get screwed over by someone…

  • BEEELZEBUBBA

    I SAY FUCK POKERNEWS, BIG DEAL THEY PUT UP 10 GRAND BFD. SHE MOST LIKELY PLAYED FOR 20% TO 30% PERCENT OF HERSELF, THEY OVERWORK AND UNDERPAY ALL THOSE “POKER VIDEO REPORTERS AND SAY THEY DO SO FOR EXPOSURE ETC. THAT’S THE TRADE OFF. RIGHT?SO THEY TAKE A 10K RISK WHICH IS NOMINAL.THEY GET A TON OF EXPOSURE FOR THEMSELVES AND KEEP 70% TO 80% OF THE MONEY? THE DEAL IS RICH ENOUGH TO STOP RIGHT THERE. IT WOULD SEEM THAT THERE IS NO END TO SHAMELESS GREED IN LAS VEGAS AND THE USUAL SCUMBAGS THAT ARE SO OBVIOUSLY BAD FOR POKER TO BEGIN WITH. SO SHE JOINS UB AS A SPONSORED PLAYER, THEN WHAT THEY (POKERNEWS) WANTS A PIECE OF EVERY DOLLAR THE SPONSOR PUTS UP FOR MARKETING AND TIFFANY HAS TO GET TAXED BY THE GOVT ON THE GROSS AND PAY THEIR PIECE OUT OF POCKET? SUCH BULLSHIT!!!!! THAT SOUNDS LIKE MOBSTER POLITICS TO ME…………..LET’S TURN IT AROUND AND LOOK AT IT FROM THE OTHERSIDE, IS TIFFANY MICHELE ENTITLED TO ANY PIECE OF ADVERTISING REVENUE INCREASE’S AS A DIRECT RESULT OF HER INTERVIEWS OR INCREASED TRAFFIC ON POKERNEWS? LIKE .0975 CENTS PER CLICK ON EVERYTHING SHE HAS DONE THAT IS POSTED? WERE THEY THINKING THAT PERHAPS IF SHE WERE SUCCESSFUL THEY WOULD HAVE SOME DIVIDEND ON THE REST OF HER CAREER…..FOREVER? IF SHE GOTY A PART IN A MOVIE IN 3 YEARS AS A RESULT OF SOME OF THIS EXPOSURE WOULD THEY BE THERE WITH THIER HAND OUT SAYING PAY UP?COMPLETELY ABSURD,COMPLETELY UNREASONABLE……………POKERNEWS CAN SUCK MY BIG FAT RED COCK AND LICK MY STINKY, SWEATY, BLUE CHEESE SMELLIN BALLS.

    BTW FOR THOSE THAT KNOW ME THESE ARE MY PERSONAL FEELINGS AND MINE ALONE AND IN NO WAY WHATSOEVER SHOULD REFLECT NEGATIVELY ON ANY OF MY FRIENDS OR CLOSE ASSOCIATES.

  • BEEELZEBUBBA

    OH AND BY THE WAY I AM RUNNING A NON SANCTIONED RACE ON SPORT BIKES FROM TEXAS TO VEGAS IN NOVEMBER. 1000.00 ENTRY FEE, EVENT IS LIMITED TO 100 RIDERZ WE ARE PAYING TOP 10%.ANY ONE INTERESTED SEE MYSPACE.COM/HALFNUTRACE