RE: Tiffany Michelle

by , Jul 18, 2008 | 10:13 am

Posted this link in a comment down below, but really it deserves a little more pimpage … as this write-up by Change100 provides one of the best factual recounts and opinionated analyses of the whole Tiffany Michelle final table sponsorship saga. She tells a compelling story of girl-power gone awry, and the deeper Tiffany got, the more in over her head her agent may have gotten … all while having to make decisions affected by the emerging corruption of Ultimate Bet and escalating high-pressure tactics from frothing sponsorship-brokering wolves trying to mount her in the midst of her WSOP heater.

Jeffrey Lisandro, one of Tiffany’s backers, had been hovering around the Amazon Room all day on Day 6. The other, PokerNews owner Tony G., had already left Las Vegas several days prior. The UB scandal was blowing up, and so was Tiffany’s chip count. Personally, I was concentrated on the task at hand– reporting the tournament– but couldn’t help but notice all the little side conversations that were taking place in the empty back quadrant of the room, which, until only 48 hours prior, had been a sea of poker tables. PokerNews people and Tiffany’s agent, Katie Lindsay. PokerNews people and other agents. And Lisandro himself, putting his arm around Lindsay and walking off with her to have a private discussion. The war over Tiffany Michelle was in full swing as she sat 100 yards away, propped up on her knees, playing in the biggest game of her life.

I spent 8 years in the Hollywood machine and dealt with a lot of agents in my time. They are some of the most ruthless, yet sickeningly hardworking people you will ever meet. The client’s interest is your interest, and it is the only interest. Everyone else can go fuck themselves. Agents can piss people off and get away with it because they hold the keys to the castle by controlling the talent. Talent is the only real currency in Hollywood. Producers, financiers, studio executives, marketing divisions, publicists? Without the talent what do they have?

While I’m not so sure I agree with pinning so much blame on Katie Lindsay from Suited Connections — full disclosure: she’s a personal friend of California Jen’s, and I always saw her as one of the “nice ones” — Change has a little more understanding of how a cutthroat television world can work (a world that is new to poker even though we’ve been on TV for 5+ years) and has me wondering if Tiffany Michelle weren’t, at least indirectly, an unforeseen casualty of a delayed final table that noticeably upped the television stakes as we got closer and closer to The November Nine.

Oh, one other interesting thing … check out Change’s post right before this one. You’ll notice on that picture of Tiffany Michelle, posted before anyone knew of the brewing UB/PokerNews friction … the PokerNews logo is the most prominently displayed, even after she did her deal with Ultimate Bet.

7 Comments to “RE: Tiffany Michelle”

  1. shronk

    Maybe it’s that I’ve been away from the WSOP for a few days, but this is suddenly infinitely interesting to me.

  2. olivert

    I was warned early on during the 2008 WSOP by the “don” of the Russian poker contingent to stay away from:

    1. All players who reside in the Russian Federation

    2. All players who were wearing the PokerNews logo

    One of my rivals, who ultimately did the Tiffany Michelle deal, obviously didn’t understand how “territorial” these regional “dons” are and how much power they have in ghe media in order to make sure

    I know enough to stay away from the following markets, where “dons” exist to represent almost all players from that country/territory:


  3. Scott Chaffin

    I could have sworn you typed “emerging corruption.” You sticking with that?

  4. DanM

    what’s wrong with “emerging corruption?”

  5. DanM

    I just learned this World Series that Norwegians aren’t considered real Scandinavians. I think it was the Norwegians, at least. There’s a difference, apparently, between Nordic and Scandi.

  6. Scott Chaffin

    The emerging part.

  7. Rakeback

    “I was warned early on during the 2008 WSOP by the “don” of the Russian poker contingent to stay away from:

    1. All players who reside in the Russian Federation

    2. All players who were wearing the PokerNews logo”

    That is indeed a sobering look at what the world of poker has become. Unfortunately, this is one of the side-effects of the enormous popularity and the advertising and money making potential that came with it. Wherever there’s this kind of money involved, “dons” are quick to appear too. That’s the way it’s always been and it’s the way it’ll always be.
    I do kinda miss the good-old Binion’s style WSOP where drinks were on the house for all players, especially when I get my fill of such inside information.
    If the govt. ever decides to legalize online poker in any form, all hell will break loose in cyberspace too.