Tiffany Michelle Signs With UltimateBet

by , Aug 3, 2008 | 11:55 pm

The official announcement came on July 29, but the post has been delayed as I decided how or if to mention it.

After Tiffany Michelle’s impressive run in the 2008 WSOP main event and 17th place finish, she has been offered a sponsorship deal by UltimateBet. She is now part of the site’s roster of pros, which includes Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy, and James “POKERPRO33” Campbell.

For Tiffany’s poker career, this may seem like a positive step, as she will be able to play more poker – live and online, cash games and tournaments. She will have an income regardless of her poker results, which will do well to make up for the lack of future income from PokerNews. After having previously defended her decision to wear the UB patch on PokerRoad Radio because she felt that the site treated her well during the main event, this announcement came as no surprise.

Even so, the Tiffany Michelle/UB partnership did come as a disappointment to many.

Anyone following the UB scandal over the past seven months, especially developments over the past 30 days that include the alleged involvement of Russ Hamilton, knows that UB is still in the midst of several investigations. Inquiries and scrutiny have plagued the site for more than seven months, yet there remain players waiting for reimbursements of cheated monies and interested parties looking for final investigation results from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission , Gaming Associates, and Frank Catania. Hamilton has yet to issue a statement, Hellmuth has yet to acknowledge a problem (too busy commanding his army of one?), and Duke has stayed away from the media since the Hamilton news broke. And although a spokesperson from UB offered to answer my questions, there has been no response in over a week. UB is one big mess right now.

Tiffany is a talented individual, a motivated and goal-oriented go-getter, and someone with whom I’ve spent a little bit of time socially. Her initial signing with UB for the WSOP main event didn’t come as a surprise, due to her agent and on/off boyfriend being closely associated with the UB brand. But after the flack she received for her choice, the long-term deal with UB is more than disappointing; it’s truly shocking. Despite the fact that she’s only 24-years old and excited to be on the poker scene in a bigger way, integrity and reputation should have played a bigger role in her decision. She knows better and is in touch enough with the media to know what the ramifications of this signing would be. Many in the media will not be kind, some mutual friends of ours have expressed sincere sadness for her choice, and UB itself may have a limited shelf life.

Personally, I wish she had made a different decision, as it is not pleasant to try to report this news and be fair when I feel that UB is such a bad place to be. The site has given me no reason to be confident that this will see a quick, thorough, or satisfying resolution, and seeing Tiffany willingly associated with that brand is more than disappointing.

8 Comments to “Tiffany Michelle Signs With UltimateBet”

  1. shronk

    Better than I could have said it … or, tried to say it. :/

  2. DanM

    Any word on how big of a deal we are talking about?

    We know she was looking at the low 7-figures at the tail end of the main event, so I’m thinking a low-low six figures worth of tournament buy-ins in Ultimate Bet uniform … but that’s just a wild-wild guess.

  3. California Jen

    Word from a party invitation is that it is a 6-figure deal.

  4. DanM

    ***Word from a party invitation ***

    Huh? Like she put it on a myspace bulletin or something? “Woo, come celebrate my $129,000 worth of buy-ins in partnership with Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke at the Roxy!”?

  5. California Jen

    A friend of hers sent MySpace invitations for a party to celebrate Tiffany’s WSOP success and her new UB deal. And in Tiffany’s forward of the invite, she mentioned a six-figure deal.

    Obviously, she’s not going to give an exact number.

  6. California Jen

    Shronk, not true. I’d like to reprint your letter, with your permission of course. You know Tiffany better than I do, and you said it best.

  7. BJ Nemeth

    *** We know she was looking at the low 7-figures at the tail end of the main event … ***

    Do we *know* that, or is that just coming from Tony G’s blog? Because I find his statement to be pretty unbelievable … that PokerStars would offer her a 7-figure contract regardless of how she finished in the Main Event.

    Sure, if she makes the final table, I think her deal is worth more than $1 million. But not for 17th place.

    We’ll never get confirmation from PokerStars on a deal that was never formally offered. I’m not calling Tony G a liar, but the business world is filled with huge deals that came close to finalizing — but didn’t.

    I think a more likely scenario is that Tiffany would have gotten a solid contract from PokerStars that included *incentives* that put the potential value up over the $1 million mark. And one of those incentives would have certainly been reaching the final table.

    Just as Tiffany was overwhelmed by the pressure of the final table, I’m sure Tony G’s discussions with PokerStars were packed with adrenaline. Time was of the essence, and PokerStars may have been willing to tease Tony G with all sorts of grandeur just to get Tiffany to the table.

  8. Mike G

    I understand why her doing so well in the main event is good for poker. But I’m already sick of her. Yeah ok so she’s a hot chick with some skills. If there weren’t so many middle aged white messy deuche bags in this game, her “attractive young woman” angle wouldn’t be so shocking and or remarkable.

    So glad she didn’t make it to the final table. I’m already wincing at how many times I’m going to have to hear that overly loud ESPN announcer say her name and vapidly express admiration for her performance.