Raise/Reraise: Tiffany Michelle on ESPN

The Poker Version of Point/Counterpoint

by , Nov 3, 2008 | 4:56 pm

Tiffany Michelle was the subject of much controversy over the summer when she signed a WSOP main event sponsorship deal with UltimateBet and incurred the wrath of Tony G and PokerNews in the process. There were several sides to that story, which consisted of a response from Tiffany and a personal account/semi-truce from Tony G.

Less than a month later, Tiffany signed a longer-term deal with UB. That spurred some talk within the poker community, but she is in the news again, this time as a result of her actions at the WSOP main event as chronicled by ESPN. The most talked-about incident involved her calling the clock on an opponent, during a hand of which she was not a part, and the criticism she received from Craig Marquis. If you haven’t seen it, here ya go, with the hand in question at the beginning of the video:

Evidently, Tiffany received some not-so-cutesy messages from people after the show aired, and she responded with a post on her website, MySpace, and 2+2. In essence, she blamed television editing, the fact that she’s a female, and the non-understanding people have of her and her poker game for the hubbub. To see the entire message, as posted on her website, click here.

In response to the post on 2+2 by Tiffany of the above-mentioned message, Craig Marquis called her disrespectful and rude. To see his short and not-sweet forum comment, click here.

Another perspective on Tiffany’s general demeanor at the WSOP main event was posted by F-Train, wherein he called her self-impressed and noted that as a tournament reporter, he was not a fan. For the post, click here.

The Poker King also had a few things to say about Tiffany by calling her out for general bad behavior and opining that her hype-train is now nothing more than smoldering wreckage. The entire opinion post can be found by clicking here.

While this is certainly not the biggest of controversies to hit the poker community, it has several interesting sides to it.

20 Comments to “Raise/Reraise: Tiffany Michelle on ESPN”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    Ivan Demidov on Tiffany (from an ESPN.com chat earlier today):

    Brian: What are your thoughts on Tiffany Michelle? Is she as much of a B*tch at the table as everybody says?

    SportsNation Ivan Demidov: I don’t really like her. I know that when I played with her at the same table she was pretty rude to everyone and she thought too highly of herself. At the same time, she really had no idea of what she made a certain move. If you check to her on the turn, there was almost a 100% chance she would bet. She really is not a good poker player and she was lucky to get so deep.

  2. Kevin Mathers

    BTW, LOL on breaking out the “editing” excuse on Tiffany, an actress and poker reporter. Mean Gene’s blog on UB mentioned that Tiffany didn’t really touch her food after others at the table were ragging on her. And I’m pretty sure you and/or Dan would have better knowledge of this, but it looks like Tiffany didn’t get those fries out of the “Poker Kitchen”.

  3. DanM

    I don’t think many of the haters are being fair to Tiffany Michelle. I thought she came across pretty good on TV … young, sassy, and confident … clearly comfortable in front of the camera. What’s wrong with that?

    At the same time, as far as her play … it’s unfortunate that her last day are what everyone has to really look at. IMHO, Tony Gee and his minions had finally pushed her over the edge, and she had her worst day. Instead of coaching and inner yoga-peace, she was being pulled every which way by agents, online site representatives, PokerNews thugs, Annie Duke, yadda yadda. Some were there to help her, others were looking out for interests far beyond her Day 6 chipstack.

    Do you realize what an influx of young, sassy, plausibly attractive chicks would be coming into poker had she made the final table?

    Russ Hamilton may be the biggest cheater/criminal in poker history.

    But Tony Gee might deserve the title as biggest cockblock in poker history.

  4. DanM

    OK, yikes, just watched the vid.

    Wow. Not nice. But kinda like the bitchy, no?

    Here’s the thing … it’s part of the pressure of playing in Day 6. You have tons of decisions to make day after day after day, not all of them even related to your hand. And that’s part of the challenge. Phil Hellmuth blew up, after all, deep in the tourney. (Hey, maybe that’s what UB players all have in common! They occasionally come across in high-pressure situations as self-absorbed pricks! Whatever it takes to win, baby!)

    So regardless of coolness of the clock-calling move, what really happened there is she had made a small bad decision (when she still had plenty of chips) and suddenly turned the whole table against her. That clearly had to change the rest of her tourney at that table … and yet it absolutely has everything to do with the tournament and prize at hand.

    This kinda mis-play is exactly what makes this shit interesting to watch on TV. I’m not talking about playing up to the cameras a la Humberto … but this wasn’t acting, Hellmuth’s blowup wasn’t acting, and that European dude who got warned about string betting … you know the dude who could hardly understand the English he may or may not have been being berated in, and then started pushing all-in with any-two-cards?

    I think ESPN’s coverage has been great … but they seem to be missing one level of highest-stakes, monster-field tournament competition here … and that’s simply the challenge of keeping your head on totally straight and mistake-free — day after day after day after day (x6), level after level after level … with only a few breaks mixed in. These decisions and voluntary and involuntary moves sometimes have nothing to with the cards, and yet still, they have everything to do with action to come.

  5. Kevin Mathers

    I’m sure some people at the table had it out for her well before her calling the clock moment. I didn’t see anyone else in the final 27 call the clock when they weren’t in a hand. She was trying to be sassy, but she went way overboard with it.

    The Russian guy who pulled the string bet was later dropping racial slurs (in Russian). If you watched the coverage, you’ll note they were beeping out some of what he was saying.

  6. DanM

    I did notice. It was a textbook example of super-duper-tilt, I thought. Why did it happen, though … that suddenly a dude’s ugliest, self-destructive inner self emerged at a time when so much was at stake?

  7. California Jen

    I’m sure that there were a lot of factors in play…with Tiffany and the Russian. Not only is it a highly stressful situation with tons of money at stake, but television cameras and microphones are in your face, people might be heckling from the rail or cheering for your opponents, and hunger and exhaustion set in. And TV editing does play a role in what we see on ESPN.

    I’m trying desperately not to take sides here, but the one thing that surprises me the most is that Tiffany didn’t realize how she looked to everyone around her. She spent so much time interviewing players on video (and watching those videos, I assume), and she’s been on camera before as an actress. I thought she would have been more aware and cautious. But on the other hand, she really did have a lot of stresses at the time and got caught up in the “fame.”

  8. DanM

    ***Tiffany didn’t realize how she looked to everyone around her***

    After watching so much politics lately, I’m not so sure I’d want the characters in poker to be so scripted. Poker is what it is, man! And it brings out the best and worst in us all … sometimes with aggession, focus, and wile-skills gone awry. That’s why we watch/play!


  9. Kevin Mathers

    Speaking of Ultimate Bet, refunds were supposed to start today, but didn’t. Looks like the Excapsa v Blast-Off settlement hasn’t been completed yet, but they are scheduled to start refunds by the end of the week.

    However if you can wade thru the stuff at http://www.wsbg.com/en/liquidation.html and http://tinyurl.com/excapsa you’ll have a really good post.

    Some Cliff Notes (as I understand them) – Purchase price drops to $81.4m, approx. $15m more due in UB refunds to players, Russ Hamilton’s ~4.3 million shares in Excapsa stock have been cancelled (among other stuff)

  10. Harris

    I just finished watching tonights mini WSOP marathon on ESPN which was the last four episodes leading up to the final table. I’m not sure that I have a problem with Tiffany calling the clock. I would be very interesed in knowing how long Snead actually took before Tiffany called clock on him. When I play if I feel a player is taking and excessive amount of time I will tell them that they have taken a long time but out of respect I’m not yet going to call the clock. The usual response I recieve is a ‘go ahead and call the clock I don’t care’ at which time other players at the table join my cause and another brave player calls clock and I’m off the hook as being the bad guy. However, in this situation I think Tiffany might have taken a calculated risk. Calling the clock on Snead has the possibility of accomplishing two things that are very good for her. #1) It forces Snead to act and possibly make a wrong decision. #2) It will most likely upset him, possibly put him on tilt causing him to lose the rest of his chips later. The fact that Tiffany was on his left is all the more reason to try and put him on tilt. You hear it all the time, your not at the table to make friends and I think this is a perfect example of a time when you want the other players at the table to know your their enemy and your coming after their chips any way you can.

  11. Karridy

    I, too, can’t say that I think it was terrible to do. I don’t know if I would have done it. But if I later got hit by a blind that made “the difference”, I would have wished like hell that I DID call clock.

    With so many other reasons to not like her, I think we’ve officially covered this one to complete satisfaction.

  12. b johnson


  13. DanM

    I think Tiff was just on tilt. (I think I can call her that because I am backhandedly semi-defending her.)

    But still … 50 big blinds? I’d think you might just want that dude to take a half hour if he so desires.

    The only thing I can think is that they were getting very near the end of the level, and she wanted to get her blind in before they went up.

  14. ben matlock


    I think you are a little “off” on this one. Putting your opponent on tilt is one thing, but doing it in that fashion is completely unacceptable. SHE WASN’T IN THE HAND and had ZERO business calling the clock.

    I can tell you this much: I wish Snead would have folded and then ANYTIME she was in a hand, he would call clock on her. EVERY DAMN TIME. B johnson got it right. She is one. A stuck up little cunt.

  15. DanM

    ***With so many other reasons to not like her***

    So strong means weak, Karridy. All it would take is one joke about your voice and you’d so leave your family and ask her for a BTT intro.

  16. Harris

    Ben, I agree there are other ways to put your opponent on tilt but I think a lot of those are dirty and unethical, al-la Phil Hellmuth. I think what he did is far and away much worse than Tiffany calling clock. Again, we don’t know exactly how long he was taking, if it had been a significant amount of time she was perfectly in her right to call the clock, regardless of whether she was in the hand or not. Without all the facts it’s hard to pass judgement.

    On a side note, have you met Tiffany? Have you or b johnson met her? It seems to me that calling someone the word the two of you have used is way out of line. Not only is it disrespectful to her but I think it’s disrespectful to Pokerati and its readers to use that kind of language in an open forum.

  17. DanM

    ***it’s disrespectful to Pokerati and its readers to use that kind of language in an open forum.***

    yeah, bitches!

  18. ben matlock

    I’m from England. We use that word all the time. Okay, I’m not really from England, but they use that word all the time. But seriously, I just can’t stand her attitude. The Miss I’m Hot Shit. And, if you go on ESPN under their poker tab and read the blogs of the November Nine, you’ll find out that many of the players, while not using the same terminology I have, would agree.

    She’s a typical celebrity wanna-be that has no clue how people perceive her. She falsely believes that she’s the life of the party…when in reality people can’t stand her shitty attitude. And while she’s at it, why doesn’t she wear more rings on her finger? 8 isn’t enough?

  19. California Jen

    Yikes, I didn’t intend for this to get so vicious.

  20. COUGAR