Online Poker Poker Poker Pros — 19 April 2010

I thought it was a joke when I first saw it but it appears to be real, UltimateBet is pimping out their “pro” player Tiffany Michelle. This is one of those kinds of ideas that when you’re sitting around the room brainstorming a new promotion and someone suggests something like this according to Robert’s Rules of Order you can punch that guy in the face.

No offense to Tiffany Michelle but, really, other than her distinction as last woman standing at 2008 WSOP ME, she really has done almost nothing as a poker player. She’s another one of these people who call themselves “poker pros” but are more like poker celebrities. If TM had to get by on her poker winnings outside of her ME take (which, technically should have been split with Tony G since he fronted the cash) she would be in deep shit. According to the Hendon Mob database her lifetime winnings in live poker events come to a whopping $20,726 over four years (starting in 2006). After you subtract buy-ins for those events and that’s $9,776. That’s less than $2500 a year. You can’t even live in Thailand on that type of dough.

I don’t know, maybe she crushes the cash games or she’s killing some online tournaments. I doubt it but it’s possible. If it wasn’t for the fact that UB was paying her a nice salary and staking her in events she would be forced to get a real job.

Again, that’s nothing against Tiffany. Not everyone can make a living playing poker. In fact, very few people actually do. But UB took a flyer on her and figured that they could make some money having her affiliated with the brand. My guess is that this isn’t working out for them because when you get to the point of pimping out your poker pros on dates you’re pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of getting value out of the relationship. I mean, you never see A-list celebrities doing this kind of stuff. It’s the sort of thing relegated to that girl who appeared in Maxim two years ago and now works the auto-show circuit (or Tila Tequila). You don’t stick your brand ambassador out there to get people to sign up for a freeroll.

That’s just so . . . yuck!

Ship It Holla Ballas!

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Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.   Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.   "I like What Bill Rini said in his blog" - Doyle Brunson   "In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog." Daniel Negreanu   "Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry" - Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

(5) Readers Comments

  1. @ Bill Rini 04.19.10 at 10:47 pm

    I totally agree, this is just cheap ‘marketing’ ….

  2. Second prize is two dates with TM.

  3. I’m not a big believer in the “any press is good press” mantra. If you have an established brand and part of that brand relies on public trust . . . there can be bad press.

  4. Tacky and desperate? Yes. No doubt.

    Bad marketing? Hmm, not so sure about that. They got their brand on your blog :)

  5. Well, I did take G’s salt, so caveat emptor.

    TM never really makes it — even in the celeb category. As an interviewer, her shtick was to drape herself over the names like a $3 shawl. WSOP brought out the opportunistic side. UB’s probably trying to turn loss-loss into ho-hum before they dump her.