It seems that online poker site UltimateBet.com has had the last word in its sponsorship dispute with Poker News over actress and WSOP Main Event player Tiffany Michelle (24). The poker company has announced that Michelle has agreed to join its Star Players Team.
The two companies and Michelle tangled over a World Series of Poker sponsorship issue earlier this (July) month that resulted in Poker News vowing no longer to promote the poker website.
Michelle, a poker-playing Los Angeles actress who has been a poker broadcast host on the Internet for PokerNews.com and radio, was eliminated in 17th place in the 39th WSOP Main Event, taking home $334 534 for her time and trouble. Poker News subsequently issued a statement accusing Michelle of breaking faith on her sponsorship deal with the company and revealing that it was considering legal action.
Justin Robert Huxley, the PokerNews Ltd Vice President, claimed that a few days into the Main Event, several media outlets published reports and images showing Michelle 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," Huxley claimed.
"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," he added.
In her riposte, Michelle appeared unrepentant, saying: “In the end, I completely stand by my decision and feel that UltimateBet was the one site that treated me with the respect and dignity deserving of someone in my stressful situation. Throughout the whole event they were insisting on wanting me to just concentrate on my play and were clear that the decision in the end was mine and I should do what I felt was best for me.”
Michelle was welcomed into the UltimateBet fold by international poker pro and UB consultant Annie Duke, who said: "From Hollywood to Vegas, Tiffany Michelle is a rising star in so many extraordinary ways. We're thrilled to be able to bring such a talented force on board."