The Grand National Championships

July 13, 2008

There are plenty in this world whom would wish this poker fad dead…

And I can’t say that I would blame them. Television poker holds minimal appeal. Many of the biggest names are personal as well as professional degenerates. And after Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet allowed for superuser accounts, you cannot say that online poker isn’t rigged.

Sidebar: Of all the crap things ESPN has done recently, allowing ads from these sites is one of the worst.

But anyway? We’re talking about things that would be good for poker, right? Well, there are 79 players left in this years WSOP. And while there are your professionals that you’ve heard of (Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth; both shortstacked), and professionals you haven’t (David Rheem and Brandon Cantu; both chip healthy). there’s really only one name that could be a shock to pokers system.

That is Tiffany Michelle. She is 5th place in chips to start the day. She is one of many aspiring Hollywood triple threats. But that’s beside the point. The female poker player is a rare bird indeed. Most of them that you know about come from failing movie careers. There are talented professionals, but at this point they are all knocked out.

Tiffany Michelle is a young, attractive female who, if she can survive until early Tuesday morning, will goose the game’s numbers back up. A female Moneymaker if you will. Not to say that it might not be an artifical bump, the social skills of many poker dudes can be nascent at best. But the fact of the matter is this…

From late tomorrow night, the final table doesn’t play down until November. It may be gimmickry, it may be artifical, but like any reality show, there will be television time for every contestant who wants it. And Miss Michelle is an aspiring dual threat, right? So she will be going for the brass ring if she gets there.

And with quotes like this?

“Yesterday I was at Hevad Khan’s table and he asked me if I paid $180,000 to start playing on Day 4. He was surprised that I made it this far. I told him that I blew a lot of guys to get my way in.”

You don’t think she’ll be the spunky female ambassador for poker if she can get there?

UPDATE: Coming out of the dinner break with 44 players left, Tiffany Michelle is 4th in Chips. Brandon Cantu is 3rd. And Mike Matusow? He’s 17th.

UPDATE II: Tiffany Michelle up to 7.3 million in chips. Brandon Cantu is YOUR chip leader. And Mike Matusow? He’s 16th.

UPDATE III: ESPN execs are praying for a Tiffany Michelle final table. Is the fix in? Maybe not, but Matusow is out in 30th.

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