In what appears as a highly controversial sponsorship move pro poker player Tiffany Michelle the last woman standing in the WSOP 2008 main event has betrayed her event sponsor PokerNews and joined forces with UltimateBet. PokerNews had sponsored Tiffany Michelle's entries into several events at this year’s World Series yet Tiffany was seen sporting attire from Ultimate Bet's wardrobe on ESPN's featured table. She had reportedly signed a sponsorship deal contract with UltimateBet.
PokerNews Ltd Vice President Justin Robert Huxley had the following to say in a press release regarding the issue "While we welcome such sponsorship deals between online gaming operators and players, as a company we could see no reason as to why we were left out of such negotiations, especially considering the relationships that PokerNews has with all such entities. 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.
In fact, PokerNews was looking forward to and expected a large number of sponsorship offers from the world's biggest poker rooms – Tiffany's career was about to explode and we could not have been more proud for her. Therefore, we are incredibly disappointed with Tiffany and her agent's lack of respect and professionalism. We are currently seeking legal council on this entire situation and potential damages to PokerNews.
In regard to the Ultimate Bet and PokerNews relationship, Ultimate Bet has come under considerable scrutiny from the Poker Community for several scandals involving high-ranking employees and the use of defective software that allowed these users to see their opponent's hole cards. As a result of such breaches in the online communities trust, PokerNews has decided that it will no longer promote this site within its network"
Ultimatebet the headline seeker has done it yet again but have lost a great promotional source to their detriment in PokerNews, leaving one to ponder the timing of the move.