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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | Poker Personalities

The Round Table – Tiffany Michelle Making it through the Main

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She is well known for her on camera interviews with all of the poker players on, but now she is the one being interviewed. Tiffany Michelle talks about her experiences in the Main Event on the dinner break of day 4.

I can’t believe I have made it through the field so far but before the Main Event started I was talking to someone who said something that got into my head. They said someone has to win and so it made it seem possible for the first time that yeah, players can get through and players cash and players make a final table. So, who is to say it’s not going to be me.

I have always thought what impossible odds to make it through the field and so I have never along the way gotten ahead of myself, it is just playing one day at a time. I have had to fight every single day in this tournament. I have never, besides early day 2, been in a comfortable chip position. I have always been under average for the most part. I have always been fighting; I have always been scraping by. It has been exhausting, but at the same time it’s been rewarding for me to see myself doing so well. I think it is easy to just have the chip lead and sit there but I have actually had to work, be patient and make good plays and I have had to play well. I am not letting it sink in yet, where I am at.

I have had three key hands throughout this tournament so far. The first day I pulled a major bluff. I knew day 1 I just wanted to play crazy tight, which actually works because people just donk themselves out of the tournament on day 1. I did get involved in one hand where I had 6-3 off suit and there was this one guy that I had a good read on and I knew I could play him a certain way and I knew I had a certain amount of respect. We end up playing to the river and I pushed out a huge bet that if I lose I am down to about 5000 chips. He ended up folding and that was the first key hand. I actually sat there and realized that if I lost that hand right there, that was my tournament. That was the first level of day 1, so I took a huge pot down with a bluff and then tightened up the rest of the day.

Day 2 I lost like 80,000 in chips when my aces got tangled with a guy who calls me preflop with Q-10. Someone raised to 2000 preflop, one guy called [Tony Antonious], and I reraised to 10,000. The original raiser folded and the other guy called. The flop came 2h-7h-10h. He led out for like 16,000 and I shoved all in. He called and turned over Qh-10c. Then the turn was a 10d and the river a Qc. That was a key hand for a negative reason. It was sick. He calls my reraise preflop with Q-10 and the flop is just 10 high. I played it strong all the way and push and he calls.

I think one thing I am really good at in poker is not tilting and not getting emotional. I see a lot of guys who can’t control their emotions and get crazy and as a girl, surprisingly and also as a poker player, I am really good at any point along the way I just tell myself, ok you just sat down and started playing and that’s kind of what I do. Regardless of how big or small my chip stack is I just mentally reset and then you can only go from there. I have to bitch at players all the time to let it go, brush it off and it’s done. People want to sit down and talk about it and live in the past and it’s just so pointless to me, it doesn’t make any sense.

I sat there and got a lot of texts from people who saw the hand online, Kirk Morrison sent me a text, the Lawsons sent me a text, I got so many texts from people just telling me to brush it off, it’s a huge bad beat but don’t even go there. I just kind of walked it off. Jennifer Harman was a table away from me and she said, ‘Honey, don’t even let it get to you.’ That was really helpful to me, so many people understanding your pain but then also encouraging you not to do it. Jeff Lisandro had given me some good advice early, he said no matter what happens, especially if you lose a big pot or have a bad beat sit out for a hand or two and he told me if you still have chips you still have a chance. Really there have been so many little key lines and thoughts that have kept me in the tournament all along. I just have to think oh, duh at any point I still have a shot!

I played a tournament about a month ago at the Hustler where I played short stack the entire tournament and I made the final table. It just gave me so much hope that you can final table when you have played a short stack the entire tournament. I sat there and I was like I still have a shot. I don’t have any excuse to play bad now and I resisted the urge to do anything stupid and sat out for awhile. Everyone’s encouragement was really helpful, in addition to the fact that I don’t know how as poker players we don’t get this - if you have chips you have a shot. It’s not done but people end their tournaments after bad beats. They decide I’m done and I’m going to ship it.

All along the way I have just been chipping up, chipping up, playing slow, playing patient, waiting for hands and then the only two other key hands would be on day 3, I was getting short close to the bubble and I get all my money in with K-Q versus queens and I hit my king on the flop. Sorry for that guy, that sucked.

I guess K-Q is my hand because on day 4 I had K-Q against Hevad Khan’s nines. I was again under average and I ended up taking him out of the tournament with that hand. I knew sitting down, and someone actually said to me about Hevad, there goes your big blind, because he was two to my right. I knew he was going to be aggressive.

He raised on the button every time so I folded once in my big but then the second time I folded I said, ‘Buddy don’t think you are going to do that again.’ The third time he does it I reraise him and actually there was one other hand where I actually played back at him and he folded. The nines hand I raise under the gun and he reraises me but it was weird, he used all yellow chips and put out a huge tower so it looked like a huge raise but when I asked the dealer to count it down it was a min raise from my raise. I’m looking down at K-Q, I know it’s not a great call but at the same time I have to at least see a flop and call the min raise. The flop comes down Q-4-7 all hearts and I have the king of hearts. I checked and he shoves all in. I think about it and obviously I have top pair and the heart draw so I call and he had pocket nines with the nine of hearts. Hevad was playing so much and so crazy that I just knew he was going to overplay and was bound to get caught.

I have been all in maybe twice. I am just picking my spots and playing really good and really patient.

I think what has really helped me as a poker player came from 2006 when I did Sirius satellite radio. Being on air all day and having everyone’s voices, Negreanu, Gordon, Brunson, everyone’s mouth in my ear because I had headsets on all day, which was a huge help for me, to hear them talking about stuff. Playing online, you just see so many hands, you get adjusted to the beast of poker and you kind of know what to expect. Everyone says it, but you do get so much experience there.

**At the time this was posted Tiffany Michelle was 14 out of 115 players remaining with 2.1 million in chips. 6844 players entered the 2008 WSOP Main Event.

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