Michele Clayborne Could Still See Error of Her Ways as Full Tilt Poker Falls

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Full Tilt Poker

Like that gun-toting anchor on Libyan television news who found herself apprehended by the rebels as Tripoli began to fall, Full Tilt Poker press agent Michele Clayborne could also see the error of her ways. 

Ms. Clayborne is widely viewed by many in the online poker community as a propaganda tool for Full Tilt Poker, a company that was shut down June 29.  FTP is yet to pay customers since that time.  US players have been waiting since April 15 for payment.  That is when the US Justice Department indicted two founders of the company, charging them with money laundering and bank fraud.  The two individuals, Ray Bitar and Nelson Burtnick, are currently evading US law enforcement and could be captured soon.

Clayborne, who is not named in any complaint, is being compared to Libyan news anchor/presenter Hala Misrati.  Ms. Misrati assured Libyans that the stronghold of Tripoli would not be taken over by the Transitional National Counsel, insisting all was well and citizens of Libya’s largest city should stand up and fight to the death.  Misrati waved a pistol on air.

"With this weapon, I either kill or die today," Misrati said.  "You will not take al-Libiyah channel. You won't take Jamahiriyah channel, Shababiyah channel, Tripoli or all of Libya, and even those without a weapon are willing to be a shield in order to protect their colleagues at this channel. We are willing to become martyrs."

Not that Clayborne ever insisted Full Tilt Poker players should become martyrs for the disgraced online poker firm.  They practically are martyrs by default.  Many chose to continue playing on the site long after it was well known Full Tilt had not paid back any US customers. 

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We were reminded of Michele Clayborne, the propoganda mouthpiece for Full Tilt Poker after seeing this newscast on Libyan TV this past week


Clayborne did, for a good month following the initial indictments, assume the identity of a former trusted male representative of FTP on posting forums.  Taking on the persona of “FTPDoug”, Clayborne assured customers all was well at Full Tilt Poker and that funds would be available shortly.  In this way, she was widely viewed as a propaganda tool for the company.  More than four months later, there are no indications that anyone is about to get paid.

And now Clayborne may soon be in the same boat. Chris Porter, a Full Tilt Poker team pro manager, has resigned from the company, or has otherwise been released, according to Quadjacks.com.  His resignation comes soon after a number of high ranking defections.  Clayborne is believed to still be employed by Full Tilt Poker. 

Unfortunately for Clayborne, she may have a tough time finding work at another company as a public relations specialist the same way Ms. Misrati probably won’t be hired as a news anchor in Libya any time soon. 

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“She burned a lot of bridges,” noted Gambling911.com Senior Editor Payton O’Brien. 

Clayborne notably prevented Gambling911.com from gaining access to any of the Full Tilt Poker pros after her demand to remove an article was refused.  She had a fit and lashed out at beloved G911 reporter Jenny Woo, who was slated to interview FTP pro Patrik Antonius.

“YOU WILL NEVER INTERVIEW ANOTHER FULL TILT PRO EVER AGAIN!” she snarled, viciously and unforgiving as if believing she was the exalted one when in fact she was but a mere servant for an enterprise accused by the US Justice Department of laundering millions of dollars.   They allege in a complaint that FTP disguised gambling transactions as purchases of dog food and golf balls while utilizing a small Utah-based bank they reportedly “invested” in. 

“With any luck, those looking to hire Michele Clayborne won’t Google her name,” O’Brien said.

Aside from her own LinkedIn profile, a number of other high ranking searches that follow are pretty damning.

The former Vice President of the prestigious publicity firm Fleishman Hillard International Communications, Clayborne is likely still employable despite the ironic bad press attached to her name.

“If anything she comes across as loyal,” O’Brien noted.  “That’s a good trait that employers look for. “

Still, that may not be enough.   Potential employers could see her as carrying a lot of baggage.  They know there is a good chance that clients will Google her name.

One Google search for “Michele Clayborne” from CardKing.info reads:

At a time when Full Tilt is mired in controversy, they've called on Michele Clayborne to do their dirty work

Common misspellings of the name also yield undesirable results. 

“Once freed from the clutch of Full Tilt Poker, Michele Clayborne should find the error of her ways,” O’Brien predicts.  “It would be great to some day see search results come up that read ‘Michele Clayborne Apologizes for Error in Judgment’.

After all, the Libyan rebels did forgive Hala Misrati, ultimately releasing the gun-toting anchor.

If a woman of power can be forgiven for inciting her fellow countrymen and women to kill, Michele Clayborne can certainly be forgiven for making Jenny Woo cry. 

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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