Sexy EPT presenter Michelle Orpe: How I partied with Liv Boeree
But blonde bombshell Michelle Orpe admits she had to fight to be taken seriously when she started out in the testosterone-fuelled sport.
She began her TV career on Channel 5's Rem Con Raiders and European Drag Racing, and was then offered a presenting role on Sky's hugely popular Poker Night Live.
There was only one problem - Michelle had never played the game, sparking a backlash from cynical male fans of the cult show.
She said: ''Even before I'd started, some fans began an on-line campaign called Get Rid Of The Dumb Blonde.
''But I told them that the whole idea was that I'd be learning how to play from the poker experts on the show, advice they could benefit from too.
''I also issued a challenge to them: come back in three months and take me on in a tournament.
''Many did just that in a Beat the Presenter competition - and I managed to win 60 per cent of the matches!''
Michelle, an extreme sports nut, became the face of the PokerStars sponsored European Poker Tour last year and travels all over the continent covering events. She hosts every episode, conducts every interview and performs all the voice overs.
''I admit it's a very glamourous job, as I've been to 11 countries in the last 10 months,'' she said.
''But I see more of the airports than the cities I'm in to be honest - although the after-event shows are always a blast.''
Last month, Michelle had one hell of a blast after sexy pal Liv Boeree won £1 million by clinching the EPT San Remo title.
She said: ''Liv is one of my best mates and I was so happy to be there in San Remo when she won. She played incredibly well and it's fair to say things got a little messy at her celebration party!''
This weekend Michelle is in Nottingham presenting the PokerStars UK and Ireland Poker Tour event at the Dusk Till Dawn Casino. She tried her hand at the £500 Main Event but was dumped out on the first day after running bad, while holding pocket Jacks and AK.
Michelle is taking part in a women's only tournament tonight - and is due to compete in a celebrity bounty event on Sunday, starting at 1.30pm. Entry is £50, with a £300 price tag on the head of every celeb.
''Nottingham's Dawn Till Dusk is an amazing venue,'' she said. ''It's not only the best venue in the UK, but probably in Europe.''
For more information on the PokerStars UK and Ireland Poker Tour, including details on its next destination, visit www.pokerstars.com/ukipt
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