A week ago, few poker fans had ever heard of Bart Tichelman, a CEO and fairly successful amateur poker player who once won a World Series of Poker Circuit event. But he’s now connected to one of the most sensational crimes in the world through his daughter, Alix.
Alix Tichelman was charged with manslaughter last week in connection with the death of Forrest Tim Hayes, an executive at Google. According to police, Tichelman allegedly injected Hayes with heroin and left him to die on his yacht last November. Police say she neither provided first aid nor called for help after Hayes began to overdose on the drugs.
Charges Include Drugs, Prostitution and Manslaughter
Tichelman, who has an active social media presence and models under the pseudonym AK Kennedy, is also allegedly a high-end prostitute. Police were able to arrest her after luring her to a Santa Cruz hotel by claiming that a rich client was willing to pay her $1,000 for sex. She was arraigned in Santa Cruz Superior Court last week, where in addition to the manslaughter charge, Tichelman also faced charges related to prostitution, the possession and administration of drugs, and destroying evidence.
Tichelman is alleged to have injected Hayes with heroin on his yacht, the “Escape,” on the night of November 23, 2013. Police identified her from security footage, which allegedly showed Alix packing syringes into a bag and drawing a window blind to look in on Hayes. She was also seen stepping over his body before having a glass of wine.
That glass proved critical in identifying Tichelman, as police were able to lift fingerprints from it. Alix’s distinctive tattoos were also visible on the footage, where they could be matched to her many selfies on social media sites.
Considering the circumstances of Hayes’ death, it’s possible that Tichelman could eventually face murder charges as well.
“If the evidence shows that murder can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then we’ll certainly evaluate that when it’s presented,” said Rafael Vazquez, the prosecutor on the case. “She knew the act was dangerous to human life and she acted deliberately and in conscious disregard for human life.”
Daughter of Poker Player Bart Tichelman
Alix is the daughter of Bart Tichelman, CEO of the Internet data center company SynapSense. In the world of poker, he’s best known for winning a 2008 World Series of Poker Circuit event in Tunica, which earned him a prize of $425,595. He most recently scored a cash in the 2014 WSOP, when he finished in 736th place in Event #51, which took place in late June. Overall, he has earned $433,663 in career winnings.
Alix’s problems may extend beyond Hayes’ death as well. According to reports, police have now reopened the investigation into the death of Tichelman’s former lover, Dean Riopelle. The Atlanta club owner died just two months before Hayes under similar circumstances, dying of a heart attack after an overdose in September 2013. Riopelle and Tichelman dated for about two and a half years, often sharing photos of themselves with Riopelle’s monkeys on social media sites.
Tichelman has not yet entered a plea in connection with the charges against her. She is being represented by attorney Diana August, who has not commented on the case at this time.