In a fun announcement video that doubled as an on-the-couch session of heads-up poker, GGPoker ‘s highest profile current Global Ambassador Daniel Negreanu announced his Canadian-Romanian compatriot Alexandra Botez, also known as the unofficial ‘Chess Queen’ as the brand’s latest acquisition.

From Chequered Board to Poker Felt

Over the past 18 months in particular, Alexandra Botez has pivoted an already stellar career in one game arena to another. Becoming one of the youngest female chess grandmasters in the world, Botez and her sister have pioneered chess content on YouTube in a unique style that used the springboard of interest in the game thanks to the Netflix drama The Queen’s Gambit to parlay chess content to millions.

Over 2.7 million subscribers on YouTube meant other games would come calling and so it proved. Poker was the destination for Botez and she excelled at it, crushing the first episode of the PokerStars Mystery Cash Challenge, where she successfully bluffed her poker hero, Maria Ho. No sooner had that thrill faded was Botez back at the felt, coming out on top of a Hustler Casino Live session as she cut her teeth further.

Botez is a fascinating character, on and off the felt. Born in Dallas, Texas, she attended Stanford University before streaming her journey to chess grandmaster, winning the 2022 Best Chess Streamer award. A year later, she was on the notorious Forbes Magazine ’30 Under 30’ list, a bona fide young star.

Botez Chess Piece
Could ‘Chess Queen’ Alexandra Botez become an important piece of poker’s future?

Kid Poker Welcomes the New Kid

Who better to introduce the newest member of GGPoker than the big cheese himself, Daniel Negreanu? Kid Poker welcomed the new kid by sitting down with Alexandra Botez and playing some poker. Despite being a big chess fan, the pair felt it was only right to sit at the poker table rather than the chequered board and Kid Poker handed out a lesson, winning inside the hour.

The game actually served as the perfect way to create a conversation around Botez and her personal history with the game. It turns out that Daniel Negreanu was something of a hero to Botez’s father when she was growing up. Given Negreanu’s crossover fascination with chess, it could be assumed that the Canadian All-Time Money List great is a genuine inspiration to Botez as a kind of father figure in the game.

With GGPoker and Poker After Dark collaboration Game of Gold Season 2 in the works, could Botez be an addition to the cast in Season 2? It would almost be a surprise if she wasn’t, with her millions of fans on YouTube only having to click on a close-by thumbnail to see their hero in the new series.

Bringing Botez into Season 2 seems a no-brainer, with her personality and growing reputation in the game something of a magnet for fans. Plenty of GGPoker ambassadors took part in the first series, including Negreanu of course, as well as Jason Koon and Fedor Holz.

Here’s the meeting of minds between Negreanu and Botez that formed the official GGPoker announcement:

The Sky is the Limit

The signing of Botez as a GGPoker Global Ambassador is a major announcement and on the back of her strong cash game and tournament poker showings, her future in poker looks extremely bright.

What’s on the menu for the months coming up? Well, the chess grandmaster could hardly have signed at a better time, with a few warm-up events acting as great preparation for the forthcoming 55th Annual World Series of Poker. Botez is sure to be playing a plethora of the 99 WSOP events taking place in Las Vegas this summer. Could she win a bracelet? We wouldn’t put it past her.

Over the past few years, Alexandra Botez has been at the forefront of the strategic symphony of chess and poker. Following her signing to GGPoker, we expect to see her at the poker felt much more over the coming months and years. Perhaps, just as in chess, the queen will turn out to be the most powerful piece on the board.

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Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide. 

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