GGPoker has been occupying the poker headlines over the past few weeks because of its massive tournament offerings. More recently, it has generated quite a huge buzz once again, but for a different reason. The online poker site has just announced the latest addition to its roster of ambassadors – no other than internet celebrity Dan Bilzerian.
GGPoker will try to take advantage of the high-stakes player’s massive following on social media to reach more customers, but within the poker community, the decision is being considered a bad move. This is mainly because of Bilzerian’s reputation for being a millionaire playboy, and his behavior towards women, as shown by his outrageous antics on social media and the past controversies he’d been involved in.
Female Poker Players Criticize GGPoker for Signing Bilzerian
Right after GGPoker announced that Dan Bilzerian would become their newest brand ambassador, the poker community reacted but not in a way the operator would have wanted. The female poker players in particular have hit out at the online poker site for signing a “misogynist”.
On Twitter, Dr. Alexandra Chauran, a second-generation fortune teller and a poker player herself, said GGPoker appeared to “aggressively avoid” women representation in their ambassadorship.
Currently, the brand is being represented by an elite all-male line up, which includes Daniel Negreanu, Fedor Holz, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, and Felipe Ramos. Even the GGSquad are all male.
Some female players agreed to Chauran, including Julie Bonnett who said GGPoker made a “horrifying” decision signing Bilzerian to represent the brand.
Other Twitter users couldn’t help but raise the previous controversies involving Bilzerian and random girls. The 40-year-old made headlines back in 2014 when he threw a naked porn star off the roof of his Hollywood mansion. The woman, Janice Griffith, ended up with a fractured foot and eventually sued Bilzerian for damages. Prior to that, the self-described “venture capitalist” also faced a lawsuit for kicking a woman in the face in a Miami nightclub.
Bilzerian Responds to Critic Calling Her a “Hoe”
GGPoker’s Twitter post about signing Bilzerian has been flooded with different reactions, but one striking comment caught the 40-year-old’s attention. Poker player Vanessa Kade said she does not agree with Bilzerian being validated to represent the game. She said GGPoker’s move to hire Bilzerian as brand ambassador makes her become less proud of being a poker player.
Kade went on to say that even when looking for someone to date, she makes sure that person isn’t one of Bilzerian’s followers. She said Bilzerian tries to make himself look cool at the expense of women.
An obviously irked Bilzerian called Kade a “hoe” and suggested that she’s just a nobody.
Many believe Bilzerian’s negative image will impact how GGPoker markets itself to players around the world. This runs in contrast to Negreanu’s opinion. Welcoming Dan Bilzerian to Team GGPoker, the Poker Hall of Famer said the decision is a “huge win” for the online poker operator.
Negreanu wasn’t spared of the criticism on Twitter. The Canadian poker pro has always been considered as one of those “wholesome” poker ambassadors out there and the thought of him partnering with Bilzerian whose character is a polar opposite, is difficult to accept for some. One user said it just goes to show that money beats morals.
Publicity is Important in Marketing
However, despite all the criticism, some also acknowledge the fact that publicity, good or bad, plays a crucial role in marketing strategies. The more a person makes noise, the more attention he gets, and the more followers he attracts.
One Twitter user cited Howard Stern as an example. He is hated by many but has a lot of followers who listen to him. This could be the principle behind GGPoker’s decision to sign a highly controversial figure to represent the brand as it looks to grow its player base globally.

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