Vanessa Kade’s strong criticism against GGPoker for hiring Dan Bilzerian as a brand ambassador has backfired on her. Three months following her Twitter rants against the online poker operator, Kade was informed her affiliate account with the site was being officially terminated.
Back in December 2020, GGPoker added Bilzerian to its roster of ambassadors, which include top pros Daniel Negreanu and Fedor Holz. That decision did not sit well especially with the female poker community, considering Bilzerian’s reputation as a “playboy” who constantly disrespects women.
Bilzerian, a self-proclaimed “King of Instagram”, likes to showcase his lavish lifestyle for the world to see – he hangs out with famous celebrities, with his riches and prized material possessions always on display. He is often accompanied by a group of half-naked women willing to give him whatever he wants.
The 40-year-old first caught the attention of the poker world via a looped video taken from the 2013 World Series of Poker in Vegas. He appeared on the footage watching the game with a young woman stroking his beard. That video went viral and since then Bilzerian became a popular figure in high-stakes games.
While he is essentially an amateur poker player, he claims that he has won more than most of the top poker pros out there. He also said he earned $10 million playing the game in a single night, and earned $50 million playing poker in just one year. It still remains to be seen whether there’s truth to any of these claims.
Poker Doesn’t Need Misogynists
GGPoker’s decision to sign Dan Bilzerian may have shocked the poker world, but the site could be more focused on the business side of things. Bilzerian has millions of followers on social media – over 30 million on Instagram.
That massive following will help GGPoker reach a wider audience and introduce the game to more people, leading to more growth. But for the critics, including Kade, that move was a huge step backwards.
According to Kade, Bilzerian’s misogynistic character makes him unfit to promote a game which, over the years, has been struggling to attract more female players because of its male-dominated nature. Kade believes GGPoker made the wrong decision partnering with a “sleazy, sexist tool”.
Kade’s tweet came to Bilzerian’s attention, and the 40-year-old fired a short, insulting reply: “Quiet hoe, nobody knows who you are”.
The Punishment – Kade’s Affiliate Account Terminated
That didn’t stop Kade from continuing to criticize GGPoker and Bilzerian, clueless about the potential outcome of her comments. This week, the Canadian poker pro took to Twitter once again to reveal that her affiliate account with GGPoker was terminated because of his December tweets lashing out at GGPoker for signing a misogynist.
Kade received the bad news right as everyone was celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.
A GGPoker employee named “Rachel” sent Kade a direct message to tell her that the site was terminating its affiliate partnership with the Canadian poker pro. It was a straightforward message, not written in corporate form. Rachel also went on to belie Kade’s accusations, saying GGPoker fully supports and respects women, based on her personal experience working for the company.
The GGPoker representative said Kade’s comments were “inaccurate and offensive” to everyone working at the site, especially the female employees. In her reply, Kade reiterated his disappointment at GGPoker, and said she knew some female friends working for the company, and they said that the site treats women badly.
Kade also revealed that she was no longer promoting her affiliate link since 2019 and had since been getting only passive income from it. Kade said GGPoker’s only means of punishing her was terminating that account, and now they made it happen. She described GGPoker’s move as a “very slippery slope”.
Kade shared her conversation with the GGPoker representative on Twitter and so far most of the comments supported Kade. One user said the online poker site hired Bilzerian just because of his popularity.