GGPoker have been called “cowards” and “embarrassing” after revealing that serial misogynist Dan Bilzerian is still a partner, just weeks after the online poker site removed his profile to boost their image on International Women’s Day…
We got slowrolled. https://t.co/D9Txhnymnk
— 🃏 David Lappin 🃏 (@dklappin) March 23, 2022
Bilzerian’s signing as an ambassador for GGPoker has been a headline-maker for all the wrong reasons.
The self-proclaimed poker god not only kicked off his tenure (as opposed to kicking a model off a roof) with a dig at Canada’s Vanessa Kade, but also refusing to face the female winner of a Birthday Bash tournament held in his honour, Alex O’Brien.
English amateur O’Brien was instead offered a $10k battle with Kade by ACR, who had offered the Canadian a pro sponsorship (now ended) in the wake of her calling out the GGPoker/Bilzerian coupling. In revenge for standing up to them, Kade had her affiliate status removed by GGPoker on International Women’s Day 2021.
One year later and it appeared that GGPoker had finally come to its senses, with news breaking on 8th March, International Women’s Day 2022, that Bilzerian was no longer part of their setup.
Bilzerian’s supposed sacking went viral through the poker media, although GGPoker themselves would not comment on the rumours, nor clarify why his images had been removed from their site on such an auspicious day for women in poker.
Dan Bilzerian has been removed as GGPoker Ambassador and his Emote’s have since been removed!
I guess that’s a victory for #InternationalWomensDayhttps://t.co/6fEW93u4AN
— Rake the Rake ♥♠♦♣ (@raketherake) March 8, 2022
Instead, they focused on promoting their freerolls in partnership with female-only FB poker group Fantastic Ladies In Poker (FLIP), with FLIP founder Daiva Byrne taking on an ambassador role.
What seemed to be several positive steps by the site to redress the gender balance and make up for their glaring error by signing Bilzerian went up in smoke with yesterday’s announcement.
Curiously enough, the poker media were first among those who condemned the announcement, Lappin and your scribe joined by others as news filtered through…
Since @GGPoker turned off comments, they can read the quoted RTs. Just one word for you guys at this time: COWARDS. https://t.co/op5Sg9orYo
— Jennifer Newell (@WriterJen) March 23, 2022
Vanessa Kade’s reaction was obviously going to be a talking point given her woes with the site, and she didn’t disappoint…
man, yikes. https://t.co/JfTbdfeh37
— Vanessa Kade (@VanessaKade) March 23, 2022
“Can’t imagine a way to blunder literally every decision and communication since this mess started more than they actually have. It’s kind of incredible really. You’d think they’d invest in some good PR. Disallowing comments on their announcement is embarrassing and says it all.”
Kat Martin, poker player, writer and coach was another who didn’t hold back on their criticism:
“It really is laughable. Basically, they are doubling down on an abysmal decision, but don’t have the guts to allow feedback. @GGPoker is telling their customer base they don’t give a shit what they think, this is just how it’s going to be.”
What the announcement means in reality is far from clear, as Bilzerian has been MIA on the GGPoker site for a long time, a point not lost on award-winning journalist Haley Hintze.
“Meh. He might still be a “partner” in the contractual sense in the same way Bobby Bonilla still gets $1.2m each year from the Mets. Wake me up when Bilz appears again on the site.”
Previously, GGPoker has stated:
“We cannot control everything our ambassadors say on their personal social media. Once again, there are things we can and cannot do based on contracts.”
That, it appears, was another smokescreen given the “new and exciting partnership activities” mentioned in their Bilzerian tweet yesterday.
Negreanu dragged into the conflict
Bilzerian’s fellow ambassadors at GGPoker are also extremely high-profile players, with Daniel Negreanu, Jason Koon and Fedor Holz among them.
Negreanu was dragged into the current discussion, responding to @writerjen with the following…
That’s a lie. I have many times in various interviews shared my thoughts at length.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) March 23, 2022
After some back and forth, Negreanu got the answer he seemed to be wanting, but probably wished he hadn’t asked for:
“Yep. I lied,” stated Newell. “I was thinking along the lines of you commenting to support women and denounce Bilzerian. THAT is what you will never do.”
This story is likely to grow arms and legs over the next few days, so be prepared for a follow-up article! In the meantime, let us know how you feel about Dan Bilzerian and his continued connection with the poker scene on our social media channels.
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