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Poker news | Apr 30, 2021

GGPoker Sparks Controversy with Dan Bilzerian Signing

By RTR Dennis

665x200 apr21 dan bilzerian ggpoker

GGPoker pulled a controversial move towards the end of last year after signing Dan Bilzerian to an ambassadorship deal. They see plenty of potential considering Bilzerian’s massive social media following.

Not everybody is a fan of the ‘The King of Instagram,’ though. Canadian poker pro Vanessa Kade publicly complained about the signing at the time, blasting both GGPoker and Bilzerian.

The comments got back to Bilzerian, who was quick to respond and questioned Kade’s relevancy.

More recently, Kade found out that her GGPoker affiliate account would be closed. She promoted GG through her Twitch channel up until the account closure.

Vanessa shared a message between her and a GGPoker rep on the situation:

“I’m sure you were expecting this message to come at some point, I need to close out your affiliate account,” the rep wrote. “Affiliates are partners and you clearly terminated that partnership a few months back, I’m simply finalizing it by closing the account.”

Offended that Kade publicly blasted them, the rep commented, “To call us out as misogynist is completely inaccurate and offensive to everyone that works here, especially the women.”

GGPoker Apologizes for the “Multiple Controversies”

If GGPoker were trying to drum up attention with the Bilzerian signing, then they’ve certainly accomplished their mission. What initially became a series of Twitter complaints has now become a huge issue in the poker community.

GG have chosen not to backtrack on their decision to close Kade’s account. What they did do, though, is apologize for this issue blowing up.

“First, GGPoker would like to apologize to our community for the recent series of events that has led to multiple controversies,” they tweeted. “We want our community to have the same pride playing at GGPoker as we do in creating a great product that, we hope, provides a fun and safe platform for everyone.”

The poker site followed up by explaining why they felt the need to close Kade’s affiliate account after her comments regarding Bilzerian.

“GGPoker recently ended an affiliate relationship with a former partner due to their violation of our terms & conditions. These were on-going actions over three months.

“While the timing of our ending of the agreement was poor, we could not continue that partnership when there are over 1,000 affiliates who are following our rules and continuing to work hard with us to grow the game.”

No Chance of GGPoker and Bilzerian Splitting Any Time Soon

GG have risen to become one of the top-three poker sites in terms of traffic. According to PokerScout, they draw an average of 5,400 cash players per hour, ranking just behind IDNPoker (6,000) and PokerStars (7,800).

Their rise has come as a result of clever marketing and a focus on poker—something that’s rare as many sites now push casino games and sports betting.

The move to link up with Bilzerian was no doubt calculated. GGPoker didn’t sign one of the most-controversial Instagram celebrities without thinking of the implications.

Bilzerian brings a social media presence that nobody in the poker world can match. He’s amassed 32.7 million Instagram followers and over 13.4 million Facebook followers. ‘Blitz’ has done so by posting pictures of himself with guns, luxury cars, and scantily clad women.

It was inevitable that one or more poker personalities would be angered by the signing. However, GGPoker defends their position and looks to continue the relationship with Bilzerian into the unforeseeable future.