Canadian poker player Vanessa Kade announced on Tuesday that GGPoker terminated her residual affiliate account. The reason: she spoke out against the company for its signing of Dan Bilzerian as a poker ambassador.
Though it may seem like parting ways would be something Kade would be ok with, considering how critical she has been of GGPoker of late, she explained that it comes with quite the financial cost. She said that she has not actively promoted her affiliate account in a couple years, but she was still making “a couple thousand” a month from the rake sharing deal.
Kade shared the message she received from GGPoker’s affiliate manager, Rachel Ralson, who informed her that her affiliate account was being closed, adding, “It’s a shame you can’t see all the things we’re trying to accomplish and the amazing people behind the scenes who are working tirelessly to make GGPoker amazing. To call us misogynistic is completely inaccurate and offensive to everyone that works here especially the women.
Ralson went on to describe her positive experiences with GGPoker, explaining that the company has supported her need to juggle a career and kids.
“Your company has actively recruited a man who has abused women, and openly belittled and degraded them. It’s basically a staple of his brand,” Kade shot back.
Kade added, bluntly, “GG supports misogyny. There are no two ways about it.”
GGPoker only saw followers with Bilzerian signing
As my friend and colleague Earl Burton wrote when Bilzerian signed with GGPoker, “What is verifiable through his Instagram account is that he has women in varying degrees of undress around him constantly (price?) as he spends millions of dollars keeping up an image of a “playboy” globetrotter that objectifies women and basically makes them little more than pieces of meat.
There is little argument that Bilzerian is a misogynist whose respect for women stops at their cup size. A scroll through his social media feeds tells you just about all you need to know. When he signed, Kade expressed her displeasure with GGPoker’s decision on Twitter, to which Bilzerian responded, “Quiet hoe, nobody knows who you are.”
Reaction at the time was mixed. More were probably on the side of Kade and decency, though many were all for Bilzerian’s presence, feeling it could bring a lot of “fish” to the game.
In the wake of Kade’s dismissal as an affiliate, members of the poker community rightly jumped to her defense. Long-time, respected poker journalist Jessica Welman said, “This frighteningly tone deaf message that the person at fault in this is not the brand ambassador who called your affiliate a hoe is not gonna go over well.”
OP Poker’s community and content manager Eva Reberc tweeted, “….it don’t sit right with me how all the other male GG ambassadors & squad have been radio silent about this from the beginning and got 0 flack.”
One male ambassador who was not radio silent was Daniel Negreanu, who is never radio silent. But his comments were of excitement when Bilzerian was signed as a fellow ambassador.
“GGPoker making all the moves!” Negreanu tweeted. “When it comes to poker and mainstream reach, there isn’t a bigger influencer in the world.”
He hasn’t said anything about Kade’s affiliate account termination, nor would we expect him to, but Negreanu did tweet on Wednesday, “Do you ever refrain from posting your thoughts and opinions on social media for fear that you will be attacked for what may be considered an unpopular opinion?”
He didn’t explain why he asked this question, including a poll in his post, but it came the day after Kade’s announcement, so it would not be surprising if it is related.