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Vanessa Kade: GG Poker Terminated Affiliate Account Over Dan Bilzerian Comments

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
Mar/14/2021

GG Poker recently hired controversial social media star Dan Bilzerian as one of its branding ambassadors.  Bilzerian is known for his machismo and pushing the lines when it comes to womanizing.  Canadian poker pro Vannessa Kade was among those who voiced outrage over the hiring.

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"Sponsoring a sleazy, sexist tool with toxic followers as poker’s biggest ambassador lends validity to the idea that he’s an accurate representation of our sport," she tweeted.

Now Kade claims GG Poker has terminated her affiliate account over this spat.

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The Lowdown

  • Kade received the news Monday, on International Women’s Day, and on Tuesday publicly shared her exit exchange with a site representative.
  • Bilzerian responded to Kade's comments: "Quiet hoe, nobody knows who you are".
  • Kade promoted the GG Poker website on her Twitch channel and earned a commission.

GG Poker issued this notice to Ms. Kade:

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

The letter continues:

“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,” she said. “To call us out as misogynist is completely inaccurate and offensive to everyone that works here, especially the women.

“We’re made up of strong women and men, who have huge respect for women and value each and every one of us,” Kade’s former account manager wrote. “I have never felt less than equal EVER.”

Kade's Response and the Company's Explanation

  • Kade responded by saying that she has “friends who work for GG,” and does not judge them for doing so. “But let’s be clear. GG supports misogyny.”
  • "Do better", she closed with.
  • Paul Burke, GGPoker’s press contact, told PokerChat: “All GGPoker affiliates agree to work with us in partnership, with both sides having the same end goal in mind of introducing new players to GGPoker and mutually benefiting from GGPoker’s growth,” Burke said. “In this instance, our affiliate was not acting as a partner is expected to and was, in fact, actively attacking and trying to damage GGPoker. As such, maintaining an affiliate relationship was no longer possible.”

Enter Doug Polk

You knew this was coming.  Outspoken poker player and social media personality Doug Polk offered his input, and things really got ugly from there.

  • Poker made fun of Kade for noting that the cancellation notice came on the day after International Woman's Day.
  • “She felt it was necessary to mention this happened on the day after International Womens Day as if this is some hypocritical stance against women. Newsflash – Its not.”
  • “So if its international womens day, the next day now has some rules on what decisions businesses are allowed to make?” (Still beating a moot point to death.)
  • “Can you fire a black employee on black history month if they were hurting your company? If its National Coming Out Day do we need to wait for next week if a gay affiliate is causing problems? Can you fire an irishman on St Pattys Day?” (Dear God, I don’t even have time to take this one apart.)
  • “Its easy/popular to yell sexism/racism at the top of your lungs and pretend thats the issue.”

Online tournament poker player  JOnathan Van Fleet said it best.

"She spoke out publically against a guy who doesn't have respect for women.  Then she got told "shut up hoe" by their ambassador - proving her point.  Then she received a condescending message and financial punishment for her opinion.  It happening on IWD was just irony nother point."

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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