The Winning Poker Network has always had an exceptionally sharp public relations game.
It demonstrated that again this week when its flagship skin America’s Cardroom signed Vanessa Kade. Kade has taken center stage in the poker news cycle lately. This is thanks to her running fight with GGPoker. Kade and the corporate giant locked horns over the latter’s hire of Daniel Bilzerian. GGPoker continues to support of Bilzerian’s misogyny while Kade continues to call it out.
GGPoker’s hiring of Bilzerian, and spectacular mishandling of the fallout, has made Kade the face for feminism in poker. At least for the current hour.
Sexism isn’t anything new in the infamously masculinist club of poker. But right now the poker community is in the middle of a very high-profile re-litigation of the industry’s attitudes. Hiring the person who’s standing up as a lightning rod for the right side of history is just good marketing.
So, nabbing her now gives ACR a PR freeroll. GGPoker doesn’t seem likely to stop digging itself into a hole. Until it does, ACR gets to treat their new hire as a feather in their pussyhat.
But even if GGPoker gets it together, ACR still has another top-notch advocate for their brand.
ACR expressed their excitement in an announcement Tweet: “We’re thrilled to announce @VanessaKade as our newest ACR Team Pro.”
Winning the war
ACR is currently leaning into the activist side of the hire.
They cite Kade’s role as “a strong advocate for women,” in their biography for her on the ACR site. They go on to stress that, “She’s not afraid to hold players accountable for the sort of misogyny and bullying that undermines the spirit of the game. Although poker is largely dominated by men, with powerful voices like Vanessa’s, the game is changing for the better.”
However, Kade isn’t only a culture-war hire.
Since 2014, when she left the video game industry to play cards professionally, she’s become a notable cash game pro. She is also a significant personality in and around the poker media. She brings with her some 17k followers from Twitch. Plus another 10k from Twitter. At last year’s WSOP she racked up eight ITM finishes putting her at $143k in live cashes to her name.
You can try your hand against Kade on the ACR tables. She goes by the screenname: “Niffler,” on WPN. Just make sure you bring your A-game.
Featured image source: Twitter