GGPoker has announced that they’re planning an “outreach” program for female players. The announcement follows the backlash against their hiring of Dan Bilzerian. The move suggests that the site is going, once again, into damage-control mode.
Initially, GGPoker seemed thrilled at the coup of getting Bilzerian on board. They threw a $100,000 birthday freeroll for him, hoping to lure the many incels that follow him on Instagram. Just weeks later, they seem to be trying to keep Bilzerian on while subtly disowning him at the same time. A case of trying to have your edible and eat it, too.
Some of the site’s willingness to turn on Bilzerian may be down to poor turnout for his birthday freeroll. One Twitter user noted that the turnout was less than stellar, saying, “First indication of what draw Bilzerian may have to GGPoker: The $100K birthday freeroll is underway. 1666 players in it, which is $60 value per player. 1095 places paid (fold into money?).”
If the reference to “outreach” seems haphazardly extemporized, it’s no one’s fault but GGPoker’s. If they didn’t see this coming, they’re in more trouble than we thought.
Bilzerian is known almost exclusively for his social media presence. His Instagram showcases the numerous ways he spends his inheritance. The 39-year old Trump-supporter rarely passes up an opportunity to squeeze some nubile young flesh into his pics.
He’s also had Tweets removed for calling the Azerbaijani people “goatf****ers”. He once tried to throw a pornstar into a pool and missed, breaking her foot, allegedly. And he (again, allegedly) kicked a woman in the face after knocking her to the floor in a nightclub.
In short, his sexual politics are decidedly 20th Century.
Vanessa Kade tweeted about the poker giant signing such a little man, saying, “I dunno why this has disappointed me so much. I think because the site has clearly been all about trying to be the best version of itself, I think in my mind it was the future of poker in a lot of ways.”
Clearly, Kade struck a nerve with Blitz. “Quiet hoe[sic], nobody knows who you are,” he tweeted at her. A tweet that, ironically, demonstrates that at the very least he knows who she is.
Vanessa Kade dug several other stories up while doing the due diligence that someone at GGPoker really should have sorted out ahead of time. For example, that his first Snapchat post was a video of him telling a woman he would post a naked video of her online despite her telling him not to.
In another story, Kade says, he tells of failing to pay a prostitute, breaking her stereo, and kicking her in the ribs because he couldn’t afford €20 for additional services.
Other poker players were quick to follow Kade’s suit. In response to GGPoker’s announcement, Melissa Burr tweeted: “My god this industry is a cesspool.”
It’s going to take some considerable outreach to get Burr back on-side.
As Bilzerian’s business continues to hemorrhage money, he needs the gig with GGPoker more than ever. GGPoker could have some real leverage in this spot.
Given the poor form Bilzerian has shown in fronting for GGPoker (his Twitter and Instagram have been largely silent about the site), dumping him seems like it would be an easy bit of goodwill, with very little downside for the site.
If they wait a few weeks, they’ll even get to milk the publicity cycle all over again.
In the meantime, their announced “outreach” to female players may not be enough.
Featured image source: Instagram