Vanessa Kade exits role as ACR team pro

Haley Hintze
Published by:
Posted on February 10, 2022 1:55 pm EST

Canada’s Vanessa Kade has exited her role with Americas Cardroom (ACR) as one of the site’s team pros. Citing what appears to be a philosophical difference within ACR, Kade posted a departure note for her followers and fans across multiple social-media accounts. The note read as follows:

“I’ve made a difficult decision to step down from ACR.

“While they’ve kept the promise to stop the behavior we saw back in June, unfortunately there have been similar ongoing issues behind the scenes that I’ve spent considerable energy trying to get them to address.

“Attempting to move the needle on this is exhausting.

“I’ve always wanted to be an ambassador for the game and remember how happy it was the day it finally happened — but have gotten to a point where I feel proportionately disappointed and frustrated.

“Though there are many good people at ACR, it’s clear we have different values, and it’s not where I belong.

“I appreciate my time there and I wish them the best.”

Poor culture fit at core?

Kade declined to specify the “behavior” that she claimed as the root of the fractured relationship, though the situation appears to have been a smaller disagreement or difference that spiraled out of control. One source, not with ACR but with some knowledge of the situation, described the split simply as “a culture fit that didn’t work.” To Kade, however, the core situation was rather more important.

Whether or not friction developed over time between Kade and some fellow ACR team pros is one possibility, as none of those pros appeared to have posted on Kade’s threads regarding her departure.

Meanwhile, Kade thanked many of the people she worked closely with while at ACR, just as ACR also thanked her for her time and efforts on behalf of the company:

Separately, a company spokesman told Poker.org, “Vanessa is a great ambassador for poker and has had an extraordinary year. We wish her the best of luck on the felt and in life.”

Next stop unclear on Kade’s tumultuous poker journey

Whether Kade will immediately find another sponsorship deal is uncertain. The one-time GGPoker affiliate partner was released by that company in March 2021 after publicly criticizing GGPoker’s signing of Dan Bilzerian to a separate sponsorship deal, but Kade was quickly resigned by ACR.

Then, just days later, Kade burst through with the largest win of her poker career, winning the PokerStars Sunday Million 15th Anniversary tournament for more than $1.5 million. The wild two-week stretch instantly catapulted Kade into being arguable ACR’s second-most prominent sponsored pro, behind only 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker.

Kade’s exit from ACR also comes less than two weeks after her high-profile $10,000 charity heads-up match against British author Alex O’Brien, who was separately ghosted by Bilzerian for a similar match after winning a freeroll on a rival site.

The close timing suggests Kade’s exit from ACR had been in the works for at least a few weeks, if only made public yesterday. Last week, ACR also announced the signing of Spanish pro Ana Marquez to their growing brand-representative lineup.

Featured image source: Americas Cardroom