Logos for the GGPoker TwitchSquad and OmahaSquad on the GG Poker Website.. There is a new look for the GGPoker ambassadors page with the introduction of GGTeam, GGTwitchSquad, and GGOmahaSquad. Logos for the GGPoker TwitchSquad and OmahaSquad on the GG Poker Website.. There is a new look for the GGPoker ambassadors page with the introduction of GGTeam, GGTwitchSquad, and GGOmahaSquad.

While much of the industry seems to be moving away from the concept of sponsored pros, top online poker site GGPoker seems to be doubling down. The highly publicized and controversial signing of Instagram star Dan Bilzerian earlier this year was part of what appears to be an attempt by GGPoker to capitalize on well-known personalities in the poker world and beyond.

Tied-in to this new strategy is the recent rebranding of the sponsorship team. Main sponsored pros, like Bilzerian and Daniel Negreanu, are now part of GGTeam, and regional pros will now fall under specific regional teams like Team Russia and Team China.

Additionally, TwitchSquad and OmahaSquad have been added as sub-teams to focus on featuring the operator online and showcase the four-card offerings at GG.

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GGPoker has quickly become one of the biggest online poker sites in the world. With market penetration in a huge number of areas, and its Natural8 software that is rated as some of the best in the industry, the operator has moved rapidly up the ladder of the online poker world.

Part of its recent strategy seems to be using high-profile faces and names to bring more recognition to the site through its GGPoker Brand Ambassadors — and we predict there will be some more big signings ahead as well. Building such an impressive squad certainly helps to boost GG’s profile in the larger poker community, as well as to capitalize on the individual followings of its sponsored pros.

With names like Negreanu, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Fedor Holz, and Felipe Ramos, they have found big names who have huge audiences in specific target markets. With the addition of Bilzerian, that focus on hype is even more clear, as “The King of Instragram” brings a huge audience that may only have been exposed to poker through Bilzerian.

GGPoker Brand Ambassador Squad GGTeam Expands Globally

In addition to the main GGTeam, GGPoker is starting to push into specific regional markets with new ambassador signings. The concept goes back at least as far as the signing of Brazilian star Ramos as the face of their Latin American poker presence.

But recently, with the addition this year of Mikhail “Innerpsy” Shalamov and Anatoly Filatov Team Russia is also filling out. The introduction of Team China also looks to be GGPoker’s attempt to appeal to the poker market in the world’s most populous country.

GG’s TwitchSquad and OmahaSquad Are Also Growing

The latest additions to GGTeam are TwitchSquad and OmahaSquad. As the names imply, the new sub-teams are designed to take advantage of specific niches within the online poker world.

GGPoker OmahaSquadGGPoker TwitchSquadTwitchSquad members wear their hearts on their sleeves, letting viewers in on all the highs and lows of online poker as they live-stream the poker action. Watch and interact live as {n:211778-big-brother-and-twitch-streamer-favorite-kevin-martin-joins:Twitch streamers like Kevin Martin, Michiel “Easterdamnz” van Elsacker, Patrick “Egption” Tardif, and Hristivoje “ALLinPav” Pavlovic put it all on the line with cards-up action in the biggest games GGPoker offers. And the TwitchSquad members bring more to the table than just poker skills — Canadian Twitch streamer Kevin “KMart” Martin, for example, brings a non-poker audience to the stream as a former champion on Big Brother Canada.

OmahaSquad on the other hand, is designed to showcase the four-card game on GGPoker. Follow streamer Fernando “JNandezPoker” Habegger and social media phenom Sasha “PokerSasha” Liu for tips and tricks to master the great game of Omaha.

Bilzerian Twitter Controversy

The GGPoker strategy for GGTeam hasn’t been without its problems though. The signing of Negreanu came shortly after n210637-after-twelve-year-ambassadorship-daniel-negreanu-and for rival site PokerStars, and on the heels of a string of social media missteps. Negreanu didn’t exactly mend his ways after joining Twitch either, suffering a ban from the popular streaming platform after an on-stream tirade.

The more recent addition of Bilzerian to the team continued the controversial signings. While Bilzerian’s following is huge, his reputation is polarizing, with many of his followers lauding his free-spirit approach to life while detractors point to attitudes and social media engagement that seems misogynistic. As if on cue, when Twitch poker streamer Vanessa Kade expressed reservations about the signing on Twitter, Bilzerian responded in a way that seemed to prove his detractors’ point.

In an epic twist, shortly after she called out Bilzerian for his misogynistic behavior (and got her GG affiliate account suspended because of it), Kade then turned around and took down the PokerStars 15th Anniversary Sunday Million — not only winning an impressive $1.5 million pot but also making Bilzerian and his defenders eat their words.

Following the Bilzerian Twitter fiasco, the operator made a move that seemed to be an attempt to repair some of that damage, partnering with Fantastic Ladies in Poker (FLIP) and its founder, Daiva Byrne. It remains to be seen if this was merely an attempt at damage control, or if GGPoker is truly interested in fixing the damage the signing of Bilzerian caused for many women in the game. Byrne and FLIP are widely respected in the industry as promoters of women in poker, but the jury is still out on whether the move will do more to reform GGPoker with the addition of female players or bring the FLIP brand down to its level.

While many of the sponsored pros and new additions to TwitchSquad and OmahaSquad are free from the controversy that might be associated with Negreanu and Bilzerian, they are part of a team that has had its share of negative publicity recently. It is still an open question whether the recent strategy of GGPoker will result in a reputational net gain for the operator, or damage the brands now associated with it.