Dan Bilzerian, the controversial playboy and poker enthusiast, is no longer representing GGPoker as a brand ambassador. Fifteen months after Bilzerian’s ill-fated signing, the rising online poker giant has finally taken a decision to distance itself from the Bilzerian brand, albeit coming a bit too little, too late for many.
Up until yesterday, Bilzerian’s name and image were visible on the operator’s website including GGPoker’s Battle Royale game that was rebranded after him as a 100-man sit and go variant, taking its name from the ultra-successful video game format.
However, today — auspiciously on the same day as International Women’s Day (IWD) — Bilzerian has apparently been axed as GGPoker’s ambassador. Bilzerian’s name has been fully wiped from the website, including the special emotes that were designated on him at the tables.
Whether his sponsorship has been terminated or his tenure has expired, is unknown as a GGPoker representative had no comment to offer to pokerfuse when asked whether his sponsorship had indeed been terminated.
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Bilzerian is a divisive character, having made a name for himself for his womanizing and gambling lifestyle along with controversies from lawsuits to failing business ventures. What he does have, though, is a strong social media presence, with over 32+ million followers on Instagram alone — no doubt an audience that GG wanted to tap into when signing him up to represent the site.
GG signed Bilzerian up as brand ambassador in December 2020 and wasted no time in launching a Birthday Freeroll to celebrate his appointment.
However, unsurprisingly, his signing did not go down well within the ever-vocal poker community. Many felt that his signing was a step in the wrong direction for the industry by putting such credence behind a man whose actions against women have long been in question.
Following the negative response that Bilzerian’s signing received, GGPoker told pokerfuse that they would “make a concerted effort in extending [its] outreach to female players” in the coming weeks and months.
It did so by partnering with Daiva Byrne, the founder of the world’s largest female-only poker community Facebook group, FLIP. Byrne was appointed to become the company’s Outreach & Community Advocate. However, Bilzerian continued to remain as GG’s ambassador.
Although Bilzerian served as the company’s representative for over a year, he has remained largely quiet when it comes to promoting the brand. Apart from a couple of Instagram stories and playing in a live event under GGPoker’s patch, Bilzerian has made little to no effort in promoting the site.
In fact, Bilzerian had committed to play against the winner of the Birthday Freeroll — ironically, the freeroll was won by female science writer Alex O’Brien — but the heads-up match never took place.
GGPoker did claim that thousands of new players flocked to the poker room after his signing, but no actual figures on what his impact was in tangible terms were ever shared.
Today, GG’s ambassador roster comprises half a dozen female poker players — no doubt, in hopes of squashing any alienation caused by signing Bilzerian in the first place.
In addition, GG has also scheduled a special female-focused tournament to celebrate the IWD in association with FLIP. The special event runs today featuring $50,000 in guaranteed prize money.
After serving as brand ambassador for over a year, it appears that Blizerian’s time at GG has finally come to an end.