Instagram star Dan Bilzerian continues to relish the spotlight
GGPoker Network’s recent signing of US poker celebrity Dan Bilzerian was barely made public before reaction to the news came from both the poker world – and many people and celebrities quite new to the game.
The US-Armenian poker pro Bilzerian’s history is as much a tale of fiction and mystery as it is fact but controversy has always been central to his image. Normally, never afraid to back down from a challenge, Bilzerian may have to think twice though after former world heavyweight champion boxer Riddick Bowe threw down the gauntlet.
Fellow GGPoker Pro, Daniel Negreanu, summed up the widely held view that the signing was positive for the online game by pointing out, “no one in poker has a bigger reach than Dan.” While other GGPoker Pro’s like Fedor Holz may have more credibility amongst the game’s professionals and grinders, none can truly compete with Bilzerian’s sway on social media. With over 32 million people alone following his Instagram, the potential to draw plenty of new recreational players to GGPoker is huge.
Not all of the poker community was in agreement though as plenty of mainstream celebrities have been signed over years by different poker sites with mixed results. PokerStars partnering with soccer superstar, Cristiana Ronaldo, failed to deliver the traffic to the tables initially expected. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner, David Baker, tongue in cheek response showed he envisions little change in his profits with the newest arrival.
I don't know about yall but I'm still busy counting all the money Kevin Hart and Usain Bolt brought into poker, not sure there is enough room for this Bliz money thats about to pour in.
— David Baker (@audavidb) December 4, 2020
Bilzerian stirs the pot on social media
Many of those reacting to the signing of Bilzerian brought forward over concerns about his past activities being sexist and misogynistic with women in his videos and posts nothing more than props. Canadian poker player and Twitch streamer Vanessa Kade was among those who took to Twitter to express her concerns.
Sponsoring a sleazy, sexist tool with toxic followers as poker’s biggest ambassador lends validity to the idea that he’s an accurate representation of our sport.
Not unlike supporting a president with similar traits because he would benefit our bottom line.
Not worth the price. https://t.co/890sSmMSl1
— Vanessa Kade (@VanessaKade) December 3, 2020
Her follow-up to that musing on how this “a huge step backwards” managed to draw out Bilzerian himself who followed it up with a Tweet, “quite hoe, nobody knows who you are”. To many, this was a further example of Bilzerian’s opinion of women with a few posters musing on how it felt to be GGPoker’s marketing department at that time. Kade perhaps had the last laugh as she decided to mock the spelling of the pro and changed her Twitter profile pic to the common gardening tool.
GGPoker runs giant Bilzerian birthday freeroll
Alongside last week’s signing of Bilzerian to the GGPoker team was news of a $100,000 freeroll for new poker players on GGPoker. Taking place on December 7 to celebrate Bilzerian’s birthday, over 50 percent of the field ended up in the money but at the end of the day, one player took down a five-figure score.
— Alex O'Brien (@obrientweet) December 7, 2020
The London, UK based science writer and amateur poker player, Alex “AOBUK” O’Brien took down the top prize and bragging rights. Much of social media exploded in support of her victory with Kade herself exclaiming “I can’t believe how … hilarious and perfect it is that a woman won (the) tournament on GGPoker.”
Wherever Bilzerian goes, controversy, and the publicity that comes with it, seems to follow. Time will show if that equates into more players on the tables for GGPoker. The signing does cap a year that has seen incredible growth for the site as it appears close to toppling Pokerstars as the industry leader.
Keep an eye on YourPokerDream as we follow Bilzerian’s impact on GGPoker and bring you more about the history of this self-proclaimed King of Instagram. In the meantime, if you’re looking to take a shot of the man himself, you can take advantage of our exclusive rakeback offer on GGPoker by clicking here.