Poker room makes move toward inclusivity
GGPoker has announced it is partnering with Fantastic Ladies in Poker (FLIP), the poker world’s foremost female-focused player community.
engage with a wide variety of poker player communities”
In its announcement on Thursday, the online poker room also unveiled Daiva Byrne, poker pro and founder of FLIP, as its new Outreach & Community Advocate, stating “she will provide ongoing advice on strategies and initiatives designed to engage with a wide variety of poker player communities.”
Stark contrast to last ambassador choice
A major poker site taking such a step would normally be a reason for celebration. Best estimates suggest that men make up more than 95% of poker players worldwide, so any investment in enhancing the playing experience for women is money well spent. The problem with this partnership is that this is the same site which, just ten short weeks ago, announced Instagram playboy Dan Bilzerian as a brand ambassador.
Bilzerian’s signing drew condemnation from many. Professional player Vanessa Kade took to Twitter, saying the “sleazy, sexist tool with toxic followers” was hardly worth the price:
The signing with the controversial figure was celebrated in other quarters. GGPoker’s own Daniel Negreanu said in a press release that “Dan is a huge influencer for poker and attracts exactly the kind of guys you want to play.”
When interviewed, he took it an interesting step further, adding: “I’m all for women…To be a real true feminist, I think you might have to allow women to choose if they wanna get paid $500 to suck a Bilzerian d**k.” Indeed.
Challenge ahead for Byrne
So it would appear that Daiva Byrne has her work cut out for her. She has always been a champion for women in poker, but can she realistically advocate for women alongside a man who responded to Vanessa Kade’s tweet by saying “Quiet hoe, nobody knows who you are.”
“turbo-charge” their efforts to be inclusive
Daiva has obviously decided that it’s better to work for change from within, and GGPoker’s head of public relations Paul Burke said having Daiva as part of their team will “turbo-charge” their efforts to be inclusive.
Time will tell if Daiva can square the circle, or if Vanessa is right when she says this is just a cynical move by GGPoker to buy Daiva’s “good faith with the female community after hiring and keeping a massive misogynist who openly says women can’t play poker.”