“Disappointed and frustrated”
Poker pro Vanessa Kade has parted ways with Americas Cardroom less than a year after signing on as an ambassador to the online poker room. Announcing her “difficult” decision on Wednesday, Kade said that despite knowing there are many good people at ACR, “it’s clear we have different values, and it’s not where I belong.”
Kade did not provide too much detail, saying on Twitter, “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.”
At the end of the day, she called her efforts “exhausting” that she has “gotten to a point where I feel proportionately disappointed and frustrated.”
In response to a skeptical Twitter follower who believed this was just a way to get out of her sponsorship agreement and take a deal with another site, Kade said, simply, “Not everyone operates that way. There is no other deal.”
Gross past behavior by ACR CEO
While Kade did not divulge exactly what was going on “behind the scenes,” the behavior from June 2021 that she referenced has to do with ACR CEO Phil Nagy. As VegasSlotsOnline News’ David Lappin discussed at the time, Nagy made an appearance on a Twitch stream hosted by ACR pro “WeePro83.” It was a stream known for explicit conversation, but by all accounts, Nagy crossed the line with much of his commentary.
eyebrow-raising, explicit comments
Nagy directed some of the most eyebrow-raising, explicit comments and suggestions toward WeePro83 and her boyfriend, ACR Twitch streamer Ruben Costa. In days that followed, the couple expressed their disgust with Nagy’s comments; Costa announced he would end his ACR streaming.
Nagy, to his credit, apologized profusely once the controversy hit Twitter and both WeePro83 and Ruben Costa said he contacted them directly to express his regrets. That said, it does not excuse what he did, especially because he abused his position of power.
Kade forgave, but didn’t forget
Kade, being a new ACR pro at the time, weighed in, calling out Nagy for his disgusting behavior, but at the same time effectively forgiving him because a) she believed he meant no hostility by his words, and b) she believed Nagy’s apology was genuine.
Of course, the poker community being the “good old boys” club that it is, despite its progress in the last decade or two, Kade received loads of criticism for not instantly cutting ties with ACR. As we have reported here at VSO News, Kade was the target of misogynistic remarks from “influencer” Dan Bilzerian after GGPoker signed him in December 2020 and Kade, who was a GGPoker affiliate at the time, expressed her disappointment in the business decision.
GGPoker ended Kade’s legacy affiliate deal a few months later for speaking out.
Just a couple weeks ago, Kade bested science writer and poker enthusiast Alex O’Brien in a best-of-three heads-up match on ACR, with the prizes going to charity. O’Brien had won a contest on GGPoker in which the prize was a heads-up battle with Bilzerian, but neither GGPoker nor Bilzerian made good on it after a year, so ACR stepped in and let her challenge one of its pros, who ended up to be Kade.