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Dan “King of Instagram” Bilzerian – New GGPoker Ambassador

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GGPoker has been drawing more attention to itself in recent times with the signing of various high-profile names as ambassadors, attempting to enhance its brand in the crowded field of online poker sites. The first of these huge signings was KidPoker himself, Daniel Negreanu, who joined GGPoker in November 2019 following the announcement of his decision to split from being a long-term representative for PokerStars. Others following in line were Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz and Felipe “Mojave” Ramos.

Now, it looks like the GGPoker brand has bagged itself another prominent name, and one who is sure to cause some sort of friction. Dan Bilzerian, who also goes by the poker username of “Blitz,” is one of the scene’s most controversial figures, which has no doubt led to him amassing more than 32 million followers on Instagram. Dan was announced as the newest member of Team GGPoker on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Will we see even more waves created by the newest signee to the GGPoker brand than ever before?

GGPoker Signs Dan Bilzerian

About Bilzerian

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Bilzerian is one of the most polarizing characters to be connected to the poker world, and it didn’t take him long to fire shots once his deal with GGPoker was announced. Taking aim at what he defined as “nerdy” players, Bilzerian claimed that the best option for him to go for to get his poker on was always GGPoker. In a somewhat scathing post, he stated of the poker room:

They cater to the recreational players and that’s the future of poker, not a bunch of math nerds. I’ve battled guys from the $2 buy-in to the $200,000 buy-in tables at GGPoker, and will be working with GG to make cash game tables even better for the average player out there.

Of course, it didn’t take long for fellow GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu to heap praise on the signing of Bilzerian. He said that there isn’t anyone in the poker world with a bigger reach before stating that he has “won millions in cash games and isn’t afraid to get into the mix against the sharks in the high-stakes streets…”

However, it’s not an entirely great outlook where Bilzerian’s signing is concerned. In fact, many people actually love to hate him, and he’s not afraid to come right out with his own feelings either. The likelihood is that the former is a result of the latter! He also has an alleged tendency to make up various parts of his own poker career (and potentially of his life as well).

Bilzerian Brings More Controversy with Him

It’s not only recently that “Blitz” has become known for his controversial opinions and actions. In fact, back in 2017, he was involved in quite the major scandal at the Americas Cardroom platform. It was in February of that year when he, along with fellow high-roller Bill Perkins, decided to stream live via the Twitch platform.

In that stream, both of them were taking turns in playing poker games from the account held by Perkins under the username “gastrader.” That is a clear violation of the multi-account rules at Americas Cardroom, which led to the Winning Poker Network (WPN) opting to disable the account of Perkins. At the same time, Bilzerian was instructed to open up his own account at the poker room if he wanted to play games there.

Perkins and Bilzerian have been as thick as thieves over the course of several years in the poker world together. Perkins is a Texan hedge fund manager by trade and has been known as one of Bilzerian’s biggest associates. In fact, Bilzerian acquired $600,000 from Perkins after Dan won a bet that involved him cycling from Las Vegas to Los Angeles within a 48-hour time period.

However, despite hanging with the high-rollers, Perkins failed to accept a $25,000 heads-up poker match in 2018 against the CEO of WPN, Phil Nagy. So, perhaps he’s not all he’s cracked up to be, and the hope for GGPoker is that the same can’t be said about Bilzerian.

Powerful Social Media Presence

Bilzerian frequently posts on his social media accounts about living the high life too. The vast majority of these posts witness him traveling the world, engaging in the party lifestyle and surrounding himself with scantily clad women.

In June, he posted a Tweet that depicted him sat at a laptop with a woman in a bikini on his lap. The description of that post read: “Finished writing my autobiography, $5,000 to the best book title in the comments.”

Dan Bilzerian Tweets About His Book

Poker Winrate Subject to Dispute?

Not only that, but Bilzerian has made some fairly outrageous claims on his winnings throughout the years. At different times, he has made a bold statement that he has managed to win more than $10 million in a single poker session while $50 million is what he claimed, in 2014, to have won in the course of a year.

However, those winnings and his wealth have been heavily disputed over the years. His father, businessman Paul Bilzerian, even ended up being the subject of a Wall Street Journal investigation when “Blitz” made these inflated claims in 2014.

Of course, the fact is that his father is a former corporate takeover specialist who battled the Securities and Exchange Commission over a $64 million civil judgement for 25 years. This resulted in Paul renouncing his US citizenship and opting for self-exile on the island of St. Kitts.

The Journal would proceed to note that Paul had assets set aside for his son, following the huge exploitation on social media of Dan displaying flashy cars, guns and the like. Thus, there's the chance that Dan's lavish lifestyle isn't funded by his poker wins but rather by his father's generosity. Bilzerian did admit that his father endowed him with a trust although he claims that most of his own wealth actually came from being successful in high-stakes poker gaming.

How Does GGPoker Benefit from Signing Bilzerian?

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Bilzerian isn’t only active in online poker and via social media, but he has also appeared in a number of movies – a few of which he helped to finance too. They include Lone Survivor, War Dogs, and Olympus Has Fallen – yes, the one starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman. Not only that, but he has involved himself in various other business ventures, some of which are of seemingly questionable legality.

Dan is the CEO of a company that provides e-cigarettes and CBD oils. However, it seems as though Bilzerian is being sued by the former president of the company according to Forbes. The reason for the lawsuit? Fraud! Bilzerian is accused of having used the resources of the business ventures to be able to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

In 2014, Bilzerian was sued by a model for $1 million following an alleged brawl within a Miami nightclub. A porn actress later sued Bilzerian later when she made claims that he threw her off the roof of a house and into a swimming pool below. He was also arrested for bomb-making charges in December 2014 and had to release a public service announcement so as to avoid prison time.

This is why it seems somewhat odd that GGPoker would proceed with signing such a figure to their selection of ambassadors. Multiple professional players even called out the poker room for agreeing to sign him to a deal, although this only led to Bilzerian calling Canadian female poker player Vanessa Kade a “hoe” in response to her disappointment at the signing.

Dan Bilzerian Insults Vanessa Kade

Of course, the signing also has people talking about it. GGPoker is obtaining even more attention, whether that be good or bad. It’s uncertain as to whether that’s the goal GGPoker had in mind, but in any event, it has become quite the focal point for fans and haters of Bilzerian alike. Many marketers would likely suggest that this was the ideal tactic all along – to draw attention to GGPoker with a controversial signing.

To celebrate the introduction of Bilzerian as the site’s latest ambassador (and his 40th birthday at the same time), GGPoker chose to provide a $100,000 Birthday Freeroll on Dec. 7 open to all new players who deposited at least $10.

Other Reactions to Bilzerian’s Signing

Doug “Truck Driver” Polk opted to express his own feelings towards GGPoker signing Bilzerian, taking to his Twitter feed to send out a message. In it, he said that Bilzerian becoming a GGPoker ambassador is the equivalent of Polk becoming an ambassador for the magazine GQ.

Meanwhile, poker player and creator of the Snap Shove poker training app, Max Silver, asked who should sign as the next ambassador for GGPoker following Bilzerian’s signing. However, he requested wrong answers only be given in response.

Prior to Bilzerian labeling Vanessa Kade as a “hoe,” she had made the statement that his audience “is a bunch of toxic losers” in her own response to his signing. She continued by saying it feels extra gross considering that Bilzerian “treats women like literal props” before claiming that a lot of people loved what GGPoker were doing prior to this move.

And Isaac Haxton, who is firmly on the side of the PartyPoker brand, also weighed in on the situation. In a Tweet on Dec. 4, Haxton said that while many people were handing out negative comments regarding Bilzerian’s signing, he would try to put a positive spin on things. He then went on to say that Bilzerian is “truly gifted at getting other people to make bad decisions.”

Playing Poker in the United States

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Alas, it's impossible for Dan Bilzerian's American fans to hit up his tables at GGPoker because this room isn't open to players from the United States. Nevertheless, there are a number of sites that happily welcome Americans through their virtual doors. You can read more about them in the U.S.A. offshore internet poker guide.