It was felt by many that the signing was a step in the wrong direction for the industry, undoing hard work done by many to make poker more inclusive.
However, GG told pokerfuse at the time that they would be planning “outreach to female players” to “balance out” audiences that Bilzerian does not reach.
Making good on that promise, the online poker operator has announced that they are partnering with the world’s largest female-only poker community Facebook group FLIP along with their founder Daiva Byrne, who will act as an Outreach & Community Advocate for the company.
GG outlines in the press release the need for ensuring that all players feel welcome at their tables, a definite nod to the signing of the controversial playboy Bilzerian late last year, which would have alienated some players.
“I’m delighted FLIP is partnering with GGPoker, who shares our vision for a more inclusive future in poker,” Byrne said via press release. “I’m also thrilled to work with a brand dedicated to developing innovations that resonate with the poker community.”
Bespoke promotions and initiatives to help grow the FLIP community will be laid on by the poker room and FLIP members will have access to exclusive tournaments and other benefits, those details are yet to be disclosed.
“I’m excited to welcome FLIP to the GGPoker community, and am confident FLIP players will enjoy the GGPoker experience both on and off the tables,” said Paul Burke, Head of Public Relations at GGPoker, in the same press release. “It’s also great to have Daiva as part of our team, and I know she’ll turbo-charge our efforts to be genuinely inclusive and make absolutely every kind of player welcome at GGPoker!”
Talking to us back in 2019, Byrne told pokerfuse more about her grassroots community.
“FLIP is all about women supporting and celebrating each other’s achievements, planning upcoming poker trips and local get-togethers, discussing hands and various topics posted by community members. The more women can see other women being successful, the more chance there is that they will make the transition from playing online/having an interest in poker, to playing live,” she said.
Live poker is still a way off—the coronavirus still has much of the world in its grips—so for now Byrne will work with GG looking at ways to make the game more inclusive on the online felt.
In the same 2019 interview Byrne went on to tell us that she has “always striven to be a female role model in the game and help drive a future where there are far more women at the tables,” and this new role at GGPoker should help create this future.
Some may think the hiring of Byrne and partnership of FLIP is just lip-service on the part of GGPoker to temper the flames caused by the Bilzerian signing, but with Byrne in the role of advocate the site has never had a better chance of being more inclusive to women looking to enter the game.