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Twitch Streamer Vanessa Kade Has Last Laugh, Wins Sunday Million For $1.5M Score

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Apr 21, 2021


Vanessa Kade Credit: KadeCanadian poker player and Twitch streamer Vanessa Kade capped off a roller coaster few months with a victory in the 15th anniversary of the PokerStars Sunday Million in March.

Over the course of three days of play, the recent addition to the Americas Cardroom team of pros bested a massive field of 67,876 entries to win more than $1.5 million, by far the largest score her career. There were 45,765 unique entries in the $215 buy-in no-limit hold’em event.

Kade defeated Pawel “Talibenes” Ladniak heads-up to secure the title and earn $1,514,920. The Polish player earned $1,035,358 for his runner-up finish.

“It feels impossible,” Kade wrote on social media. “This is the best day of my life. It’s not close. All the pain was worth it, the dream is real.”

Kade’s life-changing win comes a tumultuous few months after online poker site GGPoker’s addition of self-proclaimed ‘King of Instagram’ Dan Bilzerian to their roster of sponsored pros last December.

Kade has been outspoken in her displeasure of the signing, citing Bilzerian’s questionable and sometimes criminal history with women. Bilzerian was sued in 2014 for $1 million by a model after an alleged brawl in a Miami nightclub, and later dealt with legal issues after he threw porn actress Janice Griffith off the roof of a house and into a pool.

The criticism prompted Bilzerian to respond to one of her tweets with, “Quiet hoe [sic], nobody knows who you are.”

Bilzerian’s comment drew ire from many in the poker community, but the situation ultimately died down until March when Kade revealed that GGPoker had discontinued her affiliate account with the site. Previously, Kade had been able to earn a percentage of the rake generated by players she referred to the site.

The cancellation of her affiliate account for “on-going actions over three months” was considered by some in the poker community to be retaliation against Kade for her comments, and reignited discussions about whether Bilzerian is the right person to be the face of a poker site. A GGPoker statement acknowledged Bilzerian’s “derogatory remark,” and then ironically said that they “cannot control everything our ambassadors say on their personal social media.”

“It says something when the only time [terminating an affiliate contract] has been exercised as punishment is in a case where valid concerns about misogyny have been brought up and ignored,” Kade said.

Meanwhile, it’s unclear why GGPoker has decided to stick by Bilzerian. His insult of Kade remains the only tweet the 39-year-old has made about the online poker site since his signing. His Instagram page is also lacking any mentions among the not-safe-for-work photos of naked models, although GGPoker does feature his caricature on their homepage alongside fellow team pros Daniel Negreanu, Fedor Holz, and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier.

A little more than a week after losing her deal with GGPoker, Americas Cardroom announced that the site would be signing Kade to a sponsorship deal of their own. The company already beefed up its roster of pros with the signing of 2003 World Series of Poker main event champion Chris Moneymaker in February, and is also represented by other popular streamers such as Jon Van Fleet, Jeff Boski, Ryan Depaulo, and Ebony Kenney.

With a new online site in her corner, Kade entered the Sunday Million. She survived the first two days and with 65 players heading into Tuesday’s third and final day, Kade was 13th in chips.

When asked if she had considered selling any of her action to lock up a sizable score, Kade opted against it. “[I] have 100% of myself, and I’m keeping it. [I] wanna feel the rush, baby!”

The former video game producer chipped up throughout the first several levels and started the final table seventh in chips. After “Vvlankov” busted in ninth place and “kefirchik106” fell right behind him, Kade was officially the short stack at the table.

She got a much-needed double up seven-handed when she shoved her last six big blinds from the hijack with JDiamond Suit 8Heart Suit and spiked an eight on the flop against her opponent’s AClub Suit 9Heart Suit. After winning a few more pots without showdown, she quickly found herself back near the top of the leaderboard.

Kade eliminated “malinga” in sixth place when her AClub Suit QDiamond Suit held up against his ASpade Suit 7Spade Suit, moving her closer to Ladniak who held an overwhelming chip lead. “peu3ep” was eliminated in fifth, and then Kade scored a massive double up four-handed through the chip leader that changed the course of the tournament.

She got all in preflop with pocket kings against Ladniak’s ADiamond Suit 10Heart Suit and ended up making a set. She took over the chip lead for good a short while later when she picked off a river bluff with two pair against a busted flush and straight draw.

“Panchovetin” hit the rail in third for $707,640, which gave Kade more than a 6:1 chip lead at the outset of heads-up play, which lasted just a few hands. On the final hand, she won a race with pocket eights against KHeart Suit 9Diamond Suit to finish off the tournament and secure her victory.

Final Table Results

Place Player Earnings
1 Vanessa ‘Niffller’ Kade $1,514,920
2 Pawel ‘Talibenes’ Ladniak $1,035,358
3 ‘PanchoVetin’ $707,640
4 ‘Transylvanian’ $483,652
5 ‘peu3ep’ $330,564
6 ‘malinga’ $225,930
7 ‘ikkedus’ $154,416
8 ‘kefirchik106’ $105,538
9 ‘Vvlankov’ $72,132