A Twitter storm has erupted after poker player and reporter Aleeyah Jadavji had her winner’s pic photoshopped by the female-centred Poker League of Nations to make her look skinnier – the end result being Alee Yah cutting ties with the organisation.
I’m in full support of women’s poker groups to bring more of us into the game but had to drop PLON today. They felt the need to photoshop my headshot so I looked skinnier when representing them.
Sure, let’s just wreck everyone’s self esteem while advocating for women!
— Alee Yah (@ElleSriracha) 13 January 2019
Women in poker don’t have the easiest time of things in any event, sexist behaviour often very overt at the tables – but when it’s other women doing the ‘shaming’ there was bound to be a huge backlash.
The WSOP journalist, who was playing the PCA in Bahamas last week having won a Platinum Pass, tweeted before and after-style pics to highlight the problem…
Before and after editing from the very same day. We went to play at Caesars and the photo on the left is from Lena’s nightly winners photo. The right was at Rio earlier that day by Kings lounge, which is the photo she edited. -> pic.twitter.com/HvIEzNpdda
— Alee Yah (@ElleSriracha) 14 January 2019
Some of the biggest names in women’s poker quickly offered their moral support to Alee Yah as she is generally known.
888Poker ambassador and WSOP’s anchor for the ESPN channel coverage, Kara Scott, posted: “That’s awful! I’m so sorry you had to deal with that.
Chess International Master and poker pro Jennifer Shahade wrote: “This is so messed up my friend! The culprit should commit to reading up on intersectional feminism to understand the roots of the issue. A bland apology and “ill take it down” is not enough”.
Natasha Mercier had a different take on the photoshop issue, stating: “I dont want to defend anyone but photoshop is used A LOT. Jason literally looks like Harry Potter in his online avatar. They do make EVERYONE look prettier:) “
Close friend and RunItUp CMO Kristalina Houston didn’t hold back on what she thought of the Poker League of Nations editor who made the decision to ‘prettify’ Alee…
Wait… What?! This blows my mind. 1st you’re beautiful just as you are. 2nd good for you for speaking up. 3rd F*ck that. I have a few things on my mind about this but I will reserve it for a private call with you. Love you, just as you are! pic.twitter.com/Ktl9zu8dVa
— Kristalina Houston (@KristalinaS) 13 January 2019
A lengthy Twitter status from self-confessed ‘poker entity and startup grinder’ Simkha Blank covered just about every aspect of what women face in the game. From harassment to bullying to misogyny…
The hot topic of the moment is @PokrLeagNations editing a shot of the gorgeous @ElleSriracha without her consent to make her thinner/skin lighter/hair shorter, and it’s truly awful, but that’s just the tip of the yikesberg
— Simkha Blank (@Simkha) 13 January 2019
The Poker League of Nations has yet to publicly comment on the divisive photographic spat, their feed still showing the celebratory anniversary last month of their beginnings…
One year ago @mjbloech and @LenaEvans88 created PLON. In mid-April 2018, they included #MoreWomen and grew to the world’s largest women’s poker organization. PLON has staked women worldwide & grown a solid organization valued for community, outreach, & knowledge. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! pic.twitter.com/p0mpUBTCZO
— PokerLeagueOfNations (@PokrLeagNations) 18 December 2018
However, Alee Yah’s public dropping of PLON has already had an effect on the organisation, pro poker player Nancy Birnbaum also resigning today.
Birnbaum stated on Facebook: “I will not Tolerate women being abused or misrepresented. I take my reputation very seriously. I will also be resigning as ambassador for Poker League of Nations”.
Whether the Poker League of Nations can survive such a public lashing remains to be seen, and VIP-Grinders have reached out for comment on the matter.
Get the best Partypoker deal!
Ready to hop into some poker action yourself? Get the best Partypoker deal and claim your free $22 Tickets, up to 50% rakeback and take part in our exclusive promotions, including:
Terms and conditions apply. New customer offer and 18+ only. Should you require help regarding your gambling pattern, please visit www.begambleaware.org.