PokerNews have been lambasted for their reporting of an incident involving Paulina “Poker Bunny” Loeliger, hinting that she offered sexual favours for backing and using the word “insane” to describe a player known to have mental health issues.
24-year-old Loeliger, who has appeared on Live at the Bike and Hustler Casino Live, was playing the PCA Main Event in the Bahamas when she called off light for her tournament life. What happened next was caught on camera…
Although Loeliger trying to muck her hand at showdown as well as apparently grabbing for the chips was arguably newsworthy, it was the tone of the PokerNews’ coverage that had the poker community raging.
“Poker Bunny has a lengthy history of questionable beneviour both on the felt and on Social Media”
Donna “DarkAngel” Morton wrote:
“To the ‘journalist’ who wrote this. Concentrate on hands instead of writing a hit piece on @PokerBunnyy. No matter what love her or hate her she is a person and doesn’t deserve this write up. Hand histories are better.”
Indeed, while many accepted that the bust-out hand itself may have been noteworthy for Poker Bunny’s actions, the decision to include rumours and innuendo about Poker Bunny’s staking situation was seen as a step too far.
Very disappointing to see PokerNews blow someone mucking their hand out of proportion
Irish poker pro David K. Lappin was among those disgusted by the PokerNews coverage, tweeting:
“Very disappointing to see @pokernews blow someone mucking their hand out of proportion. Hartigan’s analysis on comms was spot on – just embarrassed to have heroed off light. Absolutely no need to exploit a young woman for clicks like this. It really is a garbage site these days.”
Lappin and fellow ChipRace podcast host Dara O’Kearney even produced a parody video lampooning the PokerNews’ approach…
— 🃏 David Lappin 🃏 (@dklappin) January 27, 2023
“Erratic and insane? What?”
A selection of Twitter comments below reveal the general opinion of PokerNews’ slant, the media company accused of pandering to the clickbait-only approach to journalism.
- “This is like what you would see in some gutter press article, seriously PokerNews, do better. Very disappointing.”
- “The second part of this article is unnecessary and gross. Can we be one industry where “news” doesn’t translate to gossip?”
- “Erratic and insane”? What? When Negreanu threw his phone, the only words you used were “bad beat” and “tilts.”
Even fellow poker journalists were unhappy at PokerNews’ US editor Jon Sofen’s write-up, with Jennifer Newell chief among those calling him out…
I stand by my statement that Poker Bunny is treated differently from other players. Not only is she only 23 and had admitted to mental struggles, PN chose to use the word “insane” along with erratic. That’s problematic but also bc of the way they label male behavior… 1/ https://t.co/Kwz8XKmzSL
— Jennifer Newell (@WriterJen) January 27, 2023
With neither PokerNews nor Sofen responding to the story going viral, it was left to Poker Bunny herself to have the final laugh with the joke tweet:
“Unfortunately bubbled the PCA Main Event when my aces got cracked by A4 offsuit. Gl everyone still in.”
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