September 21, 2022

Poker player reviews turn into a positive poker lesson

PART 1: The Tweet

Someone did something to someone at a table at a WSOP event this week. It was enough to elicit a tweet from someone who doesn’t tweet negatively about others. So, KL Cleeton simply tweeted that someone made him feel like he didn’t belong at the table.

Instead of calling this person, he was just hoping to make a point. “Be a reason the game grows, not a reason it shrinks.” It sounds easy, but time and time again people prove it’s not that simple.

When I messaged Cleeton about this, he didn’t really want to call the person. He didn’t give me a name and I didn’t insist.

PART 2: Another tweet

The next tweet about the situation that caught people’s attention was from Aleeeyah Jadavji. She seemed to know who prompted Cleeton’s tweet.

When Kitty Kuo tweeted things poker players needed to improve, Jadavji added that people should do something to make others be jerks to players with disabilities. This seemed to solve the mystery of the culprit but not what she actually did or said.

PART 3: An article

Andrew Burnett wrote about kerfuffle for PokerTube. He put the pieces together and wrote that Kuo seemed to be the source of the offense. Cleeton tweeted with his own commentary about his wish to develop the game into one that everyone feels welcome in. He took no personal photos.

Kuo then took to Twitter to defend himself. Many tweets were later deleted, but this one stands:

In case that doesn’t hold up, Kuo acknowledged that Cleeton and his assistant (sometimes his father, sometimes Veronica Brill or another friend) sat side by side, tricking the dealer into making mistakes and dealing with both of them. instead of just Cleeton.

“I call upstairs and ask for a more experienced dealer who won’t make mistakes or if one of them should sit a bit behind the other person so the dealer isn’t confused.”

That tweet only included a “sorry but” apology and a complaint about the “drama.”

In a previous tweet, she wrote that “KL is so sensitive”. And in another tweet, she reiterated her apologies “if it hurts him.” And then, “No need to cause any drama!”

Part 4: Apologies

At one point, Kuo seemed to realize that his tweets seemed insensitive, no matter how well-meaning they were.

She tweeted directly to Cleeton that she was sorry – period. She offered to make a more public apology on PokerNews and offered him 3% of her WSOP Main Event winnings.

What happened was…

Cleeton took to Twitter late Friday night to address the situation head-on and explain it.

What had happened was that he was playing the $5,000 NLHE 6-Max tournament at the WSOP with his father as his assistant. For those unfamiliar with Cleeton, he is in a wheelchair and unable to reach the table, pick up cards or move chips. Thus, his father assists him and performs the physical movements according to his son’s instructions. The dealer at this particular table dealt cards twice to Cleeton’s father, an error that sometimes occurs. This results in a bad deal, and the dealer starts again.

According to Cleeton, Kuo said that Cleeton’s father should sit behind him, which they both said was not possible. Kuo replied that if it happened again, she would call a floor. Cleeton got ahead of the situation and fetched a floor attendant himself. He accompanied Cleeton to the table, where he also explained that his request would not be granted. Soon after, Kuo was moved to another table.

“My attack comes from the fact that I shouldn’t need to do anything differently because of the mistakes of the dealer, especially when we’ve always played that way without problems. As I recall, the mistakes didn’t resulted in only 2 errors, any other errors were caught quickly enough by myself or my dad to make sure we only had to move the cards around which didn’t cause the game to slow down at all.

Part 5: Accepted Apologies

Cleeton’s last tweet of the night indicated that he accepted her apology. He also suggested that she donate that 3% to AbleGamers, an organization dedicated to enabling gaming for people with disabilities to combat social isolation and build inclusive communities.

“I wish him no ill will and hope it can be a growing experience.”

Kuo then replied that she would donate that 3% of her Main Event to AbleGamers and offer to be a free poker coach for the organization.

Part 6: Learn

The incident was a distraction for Cleeton at the table and for Kuo, as well as possibly other players at the table. It also sparked angry feelings on Twitter.

I asked Cleeton if he found it a distraction from his playing and concentration or if he considered it a teachable moment.

“A bit of both really. I hope this helps people realize that acceptance at the table is still something we must actively strive for.

Attention to the issue may have taught some people how a person can play poker without sitting at the table in a “traditional” way. As Cleeton expressed it, poker is meant to be an all-inclusive game. There’s no reason a few adjustments can’t be made to accommodate more people at the tables.

It may also have shown that a misunderstanding can explode if not handled sensitively. There was a point in the situation where someone concerned about the seating arrangement might have asked why an alternative wasn’t possible…and then tried to understand and come to terms with that. Sometimes it takes a situation to get a person to slow down, step out of their own box, and see the bigger picture.