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Thread: Latest WSOP drama: Quadriplegic KL Cleeton versus spoiled Asian chick Kitty Kuo

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Latest WSOP drama: Quadriplegic KL Cleeton versus spoiled Asian chick Kitty Kuo

    The poker community is never without drama, and this week it took an especially stupid turn, featuring a weird and petty dispute between severely disabled poker pro KL Cleeton and high maintenance Asian chick Kitty Kuo.

    Cleeton has had spinal muscular atrophy his entire life, which eventually rendered everything below the neck non-functional, though he has a tiny bit of movement in his fingers which allows him to control his wheelchair. However, he is unable to physically play poker, despite being an intelligent guy who is otherwise capable of competing at the game. Cleeton was first noticed five years ago, when Daniel Negreanu bought him into the Main Event. He is friends with Veronica Brill, and she organized a successful fundraiser to buy him a special van which was equipped to allow him to wheel in and out of it.

    Cleeton is generally well liked, and has not been in controversy before. However, it's likely that very few people are willing to snipe at him on poker Twitter, as it's not exactly a good look to pick on a severely disabled guy.

    Kitty Kuo is best known for her almost comically stereotypical Twitter account, where she writes in broken English and behaves almost exactly what you'd expect of a stereotype of a fresh-off-the-boat Asian woman. At first I thought her account was parody, but it wasn't. She often posts pictures of herself in a poker setting, but they're almost always heavily filtered through something called "Beauty Cam".

    Kitty is a pro for Natural 8 Poker, which is a skin into GGPoker, aimed at the Asian market. Her Twitter bio reads, "My name is kitty kuo n I am a professional poker player,love eating,traveling,drinking,n seeing handsome man,cant handle disappoint at poker!"

    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1086791329839902720

    There are some rumors that Kitty comes from family money.



    This controversy occurred when both players were in the WSOP $5k NL 6-max event, which to be honest has quite a tough field. Cleeton requires an assistant in order to play live poker, which is usually his dad. (I've seen Veronica assist him before, as well.) This is allowed by card rooms, similar to how blind poker player Hal Lubarsky was allowed an assistant to play tournaments in the 2000s. The assistant looks at the cards, communicates them to Cleeton in some way, and Cleeton then verbalizes what he wants to do. The assistant then takes the physical action (checking, betting or folding) according to what Cleeton wants.

    Kitty was in a bad mood for some reason (maybe not running well?), and was probably annoyed by being at Cleeton's table, as it slows down the game a bit. However, she lost her cool when the dealer twice misdealt due to accidentally giving cards to both Cleeton and his dad, not realizing they were one player. Kitty raised an objection to this, and the fireworks started. Here is Cleeton's description of what happened:

    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540594547234729984
    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540594549617152000
    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540594551886270464
    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540594554075680774

    As you can see, Kitty eventually apologized to him and offered Cleeton 3% of her Main Event action as compensation for her rudeness to him, but this was only after she was shamed pretty hard on social media.

    Initially, this was what she claimed happened:

    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540453596252504065
    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540481569647136768

    Another woman accused Kitty of mistreating women at the poker table, and unearthed some old tweets bashing poker women:

    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540474849998409728
    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540486426394955776


    Some people took Kitty's side, such as Shaun Deeb:

    https://twitter.com/#!/x/status/1540509439303700481



    I'll post my comments in the next message.

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I have heard from many people that Kitty Kuo is arrogant and difficult at the table, and seems to have disdain for other women. One of the hidden secrets in poker is that a surprising amount of the mistreatment of women at the poker table comes from other women.

    Regardless, I can understand why Kitty was getting annoyed that the WSOP dealers were having a difficult time adjusting to KL's dad being present right next to him. In a perfect world, the WSOP would have all competent, sharp dealers in these events, but that's not the reality. They need to hire a massive number of dealers to work the series, and especially during a labor shortage, that's quite difficult. I had some absolutely horrendous dealers at the Seniors event.

    I support poker's inclusion of disabled players like KL Cleeton, and the accommodations made to allow him to play the game. However, some consideration also must be given to the other players at the table. If the WSOP dealers seem to frequently make mistakes due to KL's dad's presence, which slows down the game, something needs to be done to rectify that. Since "hire better dealers" isn't an option, Cleeton should really be open to alternate arrangements in order to have his dad's presence become less confusing to dealers.

    Notice that Cleeton first says that there were only two misdeals, but then concedes that there were more than two, but that they were able to "shift the cards" without having to redeal everything, thus correcting the issue more quickly.

    It is a reasonable debate whether or not Cleeton's dad should sit directly next to him. However, one definitely can't fault Kitty for being unhappy with this situation, especially in a $5k event, and raising issue with the floor about it.

    No doubt Kitty was rude and unnecessarily confrontational about it, especially given that this involves a man with serious life challenges due to his disability. It's not the same as raising an issue with a typical player whose actions you believe are disruptive.

    I think this is much ado about nothing, and nobody should have gotten so worked up about this in the first place.

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    Diamond lol wow's Avatar
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    ABORT THEM BOTH

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    for years I dealt a 8/b stud game with a shuck at the end with a guy who was blind. not only did i have to announce every card every person caught, i would often have to recount their entire board, saying the door card first - often repeating the cards if their was a lot of action in a multi-way pot.

    the game was always played with a "headstart" where u got 4 cards, discarded 1 and turned 1 up (instead of the standard 2 down 1 up). I would have to whisper in his ear his 4 cards so he could decide what to keep, discard, etc.

    Needless to say this was hands down the most grueling game in the world to deal. I also had to put his chips in, stack his chips, etc.

    You can imagine how slow it was, but everyone put up with it because they assumed the blind guy was dead money.

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    Diamond BCR's Avatar
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    It’s troublesome that the guy has to do everything for him, as he really can’t logistically sit behind him as moving forward to look and then act every hand likely would take more time than a few misdeals over the course of hours. I always laugh at people who lose their shit at misdeals after they’ve looked down at some good first card when 90% of the time it changed the cards anyway. I usually feel the people who get angriest are the more superstitious people rather than thinking it actually took that much more time.

    It would be annoying to sit at this table, but it’s one of those times you just have to count your lucky stars it isn’t you and take the high road as it doesn’t sound from described like there is much choice but to sit next to him. Him moving behind would work better, but then the father would have to turn around and whisper in his ear what the hand is. Just doesn’t sound like there is a good fix.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    Itís troublesome that the guy has to do everything for him, as he really canít logistically sit behind him as moving forward to look and then act every hand likely would take more time than a few misdeals over the course of hours. I always laugh at people who lose their shit at misdeals after theyíve looked down at some good first card when 90% of the time it changed the cards anyway. I usually feel the people who get angriest are the more superstitious people rather than thinking it actually took that much more time.

    It would be annoying to sit at this table, but itís one of those times you just have to count your lucky stars it isnít you and take the high road as it doesnít sound from described like there is much choice but to sit next to him. Him moving behind would work better, but then the father would have to turn around and whisper in his ear what the hand is. Just doesnít sound like there is a good fix.
    What kinda stuck out to me was that it seemed Cleeton wasn't interested in coming up with a better solution. If there was an attempt to solve it, and they simply could not come up with a better way to do it, then I'd understand. However, he seemed to be minimizing the misdeal and almost-misdeal situation, as if it wasn't burdensome to everyone else (it is). I've always been a believer that you should fairly accommodate those with disabilities, but not to the point where it causes a tremendous hassle for everyone else. Missing from Cleeton's statement was any claim that he was trying t o figure out a way to speed things up.

    I have no doubt that Kitty was a bitch about it, though.

  7. #7
    Cubic Zirconia
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    Put a fucking placard in front of his dad that says "Don't deal cards to me." Done.

    It's not Cleeton's responsibility to come up with a solution, especially when the solution is super, super, super trivial.

     
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      1marley1: Seems simple. Just don’t burden Druff.

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