A well-known poker dealer in Las Vegas who was attacked at work and apparently fired after defending himself has seen a fundraiser burst through the $10,000 barrier after colleagues and supporters banded together to help him through the festive season and beyond…
Leandre ‘Patches’ Wharton has been described as a veteran poker dealer, who was working at the Aria when he was “berated and attacked” according to his close friend Keila Amos-Odinas.
Amos-Odinas says on the GoFundMe page:
“Patches is a veteran Poker Dealer in Las Vegas and a friend to many!!! He showed up at work in the middle of a pandemic to do his job as a professional poker dealer… He was berated and attacked and he simply protected himself… All of us have experienced someone who has belittled us at work and we know how helpless that feels… lets do our part to show him we have his back…”
The GoFundMe set up to help out Patches, initially looking for $2500 to cover ‘rent, food and monthly bills’, very quickly hit $10k, and is likely to raise much more given the high-profile support…
Quite what started the fight is unclear, but several people have claimed that an unnamed player provoked the situation and assaulted Leandre.
One poster on the YouTube page, Kendall Fukumoto, stated:
“1. The guy kept delaying the game and wouldn’t play on his turn (must be more than that or multiple occasions lol) 2. The guy started it and hit patches first. Either way, it doesn’t look good for my man patches…”
Another view of the incident appears to show Patches defending himself, while trapped against the plexiglass partitions being used to enforce casino rules for opening during the coronavirus pandemic.
Discussion on the 2plus2 forum also backs up the view that the dealer was attacked first, but it appears that his later decision to chase after his attacker is what resulted in him being apparently fired.
Poster synth_floyd, who shared one of the videos, explained:
‘The dealer made the mistake of fighting back. So they had to fire him. If a customer attacks you, you have to defend yourself and disengage. Unfortunate for him since it was probably a heat of the moment thing. Here’s another video. I’m assuming that the customer started the fight. They were scuffling on the table and other people got them separated and then he made the mistake of trying to chase the guy down at the end. If I’m management, I have to snap fire him.’
For a dealer in Las Vegas, that could see his licence potentially revoked by the NGCB (Nevada Gaming Control Board) rendering him unable to legally work as a dealer anywhere in the state.
That was backed up by several other posts and tweets…
Leandre ‘Patches’ Wharton seems to have been a very popular dealer judging by the outpouring of verbal support as well, numerous comments along the lines of this one posted by Jim Chese…
“Omg!! Love Patches, he’s the best. Yes he’s legendary. He used to deal to me at Caesars years and years ago, and I was glad he upgraded to Aria. He’s the sweetest guy too. I never saw him saying a nasty thing to anybody, ever. This is just super sad.”