2022 WSOP: Kitty Kuo finds herself in hot water over treatment of KL Cleeton

Jon Pill
Posted on: June 25, 2022 06:39 PDT

Kitty Kuo found herself at the center of an unpleasant controversy yesterday when she called the floor on KL Cleeton. The issue, as with so many at this year's series, started with an inexperienced dealer.

Cleeton has Spinal Muscular Atrophy resulting in paralysis from the neck down. As a result, Cleeton's father (or occasionally one of his pals) has to sit with him to handle the cards and chips.

According to Cleeton's account, the dealer had accidentally dealt his father in twice, causing the hands to be redealt.

Kuo, apparently frustrated at the slow pace of play, told the Cleeton's that one of the pair should sit back from the table to avoid confusing the dealer.

When Cleeton explained that this wasn't an option, Kuo threatened to call the floor.

In her account, she intended to ask for a "more experienced dealer or if one of [the Cleetons] should sit a little behind the other person so the dealer doesn't get confused."

She then added: "Sorry if he feel hurt by this, but I was feeling annoyed by so many mistakes."

Cleeton then says, "I left the table to get a floor and told [the floor] about what was happening. He came to the table and she again told him that I should either sit behind my assistant or he should sit behind me. Floor said that wasn't going to happen and they moved her a short time later."


After the story came out, the poker world quickly fell into two camps. Shaun Deeb took Kuo's side. Most other people agreed she was out of line in laying the onus for fixing a dealer error at Cleeton's door.

After defending her actions for several hours, Kuo relented to public pressure, offering KL an apology and 3% of her Main Event action.

Cleeton accepted the former and suggested she donate the latter to Able Gamers, a charity that uses games and play "to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities."

If you want to boost Kuo's donation to Able Gamers, you can do so by clicking the "donate" button on the charity's website.

Featured image source: Haley Hintze.