Poker round escalates – dealer strikes

The ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas has been a well-known address in the American gambling metropolis for many years. A few days ago there was a tangible argument between a dealer and a player. The incident took place in the house's poker room. The explosive thing was that, according to current knowledge, the dealer was heavily involved in the fight.

Poker round escalates - dealer strikes

This is the casino employee Leandre “Patches” Wharton, who is very well known in the scene. He lost his job as a result of the fight. But several supporters of the dismissed dealer now started a GoFundMe page to collect donations – with success. The fact that there is a physical argument in the luxurious ARIA Resort & Casino is probably the absolute exception. The fight began several days ago when a dispute between an unknown poker player and the dealer escalated. Several eyewitnesses reported that the player racially insulted the well-known dealer Leandre “Patches” Wharton and then physically harassed him. So far, the cause of the dispute is not known, although several videos have emerged that prove the dispute.

Other poker players want to arbitrate

As can be seen in a YouTube video, the dealer and player are not exactly squeamish about each other. Several times they wedge themselves into each other and there are repeated fists from both parties. However, the video sequence only starts when the brawl is already in full swing, so it cannot be said with certainty who the aggression came from. However, you can see how several uninvolved poker players intervene in the action after a few seconds and wanted to separate the two brawlers. This finally succeeded after just under a minute. However, several eyewitnesses had subsequently reported that the greatest aggression probably came from the player. Among other things, the dealer had previously been racially insulted. Furthermore, the player physically attacked the dealer, whereupon he had to fight back, the eyewitnesses continued.

The actually popular dealer “Patches” was then heavily criticized from various sides. In some cases, however, he was also taken into protection, since he only wanted to defend himself after the attack. According to several rumors, “Patches” was released with immediate effect as a result of the brawl. An official statement from the ex-employer is still pending. So it has not even been confirmed that “Patches” actually lost his job. It is still unclear whether police investigations have also started in this context.

The ARIA Resort & Casino is a luxury hotel and casino owned by the renowned MGM Resorts in Las Vegas. The hotel has over 3,400 rooms and more than 550 suites, making it ninth in the world ranking of hotels with the most rooms. The casino area alone is 14,000 m². Large poker tournaments have been held regularly at the ARIA Resort & Casino since summer 2014. This also includes the “Super High Roller Bowl”.

Supporters collect donations for “patches”

In the meantime, however, several supporters have come together to collect donations for the dismissed poker dealer. More precisely, the supporters have started a fundraising campaign on the GoFundMe website. There, the previously defined donation target of 2,500 US dollars was reached after a short time. In the meantime, US $ 27,191 has been raised from 287 donors (as of December 18, 2020). In the comments of the generous donors, people praise “Patches” as friendly, professional and courteous dealers. Many cannot explain why he in particular should have now participated in a fight. In the donation description, the initiators defend their dealer and ask for financial support. Specifically it says here:

“He was insulted and attacked and just defended himself. We have all had the experience of being verbally abused at work and we know how helpless it can feel. Let’s do our part and show him that we stand behind him ”.


It is impressive how quickly supporters have launched a fundraising campaign in this case. Almost $ 30,000 has been raised for the dealer so far, although it has not even been officially confirmed that the man has actually lost his job. Above all, however, the case shows how quickly a momentary failure can lead to losing your job. But even if “Patches” has lost his job, he will probably find a new job relatively quickly due to his level of awareness within the scene.

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