If you love a bit of poker gossip, have we got a story for you. Earlier this week, it was reported that poker pro Sammy was involved in an altercation with a dealer who goes by “MJ” – and, a GoFundMe has been launched to cover any potential legal fees he might incur – to the tune of $20,000.
Before we dive into this, we’d like to stress that we do not endorse the actions of MJ. Violence is never the answer.
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Background on Sammy Farha’s Altercation with MJ
It seems that MJ and Farha have quite a long and turbulent history. According to various sources, Farha had MJ fired from two other poker clubs – so, there was plenty of bad blood between the two of them.
Employed at a new venue, MJ found himself dealing to Farha yet again. Witnesses say that they began arguing, leading MJ to slap Farha and then push him. Before onlookers were able to pull them apart, MJ hit him once more.
Both parties were asked to leave the room, and a photo posted to a Facebook group dedicated to the Houston live poker scene shows Farha speaking to a police officer. However, there is no news yet that charges have been filed.
Farha’s Reputation in the Poker Scene
After finding the GoFundMe page for MJ, I went down a little bit of a rabbit hole to understand why people have such strong words for Farha. The page itself lists damning comments, saying that he “deserved” to be punched.
On a local poker Facebook group, one player even offered to buy MJ into a satellite for the Prime Social Poker Open. The comments on that thread show nothing but support for him.
So, what’s the deal with Sammy Farha, and why is he so widely disliked in the poker world?
Basically, there has been a lot of talk that he doesn’t treat dealers very nicely. Several dealers and players have reported that he is regularly disrespectful to cardroom staff. There is even an urban legend that he once tipped a dealer $25,000 and then asked for it back.
Still, there are some good stories about him. One player on the 2Plus2 forums made a post about how he met Farha in Las Vegas, and “couldn’t believe how friendly he was”.
How Much Has Been Raised on For MJ So Far?
At the time of writing, just $600 has been raised – less than 5% of the goal.
No charges have officially been filed, the GoFundMe is raising funds to cover the dealer’s legal fees. However, it does seem to be more of a symbolic gesture, for the poker community to show their support of MJ’s actions.
That being said, again, we do not condone violence here at BeatTheFish – and, we also believe that players should always treat dealers and cardroom staff with respect.
This is a story that is sure to develop quite quickly, especially if charges are filed. We will certainly keep you updated as more details come to light.