Disgraced Former Cricket Player Now Poker Pro?

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Shane Warne

Only in the world of poker can someone viewed as a person of low moral character be seen as a hero.

The latest example?

A disgraced former professional cricket player from Australia is holding a charity poker tournament-at a major Australian casino!

According to media reports, retired Australian pro cricket player Shane Warne, along with Australian poker pro and 2005 World Series of Poker champ Joe Hachem, will host a charity poker tournament on Monday, October 27, 2008, at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.

The tourney is to benefit the Shane Warne Foundation, a charity that benefits sick and underprivileged children in Australia, the media reports said.

But wait a minute!

Isn't Warne a highly-disgraced ex-sports pro, at least in Australia and any place else where people know who he is?

You bet he is!

According to past accounts from newspapers in Australia and England and elsewhere, Warne, who was a top cricket player, was disciplined on numerous occasions by his sport for less than exemplary behavior.

The most serious incident was in 2004, when he was suspened from cricket for a year for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

In 1995, he was fined thousands of dollars after getting caught passing inside information about upcoming cricket matches to a bookmaker.

In 1999, he got into hot water after making negative comments about a Sri Lankan cricket player. The brouhaha earned Warne a fine and a two-match suspension.

In addition, his sexual excapades and extra-marital affairs have been fodder for the cricket media, and he has been investigated by a British government agency for shilling a shady company that makes a hair-restoration drug.

What a guy!

Let's get him to run a charity tournament for poor and sick kids!

Only in the highly-dysfunctional world of poker.

It's akin to a charity poker tourney being held in the USA by steroid abuser Barry Bonds, wife beater Jose Canseco, gambler Pete Rose or all-around miscreant O.J. Simpson.

Then again, charity poker tournaments in the USA in recent years have featured child molesters Thomas "Amarillo Slim" Preston Jr. and "Sean" Sheikhan and drug dealer Mike "The Mouth" Matusow.

And just a few weeks ago, Phil "Poker Brat" Hellmuth Jr. was asked to host a charity poker tournament with disgraced former NFL star Paul Hornung.

Hornung was once banned from the NFL for a year for betting on NFL games.



Thomas Somach, www.pokerhelper.com