Evil Poker Players, Part 5: Shane Warne, Sham Warning

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Dec/28/2015
Evil Poker Players, Part 5: Shane Warne, Sham Warning

Mention the name Shane Warne and most Americans will give you a blank stare or ask, "Who's that?"

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If he walked through Times Square in New York City, he'd likely do so without being recognized.

But not so in his native Australia, where as one of the most popular players in one of the most popular national sports--cricket--he's a mega-celebrity, mobbed everywhere he goes.

And talk about second acts.

After retiring as a professional cricket player several years ago, Warne, now 46, took up a new pro career--that of professional poker player.

And he hasn't been bad at it, showing the intensity and drive that served him as a top cricketer Down Under for so many years.

In the short time he's been a poker pro, he's won about $90,000, mostly playing in tournaments in Australia.

But, it turns out, he's also evil, and thus is the latest subject in Gambing 911's continuing series "Evil Poker Players."

How evil?

He started a charity, ostensibly to help others who are less fortunate, but now he's accused of stealing the donations.

You can't get more evil than that.

The charity in question--or more accurately the questionable charity--is called the Shane Warne Foundation, set up to help sick and underprivileged children.

According to recent Australian media reports, after an auditing by independent auditors it was revealed that out of every dollar the so-called "charity" accepted in donations, only 16 cents was spent on charitable causes.

The rest of the money went to paying for extravagant expenses and obscene salaries for Warne's family and his cronies, the reports said.

Warne's brother, for example, who had no experience with charities or fund-raising, was an executive with the foundation and was paid more than $200,000 a year.

Warne's parents were also on the foundation's payroll.

In addition, it was also revealed that millions of dollars were wasted putting on extravagant events, such as celebrity cricket matches, that failed to raise enough funds to cover the event's expenses, effectively costing the charity money.

A full-scale government investigation in currently underway in Australia into the charity, and if it is determined that Warne knowingly broke federal laws in Australia that govern charities and their operation, he could wind up in prison for a long time.

In the meantime, Warne just can't seem to stay out of trouble.

He's now into a third professional career, as a television commentator in Australia for televised cricket matches.

But last Saturday, the Evil Poker Player who's also an Evil Cricket Player proved he's also an Evil TV Commentator.

According to Australian media reports, during a telecast of a match, a telestrator was used on-screen to explain a play.

The telestration vaguely resembled a penis, so Warne took the occasion to make a vulgar joke on-air about condoms.

He's now under fire Down Under for the remark, and may be removed from Aussie television permanently.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Staff Writer

tomsomach@yahoo.com

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