Texting trouble sets back Shane Warne's poker career

Texting trouble sets back Shane Warne's poker career - 16th January 2008
(Credit: AFP)

SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian cricket legend Shane Warne's love of text messaging dealt an early blow to his new career as a professional poker player when he was penalised during a game, a tournament official said Thursday.

The legendary leg spinner hit the headlines regularly in the past over text messages to women in his life, helping trigger the breakdown of his marriage.

Since his retirement from international cricket last year, Warne has signed a deal with online gaming site www.888.com to play poker professionally.

But on Wednesday in his first tournament, the Aussie Millions at Melbourne's Crown Casino, Warne was forced to sit out for five minutes after he was caught sending a text message at the table.

Etiquette requires players to step away from the table when they use their mobile phones.

"You are not supposed to be text messaging at the table," said Paul McGuire, a reporter for online poker website www.pokernews.com, which is officially monitoring play.

"He has to sit out of the tournament for five minutes. Essentially he misses all action. He missed his blind and he missed the opportunity to get a really good hand," McGuire told AFP.

A blind is a forced bet in poker.

Warne's two-decade career in Test cricket ended with him as the greatest Test wicket-taker of all time with 708 wickets, although his record has since been surpassed by Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

Warne has welcomed the chance to try something new.

"It is good to be excited about something again," Warne has said. "I am not sure I am going to last 20 years in poker. It would be good if I could."


Shane Warne