Shane Warne: The Next Journey
After an illustrious career in sport, you’d forgive any professional athlete the desire to gracefully relax into their retirement. However, for many ex-professionals they find it hard to just stop competing and end up looking for their next adrenaline fix.
Shane Warne is no different, even a flit with the IPL, and commentating on cricket, didn’t quite fill the void of competitive cricket. So, Warne needed to find an environment that he’d thrive in, and ultimately feel comfortable in - something his charismatic personality would lend itself to.
Like many ex-professional athletes, Warne saw the world of poker an extremely interesting lifestyle: jetting around the world, playing at the most prestigious casinos, large prize funds and all the fame that comes with it as a sort of extension from his life as one of the world’s most talented cricketers.
In 2008, Warne made his bow in the UK Open in Maidestone where he finished second. Naturally, the media immediately lauded Warne’s natural ability as a poker player. However, his most valued placing was when he finished third in the Victorian Open Poker Championship in Melbourne and won $35,000 this year
It’s quite an achievement for a professional to excel in two different sports. And although Warne is yet to make his marks on any of the major World Series of Poker Main Events, it is expected that he will gain a seat at one within the next 12 months.
It’s reported Warne first started to get into poker through online sites where he would aim to qualify for some of the professional events – a luxury not afforded to Americans since Black Friday closed all online poker operators down in 2011.
However, no such hurdles have been put in place since the first casino hub was launched online courtesy of InterCasino all the way back in 1996. During this time many feel that it has stunted the growth of new talent in the US and provided opportunities to more European and other countries across the world in seeing their fledgling players reach the world stage, such as Warne.
While Warne continues to hone his skills in the smaller games with the hope of some day playing in the WSOP, he has however played against some big stars of the sport. Every year he organises the Joe Hachem and Shane Warne Charity Poker Tournament to raise money for seriously ill and underprivileged children. Hachem himself is a world champion in his own right and Warne has a worthy mentor to learn from.
We never expected Warne’s twilight years to be dull but it’s definitely going to be intriguing to see if he can mix it with the world’s poker elite and prevail!
© Cricket World 2014