Cricket Legend and Poker Lover Shane Warne Dead at 52

Australia is mourning the loss of a true legend. Shane Warne died from a suspected heart attack while in Thailand; he was 52-years old. Warne’s management team broke the news via a brief statement.

“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived. The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”

Warne was a boisterous character who loved being the centre of attention. It is fair to say he lived his life to the full both on and off the cricket pitch. Often seen playing poker in Australia and around the world, Warne was rarely seen without a beaming smile on his face. He loved life and everyone loved him.

The Remarkable Cricket Career of Shane Warne

Warne is best known for his cricket prowess. Many consider him to be one of the greatest-ever bowlers and his figures back up those claims. He began his career playing for his home state of Victoria but also represented Hampshire in England. However, it is his international record that is a sight to behold.

Warne played his first Test match in 1992 when he was 23 years old. He went on to play 145 Test matches for Australia, taking 708 wickets. That figure was the most of any bowler in history until Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan overtook him. he has 37 Test fivers and ten Test ten-wicket hauls.

His talents continued in the One Day International game. Warne took another 293 wickets in 194 games.

The spin bowling legend officially retired from all forms of cricket in July 2013.

His Love For Poker and Gambling

Poker was another of Warne’s passions. His website details his love for the game, comparing high-stakes poker to playing top-level cricket. He loved tournament poker and played across Australia and the United States.

888poker signed him as an ambassador in January 2008. He wore their patch in poker events until January 2015. Crown Melbourne is where you often found the legend battling at the poker tables. The annual Shane Warne Super Stack ran from 2011 to 2014 and was hugely popular with the locals.

Warne earned US$161,325 from live poker tournaments with US$35,899 his largest haul. He collected this prize for a third-place finish in the $10,200 No-Limit Hold’em High Stakes Event at the 2010 Victorian Poker Championship.

He cashed in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Asia-Pacific Main Event in 2014, and the 2015 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas. A 12th place finish in the WPT Australia at Gold Coast in 2019 saw Warne bank $22,785. The Aussie Millions was his favourite tour.

His most recent in-the-money finish came in the $1,000 The Players Champs at the APT Brisbane festival. His son, Jackson, also cashed in one of the side events.

Using His Name and Image For Good Causes

Although Warne was never far away from controversy throughout his life, he was a generous man. He used his image and superstar status to raise money for many charitable causes.

He joined forces with Aussie poker star Joe Hachem for two charity poker tournaments. All proceeds went to the Share Warne Foundation, a charity for severely ill and underprivileged Australian children. In addition, he raised $1 million for the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal in 2020.

Warne’s children urged him to help raise money to help those affected by the unprecedented bushfires.

“I was talking to my children and they said maybe you should do something, maybe you could put on a game. I was like that would be good but these people need something now. Everyone, all these people who’ve lost their homes, their lives, and livelihoods. Over 500 million animals, I’ve got to do something right now.”

Warne auctioned off his “baggy green,” the first and only cap Australian crickets receive when they play for the national team. It was something with huge sentimental value to the cricket legend. It sold for $1,007,500 and the Red Cross received every cent.