Posts Tagged ‘obituaries’

RE: RIP, Justin Shronk (5)

The PokerRoad Tribute Show

by , Apr 24, 2009 | 8:50 pm

PokerRoad did an amazing tribute show to Justin Shronk, featuring Joe Sebok, Gavin Smith, Ali Nejad, Court Harrington, Scott Huff, and special guest BJ Nemeth.

If you knew Shronk, this is well worth the time. If you didn’t, it gives some insight into a life lost too early but a life well-lived and filled with friendship, respect, and love. Click here to listen to the heartfelt tribute.

On a personal note, thanks to the guys for putting together this show. Almost as difficult as feeling the loss of Shronk was hearing the heartbreak and sadness in your voices, but it is deeply appreciated.

Rest in peace, Shronk.

RE: RIP, Justin Shronk (4)

by , Apr 22, 2009 | 2:38 am

I know if Shronk were around, he wouldn’t be happy with all the ink he’s been getting … but he’s not, he’s left … so fuggit, sorry dude, you’re outta luck — here’s another tribute that beautifully explains why everyone who regularly dons a poker press badge is still so friggin’ bummed:

RE: RIP, Justin Shronk (2)

by , Apr 21, 2009 | 4:16 pm

Another fine tribute — from Pauly … with links to other fine tributes, and a video of Shronk taking on a Vegemite prop-bet at the Aussie Millions:

Pauly, btw, has been in Argentina for the LAPT, where he’s been huffing paint and engaging in bar fights. True story — at least half of it.

RE: RIP, Justin Shronk

by , | 1:01 pm

For those of you who didn’t know Shronk — or perhaps even more so for those who did — Matt over at Life’s a Bluff has dug up a not-too-old “Random Questions” video out of the archives that really tells you a lot about our friend from PokerRoad … who all of us in the poker media will still be thinking about for quite a while as we go about our daily tasks:

RE: Casey Reese, Son of Chip, Dies

by , Apr 7, 2009 | 7:27 pm

While the cause of death is being investigated, Doyle Brunson wrote in a blog post today that it was a prescription drug overdose.

It seems like yesterday when my nephew called and gave me a message that made my blood run cold, “I think Chip just died” he told me.

It happened again yesterday, only this time it was Chip’s only son, Casey Reese. Casey was found in his apartment from an apparent overdose of prescription drugs. I had seen Casey a few days ago and he looked great. He was very handsome and extremely personable. I will always remember the closeness between Chip and Casey.

My deepest condolences to the Reese family. I feel like I’ve let Chip down but I don’t know what I could have done to help Casey.

Casey Reese, Son of Chip, Dies

by , | 5:23 pm

Few details about a presumably sad occurrence, but Casey was 20, had a promising baseball career, and likely would’ve found his way to poker upon reaching legal casino gambling age, where we would’ve watched to see if he would indeed become the Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Poker.

The unconfirmed word on the street is that it was from a drug overdose … and it seems plausible enough, as the untimely death of a father can often send someone down such a path.

Help a Poker Player Out

by , Mar 13, 2009 | 2:18 pm

Some of you may know Walter Whitehead, a Dallas player and semi-regular at the still-going Lodge Amateur Poker tourneys. He’s one of those super-nice friendly Cowboy-hat-wearing tablemates who always seems to have a good time while working on his game. Well, his son, John, was murdered last week in Plano, and he’s having trouble paying for the burial. Meanwhile, Walt’s grandsons — Grayson, age 5, and Jonathan, who turned 8 yesterday — are left without a father and face a future less certain than they can understand … and a difficult one for their dad’s dad to deal with.

Sorry for being the bearer of rough news, but I thought a few of you specifically might want to know. Any financial assistance would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to:

Jonathan B Dwayne Whitehead Memorial at American National Bank of Texas

Here is the bank’s info … funds can be snail-mailed or wire-transferred to any branch. And if you’d like to offer any other assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Jay Wagoner (aka “Cowboy” or “Gandalf” to Lodge players), who can put you directly in touch with the Whitehead family.

Rough times, to say the least. But it’s good to know he’s got family, church support, and poker friends to help make it all a little better.

Poker Player Ernie Scherer III Arrested on Murder Warrant

by , Feb 24, 2009 | 1:25 pm

As a follow up to the story from nearly a year ago, there has been an arrest in the murders of Ernest Scherer Jr. and wife Charlene Abendroth. Ernest Scherer III – their son – was arrested on a murder warrant in Las Vegas last night.

Father and son were reported to be professional poker players.

Damn. My thoughts go out to a family who has had more than its share of bad beats in the past year.

The Contra Costa Times of the Bay Area reported:

Ernie Scherer III is in custody at a Las Vegas jail on a murder warrant. A representative with the Clark County Detention Center said he is being held without bail on a fugitive charge out of Alameda County.

Acquaintances of Scherer said the professional poker player was arrested Monday evening on suspicion of killing his parents, Ernie Scherer Jr., 60, and Charlene Abendroth, 57, who were found dead in their Castlewood Country Club home March 14.

RE: Really? 10-Year Anniversary of Stu’s Death (2)

by , Nov 22, 2008 | 5:42 pm

Today’s also the 45th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death, we should probably note. JFK was a little before my time, of course, but Stu Ungar (1953-1998) … his tragic end actually played a significant role in piquing my interest in the professional game. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at the time, but something about his obit caught my eye … age 45, “of as yet undetermined causes” … you might argue that he was the first rock star of poker — with triumphant on-stage performances and a self-inflicted final exit, a la Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain.

I have this multi-drawer file I call Dead Story Office — not about the deceased, but full of notes and documents (from mostly pre-poker days) on stories that never quite came to fruition — and one of them: “World Series of Poker”. Though I didn’t quite see how it all came together (and in retrospect it couldn’t be more of an uh-duh observation) I was pretty sure Ungar had to be a major and fascinating character.

If you’ve got nothing better to do, click below to rummage through the manila folder where I’ve carried a guy I never knew with me through four homes and two external offices over the past 10 years:


R.I.P. – John Bonetti

by , Jun 28, 2008 | 12:13 pm

John Bonetti died in Houston this week at age 80. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner was loved by players, hated by dealers, and according to his good friend Phil Hellmuth (via PokerNews), “[He would have been] a huge star if the cameras had come five years earlier.” Bonetti was an old-time player who found continued success at the tables even against a younger generation of players in a new poker era — all the way through 2006 when his health began to decline.

Poker-playin’ Journalist Dies

by , Jun 13, 2008 | 12:51 pm

Venerable journalist Tim Russert has died at age 58 of a heart attack. Russert, of course, was the Washington bureau chief of NBC News and the host of Meet the Press … and he liked, played, and respected poker. It was during the 2004 presidential campaign where he addressed the Democratic strategy of trying to win the Rust Belt states by saying that going after Ohio was “like drawing to an inside straight.”

Too true …

Back in the day, Russert played in a home game with Johnny Carson.

The Life & Death of Brandi Hawbaker: Personal Thoughts

by , Apr 25, 2008 | 12:06 am

I feel a sincere need to speak on this.

For the first time, I listened to the NWP Radio show last night because it was a tribute to Brandi Hawbaker. Her suicide has deeply affected me, and I hoped to hear some interesting perspective on her life and death. Almost two hours into the show, I did hear those things from Brandi’s ex-boyfriend Brandon and friend Jenn, though they were abruptly cut off in the midst of a very interesting discussion at the show’s end.

Dan Druff, who I know didn’t mean his comments in any sort of malicious way, exemplified many of the opinions I’ve heard since the news of Brandi’s suicide became public. People who have no personal, family, or friend history with mental illness have a rather narrow-minded and simplistic view of most types of mental difficulties. Brandon and Jenn did their best to dispel myths and shed some light on the complexities of people inflicted with such a disease, but it seems to be very difficult for outsiders like Druff to comprehend it.

Over the past week, I’ve had numerous conversations with people in the poker community about Brandi’s suicide. Most of their comments are rooted in pure shock at the thought of someone taking her own life. “It’s the most selfish thing someone can do,” someone said. “She must have done it to get back at the people who were mean to her,” another commented. “How does life get so bad that you want to die?”


R.I.P. – Brandi Hawbaker

by , Apr 17, 2008 | 5:25 pm

Serious news.

It has been confirmed by the guys at NeverWin Poker that Brandi Hawbaker took her own life on Sunday. She was 26-years old.

Brandi’s relationship with the poker community was a rocky one, to say the least. She certainly battled various inner demons for years, and it seems that the struggle was too rough. Anyone who has experienced that kind of severe mental instability knows that this may have seemed to her like the best way to end the battle, and it is sad that the illness won.

Rest in peace, Brandi.

Out with a Fizzle!
Beyond the Table: 2006-2008

by , Apr 10, 2008 | 11:49 am

Beyond the Table - Dan, Tom, and Karridy

The BTT crew: Poker talk fused with gay jokes and fat commentary was all the rage in 2007.

Some of you have been wondering, why no new episodes of Beyond the Table? Tom, Karridy, and I have been wondering the same thing. It’s been a good run, and with drinks in the air, three guys who clearly love/hate the sounds of their own voices are calling it podcast quits.

Back when we started, our show about poker but not really about poker stood out as revolutionary in a sea of lame poker interviewcasts with questionable audio quality. Soon after iPod sales were booming as more and more of the world got hooked on downloading poker audio with funny intros and Angry Julie cameos. But Tom couldn’t handle the celebrity and Karridy developed a crack addiction lives got busy and producers for Beyond the Table fared about as well as drummers for Spinal Tap. The show hired Shamus at a fraction of a Cambodian farmer’s wage to pump up our numbers — did he ever get his T-shirt? — but with a new generation of poker podcasts getting better and stronger (Lou Kreiger, Gary Wise, 2+2, Pocket Fives, Ante Up, Poker Road, et al) old-school payola wasn’t enough to save us from going out on the podcast bubble.

Listen below to a heretofore unpublished episode (recorded on 2-27, my dream flop) as your favorite semi-amateur yammerers phone it in for the last and final-ish time:

Beyond the Table: Fin


Thanks for listening via RSS, iTunes, play-in-popup, and direct download … we already miss ourselves.

You can still prank call Karridy on the Beyond the Table listener line at 888-820-8091.

RIP – Ernest Scherer Jr.

by , Mar 15, 2008 | 9:45 pm

As reported by, professional poker player Ernest Scherer Jr., 60, and his wife Charlene Abendroth, 57, were found dead in their Pleasanton, California home on Friday morning.

While no details are being reported yet, authorities are investigating the deaths as homicides.

The Hendon Mob results are difficult to verify because Ernest Scherer only has two tournament cashes to his name, while Ernest Scherer III (presumably his son) is listed as having over $330,000 in tournament winnings.

Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure to meet father or son during my time in the poker community. But in this terrible time, may the family find some peace.