Last year, I remember deadspin.com doing an article on all of the questionable players in attendance at the WSOP. The point of the article was to make the WSOP seem like a back-alley poker club where everyone at the event was some kind of thug or criminal. But in the end, the author could only point out a handful of people out of the 50,000+ in attendance that had shady pasts. When looking at the rest of the world, that’s really pretty normal.
However, the author of the article did happen to mention one person by the name of Ernie Scherer III who was a “person of interest” in the murder case of his parents. Obviously this didn’t mean a whole lot back then because being a person of interest could mean just about anything. But this simple phrase suddenly means a whole lot more now that Scherer has been arrested on a murder warrant for the beating deaths of his parents.
The 30 year-old pro player was previously a person of interest because he had owed his parents quite a bit of money and wasn’t paying up. Many people around the poker community defended Scherer and said that he couldn’t hurt a fly, much less murder his parents. However, there’s no defending him now as it appears he will stand trial for his parents’ murder. Currently, Scherer is sitting in a Las Vegas jail cell without bail and awaits his trial date.
This is a very tragic story on many levels and will no doubt cause some negative publicity for the game of poker itself. Poker is already fighting its reputation as a form of gambling and adding a murder to the mix won’t help matters much. But, in the end, I think poker will be able to move past this tragedy.
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