Shane Warne Goes Walkabout As Charity Poker Limo Busts Out

Shane Warne Billy Brownless

Shane Warne (pictured with charity event co-host, Billy Brownless) was left dealing with a stolen limo and paparazzi after a Geelong poker night. (Image: Nigel Hallett)

Several poker celebrities, including Shane Warne and former World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe Hachem, were left without transport for a high-profile charity event after their luxury stretch limo was stolen.

The limousine, a white Chrysler stretch costing around $200,000, was taken as Warne and pals tucked into a celebratory dinner before attending a charity poker night at the Sphinx Hotel in Geelong. The party was left unamused, however, when the car was hotwired right outside the eatery and then found later, having been crashed on Eastern Beach Road.

The charity poker event was hosted by former AFL star, Billy Brownless and Warne, to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Individual entries cost $100, with VIP tables available at $2,500. A sponsor and celebrity player was guaranteed at every table. For the lucky winner, a trip for two to Las Vegas was offered.

A devastated limo driver went to collect his guests from the Fishermen’s Pier restaurant, only to discover the car missing when he came back. “He’s completely shaken by what’s happened,” car hire company owner, Daryl Murrell, told reporters afterwards.

Shortly after the theft, the limo company, Murrell Chauffeur Drive, posted a Facebook message pleading for anyone in the area to keep an eye out for the heisted auto.

Hachems Look to Vegas

For poker-playing brothers Tony and Joe Hachem, the charity poker night was the perfect preparation for the upcoming World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. The annual festival of poker kicks off at the end of May, and Joe will be looking to emulate his triumph of 11 years ago when he took down the Main Event for a US$7.5 million payout.

Joe Hachem boasts over US$12 million in career earnings to his name and most recently secured a cash in the Aussie Millions Poker Championship at the Crown Casino. Brother Tony is also looking for some run-good, with his last WSOP cash in Las Vegas having come two years ago.

Shane Warne has some way to go before he reaches the heights of the Hachems’ careers. Warne’s biggest WSOP cash came last year when he finished 597th in the Main Event, but the former 888poker ambassador will be looking to do even better this year.

Bad Beat for Shane Warne

Luckily for the party-goers, a stand-by limo was on-hand to whisk them all off to the red-carpet bash. As well as Warne, a prolific poker player since he retired from cricket, and Aussie poker legends, Joe and Tony Hachem, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here champ Brendan Fevola and Geelong’s Joel Selwood were also in attendance at the fundraiser.

For Warne, who just fancied a night out raising money for charity playing his new favourite game, there was more controversy after a photographer snapped him heading to quasi-socialite Brynne Edelsten’s house in the early hours.

“Some people never cease to amaze me,” Warne posted on his Instagram page later.

“Listen to this one. After a fun night raising money for breast cancer in Geelong last night, me & a few friends plus Brynne Edelsten went out for a couple of drinks.

“Brynne then invited me back to her place around 1am for a nightcap, when I arrived, paparazzi were conveniently waiting outside her home to get the pic, coincidence?

“I left instantly and thought how sad is that!”

While it ended with a bad beat for the cricketing legend, spare a thought for the $200,000 limo. It finished the eventful evening, according to Murrell, a “complete write-off.”

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