Poker Pro Killed Parents To Cover Debt, Cops Say

From the “it’s only surprising that you’re surprised” department, authorities say that the parents of a debt-ridden, compulsive gambler were killed by — shocker — their debt-ridden, compulsive gambler son.

Ernest Scherer III

Ernest Scherer III was arrested in Las Vegas and charged yesterday with the murder of Ernest Scherer Jr. and Charlene Abendroth. The younger Scherer had mounting debts, including from his professional poker career, and police say he wanted to claim his inheritance. Instead, he’s being shipped back to Alameda County to stand trial. Talk about a bad beat.

Scherer III quit his job in the mortgage business in 2002 to play poker full-time, and according to one poker stats site, he has made $339,000 so far. But he had borrowed $616,000 from his parents to buy a house in Orange County, had $40,000 in credit card debt and had failed to pay property taxes and mortgage payments. So what’s a gambler to do other than go all in for one big score?

Their bodies were found in their home on the grounds of the Castlewood Country Club on March 14. In an arrest affidavit, Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Dudek said the younger Scherer had been in a “desperate financial situation” and needed his parents’ inheritance.

Scherer’s parents were beaten and stabbed in their 4,000-square-foot, three-level home, apparently after returning from dinner at the country club the night of March 7. Their pajama-clad bodies were found a week later.

Dudek wrote that Scherer “did not appear to show much emotion” at the deaths. He seemed more interested in getting a look at the will, hoping that it would give him as much as $1.5 million, Dudek said.

Wow, what a scumbag. Though I guess poker is the only addiction it’s acceptable to let control you and call yourself a “professional.”