John Walsh: High stakes bank-robbing – and poker

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The Independent Online

I'm hazy about Australian football, but what on earth happened when Old Hill Wanderers met Swinburne Reserves in Melbourne? Aaron Eccleston was struck in the groin by the ball and retired to the dressing-room after the referee "became aware" he had a body piercing on his penis, and demanded that he remove it. When Eccleston returned, he was given a yellow card for re-entering the field of play without permission, and a second for "being unable to prove he had removed the piercing". He was sent off, tail, as it were, between legs. Are all piercings banned from footie matches? Even invisible ones?

* The cashier at the RBC bank in Gastonia, North Carolina, was surprised when a robber pushed him a note – demanding one dollar. When he was given it, he said: "I'll be sitting over there on the chair, waiting for the police." The desperado was Richard Verone, 59, desperate to be sent to prison so he could get free medical treatment for an undiagnosed growth in his chest and a mystery ailment in his feet. Verone said he'd hoped for a three-year sentence but a mere 12 months is more likely. Poor guy.

* Ringo Starr as the Pope in Lisztomania and John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror were two legendary casting fiascos. Will the same apply to the cast of Snow White and the Huntsman? Universal Studios have just announced the dwarves: Bob Hoskins as the blind one, Eddie Izzard as the burly one, Toby Jones as the timid one, Ian McShane as the leader and (I'm not making this up) Ray Winstone as the grumpy one. That leaves Brian Blessed and Sean Connery to be contacted for a complete set of British leading men being brought down to size.

* Wow, Spider-Man is in a lawsuit, because he's too good at poker. According to documents filed in a US bankruptcy court, a hedge fund manager, Brad Ruderman, is alleged to have blown $25m on card games with a Hollywood "poker ring" which it is claimed involved Tobey Maguire, Leo Di Caprio, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Named in a forthcoming lawsuit to claw Ruderman's money back, Maguire is reported to have won $311,300 from the financier. I expect that mask was the ultimate poker face.