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Poker game gone wrong - man gets shot and loses his life

Senior Reporter

Poker is a game, but since it usually involves money, it could become a lot more than a simple form of entertainment. And if people are willing to flip a table during a game of monopoly with fake cash, imagine the anger that could surface when real money is on the line. A 61-year-old man named Joseph Berry serves as an unfortunate example of how unpredictable people can be when a Poker game goes wrong.

Poker game gone wrong - man gets shot and loses his life
Image: pixabay.com

Joseph Berry made an irreversible bet as he and a 57-year-old Michael Burney were gambling and got into a dispute over $7. Shortly after, Michael shot Joseph multiple times on the 2900 block of Gould Street. The shooter escaped before authorities arrived at the scene. 

The wounded man was rushed to a hospital soon after the shooting. He was still alive during the ambulance ride, but the injuries were too severe, and he ended up dying that same night. 

Joseph was a dedicated church-goer at the Cornerstone Baptist Church, and the Pastor, Simmons, later commented, this incident was not worth $7, as human life is of much more value than a gambling bet. He and other pastors are standing in the union, in hopes to bring change to the crime-infused city. More specifically, “To not allow violence to take place in the community, and become incognito, but to engage with the police,” Pastor Simmons explains.

The shooter, on the other hand, decided to come clean and turned himself in to the authorities, after which he was placed in the Dallas County jail until his scheduled court date. He is now facing a murder charge for taking Berry’s life and will spend most of his remaining life behind bars.

Unfortunately, these types of incidents aren't a rarity, and happen far more often than they should. Most of which are as baseless as this $7 deadly bet. It's important to remember that any gambling that involves real money (even insignificant amounts) can trigger extreme reactions in people, and it's best to avoid any related conflicts altogether. 

Considering that Michael Burney turned himself in shortly after killing his opponent, it was highly unlikely that he had any premeditated plans to commit murder. That simply means the action was taken in the heat of the moment, and could have been avoided if the present parties made efforts to settle the argument before it all went too far.

Unfortunately, it's a little too late for that conversation in Joseph's case. However, this painful story can serve as a serious lesson of how even a simple game of Poker can be deadly if done at the wrong place, wrong time, or with the wrong people.

The disheartening number of murders over gambling feuds is on the rise, and does not seem to be slowing down. Joseph was one of the 23+ people who took a bullet during the 4th of July weekend in Dallas - some of which happened to be young teenagers. And although the other shootings happened over different reasons other than Poker bets, all of them involved a terrifying bet that put lives and freedom on the line. 


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