Life Advice



Ask Amy: Esteemed fellow caught pocketing poker chips

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My brother-in-law (my sister’s husband) was a county commissioner for four years in our town and county. His reputation is that of an upright and solid citizen.

Until recently, my brother-in-law was a member of a weekly poker playing group that my husband is familiar with. My husband knows the members of this group.

My husband was informed by another member of the group (who is also a fairly close friend of his) that my brother-in-law was banned from the group after being caught stealing chips.

Should I say anything about this to my sister, who may or may not already know?

– Torn About Telling

Dear Torn: Owing to my (limited) knowledge about poker, and having no details about this regular poker group, I can only offer the observation that stealing chips from other players is basically the same as stealing money from them.


Banning someone from the group would be the lesser of other legal consequences, but – if this episode happened at all – the group certainly has the right to make this choice.

However, given the fact that this story was passed from a friend to your husband to you, if you decided to pass this along to your sister it would be a fourth-hand story with many unanswered questions attached to it.

If your husband feels strongly that your sister should know about this, then he should tell her. If you feel strongly that she should be told, then you should ask him to tell her. He is at least one step closer to the source.

The essential question to ponder would be your brother-in-law’s motivation. If he needs or wants money so badly that he is willing to try to steal from friends, then this could reveal serious personal issues that would have an impact on your sister.


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