The winner of the 2008 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event, Carter “ckingusc” King may be facing charges as a result of U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps being spotted using a bong at a South Carolina party. The Smoking Gun reports that King’s arrest is not directly associated with Phelps’ actions.
The alleged involvement of King began to surface on the Something Awful forums on February 1st. Then, as news of the arrest of Phelps spread throughout mainstream media, a discussion on the popular website ensued. King posted, “fwiw thats my bong at my house. Gobbo/psyduck or any other poker guy on SA can confirm. More important, how much [do you] think that bong is worth on eBay?”
On Friday, the Smoking Gun released at article which pointed out that King’s potential arrest has “nothing to do with the November house party attended by the Olympic champion, court documents show.” Instead, South Carolina police may have been seeking to crack down on the illegal drug’s use in the wake of the Phelps photo. On King, the Smoking Gun commented, “A second man, Zachary Carter King, 22, reportedly admitted that pot had just been ‘consumed in his presence’ at the Blossom Street home.” The Smoking Gun added that a police search warrant at the house where the Phelps party took place did not specifically mention the heralded Olympic swimmer.
Late Friday night, King replied to a TwoPlusTwo thread entitled “Was ckingusc arrested? Did he try selling his bong on eBay?” His response to the two questions posed: “Were u dropped on your head as a child or are u intentionally being dense? Either way they should be closing the case vs mike. As far as the charges vs me i cant speak about but the penalties will be very minimal. This entire thing has basically proven to me that you cannot trust the media or the police if you stand in the way of their interest. also fwiw, no i am not dumb enough to actually try and sell a bong on eBay.”
WIS-TV in Columbia also picked up on the story on Friday. In it, the news outlet recanted, “Multiple sources identify one of the four people who live at the lake house, who is now charged with possession. He is said to be 23-year-old professional poker player Zachary ‘Carter’ King. Poker websites say last September, King won more than a $1 million playing poker.” WIS-TV noted that the party involving Phelps did not occur at King’s house, which is located on Ballentine Cove. Instead, it took place at 2101 Blossom Street.
King’s lawyer, Joe McCulloch, did not return a call seeking comment by Poker News Daily at press time. WIS-TV reports that King is slated to appear in court on March 26th “to face a charge of simple possession.” Phelps’ alleged marijuana use has resulted in Kellogg’s pulling a major sponsorship deal with the 23 year-old. The swimmer took home a record-setting eight gold medals from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, setting seven world records in the process. The Baltimore Sun newspaper reports that Phelps has not yet hired a lawyer in conjunction with an ongoing investigation as to what happened at the party in question. In the meantime, eight other individuals have been arrested. Phelps has also not decided on his future as an Olympic swimmer.
The Sun added that possession of marijuana carries a penalty of up to a $200 fine and 30 days in prison. The images of Phelps using a bong at the party originally surfaced in a British tabloid on February 2nd. The owner of the bong Phelps used attempted to sell it on popular online auction site eBay for $100,000, although he was not at the party when the transgressions occurred.
A total of 2,185 players entered the 2008 WCOOP Main Event on PokerStars, the world’s most popular online poker site. The tournament was chopped when five players remained, with the survivors playing on for $200,000 and the gold bracelet. King officially won $1.3 million for the victory when the smoke cleared, one of the largest prizes ever doled out online. U.K. poker player liberace, although finishing second, took home nearly $1.4 million. Finishing third was Alex “AJKHoosier1” Kamberis, who pocketed $782,000.
Carter declined to comment on the story.