He lost at poker. And then he lost at hearts. A tapped-out Andrei Karpov put up his wife Tatiana to stay in a poker game in Murmansk, Russia...

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He lost at poker. And then he lost at hearts.

A tapped-out Andrei Karpov put up his wife Tatiana to stay in a poker game in Murmansk, Russia, and not only did he lose her, she divorced him and married Sergey Brodov, the man who won the pot, ananova.com reported. “It was humiliating and I was utterly ashamed,” said Tatiana, who didn’t find out about it until Brodov showed up at her house to collect his winnings.

“But as soon as my ex-husband did that, I knew I had to leave him. Sergey was a very handsome, charming man, and I am very happy with him, even if he did ‘win’ me in a poker game.”

Former free agent

Theo Epstein, the Red Sox’s wonderboy general manager, quietly got married this month, the Boston Globe reported.

Baseball insiders suspect it’s an incentive-laden five-year deal with a sixth-year option.

Just wondering

If the Bears beat the Colts on Sunday, will the NFL have Dennis Green on hand to crown their … er, award them the trophy?

Longest Yard III

Chargers strong safety Terrence Kiel has been cited for urinating in public in the city’s Gaslamp Quarter, the eighth run-in with the law by a San Diego player since April, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

In a related story, the Chargers and Bengals are reportedly hammering out the final details to play the first NFL exhibition ever staged at Alcatraz.

Pattin’ Place

The Colts’ Dallas Clark, when asked the dumbest question he’s heard at the Super Bowl, had a pat answer for the Chicago Daily Herald: “Someone asked me what it’s like to get patted on the butt by Peyton Manning.”

Well, he is a tight end.

Quoth the mavens

• T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times, refusing to join the Kleenex crowd over the passing of a racehorse: “Tell me the difference right now between the furry bump in the road that once was a squirrel and Barbaro today. Courage? You don’t think it takes courage to try and run across eight lanes of the I-5, only to get flattened three lanes shy?”

• Steve Rosenbloom of ChicagoSports.com, comparing his city’s two Super Bowl teams: “The ’06 Bears’ curfew is midnight in a city that doesn’t start until 1. The ’85 Bears’ curfew in New Orleans was the next day’s practice.”

• Bears coach Lovie Smith, to the Chicago Tribune, on the South Beach nightlife: “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t dance … What is there for me to do?”

• Times reader Torben Rolfsen, on Kobe Bryant’s behind-the-scenes negotiations with the NBA after his late-game hit on the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili: “Instead of a one-game suspension, Kobe asked if he could just buy Manu some jewelry.”

That’s some 5-hole

Sports historians at the Asian Games in Changchun, China, were sent scurrying for the record books, the Bangkok Post reported, after Kazakhstan routed Thailand 52-1 on Monday. In ice hockey.

Or, as the sport is now known among Thai goaltenders, 52-Puck Pickup.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com