Poker throws up some strange disciples, and I class myself as one of them. I’m a professional poker player who never flaunts his wealth. There are no Armani or Gucci shirts in my wardrobe. There may be an old Wolves shirt or a fleece from Primark. It’s funny how we will spend $10,000 to enter a tournament but we won’t tax our cars. I once had a diesel van, and in the 12 months I owned it, not one drop of white diesel went in the tank (just free red diesel from factories). We cut a lot of corners, but always make the major tournaments. I would pawn almost anything to get into a game. If I had an artificial leg and could get £20 for it, I would become the hopping champion of Great Britain.
You don’t just wake up and decide to be a gambler. At the age of 10, I would stay at my Nan’s. My mum would say, “Get round your Nan’s, son,” because she could never remember my name. If Wolverhampton races were on then, I would play truant from school and my Nan and I would go. I knew how to get into the track for free, but it meant climbing over a canal lock and holding up a picket fence for my 80-year-old Nan to crawl under! This became a bit more difficult years later with her wheelchair, but I still made her crawl underneath. I can remember one particular day in the spring. My hard-of-hearing Nan gave me the paper, asking me to read the runners in the first race. As I read Hard Ransom, she said, “That’s the one, My Grandson. We’ll back that.” Our 2-6d each way at 33-1 won, giving us £5-15 shilling, which was a fortune in …
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With little on the field to get excited about, my thoughts turn to football politics.
The Michael Garcia report on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup awarding decisions has finally been published, but sadly did not provide enough ammunition to charge Russia and Qatar or strip them of their World Cup hosting.
That Qatar paid $2 million to the ten year-old daughter of a FIFA official (the fantastically bent Brazilian Ricardo Texeira) would be hilarious if it were not so tragic. That a nation with no discernible football heritage, a hostile climate and apparently incompatible culture could trump the superior claims of Australia and the United States immediately shocked.
The subsequent humiliation of Qatari AFC President Mohammed Bin Hammam, aka Mr Bribe, and the tsunami of FIFA corruption cases has done nothing to change the impression that hosting the World Cup was a tainted victory for the tiny Gulf state, yet Garcia believed Bin Hammams’s payments to individuals to help his bid for the FIFA presidency had no connection to Qatar’s 2022 bid.
That said, other bidding nations came out just as embarrassed – Japan and South Korea for their largesse to potential supporters and Australia and England in their clumsy attempts to woo the kingmaker Jack Warner, the epitome of FIFA corruption and malfeasance, with money, friendlies and jobs for the boys.
England also tried to do a vote swap with the Situs Qiu Qiu Online Koreans on the eve of the vote, but that nation already had a deal in place with Spain, an inevitable consequence of scheduling two hosting votes together. It was all to no avail of course as none of those three nations emerged victorious.
Along with Michel Platini’s, Franz Beckenbauer’s football career is over as a result of the fall of the house of …
Many of my columns have a single overarching theme, but not this one. No, this time you’re going to get two pearls of wisdom for the price of one. If you are violating either of these principles and will just internalize one of them, you will instantly become a better poker player; that’s how powerful these nuggets are. Furthermore, they are applicable to all forms of poker, at all times, in any sort of game. OK, enough rhetoric, let’s get to our two-course meal:
One: Don’t teach at the table. This rule should be known as “Cooke’s Law,” because Card Player columnist Roy Cooke is famous for saying, “Lessons are always next Tuesday.” And he’s right. There are two common violations of Cooke’s Law that I see, and they’re both unconscionable. The first is literally giving lessons at the table, and usually involves the student beating the teacher out of a pot. “Do you realize that you had only two outs on the turn? I mean, did you think your pair of fours was good with a board of K-K-10-9 and me betting all the way?” Why do people say these things? Suppose you had A-K, had raised before the flop, and had bet at every opportunity. Do you want the person with pocket fours to fold on the turn, when you had about 96 percent equity in every dollar that went in on that street? Do you want him to become a better player and fold when he should? And besides, this ignores the fact that it’s bad poker and bad manners to berate another player at the Bola88 table.
The other common violation of Cooke’s Law is, alas, becoming more common. It involves two or more players discussing strategy at the table. …
It is perhaps one of the most intriguing stories of a World Cup with many intriguing stories. Steered by the unsteady hand of Diego Maradonna, Argentina qualified for the finals by the skin of their teeth but boast some world class players that make them genuine contenders in South Africa this summer.
Can Argentina Win The World Cup?
Few men have won the World Cup as Keluaran HK player and coach – Maradonna’s legend is already secure but lifting the Jules Rimet trophy again would bring true god-like status among his people.
It is amazing that in spite of his many previous transgressions he is national coach at all. A chaotic qualifying campaign did little to enhance his coaching reputation and he loses friends at an alarming rate. Still he is there though and in Lionel Messi he has the one player who could emulate Maradonna’s own feat at Mexico 86 – single handedly inspiring his country to become World Champions.
There’s a snag though – Maradonna has yet to find the right role for Messi and has struggled to get the best from his best player. Messi’s domestic form for Barcelona is rarely transferred to the international team and Maradonna must work out this conundrum before the finals begin if his team are to have any chance of lifting the famous trophy.
Finding the right blend has been an wider problem as well – in qualifying 78 players were used with people falling in and out of favour by the game. They lost 6-1 to Bolivia early in the campaign and eventually qualified in fourth place in quite bizarre circumstances.
The final game against Uruguay was a must win for both sides to secure fourth spot. Debutant Mario Bolatti’s 84th …
Former Japan international Naoki Matsuda has died. The 34-year-old collapsed during training with Japan Football League club Matsumoto Yamaga on August 2.
The tenacious defender played more than 360 top-flight games for Yokohama F. Marinos and was one of the most popular players of the J. League era. He joined third-tier side Matsumoto Yamaga after being released by F. Marinos at the end of last season.
Once a mainstay of the Japanese national team, Matsuda Togel Hongkong started all four of Japan’s games on home soil at the 2002 World Cup.
He was rushed to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest before afternoon training with his new club.
Doctors are yet to determine the cause of Matsuda’s condition, although Japan has experienced heatwave conditions for much of the summer.
Yokohama F. Marinos lead the way in the J. League
Umbrella sellers are no doubt doing a brisk trade in Yokohama as Kanagawa giants Yokohama F. Marinos lead the way in the J. League standings.
The port city giants beat regional rivals Omiya Ardija 2-1 at home last weekend to maintain a two-point lead over Chiba side Kashiwa Reysol, who were held to a scoreless draw away at Vegalta Sendai.
Reysol’s clash with Vegalta was their second in the space of four days at Yurtec Stadium, after the two sides met in the League Cup in midweek, with Vegalta prevailing 3-1 on aggregate.
Defending champions Nagoya Grampus are looming as an obvious threat in the league, and they’ve moved into third place in the table after brushing aside …
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When Slovakia ran out for their first ever World Cup match at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenberg, they probably didn’t imagine making their finals debut in front of thousands of empty seats.
One world, one game… but where are the fans?
But while small bands of Slovakian and New Zealand supporters made the long trip from their respective homelands to watch the Group F Togel Singapore encounter in person, the match appears to have held little cachet for local supporters.
In a tournament dogged by headlines about crime and the noise of South Africa’s ubiquitous vuvezelas, FIFA now have a new headache to contend with – the sight of empty seats at many of the early group-stage encounters.
The suits in the Swiss corridors of power may be part of a well oiled marketing machine, but no amount of spin doctoring can hide the fact that the unoccupied seats represent a public relations disaster.
Thousands of ticket-holders failed to turn out for games involving Asian sides South Korea and Japan, with FIFA blaming the no-shows on the high percentage of corporate clients who have failed to find their way into the grounds.
Yet local supporters remain locked out by high ticket prices, while transport chaos continues to plague a tournament hosted by a nation still struggling for basic infrastructure.
Millions of dollars have been poured into updating South African stadia, but the funds appear to have been wasted with so many of the games attracting crowds well short of capacity.
It’s just another headache for FIFA organisers already struggling to deal with those caused by ear-splitting plastic horns, with the opening round of matches more memorable for the swathes of empty seats on display, rather than any of the football …
FA Cup.The world’s oldest football competition the F.A. Cup continues its descent into mediocrity as the Football Association has signed a £24 million sponsorship deal with Budweiser.
America’s best-selling ‘beer’ (over 11 billion bottles per year) continues to seek new ways to shake off its reputation for tasting Togel Hongkong too weak and tepid to tempt Europeans away from their native brews. The three-year deal sees the great competition renamed as “The FA Cup with Budweiser,” amid much talk of brands and promoting the cup overseas, but unless the prize money increases immensely it is hard to see how it can regain the prestige it enjoyed for decades.
Bud has been the exclusive beer of World Cup stadia for years now, a fact bemoaned by fans far and wide and the subject of a major campaign by German supporters before the 2006 tournament. In a pathetic effort to avoid negative associations, Budweiser changed its name inside Germany’s 2006 stadia to the more Teutonic sounding ‘Anheuser Busch’, but the same fizzy drink emerged from the taps. The company is now part of the Belgian-Brazilian giant AB InBev, whose brands include Becks, Hoegaarden, Labatt’s and Stella Artois.
Despite the alarming rise in alcohol-related illnesses from Britain’s binge-drinking culture, and the obvious appeal of football and advertising to children, the news of Bud’s hook-up with the FA confirms the link between football and booze remains strong.
Champions League set for London again
Champions League set for London again.Noises coming out of UEFA suggest that the Champions League Final could return to the new Wembley as early as two seasons’ time.
The unusual step is being mooted because 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the Football Association, the world’s oldest, and this year’s showpiece went off …
“There was total confusion. Not one of them had a clear idea of what was going on, not a clue.”
Kaka’s damning words confirmed the egg is stuck fast to the face of the blue half of Manchester, following a shockingly public humiliation which made City the laughing stock of the soccer world and a source of overflowing schadenfreude from Old Trafford to Olduvai. But are City really to blame for missing such an apparently open goal so embarrassingly?
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy’s ineffable soccer daily, it was Bosco Leite, Kaka’s father & Adriano Galliani, the Milan Chief Executive previously in favour of the sale, who pulled the plug.
The Blues did negotiate for a full seven hours in an effort to pull off the deal of the century, before nature demanded an interval.
Having agreed to meet again after breakfast in the morning, City Chief Executive Gary Cook was surprised to receive a late-night Keluaran HK phone call ignoring his concerns and instead demanding he put his money on the table with a fat salary offer there and then.
Cook promised to email an offer in the morning, a pledge Leite and Milan chose to spurn. Italian PM and Milan president Silvio Berlusconi then materialized on television minutes later to announce Kaka would be staying at the San Siro. A dramatic transfer tale had run its course.
Make no mistake, it was not Kaka’s Christian faith which led him to walk away, nor was it the love of the red and black tifosi, whose public devotion to a millionaire sports star looked somewhat quaint if not deluded in 2009. Nor was his family’s Italian homelife the clinching factor any more than the fact Milan are a top team …