The Had2 Devil Strikes Again UFA

In our everyday lives, we frequently are confronted with the Had2 Devil. The car was really dirty, so I Had2 stop and get it washed today. I knew I really didn’t need it, but I Had2 sample that last piece of chocolate cake. I didn’t have any money on the game, but I Had2 check on the Michigan State game scores. I didn’t really need anything from Wal-Mart, but I was in the neighborhood, so I Had2 stopped and ran in. Most of us can easily rationalize just about anything the Had2 Devil can conjure up.

This mind set easily and frequently transfers to the poker arena. When the flop came Ace, 8, 3, all spades, I knew my two red UFA pocket Kings were no good. I just Had2 see what proud Fred held… When the river produced a fourth heart, I couldn’t muck my weak flush. I just Had2 call…There were six players in the hand and two clubs on the board. I had an open-end straight draw. I just Had2 to see one more card even though I had no clubs.

This Had2 mentality can be the kiss of death for a poker player. It also is a counter productive and negative influence in many of our personal lives.

What would have happened if we had not gotten the car washed, or eaten that piece of chocolate cake, or completely disregarded the Michigan State game, or failed to go into Wal-Mart? In all likelihood, the world would have continued to revolve on its axis. Life would have gone on and absolutely nothing negative would have happened to us. The Had2 Devil was just playing with our head.

Few if any of us are immune to the lure of this troublesome rogue demon.

Before you read on, stop a moment. Think back to the last time you had an untimely visit from this costly imp. Whose voice did you hear in your head?

Come on. Play along. Take just a minute and go back…

Whose voice was it?

Do you hear him…or was it a her?

When I stopped and replayed the last few times I succumbed to the prodding of the Had2 Devil, I discovered that the gender changed based on the situation. I also noticed that the voices seemed to come from my far past…even my childhood.

This is some of the feedback I’ve gotten from other players about the identity of their Had2 Devil:

Some poker players hear the voice of a strict schoolteacher who ruled with an iron hand and constantly made them take time outs.

Others swear it’s the voice of a once, overbearing spouse.

While others are sure it’s the voice of a domineering parent who constantly told them to stand up for themselves.

Some have even said it’s the voice of a would-be friend.

Have you ever seen other poker players blame everything and everyone except themselves for their poor playing practices and subsequent losses? It’s almost as if these players were possessed by the evil imp.

You know what I mean. Certainly, you’ve been at the table with a player who constantly justifies his actions by saying, “I just Had2 call.” Then he proceeds to tell you all the various and sundry reasons why he Had2 call.

Then there is the time you’re faced with the aggressive player who constantly runs over the table and brags about his bluffs. You finally catch a hand and bet out. Without hesitation he raises, as he’s done all night.

Just as before, you are convinced he is holding nothing. You re-raise him, and he flamboyantly caps the bet.

As the hand progresses, the strength of your hand diminishes. He refuses to back off and keeps firing bets into the pot.

His demeanor is even stronger than before. You refuse to let him run over you. You can’t seem to help calling his bets.

Even as your hand gets weaker and seems to fade away, you find yourself calling the final bet he fires into the pot, because… you Had2. It was a matter of honor you tell yourself as he drags the pot. It was a matter of saving face. It was a matter of not letting him run all over you.

Please understand. I’m not immune to this mischievous demon. He or she, as the case may be, pops up at the most unexpected moments. My personal objective regarding this unwelcome guest is to boot her out of my game as soon as I become aware she’s arrived.

I’ve asked other players whose voice they hear in their heads when the Had2 Devil prods them to call that last bet, even when they KNOW they are beaten. Their answers are very interesting.

Even though I’m not a trained psychologist, the study of human behavior has mesmerized me most of my life and been one of my favorite avocations. I’ve also spent a great deal of time and energy trying to decipher what makes me tick. That said, I sincerely hope I do not offend any trained professionals who have selected poker as one of their captivating pastimes.

In my opinion, when we entertain the Had2 Devil, invariably we’re seeking a scapegoat for our personal actions. And, to take us off the hook, we empower this internal creature with the voice of someone who had control over us in the past. Interestingly, it seldom seems to come from someone who, we perceive, currently has control over us. Regardless of the source of that voice, we willingly hand over our power, so we can place blame for our poor decisions.

Next time, you feel you Have2 do something, stop and ask your self, “What will happen if I don’t do it?” If the answer is, “Probably nothing,” then take a pass, and don’t do it. I suspect that you will find that more than half the time, the Had2 Devil is lying to you.

Until next time, when you play poker, only call when you are prepared to raise.

 …

Professor Ligaz11 Poker

 

 

I have a friend who likes to play against tough opponents because, she reasons, the tougher the competition the better her own game will become. What do you think about that?

 

Jouster

 

Dear Jouster, Well, it works for tennis. If you play against tougher opponents, your tennis game will certainly improve. But is that what you really want in poker? I don’t think so. After all, the goal of the game is to win money, and while sharpening your skills will certainly help you realize that goal, playing against soft opponents works much, much better.

 

If you’re really interested in improving your game (and you should be) then spend your time studying poker books and using analytical tools and deconstructing your own play. Obviously you’d like to reach the point where all your opponents are weaker than you. But out there in the real world, the fact is that some foes will be much, much better. Avoid them while you can. That’s not where the money lies.

 

What is with these maniacs I play with? While I’m cautious and careful about what hands I’ll play, they seem to jump in to the pot with anything at all. J-3, 9-7… they just don’t care! Last night I saw a maniac call four bets before the flop with 5-4 offsuit, and win a monster pot when he caught runner-runner to make a low straight on the river. It’s frustrating to see the maniacs running all over the game, but when I try the same strategy it never seems to work. How can I play like a maniac and win?

 

The professor feels your pain. The fact is that there’s a certain type of player who regards any two cards as a reasonable starting hand in ligaz11 hold ’em. Fluctuations for these players are much higher than for you and me because, while they do win the monster pots with garbage holdings, they lose a lot more with those garbage holdings too. Thus they go up and down by racks and racks, whereas you and I, playing selectively aggressively, just go up and down by stacks and stacks.

 

Of course you can play their way, if you’re willing to ride the big roller coaster, but I think you should be aware of something called “confirmation bias.” Confirmation bias tells us that we’re much more likely to see something if we’re already primed to look for it. You see the maniacs winning big pots and you start to think that all they do is win big pots. But you’re paying much more attention to their occasional big wins than to their consistent small losses. It may be that you’re not even noticing the losses at all.

 

The professor recommends: When you enter a game, note everyone’s stack size, so that you can track their real performance as the hours roll by. I think you’ll find that the maniacs, while temporarily successful, do not really profit overall. In the meantime, when you see your opponents getting out of line (jumping into the pot with inferior holdings) don’t neglect to punish them! Sure they’ll suck out on you once in a while (and you’ll think that it happens all the time) but entering the hand with weak cards is a mistake, and you will make money in the long run by punishing other players’ mistakes. That’s a promise from the prof!

 

 

 …

Shaun McCamley and and Casino Discussions

CHUCK – Is there any difference between an Asian gambler and an American gambler?

SHAUN – Yes, like night and day. Asian gamblers have a completely different approach to betting strategy, customer service expectations and money management.

Blackjack is the most popular Internet casino game for North Americans. What are the most popular casino games in Asia?

Without question the game of baccarat is the most popular, closely followed by pai gow and sic bo.

Trust is very important to the Asian player, right?

Probably the most important aspect of our business relationship. Western casino operators shouldn’t think they can just walk in and expect gamblers to come flocking to their sites. The importance of local knowledge — game preferences and customer service — are critical to the success of any online casino operation targeting players from within this region.

 

Are land-based casinos popular in Asia?

 

Land and sea-based casinos are very much a way of life throughout Asia. You will find them in every corner of the Far East.

 

Where are the hotbeds of casino action?

 

Macau is certainly one of the busiest and highest revenue generating casino operations in the region. Then you have the Philippines which last year generated some $500 million in profits, and this from only 12 casino locations.

 

How big is the market for Internet gambling in Asia?

 

Huge. I think Asia has the potential to be the biggest market for future Internet gaming.

 

So how does InterContinental plan on opening up the Asian Internet gambling market?

 

We are entering the market with a long-term perspective, using my extensive contacts to set up partnerships, which can address the issues of trust and customer preference head-on.

 

Which Asian countries do you expect will be first to embrace Internet gambling?

Obviously countries where people are more advanced in the use of computers and who have a better feeling for using the Internet. This would currently place Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan at the head of the list.

Are there any legal hurdles that must be cleared before Internet 789 gambling takes off in Asia?

Legal issues are as grey in Asia as the rest of the world when it comes to Internet gaming.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Internet gambling in Asia?

Just to reiterate that the potential for Internet gaming in Asia is boundless, and in time will definitely be the dominant market in this industry. We plan to take full advantage of this fact by positioning ourselves early in the region and by creating acceptable products for the Chinese-speaking markets. That means doing a lot more than just a translation job. From the choice of games to the table-layouts to the design of Web sites and promotional material — all need to be done from a Chinese perspective. Through this strategy, our intention is to become the leading operator in the Far East.…

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

My nephew is a bit of a whiz when it comes to matters of a computer nature. Kindly, he downloaded a whole bunch of World Series of Poker events that have been shown on ESPN, the American sports channel, over recent weeks, leading up to the airing of the main event.

Several things came to mind while watching the overload of poker: Firstly, how much better the Americans are at televising poker. The commentary is mostly good, the editing is top-class, and the atmosphere is excellent. Sky and the various cable channels could certainly do with learning a few lessons.

Secondly, I really wonder if the WSOP will be as good at the Rio next year. Yes, I know the Horseshoe is a khazi, but there really is something special about the place. It is the one venue where I get nervous before the event. The ghosts just seem to be swirling around the place.

Thirdly, the payout structures really were awful at the WSOP last year. Look at the first open event, $2,000 no-limit hold’em. Ninth place paid $30,700; eighth was $46,040; seventh was $61,380. Every prize money jump between ninth and third was approximately $15,000, and then third paid $122,640, second $213,000, and James Vogl won $400,000 for taking the bracelet! How can there be such small jumps early on at the final table and such massive ones at the end? It virtually forces players to make deals when they are playing for such huge differentials. Hopefully, the payout structure will be much flatter next year.

But the most overwhelming feeling I came away with after watching all of this poker is how badly behaved so many American players are. This manifested itself in many ways, including criticism of other players, swearing, rubbing down opponents after they were beaten, and excessive celebrating. The last of these was by far the most annoying for me. Seasoned professionals whose play I admire acted like schoolchildren. Now, maybe I am being a little bit unfair, as there are several Americans who act well at the table. But the fact remains, Europe is a far more enjoyable and congenial place to play poker. We are lucky, indeed. Let’s stay lucky.

Enough is Enough

I was across the pond in New York for a week before having a crack at the World Poker Tour event at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

I managed to kip for most of the flight over, so I was wide awake when we arrived at JFK. When we got to our hotel, Katharine fell asleep within two seconds of her head hitting the pillow and I was left with a room service pizza, an ice-cold six-pack of Bud, and the remote control of the widescreen TV with seemingly hundreds of channels to surf.

Naturally, ESPN was the first port of call, and they had just commenced three new hours of coverage of the WSOP final Poker Online Pkv event. Joy! The programme was, of course, excellent. It reinforced my belief of how far behind we are in England with our poker shows (with the exception of live coverage). But not for the first time, players’ behaviour was, in a couple of cases, deplorable.

Now, I understand there is pressure playing this event during the later stages that is far above and beyond what I’ve ever encountered. And some emotion is almost inevitable when a player wins a marginal hand, especially on the river. But on two occasions, at least, players overstepped the mark to such an extent that something should have been done about it.

Mattias Andersson was one culprit. Every time he won even a medium-sized pot, he acted like a complete lunatic. He pumped his fists, ran around the table, and screamed, YYYAAAAAAAAAAHHHH” at the top of his voice. It didn’t matter if he was a 4-to-1 favourite or a 4-to-1 underdog when the cards were exposed. He did it every time. Behaviour like this has no place at the poker table.

But, the other piece of behaviour was probably much more offensive. Andersson, at least, had the excuse of this being his first major tournament, and it was possibly “learned behaviour” from seeing others’ exploits in TV poker tournaments in the past. Josh Arieh does not have this excuse. He is an experienced pro with a WSOP bracelet — and his behaviour was astounding. I will attempt to recreate the hand:

There are three tables left. The blinds are $10,000-$20,000. One of the chip leaders in the tournament opens for $60,000 with some raggedy hand. Josh Arieh, with about $800,000 in chips, calls from the button with the 10™ 9™. Harry Demetriou calls from the small blind with A-J. The flop comes A-K-Q, with the K™ Q™. Harry checks, the raiser checks, and Arieh bets about $300,000. Harry moves all in. Arieh calls and rivers a flush.

Now, Arieh makes a stream of critical and abusive comments to the crowd about Harry’s play, something like, “How can this idiot risk $5 million with A-J?” Harry, sitting next to him, has just been outdrawn in the biggest tournament in the world, seeing his chance of victory almost certainly extinguished. How Harry maintained his sangfroid, I will never know.

Enough is enough. If players can receive penalties for using moderately bad language, I think they should get penalties for behaviour such as that displayed by Andersson and Arieh. The threat of 20 minutes away from the table for ungentlemanly conduct should be enough to stop the nonsense.

Meanwhile, Harry Demetriou has gone up massively in my estimation.…

New Code of Conduct at Grand Virtual Judi Slot Online Casinos

Massachusetts-based I-gambling software provider Grand Virtual has established a new casino alliance for its licensees. The alliance aims to set guidelines and standards for fair play at member sites, and features an extensive Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct includes provisions for prompt payouts, game fairness, and truth in advertising. The Code also requires members to have financing available to pay all obligations to vendors, suppliers, partners and affiliates and have sufficient working capital available to maintain “viable, ongoing operations.” (Read full text of Code of Conduct)

Grand Virtual casinos are geared to the European market and do not accept bets from North America. Licensees include Casino Fantasy, Casino Glamour, Casino Lux, Casino Treasure and Imperial Casino.

Only casinos powered by Grand Virtual software can join the alliance. Judi Slot Online Members must embrace the alliance’s principles and ethics, and agree to adhere to its Code of Conduct.

Despite the new effort at building player trust, Grand Virtual continues its policy of keeping the identity of its licensees secret. The company says its website “is not a marketing portal and does not seek to funnel players to particular sites.”

Members of the Grand Virtual Casino Alliance will display the alliance logo beginning later this month.

Why Women Gamble Online

There was a time when bingo was the only socially acceptable form of gambling for women. But things have changed. The high speed, easy access, and anonymity of the Internet have made online gambling an attractive alternative for today’s computer-savvy woman. But what’s the appeal? And why are more women doing it?

One reason why women may be logging on to Internet casinos is the simple fact that more and more women are going online for their shopping and entertainment needs. In addition, women have more purchasing power than ever before – statistics show that the average online woman is a high-income earner, in her thirties, and married. With the added stress of having to juggle their jobs and families, some women also say that online gambling serves as a quick escape.

Some would even say that it’s hypnotic. The fantasy aspect of winning is still very alluring, but make no mistake about it – the experience is enjoyable and definitely real. And here’s why. Online gambling offers women:

Physical security. This is a big issue for women, and online casinos (like WomensVegas.com) openly address that with plenty of information available at the press of a button.

Emotional security. Women prefer the independence associated with playing in an online casino, and don’t have to worry about being judged by other players at the table.

Comfort. Some women say that a smoke-free environment adds to the enjoyment level.

Pleasure. They gamble online because it feels good. (A recent report out of London shows that even a small win can make a big difference in a person’s emotional state, proving that money can buy happiness.)

Distraction. Many women see gambling online as a way of avoiding problems like a broken car or trouble at work.

All of that is supported by a Yale University study that says men and women like to play different casino games. You’re more likely to find groups of men enjoying strategic games like poker or craps in land-based casinos, but many women are put off by the face-to-face social interaction of these games. Net casinos do away with those situations and allow women to play whatever game they choose.

There are obvious differences in how women experience online gambling, so it makes sense for online casinos to cater to women’s interests. Women-specific casino sites do exist, but do they offer any real value or is it all just fluff? You be the judge.

GamblingGoddess.com offers “hunk” jigsaw puzzles and the Heartbreaker slots at WomensVegas.com feature topless men. But several sites also offer fashion, beauty, and health tips, and links to women’s-interest sites alongside the usual gambling tips and basic table strategies.

But when it comes right down to it, men and women basically play for the same reason: to win. And you can do that – with a little luck – at any good online casino.…

Slot Online Blackjack Online Is Better For The Bettor

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Advertising executive Dennis Spivak was just “surfing the net” when he discovered Internet blackjack in the spring of 2000. The thought never occurred to him that he would write a book about it, let alone have his own web site. For more than thirty years, Spivak has owned and actively managed his advertising agency, developing campaigns for hundreds of accounts, including Fortune 500 companies.

An avid blackjack player, he has visited casinos around the world for, coincidentally, the same number of years he’s been in advertising. Unfortunately, he managed to “increase the gross national product” of just about every country he visited. However, after investing money in a variety of online casinos two years ago, he developed a formula that provides players with the opportunity to win at Internet blackjack on a consistent basis, predicated on three factors: (1) following a Chart that determines when to Hit, Stand, Double Down or Split; (2) adhering to a simple betting formula; and (3) taking control of the game away from the casinos.

Spivak points out that by implementing all three factors all the time and utilizing a “hit and run” strategy, a player can win on a consistent basis. That discovery led to the writing and publishing of the book, BlackjackWorldwide.com, followed by the development of an interactive web site of the same name, which was produced by the Scottsdale, Arizona company, Contact Designs. Subtitled, “The Ultimate Guide To Winning A Steady Stream Of Income At The Online Casinos,” the book and web site, are currently being marketed around the world by Spivak, through search engines, targeted email lists and public relations efforts.

Audio tapes, CD-ROMS and live seminars are currently under development, in addition to offers that would translate the book and web site into a variety of languages. Spivak is truly amazed, stating, “I guess that’s why it’s called the World Wide Web. I can’t believe people send emails with questions and comments from all over Europe, Asia, South America and other places you can barely find on a map. I thought the language barrier might be a problem, but apparently not.”

The author divulges the secrets to winning Slot Online blackjack that only work on the Internet. There’s no card counting, nothing to memorize, no calculations and no gimmicks. It’s easy, fun and 100% legal. And you never have to leave home.

BlackjackWorldwide.com, the book, is available exclusively at the website in two versions. As a regular book, delivered anywhere in the world, or in a download version to any computer.

 

 

 …

A Clásico Situs Judi QQ beckons in Berlin…?

Champions League.

 

Spain’s big two reach the last four of the Champions League, Guardiola comes home, Torres at 700 and Chicharito shines again

The juicy prospect of a Clásico final in Berlin is on after Barcelona were drawn against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid against Juventus in the Champions League semi-finals.

 

The Barça v Bayern clash stands out as it pits Pep Guardiola against his former club and spiritual home, and the tactics spotters will have their eyes peeled analysing what has become of the Barcelona style of play at both clubs.

 

Bayern, who have just won the Bundesliga, also boast the Spanish legion of Xabi Alonso, Juan Bernat, Pepe Reina and Thiago, with Javi Martinez watching from the sidelines. Guardiola’s presence still hovers over the Camp Nou, inevitably perhaps given the glory he achieved there and how young he was when he asked to step off the thrilling ride.

 

His status as a king in exile keeping the door slightly ajar makes this an intriguing tie. Win or lose, Guardiola will face questions and private thoughts about where he belongs.

 

Yet Juve and Real should serve up an equally Situs Judi QQ gripping contest. The healing time for Real’s injury list could be key, although playing the second leg at the Bernabeu should give them the edge against La Signora’s mean defence.

 

Luka Modric will definitely miss the semi, but is a possibility should Real reach the final. Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are set to be fit for the 5th of May clash in Turin. Barcelona could get a boost as Thomas Vermaelen, their summer capture from Arsenal, is almost fit to make his debut.

 

Barcelona cruised through their quarter-final second leg, winning 2-0 at home to PSG to advance convincingly 5-1 overall.

 

Paris SG were supposed to be the new kids on the European block but they have some way to go having failed to make Barça sweat over 120 minutes. For the neutral it was another pleasantly open game like the first leg had been, and much easier on the eye than the Madrid derby.

 

Barça’s opening goal in the 14th minute was embarrassingly easy as Andres Iniesta picked up the ball in his own half and sailed past three PSG players before releasing Neymar to coast through and poke home.

 

4-1 up on aggregate meant Luis Enrique’s side could relax. Dani Alves drew a fingertip save from 30 yards and soon after indulged in some trickery to cross for an unmarked Neymar to head home a second.

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was hardly noticeable on his return to his former club and another Camp Nou old boy, PSG coach Laurent Blanc, left with a lot of thinking to do.

 

After another apparently effortless victory and smooth passage to Europe’s last four, the debates over Luis Enrique’s stewardship have died down, as well as questions over Barça’s new playing style.

 

As in last year’s Champions League final, Atletico Madrid succumbed by the only goal to their big city rivals so the Real show goes on.

 

Diego Simeone’s battle-plan had all gone to script up until Arda Turan challenged Sergio Ramos for a high ball in the 75th minute and the Turk’s boot made contact with the Spaniard instead of the ball.

Ramos looked guilty of gamesmanship in his writhing reaction and it worked as Turan picked up his second yellow and left the field.

 

Turan was guilty of mistiming rather than malice but equally on a yellow card probably should have kept his studs down. Whatever the justice, after 165 minutes of sweaty deadlock, everyone felt the red card would be the turning point and Atletico wilted psychologically from it.

 

Thirteen minutes later, a moment of defensive chaos allowed Cristiano Ronaldo in and he squared to allow Javier Hernandez an easy tap-in.

 

The Mexican, on only his seventh start of the season, had failed to impress again, but celebrated his strike like he had won the World Cup. Chicharito’s ecstasy unveiled all his frustration at being a bit player in Madrid, and he is unlikely to score such a vital goal for such a big club in his life again.

 

Real had dominated most of the match and forged its best chances through James Rodriguez and Ronaldo. Lacking four starters and having failed to score at the Manzanares, it was a triumph of sorts to eke through at home, though the sending-off tilted the tie in their favour. Atletico’s gamble of playing for a lucky break or penalties had failed.

 

Atletico’s last hope of a trophy this season has now gone, but a narrow loss to Real, a third-place finish in La Liga and the guarantee of Champions League football next season means there is no sense of failure or questions over Simeone’s position.

 

Sevilla made it a clean sweep for Spain on Thursday drawing 2-2 at Zenit St Petersburg to go through 4-3 on aggregate to the Europa League semi-finals.

 

2-1 up from the first leg, the Andalucians got a break in the sixth minute when Vitolo was rashly scythed down in the box and Carlos Bacca fired high into the net to extend their lead.

 

But a trip to Russia was always going to be tough and Zenit got their own break two minutes into the second half as Sevilla goalkeeper Beto was caught out by a looping cross-cum-shot from Oleg Shatov and hastily backpedalling, could only fumble the ball straight to Salomon Rondon for an easy equaliser.

 

Zenit’s second was even more stunning, a snap shot from around 35 yards out on the right-wing by Hulk, which took everyone, including Beto once more, by surprise. The wind was now in the Russians’ sails and elimination loomed.

 

But the Spaniards struck gold in the 85th with a second goal to kill off the tie. Vitolo counter-attacked from the left and cut in to play a square ball across the D. Vicente Ibarra dummied it leaving substitute Kevin Gameiro to rifle a diagonal shot past Yuri Lodygin.

 

Fiorentina await in the semi-finals, with the first leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on the seventh of May.

 

*In La Liga it was business as usual as the top three all won. Barcelona had little trouble taking their city derby 2-0 at Espanyol. Two first half goals from Neymar and Messi did the damage, both moves of rapid switches rather than attacks down the middle.

 

The home side never truly threatened and both sides had a player dismissed, Jordi Alba for Barça for a foul and protest in the 54th minute, then Hector Moreno for Espanyol in injury time.

 

In Sunday’s late kick-off, Real were once more playing catch-up on Barça but triumphed 4-2 in Galicia at Celta de Vigo.

 

The visitors trailed in the ninth minute as Celta’s Nolito profited from Sergio Ramos losing a boot to cut in from the right and eke his way between Raphael Varane and Illarramendi before beating Iker Casillas at his near post.

 

Toni Kroos placed his shot through a crowded box into the top corner to equalise seven minutes later. Then in the 24th a Latin American combination helped Real take the lead.

 

James Rodriguez combined neatly with Javier Hernandez on the right to let the Mexican fire in from a tight angle. Chicharito, hero against Atletico in midweek, was ecstatic again.

 

But Celta were not out of it and just short of the half hour Santa Mina burst down the middle breaking the Real backline in two and netted at the second attempt to draw scores level.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo then hit the post before a James shot deflected off Andreu Fontas to wrongfoot his goalkeeper and make it 3-2 to Real after an action-packed 45 minutes.

 

Real got a break early in the second half when Kroos felled Fabian Orellana from behind in the box but no penaly ensued. Ramos made it sure in the 69th when he released Hernandez down the middle and the Mexican fired his second of the night past Sergio Alvarez.

 

Chicharito has enjoyed his best week at the club, profiting from Karim Benzema’s injury to grab some goals and prove he is not a spent force or mere second-class option.

 

If he keeps up his scoring in the meantime, when the Frenchman returns Carlo Ancelotti will have some thinking to do, especially whether to spend the £7.5 million to buy him outright from Manchester United.

 

Hernandez had complained of a lack of opportunity, despite having been signed as striker cover after failing to nail down a starter spot at Old Trafford, but is changing opinions after this week’s goal haul.

 

Atletico Madrid stay third after winning 3-0 at home to Elche. Fernando Torres played his 700th professional game, but failed to find the net. Antoine Griezmann continued his impressive debut campaign with a brace and Raul Garcia added another.

 

Sevilla capped a happy week by slipping past Valencia into fourth, at least until Monday night, beating Rayo Vallecano 2-0 at home.

 

Deportivo La Coruna, Granada and Cordoba still occupy the bottom three, but Almeria beat Eibar and Levante Getafe to help them move away from the drop zone.

 …

Hold ’em Togel Singapore poker tourney raided

OCEAN CITY — Police arrested the proprietor of a suspected illegal gambling operation in Ocean Pines on Friday, and prosecutors say charges may be pending for 15 others who were present when a poker tournament was raided.

 

Steven Earl Foss, 35, of Ocean City was arrested and charged with betting and using a premises for gambling, the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a statement. The two counts against him carry a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and $1,500 in fines.

 

Foss was arrested, the State’s Attorney’s Office said, when sheriffs, county detectives and Ocean Pines police made use of a search and seizure warrant to enter a store in the Village Square Shopping Center in Ocean Pines on Friday.

 

The officers found 15 people playing Togel Singapore Texas Hold ’em poker, $3,000 in currency, dozens of decks of playing cards and poker chips.

 

The 15 people “were identified by police and will be served with criminal summons at a later date,” the prosecutors’ statement said, but their names were not released.

 

Spokeswoman Mary Nelson said Worcester state’s attorney Joel Todd would apply for charges against the 15 alleged gamblers this week, and that only after a district commissioner reviewed the application would they be identified.

 

Authorities say Foss, the only person arrested during the raid, was leasing the store in question, in the outdoor mall that sits near the southern entrance to Ocean Pines. Calls to a directory listing for him were unanswered Monday.

 

Can Oscar boost female boxing action? By DAVE TULEY DAILY RACING FORM

 

“Million Dollar Baby” was the toast of the Academy Awards on Sunday night, winning the Oscar for best picture. The movie, starring best actress winner Hilary Swank as a female boxer and directed by Oscar winner Clint Eastwood, became only the third film with a sports theme to be named the top picture, following in the footsteps of 1976’s “Rocky,” another boxing movie, and 1981’s “Chariots of Fire,” about two runners going for gold in the 1924 Olympics.

 

“Million Dollar Baby” was an underdog story, but triumphed as the second choice at some offshore books and in the “entertainment-purposes-only” odds of Bally’s race and sports book director John Avello. “The Aviator” was the even-money favorite, with “Million Dollar Baby” at 7-5. In the major categories, Avello had three top choices win – Jamie Foxx for best actor in “Ray” and Cate Blanchett for best supporting actress in “The Aviator” in addition to Swank – while two other second choices came through with minor upsets (Eastwood over Martin Scorsese for best director and Morgan Freeman over Thomas Haden Church for best supporting actor).

 

So it was a pretty formful night.

 

But looking ahead, sitting here in Vegas – the boxing capital of the world, among other titles – I can’t help wonder if the success of “Million Dollar Baby” will lead to an increase in the popularity of women’s boxing.

 

Taking a look at the upcoming boxing matches available on the betting boards in Vegas (which is a pretty good barometer of the popularity of any sporting event), on this Saturday Jose Luis Castillo is a -400 favorite over Julio Diaz for the WBC and IBF lightweight title at Mandalay Bay. The next big bout is March 19 between Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales, who are being offered at pick-em at most casinos, with Pacquiao a slight favorite at others, for the WBA and IBF featherweight title. After that, the next big scheduled fight is Felix Trinidad at -170 vs. Winky Wright at the MGM Grand on May 14.

 

Obviously, there’s not a female among them and no women’s bouts have been announced on the undercards. While women’s boxing has been growing, it’s still not in the mainstream, and even if there are women’s bouts added to those events, most people won’t hear about them until arriving at the arena.

 

The only time I remember Las Vegas taking action on a women’s bout was in August 2003 when Laila Ali was a -500 favorite and knocked out Christy Martin in the fourth round in Biloxi, Miss.

 

But maybe we’ll see that change. It would be a Hollywood story.

 

Bookmaker beats bettor at Leroy’s

 

Nick Bogdanovich, the race and sports book manager at the Golden Nugget, went 3-2 with his NCAA picks last weekend in the Leroy’s Challenge to defeat professional bettor Alan Boston.

 

The two made their selections last Friday night at the Riviera as part of the “Leroy’s Sports Hour” radio show with the first-place prize of $5,000 on the line plus another $5,000 to be donated to the Sunrise Children’s Foundation in the winner’s name.

 

Bogdanovich had a record of 1-2 heading into Saturday night’s action and needed Weber St. to cover a 9-point spread vs. Idaho St. and local team UNLV to cover the 2-point spread vs. Air Force. Weber St. won easily, 79-56, and UNLV rallied to win and cover 63-57.

 

Boston went 2-3 and receives the consolation prize of a watch donated by a sponsor of the show.

 

Biffle pulls Nextel Cup upset

 

After the top Nextel Cup drivers dominated the Daytona 500 last week, Greg Biffle (offered at between 12-1 and 20-1 at Vegas sports books) won Sunday’s Auto Club 500 at California Speedway by holding off Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch.

 

Biffle doesn’t get the respect of the Jeff Gordons and Dale Earnhardt Jrs. of the circuit, but he is no slouch either. He won the 2004 season finale in November and has now won 2 of the last 3 Nextel Cup races. The next event on the schedule is the UAW DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 13.

 

Match play a different kind of bet

 

David Toms rewarded his backers by dominating Sunday’s final of the Accenture Match Play Champion-ship against Chris DiMarco.

 

Toms, a 30-1 longshot before the event started last week, opened as a -160 favorite over DiMarco in the final and was bet to -185 at the Las Vegas Hilton.

 

Jeff Sherman, the golf oddsmaker at the Hilton, said that bettors look at match-play events differently than the regular stroke-play tournaments. He said the Chrysler Classic of Tuscon, which was also held last weekend with lower-tier PGA pros, had more betting on who would win the tournament than the Match Play Championship.

 

Because of the format of the Match Play Championship, which began with 64 golfers playing in 32 one-on-one matches, most of the betting is on the individual matchups, and little on who will actually win the tournament. Betting on the individual matchups in the Match Play Championships far exceeded the total handle on the Chrysler Classic.

 

Sherman said that in the case of the Match Play Championship, the matchups were a “break-even proposition for the house” as bettors fared well on the opening day, with the house coming back over the weekend when more upsets occurred.

 

Tiger Woods is the 4-1 favorite in this weekend’s Ford Championship at Doral, but many golf bettors are already looking ahead to next month’s Masters on April 7-10. The Hilton has Woods as the 7-2 favorite, followed by Phil Mickelson at 11-2, Ernie Els at 7-1 and Vijay Singh at 8-1 with a big dropoff after the top foursome.

 

 …

The Return Of The Togel Hongkong King?

 

 

It has started. Nobody is quite sure exactly when and where but the debate about whether Ahn Jung-hwan should play at the 2010 World Cup is well and truly underway.

 

The striker, now 34, was the hero of the 2002 competition when South Korea made it to the semifinals, scored the winning goal in 2006 to give his country a first-ever overseas victory at the world’s biggest tournament and, now, he could be on course for a third consecutive appearance. He is about to return to the national team set-up for the first time in 20 months for March’s friendly with Ivory Coast in London.

 

Ahn’s name featured in headlines around the world in that golden summer almost eight years ago. Just hours after scoring the goal that sent South Korea into the last eight of the World Cup and eliminated the much-fancied Italian national team, Ahn was fired from his Italian Togel Hongkong club team of Perugia. His header had greatly upset his club’s owner Luciano Gaucci.

 

“He was a phenomenon only when he played against Italy. I am a nationalist and I regard such behavior not only as an affront to Italian pride but also an offense to a country which two years ago opened its doors to him,” Gaucci told the Italian media. “I have no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian soccer.”

 

Unsurprisingly, Ahn left Italy in the summer of 2002. Since then, he has been something of a journeyman. He headed to Japan and Shimizu S-Pulse and Yokohama F Marinos. After those two successful spells, he has struggled to find the net. First he tried in France and FC Metz, Germany and MSV Duisberg and eventually returned home to Suwon Bluewings and then Busan I’Park.

 

The ‘Lord of the Ring’ (nicknamed so for his goalscoring celebration that involved kissing his wedding ring) went to China last year to play for Dalian Shide. After a tough start in the chilly northern port city, he enjoyed a reasonable season. He is now being talked about in the terms of a World Cup ‘joker’, a player who could be introduced late into a game with the intention of making a big impact in a short time.

 

Ahn’s winning goal against Togo in 2006 was his third World Cup goal, more than any of his compatriots have ever managed on the world stage. Those memories linger long. The thought of the wavy-haired striker doing so one more time against Argentina, Nigeria and Greece, has his fans excited.

 

The player is keeping his feet on the ground. “Until now, I haven’t thought about it,” he told Ilgan Sports earlier this month. “But it will be an honour if I am selected. I am happy if the coach thinks that I am a player that the national team needs.

 

“All football players want to play at the World Cup but the results of the national team have been good and I have hardly thought about going to the World Cup. There are many better players than me. I will just keep doing my best.”

 

The excitement was ratcheted up a notch late last week as he scored a goal in a friendly game between Dalian and K-League club Gangwon FC. The header was witnessed by South Korea’s assistant coach Jung Hae-sung. He had been dispatched by head coach Huh Jung-moo to check on the Chinese-based hitman.

 

“I was very impressed with his attitude,” Jung was quoted as saying. “He appears to be ready to sacrifice himself for the good of the national team, even though he is a veteran.

 

“He was not 100 per cent fit but still managed to play the full match and score a goal. His movement around the box could improve but overall he put on a good performance.”

 

Huh said in January that he was keeping his, or at least Jung’s, eyes on Ahn and that the door is always open. The big test comes when the squad is named for the Ivory Coast match and according to the Korean media, the KFA have requested to Dalian that Ahn be made available.

 

The Lord of the Ring looks like he may have the chance to complete his World Cup trilogy.

 

 

 …

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 Finals Data HK Draw

 

 

DOHA: The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ Finals Draw will take place at the magnificent Aspire Dome in the Qatari capital on Friday, April 23, 2010.

 

The draw will start at 1900 hours local time at the world’s largest indoor sports facility, and by the end of the process 16 teams will have been slotted into four groups of four each (4×4) under the Dome’s distinctive sloping roof.

 

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 Finals Draw

 

The 16 teams in the hat for the draw are: Qatar (hosts), Australia, Bahrain, China, DPR Korea, India, Iran, Iraq (defending Data HK champions), Japan, Jordan, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Uzbekistan.

 

The Asian Cup tournament runs from January 7-29, 2011.

 

Aspire Dome is part of the Aspire Zone that hosts the Khalifa Stadium, Aspire Academy, Hamad Aquatic Centre and Aspire Park.

 

Luxury Villa To Rent Constantia

 

Luxury Cape Town villa available for World Cup accommodation.

 

Only 20 minutes drive on the highway to Green Point Stadium and 30 minutes from Cape Town airport. This opulent villa sleeps 8 people in 4 double bedrooms with three bathrooms.

 

Luxury Villa To Rent Constantia

 

Located in Constantia wine growing area close to all amenities, shops, restaurants and walking distance to the best pub in Cape Town!

 

Fully equipped with satellite TV, four linked TVs, broadband/wifi and all domestic appliances for the perfect World Cup base.

 

Resident maid service and breakfast included. The property would suit either a commercial or a private group looking for a Cape Town base for the entire World Cup month. Cost R 8,000 per day

 

Jeonbuk coach Choi Kang-hee was relieved after the final whistle. “Seongnam is a very good and balanced team,” said Choi. “It was a really tough game for us and we are just happy that we managed to get a goal at the end.”

 

It is a measure of how well Seongnam is doing that coach Shin was disappointed with a 1-1 tie at the home of the champions.

 

“We missed lots of chances and that is why we didn’t win the game,” he said. “it is always hard to concede such a late goal but overall we played well. We are going well and feeling confident but we know that the season is just beginning.”

 

 

  1. League Results March 20-21 2010

 

Montedio Yamagata 1 Urawa Reds 1

Nagoya Grampus 2 Jubilo Iwata 0

 

Saturday 20 March

 

FC Tokyo 0 Cerezo Osaka 0

Gamba Osaka 0 Albirex Niigata 0

Kyoto Sanga 2 Vegalta Sendai 1

Omiya Ardija 0 Kashima Antlers 1

Shonan Bellmare 1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3

Shimizu S-Pulse 1 Vissel Kobe 0

Yokohama F Marinos 4 Kawasaki Frontale 0

 

J.League Table

 

Shimizu S-Pulse P 3 Pts 7

Sanfrecce Hiroshima P 3 Pts 7

Kashima Antlers P 3 Pts 7

Yokohama F Marinos P 3 Pts 6

 

 …