Tournament of UFA Champions is in a Class of its Own

The 2021 Tournament of UFA Champions (“TOC”) final event is about to get underway under the bright lights of film crew cameras at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas. The TOC has drawn hundreds of players from the four corners of the globe. Many are unknown champions from thousands of miles away, who travel here to pit their talents against the regulars, the tournament circuit pros and poker’s most accomplished UFA players and renowned personalities.

The three day long event tests the broadest range of skills of any poker tournament on the planet. Every player here is a champion! In order to play in this event each player has won a TOC designated qualifier. From small towns and big cities, one time lucky winners and tournament circuit pros face off in the rotation of various forms of limit poker games; Limit Hold’em, Stud, and Omaha Hi-Lo Split. The nine finalists will then turn to the “Cadillac of poker games,” No Limit Hold’em, to decide the TOC Champion.

The TOC was founded with a vision; a gathering of sturdy gladiators – from private clubs in small hamlets to the giant poker rooms of the Americas and the growing poker meccas from Austria to Australia – for the most rigorous competition invented in the Land of Poker.

Every year the TOC brings innovations and surprises and this year has been no exception. TOC President Chuck Humphrey called a first ever “Town Meeting” of poker players in the Champion’s Lounge. He challenged the movers and shakers to rise and shine early in the morning on July 25th to take part in a player/management gabfest to determine this year’s pay-out structure for the remaining TOC events – even including the “Big One.”

Everyone was asked to do their homework and to bring written proposals of their ideas. At 11am (dawn for a lot of poker players), Humphrey called the meeting to order by naming “yours truly” Chair for the meeting. He had warned me of his plans privately before the meeting. He said there would be plenty of poker heavyweights in the crowd and that my lion-taming prowess was about to be tested. I smiled slyly and insisted that no such warning was necessary for this business meeting with the likes of tournament experts T. J. Cloutier, “Miami” John Cernuto and Eric Seidel a poker star of Rounders in attendance. The participating crowd swelled to more than sixty. They listened to presentations from top tournament pros including Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu, and Ian Dobson who was a Poker Million finalist last year and a spokesperson for the Europeans.

Linda Johnson, Poker Ambassadoress extraordinaire and TOC founder Mike Sexton did their homework and set forth their similar proposals that were roundly applauded and built a consensus. TOC Boss Humphrey was a man of few words during the meeting. But while it was in progress he put pen to paper and made a few adjustments to the recommendations and returned to the table to announce that the input at the meeting was at the heart of adopted revisions for the prize pool distribution for the remainder of the 2001 TOC.

The revisions enhance the pot of gold for the top finishers while insuring respect for those who place in the money at the bottom of the totem pole. Under the revised plan, the top dog in the final event is likely to earn more than $200,000 – a heck of a payday, no matter how grueling the work. The finisher in 45th place (based upon sufficient entries) will be rewarded with double his/her Buy-In for a cool $4,000. Now, that’s more than a drop in the bucket for a lucky recreational player who has come from afar – maybe a small club in Birmingham or a casino in Sydney.

Ah, first these finishers qualify for the indescribably delicious TOC Championship, and then they get to play with the masters of the trade (probably knocking out a poker celebrity or two in the process). They have a fabulous time, a free vacation and money left over for gifts – maybe enough to buy a car, or with skill and a nod from Lady Luck, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Personnel and players are very pleased by Humphrey’s exceptional efforts to bring prestige to the poker industry while upgrading respect for all players within the poker community.

In addition to the unique Mixed Games championship, and the first ever Tournament Participant Town Meeting, Humphrey will once again electrify the TOC Championship arena with the opening ceremonies at the final event. The pageantry of contestants parading into the arena with their country flags will be a filmed celebration of the game and a tribute to the poker greats and dark horses who make up the tournament mosaic.

The TOC’s innovations have been non-stop. This year, Humphrey incorporated a Seniors TOC with the inimitable promoter “Oklahoma” Johnny Hale who did the hosting chores and brought the baby boomer in to rock ‘n roll. It was one of two events with a charitable component. Humphrey turned over the reins once more to Linda Johnson who hosted an international charity event that was played by teams from the competing nations. Vietnam was the winner with Men “The Master” Nguyen championing “Children of Vietnam” for 50% of his winning proceeds. Not to be outdone, a Japanese contingent set up a money tournament that drew lots of extra attention when the team challenged Pokerpages President Mark Napolitano to become Japanese for a day. Napolitano anted up his $120 and went on to become vested in the Japanese tradition with a first-place finish.

As we go to press, there has been a filmed weigh-in for tournament punters who dare to diet and wager $2000 on their anticipated success based upon a formula and timetable that was kept secret until their arrivals at the scales. Those who succeed will share in the proceeds from those who don’t. Yours truly was among the brave.

Tune in for a list of those who promise to become newly svelte at PokerPages.com during the exclusive Internet broadcast of the TOC final table action beginning 8pm Sunday, July 29th or you’ll have to wait until the video comes your way!

Wendeen Eolis’ accomplishments in business, politics, and poker have been profiled this past year in The New York Times, on A&E;’s Biography, and on Court TV, as well as in GQ Magazine and Poker Digest. Her legal consulting company, Eolis International Group, Ltd. reviews law firms and selects counsel, worldwide — for companies, governments, and individuals. Wendeen has also been among the most effective advocates for smoke-free poker rooms in the United States.

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Benefit ligaz11 Poker Tournament for Pam Vatrano

I recently received some distressing news about a poker dealer friend of mine whom I have known since I arrived in Las Vegas over 14 years ago. I am not going to go into detail about her illness but I am going to write a Chip Chatter about Pam Vatrano and her tremendous career as a poker dealer in an upcoming issue of Poker Digest. Pam is a trooper and her attitude is remarkable.

Darlene Wood, a mutual friend, came up with the idea of a benefit poker tournament to raise money to help Pam through the (financially) tough times ahead. I had never heard of such a thing in Las Vegas but I decided, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I phoned Donna Harris, the cardroom manager at the Mirage where Pam had dealt for many years, and after some consideration and planning Donna agreed to host the event.

The Benefit Tournament is set for December 17, 2000 at the Mirage Poker Room at 2:00 PM and seating will be limited. The tournament is limit hold’em with a $40 buy-in and multiple $20 rebuys. The prize pool will be split 50% to the winners and 50% to Pam. Of course, if the winners choose to donate their half to Pam, I’ll just have to mention what wonderful and generous folks they are. If we get lucky and I think we will, Pam will make a special appearance at the benefit tournament.

On behalf of Pam, I would like to publicly thank Donna Harris, the Mirage, and the poker community for making this happen. Once again, I am assured that poker people are good people.

Records are Made to be Kept

Let me ask you two questions. First, are you a winning player? Second, how do you know? If someone tells me she’s a winning player, I expect her to be able to back it up with evidence – cold, hard proof. I expect to see data sheets and printouts, or at least hand-scrawled entries in a notebook, indicating her performance and results in every session she’s ever played since, ah, well, the dawn of time.

A lot of people claim to be winning ligaz11 players, and a lot of them are lying. They have anecdotal evidence about the time they crushed this game or destroyed that one, but they conveniently forget all the little (and big!) losses in between. It’s bad enough when they lie to others, but it’s murder when they lie to themselves. Honest records are key to success in poker; you simply can’t call yourself a serious player (or even an anecdotally successful one) unless you keep them.

Look, no one says you have to be serious about your poker. You can play when you want and how you want, and then forget your results as soon as you’re done with the game. But if someone insists that you’re not a winning player, wouldn’t you like to be able to prove him wrong? I can, and I do. When people tell me I’m wasting money playing poker, I open my books. I show them my track record, and put their claim to shame.

Just one problem. Honest records require, well, honesty. If you keep track of your play, sooner or later you come face to face with your own flaws or limitations. My records reveal, for instance, that while I do very well in low-limit ring games, I get killed in tournaments, and killed again when I try to play large. My worst mistake is playing over my head, and thus playing tight and scared, and absorbing over-large losses in over-small blocks of time. It hurts to face a truth like that, but how an I fix a problem if I won’t even admit that I have it? Hard information may be hard, but it’s information just the same. Just be man enough, or woman enough, to face the hard truth that your records reveal and you’re well on your way to improving your game.

So now let me ask you a third question: How do you keep records? What tips would you offer other players for setting up and keeping an accurate set of poker records? Share your information in the PokerPages Forum. Let us know that you’re a successful player, and that you’ve got the evidence to prove it.

 

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Inside the Interactive Gaming Council

Uncommunicative, casino operator oriented and player insensitive were some of the more common and heated accusations made against the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) on message boards across the internet during the Golden Palace confiscated winnings dispute.

Angry and frustrated players unable to open a reasoned personal dialogue with the casino or its software provider turned their guns on the IGC, which appeared not to take a position on the issue by remaining silent amidst the escalating furore.

In all things there are generally two sides to a story. And it is true that although message boards perform an invaluable function in exchanging information there are times when accusations levelled in the heat of the moment can take on a life of their own in the ensuing storm of vituperation – and that can obscure the truth.

So what is the IGC’s attitude towards players, and how does their complaint structure operate? What powers do they have over members and who are those members? For these and other answers we turned to the IGC Executive Director, Rick Smith, and Deputy Executive Director, Keith Furlong, and found them both willing and keen to respond.

Winneronline (WO): Is the IGC focused on fair treatment for online casino players?

IGC: Absolutely. It is a major objective for us, and our membership conditions and programs are based on building player confidence in IGC casinos which voluntarily comply with our codes.

This was one of the key components in the IGC organization in 1996. Development of a Code of Conduct to protect players in the then new industry was one of the first initiatives.

A key mission of the IGC is to promote an environment where there is an absence of fraud, both fraud by players as well as operators, and this is why we have positioned our association in favor of strict government regulation. The IGC is concerned for the protection of the consumer (player), with particular emphasis on the prohibition of underage participants and providing assistance for compulsive gamblers.

With strict regulation by governments, there is always the option for a dissatisfied 789betting player to take their complaint to the licensing authority if the IGC cannot help reach a resolution between the player and a member casino operator. Since the IGC does not possess legislative sanctioning powers it is critical that a form of protection exist for players, in the guise of a licensing authority. This is the reason there is a requirement that IGC members who conduct interactive gambling are licensed to lawfully conduct that operation by the jurisdiction where they are located.

WO: Does your concern include mediating in player and member casino disputes?

IGC: The IGC is a non-profit trade association, and ultimately has little real authority over the manner that member companies respond to consumer complaints. IGC member companies work with the IGC on player complaints as a means toward increasing credibility within the Internet gambling industry. So, yes – IGC attempts to work with players who have complaints against member operators. In addition, under the Seal of Approval program, applicant casinos agree to adhere to a dispute resolution process for player complaints.

The Seal of Approval program provides an important mechanism for dissatisfied players. A designated Compliance Officer, initially Rick Smith as the IGC Executive Director, can intervene and mediate a resolution when there is evidence that any attempted resolution between a Seal of Approval member site and the player, has not been effective. There is also provision for a Review Council.

WO: Were you aware of the growing bitterness of the Golden Palace dispute on the message boards?

IGC: Not initially. We do not monitor the message boards. Perhaps we should to keep our finger on the public pulse, but we were not doing so throughout much of this dispute.

WO: Would the IGC have been more vocal if you had?

IGC: No, I don’t believe so. As an impartial body which could be mediating the issue between complainant and casino it would be improper for us to take a public position before we were in possession of all the facts from both sides. And we certainly could not debate the issue on the message boards for the same reasons.

It is arguable as to whether a general statement on the IGC’s ideals would have been useful in the climate of this debate.

WO: What about accusations that the IGC ignored or did not respond to complaining emails?

IGC: We all know that it is easy to level unsubstantiated allegations on a message board without having to back it up. My office at IGC is run efficiently and frankly I doubt that an email would not receive the courtesy of an acknowledgement. If any of your readers has proof of such an instance I would be happy to receive copies and details in order to answer specifically.

WO: Let’s assume I am a player with a genuine and documented complaint, perhaps backed up by screenshots or audit trails – what is the IGC procedure and where do I send my complaint?

IGC: You should first always attempt to resolve the issue with the casino concerned, and I refer here to taking it beyond a mere Support operator. Ask for the Supervisor and if necessary escalate from there to casino management. Any experienced player or operator will confirm that nine out of ten disputes can in the normal course of events be resolved in this way. I do not believe it is the right thing to do to post inflammatory or damaging notes about a casino before a resolution has been sincerely attempted. That is not only premature but it makes a resolution further up the line more difficult to achieve.

WO: Very well – I’ve escalated the issue at casino level but I have not achieved a just solution. The casino has an IGC or a Seal of Approval button on its site and I want to go higher up the resolution process?

IGC: The best way to submit player complaints is directly via the IGC web site (www.igcouncil.org) online customer complaint form. That is the fastest and most secure method. We will then log the complaint and immediately set about obtaining the member casino’s side of the story. When we have all the facts before us we can then make an unbiased assessment and try and broker a solution which suits both parties.

WO: Would you do that on your own – as an individual?

IGC: Not necessarily – I have executive authority to involve any relevant person who can assist me in coming to a fair and equitable decision.

WO: Let’s assume a worst possible case scenario – no resolution is possible?

IGC: Then the complainant has recourse to the licencing jurisdiction of the casino or perhaps civil remedies. By insisting that our members have acceptable licencing we create this final option for player complaints. We would also have the option of revoking the casino’s membership if bad practice was proved and the casino did not accept the ruling of the IGC mediators.

WO: What would you regard as a reasonable timeframe for the resolution of a dispute, accepting that you have to gather all the facts from both sides?

IGC: Our goal is to work with both players and on-line gaming operators to come to a diplomatic resolution as expediently as possible. However, we do have limited resources and there are occasions where the response time may not be as rapid as one would ideally like. We are working on that aspect.

Under the Seal of Approval program, however, the process calls for timely dispute resolution and there are specific timescales laid down in number of days for action at different points in the process.

WO: Apart from player protection how would you sum up the mission of the IGC and what have you achieved?

IGC: The IGC’s mission is to: provide a forum to address issues and advance common interests in the global interactive gaming industry; establish fair and responsible trade guidelines and practices that enhance consumer confidence in interactive gaming products and services, and serve as the industry’s public policy advocate and information clearinghouse.

An important role of the Interactive Gaming Council is to advocate for the adoption of strong government regulation of the Internet gaming industry throughout the World. To achieve this end the Council actively promotes cooperation within, and between, industry and government.

Many governments, most notably the United States, are currently debating an appropriate response to the spectacular growth of the Internet gaming industry. While some government officials are advocating an outright ban, the IGC has been lobbying for a more sensible solution: regulation. Our efforts in the U.S. are especially important for multiple reasons: the leadership position and reach of the U.S. government, the high percentage of revenues attributable to U.S. players, and the fact that most international credit card transactions, at some time or another, have some nexus with the U.S.

Within the last year, IGC representatives have testified about the pros and cons of Internet gaming before at least four important US bodies, namely the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), the National Council of State Legislatures, the Nevada Gaming Control Commission and the New Jersey General Assembly Commerce, Tourism, Gaming and Military and Veteran’s Affairs Committee, during full-day hearings in Rhode Island, Chicago, Las Vegas and Trenton, respectively.

We are active in advocating the adoption of strong government regulation of the Internet gaming industry throughout the World. One of our main goals is to communicate and open active debate among legislative and regulatory bodies about the future of Internet gambling and to this end various representatives of the IGC have spoken at seminars and conferences, as well as at informal meetings, and submissions have been made whenever opportunities exist.

The IGC has also been proactive throughout the international Internet gaming industry, for example, providing written testimony to the Gambling Review Body in the U.K. In addition, the IGC has also made important achievements in two key areas with our Seal of Approval (SoA) program and Citadel, a fraud detection database. We are currently assessing the feasibility of establishing an international working party with a view to developing high level criteria for technical standards.

WO: Give me a snapshot of the membership of the IGC?

IGC: The IGC currently has over 100 members. Members are operators of Internet gaming sites, software suppliers, e-commerce providers, financial transactions processors, marketing and advertising companies, information-providers and other companies related to the interactive gaming industry. Within the last year, there has been a strong interest in IGC membership by a growing number of companies associated with the traditional gaming industry, including law firms, games testing companies, and auditing firms.

WO: Does the IGC carry out background checks on member applications – I’m thinking in terms of criminal convictions or bad credit ratings?

IGC: We are concerned about this aspect and hence the requirement for an operator to be licensed. We do not want to usurp government’s role, rather satisfy ourselves that an applicant is a “real” entity but this ultimately depends upon the detail of checking performed by the licensing authority. We are obviously concerned about the financial viability of an operator and are reviewing our process to explore more detailed background checks (as well as ongoing checks) in this regard. Unfortunately, we have little by way of authority to gather information from third parties eg financial records – this is easier if they are a public company but some are private.

WO: There is presumably an executive board? Are players represented on that Board?

IGC: Players are not presently represented on the Board. The Interactive Gaming Council board of directors is elected by the paid membership and currently comprises 13 positions. Elections are held annually although terms of those elected are staggered over two years to allow continuity of knowledge within the Board. While the current byelaws permit a director coming from outside of the membership, no such …

2021 World Series of Poker

Going into the championship event of the 2004 World Series of Poker, I had positioned myself atop the leader board for the Best All-Around Player award. Right after winning the $2,000 limit hold’em event, I followed that up with a ninth-place finish in the no-limit hold’em shootout and a disappointing eighth-place finish in the $5,000 pot-limit Omaha event. The championship event was worth lots of points, though, so if anyone near the top of the leader board were to win it, I could easily be passed.

 

As I looked up at the number of entrants (2,576), I was all smiles inside. With that many players, it was going to be extremely difficult for anyone in the hunt to catch me. Minh Nguyen, who was right behind me in second place, could outlast 2,200 players and still not pass me! Needless to say, I was feeling great about my WSOP run and my chances of winning the award for which I’d worked so hard all month.

 

In order to do well in the main event, though, I knew I needed to block all of that out and focus on the $5 million first prize. Did I just say $5 million? Yikes, that is a lot of money!

 

When I was 21 years old, I was about as confident as I could be that someday I’d win the main event at the WSOP. As I looked around at the sea of tables, it dawned on me that my dream of winning the big one wasn’t something I could bank on.

 

While the $5 million would be awesome, I have to admit that the prestige of winning the event no longer held the same value for me. Year after year, the numbers grow and the faces are ever-changing. Gone are the days when Johnny Chan goes first, first, and second in back-to-back-to-back years. Gone are the days when the eventual champion came in as a household name.

 

I’ve been asked this question about a million times: How do I feel about that? Well, I have mixed emotions, I guess. On one hand, the prize money is overwhelming. The overlay that the top players get is bigger now than it’s ever been. Next year, they’ll probably get more than 5,000 players, making it even more difficult to win, but so much sweeter if you do.

 

So, I love the fact that poker is growing. The increasingly large fields can only help the best players in the long run. A part of me, though, still misses the “old days.” When I was 17 years old, I’d watch those old WSOP tapes in awe. Wow, that Johnny Chan is amazing. Phil Hellmuth Jr. winning all of that money at the age of 24 — awesome. Being on that wall of champions was the ultimate dream of every poker player, and I guess it still is, for most.

 

It’s not for me, though. I want the money, don’t get me wrong, but I just can’t allow myself to put too much stock in my results in that event. Let’s face it, it’s become for all intents and purposes a crapshoot. Picking the final nine players would be akin to winning the lottery, seriously.

 

When I got knocked out, ESPN asked me, “Who do you think will win it all?” My response? “Someone you’ve never heard of before.” And that is awesome. It’s what makes the event grow and grow each year, the fact that literally anybody can win the big one with some good play and a whole lot of luck.

 

Whether or not I ever win the big one in my career is pretty much out of my control. The Best All-Around Player award, however, is something I believe I will be in the running for the rest of my life (hopefully).

 

Going into the main event, I was extremely focused on the task at hand. I looked around at the players at my table, and recognized … well, no one! So, I knew wholeheartedly that I needed to play more like a robot — bluff less and just dummy up a little bit.

 

No fancy plays were going to work; I’d just have to play fundamentally solid poker, and I did — for a while. I don’t know, I guess I just couldn’t help myself! I had my chip count up to about $14,000 when my table became the TV table (so everybody could watch me go nuts).

 

I was getting nothing to play at all, and probably should have taken that as a sign that I needed to sit on my hands. Nope, I was too stubborn for that. After several risky plays I didn’t need to make, I found myself in the big blind with the Qclubs 2clubs.

 

A late-position player who’d been opening lots of pots made a small raise. I couldn’t tell if he was a California player or a European, but my instincts and his betting patterns told me that he was an aggressive player who didn’t need much of a hand to raise me. I called the small raise and we took the flop heads up: J-9-7 rainbow.

 

With $1,525 in the pot, I decided to bet out $1,000. I was hoping my opponent had raised with a ragged ace or a small pair. J-9-7 is a coordinated board, so if he didn’t hit that flop, it would be tough for him to call. Unfortunately, he did call.

 

At this point, I was done with it. I was about to abort the mission when the turn brought a queen, giving me top pair. Now, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I’d hit the best possible card I could hope for, and didn’t even like it! I decided to play it carefully and check to my opponent. He bet $2,500.

 

Well, I’ve already shared with you that my read on my opponent dictated that he was capable of betting here without a made hand, so that left me with a dilemma. I had to ask myself several questions:

 

Could he be on a stone-cold bluff here?

 

Could he be value-betting a pair of jacks?

 

Could he be trying to bluff me with A-K?

 

After some thought, I felt my opponent may have pounced on the weakness I had shown on the turn, and could in fact be protecting a hand like J-10 or possibly bluffing with A-10 or something like that. I called.

 

The river brought a total blank. I checked, and my opponent went all in. That bet seemed a little odd to me. For him to bet once again, he would need to have a very strong hand, I thought. Maybe that was my problem the entire tournament, I was thinking too much! I should have just shut that part of my brain down and went on autopilot.

 

I had such a mixed read on my opponent that I finally said, “I have absolutely no idea what to do.” I needed more info on my opponent, and since I’d never seen him before, I had little to go on. So, I asked him, “Where are you from?”

 

He replied, “Sweden.”

 

Oh no, that just made my decision even tougher. There is an army of awesome young Swedish poker online players who play on the Internet, and they are more than capable of bluffing with all of their chips. I was so hoping he would have said “Long Beach” or “Northern California.” If he’d said either, I would have folded quickly. “Oh no, not Sweden,” I said, to which he replied, “I’m actually Turkish, but I live in Sweden.” That’s even worse, I thought.

 

Without trying to irresponsibly stereotype people, I would say that the combination of him potentially being a Swedish Internet whiz kid and an aggressive, fearless Turkish bluffer confused me further! I wanted to fold so badly, but all of the information he was giving me made me lean toward calling.

 

After thinking things through, there was something I had picked up that I simply had to go with. He was far too comfortable to be bluffing. There was not a hint of fear, not a hint of stiffness. He just didn’t look worried at all, and had absolutely no problem answering my questions in detail.

 

I still had almost $6,000 left, so I decided to throw the hand away and hope that ESPN would choose to cover that hand, so I could find out for sure. I waited with anticipation for the telecast, and, phew, he had the Qhearts Jhearts!

 

It didn’t matter much, as I continued to play impatiently and got away from my game plan. Unlike past years, though, it really didn’t phase me. I wasn’t unlucky, I just didn’t bring my “A” game.

 

I guess the realization that 2,575 people were going to walk away disappointed was comforting to me for some reason.

 

I got knocked out shortly after that and it was then time for me to start anti-rooting! It was time for me to sweat out my fate and hope nobody passed me for the award. By the way, I have no problem with anti-rooting. I know the politically correct thing to say would be, “Well, I’m going to root for Chris Ferguson, and if he wins it, that would be great.” While Chris is a great guy and all, I have to be honest: If he took a bad beat, I’d be doing cartwheels inside!

 

Honestly, do you really think that if Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods were tied on the 18th green at Augusta that they would be rooting for each other to make their birdie putts? Fat chance! They may say, “It was an honor just to play with him, and I was happy to see him make that putt. It was a great day for golf.” However, inside they are thinking, “That lucky son of a gun! How did he make a 40-foot downhill putt that broke left, then right, then left again. Arrgh, I hate that guy!”

 

So, again, when I heard that Chris had made the money and had just doubled up again, I put on my fake smile and took a deep breath with my fingers crossed behind my back! Well, Chris finally did get eliminated, and the award was mine (and I could go back to liking him again).

 

Oh, there’s one final note: On Aug. 27, I finally proposed to the love of my life (read “The Woman Who Made Me,” Vol. 17/No 8, April 9, 2004), Lori Weber — and she said yes!…

Omni Hosts a Christmas Situs Judi Slot Online Terpercaya Tourney

Omni Casino is ushering in the holidays with its fifth annual ’21 Days of Christmas’ Blackjack Tournament.

This year’s tournament is a little different than in previous years, however. Play will only last for three days instead of three weeks; the name was retained to uphold the tradition.

According to Thalia Parker, Public Relations Officer at Omni, there was a good reason for shortening the tourney. “Last year, many of the players told us that twenty-one days was too long for their attention span.

“We agreed that three weeks in Internet time is like three months in the real world, so this year we simply revved it up to a fever pitch.”

Omni is offering prizes to the best players in three categories: Most Winnings, Longest Playing, and Most Wagered.

The player with the most winnings will receive a five-day, four-night vacation for two to the All-Inclusive Blue Waters Hotel Antigua, plus $500 in spending money.

The player who spends the most time at the Togel Hongkong blackjack table, as well as the player who wagers the most, will each receive $500. The next 10 players with the most winnings will receive an Omni Casino Gift Pack.

More than 1,000 people from over 20 countries are expected to log in for the tournament this year. Play begins at midnight EST on Thursday, December 21, 2001 and runs until midnight EST Sunday, December 23.

Players can enter the tournament by logging on to Omni Casino and playing either single- or multi-player real-money Blackjack during the contest period.

Daily leaders will be posted on the Omni Casino tournaments page. Winners will be announced on December 24 and notified by e-mail.

Jokers Wild VP Strategies

First up and most important, the full-pay Jokers Wild (JW) pay schedules will be 7/5 machines, with 7 coins for a Full House and 5 coins for a Flush.

There are two versions out there: one returns money on a pair of kings or better, the other requires at least two pair before there is a payout. The former is the more desirable, full-pay version so be sure to look for it.

These strategies for Jokers, unlike Jacks or Better, reflect the wild card, a 53-card deck, and the different payouts. This game is almost as volatile as Deuces Wild, where the original 5 cards dealt are discarded more often than Jacks or better.

If you don’t hold the Joker, keep three cards to a Royal Flush over a pair of aces or kings because of the higher payout. You could catch another ace or king and still be paid.

If three cards are consecutive cards for a Straight Flush, i.e., 5, 6, 7 of hearts, discard other cards, even a small pair, for the higher payback. If the cards aren’t consecutive, keep the small pair.

Finally, don’t be afraid to hold the joker alone. More than 3% of the time, you won’t be able to connect with a Straight, Flush, Straight Flush, r a high pair. But holding the joker only can give you four new cards and a win.…

Slot Online Weekend Gambler’s Guide

Get $115 Free from River Belle

 

Get $115 free from River Belle this weekend when you join as a new player. There’s a $15 free sign-up bonus and a match bonus up to $100 on your first deposit. There’s also a $5,000 giveaway; fill out the short form and you’re automatically entered to win.

 

River Belle features a Mac-friendly Flash casino and all of your favorite download games, including the Jackpot Madness progressive jackpot games. The Treasure Nile jackpot is quickly approaching $125,000 and the Major Millions jackpot – which just had a $1.6M winner – is about to break $295,000. And who knows? You could be the next big winner

 

New RumbleBets Sportsbook Goes Live

Sports fans should be happy to hear that the all-new Vegas-style RumbleBets sportsbook is up and running just in time to take bets on both the 8 June Tyson / Lewis championship fight and the Lakers / Nets NBA finals.

 

RumbleBets will be taking bets on boxing and martial arts fights, as well as the usual list of professional sports. In addition to the sportsbook, RumbleBets will be debuting its new online casino on 21 June. The site will feature casino favorites such as Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Poker, Roulette, Pai Gow Poker, Caribbean Poker and Slots, as well as a Fantasy Sports System covering the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL with Pari-mutuel style wagering.

 

$100 Match Bonus at Royal Vegas

Royal Vegas is offering a match bonus right now of up to $100. Download and sign up as a new player, and your first deposit up to $100 will be matched. You can also get an additional 10% bonus on PayPal deposits.

 

Play the no-download Flash casino if you don’t feel like waiting for the download, and be sure to get in on the $25 refer-a-friend program at Royal Vegas. Royal Vegas is also home to all of the Jackpot Madness progressive games, and accepts PayPal, FirePay, Visa, MasterCard, and ACH.

 

Two New Games at Sunset Casino

Sunset Casino has just launched two great new games: the Jack in the Box Slot and One Deck Blackjack. To celebrate the launch, Sunset is picking one winner each day who will have their purchase for that day credited back to their account.

 

The Jack in the Box Slot is three-reel progressive Slot Online game with three paylines and a three-coin spin. One Deck Blackjack allows you to play Blackjack with the dealer in complete privacy. The other big news out of Sunset is that players can now withdraw their winnings on Visa if they have made a Visa deposit.

 

125% Sign-up Bonus at Five Roses

Get up to $125 free from Five Roses with the 125% sign-up bonus when you sign up for a new account. That isn’t the only bonus at Five Roses, however. There’s also a $25 refer-a-friend program, Cash-Grab Mondays where you’ll get back 10% of your weekend losses, double comps bonuses on Tuesdays, a $500 bonus draw on Wednesdays, 100% monthly Western Union matches, and the list goes on. Five Roses accepts Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, FirePay, Western Union, and ACH for deposits.

 

 …

More Togel poker rooms going smoke-free

For more than a decade, nonsmoker Sylvia Reiter has played poker through a cloud of cigarette smoke at Palace Station’s poker room.

 

Reiter, whose husband and two sons work in Strip casinos, is used to smoky surroundings. Starting this month, things have been very different for Reiter during her regular poker game. Last week she sat cheek and jowl with other players in a smoke-free room — the only nonsmoking gambling area in the casino.

 

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Reiter, a regular casino visitor since 1961 who has lived in Las Vegas for the past 16 years. “Even the smokers I play with are happy about it.”

 

Palace Station, along with Station Casinos Inc. sister properties Santa Fe Station and Texas Station, this year started following a trend that began in earnest in 2001 when poker rooms at the Mirage and Bellagio resorts banned smoking.

 

Since then, nearly every major Togel hari ini poker room on the Strip has quietly gone smoke-free. Others including the Flamingo, Gold Coast and Aladdin have followed suit in recent months.

 

A few poker rooms like those at the Luxor and Sahara went smokeless when they decided to expand. In another sign that nonsmoking rooms aren’t hurting business, others such as the Bellagio and Bally’s are expanding already smoke-free rooms.

 

Signature properties Wynn Las Vegas, MGM Grand and Caesars Palace also are expected to open new poker rooms in the coming months that will be smoke-free.

 

It’s a trend that Weldon Russell says will spread off-Strip to include big and small casinos alike in the coming years.

 

“Other poker rooms will eventually go smokeless,” said Russell, corporate director of bingo, keno and poker for Station Casinos.

 

Several factors are contributing to the smoke-free trend.

 

Many poker players who flock to the Strip are from states such as California that have banned smoking in public areas, casino operators say.

 

“Personally, I thought it would never happen,” Mirage Director of Poker Operations Donna Harris said of smoke-free poker rooms. “But with players being from California and California’s restrictive laws, people had become accustomed to it.”

 

Customers who think this step will lead to entire smoke-free casinos or casinos with large nonsmoking areas will be disappointed: Operators say that won’t happen in the foreseeable future because a significant number of gamblers and other casino patrons still smoke and like it that way.

 

Operators say poker rooms are a different animal because they tend to be small spaces that are enclosed from the rest of the casino to keep out noise.

 

With the explosion of televised poker tournaments and online poker rooms, casino poker rooms in Las Vegas are bursting at the seams. Poker rooms that averaged a few full tables on weekends a year ago now have waiting lists of more than an hour long. Women and younger players are getting pointers from television and the Internet and joining games that historically have been dominated by older men.

 

More players means more smokers interspersed in the mix, making the air unbearable even for die-hard smokers.

 

“The rooms are too small and you can’t get rid of the smoke,” Russell said. “On a Friday night you could cut the air with a knife.”

 

Some smokers have resisted the trend.

 

Reiter said a fellow player told everyone that he would “never come back to this place” after Palace Station went smoke-free. “Needless to say, he came back the next day and has been here ever since,” she said.

 

Palace Station poker room manager Gary DeWitt said he was ready to fight the trend a year ago “probably because I’m a smoker myself.”

 

DeWitt, scanning a full poker room on a Tuesday afternoon, said the move has been good for business.

 

“This time I’m 100 percent for it,” he said. “The time was right.”

 

For players who still want to smoke, it’s a short jaunt to the casino floor, where smoking is allowed. Dealers save seats for players so they can eat, drink, smoke and take bathroom breaks during marathon sessions.

 

Reiter typically plays for eight to nine hours at a stretch while her husband works the swing shift. A friend she gambles with “smokes like a chimney” but has learned to live with the nonsmoking policy.

 

“She told me, ‘I won’t quit but I’ll smoke less,’ ” she said.

 

Russell said the move to smoke-free rooms has boosted business for Station Casinos, which still allows smoking at its Boulder Station and Sunset Station poker rooms as well as poker tables in the main casino at Fiesta Rancho and Fiesta Henderson. The two other poker rooms will probably go smoke-free because the experiment has worked so far, he said.

 

“We gained more customers than we lost if we lost any,” he said.

 

Santa Fe in January became the first Station property to offer a smoke-free poker room. Smokers and nonsmokers flocked to the casino to see the results and then requested smoke-free rooms at Texas Station and Palace Station, which adopted the policy this month, Russell said.

 

“They didn’t realize how smoky it really was” until they saw a nonsmoking room, he said. “A lot of smokers don’t realize how bad it can get.”

 

Harris said the Mirage and Bellagio went smoke-free at the same time so as not to pick up the other property’s smokers.

 

The properties lost some hard-core smokers to locals casinos that still allow smoking “but much fewer than we anticipated,” she said.

 

Whether smoke-free rooms have helped business is hard to determine because the popularity of poker has increased gambling volume exponentially, she said.

 

Bellagio, considered the most luxurious poker room on the Strip, will be adding 10 more tables by the end of April to meet demand. Sister property MGM Grand will open a new nonsmoking room with 25 tables by early April.

 

The nonsmoking policy has its perks, Harris said.

 

Players are gambling longer and “aren’t walking out of here smelling like smoke,” she said. The policy also means “no dirty ashtrays or burn holes” on the tables.

 

For Garrett Okahara, playing poker always meant being able to smoke.

 

“I’ve always believed that smoking, drinking and gambling go hand in hand,” said Okahara, director of poker operations at the Orleans. “But now we live in a more health-conscious society.”

 

Okahara, a smoker and poker player, grew up in Las Vegas and dealt games at the Primm casinos before managing the Orleans poker room, Las Vegas’ largest at 35 tables. The Orleans’ room is virtually smoke-free because it permits smoking only during the graveyard shift between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m.

 

“I don’t necessarily agree with it but it seems like a majority of people would rather have a nonsmoking room,” Okahara said. “We live in a more health-conscious society.”

 

These days, a majority of players appear to be nonsmokers, though some of the newer and younger poker players smoke, he said.

 

Russell said the nonsmoking trend will continue in part because of a dwindling number of poker rooms that still allow smoking.

 

People who still want to smoke will end up congregating at those places, making the air even worse for players, he said.

 

“They’ll eventually go nonsmoking or they will go out of business,” he said.

 

 

 

 …

Afcon Situs Qiu Qiu Online Three Down

On the eve of the opening game we had been assured by the local volunteers that no tickets were available for the opening game and that the ground would be full.

Africa Cup of Nations 2017.

On the day of the game you would not have believed that as the opening ceremony began with only a few thousand in attendance. People kept coming even after Gabon kicked off the competition. There was a healthy attendance, but it was not full.

Keyboard warriors have been busy opposing the Situs Qiu Qiu Online tournament and have allegedly been organising peaceful protests and asked people to stay away from the tournament. There have been no sign of any protests so far, although I have spotted police wagons loaded with police positioned in strategic places, but at ease.

Although nothing happened in the first 45 minutes, the football fayre improved considerably over the next 135 with the group ending up level and every team in with a chance of the next round after two draws.

The next day I went to the airport in the hope of sorting out my travel arrangements for later in the week. Instead of doing that I just got a plane to Franceville to watch that day’s games. I was assured I would also be able to return that night.

Africa Cup of Nations 2017.

I met Maher an Algerian as I went in to the departure lounge, he was stopped before we entered and they took his bag, to put it in the plane.

There were people waiting to go to Port Gentil as well as Franceville and Maher then started to wonder where his bag was going. They hadn’t asked; he hadn’t told them.

Anyway, we boarded after checking with a porter who thought he remembered seeing a brown bag.

The stewardess asked which team we were, “FC Bohemia” I replied.

Trying to sort out a schedule is proving impossible, so I was talking to others, about future days.

Planes seem to be added to schedules at a moments notice.

The conversation went along the lines of

“What time should you be at the airport?” One hour before the flight?

“What time is the flight?”

I don’t know.

“So what time do you have to be at the airport.”

So you will gather that I still have no firm plans.

Africa Cup of Nations 2017.

During the day I booked the hotel that I had stayed at the previous two nights online.

The stadium was about 20 kilometres from the airport, and the windy country roads were decorated with game for sale…. tortoise, fish, ape and others!

During the second game I made enquiries about how I would get back to the airport. I was told there would be a shuttle after the match and just to come to the reception.

Sure enough I went to the reception, and asked. Now I got a quizzical look. There no longer seemed to be one.

An official was called over and he said he would arrange it. I was told to follow a volunteer and led outside and across the road.

I waited as he went down to a car park and returned 10 minutes later with a mini bus. For me.

We waited as convoy of CAF officials left with a police convoy, and joined the end of it hastily making our way to the airport. I had noticed on the journey there that the cars have a tendency to drive in the middle of the road and put their hazard lights on.

As we climbed windy roads the convoy could be seen for some way into the distance.

I presented myself at check in, and they checked the list for my name. They double checked, triple checked and still couldn’t find it.

They questioned how I had got to Franceville and luckily I found the boarding card I had been given earlier in the day.

With this they added my name to the list and I was on the plane eventually landing after one in the morning.

Staying at the same place meant getting a taxi and directing them was no problem.

I eventually arrived at the hotel at 1.45 and presented my email confirmation of my booking – one night for the equivalent of €100 or £100 using fairly recent exchange rates. (If you thought that was bad when I first landed I tried to change £’s and for Euros they offered 25% more!!!).

Mali fans, Africa Cup of Nations 2017.

The surly night porter checked and once again my details could not be found. There was no room available. Faced with the prospects of walking the streets all night looking for somewhere to stay I asked if I could sleep on the sofa in reception. He grudgingly nodded. Now when they sent me an email to ask for my opinion of the hotel, you may have guessed they scored zero, but I did have to give them the highest resting for value for money as I didn’t pay anything.

The next day I set off, rather tired, hoping to make it to Oyem, but as I was unable to confirm that I could make it back, I gave up on the idea. Sorted travel to Port Gentil and back and concentrated on finding somewhere cheaper to stay.

I had heard of a place by the beach, not far from the airport – The Tropicana. So I went there they were full. I decided that the location was so good that it would be worth staying there, so asked which date they did have a room free. Today was Monday 16th.

 

“Do you have a room free tomorrow?”

No.

“Do you have one free the day after tomorrow?”

No.

“When do you have a room free?”

Dix-huit.

“The 18th?”

Yes.

“So you do have a room free tomorrow.”

No.

 

We got there eventually and a room was secured from dix-huit, the day after tomorrow.

 

Two Germans I encountered had met someone that worked for Puma and sorted a room for two nights, of course when we got there, the price agreed had changed.

 

I hope that you can begin to see that every step you take there is a problem, that had to be overcome, and as soon as you think everything is running smoothly an obstacle will be put in your way.

At night it was difficult to sleep as it was hot, when you put the air conditioning on the temperature was fine but the noise kept you awake.

 

The trip to Port Gentil was just 35 minutes but as we approached the plane seemed to dive bomb down to the runway and then do a wheelie on the tarmac.

 

We got a shuttle to the stadium and made our way along the thin strip of land. We encountered a roadblock and the police didn’t want to let us through.

 

Shouts from the bus of journalist, got louder and they let us through. Thank goodness for that. It was 30 minutes before kick off and we were still battling through traffic. Then the engine gave out a loud grinding noise and we came to a halt.

 

Immediately we flagged down a bus that was with us and transferred to it making it in time to the stadium for kick off.

 

The games were not the best but the Mali fans were entertaining.

 

We had asked (repeatedly) what time the shuttle would leave and had been assured that it would be at the end of the game. I had spoken to a number of people who were also travelling back so that we could look out for each other.

 

Ten minutes before the end, someone beckoned for me to leave, I told Max And Helge but they wouldn’t leave before the end of the match.

 

I departed and hoped they would catch up. By leaving early we managed to beat the traffic and arrived at the airport 25 minutes later. There we waited, our plane wasn’t due to depart till 11.30 so they had over an hour to make it. The plane departed a few minutes late, but there was no sign of the two Germans.

 

 

 

 …

Bola88 Risk Versus Reward

 

 

Weighing the upside versus the downside, what you stand to lose versus what you stand to gain, is pretty universal. It’s how we figure out what to do in any given situation, assuming the governing factor is logic. Poker, like many important life decisions, should be approached with a risk versus reward analysis.

 

Good poker players assess the risks they face in a given situation and the potential reward they may receive if the cards come their way. Of course, most poker equations have an effectively infinite number of variables, plus the decision is based on incomplete information, as you can rarely be sure of your opponents’ exact holdings. So, poker decisions are based on educated guesses, taking into account all of the known variables, the possibility of unknown variables, and your conceptual knowledge level. The greater your conceptual knowledge level and information, the better your decisions should be.

 

The game was $40-$80 limit hold’em. It was a generally solid group, with a couple of weak players in the mix. The field folded to one of the weak players, who limped in from three off the button. As a general rule, I do not like the play of limping to open a pot from late position. It can be correct when it is done as a “trap” play in order to induce players to make incorrect calls later in the hand, but that is the right play in fewer situations than you might think.

 

When you open the pot with a raise, you add the possibility of winning the Bola88 blinds without a struggle into the plausible scenarios. If there is little or no chance of winning the pot without a call, the play loses some value. But even when the raise won’t win you the pot right away, if you utilize good hand selection, the likelihood that you’ll have a better hand than your opponents who always call a raise from the blinds is great. Of course, a limper in front of you changes the scenario some, as it increases your risk and almost eliminates the chance to win without a flop.

 

After the weak player limped, the button (a solid player) called and the action was on me in the small blind. I looked down to see K-9 offsuit, not the best of hands by any means, but it had some potential. Still, the hand was very marginal. I could easily make a hand, only to find that it was second best.

 

In marginal hand-selection situations, I include other factors in the equation to define my risk-reward ratio. What types of opponent(s) am I up against? Are they easy to read? If I make a second-best hand, am I likely to be able to get away from it? Will I get good value out of my hand? Is my hand likely to get paid off? Can I likely bluff the pot or otherwise outplay my opponent(s)? In this case, the limping player was likely to call me down, as he had a tendency to pay off everything. The button would very likely play his hand correctly no matter what.

 

In this situation a major variable to consider was the likelihood of the big blind raising. He was a tight raiser, particularly when out of position, and I felt little threat of a raise from him. Since I already had half the bet committed, the pot was laying me 7-1 now, so I called. The big blind rapped the table and we took the flop fourhanded.

 

The flop came Q-J-3 rainbow, giving me a gutshot and an overcard draw. With the weak limper in the pot, I did not think that betting as a semibluff would be a strong play, as he called most everything and also had position on me. I checked, hoping to get a free card. The weak limper disappointed me and fired $40 into the pot. The button folded. The big blind, yet to act behind me, appeared to have lost interest in the hand. I was the only viable contender left.

 

The pot was laying me 5-1 ($200-$40). I was 43-4 to make the gutshot; 43 cards missed the straight and four completed it. That was not currently a good enough price to draw to the hand. Did any other factors add value? Would a king also be good? It might or might not be, but overall, I believed it had added value. Also, Mr. Limper paid off everything. If I made the straight, I should be able to extract additional bets out of him, and they would likely be bets placed in the pot with him having little chance of winning. Additional bets placed in the pot with your opponent stone dead have much more value than bets placed in the pot with your opponent having a chance of drawing out.

 

There was also the slight possibility that he would check the turn and I would benefit from a two-for-one sale: two cards for the price of one. The additional value that those factors added to my hand turned my hand from a fold to a profitable call. I flat-called the $40 and took one off.

 

The turn card was the Jspades, pairing the board and putting a two-flush up, also. I checked, once again hoping to get a free card. Once again, my opponent disappointed me and bet.

 

The price I was getting now was $360-$80, 4.5-1, which was not far off the price the pot offered me on the flop. But things had changed! No longer was there the possibility that I could see two for the price of one, as only one more card was to come. Also, the chance of my making my hand and losing had gone up. My opponent could already have a full house. And he could have picked up a backdoor-flush draw in spades, thereby reducing some of my outs. Add to that the fact that my price had gone down, and my hand had turned into an easy fold. I tossed my cards into the muck.

 

This hand is not the most interesting poker story, but most poker hands aren’t. It does speak to the concepts of adjusting your play based on the strengths/weaknesses of your opponents, how the hand plays, and how you must adjust your odds based on your likelihood of winning, not just improving.

 

With the turn of each card and each bet by my opponent, my risk-reward ratio changed. In poker, you have to make your decision based on the situation at the time — and if you don’t understand the way changing conditions have changed the situation, you’ll likely find yourself always taking more risk than the potential reward justifies. spades

 

 

 …

The Germans defend Luca Toni: It’s the Qq Poker Online Italians’ fault!

 

 

Luca Toni spent the whole European Championship without netting a goal, but his German fans know that it was down to the Italian’s negative tactics.

“What did the Italians do to Toni? He doesn’t score, he suffers and complains. Luckily, he shaved that dreadful moustache,” wrote Bild Zeitung in defence of the Bundesliga’s top scorer. “Here at Bayern he receives accurate passes from Ribery and Klose, while for his country he has to retreat in order to receive the ball, which come to him Qq Poker Online high and wide,” added the top-selling daily.

 

Munich Abendzeitung laid the blame on coach Roberto Donadoni. “Teams like Italy that sit and wait for penalties are few and far between.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine revealed an exchange of text messages between Toni and Klose. The Italian complained to his pal about his “best friend” having betrayed him. Klose asked if he could be of any help. Toni replied, “I mean the ball. It’s my best friend and now we are not at the best of terms.”

 

Spain and Portugal agree on joint bid for the 2018 WC

 

It is common knowledge that the 2014 World Cup will be played in Brazil, but where will it go next? The bids for the following tournament are being prepared and an irresistible bid is being made by neighbours Spain and Portugal. “If Spain hands its bid for the 2018 World Cup, it will be in alliance with Portugal,” said the Spanish FA president, Ángel María Villar.

Speaking for Antena 1, the Spanish soccer leader called the idea on the joint bid “brilliant,” praising Portugal as a “excellent partner, who fulfils all the conditions for a joint act.”

The elaboration of the “brilliant” idea is to follow, because it will have to be approved by both countries’ governments.

 

Joao Havelange clams two World Cups were fixed

 

Former FIFA president, Brazilian Joao Havelange, sensationally told the Brazilian media that the 1966 and 1974 World Cups, won by hosts England and West Germany, were fixed. Havelange, who took up office only in 1974, said the referees directly influenced the outcomes of the two tournaments. “In three games Brazil played in 1966, seven out of nine referees and linesmen were British, and two Germans, all part of the effort to help England and Germany reach the finals, as the English Sir Stanley Rous (then FIFA’s president) wanted. “The same thing happened 1974 in Germany. Our game against Holland was refereed by a German (Tschentscher) and we lost, while Germany won the Cup (against Holland). Although we had the best team in the world, the same that won the 1970 Cup in Mexico, it was planned beforehand that the home countries should win the titles.

 

Rummenigge furious at Real Madrid: Let United tell them ‘no’!

 

Bayern’s Executive Committee chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge rose against Real Madrid for their unlawful interference with Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rummenigge, who is also the chairman of the European Clubs Association, an organization that replaced the infamous elitist G-14, wholeheartedly supports Manchester United in their conflict with Real, who brainwashed Ronaldo into pushing for a transfer to Santiago Bernabeu.

“The regulations are clear and Manchester United have a clear contract with the player for the next four years. Apart from this, I know Alex Ferguson very well and I know that his refusal is to be taken seriously,” said the German.

“The player and Real Madrid can reach any sort of agreement, but it’s United who have the last word and if they refuse the offer, there is nothing left to discuss.”

Madrid’s president Ramón Calderón indicated that he would be ready to play 85-90 million euros for the Portuguese wizard, while Real’s coach Bernd Schuster said that even one hundred million euros would not be too much for such a classy footballer.

 

Marcello Lippi: I am very, very happy

 

The new-old Italian national team coach, Marcello Lippi, has declared himself overjoyed with his return to the position he abandoned in July 2006.

“I am very, very, very happy. And very motivated. See you next week,” said Lippi to Gazzetta dello Sport.

These were his first words after being re-named coach two years after winning the ultimate prize in soccer – the World Cup. Ever since, he has been unemployed. The Italian football federation (FIGC) announced they would make an official presentation next week.

 

Beckenbauer slams Podolski: Why don’t you play so well at Bayern?

 

Lukas Podolski, the in-form German striker, has continued to baffle his employers at Bayern, where the international delivers only occasionally. One of those who would like to see the brighter side of Podolski a bit more often is Bayern Munich’s president, Franz Beckenbauer.

“Whenever I hear Podolski complaining about the lack of opportunities and trust by the coaching staff, say that nobody is stopping him from doing just as well here as he does for the national team. With such a form he would certainly be in the starting eleven,” wrote Beckenbauer in his column in Bild.

“When playing for Bayern, he is frequently inert, while at the Euros his body language says ‘pass me the ball, here I am.’ Podolski and Schweinsteiger have played so well as we have not seen them play at club level since 2006,” concluded the Kaiser.

“Poldi”, a naturalized Pole, came to Bayern two years ago and has yet to win a starting place, unlike in the national team, where he has been a regular since 2004.

 

 

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