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.

 

 

 

 …

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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2010 Super Togel Hongkong Cup kicks off J. League campaign

 

 

Just as it was last season, the traditional season opening Fuji Xerox Super Cup will be contested by two J. League sides that have plenty of experience standing on the winner’s podium.

 

Kashima Antlers and Gamba Osaka will go head-to-head for the second consecutive year in the Super Cup, with Kashima looking for a repeat of their dominant 3-0 win last season.

 

Oswaldo de Oliveira’s all-conquering side have won three J. League titles in a row, but the wily Brazilian tactician has brushed aside suggestions that his team will lack motivation in 2010.

 

The Ibaraki giants have strengthened their squad with the additions of former Kyoto Sanga stopper Lee Jung-Soo and burly Brazilian full-back Gilton from Albirex Niigata, and the pair are expected to slot straight into the side to face Gamba.

 

The Osakans ended last season by lifting the Emperor’s Togel Hongkong Cup trophy at the National Stadium in Tokyo, and Akira Nishino’s experienced outfit will hope to taste similar success on another brisk afternoon in the capital.

 

The Kansai side will have to do it the hard way, with Satoshi Yamaguchi, Tomokazu Myojin and Sota Nakazawa all struggling with injury following Gamba’s bruising 0-0 draw away at K-League giants Suwon Bluewings in the Asian Champions League in midweek.

 

Kashima were also active in the Champions League in midweek, but they had an easier time of things at home to Chinese side Changchun Yatai, where a goal from Koji Nakata separated the two sides.

 

Former FC Basel man Nakata adds plenty of experience to Kashima’s star-studded squad, but the undoubted jewel in the crown is scheming playmaker Mitsuo Ogasawara.

 

The veteran midfielder looked unstoppable on his way to being crowned the 2009 J. League Player Of The Year, and Kashima’s mercurial captain will be desperate to showcase his talent in this marquee Super Cup match-up.

 

It may be considered little more than a glorified friendly by some, but with upwards of 35,000 fans expected to pile into the National Stadium to watch two of Japan’s most successful clubs do battle, there could be fireworks on show as the new J. League campaign kicks off.

 

With signings of this calibre it is evident that Sanchez’s dream does not stop at merely wining the Copa Libertadores but doing it in style.

 

As it turned out Corinthians were less than inspiring in their Copa Libertadores opener this week as they came from behind to beat Uruguayan minnows Racing Club at home. A capacity Pacaembu was rocked when the visitors took the lead in the first minute through Martin Cauteruccio.

 

Corinthians responded 10 minutes later when clever play from Ronaldo and Tcheco created an opening for Elias to stroke the ball home and level the scores.

 

Elias is generally known for his work in the engine room but it was he who popped again with what turned out to be the game’s winning goal 20 minutes from time.

 

With three points in the bag Corinthians have taken an early lead in Group 1 of the Copa Libertadores. Another huge step has been taken on the road to glory for Sanchez and his centurions.

 

 …

The Return of Captain Golden Qq Online Balls

 

 

It is possibly the biggest shock in English football this year, perhaps even topping this season’s FA Cup shocks or England’s national sides failure to qualify from what looked like a do-able group. But when Fabio Capello took over the reigns as England’s head coach he told everyone he would do things his way, from the tatics down to picking a new captain after appearing disappointed with the job John Terry had done under Steve McClaren’s stewardship. Today his announcement to give David Beckham the armband he reluctantly released nearly two years ago is the biggest indication yet that Capello is a man of his own will and way. It may be a fairly meaningless friendly in the grand scheme of things but do not underestimate how much this will mean to Beckham, who had tears in his eyes when he stepped down Qq Online after England’s failure at the last World Cup.

 

Some had suggested he was pushed by then new head coach Steve McClaren who was looking to make a statement when taking over the side and they might not be far from the truth. Everyone knows McClaren was an unpopular pick who was seen as a number two rather than in charge. McClaren’s decision to drop Beckham was supposed to be a sign that no one was safe from this new age. But when McClaren back-tracked and recalled Beckham for England’s qualifier against Estonia it was a sign of weakness that could not be repaired and became just one of many nails McClaren’s coffin in the end.

 

Many sympathised with Beckham when he stepped down, it had been a poor World Cup for most of the England squad, although reaching the quarter finals was a decent enough effort for any realist who understands football. Those fools who believe England still has a god given right to win every tournament they are involved in it was seen as another epic failure and Beckham was made a scapegoat. His emotional speech in relinquishing the captaincy was meet with a large round of applause by those in the room in respect for all he had done for his country.

 

Whilst his achievements must be put into context, that ‘goal’ against Greece was seven years ago, his desire to keep going has obviously impressed Capello because after achieving his 101st cap against USA last week he is still in the squad and is still providing those pinpoint freekicks and passes that no doubt give England an extra edge on the international scene. Beckham is now 33 and you imagine that his time on the international scene is going to come to an end sooner rather than later. My only hope is Capello hasn’t picked Beckham as captain just to draw some Hollywood glamour to a game which everyone knows England are only playing to gain the vote from CONCAF for their 2018 World Cup bid, which will be pointless if America launches their own bid as that vote will go to the way of our Colonial cousins.

 

Head over to betting.betfair.com to keep up to date with all the goings on for England’s World Cup bid

 

So this takes us to Sunday night’s friendly in the Caribbean which will no doubt be a snooze fest which England will win by the odd goal with no remarkable performances from anyone, including Beckham himself. Some believe that Beckham is only being kept on to pass on his knowledge to those youngsters coming through England’s ranks such as David Bentley, who is tipped to take over from Beckham when he eventually retires. But there has to be the age old question over why Bentley isn’t being given a chance to gain more experience in one of these meaningless friendly’s. But again it’s a chance for Capello to see first hand how Beckham handles the role of being captain so as to make a decision over who will become a permanent captain before the World Cup qualifiers start up in September. I for one am happy to see Beckham back wearing the armband because he is one of only a few who demonstrates any passion when playing for their country.

 

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Aplikasi Judi Online24Jam Terpercaya 2021 Levski Sofia top European defences

 

 

There is no doubt now: the best soccer is played in countries where attack rules over defence. Only one club from the top-leagues – Chelsea – feature among the best defending teams in a list ruled by Bulgarian, Czech, Ukrainian, Romanian and Serbian squads.

By far the best defence this season is that of Levski Sofia, who have conceded just 7 goals in 26 games, 0.27 goals per game. The Bulgarian leaders also head the best goals difference chart with an amazing 79-7 (+72!) ratio.

 

Team Goals/games Per game

 

  1. Levski 7/26 0,27
  2. CSKA Sofija 11/26 0,42
  3. Sporting Lisbon 15/28 0,54

4.-5. Slovan Liberec 15/26 0,58

Shakhtiar Donetsk 15/26 0,58

  1. Salzburg 19/32 0,59
  2. Dinamo Bucharest 18/30 0,60
  3. Vojvodina Novi Sad 18/29 0,62
  4. Chelsea 23/63 0,63

10.-11. Hajduk Split 20/31 0,64

Porto 18/28 0,64

 

 

Joey Barton could leave England, and he should

 

Manchester City’s Joey Barton may be Aplikasi Judi Online24Jam Terpercaya 2021 offloaded to a foreign club in the summer as a consequence of the series of incidents perpetrated by the one-time capped midfielder. It is just as well and perhaps Barton should search a country without an extradition treaty with the UK.

His teammate Ousmane Dabo is considering pressing charges against Barton for causing him severe injuries to his eye, nose and lip during an altercation at City’s training ground last week.

“I thought it was over and when I wanted to turn away he hit me with a terrible punch that knocked me out. He acted like a coward, it wasn’t a fair fight.”

Dabo’s left eye has been taped closed and he has swellings and facial marks following hospital treatment.

“When I woke up this morning I looked at myself in the mirror with my face all swollen up and I looked like the Elephant Man,” he told The Sun.

City suspended Barton, an experienced troublemaker who has been fined a couple of times over incidents like putting out a cigar in a teammate Jamie Tandy’s eye during the 2004 Christmas party or fighting with a teenage Everton fan in Bangkok and then with his teammate Richard Dunne who tried to intervene. Last march he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a taxi driver.

According to Barton’s agent, there are plenty of teams interested in his client, whose price is set at 5.5 million pounds, not including insurance policies for his future teammates.

 

 

No double for Inter Milan

 

Roma hope to clinch its first trophy in its fourth successive Cup final against Inter Milan. Francesco Totti’s team thrashed the reigning champions, a resounding 6-2, edging closer to their eight Italian Cup, and first since 1991.

In the return leg next Wednesday Inter hope to repeat their own performance against the same rival in last summer’s Supercup, when they overturned a 0-3 deficit with four second half goals. Since 2005 Inter and Roma have met in two Coppa Italia finals and in a Supercup, with Inter winning every time. Inter’s coach Roberto Mancini holds the nickname of “King of Cups” having won six Italian Cups as a player and other four coaching Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter.

 

Sevilla: a treble or a collapse?

 

After Chelsea and Manchester United dropped out of the race for a treble, Sevilla is the only European team that retains the possibility of winning three trophies. In spite of losing 2-3 to Real Madrid in last Sunday’s big match in Madrid, Sevilla is within four points of a faltering Barcelona at the top of the league, while in both cups they have reached the finals. In the UEFA Cup, Juande Ramos’s team will defend the trophy against Espanyol on May 16th in Glasgow, while in the Spanish Cup they will meet Getafe on June 23th at Santiago Bernabeu. The remaining schedule for Sevilla is gruesome, as the Andalusians will have to play two games a week until the end of May.

 

Eto’o closer to leaving Barcelona

 

Samuel Eto’o has only a 40% chance of staying in Barcelona and just as much for joining Milan, claim the Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport. The same source believe that Arsenal have the remaining 20% of snatching the Cameroonian striker.

Although his playing contribution is doubtlessly enormous, Eto’o has become a liability in the dressing room after making several enemies. Barca, who is reportedly attempting to sign Thierry Henry and the Brazilian Alfonso Alves from Heerenveen, may be willing to sell Eto’o dear, although at a lower price than the 150 million euros, the amount of the player’s buy-out clause. After recovering from knee injury, Eto’o has been scoring at the rate of a goal every 102 minutes and shares second place among Barcelona’s scorers this season with a total of 12 goals, behind Ronaldinho with 20.

 

For Deschamps, Juve’s title dream is a “utopia”

 

Juventus are on their way to the Italian Division 1, but they are not going to win the league right away, says their coach Didier Deschamps.

“I’m an ambitious person, but it is important not to lose a sense of reality. Much will be down to next summer’s reinforcements, but for now I think that dreaming of an immediate scudetto is a utopia,” said the Frenchman.

As far as Inter’s championship win, Deschamps has been fair:

“Good for them, they won fair and square, but we’ll meet next season.”

Inter are the team that were awarded Juventus’s 2006 title after the exposure that Juve’s directors had maintained illegal contacts with match referees.

 

Nantes go down after 44 years

 

One of the French greats, Nantes Atlantique, have been mathematically relegated with two games to go in spite of beating Bordeaux away 1-0. Wins by Nice and Valenciennes have made it certain that the Canaries could not be saved, alongside Sedan, level on 36 points.

 

Nantes have won eight championships, the last time in 2001, just before Lyon’s six-year winning run. One of the traditional French powerhouses, Nantes have had a chaotic season, having used four coaches and continuously shuffling the starting lineup. Not even the legendary keeper Fabien Barthez, brought as a saviour in December, could help extricate the team from their plight. In fact, with his erratic behaviour and less-than-convincing displays, the former World and European champion contributed to Nantes’s downfall.

 

Dinamo Zagreb break all records

 

Dinamo Zagreb have retained the Croatian title ahead of Hajduk Split in a season marked by several new records which will be tremendously difficult to break in the future.

Coached by Josip Kuze until the 13th round and by Branko Ivankovic since the end of October, the Zagreb Lions have registered 28 wins in 31 matches played so far, including 18 consecutive wins, all of them under Ivankovic’s guidance.

 

If they collect four or more points in the remaining two games, Dinamo will also establish a new record regarding the percentage of points won, which currently stands at 90.9% and has been held by the same team since the 1996/97 season.

The team’s top player, the naturalized Brazilian Eduardo da Silva, has scored 29 goals, equaling Goran Vlaovic’s mark from 14 seasons ago.

How high Dinamo’s standards are is reflected by the fact that the board of directors dismissed Kuze despite losing only a single league game in the first 13 rounds.

 

 

 

 …

Klinsmann forced out by Data Hk Bayern’s past

 

 

As we approach the climax to the season with sides across Europe beginning to know where they are going to end up it always comes as a shock to see a manager depart with such little time remaining. Especially when that manager is former German international Jurgen Klinsmann and his tenure at his current club has only been eight months. The former Tottenham striker upset the football odds by being forced to leave Germany’s biggest club Bayern Munich following their 1-0 defeat to Schalke despite being only three points off top spot with five games to go.

 

The situation all seems a little odd, looking on from the outside, when you consider that the season isn’t over and to make a change this late on might not have the desired impact. Bayern’s owners crave success, the fans crave it and most German football fans expect it when you consider how many Bundesliga titles and European Cups the club has won. The record breaking total of 21 league titles will certainly place pressure on whoever is in charge but you get the impression that Bayern’s on the field form was used as an excuse to sack the former German national coach.

 

Defeat at the weekend was only their seventh loss this season and in what is an incredibly tight Bundesliga that still leaves them in third spot, three points off the top. The real reason for the sacking of Klinsmann appears to be the disapproval over his training methods and the way he handles the players. The 44-year-old is known to be Data Hk heavily influenced by the training methods he observed of athletes in America, especially the way they psychologically prepared before an event.

 

Unfortunately for Klinsmann the methods he brought to the club don’t appear to have sat well with the board and it has been reported that Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer disagreed with the way the manager was training the players. Those of you who know your history will already be aware that Beckenbauer had two spells as manager himself. It seems then that the two German legends clashed when it came to the methods being used off the pitch and when push came to shove there was only going to be one winner.

 

Klinsmann’s sacking is a timely reminder that the manager doesn’t always have complete control over matters on the pitch, a certain Jose Mourinho will tell you all about that. Klinsmann has paid the price for trying something different and despite Beckenbauer being a national legend perhaps he should have taken a step back and seen how the season finished before dropping the axe on a promising young manager in a difficult job.

 

 

 

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