Sports Category

Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.

The End Of Football’s Age Of Innocence: Melanie Slade Strips Off

SETANTA. Director of football (not to be confused with football director). Theo Walcott. Lots of clean toilets at Wembley Stadium. Man City playing beach soccer. Dennis Wise in a suit and not appearing in court.

All parts of football’s brave new world.

But it’s not all change. No one told Melanie Slade, Walcott’s lover, that time has moved on. And here she in the Sun making a “great career mauve” in a lilac bikini.

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Posted: 11th, October 2008 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comments (9)

Nodding Heads: Berbatov Goes, Keane Goes, Defoe Goes

NODDING Heads: Just one more thing, Paul Merson

“They’re bottom of the league for one reason alone. Berbatov goes, Keane goes, Defoe goes” – Paul Merson on the Spurs season so far, Sky Sports

More sporting insight to follow…

Posted: 10th, October 2008 | In: Sports, TV & Radio | Comment

Nodding Heads: Jamie Redknapp Knows

NODDING heads: Jamie Redknapp knows…

“Give Cahill one chance and he’ll score. He missed that last one but he’s so dangerous” – Jamie Redknapp

More sporting insight to follow…

Posted: 10th, October 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

The Smell Of Victory: The Scent Of Football

SMELL that? That is the smell of Liverpool FC.

L4Men leads with the intense freshness of Robbie Keane and the garlic-infused sparkle of Fernando Torres.

Note the virile blend of frustration and star anise which finishes down with undertones of second-hand tyre and gold top.

This is Liverpool’s attempt to dethrone Beckham as the official smell of football. Right now L4Men is the official scent of the Premier League, but we can expect Liverpool’s rivals to up the stakes and take more vigorous approaches to the challenge of advancing the brand.

Here are some of the other odours that should be wafting through the grounds next season:

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Posted: 10th, October 2008 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comments (3)

Australians Spend More On Gambling Than On Food

DID you know that Australians spend far more on gambling than they do on food?

In 2006-07, the land Down Under spent almost AS$91.5 million, or AS$4350 per head, on food, Bureau of Statistics figures say.

But in 2005-06 adults spent AS$148 million – an average of $9491 each – on gambling. These figures do also include tourists, although they, one presumes, eat, too.

Is this because food in Australia is cheap – how much can insects and fizzy urine cost?
But people with a cause interpret the figures differently, and Family First senator Steve Fielding says it shows people are spending too much on gambling.

Says he: “The Rudd Government can halve the number of problem gamblers by supporting Family First’s poker machine plans. This would, over time, get poker machines out of our local clubs and pubs and restrict pokies to racetracks and casinos.”

But are Australians gambling too much? Or eating too little..?


Posted: 12th, June 2008 | In: Sports | Comments (2)

US Casinos To Spy On Punters

WHAT is it about gamblers that people who don’t gamble are so suspicious of?

Over the newswires, the Poker Anorak gets this message: “Deadbeat parents, listen up: Win big at the casino tables in West Virginia or Colorado, and your kids might win, too.”

Why should deadbeat mums and dads be at the casino, rather than, say, at the off license, supermarket or circling life’s plughole while sat on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle?

The states plan to “garnish” the winnings of casino gamblers who owe child support. (Did they say “garnish?)

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Posted: 29th, May 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

WSOP Players Turn To Testosterone

THE Poker Anorak has long bemoaned women only poker tournaments as being divisive and insulting to women and men.

It’s not tennis, US politics or snooker; it’s poker.

At their worst, women’s only tourneys are like watching Loose Women, the shoot-me-now daytime telly show in which journalists, the institutionalised and heavily medicated watch a panel of Z-list celebrity women talks about incontinence, bosoms and useless men.

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Posted: 28th, May 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

Poker Table Chatter: Clinton And Blacks

last-call.jpgAT the poker table, a conversation is being struck up:

“Where are you from?” she asks.
“New York City.”
“New York City! How about that. We’re from Arkansas! What do you all think about Mrs. Clinton up there?”

Riding the F-Train is prepared for this small talk. He’s been reading up.

Before leaving New York, I read something somewhere… that claimed that most of Arkansas thinks Bill and Hillary Clinton are gods. Never, under any circumstances, should you say anything negative about the Clintons to someone from Arkansas…

“We hate her,” the old woman states emphatically.”Yep! They’re real popular in Niggertown. Well, that’s what *we* call it.”

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Posted: 20th, May 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

Playing Poker With Animals

EVER play poker with an animal?

They did:

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Posted: 19th, May 2008 | In: Sports | Comments (2)

Going Poker Blind At The WSOP, By Daniel Negreanu

poker-blind.jpgMORE on the stop-start WSOP, which starts in a few weeks, ends a few days later for a few months and starts again for a final flurry.

Writing in the Houston Chronicle, Daniel Negreanu considers the matter and says that the winner will be the one who uses the break best.

His position is that the schedule change will benefit those players that “study video of their opponents, seek expert coaching advice, and work on their game plans”.

Negreanu’s thinking is based on American Football which he says improved when teams began to study their opponents by watching videos of the games.

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Posted: 14th, May 2008 | In: Sports | Comments (3)

The WSOP Wait Is Unbearable

wsop-large.JPGYOU’Ve made it to the Main Event WSOP final table.

You and eight others are now vying to win the millions. You’re on a roll and keen to get on with it. You’re as hot as Vegas on July 14.

July? That’s too soon. You need to wait until Nov. 9 for the next hand to be dealt.
Jeffrey Pollack, the WSOP commissioner, says: “This is no different than the final chapter of American Idol or The Apprentice. It’s about building interest and excitement for the final chapter of this story.”

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Posted: 2nd, May 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Waste Your Bankroll At The WSOP Academy: Poker Bonus

YOU can learn to play poker.

You can learn to play poker in a classroom, just as you can learn to drive a car in a dodgem, learn to be an astronaut in a game of Space Invaders and learn to play tennis by eating strawberries at Wimbledon.

In the Olympus Ballroom at the Caesars Indiana Hotel & Casino, the WSOP Academy is teaching people to play poker.

It’s a WSOP Academy poker camp.

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Posted: 10th, April 2008 | In: Sports | Comments (2)

The Most Memorable Poker Lyrics

YOU got to know when to gold ’em, know when to fold ’em…”

You gotta la-la-la-la-dum-dum, la-la-la dum-da-kerchum…

Who can forget the rousing theme song to the England rugby team’s World Cup bid?

But not all poker lyrics are so memorable. The Poker Anorak takes a look at five of the most interesting poker lyrics of all time:

5: Poker Lyrics – Electric Light Orchestra

Play me another hand,
Loose everything I am,
Until we meet again.

To rhyme “hand” and “gain” is no easy thing. But having achieved the barely possible, ELO move on to safer ground:

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Posted: 26th, March 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Playing Poker With Democracy in New Mexico

poker-politics.jpgA POKER game in New Mexico has decided the outcome of an election.

It is democracy in evidence.

Well, it beats deciding who wins on Hanging Chads.

Over in the United States, Josie Richards has a pair of nines.

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Posted: 12th, March 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

Naked Casino At The Mirage

NUDITY in Las Vegas. The Mirage casino is opening its Bare lounge.
The Las Vegas Review Journal describes it thus: “You can enjoy European-style sun bathing in its two luxury pools while a DJ spins the latest in party music. You don’t have to worry about anyone looking in as you’ll be secluded by towering palms.”

The idea that its takes a gigantic palm tree to secure your modesty is an attractive one for many male revellers, we are certain.

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Posted: 5th, March 2008 | In: Sports | Comments (3)

Let’s Ban Poker And Ballroom Dancing


No. Not I the Poker Anorak, but blufDaddy on the forums. And why has he quit? Why does anyone stop playing poker?

Says he: “Never ever playing a single hand of poker ever again. Too fkin stressful.”

But the stress is addictive, is it not? The stress, or the thrill if you will, is the thing that keeps many of us playing poker.

Says stu in response: “See you next week…you know you’ll be back.”

Some would say that this is tantamount to addiction. Maybe there is a trace of that. But what is wrong being addicted to what you enjoy?

The prevailing mood is one of banstabation – tobacco, fat people and junk food. What next?

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Posted: 29th, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

Forget The Super Casino, It’s Time For The Super Church

jesusslotmachine.gifNO super casino. No big tent politics in the big tent in south-east London.

So no super casino for Manchester. Unlucky. You lose. Government decision is final. At least you Mancunians have your trams to keep you amused.

The Government says a super casino thing would have been less than super. It would, the protectors conclude, have fuelled problem gambling. Hazel Blears, the shrill Communities Secretary, says the massive gaming halls would have added little to local economies. Do we believe her?

The Government cares for local economies. It cost over £1million for the councils interested in hosting a super casino to submit their bids. The local economies must be delighted at the Government’s fiscal nous.

But there will be eight large casinos. And there will be eight small casinos. The top slot machine pay out will be £4,000. Why £4,000 and not, say, £10,000 is unclear. Perhaps the Government can hold a review and find out.

To do so would be responsible. But did you know that “only 360 out of 3,800 licensed operators have so far this year made contributions to the Responsibility In Gambling Trust”?

Boyish Andy Bunham, the eager Culture Secretary, tells us it is so; so it must be.

But he is not here to praise such largesse in the gaming industry. He is here to say: “This is not acceptable. Promises have to be kept.” And, no, the Government never promised a super casino, it just encouraged you to believe there would be one.

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Posted: 27th, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

Las Vegas Doormen Earn More Then George Bush

IN the Las Vegas Review-Journal, news of bouncers in Las Vegas:

Sources have been telling me that doormen at several clubs are clearing $8,000 to $10,000 a night before they share tips. So much cash is pouring in that some doormen are making $400,000 to $500,000 a year, several nightclub executives told me.”Pure has guys at the door making more than the president,” said one executive with intimate knowledge of the cover-charge system. He was referring to the annual salary of the president of the United States, which is $400,000, plus benefits.

Play online for an Anorak bonus

Posted: 22nd, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Labour Is The Poker Party

SAYS Roy Hattersley: “We’re the slot machine party

To make casinos profitable, new gamblers have to be attracted to their tables. It will be gullible local citizens from Wolverhampton and Hull, not Hong Kong millionaires and the Las Vegas super-rich, whose money the casino owners take home. The Government knows it. That is why it attempts to obscure its shame by introducing “safeguards” that objective observers agree will be largely ineffective. At a time when the Home Office proposes another “crackdown on serious crime”, the casinos would undoubtedly attract an international army of undesirables.

Casinos are regulated, not illegal. Unlike Labour, their funding is not so murky. What is an undesirable – a liar, politician, a lawyer? And what of entertainment  – casino have theatres, eateries and resorts?

Posted: 19th, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Hats & Eyeglasses: Drowning At Poker

THREE pieces of poker advice. Want to know what they are?

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Posted: 19th, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comments (2)

Graham Calvert Gambles On Court

MR Graham Calvert is not a happy loser. He wants bookies William Hill to pay back his £2million losses.

He claims Hills should have stopped taking his money when he asked them to bar him because he was an addict.


Hills took £3.5million of his money, and retained £2,028,858 of it. Bets included a record £347,000 on the US to win the 2006 Ryder Cup.

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Posted: 15th, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

When Casinos Don’t Win: Bouncing Ahmed Al-Reyaysa

housetiddly.jpgFOR the Claremont Club in London’s Berkeley Square to accept two cheques for a combined value of almost £7million, Ahmed al-Reyaysa must have had a fair credit rating.

And the gambler may well still enjoy a high credit rating at some banks, on account of his not having honoured his cheques.

Yesterday, the Claremont went to the High Court to try to get its cash.

Know that in one 18-month period, as the Mail says, Al-Reyaysa, spent £150million. And that just at the Claremont.

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Posted: 14th, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Poker For Game Players: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

HOW many poker players began their gaming careers playing video games?

Online poker means you may never have played a live game. You have always played online; more at home clicking buttons than touching actual cards.

Is that how it began, sitting at home playing your Atari, a Nintendo or shooting things at the amusement arcade?

Does online Texas Hold ‘em poker have more in common with Space Invaders and Donkey Kong than card games?

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Posted: 13th, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Poker Is A Game Of Dumb Luck

POKER is a game of chance. Or a game of luck? In another job, the Anorak writes on poker.

Poker is a game largely dependent on luck, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

It can be. Poker played in tournaments is a game of luck. Poker played in cash games is a game of great skill. Tim invites discussion.

Anyone who has played the game understands the difference between playing for cash and playing for fun…

Posted: 9th, February 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

Women Bring Sexism To Poker

MORE division in the poker world – and more marketing opportunities.

The Casino Anorak spots the Women’s Poker Hall of Fame.

The first four women to be inducted into this corridor of power are Linda Johnson, Susie Isaacs, Barbara Enright and Marsha Waggoner.

All the woman are decent poker players.

But they are not good enough to make it into the Poker Hall of Fame – the one which does not discriminate on terms of gender.

Play online and be whoever and whatever you want to be…

Posted: 24th, January 2008 | In: Sports | Comments (3)