Sports | Anorak - Part 248

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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.

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)

Shane Warne On Poker

WRITES Shane Warne: “My past week has been a different one. Playing in the Aussie Millions main event poker tournament has been an interesting experience.”

Warne, the former Australian cricketer, is tuning his arm to poker. And he will miss the start of the County season, where he turns out for Hampshire. Or not:

“I also want to clear one thing up. I am not missing the start of the County Cricket season because of poker; I will miss it as I have signed to play Twenty20 in the Indian Premier League competition and have taken up a role as an ambassador for the IPL.”

Hampshire will be relieved…

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Posted: 21st, January 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Top Five Casino Film Bosses Ever

CASINO bosses have a stereotypically bad image in the movies.

Of course in real life casino owners are all good to their mums, honest to a fault and cleaner and softer than a Labrador’s freshly wiped backside, but the impression can sometimes be otherwise.

The Casino Anorak looks at Casino bosses in the films and forms an impression:

GILDA, 1946:
Ballin Mundson is the German owner of an illegal casino in Buenos Aires. He is also a misogynist in a sexually perverse film. He has a duelling scar on his face, naturally. He carries an ebony cane which conceals a stiletto dagger. He controls a profession gambler called Johnny Farrell:

Mundson: You’re sharp, Johnny, almost as sharp as my other little friend. But not quite so obedient.
Johnny: No?
Mundson: My other little friend will kill for me, Johnny.
Johnny: Well, that’s what friends are for. (He releases the catch in the stick’s knob – it snaps into a rapier with the blade exposed)
Mundson: (toasting) To us, Johnny. To the three of us.
Johnny: Three of us. [To himself in voice-over: “Makes me laugh now to think back. Me so sure it was just the three of us. I soon found out, all right.”]

Humphrey Bogart plays Rick Blaine, the iffy and cynical American who owns “Rick’s Café Américain”, a nightclub and gambling den frequented by Vichy French, Nazis refugees and thieves. He is a moody miserabilist with trust issues.

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Posted: 17th, January 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

How To Bust A San Francisco Poker Party

A POKER game is busted by the police in San Francisco.

Police in San Mateo County, California apparently first spent months investigating the small-stakes poker game. From this firsthand account, it looks like a couple of the officers were playing regularly for several weeks before sending in the SWAT team, guns drawn, last week. If California is like most states (and I believe it is), a poker game is only illegal if the house is taking a rake off the top. In this case, it looks like that “rake” was the $5 the extra the hosts asked from each buy-in to pay for pizza and beer.

Police also took a 13-year-old girl out of the home, away from her parents, and turned her over to child protective services. In addition to the charge of running an illegal gambling operation, the hosts are also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Good thing the poor girl was saved before slouching toward an inevitable life of crime.

A player writes:

Somebody jokingly said only the cops knock like that. Well, they were right. A grip of policeman come in with their guns drawn. Wowser.

They took pictures of all the players at the tables, all the rooms, the chips, the cards, the dogs – everything. They made us sit with our hands on the table and finally put the guns away. Somebody tried to take a drink of their beer, and was told there would be time for that later. That was good news at the time.

File under: sore losers

Posted: 17th, January 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Casino Executives And Political Donations, And Barry Manilow

CASINO executives and politics:

The relationship between Presidential contenders and the deep pockets of the gaming industry goes back to the days when the mob ran Las Vegas. Frank Sinatra was a stalwart campaigner for John F. Kennedy, and some say that it was Frank’s delivery of mob cash and ballot support in Nevada that drove Kennedy past Republican challenger Richard Nixon in 1960.

With the help of public records freely available via numerous database engines on the internet (we used, I’ve cobbled together a listing of Presidential candidate donations by some of the top executives in the gaming industry today. It’s is striking when looking at the numbers, how many of the executives who work together contribute to the same candidates.


Barry Manilow (Writes the Songs That Make The Whole World Sing)
John Edwards (D) $2,300
Barack Obama (D) $2,300
Hilary Clinton (D) $2,300
Joe Biden (D) $2,300
Ron Paul (R) $2,300

Source and more 

Posted: 17th, January 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

Northen Rock And Bonus Casino

THE Northern Rock bank is in dire straits.

And the chairman of Newcastle-based outfit has told a shareholders meeting that the stricken bank can still be saved.

Says Bryan Sanderson, “with your support we can set the company on the road to recovery”.


But this is not gaming. This is serious money. Risks? Pah! This is all about security.

As Sanderson says, the bank could not engage in “high-stakes” poker with the Government and the Bank of England, which stepped in to support it when it was hit by the credit crunch in September.

Poker and banking? Who would you bet on?

Pretend to be banker and play the slots…

Posted: 16th, January 2008 | In: Sports | Comment (1)

Vegas Or Busty With Rooney and Ferdinand

ORDER the meat and crank up the roasts, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand are heading to Las Vegas.

News in the Sun is that La Roon and Archpuke Ferdinand are planning a joint Stag do. No – ho-ho – they aren’t marrying each other. Those kissed and cuddles on the pitch are as manly as it gets.

Both footballers marring women.

Of coruse, the boys could just stay in and get in the swing of Vegas by sticking up a poster of Thora Hird, burning money and playing casino online…
Play online casino here and Anorak will give you a bonus…

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

The Ironic Earl’s Court Casino Show

THERE will be no casino at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

Planning inspector Roger Brown denied the developer’s appeal, warning that traffic caused by the casino could have caused “unacceptable noise and disturbance for neighbours”.These are the people who live near Earl’s Court, a venue for shows like The Chemical Brothers in concert and – oh, do get this! – The International Casino Exhibition…

Who needs the aggro. Stay in. Play online…

Posted: 9th, January 2008 | In: Sports | Comment

Shane Warne 20 20 Vegas Vision

SHANE Warne is going to the World Series poker championship in Las Vegas.

Sadly, for Hampshire cricket fans – yes, you Doris and Lester Biggins – Shane will not be available for the club’s Twenty20 Cup campaign.

Says Shane: “Now that I am retired from international cricket – in fact all cricket in Australia – I am gradually moving into other areas.”

More cameo appearances on Neighbours? More adverts for nylon hair?

Says Warne: “There is a deal in the pipeline with a poker company that will involve playing in certain events through the year. I can fit what I do around the cricket.”

But what of the cricket?

“The World Series takes place in Las Vegas at the same time as the Twenty20 Cup,” he says. “I definitely want to go to Las Vegas and I have not played Twenty20 for the past few seasons. It has always come at an ideal time to take a break. I am 38 and, after 20 or so years in the game, I need a rest at some point during a six-month campaign.”

A rest…in cricket? Isn’t that what English players call fielding?

Posted: 9th, January 2008 | In: Sports | Comment