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Bet on the Oscars

Hollywood’s big night! Intrigue, famous faces, fashion, and, of course, the movies. It’s a close race this year, with whisper campaigns and promotion to rival any election. As always, bookmakers around the globe have tallied the odds-on favorites.

 

No golden Oscars have been lost this year, but rumors of smear tactics against A Beautiful Mind are rampant. Stories abound that the movie is a very loose interpretation of real events and that the real John Nash (the schizophrenic economist on whom the story is based) made anti-Semitic comments and fathered an illegitimate child. Does it matter? It shouldn’t, but it makes for good press and controversy breeds interest.

 

The Net teems with critical predictions. Start at Oscar.com for the official rundown and nominee list. CNN critics square off in an Oscar debate. Roger Ebert always has something to say. Check out Entertainment Weekly’s for stories, predictions and the “inside dirt”. Enjoy the lighter side of Oscar with Yahoo’s Oscar Pool. And I never miss an article by humorist Dave Barry who has a skewed view of the awards, to say the least.

 

On with the odds!

 

Betbrain.com provides links to many bookmaker sites, including Gamebookers and Victor Chandler. Betbrain does a nice job averaging bookmaker predictions. Overall, average odds give The Best Picture nod to A Beautiful Mind (-178) with The Lord of the Rings second (+163).

 

Australian bookmaker CanBet.com favors the following: Best Picture-A Beautiful Mind (-175); Best Actor-Russell Crowe (-200); Best Actress-Sissy Spacek (-167); Supporting Actor-Ian McKellan (+100); Supporting Actress-Jennifer Connelly (-455); Best Director-Ron Howard (-161).

 

And Vegas, you ask? Legally speaking, “Nevada sports books may legally only take wagers on events that are decided openly on a field of play, like a game or a race,” says an archived article from Poker.com. Since the Oscar ballots are already sitting in a vault somewhere, this type of betting is off-limits in Nevada.

 

My Two Bits:

 

For the first year in many I have seen all the Best Picture nominees. I am disappointed that Memento was neglected. But I like the broad spectrum of this year’s pics, so I grade them from 1-10:

 

Gosford Park: 8/10: character driven English period peace, rich in dialogue and subtlety.

 

A Beautiful Mind: 7/10: pseudo-true story of a brilliant poker deposit pulsa mind battling itself and the world around.

 

In The Bedroom: 8/10: Slow-moving piece with realistic characters, stays with you like the memory of a great meal.

 

The Lord of the Rings: 9/10: What can I say; I’m a Tolkien fan, having screamed through all 3 books in advance of the first film. The movie had it all, but I fear the “fantasy” aspect may hurt Oscar chances for the meatier awards of best picture/director. *my best picture pick*

 

Moulin Rouge: 8/10: As a rule I avoid musicals but my wife dragged me to this one, and I came away with respect for the scope and pure Bohemian joy evident on screen.

judi poker mogeqq

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing

Thank God that I have had the chance of witnessing the real thing. I mean the World Series of Poker at Binion’s Horseshoe. For three months leading up to it, I played fantasy cards in my head and won gold bracelets head up against top Americans, meanwhile scraping the money together to get a flight and accommodations. Can the World Series of Poker be the same anywhere else but at Binion’s Horseshoe? As soon as you arrive, the heat hits you, while you get your taxi downtown and check in to the hotel. Is it a real carpet or just a tarmac on the floor? My feet always stick to it anyway. Did Binion’s ever turn the lights on inside the casino? Not while I was there. Once settled, I would go straight to the bar to find the Irish team and find out who was winning, so as to get the best exchange rate for my pounds. Then, I’d be off for one of those famous cheeseburgers at the Horseshoe Snack Bar.

 

I remember the first time I ever got a seat to play in the World Series of Poker. You would have thought I’d already won it; all I did was walk around telling people, “I’ve won a seat! I’ve won a seat!”

 

Can it ever be the same at the Rio? With 2,500 runners last year and 5,000 expected this year, you will be the odd one out if you don’t play. Actually, the biggest poker tournament I’ve ever won was at the Rio, the first year that the Carnivale of Poker was held there. I was 40 years old and they say life begins at 40. Mine sure did. I was so emotional after winning that I was in tears while phoning home. People actually stopped to ask if they could help me, and I had to explain that they were tears of joy.

 

It looks like poker will bring the whole world to the Rio this year, and I feel sorry for those new players who have never played at Binion’s Horseshoe. I have a picture at home of Stu Ungar and Doyle Brunson when Stuey won his first WSOP title. Binion’s has been a shrine, but now it’s just another memory. Will the up-and-coming stars of tomorrow really understand the prestige of the WSOP? For years, everyone used to say that it was going to get bigger and bigger. And now the future is here. This year, the chances are that you are going to become a millionaire just for reaching the final table, some prospect for reaching a final. Poker has gone from cabbages to caviar, with numerous players getting sponsorship deals worth thousands of pounds. Gone are the days of four players sharing a room for $20 per night. Sometimes your life can change so quickly. We are all only one turn of a card away from being judi poker mogeqq millionaires.

 

What are the chances of winning the World Series of Poker twice? Not the same as when “The Grand Old Man” Johnny Moss did. I had the pleasure of meeting and playing against Johnny years ago when he sat next to me in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournament. I introduced myself as Mad Marty. “Why do they call you mad?” Johnny asked me.

 

“Because I shot someone for asking too many questions,” I replied. This made Johnny laugh, and we became good friends for the few years that I knew him.

 

The only thing missing from Binion’s is a chapel, as we’ve all heard about the difference between the card player who prays in a casino and the man who prays in church. The card player really means it. “Please let me win the next hand.”

 

Maybe next year we will be saying that the Rio is the best thing to happen to poker. Let’s hope they do keep the final table at the Horseshoe. It is the history of poker, and should not be forgotten.

 

Marty’s Holiday Camp

Are you ready to get the adrenalin flowing? Then listen to my new idea. What would happen if selected players considered poaching minifestivals from casinos and running them in holiday camps, with light entertainment for players’ wives and children? Consider a week in Butlins at Skegness. It would promise to be one of the most competitive, fascinating, daring, and entertaining tournaments ever. We could make poker a family occasion — bring the kids, your parents, and your next-door neighbors. Imagine having this conversation with your friends.

 

“Have you booked your holiday?”

 

“Yes. I’m going to Clackton for two weeks with The Devilfish, Marcel Luske, and Mad Marty Wilson.”

 

This could all be to come, so remember where you heard it first.

 

And don’t forget — there ain’t no party without Mad Marty!

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It’s 789bet Boom Time for Net Gambling

Websense, which compiles lists of specific URLs to block for its hundreds of corporate clients, claims the number of gambling sites has mushroomed 169 percent in the last six months, with the total number of sites now topping 21,000. That, the company says, makes Net gambling the fastest growing industry on the Web, based on raw page growth.

The figures likely won’t come as welcome news to several U.S. lawmakers pushing bills that would ban Net gambling in the United States. Three separate bills working their way through Congress would, if passed, rely on Internet service providers to enforce the ban by blocking access to gambling sites.

As the number of sites explodes, however, the task of blocking them becomes increasingly unrealistic.

“It will be difficult to enforce; we’ve always known that,” U.S. Senator and Net gambling opponent Jon L. Kyl (R-Arizona) told the Wall Street Journal last month. “I think there will be an evolving cat-and-mouse game as sites try to find a way around the law.”

Still, there may be less to the Websense growth numbers than meets the eye.

In the last six months, a number of Net gambling companies have started “franchising” operations, in which they give individual Web surfers the tools to set up their own gaming sites in exchange for a big cut of the sites’ subsequent revenues.

Those new surfer-built sites may look and feel different from each other, and may have different URLs, but they all share the gambling license and Web servers owned by the original Net gambling company.

“If there are 21,000 789bet websites, they’re pointing to a much smaller number of servers,” said Sebastian Sinclair, vice president of Christiansen Capital Advisors, a research firm that focuses on the gambling industry. “A lot of these franchising sites have hundreds of gateways,” but they share a very small number of IP addresses, and those can still easily be blocked by ISPs.

Many gambling sites also buy dozens and dozens of different URLs that all lead back to the same servers, Sinclair said. He estimates that there are fewer than 350 distinct Net gaming companies.

And even though the number of truly distinct gaming sites may be smaller than Websense’s tally, Sinclair says his staff truggles mightily to keep tabs on the industry’s swelling ranks.

“It’s a monumental task,” he said.

Judi Slot
Featured

Secrets Of Judi Slot Casino Software

“…the vast majority of claims that casino software is rigged are unjustified.”

Pssst! Wanna hear the inside story? Read on to learn the secrets of Internet casino software.

The Scoop on Software…

Of course what we’re really talking about here is the undying suspicion that many players have that the software they use at Casino XYZ is rigged. As tempting as this may be to believe the likelihood of it is very slim indeed.

The simple truth of software is that just about anything can (theoretically) be done. If you can think of a thing that might be done it probably can be. However software development is expensive because software developers are well paid and the really good ones are really well paid. Also, those development costs rise exponentially with complexity.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe that the vast majority of claims that casino software is rigged are unjustified. But how can I say this so blatantly? Easy! It boils down to this: cheating is too expensive.

Let’s assume that Casino XYZ builds software with cheats. Either the cheats will be simplistic — cheap and easy — or the cheats will, by necessity, be sophisticated — complex and therefore expensive.

If the cheats are simplistic they’ll be easy to detect. If they’re easy to detect then they certainly will be, probably quickly, and the casino is sunk. Why would they bother?

If the cheats are sophisticated — read “difficult to detect” — then they’ll have been very expensive to build thereby enormously inflating the Casino’s downside risk of detection. Statistics being what they are someone, somewhere will eventually detect the patterns behind the cheats. Here the casino is sunk again but at much greater cost. Again, why bother?

Of course all of this is a moot point because all casino games are designed to return a steady percentage back to the house anyway. There is little point in a casino trying to steal money by cheating when the very nature of their business means that they can so easily do it out in the open.

Most Judi Slot players lose most of the time and that’s all the casino really needs in order to make its profits. Like I said, cheating is too expensive.

Intertops.com Picks ‘Six Feet Under’

  1. JOHN’S, Antigua — The competition is not so much stiff — as stiffs — according to Internet bookmaker Intertops.com, which picks HBO’s drama Six Feet Under to win the Outstanding Drama award at the 54th Primetime Emmys on Sunday September 22. Six Feet Under has won 23 Emmy nominations and looks set to scoop a casket full of awards. Donations — not flowers — please …

Next in line is NBC’s The West Wing with 21 nominations. Martin Sheen and Allison Janney are both favorites to win the vote in the male and female dramatic acting categories.

Jennifer Aniston and Raymond Romano are Intertops.com’s laugh-a-minute lovelies to win the comedy acting prizes. Friends continues to delight and is the top pick in the comedy series category.

Intertops.com is also offering action on both Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston winning their respective Emmys. Bet $10.00 and win $30.00 if Hollywood’s golden couple BOTH boost the trophy cabinet on Sunday September 22.

But if ONLY Brad wins — at 8-1 — at least Jennifer could win $800 on a $100 bet. She can’t lose either way!

“Award Shows make for perfect betting action. The results are shown live on television and you can back your favorite TV actor or show,” said Michael Maerz, chief bet manager of Intertops.com.

“Make the right guess, and when they say ‘And the winner is … ‘, it could be you! Intertops.com has always offered entertainment betting, and it gets a great reaction from our customers. We are delighted to provide some Emmy action to give this year’s ceremony some extra spice,” he said.

 

 

 

Dominoqq Online

The Dominoqq Online Week in Spain

*The big two both won so Real Madrid stay a point clear of Barcelona put the Merengues made heavy weather of winning 2-1 at Cordoba. They went behind to the 14th placed team in the third minute and although Karim Benzema pulled Real level on 27 minutes, disaster struck when Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off with eight minutes to go. Gareth Bale saved Real’s blushes with a penalty a minute from time but the FIFA World Player of the Year faces a three-match ban for swinging an arm and aiming a kick at his over-attentive markers.

 

The Week in Spain January 24 2015.

 

 

* Lowly Elche must be sick of Barça by now after they were overwhelmed 6-0 at home by Luis Enrique’s team. The Catalans have now put 15 goals past them this month after winning 10-0 on aggregate in the Copa del Rey. Leo Messi and Neymar both scored twice, while Pedro and Gerard Piqué added the rest.

 

With six straight Dominoqq Online victories and a morale-boosting win over Atletico in midweek, the mood is brightening at the Camp Nou. That said, Luis Suarez was benched today despite a vote of confidence from Enrique and has scored only five in seventeen outings.

 

*Atletico Madrid tried to keep it a three horse race by winning 3-1 at home to Rayo Vallecano to stay six points behind Barça with a game in hand. French forward Antoine Griezmann netted twice for the Colchoneros and the rejuvenated Fernando Torres played the last 20 minutes.

 

National coach Vicente Del Bosque has praised the returning Atletico hero and has said he is open to recalling El Niño to his next Spain squad. Their next outing is a Group C Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Ukraine on the 27th of March.

 

*With Barcelona banned from the transfer market until next year, Real Madrid have capitalised by signing two promising young midfielders. Brazil U21 international Lucas Silva Borges has put pen to paper on a four and a half year deal rumoured to be around £9.7 million.

 

The 21 year-old Silva was voted best defensive midfielder in last season’s Brasileiro Serie A campaign for Cruzeiro.

 

Martin Odegaard, the 15 year-old Norwegian prodigy, is more of a fantasista, a creative midifleder, and signed a contract at the Bernabeu which will pay him £80,000 per week. Press reports suggest the fee was in the range of £2-3 million rising to £6 million with appearances. How good is he? This is what he did in Norway:

 

 

 

*Carlo Ancelotti was named the best coach in the world by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics this week, with Atletico’s Diego Simeone in second. Pep Guardiola came third, confirming Spain is still a big player in world soccer, with Jose Mourinho in fourth.

 

Personally, I would have given the gong to Simeone for breaking the Real-Barça hegemony to win the league and reach the Champions League final, all without anything like the resources of Atletico’s big rivals. This might change in future however, as this week Wanda, the firm which belongs to China’s second-richest man Wang Jianlin, snapped up a 20% stake in the club for only €45 million.

 

 

 

 

Togel Hongkong

The Card Togel Hongkong Player Mission Statement

 

 

The hot new concept for enlightened companies is to generate mission statements for the various categories of people among whom there is interaction.

 

As in poker, the idea is that it is easier to get where you want to go if you know where you are going – and why.

 

There have been so many changes at Card Player lately that I thought we had better know our missions so that we can at least have a chance of accomplishing them. So, here they are:

 

To our readers: Our mission is to bring you a well-written, interesting, accurate, and informative magazine that will tweak your poker interest, knowledge, and comportment to make poker more enjoyable for you.

 

To our advertisers: Our mission is to bring more Togel Hongkong players into your respective cardrooms.

 

To our staff: Our mission is to provide an environment in which you will grow, prosper, enjoy, and fulfill your potential in order to accomplish our missions to our readers and advertisers.

 

To our shareholders: Our mission is to have a company that provides the very best product in our industry and elevates poker in the eyes of the general public.

 

Wow, that was fun. All of these missions work together. In order to do a great job on any one, we have to do a great job on all four. They are inexorably intertwined.

 

Stop. Before you call me a money-grubbing hypocrite, take a look. Of course I want income. It is the only logical flow from accomplishing all of the missions stated above.

 

When we have a tough editorial decision regarding an article, we simply look at our missions and see how it fits. If it fits, we print it. If it doesn’t, we either edit it or don’t publish it.

 

Perhaps you ought to have your own private poker mission statements. They don’t necessarily have to relate to winning the most amount of money possible. There are many other factors that may help you choose where to play, what to play, and with whom. Money certainly is a major factor, especially if you play for a living. But some people play to spend an enjoyable amount of time out of the house. Others want the ego satisfaction of winning tournaments, while others want a poker room that makes them feel important.

 

Personally, I like to play where I am having fun. I enjoy nice surroundings. Availability of good food probably is more important to me than it ought to be. My ego forces me to want to be a winner, but, admittedly, that is not how I pay my rent. In tournaments, I have no choice, but in live action, I play many more hours when the game is fun. That probably is more true for many players than they realize. That is another pragmatic reason why both player and dealer abuse must not be tolerated. But, that is an article for another day.

 

 

Bola88

Bola88 Embarrassment

 

 

Daniel Negreanu recently told me, “Phil, I was absolutely embarrassed for you as I watched you play no-limit hold’em last week in the PPT (Professional Poker Tour) tournament. I think you’re too focused on all of the great business opportunities you have right now.” Um … OK, Daniel. It was a bit harsh, but I took it in the spirit it was intended. (“Phil — pull your head out and start playing no-limit hold’em the way you know how to play.”)

 

Speaking of playing some great poker, Daniel had a year for the record books. I will tell you a lot more about that when I finally get around to writing my “Champion of the Year” award column, in which I’ll announce that Daniel won the award and absolutely dominated poker’s biggest events in 2004. By the way, he also started 2005 very well with third-place finishes in the World Poker Tour event at the Jack Binion World Poker Open and the Professional Bola88 Poker Tour (PPT) event at the L.A. Poker Classic.

 

In any case, let’s take a closer look at my “embarrassing” play in the PPT event at the L.A. Poker Classic. The first hand I played, I raised to $1,400 to go with the Ahearts Qhearts from late position and was called by an amateur. After a flop of Aspades Jspades 4hearts, I checked, my opponent bet out $1,500, and I raised, making it $6,000 to go. My opponent called me fairly quickly.

 

The turn card was the 5spades. I checked again. On the flop, I felt that my opponent had a flush draw. Now, after I checked, he checked as quickly as I’ve ever seen anyone check. He nearly checked out of turn, before I had checked. What a tell! Now, I knew he had made a flush, right? I wish …

 

The river was the 8clubs, and I decided to bet out $4,000. Of course, if my opponent raised me here, I would have a very easy laydown. And he did just that, moving all in for another $8,100. It was bad enough that I had bet $4,000, so there was no way that I would “call off” another $8,100, an amount that would really hurt my chip standing and nearly cripple me. But suddenly, I called (my opponent had the Kspades Qspades — the nut flush). I guess I’m beginning to see what Daniel was talking about!

 

Next up, about 20 minutes later, I made it $1,400 to go with the Adiamonds Qdiamonds. I was called by Phi Nyguen, who is an excellent no-limit hold’em player. He and I have made it far together in many no-limit hold’em events over the last few years. The flop came down K-Q-9, I checked, and Phi checked.

 

Now, a 3 came off, and I bet out $2,100. Phi called, but I sensed that he had hit a set of threes — as he looked like he wanted to raise. A deuce came off on the river and I bet out a “defensive” $2,100. There was no way I could call any raise from Phi in this situation, right? (Sound familiar?) I had sensed he was strong on the previous round of betting, and I bet out to make sure I showed him I had something; my betting pattern had shown some strength.

 

Phi raised me $4,000, and for some strange reason I disregarded everything I had sensed and called him. He showed me the Jdiamonds 10diamonds; he had flopped a straight. At this point, I began to berate myself out loud; I don’t berate just my opponents! I said, “Phil, what are you thinking? You called off at least $16,000 in chips. You never would have called in these situations in the past. Stop playing like someone else, and start playing your game!”

 

Next up, while I was complaining about Phi calling my raise with the Jdiamonds 10diamonds, I raised to $1,400 with the Kdiamonds Jdiamonds. This time, Tom McEvoy called me with the 9spades 8spades, and the flop came down Khearts 8diamonds 6diamonds. I checked my top pair and flush draw to Tom, who sized me up and decided to bet my last $4,100. I called him instantly, and the 10diamonds came off on the turn to end that pot.

 

The very next hand, I picked up K-K and just called $400. Tom made it $1,600 to go, everyone else folded, and I moved all in. Tom beat me into the pot with his A-A, but at least he had only $4,000 or so. After all of the boardcards were dealt faceup and Tom was reaching to collect the pot, he said, “Now, that’s justice.” I thought to myself, “What? A-A over K-K is as unlucky as it gets; how is that justice? Was it justice because his 9-8 didn’t outdraw me in the last hand when I was a huge favorite all the way?”

 

In any case, I really do love Tom McEvoy, and for this reason his comment didn’t bother me too much; I know that he didn’t mean anything by it. However, if someone else had said that, I would have told the other pros to watch out for the guy and his bad etiquette. Tom is absolutely a first-class guy all the way (even if he did bust me out about an hour later).

 

How did Tom bust me? I moved all in for $6,000 with the Khearts 7hearts, and he called me with the Kspades Qspades. Daniel was right, as I’m embarrassed just writing this column about my PPT play!

 

 

 

Togel

Cracking Quartet of Quarter Togel Finals

 

 

What a fantastic quartet of Last Eight matches. They had everything – shocks, drama, red cards, controversy, goals, own goals, penalty’s, penalty misses, penalty shootouts. And after all the talk of the South American countries dominating this World Cup (even predictions of the semi finals being an all Latin affair) the semi final stage has a very European flavour.

 

First up Holland shocked everybody’s favourites, Brazil, who lost their cool and lost the match 2-1 from a winning position. Felipe Melo was dismissed for a cynical & nasty stamp on that cheeky chappy Arjen Robben and the Samba Stars imploded under Dutch pressure. Wesley Sneijder validated my decision to drop him from my dream team by scoring two, although one was definitely on OG so how FIFA can give it to the Dutchman is a mystery.

 

Following this first shock came Africa’s last Togel hope, Ghana. The vuvuzelas were in full cry and Sulley Muntari turned them up to eleven with a long range cracker just before the break. That man Diego Forlan hit back with a sweet free kick that caught Kingson out and the 1-1 draw was played out through extra time with the match ebbing and flowing as each side applied the pressure.

Both teams had chances in extra time but nothing could prepare them for the drama that unfolded as the clock hit 120 minutes. One last assault from Ghana saw Luis Suarez earn this tournament’s “Hand of God” accolade as he batted the jabulani away with his hands. He was off and Asamoah Gyan was handed the opportunity to write himself & Ghana into the history books. This he duly did by smashing his penalty against the bar as Montevideo breathed a sigh of relief.

 

Gyan admirably tucked away the first penalty in the shootout for his own immediate “Psycho” moment but he was inconsolable as the Uruguayans won it 4-2 to reach their first semi final for 40 years – Sebastian Abreu’s winning penalty was as cool and cocky as you will ever see under such pressure.

With one of the favourites out it was the turn of another, Argentina, to step up to the plate and restore some South American confidence. Nobody read the script to Germany though…again…and they hammered Maradona’s men 4-0 in a result that makes England’s look reasonably good.

 

How do the Germans do it? Time after time after time. After time. In the 17 World Cups they have contested they have reached the quarter finals or better in 14 of them, appearing in six finals and winning it three times. They look the most likely champions again as Spain stutter along and Holland might just come up short.

Germany’s defence is miserly as usual but it is their attacking play that has been jaw dropping at times. They counter attack with such speed, fluency and precision that teams have folded under the onslaught. With a midfield supremely marshalled by Bastian Schweinsteiger and propelled by the creative flair of Mesut Ozil, it is a bedrock that their deadly strikeforce can revel in.

 

Miroslav Klose is on course for the Golden Boot for the second tournament in a row and is one short of Ronaldo’s all time record of 15. He has been Germany’s main threat with Lukas Podolski who between them scored 9 goals for the club last season. Couple that with Thomas Muller who had not scored for his country before the finals and now has four, and you wonder how they manage to peak at just the right time, every time. Germany have now scored four goals in three separate matches. The mind boggles.

Nobody wants to take on the Germans but if any team has the confidence and ability it is Spain. They narrowly passed their test again with a scrappy 1-0 win over a solid & unspectacular Paraguay but it could have been so different. Spain have yet to spark in this tournament and are grateful to their talisman, David Villa, for his five goals that have carried them through and put him out front in the Golden Boot race.

Villa got the winner once again in the last ten minutes but the match hinged on a dramatic few minutes on the hour mark in which Paraguay were awarded a penalty following Gerard Pique’s best Hulk Hogan impression in wrestling Oscar Cardozo to the ground. A nervy looking Cardozo dusted himself off and tickled the ball into Iker Casillas’ hands.

Spain went straight up the other end and won themselves a penalty through David Villa which was coolly put away by Xabi Alonso. However the ref had spotted encroachment and ordered a retake which Alonso switched to the opposite side and was out-guessed by Villar to keep the score a 0-0. In the melee, as Paraguay scrambled the ball clear, Spain shoud have had another penalty as Villar tripped Cesc Fabregas but the ref inexplicably ignored Spanish protests.

In the end it mattered not as Spain got the job done with the aid of their main goal threat and three posts. Pedro was set up cleverly by Andres Iniesta but his shot cannoned back off the post, into Villa’s path who scooped it onto the other post. The ball rolled across the line, hit the left hand post again and finally trickled into the net to put the favourites through to a German showdown. That match will be a belter.

 

 

 

 

Togel Hongkong

City Togel Hongkong In For Milner

 

 

Reports today are suggesting that moneybags, Manchester City, have made a “big money” offer for Aston Villa’s versatile midfielder, James Milner. £20m+ is the figure being quoted. It’s been a fairly meteoric rise for a player that until very recently many still considered as average at best.

 

The season just gone has been Milner’s finest to date but that’s against some average competition. He showed promise at Leeds but became one dimensional, he flattered to deceive at Newcastle where he habitually wasted Togel Hongkong possession, he was then shunted out to Villa on loan and after a year back at Newcastle in their relegation season he signed for Villa permanently for £12m. This is where Milner finally began to find his feet.

 

He was perhaps unfortunate at Newcastle that the man who signed him, the late Sir Bobby Robson, was unceremoniously sacked and replaced by Graeme Souness who wasn’t keen on Milner’s attributes. It was David O’Leary who took him to Villa on loan with reasonable success but it is under Martin O’Neill that he has flourished. Only 23 he has already played under 13 different managers (including caretakers) and cites the stability at Villa as a big reason for his improvement.

 

What shined through Milner’s Newcastle years and protracted move to Villa was a calm level headed attitude learned from senior players around him during his evolving career. This attitude has seen Milner become the mature player he is today.

 

Able to understand and carry out instruction, he allies this with an understanding of football that enables him to play in several positions. These are precisely the qualities that England coach Fabio Capello likes in a player and precisely the reason why Milner is a cert for the final 23 that will travel to South Africa.

 

His current form and performances over the past year cannot be argued with and he has eclipsed the likes of club mate Ashley Young. He fully deserves his place in the squad but is he good enough for the first team? That remains to be seen and he is perhaps more of a safety valve to cover a few positions and be available to protect a lead should the need arise.

 

He doesn’t have the creativity of Joe Cole or Steven Gerrard. He doesn’t have the midfield goal threat of Frank Lampard. He doesn’t have the blistering pace of Aaron Lennon or Theo Walcott. He doesn’t even cross as well as Adam Johnson.

 

He does most things very well but jack of all trades is often master of none and I don’t see a starting position for Milner. He is probably the direct replacement for Owen Hargreaves; a confident assured penalty taker (another reason to have him in reserve given England’s major tournament shootout record) who can cover the full length of both flanks and play right through midfield.

 

Fair play to the lad, he’s proved me wrong and the next couple of steps in his career could see him become a World Cup winner and key component of the most ambitious club side in the world. Now that’s progress.

 

 

 

 

Togel Hongkong

Real Madrid v Liverpool – Dr. Joel Rookwood Togel Hongkong

 

 

When deliberating over European football’s most prestigious and illustrious names, the identities of a select group of clubs dominate the mindset. Real Madrid justifiably top that list, with AC Milan and Liverpool completing a trio of institutions which, having won the ‘Champions League’ on five occasions, lay claim to ownership of a European Cup. Ignore individual celebrities, stadium dimensions and global marketing ploys – this quintet of ultimate victories serves as the only mark of greatness. As a consequence, when the paths of any of these clubs cross in a competitive fixture, the eyes of the footballing world are upon them. Liverpool have played AC Milan in two Champions League finals in the last four years, although despite comparable records in the European Cup, Real Madrid have not been regular opponents for Liverpool in recent years. Indeed Liverpool’s only previous European Cup tie against Real Madrid was the final of 1981. That game ended in a 1-0 victory for Liverpool. The ‘Super Sixteen’ round of this year’s competition has seen the two heavyweights drawn against each other again, with Liverpool supporters hoping for a similar outcome against the Spanish champions.

 

An estimated ten thousand Liverpool supporters travelled to Madrid for the first leg, hoping to witness a famous encounter. A little bored of the monotony of ‘in-and-out’ trips to see Liverpool in Europe, I opted for an extended venture this time around. The prospect of watching Atletico Madrid’s tie at home to the Portuguese champions only added to the sense of expectation. Complications over the fixture list inspired UEFA to ignore their own policy of avoiding having two fixtures played in the same competition in the same Togel Hongkong city on consecutive nights. That meant that Liverpool’s match against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu would come just twenty-four hours after FC Porto’s match against Atletico Madrid in the Vicente Calderon Stadium. Pockets of Panathinaikos supporters were also in the city for the first fixture, taking a detour before their match at Villarreal on Wednesday.

 

Having already been to watch Atletico this season, only a handful of Liverpool supporters opted to attend the Porto match on Tuesday night. I decided I would try to gain entry in the familiar away section. It was not the first time I had been ‘away with FC Porto’. As a nineteen-year-old I spent a winter month inter-railing across Spain, Portugal and Morocco, and on an impromptu visit to FC Porto’s ground I noticed a queue forming. Intrigued and hopeful as to why, I joined it, and when I made it to the front, repeated the same simple line uttered by those ahead of me, passed over the same fee and was handed the same thing – a match ticket. The following night I was bouncing around the away end of Lisbon’s famous old Stadium of Light watching Benfica V FC Porto. It was my first exposure to European football, and after that experience I had the bug.

 

The Portuguese were well represented off the pitch as well as on it, with a passionate away support, clearly motivated in part by the relatively localised rivalry, cheering on an impressive Porto team. Although the home side took an early lead through Maxi Rodriguez, they failed to control an inventive Porto team. Diego Forlan restored the home side’s advantage, after Lisandro twice drew the two-time European champions level. The 2-2 final score has set up an intriguing second leg at the Estadio do Dragao in a fortnight’s time, with the scenario at the halfway mark surely favouring FC Porto.

 

The following night, Liverpool entered the famous Bernabeu supposedly a club in disarray. The prospect of playing a Madrid team who had won the last nine matches in all competitions was supposed to frighten the men from Merseyside, who had won just two from their previous nine. A team of talented and experienced players playing in front of 85,000 ‘Real’ fans were supposed to add to the complexity of the task facing Liverpool. Furthermore, reports that Liverpool’s Madrid-born manager was about to resign dominated the press leading up to the match, with some suggesting that leading bookmakers had suspended betting on Rafael Benitez parting company with the club. As our challengers often discover to their cost however, diversity is not a state that crushes Liverpool’s resolve, but strengthens it. A wry smile spread across my face as I read the reports, knowing that the situation would surely be used in our favour. I had seen Liverpool win at Inter Milan last season and at Barcelona the season before, when others had conspired to spoil our chances of success.

 

Liverpool’s stuttering league form may have slowed the momentum of their push for the league title this season, but one defeat in thirty-two Premier League and Champions league fixtures this season pointed to an inevitable outcome in the Bernebeu. The team were quietly confident. The fans were equally confident, but were far from quiet. The famous ground rocked to the famous sounds of Liverpool for nearly three hours, as Benitez’s resolute team refused to concede any real clear chances to the home side. Yossi Benayoun scored the game’s only goal eight minutes from time, although the collective performance warranted at least a second Liverpool goal. Nevertheless the game and its result provided a timely reminder that Liverpool are the force to be reckoned with this season, and that in European competition, Rafael Benitez is simply the best in business. Rome anyone?