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9 Poker Skills to Practise While You Homeschool Your Kids
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Life is filled with lessons. Every day’s a school day, as they say. And never has that felt more true than right now, with many of us juggling full-time jobs with new, unanticipated careers as teachers. Homeschooling your kids during lockdown doesn’t leave a lot of room for pursuing your own interests, but poker players need to keep their heads in the game. So here are a few perfectly serious principles to chew over while bluffing your way as a makeshift teacher. (If none of this sounds familiar to you, congratulations – you’re one of the lucky ones; now’s probably a good time to join an online casino like Golden Nugget.) Get maximum value whenever you can You’re dealt more bad hands than good ones, so you’ve got to get the most out of your winners. Like, if he’s really getting into that World War II history project, it might actually keep him occupied until lunch. Don’t tell him what time the lesson was supposed to finish; just give him plenty of space, lots of paper and pens, and ignore those disturbing things he keeps saying about invading and annexing his sister’s bedroom. Work on your live tells  Did she really do her flute practice? Give her the staredown ’til she calls the clock. If you lose a confrontation, make it cheap He wants a snack, but you need him to finish his book report on Dr. Seuss. You’re trying to show strength and unwavering resolve, but he’s showing a stubbornness you’ve not seen since The Zax (“Never budge! That’s my rule. Never budge in the least! Not an inch to the west! Nor an inch to the east!”). You know you’re going to lose this pot, so you’d better make it a cheap one. Give him a piece of fruit and save your big stack* for when you really need it. * I recommend Oreos via GIPHY Don’t get counterfeited If you’re not paying attention, you could hit the card you’ve been waiting for without realising it completes a better hand for someone else. You thought it was just what you needed to win, but it actually seals your fate. Like that hour of YouTube you let him watch this morning, which harmlessly bought you a precious hour of work… or so you thought. But one five minute video and now he knows how to undo every parental control in the house. Use your downtime wisely In any poker tournament it’s essential to make the most of your breaks. Clear your head: it doesn’t matter how many terrible, unlucky beats you’ve taken or stupid decisions you’ve made. When you get back to that table you need to be strong, focused and refreshed. Otherwise she’ll never finish that science project. Fire all three barrels It’s easy to lose confidence in a bluff when your bets get called, but backing down and checking the river instead of firing that third barrel is a weakness that a wily opponent will exploit. And my daughter is certainly wily. She knows subtraction, I know she knows, and she knows that I know she knows. But she also knows that the more time I spend going over it, the less work she has to actually do, so she plays dumb a few times. But she’s bluffing, and eventually she’ll get the answer right as I knew she would. Either that or be terrible at maths for the rest of her life. But hey, you can’t push them off the pot if they actually have it, right? 30 divided by 7 = 4 (plus rake) Master the skills you need to ladder up Sometimes you need to just hang on in there and survive. When you’re not getting the cards or the opportunities, the longer you can hold on the better prize you’ll get in the end. So, even though you haven’t hit a winner all day, if you can handle the kids alone all morning, maybe your partner will step in at lunchtime and you’ll get the whole afternoon off? Make your moves at the right time Playing a short stack in a tournament is just like holding on to the mid-morning snacks; the blinds keep going up, and so do their hunger levels. Wait too long to make your move and you risk getting knocked out (literally). Don’t hit the bottle as soon as things start going south Try to wait at least until lunchtime. — So, the next time you’re bluffing your kids that you know how to do long division, consider some of the other poker skills you could be working on at the same time. The post 9 Poker Skills to Practise While You Homeschool Your Kids appeared first on Cardplayer Lifestyle Poker.
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Thousands of jobs available at tribal casinos
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With millions of Americans out of work, the first sign of a recovery has to be in new jobs coming on the market. The tribal gaming industry is doing its part, with several operators posting new jobs in the past few weeks.Seneca Gaming Corporation has lots of jobs available at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo. The operator will be hosting a job fair for open positions on February 25 between 10:00am and 6:00pm.“Even with the changes and challenges everyone has gone through over the past year, Seneca Gaming Corporation has remained one of the largest employers in Western New York, and we are excited to be growing our team across a variety of departments,” said Meghan Smith, Seneca Gaming Corporation’s vice president of human resources. “We truly believe that the time we spend at work should be rewarding, fulfilling and fun. That’s how we approach our jobs every day. If people are looking an opportunity in that type of environment, we are ready to talk to them.”Attendees can check out what’s on offer in person or virtually, but should be ready for an interview at a moment’s notice.On the other side of the country, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are also on the look out for fresh talent. That operator has more than 500 jobs to fill, with as many as 2000 coming for the rest of the year. They’ll be having their virtual career fair on February 18 from 9:00am to 4:00pm.“The expansion of San Manuel will offer an economic boost to the local job market at a time when it is really needed,” said Brigitte Saria, Chief People and Infrastructure Officer. “Our efforts to boost the local economy are guided by our commitment to ensuring our employment process and work environment follow leading health and safety standards.”The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold, California are also hiring. The tribe is looking for 50 full-time and part-time positions, and will have a job fair on February 23 from 10:00am to 1:00pm.Add those jobs to the 150 that Oneida Nation Enterprises were offering as of last week, and there’s a lot to be hopeful for about the future of the economy, and particularly that of tribal gaming.Connecticut tribes close to new dealGovernor Ned Lamont wants sports betting in his state, and he needs a new deal with the tribes to get it done. He used his budget address to emphasize the push:“My administration has been in active negotiations with our tribal partners to bring the state’s gaming economy into the digital age. And I am submitting legislation which reflects what I believe to be the best bet in ending this stalemate of inaction in a way which is in the best interest [of] the entire state.”Construction resumes at Four WindsThe Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ contractor recently resumed building a hotel at Four Winds South Bend Casino. Construction slowed down significantly due to Covid-19.The new 23-story hotel was originally due to be completed this year. But with construction crews only working on the foundation now after a 10-month delay, maybe 2022 seems more accurate.
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Pearl Legend Hold and Win Slot Review
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Pearl Legend: Hold and Win is a new release which is coming from iSoftBet, a slot machine with a Chinese concentration and utilizing a lot of the designs that are normal for their games. Some of the features included will be familiar to you, as the Hold and Win a part of the title suggests there are a few things which are unique also.You are playing on 5×3 reels with 20 paylines being used each round. Pearl Legend: Hold and Win can deliver top wins of 1,250x the stake but its standard mixes offer maximum of 500x. It has a 96% RTP, while for its huge features there will be Wilds, Pearl scatters, the Pearl Legend Respins, Reel Boosters and regular game modifiers.Betting and Prizes 20 coins are being used and you simply pick their value, in a range of $0.01 to $1. The wagering range coming from this will go from $0.20 to $20.Wins of up to 1,250x the stake can be paid during Respins, which implies that you could leave with $25,000 cash, by utilizing the most extreme wager of $20. Standard wins of up to 500x the stake per spin are delivered during gameplay, utilizing mixes made out of Gold Dragons.A 96% RTP reveals to us that the amount getting back into the pockets of its players is about the same in other slot games.Pearl Legend: Hold and Win Slot Features Anytime you see the Yin Yang image on the reels, it will be joined by the Wild logo, so it will be the substitute which you can use to place along with standard images and get new wins. You can’t have it do likewise for the scatter but that is a standard limitation.There are a few game modifiers which you may use during paid spins. Red Gems will give you 3 to 5 wilds on the reels. Blue Gems will change images into Pearl scatters. There is likewise a Dragon sculpture, which will change Royals to high value images.The Pearls are your scatters and landing at least 5 out of a single spin will take you to the Pearl Legend Respins reward. Both the setting off Pearls and any new ones that go along, will get sticky on the reels. You start with 3 respins but you reset the number on the off chance that you get extra Pearls before the rounds are totally consumed.Pearls may appear during Respins and they can bring certain Boosters, given that you get three that match.Blue Gems: will open up to three extra rows (Reels Boosted).Green Gems: give the Pearl prizes a boost (Values Boosted).Red Gems: gives you 1 extra respin (Spins+ Boosted).Purple Gems: the multiplier goes up as high as 10x (Multiplier Boosted).Theme and Design As far as Chinese themes go, the one from Pearl Legend looks standard. The six images we see are basic in such games, as we’re taking a look at Yin Yang signs for the wilds, a Pearl as scatter alongside premium images with the Dragon, Phoenix Bird, 3 Gold Coins, Frog. The other four base paying images are the ones showing Royals. With everything taken into account, it’s a standard look for such slots. The activity seems, by all accounts, to be put placed in a temple, where we see on the left side a living Dragon holding a pearl in its claws.ConclusionPearl Legend: Hold and Win is definitely not a terrible slot machine, especially as they changed a few things about its major feature, they didn’t just clone the same reward game that every other person is using lately.
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PokerStars Rolls Out New LSNG Leaderboard Promotion, Tetris + Spin & Go
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PokerStars has rolled out Tetris + Spin & Go, a temporary takeover of their ultra-popular lottery sit and go game with a new theme and a lucrative new promotion for players. F5poker first revealed that PokerStars was working on such a promotion back in September 2020. On Monday, it deployed globally on most licenses on the global dot-com pool as well the European shared liquidity network of Spain, France and Portugal. The Spin and Go lobby in the client has been redesigned with a Tetris aesthetic, as have the tables. The game itself remains unchanged—fast, winner-takes-all sit and gos with a random top prize. What is new is the promotion on top: Tetris-themed leader boards. While the mechanics are fairly complicated—it involves Line Clears, Levels and Game Scores—it boils down to daily player rankings where cash prizes are given out to the highest volume players. For players that fall outside the cash prizes, the operator has a $5000 daily prize draw for players that finished in the top 500. In total, the operator says that over $1.5 million will be paid out in the dot-com market and almost as much—€1 million—in the Southern European market from now until the end of March. This works out at over $33,000 daily in dot-com, and €23,000 in Southern Europe. It appears to replace the previous long-running Spin & Go 20 and 50 leader boards. This had given away just over $20,000 a week and had run throughout much of 2020.
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Sensational Serena through to Osaka showdown
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Serena Williams came through a huge test of her Australian Open title credentials to beat Simona Halep in a high quality quarter-final and reach the last four at Melbourne Park for the ninth time; The 39-year-old American will next face Naomi Osaka for a place in Saturday's final Last Updated: 16/02/21 10:31am Serena Williams defeated Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open Serena Williams turned back the clock to make it through to the Australian Open semi-finals where she set up a blockbuster clash against Naomi Osaka. Williams made it through to her 40th Grand Slam semi-final after gaining revenge for her Wimbledon final loss to Simona Halep.Halep produced a sensational performance to stun Williams 6-2 6-2 at the All England Club in 2019 - one of four Grand Slam finals the American has lost since winning her 23rd singles title in Melbourne four years ago. Williams began this match with a determination to ensure there was no repeat and powered her way to a 6-3 6-3 victory. Williams gained revenge for her Wimbledon final loss to Halep Williams, who mixed 24 winners with 33 unforced errors over the contest, has not won a major since her seventh Australian Open triumph in 2017 and next faces in-form Japanese third seed Naomi Osaka with a place in the final on the line.In her on-court interview, Williams said: "I definitely think this is the best match this tournament and obviously I had to go up against the number two in the world. I knew that I had to do better and that's what I did, so I'm excited."The quality of the second set did not match the first, with Williams making a host of unforced errors, but Halep could not take advantage. The best I have seen @serenawilliams play in years! Movement and defensive skills were impressive. Huge semifinal vs @naomiosaka. Whoever wins this one in my opinion goes on to win the title.— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) February 16, 2021 Osaka will not be so generous in what will be a first Grand Slam meeting between the pair since their notorious US Open final in 2018, when Williams received a game penalty for verbally abusing umpire Carlos Ramos and Osaka's first major title was accompanied by deafening boos and whistles.Since then the Japanese player has won two more major titles and is unbeaten on the biggest stage since last year's Australian Open. 52 - Chris Evert44 - Martina Navratilova40 - Serena Williams37 - Steffi Graf Williams (left) receives congratulations at the net from Halep Williams shot out of the blocks on Tuesday, moving into a 2-0 lead with a combination of extreme power and incredible angles.Halep fought back to level but Williams forged ahead again and confidently served out the set.The 39-year-old, who is once again two matches away from finally equalling Margaret Court's record of 24 slam singles titles, made a shaky start to the second set, spraying unforced errors as Halep moved into a 3-1 lead.But the Romanian was unable to find the level to put doubts into Williams' mind and the 10th seed finished the match with a run of five games in a row. For Halep, who reached the semi-finals last year and was losing finalist in 2018, it was back to the drawing board as she looks to add to her two Grand Slam titles at the French Open and Wimbledon.Don't forget to follow us on skysports.com/tennis, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports - on the go! Available to download now on - iPhone & iPad and Android .
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Glorious Guardians Slot Review
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Glorious Guardians is going to be a joint title, from Ash Gaming and Playtech, one of the 2021 slot games that will be coming out from this developer. The base for this one comes from China and from its amazing creatures specifically. We see the concept both in its design and in its utilization of Twin Symbols during its major feature.Glorious Guardians gives 5×3 reels. The slot will settle up to 2,000x the stake through its fixed bonanzas. It’s major features are the Wild, free spins with Twin Symbols and scattersBetting and Prizes A few fixed bonanzas can be delivered by Glorious Guardians. These are the Mega Jackpot of 2,000x the stake, Major Jackpot of 200x the stake and Mini Jackpot of 50x the stake.Glorious Guardians Slot Features In spite of the fact that extremely basic for an uncommon feature, the Wild image is as yet going to have a significant effect over the long haul, and for some it might simply do what’s necessary to transform a losing meeting into a productive one. The manner in which it works is standard, as a substitute that you can utilize while framing new blends, given that you get different images which are required.The huge feature of Glorious Guardians will depend on the free spins however. When you get those set off, you will locate that the first and fifth reels will have coordinating images on them, with the guardians covering both. During the free spins, this can make it simpler to shape 5 image mixes of that kind.Theme and Design Obviously, there is a major spotlight on the creatures mentioned in the story of China and I love how Playtech and Ash Gaming managed it design wise. We’re taking a look at a background picture showing palaces and sculptures of these creatures on the two sides while the reels mark the outer reels with red and the center ones are kept separate.Images will give you pictures of the Royals at first, beautiful but standard choices in any case. You at that point proceed onward to images with the creatures (Dragons in green or gold, White Tigers, Phoenix Bird Turtles) and the feature triggers (Wild).ConclusionGlorious Guardian is generally a good slot machine with nice features, so you can try it out.
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Cleveland Cavaliers 98-129 Golden State Warriors: Twitter erupts as Stephen Curry and Draymond Green showcase their supremacy
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The Golden State Warriors made the most of a second-quarter burst to eventually down the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-98. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green made several highlight plays to get the job done for the home side at the Chase Center.The duo didn't even have to feature in the fourth quarter with six Golden State Warriors scoring in double digits to close out the game with ease. They even restricted the Cleveland Cavaliers well who shot less than 40% from the field.Cleveland Cavaliers get going early but Golden State Warriors eventually take controlIt was a fairly close affair in the first quarter. Stephen Curry stepped up for the Golden State Warriors and scored a quickfire 16 points but the Cleveland Cavaliers responded well. The likes of Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen kept them in the running.Things changed towards the end of the second quarter where the Golden State Warriors went on a 23-8 lead to finish the first half with a 10-point advantage. The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn't recover from there as the Dubs extended their advantage in the third quarter thanks to the playmaking of Draymond Green.The Warriors have held their opponent to 105 points or less, and 40.6% FG shooting or less, in 4 of the last 5 games— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) February 16, 202128 games into the season, the Warriors are the 8th seed in the West with a 15-13 record.Not too bad for the projected 14th seed ahead of the season. pic.twitter.com/GYc8ifhLdt— r/Warriors (@GSWReddit) February 16, 2021I'd say it's not the Cavs night. But not their month might be more accurate— 𝙅𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣 𝙍𝙤𝙬𝙖𝙣 🇨🇦 (@Cavsanada) February 16, 2021 Weird to see the Cavs down 20 against the Warriors. Usually doesn’t happen until June— Rashad (@rashadalaiyan) February 16, 2021Whispers* the nets showed how to stop a lot of the warriors plays..... (continues to whisper) but hopefully the rest of the league didn’t watch— IN THE LAB (@DevInTheLab) February 16, 2021Stephen Curry and Draymond Green too hot to handle for Cleveland Cavaliers The two veterans rose to the occasion again Stephen Curry continued his tremendous campaign with another outstanding performance. He had 36 points for the Golden State Warriors tonight on 13-of-19 shooting including seven made threes. He's on course to become only the third player in NBA history to record a 5-40-90 clip in multiple seasons alongside Larry Bird and Steve Nash.Curry was aided in his efforts by Draymond Green who's been flawless as the primary playmaker for the Golden State Warriors. He's averaged 11.6 assists per game since the start of February and had 16 dimes against the Cleveland Cavaliers.Steph Curry is averaging 30/6/5 on 50/44/94 splits.He’s carrying a team missing Klay Thompson and ALL 3 big men to a playoff spot in the West. Stop saying he’s in the MVP conversation...he IS the MVP. pic.twitter.com/sXHbJSB6mA— Guru (@DrGuru_) February 16, 2021 Steph Curry and Draymond Green, it turns out, are good basketballers.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) February 16, 2021Curry is very nearly doing 50 40 90 on 30ppg while teams main goal is to harass him as much as possible since his star teammates are goneThis is going to be funny forever— Dom2K☘🤦🏾‍♂️ (@Dom_2k) February 16, 202110 straight games with 27+ points for Steph Curry is the longest such streak of his career— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) February 16, 2021Draymond's passing x Steph's gravity is the most lethal offensive combo in basketball— Antonin (@antonin_org) February 16, 2021 Draymond is avg'ing more assists (8apg) than points (5.2ppg). Who is the last qualified starter to do that?— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) February 16, 2021The Golden State Warriors will now take on the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers will look to end their eight-game losing streak against the San Antonio Spurs.Also read: "Do you not think that affects someone mentally?" Draymond Green blasts the NBA for differential treatment of teams and players in trade situations Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:08 IST .
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The luck of the Irish has Ireland at the top of global gambling spend
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It may not have originated in Ireland, but the phrase “the luck of the Irish” rings loudly in the country. According to The Irish Post, more money is spent, per capita, on gambling in Ireland than in almost all other countries around the world. Only in two countries – Australia and Singapore – is more spent hitting the slots and the tables than in Ireland.The media outlet doesn’t source its data, but indicates that the Irish love online gambling more than any other form. Online gambling spend is 60%, greatly superior to other forms gambling and sports gambling, which only accounts for 15% of the money. The lottery receives a 10% cut, the same amount given to gambling machines and slots. Casinos, of which Ireland has around 20, pick up 5% of the action.While Australia and Singapore may see more gambling spend per capita, Ireland is the hands-down winner in online gaming spend, with The Irish Post asserting, “Ireland takes the lead globally when it comes to online gambling.” It adds, “With almost 3 billion American dollars spent on gambling and betting every year, that means that each man, woman, and child in Ireland are spending roughly 500 [euros] ($607) annually on this type of entertainment.”The media outlet further indicates that online gambling is most popular in Ireland because the segment is more regulated. It cites “outdated laws” that some casinos are exploiting to attract attention, but the transparency and accountability afforded gamblers by online operators give them an edge. The Irish Post explains that, according to reports, many Irish would prefer to gamble in a British casino than in a domestic one, possibly as a result of the outdated laws.Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish loved to gamble online and the segment increased about 15% each year. Last year, with the coronavirus in full swing, the numbers jumped substantially and, with the introduction of live online casino games and live sports gambling, the online segment has skyrocketed in popularity. Online gambling is inarguably the future, looking down the road 20 to 30 years, but it’s never too early for casino operators to start preparing.Surprisingly, the U.S. ranks fifth in terms of per-capita gambling spend, even less than Finland. However, with a population of over 330 million, it’s the largest market available. $120 billion was spent on gambling in the country in 2019, while the Irish spent $2.7 billion through its population of less than five million.
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Root: Pitch not to blame for England defeat
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England captain Joe Root says team "outplayed" by India on tough surface as they lose second Test by 317 runs; skipper feels his men can learn from the way the hosts found control with the ball and batted calmly; third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 Last Updated: 16/02/21 10:01am 0:56 England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India. England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India. Joe Root refused to blame the spin-friendly Chennai pitch for England's thumping defeat to India in the second Test - and has urged his side to learn from the difficult conditions they faced. England were spun out for 134 and 164 at MA Chidambaram Stadium on a dusty surface as India wrapped up a 317-run victory on day four to level the four-match series at 1-1.Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin completed hundreds for India and Root says the hosts showed England a template for scoring runs on unhelpful tracks for batsmen. Root says his side must learn from the challenging conditions they faced in Chennai (Pic credit - BCCI) "I wouldn't say it was a good pitch but it made for very exciting cricket and it was not the reason we lost the game. We were outplayed in all three departments," said the England skipper."For us, it's a bit of an education. It was a surface that spun a huge amount and bounced more than we anticipated but we should take that as a learning and be better for it the next time we experience conditions that are similar."The toss was an important one to win - but it wouldn't have guaranteed us a win either. India showed you can score runs and found a way of managing a very tricky surface."Our batters need to learn from how India rotated strike, while what I took from how they played was how calm and unflustered they were. When a delivery really misbehaved, they didn't waver from their game-plan." Ravichandran Ashwin (pictured) and Rohit Sharma scored centuries for India in the second Test (Pic credit - BCCI) Root - whose side will be looking to bounce back in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 with their six-match winning streak in overseas Tests having been snapped - also felt his bowlers could have been more frugal on day one when India reached 300-6 after electing to bat."We have to find ways of building pressure for long periods of time with the ball, bowling six balls at one batter, which India made very difficult for us."Can we string maidens together and force wickets through very disciplined passages of play? I think India did that better than us."On day one we could probably have been a bit tighter and squeezed the game, making it hard for them to score freely. The four-match Test series is tied at 1-1 heading into the third Test, a day-night fixture in Ahmedabad from February 24 "We have to learn from the opposition, who played very well, but we are 1-1 in the series and there are two very important games to come."We are very excited about that because of how well we played in the first game. We are very much in this series. It's set up very nicely."We have to stay level. We don't get above our station when we win and it's not all doom and gloom when we have tough weeks."It is very important we stay level as a team. We have to learn but that is one thing we have done well in recent times so hopefully we can take that into the rest of the series." 0:52 Root says he understands Moeen Ali's decision to leave England's bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root says he understands Moeen Ali's decision to leave England's bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root - who also confirmed that all-rounder Moeen Ali will miss the rest of the series having opted to fly home - said Ben Stokes only bowled two overs in the game for tactical reasons, not due to injury."Ben is fit and able to bowl but, on that surface, you look at the overs of seam bowled and it was minimal," said Root."I'm sure Ben will have an impact on this series with the ball as he did in the first game. He can grab big moments and turn them on their head."Pressed on whether he wanted to include the rested James Anderson, who had starred with a scintillating spell of reverse-swing bowling on day five of the first Test, Root added: "It was discussed. "But we need to look at the series as a whole. The pink-ball game looks an exciting opportunity for someone like him to have a real impact."Follow text commentary of the day-night third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app from 8.30am on Wednesday, February 24. .
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Meet America’s 63rd National Park
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As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal government in December brought an unexpected and lasting gift: a new national park.The 5,593-page spending package included a raft of provisions authorizing little-known projects — the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota, for one — and giving lawmakers a chance to advance a variety of long-delayed initiatives. Among them was the elevation of the New River Gorge, in southern West Virginia, to the status of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the country’s other most renowned outdoor spaces. The designation of the area — roughly 72,000 acres of land flanking 53 miles of the gorge — as a national park and preserve creates the 63rd national park in the United States and completes a multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.“Towards the end of this year, with these big bills coming down, I decided to strike,” said Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the state’s junior senator, who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced the New River Gorge legislation in 2019.“This was the right opportunity,” she said.A draw for rafters, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiastsThe gorge and its surroundings have been prized for decades as one of southern West Virginia’s more spectacular natural places.In 1963, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution seeking to designate the New River Gorge as a “national playground,” preparing to send the proposal to President John F. Kennedy, whose primary campaign was lifted substantially through support from West Virginia voters. But momentum to create a national recreation area stalled after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination later that year.Though the gorge remained a curiosity among rafters and outdoor enthusiasts, the area only received federal protection from the Interior Department in 1978, when it was designated a national river.Now, the outdoor offerings in the gorge have come to define the area as a premier destination for adventure sports in the East.The New River plunges 750 feet over 66 miles, resulting in long stretches of violent rapids that can reach a class five level, generally considered the most difficult that can be navigated by white-water boaters. (Licensed outfitters operate in several towns near the river, providing rentals and tours for rafting and kayaking.)The canyon walls, which soar as high as 1,600 feet, offer miles of cliffs that rank among the best in the East Coast for rock climbing. Sheer faces in the gorge made of robust Nuttall sandstone provide both traditional and sport-climbing routes across the difficulty spectrum.Bike routes are scattered throughout the park on both sides of the river, with options for both technical mountain biking and more casual pedaling along former railroad beds.A glimpse back in timeAccording to the National Park Service, geologists believe the New River — its name a misnomer used by early American explorers who often assigned the same name to any river they came upon for the first time — was a segment of the preglacial Teays River. This larger river, which traversed much of the current Ohio River watershed, was later diverted and broken up by glaciers. The age of the Teays is uncertain, but fossil evidence suggests it could be as much as 320 million years old, leaving its remnant, the New River, as quite possibly the second oldest river in the world.Beyond the millions of years of geological history on display, the gorge is also filled with signs of the region’s heritage as a major coal production hub.Miners once capitalized on the easy access to rich deposits of high-quality bituminous coal in the canyon, where the river had already shorn through hundreds of feet of rock. Especially after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway linked the New River coal fields to markets in 1873, dozens of boom towns popped up along the river’s edge, thriving well into the 1920s.In 1963, a coal mine was still operating in the gorge, said Dave Arnold, a state tourism commissioner who operated a rafting company for more than 40 years.“In ’76 or ’77, if you were in my boat, we’d have been floating down the river and I would have been showing you, ‘here’s an old coal tipple, here’s the old hotel at Caperton, here’s this and that,’” he said.The demand for coal around the turn of the twentieth century was so high that towns existed every half mile along up the river, according to the Park Service. As the industry went into decline, however, by the 1950s many were already abandoned, leaving ghost towns scattered throughout the gorge. Additionally, logging during the late nineteenth century stripped vast portions of the gorge bare, clearing enormous swaths of virgin forest.The park contains the remnants of communities such as Nuttallburg and Kaymoor, which still stand near the riverbank and are accessible from points higher up. Seams of exposed coal are visible along some trails leading into the gorge and its towns, where abandoned mine portals and the foundations of coke ovens remain.Restoring an ecosystem with diverse wildlifeDespite the environmental degradation and pollution that industry unleashed, some unique ecological features make the gorge well-suited to a diverse combination of wildlife, which has slowly reappeared as time has passed.The river lies at the center of a migration corridor where plants and animals that typically range further north or south come together, including several federally endangered and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat and the Allegheny woodrat.According to Lizzie Watts, the park’s superintendent, the river itself is also notably warmer than surrounding areas, making it a popular warm-water fishing destination with more than a dozen public access points. The river is one of the premier spots for smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast, and muskellunge and walleye are common in the park today.“The next generation will have the opportunity to see what, in the last 150 years, it looks like when an area goes from being logged and mined to left alone,” Ms. Watts said. “The ecosystem has come back to full trees and mature forests.”As federal protections took effect after the Park Service began overseeing the area as a national river in 1978, wildlife has largely recovered, and many see an opportunity to showcase the region’s natural elegance.“To show off our rock climbing, our extreme sports availabilities in that area, is just really exciting,” said Ms. Capito of what she described as a “kind of wild and wonderful part of our state.” ‘The cream of the crop’The National Park Service, created in 1916, oversees more than 400 areas across the country, including national monuments, seashores and battlefields as well as parks, which together total more than 85 million acres.While the new title for New River Gorge does not fundamentally alter the area’s day-to-day operations, both lawmakers and the Park Service tend to view “national parks” as the crown jewels of the park system — a protection granted to some of the largest and most prized tracts of the country.“National Park status is usually considered like the cream of the crop,” Ms. Watts said. “But it really is just another one of those names.”The New River Gorge does not match the scale of many national parks in the western United States, where Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone sprawl over more than 1 million acres each.Nevertheless, officials expect the new designation to bring a substantial influx of travelers, boosted in part by a dedicated set of enthusiasts who strive to visit every national park.In typical years, around 1.3 million travelers visit the gorge, according to the Park Service’s tourism data. Based on studies of other areas that received national park status, Ms. Capito said she expects to see visitors increase by as much as 20 percent.“It does feel like the very beginning stages of transformation for the whole area,” said Becky Sullivan, the executive director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’ll be very, very interested to see where we are in about 10 years.”Maintaining the community and its favored pastimesAs unique outdoor attractions throughout the Appalachian region have gained more national visibility, some concern has grown over the idea of a wealthy and mobile set from out of state trampling the communities adjacent to these places.West Virginia remains the second-poorest state in the country in terms of median household income, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau. And while tourism has brought a needed injection of wealth to areas all around the gorge, it has also changed the makeup of neighboring communities, as more people have come to visit the park or settle down near it.Interest in the natural offerings around the park has brought slow but measurable change for small towns nearby like Fayetteville. Officials say that the advent of remote work during the pandemic has only hastened a trend of properties in the area being repurposed for vacation rentals and outsiders snapping up second homes.“You cannot find a house for sale in Fayetteville, because they’re just in such high demand,” said Sharon Cruikshank, the town’s mayor. “So that definitely changed the budgeting of the town as well as the county.”When legislation was first introduced to designate the area as a national park, pushback came from some locals. Hunters have long enjoyed access to secluded sections of woods around the gorge, and with hunting prohibited in federal parks, some protested the potential loss of thousands of acres of hunting grounds.In a compromise, more than 65,000 acres of the total area were designated as a nature preserve where hunting can continue as before, and only roughly 7,000 acres directly within the canyon are officially off limits as national parkland. A provision was included to empower the park to acquire more than 3,000 acres of private land around its current boundaries as well, to expand the size of the preserve and add public hunting grounds.In a nod to tradition, the legislation also enshrines the right for visitors to continue to make use of one of the park’s most famous features — the New River Gorge Bridge — at least once a year.BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which jumpers parachute from elevated structures or cliffs, is banned in every other national park.But, since 1980, BASE jumpers have been permitted to plunge from the top of the 876-foot-high bridge and parachute down toward the river once a year, on Bridge Day, held one Saturday in October. The legislation designating the area as a national park allows that tradition to continue.As many as 100,000 people typically come to watch the jumpers plunge, according to Ms. Sullivan, providing a major boost for businesses in the region. The event has only been canceled twice, including last year because of the coronavirus.Bridge Day’s organizers advise jumpers that the only dependable way to touch down safely is to plan to land directly in the river. In normal years, hundreds do so, often multiple times that day, gliding down and softly hitting the New River’s waters.
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