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Big Show ได้ย้ายไปยังส่วนศิษย์เก่า WWE
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ประวัติของตำนาน WWE Big ถูกย้ายไปที่ส่วน Alumni ของเว็บไซต์ WWE Superstar เจ็ดชั้นยังอ้างอิง WWE จากโปรไฟล์โซเชียลมีเดียของเขา สถานที่จัดงานยังมีส่วนศิษย์เก่าสามส่วนสำหรับดาราเก่า ได้แก่ WWE Alumni, WCW Alumni และ ECW Alumni - และ Hall of Fame Big Show รวมอยู่ในรายชื่ออดีต WWE Superstars ตามภาพด้านบนตอนนี้ Big Show ตอนนี้เป็นส่วนหนึ่งของ WWE Alumni ร่วมกับอดีต Superstars รวมถึง Big Cass และ Billy Gunn ชีวประวัติ Big Show ของ WWE ระบุว่าเขา "เป็น" คู่แข่งที่น่ากลัวซึ่งหมายความว่าเขาไม่ได้เป็นนักแสดงอีกต่อไป ตอนนี้ไม่ทราบว่าเขาจะทำอะไรหลังจากออกจากโพสต์ ในเดือนกันยายนปี 2020 ชายวัย 49 ปีบอกกับ WWE India ว่าเขาต้องการมีส่วนร่วมในธุรกิจการแข่งขันหากเขาลาออก เขาบอกว่าเขาต้องการช่วยซูเปอร์สตาร์ที่กำลังจะมาถึงหรือทำงานในกิจการอื่น ๆ ด้วยความรวดเร็วเบื้องหลังสถานการณ์ การเปลี่ยนแปลงแพลตฟอร์มโซเชียลมีเดียของ Big Show ตอนนี้รู้จักกันในชื่อจริงของเขา Paul Wight บนโซเชียลมีเดีย WWE ระบุรายการ Big Show เป็น @PaulWight ในทวีตด้านบนเมื่อวันที่ 14 กุมภาพันธ์ 2564 แต่ยังไม่ทราบเมื่อเขาอัปเดตชื่อผู้ใช้ อดีตแชมป์ WWE ยังเปลี่ยนชื่อผู้ใช้ Instagram ของเขาจาก @WWETheBigShow เป็น @ PaulWight ด้วยผู้ติดตามบน Twitter 2.5 ล้านคนและผู้ติดตาม Instagram 1.4 ล้านคน Big Show จึงเป็นหนึ่งใน Superstars ที่มีผู้ติดตามมากที่สุดใน WWE การกล่าวถึง WWE ทั้งหมดถูกลบออกจากประวัติโซเชียลมีเดียพร้อมกับชื่อผู้ใช้ของเขา เผยแพร่เมื่อ 24 กุมภาพันธ์ 2021, 18:27 IST.
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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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Elliott hopes for Tiger green light
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Gordon Elliott admits it will be disappointing should Tiger Roll not run in the Randox Grand National after being allotted 11st 9lb - but underlined the final decision will rest with owner Michael O'Leary.The diminutive 11-year-old was denied the chance to win the race three times in a row - something not even Red Rum managed - by the Covid-19 pandemic, but Elliott is training him to peak on April 10. However, it has been well documented that O'Leary and his brother Eddie felt he needed plenty of help from handicapper Martin Greenwood for him to stand any chance of winning the race again, warning he would not run if he was rated "in the 160s or 170s".Tiger Roll won in 2018 from a mark of 150 and defied a 9lb rise 12 months later. This year he is off 166, despite pulling up on his last appearance at Cheltenham in November."He has got 166 and he won off 159 two years ago when the race was last run. He seems in good form at home and we are looking forward to the race," said Elliott. "You are always hoping you are going to be a couple of pounds less than what you have been given, but to be honest we will just smile and take it. "I have to concentrate on training the horse and I just hope his owner lets the horse run in the race for the public. Everyone will be looking forward to seeing the horse run again in the Grand National, but Michael will make that decision. "It will be disappointing for everyone if he doesn't turn up, but as you know he makes the decisions. He is 7lb higher than what he won off before, but it is probably fair enough."If you look at him he is not the biggest horse in the world, but he really seems to enjoy those fences."Regarding his run in November, Elliott said: "He made a mistake the last day at Cheltenham and he was lame after the race, but thankfully he is OK now."We injected his stifles behind and thankfully he is back sound and moving very well and we are very happy with him at the moment. We will just keep our heads up and hopefully he will be OK for the rest of the season."He is in the Boyne Hurdle at the weekend, but the ground is very soft, so we might not run him. If it isn't too bad he will run, as he has run in it the last two years."He is in good form and if the ground is right for him we would like to run him as it's a race he has won before."When contacted on Tuesday, Eddie O'Leary said: "We've said all we're going to say on the matter and will be offering no further comment."Elliott has 15 other entries, but that has already been slimmed down by the news Delta Work is out for the season and the likes of Aforementioned, Monbeg Notorious and Roaring Bull are highly unlikely to make the cut.Of his other hopefuls he added: "I would say I would hopefully run Presenting Percy (11st 9lb). He has had a little setback, but hopefully I will have him back for the National. Tiger Roll, The Storyteller (11st 8lb) and Alpha Des Obeaux (10st 9lb) will all hopefully go."I thought one down at the bottom with 10st 6lb could be very well handicapped, a horse called Milan Native. He has had a wind operation since his last run and he is one I am looking forward to for the Grand National this year."Three horses are weighted 1lb higher than Tiger Roll - Nigel Twiston-Davies' Bristol De Mai, Tiger Roll's Cheltenham conqueror Easysland and Gold Cup runner-up Santini.Magic Of Light, second to Tiger Roll two years ago, has 10st 13lb, Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloth Cap has been given 10st 5lb while Welsh National winner Secret Reprieve needs a little bit of luck to secure a place as he is on 10st 1lb.
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Pros Of Being A Professional Poker Player
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Being a professional poker player is a daring as well as exciting decision. If you’re successful at the game and want to quit your day job to become a poker pro, it’s an enticing opportunity. However, be warned: Poker strategies and rules are difficult to work, that isn’t for everyone. If you consider taking a risk to become a professional poker player, you should please ensure that it is an educated choice.  Here are some pros of becoming a professional poker player that might encourage you to take the next step!  Professionally Pursuing What You Love One of the most prevalent desires in the world is to do something that you love professionally. For anyone in the poker community saying that there’s profit in this, they’re certainly not doing it only for the money. They love the game and have passion for it. For those who don’t have that, must understand that it is a skill game and requires practice to get better. This is what encourages them to put in the research time required to excel and achieve success through the downtrends. Also Read: Advantages of Becoming a Professional at Poker Self Determination And Versatility Poker players set their own schedules which is a great thing for any professional in any field of work or sport. To stave off poker exhaustion and keep you going, getting this independence will go a long time away. Also, you’ll only be accessible to yourself. Versatility is something that is quite limited in a number of professions nowadays and there’s nothing quite like poker tournaments when it comes to versatility. That’s not to suggest, of course, that it’ll be straightforward. The assumption is that when you do so, no-one will be blowing down your neck. Earning Big Money There is still a lot of profit to be gained by playing online poker if you can achieve a high level of experience. In terms of rake and playing rewards, there have been a few improvements in the market in recent years that have limited online poker’s profitability, but it is still possible to obtain a decent income playing poker game. Getting in and getting out of micro stakes is one of the greatest obstacles facing emerging online pros these days. In present-day games, the high rake and low rakeback eat away at the winnings of a micro stakes player, making it difficult for them to achieve a good score overall. On the other hand, live poker has been and is likely still a highly lucrative enterprise for professional players. The live player average is much lower than the online player estimate. This may be because, in casinos, live poker is practiced and thus encourages individuals who play poker to bargain instead of because they are successful at it. Or it could be because of live poker’s social aspect. It’s a mix of both, perhaps.  For more interesting articles about poker or poker news, keep reading PokerShots!  Post Views: 49
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Women’s CL last-16: Chelsea draw Atleti; Man City vs Fiorentina
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Chelsea have been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Women's Champions League last 16 while Manchester City face Fiorentina.Both WSL sides will play their home legs first, between March 3 and 4, with the away trips scheduled for March 10-11. Holders Lyon, who have won a record seven titles and made it five in a row last season, face Norwegian side Brondby.Full draw as follows: Wolsburg (GER) vs LSK Kvinner (NOR) Barcelona (ESP) vs Fortuna Hjørring (DEN) Rosengård (SWE) vs St. Pölten (AUT) BIIK-Kazygurt (KAZ) vs Bayern München (GER)Manchester City (ENG) vs Fiorentina (ITA)Sparta Praha (CZE) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)Lyon (FRA) vs Brøndby (DEN)Chelsea (ENG) vs Atlético de Madrid (ESP)More to follow....This is a breaking news story that is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh this page for the latest updates.Sky Sports brings you live updates as they happen. Get breaking sports news, analysis, exclusive interviews, replays and highlights.Sky Sports is your trusted source for breaking sports news headlines and live updates. Watch live coverage of your favourite sports: Football, F1, Boxing, Cricket, Golf, Tennis, Rugby League, Rugby Union, NFL, Darts, Netball and get the latest transfers news, results, scores and more.Visit skysports.com or the Sky Sports App for all the breaking sports news headlines. You can receive push notifications from the Sky Sports app for the latest news from your favourite sports and you can also follow @SkySportsNews on Twitter to get the latest updates.Watch the Women's Football Show on Friday at 6pm on Sky Sports Football.
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“Be honest for once” – Brenda Patea accuses Alexander Zverev of lying about his involvement in her pregnancy
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Alexander Zverev's ex-girlfriend Brenda Patea has slammed the German for using their unborn child to boost his own public image despite not being in contact with her during her pregnancy.Patea, a German model, announced in October 2020 that she was pregnant with Alexander Zverev's daughter. She was in a relationship with Zverev until July of last year, and is currently 36 weeks into the pregnancy.Patea had declared at first that she had no plans of sharing custody of their child with Zverev, before subsequent public statements made it seem like the two were on amicable terms.But in her recent interview with German tabloid 'Bild', Patea revealed that the pair have had no contact for two months. The 27-year-old claimed that they last spoke when another ex-girlfriend, Olga Sharypova, accused Zverev of domestic violence during their relationship."I've been reading many of Alex's (Zverev) interviews and I ask myself what he wants to achieve by saying these things," Patea said. "'Highlight of his life'? 'He's extremely happy'? 'Highest priority'? I can hardly believe that because we aren't in contact thus far and he hasn't reached out."(Patea's interview with Bild was in German, and the quotes were translated into English by Twitter users fluent in both languages).Someone asked me to translate this so I’ll share it here too. Brenda is asked in her latest stories about Zverev. I translated her answers. In the background she shows excerpts of his latest interview. My summary: Zverev is full of lies and he’s shown it time and time again. pic.twitter.com/Xq2H1pYuXW— Nawal (@NawalNadal) February 15, 2021Brenda Patea was further asked if she shares the details of the pregnancy and of their unborn daughter with Alexander Zverev. But the model said there had been no contact of any kind and no initiative from Zverev's side. Patea added that she was tired of people assuming otherwise based on the tennis star's interviews. "I just wanted peace and quiet. But so many people are telling me, 'It's great that you're in contact (with Zverev) and that he's interested'. I've had enough of his 'perfect' interviews. Be honest for once," Patea added."If Alexander Zverev is saying these things in interviews then I can finally say something about it too" - Brenda Patea Brenda Patea cheers on Alexander Zverev during the couple's happier timesJust hours after Brenda Patea announced her pregnancy in October, another of Alexander Zverev's ex-girlfriends - Olga Sharypova - accused the US Open finalist of being physically and emotionally abusive towards her during their time together.Sharypova dated Zverev for a year before the NextGen star got together with Brenda Patea. The Russian claimed that Zverev had been physically abusive several times, and specifically mentioned an episode during the 2019 Laver Cup. The incident, in her words, drove Sharypova towards an attempt at ending her life, before she was rescued by hotel staff.Also read: Djokovic's sympathetic support of Zverev, and the silence of Federer & Nadal, highlight tennis' insensitivity towards abuse At the time, there was speculation that Brenda Patea's refusal to share custody of their future child with Alexander Zverev was an indication that he had been unpleasant towards Patea too. But the German model quickly denied any such rumors.Following the denial, there was a tacit understanding in the media that Alexander Zverev and Brenda Patea were planning to raise their daughter together. That, however, was a misconception, as revealed now by Patea."We had contact two months ago when the thing with his ex (Sharypova) came out but that was it," Patea said. "It's stupid to do this in the media. But if he's saying these things in interviews then I can finally say something about it too."If the tone of Patea's answers is anything to go by, it seems like Alexander Zverev has been using his "happiness" on becoming a father as a way to repair his public image after Olga Sharypova's accusations. It remains to be seen how the 23-year-old reacts to this new development, especially since he is still alive in the ongoing Australian Open. Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:22 IST .
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Did the next Macau bubble just start two weeks ago?
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The entire concept of a “bull market in stocks” makes little sense. Sound crazy? These days, certainly, because we’re always hearing about a perpetual bull market in stocks. Valuations increasingly disconnected from economic reality, asset bubbles in one class or another, armies of speculators moving like zombie hoards descending on the next fad and blowing it up to infinity and beyond, Buzz Lightyear-like.Why is the whole concept of a bull market generally, nonsense? Because if the value of everything is going up simultaneously, then nothing is going up. If everyone is a superhero, nobody is. If, in an imaginary economy, absolutely everything costs, say, $5, (labor, land, capital whatever) and then the next day everything costs $10, then what’s changed? The answer is absolutely nothing.The only thing that matters is relative valuations between asset classes. Let’s divide them into three of the most basic ones. Equities (stocks), bonds (debt), and commodities (consumer goods). If all three are going up in tandem, then there is no “bull market” in anything. If commodities are going up faster than stocks and bonds, you have inflation, or even hyperinflation. Ask anyone in Venezuela whether they care that their stock market is doing great, nominally. They don’t. They’re looking for their next glop of gruel or morsel of moldy bread to survive the day.But if stocks and bonds are rising and consumer goods are static to falling, you have a bull market in financial assets. This is where we are now. And boy are we really hard and deep into it now. Below is the ratio of the S&P 500 to the CRB Commodities Index.And I’ve got news for everyone. This bull market in stocks relative to consumer goods in dollar terms is already over. It ended almost a year ago. On April 20, 2020 to be exact. Red circle blowoff top above. That was when oil crashed to negative $35 a barrel and we all lived in an alternative financial freakhouse universe. But I have more news than that. This entire “bull market” in stocks has been one gigantic illusion from the very beginning. Stocks aren’t going up. They haven’t gone up for 21 years. Money is going down. Here is the graph of stocks relative to the prime monetary commodity, gold, over the same timeframe above.We can see here that from 1990 to 2000, we had a real bull market in stocks. Equities rocketed in gold terms and in terms of consumer goods generally. Everyone felt richer. Portfolios up, expenses down. But since that time, money has been dying at an accelerated pace and the standard of living has fallen.The bull market in stocks over the last 21 years has been an illusion, a tiny echo of the bull that ended at the turn of the century. We have spent the last 21 years trying to reinflate it, but gold has exposed the lie. We are now at the point where the illusion is about to collapse completely. In my view, we have only a few months left until it all hits the fan. Until then, the bubbles will keep coming in staccato frenetic fashion, moving from one asset class to another faster and faster, until we all get so dizzy we can’t follow it anymore. Last week I speculated that maybe the next target for the zombie hoard will be in penny gaming stocks. I was close. It’s in Macau stocks. It may already have started two weeks ago. The frenzy has started over news about China opening up again. I mean, just look at this crazy chart of the Macau proxy ETF:That last surge higher is just since February 1. We could be at the beginning of a crazy but brief ride higher in Macau stocks right now. New all time highs again, and Macau isn’t even fully open yet. The latest full month statistics for December show a 78.6% drop in visitors year over year. And yet we’re at new all time highs in these stocks already. It’s just completely crazy. I can understand the Macau opening up again trade, but to argue that this factor is being priced in at these levels, at new all time highs? As if none of this full year shutdown hurt any of the casinos fundamentally at all? That’s just totally bonkers crazy. It’s a reflection of the value of the currency these stocks are priced in, not the stocks themselves.What’s happening is that the zombie hoard of bubble chasers is reading the headlines regarding China starting to open up again, and they’re slamming buy orders and call options like they’ve been doing with tech stocks and Gamestop and BTC and all the other fads. We just got news out of Bloomberg that China’s Imax had a face-ripping rally due to exploding ticket sales. China is, indeed opening up, and the zombie hoard of speculators is now going to spray their money hoses at anything Chinese. Macau might be at the center of it.How high can this Macau bubble go, if that’s what we just saw start two weeks ago? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you get into it, you’ll get hooked and keep levering yourself up, counting your paper gains, unable to separate from them until you get caught in a vortex. At some point, my view this year, it’s all going to come crashing down when all the damage from 2020 is finally revealed all over the world. You can’t paper it over forever. The damage to Macau casinos doesn’t just go away. It festers in the form of more and more debt, and a damaged consumer base that can no longer patronize casinos in the way it once could. Festering wounds need the paper bandage removed and they need to be operated on. That is painful. And it’s coming.When we think of the word “bubble”, what are we really talking about? A bubble is something that looks, from the outside, to be really big and stable. The shape of it, a sphere, is the most stable shape in the universe. It’s why planets, stars, moons, and possibly even the spacetime continuum itself, spontaneously shape themselves into spheres. The force of gravity equalizes at every point on the sphere, forming equilibrium. Nature always seeks equilibrium. And so bubbles take on the illusion of stability, but unlike a real sphere, there’s nothing inside them. When they pop, they are gone almost instantly. This one is about to pop. Macau appears to be the next victim sucked up by the bubble. Macau will survive and rebuild. The question is, in what form? I wouldn’t take a bet the depended on me getting the answer to that question right.
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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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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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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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