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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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Comment on Compulsive gambler just can’t win by TheLawToday
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A federal judge in New Jersey has issued the most complete and comprehensive judgment ever about whether a compulsive gambler can sue a casino.The short version of her 10-page-long legal analysis: “No.”Arelia Margarita Taveras, a disbarred lawyer, sued most of the casinos in Atlantic City, as well as many of their owners and employees.She alleged that “the Defendants facilitated Plaintiff’s gambling addiction and induced her to gamble away money belonging to her and others . . .” She pleaded 12 separate causes of action, including negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violations of the federal racketeering statutes and the Bank Secrecy Act.Some of Taveras’s claims were a stretch. For example, she alleged that the casinos owe her money because they failed to report her cash transactions of more than $10,000. The problem is that even if a casino does fail to file its required reports, that does not give a player the right to sue.But raising every possible claim required U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb to examine every possible legal theory a compulsive gambler could have.Judge Bumb is a federal judge, so she is free to interpret federal statutes, like the Bank Secrecy Act, bound only by the decisions of higher federal courts. But many of Taveras’s causes of action were based on New Jersey state law. Judge Bumb’s role was to decide how the New Jersey Supreme Court would answer legal questions, which it often had never considered.Judge Bumb started with the rule that for there to be negligence, “the Court must find as a matter of law that Defendants owed Plaintiff a duty.” Taveras argued that casinos have a duty to keep their premises safe, and “that her continued gambling was an unreasonable danger foreseeable to Defendants.”Judge Bumb focused on New Jersey’s “extraordinary, pervasive and intensive regulations over virtually every facet of casino gambling.” Her conclusion: If the state had wanted to impose a duty on casinos to rescue compulsive gamblers from themselves, it would have said so.Judge Bumb similarly rejected Taveras’s request to create a duty somewhat like that imposed on bars to not serve drinks to obviously drunk patrons. “Plaintiff’s theory would, in effect, have no limit . . . [it] would impose a duty on shopping malls and credit-card companies to identify and exclude compulsive shoppers.”One of the more interesting parts of the Opinion was Taveras’s claim that gambling is an “abnormally dangerous activity.” Looking at cases such as dumping toxic waste, Judge Bumb concluded: “Needless to say, gambling can indeed be a safe activity, gambling is common, and state-regulated casinos are not inappropriate locations for gambling.”The Opinion contains other statements that can prove useful for the gaming industry both legally and politically. In rejecting Taveras’s claims for emotional distress, Judge Bumb held, “In allowing, even encouraging, Plaintiff to continue gambling, Defendants acted well within the bounds of the community norms reflected in state law.”In dismissing the counts based on fraud, for supposedly misleading Taveras “into thinking that gambling would result in high returns and rewards,” Judge Bumb ruled, “Plaintiff fails to identify with particularity (by quoting, for example) even a single falsehood or misleading statement . . .”There is no doubt that compulsive gambling can destroy lives. But the legal problem for compulsive gamblers is that the decision by a state to legalize gaming means the state has consciously weighed the pros and cons.So long as card clubs and casinos, and their executives, obey the rules, they should not be legally responsible for the harm compulsive gamblers do to themselves.© Copyright 2011. Professor I Nelson Rose is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on gambling law and is a consultant and expert witness for players, governments and industry. His latest books, INTERNET GAMING LAW (1st & 2nd editions), BLACKJACK AND THE LAW and GAMING LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS, are available through his website, www.GAMBLINGANDTHELAW.com.
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Colonial Downs Proposes Casino Resort in Dumfries
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Rosie’s Gaming Emporium opened doors on January 8. It is a 19,000-square-foot gaming center with 95 video slots, located in the Triangle Shopping Center in Dumfries. Colonial Downs, the property’s owner, now proposes another building, which is a massive $389 million casino resort on the grounds of Potomac Landfill, a debris junkyard on the edge of town. The future facility would be called “The Rose” and would be the first in Virginia with this size, providing such gaming options. According to the plan for “The Rose”, the facility will consist of 50,000 square feet of gaming space, a 250-seat sports bar, as well as other bars and restaurants, 200 hotel rooms, a theater with 1,500 seats and 7,000 square feet of meeting space. Colonial Downs, which owns Rosie’s and operates a racetrack in New Kent County near Richmond, as well as four other Rosie’s emporiums across the state, will pitch its idea today during a 7 a.m. Dumfries Town Council meeting. The new facility is hoped to bring a lot of profit to the town. It is expected to create 640 jobs that pay $15 an hour wage. 96 managers will be hired to work at The Rose and they will make an average of $70,000 a year. According to Colonial Downs, the new casino would generate $11.3 million a year in new tax revenue for Prince William County and nearly $80,000 a year for Dumfries. If the pitch is accepted, construction of the new casino will start in August this year, which means that Potomac Landfill will be closed 11 years earlier than planned. The casino will take 22 acres of the property with 79 acres remaining that will be converted into a park with sports fields, trails and open space. The town documents stated that the park would open in December 2022 and the casino would open only a month later. This is if everything goes according to plan. The Potomac Landfill The town agreed with the landfill in 2016 to close the facility. The closing date was set for 2032. At that time, the town planned on turning the site into a public park. The problem for the landfill started in 2011 when the neighbors and drivers on the Interstate 95 complained of sulfur smell. It was permeated the surrounding area so the facility needed to shut down. Rosie’s Gaming Emporium is the first gaming facility to open its doors in Northern Virginia. Since its opening, more than 21,000 people have visited the gaming parlor in the shopping center. The property has donated more than $75,000 to charity since it started operating and has created 100 jobs for the locals. Its establishment was made possible by the legalization of gambling in Dumfries in November 2019. A citywide referendum passed with more than 60% of the vote, following an extensive advertising campaign by Colonial Downs. Source: “Resort casino proposed to open in Dumfries in January 2023”, Potomac Local, January 15, 2021
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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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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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“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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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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