This week we are witnessing some great games thanks to Dortmund, Liverpool in the Europe League. We will be able to enjoy the game Liverpool v United and Dortmund v Spurs among the action, thanks to the return of the Europe League on TV on on Thursday night and two of England’s most teams will battle and try to do their very best in Europe’s second major club competition.
In previous years, the Europe League has had its fair share of criticism but the added incentive of guaranteed Champions League football for the winner has helped to transform the tournament from a not so much followed competition into an opportunity for betting odds.
American Pharoah was leading the entire race, but many fans had to be holding their breath as this marvelous colt made the final turn into the home stretch. Could he hang on, or would we witness another Triple Crown disappointment at the Belmont Stakes?
But as trainer Bob Baffert later explained, jockey Victor Espinoza hadn’t even unleashed American Pharoah yet while the other jockeys were frantically pushing their horses to try and overtake the favorite. Once unleashed, American Pharoah ran away from the field and revealed why the Triple Crown is reserved for truly special horses.
The Triple Crown is supposed to be hard, and that makes American Pharoah’s performance and accomplishment even more gratifying.
Like many, I got to see this epic rant live, and it’s amazing what people say when they’re pissed off. Never mind that this has been going on for years, as some horses show up in the Belmont Stakes to thwart a Triple Crown. That’s why it’s so damn hard.
The debates on Twitter were priceless and also informative, as those who understood horse racing explained why Steve Coburn’s rant about some taking “the coward’s way out” was just silly given the nature of the sport.
The great horses are able to overcome the task of winning three straight. Heck, some great horses don’t even achieve it given the competition in the year they run.
Still, the reaction was priceless and will be replayed for years to come.
This is the time of year for poker aficionados as the World Series of Poker gets underway at the Rio in Las Vegas. The Rio has been slipping in recent years as a Las Vegas destination, but the WSOP always brings it back to the forefront as it gets invaded by poker fans and players who have been brushing up their skills all year online working on their game and going for bonuses like the 888 poker bonus. The atmosphere changes completely this time of year as the Rio becomes a mecca for the poker world.
Every year brings new highlights along with new issues, and the Las Vegas Sun pointed out 25 things to look for with this year’s tournament. The Rio will get some new attention with the all-new VooDoo Zipline, which stretches from one tower of the Rio to the other. The zipline is strung 490 feet above the ground and you can get up to 33 MPH on this thing. This attraction gives you an idea of what the Rio needs to do these days to grab attention, as newer and trendier casinos have swiped many of the young and beautiful visitors who no longer see the Rio as a real option unless they’re trying to save cash.
As for the actual poker, developments in online play with new state regulations are also have an impact. Online players have changed the sport, but sanctioned tournaments can make things even more interesting to the point where the WSOP might start looking seriously at hybrid games. We’ll see how that plays out. Also, WSOP.com is making it easier now for fans to track the tournament action in real time.
There’s no doubt that the WSOP will do everything possible to keep its status as the top tournament and event in the world. This year’s Main Event is featuring a guaranteed $10 million first-place prize.
Chelsea fans who like a wager could be in for a treat; the west London club has agreed a sponsorship deal with bookmakers Coral. The contract, which lasts until summer 2016, names Coral as Chelsea’s official online betting partner for Europe. It’s expected to enable Chelsea fans to benefit from special offers, including better odds on the team’s matches.
The last time Chelsea dropped any Premiership points was 23rd December, in an uninspiring away match at the Emirates stadium. While their December form was somewhat patchy, with losses away to Stoke and Sunderland, since Boxing Day (and prior to the West Ham match on 29th January) they’ve won every game and conceded only three goals in all competitions. A challenging February lies ahead however; for fans looking to put money on Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures, comparison sites including bookmakers.co.uk compare free bets and offer continual updates on the most favorable odds.
Chelsea’s next big test is a trip to the Etihad where they’ll face Premiership title favorites Manchester City, in a clash that could see the winner going top of the table. With Arsenal facing Crystal Palace at the Emirates the day before, the Monday night fixture is far from a guaranteed ticket to the top spot, though it does promise to be a thrilling encounter. Bookies are strongly favoring City to win, with current best prices at slightly worse than evens. Astute fans may be able to back Chelsea at a little better than 3/1, with around 13/2 a decent price for the draw.
The following weekend Chelsea hosts Newcastle for what should be a less intimidating game. Odds on Chelsea taking three points on 8th February are very short, with slightly better than 1/3 about the best you’ll find. Alan Pardew’s side lie eighth in the table, after a poor January and a mixed December. Their current position can be put down in part to an excellent run of results in November, during which they took 12 points from 12 – including a 2-0 home victory over Chelsea.
Coral and Chelsea have been tight-lipped regarding the amount of money that’s changed hands with the new sponsorship deal, but with Roman Abramovich’s generosity apparently on the wane, any new source of income will a boon for manager Jose Mourinho. The sale of the under-utilized Juan Mata to Manchester United has already funded the purchase of 21-year old Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah from FC Basel, with plenty left over.
“We are very pleased to align ourselves with such a leading betting company as Coral,” Chelsea chief exec Ron Gourlay commented.
“I hope Chelsea fans can benefit from the relationship over the next two-and-a-half years.”