Old versus new in the Super Bowl

The matchup is set with the Denver Broncos facing off against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 Super Bowl which will be the first to be played outside in a northern city. It will likely be a very evenly matched game between two very different football teams led by very different quarterbacks. With such a matchup we can all expect the Super Bowl online betting to be quite brisk. As soon as the two teams were in place there was already a flurry of activity as most sportsbooks had Seattle listed as a slight favorite, but that changed quickly as money poored in on the Broncos. Now were see Denver as a one point or 1.5 point favorite on many sportsbooks, and we can probably expect more volatility.

One factor that will probably move the line with be the weather. With Peyton Manning leading Denver’s traditional yet explosive air attack, we can expct more money to flow to the Broncos if we see mild conditions for the game, or at least little wind and snow. But if the weather is bad, than the conventional wisdom has that favoring the Seahawks who rely more on the running game as opposed to Russell Wislon. Also, while Wislon is not particularly effective in the pocket, he is great at improvising and bad weather might actually help his game.

The matchup between the quarterbacks will be the most intriguing and that goes far beyond the weather. Peyton Manning represents the kind of quarterback that has been winning championships in the NFL throughout its history. Manning beats you by throwing from the pocket. His mobility isn’t that great though he’s good at navigating around a pass rush and throwing under pressure. Russell Wilson on the other hand is one of the new mobile quarterbacks who sometimes relies on the read option to be effective. The Seahawks have been limiting the number of times he runs, as it’s obviously a huge risk that he’ll get injured, but he’s also been less effective lately. Without the running threat teams are daring Wilson to throw the ball. But he’s certainly capable of making big plays, and if he hits on some then Seattle will be in a good position.

It should be a great game!

  

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Feeling Lucky at the Falls? Check Out Niagara’s Best Casinos

poker dealer

Next to visiting the falls and experiencing the myriad activities that the Niagara area has to offer, for many people the most exciting experience of all is a visit to the casinos. For many visitors from the United States, where gambling is restricted, a visit to a casino in Niagara can be one of the main highlights of a vacation.

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NFL Playoff picture gets more muddled

Same old Lions. Same old Ravens.

It’s been an unpredictable NFL season as many teams have been through wild ups and downs, but some things seem to remain constant. The Detroit Lions find ways to lose, and the Baltimore Ravens find ways to win. Last night’s Ravens victory over the Lions included a 61-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. We also saw Magatron drop several key passes. So the Lions seemed poised to make the post-season and earlier this season the Ravens were toast, but now things are changing. There’s a ton of football left to be played before fans and sharps try to place a winning bet on Super Bowl 2014, and there will be chaos with the NFL playoff picture with two games left.

This NFL weekend started out on Thursday night with the Denver Broncos getting shocked by San Diego. All of a sudden, the New England Patriots, who got a miracle win the previous week courtesy of the Cleveland Browns and the officials, were now in the driver’s seat. But then reality kicked in as the Gronk-less Patriots couldn’t beat the Dolphins. Yes, that’s the same Dolphins team that everyone thought was dead with the hzing fiasco.

Meanwhile, the Bengals now had a great opportunity to solidify their playoff position and possibly get the second seed, but they were literally beaten up by the Pitsburgh Steelers, another team we all left for dead. The AFC playoff picture is a muddled mess at this point, with a bunch of mediocre teams fight for a spot. Meanwhile, the question remains as to whether Broncos peaked too soon. The Chiefs are upping their game, so they still might have a say in things. Also, all the Joe Flacco bashers might have to watch him in the playoffs again.

On the NFC side, Seattle is king, and the Saints are suddenly struggling. Pathetic teams like the Cowboys still have a chance, and Green Bay might sneak in just in time for a healthy Aaron Rodgers to make another run.

This is just how the NFL likes it, though at some point the unredictable nature of the game and the subpar quality of play might start having an effect on fans. Some love it, others see a sub-par product. But betters will always love it.

  

Bellagio Poker Room still rules

Bellagio

The changes in Las Vegas have been stunning over the years. With the recent addition of City Center and also the hip and trendy Cosmopolitan hotel, the standard for the best spots in Vegas is constantly evolving.

Still, many of the established names still hold up even with the new competition. The Bellagio for example is still one of the best spots in Las Vegas, particularly if you’re looking for an upscale experience with a female friend.

It’s also still one of the top destinations for poker. The Bellagio Poker Room remains one of the best in town and the spot where many pros go to play. Everything is top notch, from the luxury surroundings to the dealers and the cocktails. It’s open 24/7 with around 30 tables. Of course you’re not coming here if you have a small bankroll. The minimums are higher than you’ll find in many other rooms on the Strip and you’ll see some huge pots here.

Then you have Bobby’s Room, the ultimate spot for poker high rollers. It’s described on the Bellagio website as follows: “Be one of the privileged few to get in on the high-stakes excitement inside our signature poker room. Decked out in winning style, this coveted experience pays tribute to its namesake, Bobby Baldwin, the 1978 World Series of Poker Champion and Chief Design & Construction Officer, President & CEO, CityCenter. Within its storied walls are tables providing maximum privacy and concentration.” If you’re heading to Las Vegas with a serious bankroll and an appetite for some white-knuckle poker, then this is your spot!

Of course many players love the online world of playing poker. It’s a completely different experience but many enjoy the convenience of being able to play at any time. It’s excellent for poker practice. But of course there are all sorts of issues as well like deposits. If you’re having trouble depositing funds on online poker sites you can read why credit cards are being declined can be read here. Hopefully we’ll get to the point where the regulators finally acknowledge this is a game of skill and even out the rules for everyone. Until then places like the Bellagio offer a real experience for poker that you really can’t match online.

  

Oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker

Eric Raskin has put together an excellent oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker in Grantland, one of the seminal events in the poker phenomenon that has grown over the years in the US and around the world.

In 1970, Benny Binion put together a publicity stunt to promote his casino in downtown Las Vegas. He sent out invitations to Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim Preston, and the rest of the world’s greatest card players and called it the World Series of Poker. Seven of them played cash games at Binion’s Horseshoe for three straight days, and when it was over, Moss was named “champion” in a vote of his peers. The next year, six entrants paid $5,000 apiece for the right to play in a no-limit Texas Hold ’em “freezeout” tournament, in which everyone started with the same number of chips and they played until one man had all the money. A year later, the buy-in doubled to $10,000. In the four decades since, the basic rules of the tournament and the amount of money required to enter have remained constant.

But the number of participants has not. The World Series of Poker main event surpassed 100 players for the first time in 1982. It cracked 200 in ’91, the first year in which the winner claimed a seven-figure cash prize. In 2002, 631 players entered, and the payout was $2 million.

Then came 2003. The 34th-annual World Series of Poker transformed the event into a pop-culture phenomenon. The numbers — by 2006, 8,773 players vied for a first-place prize of $12 million — illustrate how exponential the growth was. Poker went from a game understood by few and played in smoky backrooms to a television staple. In this 10th-anniversary oral history, more than 30 people who were part of the event explain what happened and what it meant for the poker business.

Check out the entire article for a very informative and entertaining read.

You can see the final hand above where Chris Moneymaker wins the tournament. Movies like “Rounders” from 1998 also helped fuel that game’s popularity, but that 2003 tournament helped fans the flames.

There are so many ways to enjoy gambling and poker these days at casinos around the country and online at Metro Play Casino and other great sites that it’s hard to think back to the days when most of the action was in Las Vegas and in back room poker games. Fortunately most people can now drive to a poker room or hone their skills online, and now the World Series of Poker is dominated by guys inspired by Chris Moneymaker. If you’re heading to Vegas and want to test your poker skills, you have to try your hand at this tournament.

  

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