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Remember When Poker Mattered?
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THIS WAS WHERE MY ATTEMPT at a BLOG UPDATE STARTED and STOPPED last JUNE!!!!!Here we are, in June 2020. The WSOP is in full swing in its first full week out in Vegas, the MLB season is nearing its midseason point. In the NBA, we should have a new champion crowned this weekend. And the same goes for hockey...where someone will lift the Stanley Cup. What an exciting spring it's been! And how about that crazy finish in the Master's? Not to mention that amazing stretch run in the Kentucky Derby. I mean...is there anything MORE exciting than being a sports fan in the good 'ol United States of America? Yeah...that's the paragraph I SHOULD have been leading with after having not blogged in a number of months. In January, after the "Heater" at the Beau Rivage...I actually started a blog entry...and was pretty close to being done. Then I stepped away from my computer for a few days...and suddenly, the world started changing dramatically all around me. The more time that went by...the more irrelevant my "poker post" started feeling. By mid-March...I became resigned that I would never post that previous entry. Now, here we are...the first week of June...and we have graduated from one huge issue to another. Even while the first one is still going on. In the 53 years I've been living in this country...I'm not sure I've ever seen things more chaotic, more confusing, more frustrating and more divisive. Anyone who insists that they have the answers to all that ails us...is simply a fool. AND NOW....here we are!  A new year. A new president. A "new normal" that has been foisted upon us by a new administration, with help from a liberal media that simply can't bring itself to report anything that resembles honest news and/or information. Covid protocols still remain in place in some places. Deaths are still being reported nationwide, and worldwide. A vaccine was miraculously developed in record time...not just in America, but in numerous countries. I'm still perplexed by THAT simple fact. Despite a virus that 99.875% of people are expected to be able to defeat, we are being frantically urged (ordered?) to run out and get a vaccine that has been wreaking havoc with some of it's recipients, either with an unexpected side affect, or in some cases...even death! I'm in the camp of 40% of active Marines in this country...who are simply maintaining that they have NO reason to get a vaccine for something they are 99% certain to beat if they get it. Being young, and in the best shape of their lives...WHY would they EVER worry about a vaccine? I'm not getting it. I'm not letting my wife and child get it either. Nope. So the boys at Gulf Coast Poker have started a podcast on their website. They've asked me to appear as a guest today. Why, hell I don't know! I hardly play anymore. I WAS playing pretty regularly in a Pokerstars Home Game that featured a bunch of you players out there who I've known for years. It was entertaining...frustrating at times, but I had a bit of success on there. It went dark a month or two ago due to some concerns based on information that convinced the operators to step away from it. Understandable. NO need putting your livelihood in jeopardy if you don't have to. So aside from that...I'm a participant in some other online sites, and have been playing the app-based PokerBros, and am a....ahhhh what's that word? I always forget it. When you promote a site, and give out a referral code, so that you can earn a little money on the side? I should know that word...I've been "one of them" for several sites over the years. At any rate...I've been somewhat active on PokerBros...and actually made a pretty good chunk of change referring people to the poker club I play in. When I play on there, I lean towards the cash-game PLO6 Hi/Lo game...which is NUTS! I really don't like playing with THAT many cards...and that many WAYS TO LOSE...but getting a game going in the 4 or 5 card versions of Hi/Lo is almost impossible. SO I sit in on the 6-card version...and take my lumps. As for LIVE poker? I've been getting closer and closer to venturing out. I ALMOST ran up to Pearl River to play that main event. But things came up with the family that kept me at home. I've been eyeballing some events, one in South Florida...and one out at Venetian, to go get my feet wet again. The one thing that has me really interested, is the fact that nobody is playing 9 or 10-handed. I LOVE having elbow and leg room. And when these places are playing 7 and/or 8-handed...that's like a dream come true for me. I don't know how they are about rules and Covid-enforcement though...and I am NOT someone who likes being told what to do if the reason for doing it lacks ANY logic whatsoever. It's probably one of the things that drives me the MOST crazy. THINGS THAT DON'T MAKE SENSE!  I have NO problem following rules...as long as the rules make SENSE! I am not a f'ing sheep. I never have been. I never WILL be. It's caused me problems in my life. I know that. I've reconciled that with myself. I'm aware that being a "yes sir, no sir" guy might have led to me avoiding some of the bullshit that I've been subjected to in my poker career, and upon close inspection, and reflection with myself, I have no regrets. You only live this life ONCE. How do you want to be remembered? I cling to my morals, my ethics, my values, and my beliefs. I have what I consider to be a lot of pride. People have the right to agree or disagree with me. I've never been delusional enough to think that I would EVER make everyone like me, or even agree with my views. I'm not in the business of making people like me. Trust me, if I was? I would be in politics. I have a LOT of knowledge about politics. I have a lot of acquired experience in that field. Have a lot of connections in that world. Were it not for the path of destruction I've left in my wake over the last 30-40 years...I'd enter that arena. But with my checkered past, it would take the vultures in the media and in the political arena itself, to devour me within hours of dipping my toes into the political waters!!! So I operate on the outer fringes, contributing where I can to the causes I most believe in. It's true that 2020 was one of the biggest setbacks in my life...as it pertains to politics, and the overall health of our country. It's been a rough 2021 so far. I've had to pry myself away from the 24-hr cable news cycle...as it just leads to bouts of depression, frustration, aggravation, and deep contemplation about the future of our country. I think that were it not for being the father of a young child...I might not be as emotionally invested in the future of our country, from a political standpoint. I've been urged by several of my followers on Facebook to start a politically-based Podcast. Trust me...the thought has dawned on me many times. But I'll be totally honest...I'm scared. I've watched the way Big Tech has treated Conservative voices in this country just in the last 5-6 months...and it's terrifying. I've already seen weird things going on in my own life. I don't how much of it is circumstantial, and how much of it is due to my political leanings. I'm reading a book called "The War on Cash" and that has probably fed into some of my suspicions. I've actually read a LOT of books over the course of the last year...most of them from authors on the Conservative right. I try not to inundate myself with ALL conservative readings...so I balance that by reading newsletters from leftist publications...as well as daily briefings from the New York Times. Each side accuses the other side of being tone deaf, of being shut off to the other side. That they exist in an echo chamber. I've tried hard to welcome liberal voices in my own Facebook wall. (I am currently serving a 30-day Facebook jail term, 13 days from being freed...for engaging in a heated conversation with a diehard liberal on one of my own friends' walls...I made a comment that the libbie didn't like, reported me to the FB gestapo, and got me suspended for 30 days. Ridiculous) I would say I have 4 or 5 people I still consider "friends" who's views I wholeheartedly disagree with, however, I respect their opinions. I respect their right to disagree with mine. We manage to maintain a level of decorum. We manage to maintain a friendship. I'm of the opinion that this is something that is dying a slow death in our country, and it's sad. I think that Social Media...born around 2004...but not FULLY employed until right about the time Obama came into office in 2008, has been the leading cause for the dysfunction of how we get along in this country with our fellow Americans. It used to be...most people kept their political beliefs to themselves. And if they DID talk about it...they knew when to stop the conversation. NOW?  Whoa! Social media has basically empowered people, giving them this weapon (essentially) wherein they feel their opinion is a lot more powerful than it really is. The ingredients, that being social media, a liberal media overtly opposed to Conservative views/beliefs, racial divisiveness that has been promoted by those with their own agenda...all of this has led to a nation that is desperately trying to find itself right now. And lost in all of this, is how this has left us vulnerable to the rest of the world. Okay. I keep getting sidetracked...pulled into political talk. Sorry. This should be about poker right? I'm trying, I'm trying! Promise! Hey! How about my good buddy Joe Hebert!??? One of the truly good guys in poker who I've been really good friends with for over a decade!??? I've never been happier for a poker player's success than I was for him! Winning the WSOP Main Event...granted, it was under some whacky circumstances...still! Home boy beat EVERYONE! And won what? A million and a half? This is a guy who I've roomed with at poker events. A guy I've swapped "pieces" with at other events. We've done a lot, experienced a lot. We've had our ups, and we've had our downs. We had baby's just a month or two apart. We've been there for each other in times of need...emotionally, and otherwise. And he was on the short list a couple times to be on my WSOP Team that has quite affectionately come to be known as "Monkey's Minions!!" I spoke to him a short while after his win...probably one of the few people who didn't reach out to him with ulterior motives! As much as I like to try to see the good in everyone...there is an undeniable element in the poker community that prey on those who are enjoying success financially.  And one thing that is inevitable, any time you make a good score in poker: the moochers come out of the woodwork. Moochers are the worst. They will present themselves as "good friends" and tell you how excited they are for you, and how closely they followed you in your big tournament, as though THAT is supposed to have earned them some kind of reward from you....like, you know? Them sweating you had some kind of affect on your "run good" for that tourney. It's annoying. And it's so predictable. It's one reason I'm always hesitant to contact a friend after they make a big lick. I don't want to get lumped into that category. The 'moocher' category. Ugh. But, with some people...they just know that I'm not calling them to ask them for something. And that is in and of itself, a nice feeling...knowing you aren't being scrutinized in that fashion.So I ran out of time to write this before we went live for the podcast. So I did 90 minutes with Gene and Wild Bill, then let a week slide by...and I'm back trying to finish this post. The interview was nice. Went really fast...and we definitely had PLENTY to talk about. I try really hard to NOT be long-winded in things like that. Sometimes its tough, but as I am a very critical viewer/listener of others' interviews...I'm always seeing/hearing things that I want to avoid if ever in that same spot. So yeah...I had a lot of that going on. What else is going on!?? Carley turns 9 this weekend. Crazy. She's halfway to being a legal adult and moving out. After taking piano for two years...she quit a couple months ago, much to my disappointment. But she has taken an interest in golf! We've been out a few times and she seems to really like it. Her Godfather...and my business partner and friend, Barth...got her a set of clubs for Christmas last year. For Christmas this past year...she took it up a notch. Just a NOTCH. She asked for a freaking golf cart. Huh??? Did you say, GOLF CART? The main shock...was that my wife didn't immediately shoot down the idea. So, umm...little girl is driving now. A red golf cart. Took her about 3 days before she slammed it into the corner of my shed...which caused the entire wall of bricks to collapse and messed up the door jam. Needing a little repair job there! But her driving has improved, no more accidents...and her and her buddies have really gotten a lot of use out of it. Both the bars are still open and doing well...despite all the COVID protocols, and interruptions in business. MY tenants in my rental homes are still my same tenants. So...stability! I'm still playing the investment game in online stock trading...a lot more these days then when I previously blogged. I've taken up a new hobby...as an investment vehicle, getting REALLY into buying gold, silver, platinum and even palladium rare coins. I've gotten Carley really interested in it too. I'm in the middle of trying to acquire every year and mint location of every Morgan Silver Dollar in circulation. Carley, after I educated her on it...did a presentation on it...to her 3rd grade class. She did great, I was really proud of her. With the economy being in the state that it's in...and the dollar being devalued every day with all these TRILLIONS of dollars that the democrats are pumping out...there couldn't possibly be a better time to invest in precious metals. The other thing I've got on my bucket list in the next few months is to fly out to the Bay Area to take a friend up on this 3-day workshop to learn everything there is to know about crypto-currency...so that  can get into that arena. Hypothetically...I should have started that a long time ago. But I don't like jumping into things that I don't have a workable knowledge in. And where crypto is concerned, I have none! So I'm going to change that...as soon as possible!Bought a tanning salon back in July 2019 so that my wife, Squirrel...could finally, after 20 years...get OUT of the cocktailing gig at the Beau Rivage and do something else. There had been a lot of changes, not many of them good, at the Beau in the past 5 years or so, and the job was making her miserable. But she isn't someone who would EVER be content to sit at home spinning her wheels. It would drive HER crazy...and her being driven crazy would drive ME absolutely berserk! So an opportunity came up to buy this tanning salon. She knew the owner real well...and they worked it out where the gal would come in and train Cheryl...and be on call to help her with anything that came up. So we pulled the trigger. The first year was mostly learning the business...and implementing some upgrades to the business. Then when COVID hit...it was RIGHT before what WOULD have been her busiest time of year. SO that hurt a LOT!  We had just changed all the bulbs in all 8 beds (pricey!!!) and bought her a Spray-Tan machine...which everyone was requesting. So we definitely took a big loss in 2020. This year has obviously been a LOT better.In addition to the business just being better, she won an online poll run by...mmmm....sorry, I don't know!! Maybe the radio station? But out of 5 places that were nominated, she won the BEST TANNING SALON on the Gulf Coast!!!! I was so happy for her, and proud! And for the last month she has been absolutely SLAMMED. For winning, I guess she won a bunch of free advertising and some other stuff. I think the best thing that came from it though was a boost to her self-esteem...as she's poured all of herself into that venture. So it was basically a form of validation for her.    Alright! How's that?? Is that enough!?? I haven't posted in so long, the last thing I want to do is drown you all!!! Besides, it's sunny out, and I really don't think that yard is going to cut itself!!!MONK
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Win a Share of $1.5 Million in PokerStars’ Tetris® Spin & Go Games
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February 16, 2021 Matthew Pitt Tetris® combines with Spin & Go tournaments at PokerStars in a fun promotion that sees $1.5 million paid out between February 15 and March 28. Head to the Spin & Go lobby in the PokerStars client and you’ll see there are Tetris® Spin & Go games with buy-ins of $0.25, $1, $2, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, and $500. They all play out the exact same way as a traditional Spin & Go, meaning they’re three-handed hyper-turbo tournaments where the prize pool is randomly determined before the first hand is dealt. It’s still possible to win up to $1 million in some of these game, but there are a few notable differences. First, the virtual felt is made up of Tetris® blocks, which actually looks pretty cool. Also, the dealer button is now a Tetris® block too, and other blocks fall down the screen. The Tetris® part of the promotion comes in the form of leaderboards. There’s a separate leaderboard for each Tetris® Spin & Go buy-in level, so 10 in total. You need to opt-in and then fire up some Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments. Play your tournaments as you would ordinarily, but do so knowing the aim of the game is to clear lines, just like in Tetris®. The number of lines you clear depends on your Spin & Go multiplier and your finishing position in the tournament. Your level increases each time you clear five lines. This results in you earning even more points so you can climb up your leaderboard faster. The 2021 Guide to PokerStars Spin and Go Poker How Many Lines Do I Clear?  1st2nd3rd 2x432 3x321 Over 3x211 As you can see from the table above, finishing in 1st place in a Tetris® Spin & Go that has a 2x multiplier clears four lines. Just playing a tournament earns you points. How Do You Earn Points? The number of leaderboard points you earn is based on your finishing position and your current level. You start off earning 40 points for clearing one line when you’re at Level 0, but this increases to 840 points if you manage to climb to Level 20, which is the highest level you can achieve. It is possible to earn up to 25,200 points per Tetris® Spin & Go tournament, as you can see in this table. LevelPoints for 1 LinePoints for 2 LinesPoints for 3 LinesPoints four 4 Lines 0401003001,200 1802006002,400 21203009003,600 31604001,2004,800 n=40*(n+1)=100*(n+1)=300*(n+1)=1,200*(n+1) 208402,1006,30025,200 Tetris® Spin & Go Payout Table The leaderboards payout $33,000 every day throughout the promotion making for a combined total of $1,500,000 just for playing Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments. The $0.25, $1, $2, and $5 leaderboard payout the top 100 points earners, so you have a decent chance of walking away with a cash prize. The prizes don’t have any restrictions on them meaning you’re free to do with them as you wish.  $0.25$1$2$5$10$25$50$100$250$500 1$50$150$250$400$500$500$750$1,000$1,500$3,000 2$40$100$200$300$400$400$600$800$1,000  3$30$75$150$250$350$350$500$600$750  4$20$50$100$200$300$300$400$500$500  5$15$25$50$150$250$250$300$400$500  6-10$10$20$40$100$150$150$150$200   11-20$5$10$20$50$100$100$100$100   21-50$5$5$10$25$50$50     51-100$5$5$5$10       Spin & Go Your Way to a PokerStars Sunday Million Seat The Tetris® Playing Field – Avoid Hitting Game Over There’s an extra element to this promotion that you have to be aware of at all times. PokerStars calls it the Playing Field. Just like in a game of Tetris® where it is Game Over when the blocks reach the top of the screen, it can be game over for you if you go on a streak of out of the money finishes! Finishing in first place either improves your Playing Field status or makes zero change to it. Finish in second place, however, and your Playing Field status either stays the same or actually worsens, which is also the case when you finish in third place. Your table, or playing field, is green in color when your Playing Field is in a good state. It turns amber when it is worsening and turns red when you’re in big trouble. Failing to win when your playing field is red could see you reach Game Over which means you cannot earn any more leaderboard points until the next day! The changes to your playing field status depend on your current level.  1st place 2nd place 3rd place   LevelImproveNo ChangeNo ChanceWorsenNo ChangeWorsen  0-1100%0%100%0%100%0%  2-580%20%80%20%50%50%  6-960%40%60%40%40%60%  10-1340%60%40%60%30%70%  14-1720%80%20%80%200%80%  18-2020%80%20%80%10%90%  Get Involved in the Tetris® Spin & Go Promotion With $33,000 waiting to be won every day until March 28 there’s no time to waste if you want to win some free cash. Download PokerStars via PokerNews, enter the bonus code “STARS600” when making your first deposit and PokerStars will match your deposit 100% up to $600. In fact, your first three deposits in a 90-day window are matched 100% up to a combined maximum of $600. All you need to do then is opt-in and fire up some Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments and see if you can pad your bankroll with some of the $1.5 million that’s guaranteed to be won. That and try not to spend the rest of the day humming the famous Tetris® tune! The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in Oddschecker Global Media, the parent company of PokerNews.
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Jalen Green leads Ignite to 4-0 start in NBA G League
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Team Ignite’s Jalen Green. G LEAGUE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines — Jalen Green sustained his torrid start to lead Team Ignite’s comeback win over the Iowa Wolves, 97-90, in the NBA G League Tuesday at AdventHealth Arena in Florida. The 6-foot-6 Fil-American fired a career-high 22 points as Ignite stretched its unbeaten run to four games. He has now scored at least 20 points for the third straight game. Green, who also collected six rebounds and five assists, capped off his solid outing with a layup for a 96-90 lead with 12.2 seconds left. #GLeagueIgnite remains undefeated at 4-0 take a look inside its hot start as told by head coach Brian Shaw pic.twitter.com/MVggNlGLR7 — NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 16, 2021 Ignite trailed by as many as 11 early in the fourth quarter before going on a 25-7 run to take control of the game. Donta Hall added 12 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for Ignite, which still awaits the arrival of Filipino center Kai Sotto. UNCERTAIN However, coach Brian Shaw said he doesn’t have a say yet on whether Sotto will be able to play right away when he returns. “That’ll be something that will be determined by the people that are above my paygrade,” said Shaw during a media availability. Sotto came back to the Philippines hoping to suit up for the national team in the third and final window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers in Doha this month. But the tournament was postponed again with the Philippines back as the host. The 7-foot-3 Sotto is expected to rejoin Ignite in the G League’s bio-secure facility in Orlando as soon as he clears strict quarantine measures. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Daniil Medvedev Finds Another Way of Playing Professional Tennis
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At 23, Rublev is two years younger than Medvedev and grew up playing junior tournaments against him in Russia. For a long time Rublev, seeded No. 8, and Karen Khachanov, 24, the third member of Russia’s latest golden generation, were better than Medvedev. The rise for Medvedev came in 2018 and 2019, when he nearly beat Rafael Nadal in the 2019 United States Open final.“He reads the game really well,” Rublev said of Medvedev. “It’s amazing, the patience he has to stay so long in the rallies, to not rush, to take the time, because in the end these little details, they make him who he is.”Russia is the only country with two players in the top 10. Khachanov gives it three in the top 20. Aslan Karatsev, 27, another Russian ranked No. 114, came out of nowhere to make the quarterfinals here in his first Grand Slam tournament.Medvedev comes into the quarterfinal on perhaps the best roll of his career. He has won 18 consecutive singles matches. He won the ATP Tour finals in London in November, pulling off the nifty trick of beating the world’s top three players — Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Dominic Thiem — in a single tournament. For Russia at the ATP Cup, he beat Alexander Zverev of Germany, a 2020 U.S. Open finalist, in a tight, three-set match in the semifinal round.Medvedev spent his early childhood in Moscow and played few sports other than tennis growing up. He worshiped Russia’s last golden generation, which included Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who were in their prime when he was a young child. He moved to France to train as a teenager and became fluent in English and French.Medvedev could be heard screaming at his coach, Gilles Cervara of France, in French during his third-round match against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, as he frittered away a two-set lead before recovering to win the final set, 6-0.
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WATCH: Pacquiao flashes hand speed as apparent ring return nears
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FILE PHOTO– Manny Pacquiao Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao showed a glimpse of what boxing fans have been missing since he last made an appearance in the ring 19 months ago. The Filipino boxing legend on Monday posted a video of himself on social media flashing his killer hand speed and footwork as he makes his seemingly impending ring return later this year. “Month by month, week by week, day by day. Always focused and ready to fight,” said Pacquiao in the caption. Month by month, week by week, day by day. Always focused and ready to fight. #TeamPacquiao 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/wJCKMkGnCa — Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) February 15, 2021 Pacquiao has been idle since his impressive win over Keith Thurman back in July 2019 in Las Vegas for the WBA (Super) welterweight title. The 42-year-old, whose inactivity largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic was relegated by the WBA as its “champion in recess,” is reportedly in talks for a fight against phenom Ryan Garcia. In a separate post last week, Pacquiao hinted at a “big news coming soon” that had fight fans speculating about his next bout. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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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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My Confession: Male, Age 21 (AUSTRALIA)
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Let me give you some valuable background info first: I live at home with my Dad & my girlfriend (she’s between houses). They’re both my best friends. I am currently going through a chronic pain type disorder that appeared in both wrists & forearms since July 2020. In & out of appointments/checks every fortnight. I am unable to do much in my day, it hurts to do normal things in my day - so I am unable to work or study anymore. Painkillers are not helping. Thursday was the day, the day I basically lost my entire life savings. Since then, I’ve been using every single dollar I can get my hands on to recover this loss & I’m sure you know where I’m at now. $8 in debt & unemployed with no income. But how did I get here? I got caught gambling when I was 17/18, lost all my money then too but it was less than $1000 (my Dad was the only one who knew). Since then, I vowed to never gamble again & I didn’t until 2 weeks ago. My Dad & I were watching the cricket & he placed a $100 multi (he rarely gambles) & won $450. We both thought this was great so I put in $50 myself for the next game. I ended up losing $25 & won it back in the darts later on. I then decided to move on & not do any more as my girlfriend of 2 years (the one I’ll marry) did not approve of me gambling again. So I stopped - until my Dad persuaded me to lie & just gamble anyway behind her back. It was innocent losses, $5-$10 here & there for the next 2 weeks. It wasn’t until last week, the day after my girlfriend’s birthday, that everything went downhill. She had to work Wed & Thu which left me to be alone for 2 days. I was very down in the dumps & just felt like I had all this money & didn’t use it (which is the stupidest thing ever, I know). So I started gambling on the races. With high $1000 bets & spent hours & hours, got up $10k then back down to $5k before I bet my whole bank to get back where I started at $15k. I stopped, went in my room & realised what I did, I almost lost my ENTIRE bank. Did I stop there? Nope, you guessed it. Eventually, one thing led to another & now I’m $15k down & $9 in debt. I confessed everything to my girlfriend & Dad on Thursday. Which they were both very supportive. I had $2000 in my bank then & said I’d stop. But I didn’t, Iost $1500 yesterday & $500 today. So yes in $9 debt. Although I do not have an addiction (oddly enough I studied psychology for 2 years before this chronic pain stopped me), I have definitely fallen into the trap of gambling once again & I only risked losing my last $2000 to not win the money back, but rather I looked at it as an outlet to make money so I can provide my girlfriend & I with a future. But this was such a bad mindset to approach everything. $9 in debt. I am stopping here. I vow to, right here, right now. I have not told my girlfriend or Dad about the last $2000, but I think I will hang onto this one for now as I can make that back in selling some of my collectables that have been collecting profit over the years. So thank god for that at least. Additionally, I may receive a pension for my condition so if that’s approved, must lock my money away. I had to get all this out & it has put me in an awful lot of PHYSICAL pain to even write this due to my chronic pain condition. I don’t expect anyone to read this all as this is rather for me. Thank you. C. submitted by /u/codesfrost [comments]
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House OKs Angelo Kouame, Bienvenido Marañon naturalization
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Bienve Maranon and Angelo Kouame near naturalization. FILE PHOTOS MANILA, Philippines — Athletes Angelo Kouame and Bienvenido Marañon’s naturalization bids have hurdled the House of Representatives, bringing them another step closer to gaining Filipino citizenship. During its Tuesday session, the lower chamber approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 8632 and 8631 which grants Filipino citizenship to Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Ivorian basketball star Kouame and United City FC’s Spanish football striker Marañon, respectively. Naturalization is a step required for the athletes to compete under the Philippine flag. Once a naturalization bid hurdles the House, it will be passed to the Senate before its submission to the Office of the President. Kouame was included in the 16-man lineup of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain, but was not able to suit up due to his pending naturalization. The center from Ateneo was named UAAP Rookie of the Year in 2018. During the hearing of the House committee on justice back in December 2020, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio said that the Philippines eyes to progress in the international basketball ranking by excelling in different tournaments. “Almost every team has a naturalized player especially in our region because the Europeans are very big,” Panlilio said. “We are hoping with Ange here–He’s been here for four years. And I think it is an investment for the national team program of the SBP with Ange to be with us maybe for the next 10 to 15 years,” he added. Meanwhile, Manila Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez, who filed the bill for Maranon’s citizenship, said that Marañon “has shown exceptional skills complemented by commendable work ethics.” “He is known as one of the most prolific scorers in Southeast Asia,” Lopez said. “If granted the opportunity to play for the Philippines, Maranon will undoubtedly be an invaluable asset to the national football team, the Azkals, and bring pride and honor to our country,” he added. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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ปัตตาเลี่ยนผุจะร้อนจนน่าหงุดหงิด
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ไฟล์ - มาร์คัสมอร์ริสซีเนียร์ # 31 จาก LA Clippers ขึ้นศาลในไตรมาสที่สองกับเดนเวอร์นักเก็ตในวันที่ 15 กันยายน 2020 ที่ Lake Buena Vista รัฐฟลอริดา ดักลาสพี รูปภาพ Defellis / Getty / AFP ลดลงจาก Los Angeles Clippers Marcus Morris ทำคะแนนสูงสุด 32 คะแนนจากรุ่นพี่และหยุดการไปเยือน Miami Heat 125-118 Clippers ซึ่งปรับปรุง 21-8 ให้อยู่ตามหลัง Utah ที่ด้านบนสุดของตะวันตกเล่นโดยไม่มีกวี Leonard, Patrick Beverly และ Paul George หกคะแนนในตัวเลขสองเท่าสำหรับการชนะติดต่อกันครั้งที่สี่ของเรา รับรางวัลไฮไลท์ของ Honey จาก Win vs. Miami pic.twitter.com/9tCcVPhOhX - LA Clippers (ACLAClippers) เพิ่ม 22 ตัวจากบัลลังก์สำหรับ Ivica Zubak Clippers ในวันที่ 16 กุมภาพันธ์ 2021 ซึ่งไป 15-off-32 จากระยะไกลกับความร้อน มอร์ริสทำส่วนของเขาเพื่อเร่งพวกเขาเมื่อเขาทำประตู 26 ในครึ่งแรกรวมถึง 6 จาก 7 เกินส่วนโค้ง Bam Adebayo ทำคะแนนได้ 27 คะแนนและเพิ่ม 12 รีบาวน์ต่อเกมสำหรับฮีต Jimmy Butler Team-High บันทึกสามเท่าด้วย 30 คะแนน 10 แอสซิสต์และ 10 รีบาวน์ Tyler Herro ออกจากบัลลังก์เพื่อทำคะแนน 27 คะแนน บทความที่เกี่ยวข้องอ่านต่อไปอย่าพลาดข่าวสารและข้อมูลล่าสุด สมัครสมาชิก INQUIRER PLUS เพื่อเข้าถึง Philippine Daily Inquirer และหัวข้ออื่น ๆ กว่า 70 รายการแชร์แกดเจ็ตได้สูงสุด 5 รายการรับฟังข่าวสารดาวน์โหลดเวลาตี 4 และแชร์บทความบนโซเชียลมีเดีย! โทร 896 6000 สำหรับข้อเสนอแนะข้อร้องเรียนหรือข้อสงสัยติดต่อเรา
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Aslan Karatsev of Russia Continues an Unlikely Run at Australian Open
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MELBOURNE, Australia — He is the mystery man who few in the sport had heard of just days ago. But Aslan Karatsev of Russia has landed in the semifinals of the Australian Open.In one of the most unlikely runs in the history of modern tennis, Karatsev on Tuesday became one of the few players to make the final four of a Grand Slam after surviving the qualifying tournament when he beat an ailing Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in four sets 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.Karatsev, 27, who was born in Russia, moved to Israel as a child, then returned to Russia as a teenager to pursue better tennis training, according to The Times of Israel. He had been playing in the tennis hinterlands for several years with little success. He had never qualified for a Grand Slam before this tournament. He won three straight matches at the Australian Open qualifying event in Doha to win a spot in the main event and came in ranked No. 114 in the world. He has never been ranked higher than No. 111.Dimitrov appeared to have the match under control after the first set but suffered what looked to be back spasms in the third set and appeared to be on the edge of retiring for the rest of the match.Just four other players have made the semifinals of a Grand Slam after getting through the qualifying event.Ahead of the Australian Open, he played doubles for Team Russia in the ATP Cup, a team event in which players represent their countries. Russia won the competition, but not because of Karatsev, who lost all three matches in which he played with two different partners.His teammates noticed that he was playing as well as they had ever seen, and yet none of them would have predicted anything like this.“We felt like he could do something amazing,” Daniil Medvedev, Russia’s top player and the No. 4 seed in the Australian Open. “To be honest, being in your first Grand Slam main draw? Making quarters is something exceptional. He’s not over yet.”He certainly is not.Karatsev will take on the winner of the match between Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev, which is scheduled for Tuesday night.
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