SportGamble.us Picks this Year’s College Football Bowl Games

Here are the consensus bowl picks from the SportGamble.us staff.

Tue., Dec. 14

New Orleans Bowl

North Texas vs Southern Mississippi

SG’s Pick: North Texas

If the So. Miss defense can stop Jamario Thomas from adding to his gaudy stats they should be able to keep this one close.

7:30 pm

Tue., Dec. 21

Champs Sports Bowl

Georgia Tech vs Syracuse

SG’s Pick: Georgia Tech

7:45 pm

Wed., Dec. 22

GMAC Bowl

Memphis vs Bowling Green

SG’s Pick: Bowling Green

I want to pick Memphis to win this battle, but the Falcon’s scoring offense, 4th in the nation, will simply outscore Memphis regardless of how well they play.

8:00 pm

Thur., Dec. 23

PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl

Cincinnati vs Marshall

SG’s Pick: Marshall

Marshall has shown up to play in big games this year. I consider a bowl game a “big” game, wouldn’t you?

6:30 pm

Las Vegas Bowl

Wyoming vs UCLA

SG’s Pick: UCLA

UCLA should burn Wyoming with it’s passing and running game. Although, Wyoming is playing in it’s first bowl game in 11 years…that’s certainly motivating.

9:45 pm

Fri., Dec. 24

Hawaii Bowl

UAB vs Hawaii

SG’s Pick: Hawaii

NCAA’s all time passing leader should have a hay-day against this no show UAB defense

7:00 pm

Mon., Dec. 27

MPC Computers Bowl

Fresno State vs 18 Virginia

SG’s Pick: Virginia

Fresno State failed to play with the big dogs this season and Virginia is on the horizon to become one.

2:00 pm

Motor City Bowl

Toledo vs Connecticut

SG’s Pick: Toledo

Connecticut has a football team? Well, that’s what we would have said last season but they have a QB that can rip the secondary. You probably haven’t heard of him but the NFL scouts know him very well. Connecticut has a chance if they grasp the mindset they had when meeting Pittsburgh earlier in the year.

5:30 pm

Tue., Dec. 28

Independence Bowl

Iowa State vs Miami (Ohio)

SG’s Pick: Iowa State

Iowa State’s explosive offense will give Miami all they want…plus some.

6:30 pm

Insight Bowl

Oregon State vs Notre Dame

SG’s Pick: Notre Dame

Notre Dame is going to fight its heart out in defense of Tyrone Willingham. Oh, did we mention they’re a pretty good football team anyway?

9:45 pm

Wed., Dec. 29

Houston Bowl

Texas-El Paso vs Colorado

SG’s Pick: Texas-El Paso

Jordan Carson (name sound familiar?) will finally have his chance to showcase his talent on national television. Colorado is still wondering what happened in the Big 12 championship…

4:30 pm

Alamo Bowl

24 Ohio State vs Oklahoma State

SG’s Pick: Ohio State

Oklahoma State is no stranger to big games. Unfortunately, they haven’t learned how to win them.

8:00 pm

Thur., Dec. 30

Continental Tire Bowl

25 Boston College vs North Carolina

SG’s Pick: Boston College

North Carolina has a lack of “big game” experience while Boston College has the “secret to success” for winning bowl games, they’ve won 4 straight.

1:00 pm

Emerald Bowl

New Mexico vs Navy

SG’s Pick: Navy

Did we say Navy? That’s right! These guys finally learned how to play football.

4:30 pm

Holiday Bowl

4 California vs 23 Texas Tech

SG’s Pick: California

Cal will punish Texas Tech for being pushed out of the BCS picture.

8:00 pm

Silicon Valley Bowl

Troy vs Northern Illinois

SG’s Pick: Northern Illinois

Troy has never been to a bowl game and they’re not ready to win one either. N. Illinois has a ground attack that will out-muscle this Troy defense.

11:00 pm

Fri., Dec. 31

Music City Bowl

Alabama vs Minnesota

SG’s Pick: Alabama

This isn’t because we like the SEC. Minnesota isn’t playing at home…

12:00 pm

Sun Bowl

Purdue vs 21 Arizona State

SG’s Pick: Purdue

Arizona State is coming with their 2nd string QB that Purdue’s young, yet darn good, defense should contain. Expect Purdue to light up the score board in this one!

2:00 pm

Liberty Bowl

10 Boise State vs 7 Louisville

SG’s Pick: Louisville

This may be bowl game of the year. If you like fast attack offenses and aggressive scoring, this game is for you! Vegas will be exploding with “total points” bets on this one.

3:30 pm

14 Miami (FLA.) vs 20 Florida

Peach Bowl

SG’s Pick: Florida

If Chris Leak (Gators) isn’t the best QB in the land he will be. When the Gators are operating on all cylinders I would pick them to beat anyone in the country. Keep an eye on this one because it should be a money maker!

7:30 pm

Sat., Jan. 1

Cotton Bowl

15 Tennessee vs 22 Texas A&M

SG’s Pick: Tennessee

The Vols simply ran out of time in the SEC championship. I suspect they will pick up where they left off. Neither team “should” be here so it will definitely be one of the better games to watch.

11:00 am

Outback Bowl

16 Wisconsin va 8 Georgia

SG’s Pick: Georgia

Wisconsin can play offense buy GA’s fast defense will stop the run and force Wisconsin to throw resulting in too many mistakes to overcome. Georgia wins.

11:00 am

Gator Bowl

17 Florida State va West Virginia

SG’s Pick: Florida State

Florida State has put the lost to Florida behind them. Bowden’s ability to dominate bowl games has a “W” written all over it.

12:30 pm

Capital One Bowl

11 Iowa vs 12 LSU

SG’s Pick: LSU (restrictions apply…)

LSU is young but managed to fight their way to a good bowl game this year. If LSU’s defense can keep the score close they can pull this one off.

1:00 pm

Rose Bowl

13 Michigan vs 6 Texas

SG’s Pick: Texas

If Mack can persuade his players they’re as good as he did the nations coaches Texas will overcome a solid Michigan team.

4:30 pm

Fiesta Bowl

5 Utah vs 19 Pittsburgh

SG’s Pick: Utah

Pittsburgh slipped through the back door to win the Big East but I’m afraid Utah will show Pitt what it’s like to play with the Big Boys.

8:30 pm

Mon., Jan. 3

Sugar Bowl

3 Auburn vs 9 Virginia Tech

SG’s Pick: Auburn

Auburn should be playing for the national title. Look for Auburn to win big for the slight possibility of sharing the title.

8:00 pm

Tue., Jan. 4

Orange Bowl

1 Southern California vs 2 Oklahoma

SG’s Pick: Oklahoma

This one should come down to the last quarter. Oklahoma should prevail with stamina.

8:00 pm

Big Hand Blunder: Greg Raymer vs Aran Kanter WSOP 2005

Well its not often I get to critique a pros blunder, but this one stood out as a whopper, which turned the tables at the 2005 WSOP and propelled a young internet player to the final table in place of Greg Raymer who was on a miraculous path to challenge for the WSOP main title for the second consecutive year.

Down to 26 players, Raymer is one of the chip leaders with around 4 million. With the blinds a very comfortable 20 and 40 thousand, he picks up KK in middle position and puts in a raise to 100 thousand. Does that seem small to you? It does to me, even though it is a well concealed 2 and a half times the blind, it literally invites a draw out. Raising that small, compared to your stack in an internet tournament is tantamount to limping in. What it also negates is being able to judge what your opponent may have later in the hand when it could become crucial, as it did in this case.

With a small raise you are inviting low pairs, low connecters, weak suited aces, weak suited kings, and unpaired big cards. With such a variety of possibilities, you are essentially playing blind, and hoping your kings hold up. Kanter calls in the cutoff followed by Ivey and Hechem folding the blinds. The pot is around 300 thousand including the antes. The flop comes 6c, 3h, 5d. Raymer could look at this as a good flop, assuming Kanter called with big cards. Myself, I see straight chemistry, and definitely something that could jive with a call of ace, 4 suited or 8, 7 suited. When there is chemistry on the board you need to get your opponent out. If he calls a big bet, or re-raises, I am apt to let the hand go if I am playing another big stack. If my opponent is significantly shorter, I will put him all in without fear of jeopardizing my tournament.

Raymer follows up his wimpy preflop bet with an even more pathetic flop bet of 150 thousand. When assessing this flop, you need to bet big, and cut your losses with that. With an over bet here, you either eliminate the danger, or you determine that you are beat, or on way to being beat. But this is also your stop-loss bet. Once a reaction is taken by your opponent, you will know to fold, or check it down, save for other intelligence factors. Curiously, Raymer moves rather quickly through this hand, failing to assess this game critical intersect properly. Clearly, at this point Raymer failed to realized he was not the favorite in this hand anymore. Turn card is 7h. This is a great card for Kanter as it gives him his heart draw, and puts a scare card out there him to take it at the river. Raymer simply seems not to notice.

The odd thing about this hand is that Raymer was in fact, ahead all the way. Kanter played this hand like an internet rookie calling the flop bet with only a back door flush draw, and over cards. He could have been planning to take this pot from Raymer with a bluff on the river, but that doesn’t explain his rash all in call after reraising Raymers 300 thousand turn bet. But when Raymer does make his turn bet and gets reraised, in that spot, with my tourney on the line, and that board, I am out of the hand, even if I still feel I am ahead. It is simply too risky, and too probably that your kings are beat. You think I am over analyzing? I have laid down aces in this spot, several times in money play in online tournaments. Maybe just a couple thousand was on the line, not millions!

I take this situation to reiterate several things here. Play back the hand, and figure your opponents possible hole cards. Investigate the flop by knowing what the nuts are at all times. Do not go up against another stack in marginal situations while moving up the pay scale. Raymers actions here would have been perfectly fine if he were up against someones last 700 thousand chips, but as it turned out, and I quote Norman Chad from ESPN, Kanter makes an horrendous play and puts a big hurt on Raymer. The heart came for Kanter who should have really never been in the hand, but his awful play was surpassed by Raymer in that particular exchange.

Free Online Games – Games Lovers Paradise

Free games are now the new “phenomenon” everyone is hooked on, especially bored teenagers who find television shows boring with reality television not much of a draw either. In fact, this new found past-time is set to gain more ground as fast internet access becomes more and more cheap and easy to

acquire. Quickly becoming the new social hubs, it is addictive, cheap and most importantly FREE.

The sheer draw of free online games has got no age or gender barriers. A recent game lovers’ age survey showed that although roughly three-quarters of their visitors ranged from 8 – 25 years, over 17% were over 35 years of age. This proves that playing games is popular with any age group and people from all backgrounds.

As a result of this explosion of popularity, there are many platforms offering many kinds of free online games with no need to for downloading. As a result, gaming lovers have many possibilities available to them. Some focus on a specific genre such as adventure, action, strategy, board, or card games while

others diversify and offer a broad range of free games encompassing all the categories above.

Furthermore, there are some gaming websites that are geared to offering a wide range of games in almost every genre. One such website is Arcadekitty.com which offers free games in

categories such as strategy, adventure, rpg, strategy, puzzles just to name a few. It is more like a one stop shop for games only they are free. The advantages of free online games is that you can do it whenever you can spare a few minutes or during your coffee break for instance. Some of these games are educational or brainteasers, others are for pure fun. Free online strategy games, such as Sudoku, for instance test your brain intellect without needing a pen nor paper.

Free online adventure games are the easiest to come by. Role Playing Games allows the gamer to impersonate a desired character while visitors can also pick an online partner to play multi-player games enhancing the very social nature of gaming. Some platforms offer a system of rating which further enhances the experience of new visitors who visit later. Additionally, specific comments can be left on games on some websites. Favourite games can be bookmarked or sent to friends or placed on

social network profiles such as Myspace.

Taking advantage of this social environment, some websites offer free chat so game players can hang out and chat, making new friends and meeting people from all over the world. Once again

Gamerevolt.com is one such platform. The free chatroom offered by them allows visitors to create their own private rooms where they can invite their friends or new people they have met for a casual

chat. Others add more social enhancing content such as forums, downloads and games cheat to their visitors. This includes X box game cheats, PS 2 game cheats, Game boy cheats, and cheats for other platforms.

On the whole, online gaming is an explosive and social environment and set to expand further in the

future.

Top 10 Mistakes Made By Amatuer Poker Players

1. Playing Too Many Hands

An early lesson in poker is to realize the majority of hands you are dealt must be folded. I’ve known an amateur player turn round to me and say You’ve got to play the hand you are dealt, why fold. I was shocked and soon put them right. However, there are a lot of beginners that seem to ignore this most basic rule.

They will call with ace-rag out of position, even call a raise with it, they play any two suited cards or even any picture card. You can get away with playing loose like this in a game of no limit hold em but you must have a strong post-flop ability to be able to pull it off.

Situation dependent, most of the time you are looking to only play premium hands such as high pocket pairs, and very strong aces. Simply fold the rest.

2. Not Folding Mediocre Hands

After the flop has hit, amateur players find it very difficult to let go of marginal hands. Suppose they hit middle pair or top pair with top kicker, the will find it hard to lay down. Its a crazy situation to still be involved in a pot holding top pair when there are flush and straight draws on the board and players are betting like theres no tomorrow. I’ve seen people play online when they will see their hole cards all the way to the river even though the board has paired up, AND there is 4-to-a-flush on the board, AND a straight possibility. They just wouldn’t let go of their flopped top pair.

The best hand on the flop may not always be the best hand on the river. Play with caution and don’t be afraid to get out if the action heats up and you are holding a marginal hand.

A good way to look at it is to look at the board and think to yourself “What two cards could my opponent be holding for them to beat me?”. If you can narrow it down to one or at most two sets of hole cards you should be fairly confident in carrying on playing. If you have to say to yourself “I hope he doesn’t have X, or Y, or Z, or A, or B or C…” then you should really think about folding. The more combinations of cards that your opponent could be holding that beat your hand, then the more likely it is they are holding one of them. If there is only one or possibly two combinations of cards that beat you then continue to play but with caution. Bet out or raise to gain information on how good your hand is. If they fold, you win the pot, if you are raised then you are probably beat.

There’s no shame in folding. Remember, especially in a tournament, poker scores are based on the player that loses the least amount of chips.

3. Under-Betting The Pot

In no limit texas hold em you can bet out as much of your stack as you like in order to protect your hand. You should be using this to your advantage. Weaker inexperienced players on the other hand tend to bet small amounts such as $30 into a $500 pot. These kinds of bets offer good players fantastic pot odds to call and suck-out on the river because of the money they stand to make in relation to how much it costs to see another card. A bet of around 75% of the pot is enough to discourage players on a draw. Any bet under half the pot is normally not enough.

4. Over betting The Pot

It is an easy mistake that amateurs make. They make a half-decent hand and the adrenaline kicks in and they decide to over bet the pot by pumping $300 into a $90 pot, or they move all in pre-flop for 1500 in a sit-n-go while blinds are still 15/30. The trouble with doing this, is that it makes hands weaker than yours fold, while hands stronger than yours call. By consistently over betting the pot you are either going to win a small pot, or lose a big one. Quite clearly not the optimum poker playing approach.

5. Ignoring Position

Knowledge is power in the game of no limit hold em. The more information you hold about the round of betting the better position you are in to act on this information. Playing hands under the gun means if you bet out, you could face a massive re-raise from a later position. You could check post flop in the hope of a check raise but instead find the entire table checks after you. If you are playing from a later position you have the ability to see what the rest of the table is doing before you act.

Amateur players will often ignore position and play a certain set of hands regardless of position. you should be playing only premium hands in early position, and then widening your range of starting hands the later your position becomes. TJ’s plays badly from UTG but very well from a late position.

6. Failing To Protect Your Hand

Many amateur players are guilty of playing far too passively. They will simply check or call unless they are 100% sure they have the best hand in which case they will raise. By failing to bet, or failing to raise they will make it easier for their opponents to draw out on them who might otherwise have folded. If you find yourself against a tight passive player, raise more often than you usually would and you can find yourself winning a lot of small pots.

7. chasing unprofitable draws

Playing a drawing hand is only ever going to be as good as the value of the pot you are trying to win. You should always fold if someone makes a bet where you are no longer getting correct pot odds to call. Amatuer players make the mistake of ignoring these odds and will call all the way to the river in the hope that they hit. It is possible they do not even understand pot odds or know what they are.

As frustrating as it is when monkey players like these suck out on the river you have to remember that they are playing bad unprofitable poker and they will end up losing more money than they win. Just make sure you are in the pot when they lose

8. Bad Stack Management

Amatuer players often neglect their stack size when it comes to playing holdem. If you are playing a cash game you should always have around 20 big blinds to capitalise on your monster hands. If you are falling short, then reload your stack. There’s no point hanging on with £50 in a £5/£10 cash game only to flop quads next hand and miss out on a huge pot. If you are playing a freezeout tournament, you should stop calling pre-flop when you are between 10 times the big blind (worrying) to 5 times the big blind (critical). There is no option but to push all in with any Ace, pocket pair, suited connectors or any hand under the gun.

You are looking to have enough chips to maximise your big hands, or to keep you alive in tourmanet situations. Bad players will flat call hands when their stack is 5 to 10 x BB. Good players will push all in. Bad players will not reload their chips in a cash game, good players will.

9. Adapting Your Style

There is a big difference between playing cash games and playing tournaments. In cash games you have to be prepared to put your entire stack over the line when you know you are going to win more times than you lose, when you have a positive expected value (+EV). If you lose then you can just reload. In a tournament you have to be more protective of your stack as if it goes then your are out of the game. There are many other subtle levels, but these are the fundamental differences between the two games. Bad players are those that do not adapt their game accordingly and play tournament strategy in a cash game and cash strategy in a tournament game.

10. Trying To Imitate The Pros

The generation of poker players coming through nowadays are those raised on watching it on TV. People have their favourite poker players they have seen making big bluffs and talking the talk. Amatuer players seem to copy-cat these actions in order to come across more professional. what they fail to realise however that on TV they are only watching edited highlights. Not every hand is a monster raise, or a trap, or a bluff – in fact most of the time it is one player raising with a genuine hand and everyone else folding. This is unfortunately the less interesting side of poker but it (should) represent a large majority of your game.

We have a generic nickname for these kinds of players at the table. Those that come in wearing the shades, the cap, the iPod, talking about how other players should have played their hands, talking crap. The nickname given is “All the gear, no idea”. Make sure you are able to spot these players if they are on your table and more importantly make sure that you are not one of them yourself!

Casino Slots

Casinos introduced slot machines for the wives and girlfriends of gambling husbands with the intention that men would get more time to spend on gambling. In recent times, the game has become very popular amongst both men and women visiting the casinos. Instant jackpots and ease to play are some of the reasons why increasing number of people are drawn towards slot machines.

Casino slots can be classified into straight slots and progressive slots. Straight slots have set jackpot payouts according to the machines payout schedule. For instance, if playing on a straight quarter slot, winning a jackpot by betting on a quarter will give 200 coins, a two-quarter bet wins 600 coins, and the jackpot amounts to 2000 coins. On the other hand, progressive slot machines have jackpots tied into a bank of machines, a carousel of machines, or even other machines at a different casino. The progressive jackpot is displayed on an electric board, which is attached to the progressive slot machines. Further more, the progressive jackpot increases with every play on each slot machine of the progressive group. The payouts on progressive slots can reach to extremes and can range from several thousands to multi-million dollar payments.

A casino has many other attractions such as the 3-reel slot machine, 4-reel slot machine and the 5-reel slot machine. Often odds increase with more reels in a slot machine. The other attraction includes the fruit machine, and uses a video monitor in place of standard reels. Similar to these, various new slots are introduced in casinos every season. Every time they come up better gimmicky names and enhanced digital effects, thus maintaining and increasing the attraction.

These slot machines are designed with a feel and look of the conventional mechanical models, but they work on a complete different principle. Dissimilar to the conventional mechanism the outcome of each pull in modern slots is controlled by a central computer inside the machine, and not by the motion of the reels.