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Monday, December 04, 2006

Game play

Poker is played in a multitude of variations, but most follow the same basic pattern of play.

The right to deal each hand typically rotates among the players and is marked by a token called a 'dealer' button or buck. In a casino a house dealer handles the cards for each hand, but a button (typically a white plastic disk) is rotated clockwise among the players to indicate a nominal dealer to determine the order of betting.

For each hand, one or more players are required to make forced bets to create an initial stake for which the players will contest. The dealer shuffles the cards, he cuts, and the appropriate number of cards are dealt to the players one at a time. Cards may be dealt either face-up or face-down, depending on the variant of poker being played. After the initial deal, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins. Between rounds, the players' hands develop in some way, often by being dealt additional cards or replacing cards previously dealt. At the end of each round, all bets are gathered into the central pot.

At any time during a betting round, if a player makes a bet, opponents are required to fold, call or raise. If one player bets and no opponents choose to match the bet, the hand ends immediately, the bettor is awarded the pot, no cards are required to be shown, and the next hand begins. The ability to win a pot without showing a hand makes bluffing possible. Bluffing is a primary feature of poker, one that distinguishes it from other vying games and from other games that make use of poker hand rankings.

At the end of the last betting round, if more than one player remains, there is a showdown, in which the players reveal their previously hidden cards and evaluate their hands. The player with the best hand according to the poker variant being played wins the pot.

The most popular poker variants are as follows:

Draw poker
Players each receive five — as in five-card draw — or more cards, all of which are hidden. They can then replace one or more of these cards a certain number of times.
Stud poker
Players receive cards one at a time, some being displayed to other players at the table. The key difference between stud and 'draw' poker is that players are not allowed to discard or replace any cards.
Community card poker
Players combine individually dealt cards with a number of "community cards" dealt face up and shared by all players. Two or four individual cards may be dealt in the most popular variations, Texas hold 'em and Omaha hold 'em, respectively.
See betting (poker) for detailed rules regarding forced bets, betting actions, limits, stakes, and all-in situations. See List of poker variants and poker hand rankings for order of play and other details for the most common poker variants

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The History of Arsenal Football Club - 1886 to 1992

Arsenal was originally formed in 1886 by a group of workers at the Woolwich armaments factory in south London, and the club was first known as Dial Square. The name was soon changed to Royal Arsenal, though when the club turned professional in 1891 the name changed again to Woolwich Arsenal. The prefix was later dropped and the club became Arsenal Football Club. For a period it was popularly known as The Arsenal though this was never the club's official name.

Arsenal was elected to the 2nd division of the Football League in 1893, and gained promotion to the 1st division in 1904. The club survived in the first division for nine years, high points of that period coming in 1906 when the semi-final of the FA Cup was reached, and in 1909 when a 6th place finish in the league was achieved.

Unfortunately, relegation followed in 1913, but coincided with a major landmark in the club's history. Having played for the previous 27 years at various sites in Plumstead, South London, the club moved to its present site at Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, North London. The move was instigated by the then chairman, Sir Henry Norris who foresaw greater potential for the club in the north London catchment area. It almost paid off in the following season when Arsenal missed out on promotion only on goal average, and 5th place was achieved in 1915 before the hiatus caused by the 1st World War.

Promotion back to the 1st division was engineered by the colourful Sir Henry under somewhat contentious circumstances when the Football League resumed in 1919, and Arsenal has not been relegated since, thus holding the record for unbroken tenure in the top division of English football. The incident remains the source of rancour with local rivals Tottenham, along with the earlier move when Arsenal were seen as invading their new neighbours' north London fiefdom. Spurs had finished the 1915 season at the bottom of the 1st division, but after the war the league was expanded to include an extra 2 teams in division 1, so Tottenham expected to stay up after the top 2 teams in Division 2 were promoted. However, Norris somehow managed to get Arsenal elected in their place, and elements of the Tottenham support have nursed a grievance ever since.

The following few seasons saw the club maintain a mediocre standard adequate to remaining in the 1st division, but insufficient to progress. However, after narrowly avoiding relegation in 1925, another turning point in Arsenal's fortunes was reached. The legendary Herbert Chapman, fresh from guiding Huddersfield to the first 2 of their 3 successive titles, was appointed manager and over the next 9 years transformed Arsenal from an average first division club into one of the great names in world football.

The visionary Chapman had the nearby underground station renamed in honour of the club, introduced the now famous white sleeves and pioneered the use of shirt numbers. Under his guidance Arsenal gradually progressed in the late twenties, coming 2nd in the league in 1926 and reaching the Cup final in 1927. The club went on to dominate English football over the following decade. The FA Cup became Arsenal's first major trophy in 1930, and the first league championship in 1931 was followed by a further 4 titles and another FA Cup over the next 7 years.

1937-38 brought Arsenal's 5th league title in seven years, though the near invincible team which had dominated the decade was generally held to be in decline. After the interruption caused by the 2nd World War, Tom Whittaker forged another great team, and 2 more titles (1947-48 and 1952-53) and an FA Cup (1950) were won over a 5 year period, with the 1951-52 season also seeing the Gunners narrowly miss the elusive double, runners up in both league and FA cup.

Whittaker's death in 1956 marked a decline in fortunes of the great club, and a barren 14 years followed. Even the appointment as manager of Billy Wright, one of the great names in English football, failed to turn things round, and it took an unknown to bring the glory days back to Highbury. Bertie Mee was previously the club physio and had minimal experience in professional football when he took over as manager in 1966, but he led the club to Wembley in the League cup final in 1968 (though that ended in ignominious defeat to 3rd division Swindon), and 2 years later Arsenal captured their first European trophy, winning the UEFA Fairs Cup against Anderlecht, having to come back from a 3-1 first leg deficit to do so.

The following season was to be the most successful in the club's history so far, when the mythical domestic double was achieved. The league was clinched on the sweetest of nights, a 1-0 win at the home of the old enemy Tottenham, and the FA Cup followed a few days later, a Charlie George goal winning the cup in extra time at Wembley against Liverpool.

The double success wasn't really built upon, despite reaching the FA cup final again in 1972 and finishing second in the league the following season, and Arsenal became a mid-table team once again during the mid seventies. Towards the end of the decade however, under Terry Neill and Don Howe, some success returned when Arsenal set another record, reaching the FA Cup final in 3 successive seasons. Only the middle visit to Wembley, in 1979, was triumphant, a thrilling last minute 3-2 victory against Manchester United. The following season saw cup heartbreak when Arsenal lost the FA Cup final to West Ham, and 4 days later the European Cup Winners Cup final to Valencia on penalties.

Success became more habitual once again during the George Graham era. After Graham took over in 1986, Arsenal won six major trophies in the next eight years. A League Cup triumph in 1987 was built upon, and in 1989 the league championship returned to Highbury after an 18 year absence when Arsenal pipped Liverpool to the title on goals scored. In the most exciting finish to the league season ever witnessed in English football the final, deciding match at Anfield was won 2-0 with a now definitive last minute winner by Michael Thomas. Another championship followed two years later when Arsenal lost only one league game and conceded just 18 goals in 38 matches.

Arsenal's Premiership history - 1992 to the present

In the Premiership's inaugural year 1992-93, still under Graham's stern control, Arsenal again made history by becoming the first team ever to win both domestic cups in the same season, Sheffield Wednesday the unfortunate victims on both occasions. Arsenal came from behind to win the Coca Cola Cup 2-1, and eventually also won the FA Cup, winning the replay by the same score with a last minute extra time winner from Andy Linighan. The following year an ambition for further European success was fulfilled by winning the European Cup Winners' Cup in Copenhagen. Graham's workmanlike side were underdogs against the star-studded Parma of Italy, but defended doggedly for much of the match to carve out a trademark 1-0 win with Alan Smith's winner.

However, despite the cup successes with what at the time was regarded as an ageing team, Arsenal's league results during the first 3 years of the Premiership were distinctly ordinary, and following the Rune Hauge bung affair Graham was disgraced and sacked in the middle of the 94-95 season. Under the temporary stewardship of Stewart Houston, Arsenal did manage to reach the Cup Winners Cup final for the 2nd successive year, but lost in the final seconds of extra time to the Spanish team, Real Zaragoza.

The period 1995-1997 turned out to be transitional and somewhat turbulent. Bruce Rioch was installed as manager in June 1995, but after guiding Arsenal to UEFA Cup qualification with a 5th place finish in the league and significantly signing Dennis Bergkamp, he was inexplicably sacked in August 1996 just days before the new season was due to begin. The sanity and motives of the Arsenal board were questioned, but eventually the Frenchman Arsene Wenger was confirmed as Arsenal's new manager at the end of September. He quickly impressed the Arsenal faithful by the calm and assured way he took control, and without making any major changes (apart from introducing the majestic Vieira) took Arsenal to 3rd in the league, and qualification for the UEFA Cup again, by the end of the season.

The following season, 1997-98, he made history by winning the double for the second time. With some astute close season signings from abroad he revitalised and reforged the team, apart from the astonishingly enduring defence. The new faces took time to bed in, and the early part of the season reached a low point with a UEFA Cup 1st round exit at the hands of PAOK Saloniki, but the ultimate result was an exhilirating and irresistible late season surge. At one point in January 13 points behind Manchester United, Arsenal eclipsed their rivals in the title run-in to clinch their first Premiership (and 11th league) title with 2 games to spare. The second half of the double, the FA Cup, was acheived with a comfortable 2-0 win against Newcastle at Wembley in May.

The team almost performed similar heroics the following season, but this time fell just short, losing unluckily in FA Cup semi-final extra time to Manchester United, and missing out on the title to the same deadly rivals by just one point. In a sign of times to come, a reserve Arsenal side played in the Worthington cup, losing heavily in the 4th round to Chelsea. The Gunners also disappointed in the Champions' League, failing to get beyond the group stages as self inflicted woes cost them dear.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Mexico city

Phone card to Mexico city
IP-telephony phone cards experience great popularity all over the world.
And it is not surprising, the newest information technologies offer Internet-users opportunities unattainable in the past.
IP-telephony is the most modern technology, that provides an alternative way of low tariff long-distance and international telecommunication by means of the Internet.
The use of Internet reduces the price of telecommunication multiple times!
How to call using IP-telephony?
You buy a virtual phone card on the Internet. The virtual phone card works the same way as a real phone card, but You receive a PIN-code — not a real card.
To use the card You dial specially assigned Access number, enter card’s PIN number after a prompt, and then dial the destination number.
This service contributes large savings and is especially important for firms and private individuals who frequently make long distance and international phone calls.
For example, one minute of usual phone conversation between USA and France costs 50 cents; with phone cards' use it costs 2.30 cents. Therefore you save up near 4.8 US dollars for each ten-minute conversation. Savings are significant, aren' they!
How to earn with IP-telephony?
As the question of savings is important for all peoples, IP-telephony becomes a very attractive direction for improving profits.
Within the framework of Affiliate Program WebSTel.com company suggests it’s partners to participate in two Programs: “The Referral Program” and “Own Shop” as well.
Using already designed templates You create your own phone cards Internet shop and receive 10% to 20% from each sale.
What kinds of telephone cards does “WebSTel” offer?
Mexico-cards.pushline.com offers a variety of high quality prepaid phone cards that can be used all over the world for domestic and Long Distance calls.
There are rechargeable and non-rechargeable phone cards, Permanent PIN phone cards with PIN Free Access feature; cards with limited expiration period and unlimited use.
Detailed information about Mexico-cards.pushline.com telephone cards can be found on Mexico phone cards.
Who are IP-telephony phone cards major buyers?
It is very important to understand which Internet users are most interested in IP-telephony services. IP-telephony cards are used for calls from different countries, but the majority of customers are residents of the United States of America (97%) and Canada (2%).
As a rule, residents of these two countries not only have an access to the Internet, but also use it actively to make purchases from Internet-shops.
Immigrants, students, tourists and visitors use long-distance communication for business or personal contact most frequently


Mexico phone cards