The Indictment of the 11 internet poker company executives and payment processors is only part of the story. Along with the Indictment, which was returned on March 10 but not unsealed until this Friday, the Government filed a civil lawsuit, available here, seeking forfeiture of $3 billion, as well as the company's domain names and websites.
The Defendant Entities are liable to the Government for a sum of money representing the amount of property, funds, or monetary instruments involved in the money laundering offenses described above, in an amount that is no less than $1.5 billion for the PokerStars Entities; $1 billion for the Full Tilt Poker Entities; and $500 million for the Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet Entities.
Looking at today's indictment, available here, it's obvious there was an earlier, preceding indictment. The case is numbered 10-cr-336 which means it was filed in 2010. And today's indictment is called a “Superseding Indictment.”
Who got indicted first in case no 10-cr-336? Daniel Tzvetkoff, age 27, owner of Intanet, an online payment processing company in Australia. He was indicted in New York in April, 2010 on money laundering and related charges for processing $543 million in payments for online gambling companies and disguising the transactions as being unrelated to gambling. Read the rest of this entry »
Tomorrow, the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet in North Texas and elect the Hall of Fame Class of 2011. Results will be announced at 7 p.m. ET during an NFL Network special. There are 5 spots for 15 nominees.
Ed Sabol, the founder of NFL films, is one of the finalists. Here's one view of why he should receive the award. Here's another and another and another. As CNN says, “Through Ed Sabol's lens, the NFL and its players became mythic.”
“Big Ed”, as he's known, is now 95 and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. CNN says he's playing down the idea of being elected to the Hall of Fame and “fully satisfied with a career of bringing the drama of Sunday's gladiators to America's TV screens.” I don't think so.
Ed's daughter, Blair Sabol, the irreverent fashion writer once known as the Abbie Hoffman of Seventh Avenue , (and my principal reason for reading the Village Voice back in those days) is Ed's daughter and my friend. Blair tells me the Hall of Fame award is a huge deal and would mean the world to Ed. They are keeping their fingers crossed for tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »
It starts today with a 9 km Prologue from Rotterdam.
Some in depth writing on the Tour will come tomorrow.
At 7 am on the East Coast, Greece faces off with South Korea. In two previous friendly meetings, South Korea has gained a draw and a win over Greece in 2006 and 2007. These mean nothing. Greece will beat the hard working but less skilled Korean team.
The more interesting game to me is Argentina vs. Nigeria. While this is not a vintage Nigeria team, Argentina seems a train wreck waiting to happen to me. The problem is Maradona. It is lunacy to have him as team manager. that said, when you have the best player in the world, Messi, and other top players like Milito, it is hard to see you losing. But I see it. Nigeria shocks Argentina.
A post n USA -England comes later.
In my earlier preview of the USA, I discussed this group in some depth. But let’s take a look at England (who the US will face tomorrow afternoon),Slovenia and Algeria.
England is one of the tournament favorite and features one of the best players in the world in ManU’s Wayne Rooney. England is a heavy favorite in the group and with good reason – it is filled with all star players. However, England has 2 major problems – its keepers are pedestrian at best and Rio Ferdinand is injured. Nonetheless, this is a weak group and England should easily sail through to the next round.
Slovenia surprised Russia to qualify for the Finals. But it is certainly no powerhouse and is at best the third favorite on the group.
Algeria came through by knocking off African power Egypt. Again, it is weaker team who is not likely to go through, absent a big slipup by the United States.
My picks – 1- England, 2- US, 3- slovenia, 4 – Algeria.
The World Cup starts tomorrow morning with the host country South Africa facing Mexico. The other game tomorrow will be in the afternoon, Uruguay v. France. Before we get to our daily game by game previews, I’ll start with my picks for qualifying out of the 8 groups.
Group A – France, Uruguay, Mexico and South Africa.
France is the obvious established power of the group (yes Uruguay has won 2 World Cups, but that was a long time ago (1930 and 1950.) However, not only did France limp in to the World Cup through a controversial handball by Thierry Henry, they have been rife with controversies, on and off the field. France’s strongest player is Ribery. While I do not expect much from France in this World Cup, this is a weak group, so I expect them to get through.
Joining them will be Mexico. Mexico has been the one of best teams in the Western Hemisphere for the last year. They have skilled players and less pressure than usual. I expect a strong performance from Mexico. Certainly getting out of Group A.
Uruguay has two top forwards in Suarez and Forlan. But it won’t be enough. South Africa is simply not in the class of any of the other teams in the tournament.
My picks: Mexico 1st, France 2nd, Uruguay 3rd, South Africa 4th.
GROUP B – Argentina, Greece, Nigeria, S. Korea
The best player in the world today is Leonel Messi. The worst team manager in the world today is Diego Maradona. Messi is the star player for Argentina. Maradona is the team manager for Argentina. Do the math. Mucho polemica.No tranquilo. One way or another, Argentina will be one of the biggest stories of this World Cup, boom or bust.
Greece’s team record for the past 6 years has been impressive. Certainly in this group they are a dangerous team.
Will Nigeria carry the hopes of Africa in the first World Cup held on the continent? They have horses, especially up front and have performed well on this stage in the past.
South Korea is a disciplined team but it will require a stumble by other more talented teams.
My picks? I think Greece definitely gets through. Argentina SHOULD get through.But who the hell knows what they will do. The match to watch in this group? How about the first one on Saturday – Argentina v. Nigeria. The winner will join Greece getting through the group. I think . . . . Nigeria. Polemica sure to follow.
The World Cup opens tomorrow and I will be covering and recapping every game at SportsLeft, starting Friday morning at 9 with the opening match South Africa v. Mexico. But today, I want to discuss our boys, the US team and their chances in the 2010 edition of the World Cup.
The Key Players. You will hear a lot about Landon Donovan (“Donovan is the key to success or failure for the U.S. in South Africa”), arguably the best player the US has ever produced, and Jozy Altidore,the new hope. But for my money, how far the US goes in the World Cup will depend on Clint Dempsey, the most instinctive scorer on the team.
The likely starting side for the US will include Tim Howard in goal (who plays in the English Premier League), an apparently now healthy Oguchi Onyewu, who is a terrific center back and member of A.C. Milan. The rest of the US defenders – Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Jonathn Spector, Jonathan Bornstein et al are simply not very good imo.
The midfield is the strength of the team, with Donovan (who plays for the Galaxy but had a great run with Everton of the English Premier League in January), Dempsey (a star for Fulham in the Premier League), the coach’s (Bob Bradley) son, Michael Bradley, and Stuart Holden are the starting four in midfield.
Bradley will almost certainly use a 4-4-2 set up with Donovan and Dempsey expected to move forward a lot. For the 2 forwards, it appears that Bradley will go with Altidore and Robbie Findlay. I hope we see a lot of Hercules Gomez, leading the Mexican League in scoring, and Edson Buddle, who leads the MLS in scoring. I firmly believe in “hot” scorers. The US has no Christiano Rinaldo or up top strikers of the old school, Gerd Muller type – so I hope Bradley is willing to play the hot hands up front.
The US is is Group C, with pre-tournament favorite England, Algeria and Slovenia. 2 teams will go through from the group, and the US is the second choice. Then again, the US was expected to go through to the second round in 2006 and did not. And in 2002, it was not expected to advance but made it to the quarterfinals (and should have won the match over Germany). So “expectations do not mean much for the US.
We’ll have a better idea what to expect from the team when we see how the look against England on Saturday, June 12.
Paris-Nice is an 8 day cycling race that travels from, um, Paris to Nice. It is an important race. Here is a good preview. And here is my translation of a story on the views of cycling king Alberto Contador on the race:
Two time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador acknowledged that he arrives in good form for the next edition of Paris-Nice. [. . .] in which he will compete with the Olympic champion, Samuel Sánchez, the last winner of the Vuelta de Espana, Alejandro Valverde, and Luxemburger Franck Schleck, among others. [. . .]
“I am in good form, although I’ve done little training since the Vuelta al Algarve. I had a chill, a consequence of the rain in Portugal, but despite that I think I am in good form,” said Contador.
In last year’s Paris-Nice, the cyclist from Pinto (Madrid) suffered a spectacular meltdown, but he say he has no desire to “avenge” last year’s result. “That was a valuable experience that taught me that you never be careless about anything and you must be calm and calculating about all aspects of a race.” said Contador.
The Astana leader stated that [. . .] his team “intends to fight for the victory and to be in the fight, although it will be difficult to win. There are strong cyclists, like Luis León [Sanchez] or Valverde, who have more days of competition this year. Alejandro already knows what winning feels like this year,in the tour of the Mediterranean and raced in Australia and Almería. At the beginning of the year, recent race competition is very notable. But in a race like París-Nice, the group of favorites is wide.. Here are included Samuel Sánchez, Frank Schleck, Sandy Casar o [Sylvain] Chavanel”, said Contador.
In his view, París-Nice 2010 could be decided by a narrow margin and pointed to the climbing finish in Mende as “short and explosive.” “We climbed it in 2007 and the differences were minimal. This year the race will be decided by a few seconds and the bonuses will be important. The last 3 days in the mountains will be difficult to control. The podium placements will be a question of seconds,” Contador said.
To achieve victory [in Sunday's time trial prologue], Contador will be counting on his new time trial bike, which is being shipped from the US. “I will time trial as well as I can given the course. It has no climbs, it is flat for most of the 8 kms. Despite this, I expect to be among the leaders. Last year I won the time trial but I don’t think I can repeat that this year, ” Contador said.