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Ersan Ilyasova’s offseason patience pays off
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Free agency had ended but, for Ersan Ilyasova, the work had just begun. Scroll through the forward’s Instagram account, and you’d get a taste of how an NBA veteran stays busy when he doesn’t have an NBA contract. You’d see drill after sweat-soaking drill in a high school gymnasium. You’d see him get shots up in a blizzard. “No excuses,” he says. “I tried to work on my game every day,” Ilyasova said. “I truly believed an opportunity would come at some point. I always tried to be ready — to practice and lift, whatever it takes. And after months of work, finally, you’d see Ilyasova in a Utah Jazz uniform. “For this opportunity to come up, it’s a great one,” the forward said Thursday after his first practice in Salt Lake City. “I’m looking forward to it.” The Jazz officially added Ilyasova to their roster Wednesday, bolstering the team’s already deep bench in preparation for an even deeper playoff run. “I see it’s a great group of guys,” Ilyasova said. “The communication is there. They trust each other. I watched the games before — the way they play and the chemistry is at a high level. When you see the way they play, share the ball, move the ball, everybody back each other, this is what it takes to win a championship.” Ilyasova’s C.V. includes more than 850 regular season and playoff appearances over 12 years in the NBA. The Turkish forward averaged 20 minutes per game in the 2018 postseason with the 76ers. He logged 18 minutes a night in the playoffs two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. “He’s a pro,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “Any time you have that type of experience, it’s something you bring to the entire group.” The coach called Ilyasova’s skill set and personality a “plug-and-play” fit for this Jazz team. The team’s front office wouldn’t have come calling otherwise. “One thing we’re really conscious of is the chemistry of the team,” Snyder said. “Ersan wants to be a part of that. I think he’s anxious to contribute in any way that he can.” Ilyasova can provide even more size and shooting to the Jazz’s frontcourt. The forward stands 6-foot-9 and has shot 36.5 percent from 3 over his career. “This is the way I play,” Ilyasova said. “Obviously unselfish. If you’re open shoot. Share the ball. Pick up your guy.” But how quickly Ilyasova finds his role in Utah remains to be seen. “He’s got to assimilate. There’s a lot for him to get exposed to. But being a smart, intelligent player, a guy that knows how to play, he’ll fit in well,” Snyder said. “We don’t expect him to show up and be ready right away. That’s not to say he won’t be. But there’s an adjustment period and we’re patient with him. I want him to be patient with himself.” When it comes to waiting for the right moment, Ilyasova has already shown his willingness to be patient this season. “This team of course is having a great season,” he said. “I try to not interrupt and at the same time just kind of learn. As the season goes, I will pick it up.”
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Addamo, Adams, and Bonomo Among Big Sunday Winners
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February 16 2021 Matthew Pitt Online poker tournaments are massive on Sundays and this fact along brings out the game’s best players. Michael Addamo, Timothy Adams, and Justin Bonomo are just three of those stellar names who managed to take down a Sunday major this weekend. Addamo Takes Down GGPoker Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250 Michael Addamo enjoyed a super Sunday courtesy of triumphing in the Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250, a tournament that attracted 113 of the world’s best players to the GGPoker virtual felt. Addamo’s first bullet didn’t go to plan and he crashed out in 76th place. He re-entered and put used his new stack to full effect. The likes of Kristen Bicknell, Matthias Eibinger, Elio Fox, Benjamin Rolle, and Anatoly Filatov busted inside the money places but before the star-studded final table. Austria’s “Filip1” was the final table’s first casualty. Their ninth-place exit awarding a $14,833 prize. Alex Foxen and David Yan then busted. Yan would go on to take down Sunday High Rollers Bounty King $3,150 for $49,300 later in the evening. The exits of Michael Zhang, Aleksei Barkov, Pascal Hartmann, and David Peters left Addamo heads-up against Wiktor Malinowski. Addamo rarely loses when he’s heads-up and that was the case again here. Addamo collected $131,187 for his victory while Malinowski banked $99,898 for his runner-up finish. Defeating Malinowski will go some way to making up for losing a massive $842,000 cash game pot last year. Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250 Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Michael AddamoCanada$131,187 2Wiktor MalinowskiMacau$99,898 3David PetersCanada$76,072 4Pascal HartmannAustria$57,928 5Aleksei BarkovRussia$44,112 6Michael ZhangBrazil$33,591 7David YanNew Zealand$25,579 8Alex FoxenCanada$19,478 9Flilip1Austria$14,833 ¥80 Million Gtd Asian Poker League (APL) Hits GGPoker Adams Takes Down High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625 Timothy Adams’ latest victory came in the High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625, an event that saw 80 players buy in. All but two of the players who navigated their way to the final table walked away with five-figures hauls. Fedor Holz and Andrii Novak being that duo. “LeoJose” fell in seventh and was joined on the rail first by Artur Martirosian, then by Urmo Velvelt, Rainer Kempe, and China’s Kevin Pu. This left Adams, on his one and only bullet, heads-up against Arsneii Malinov. Malinov fell at the final hurdle and scooped $36,565, which left Adams to add the $46,885 top prize to his GGPoker account. High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625 Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Timothy AdamsCanada$46,885 2Arsenii MalinovRussia$36,565 3Kevin PuChina$28,516 4Rainer KempeGermany$22,239 5Urmo VelveltEstonia$17,344 6Artur MartirosianRussia$13,526 7LeoJoseBrazil$10,549 8Andrii NovakUkraine$8,227 9Fedor HolzAustria$6,416 Other GGPoker Highlights Shankar Pillai – first-place in the High Roller MILLION$ for $207,692Gabriel Schroeder – first-place in the GGMasters High Rollers $1,050 for $140,355MonkeyD93 – first-place in the Global MILLION$ for $112,712swedishdream – first-place in the Bounty Hunters HR Main Event $525 for $95,817*Sami Kelopuro – first-place in the High Rollers Sunday Blade Opener $5,250 for $57,374L1mpFold – first-place in the GGMasters $150 for $54,631David Yan – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Bounty King $3,150 for $49,300*Joseph Cheong – first-place in the Sunday Bounty King $315 for $44,349*Ami Barer – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Mulligan $2,625 for $43,288Michael Zhang – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Opener $2,625 for $39,752Andras Nemeth – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Bounty King PLO $3,150 for $35,513*spera91 – first-place in the High Rollers Marathon $840 for $33,695Joao Caetano – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Fifty Stack $500 for $31,657Boris Kolev – first-place in the Sunday Forty Stack $400 for $30,214Bruno Botteon – first-place in the Sunday high Rollers Bounty Special $840 for $29,113*Dante Fernandes – first-place in the Bounty Hunters Sunday Special $210 for $25,808*Babyccino – first-place in the Sunday Main Event $200 for $24,254Anton Wigg – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Fast $525 for $13,780 *includes bounty payments Justin Bonomo Binks the partypoker High Roller Big Game Justin Bonomo Justin Bonomo, fresh from his recent Super MILLION$ victory, continued his impressive run of form by taking down the High Roller Big Game at partypoker. Bonomo came out on top of a 127-strong field in the $2,600 buy-in event to get his hands on $79,128. The final table was brimming with the world’s top poker talent, as you’d expect from such a prestigious tournament. Tomi Brouk busted in ninth and won $8,739, the tournament’s last four-figure prize. Ognyan Dimov, Roberto Romanello, and Pedro Garagnani were the next players to fall by the wayside. Niklas Astedt and Team partypoker’s Kristen Bicknell followed suit. Ukraine’s Pavlo Kolinkovskiy’s elimination in third-place, worth $34,935, left Bonomo and Ali Imsirovic heads-up for the title. Bonomo got the job done and secured the $79,128 top prize, leaving Imsirovic to bank $79,128. High Roller Big Game Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Justin BonomoCanada$79,128 2Ali ImsirovicMexico$50,916 3Pavlo KolinkovskiyUkraine$34,935 4Kristen BicknellCanada$24,702 5Niklas AstedtSweden$18,330 6Pedro GaragnaniBrazil$14,667 7Roberto RomanelloUnited Kingdom$12,398 8Ognyan DimovBulgaria$10,539 9Tomi BroukFinland$8,739 Jamie O’Connor Takes Down Big Game Jamie O’Connor turned $530 into $41,417 by winning The Big Game. O’Connor was a guest on Leigh Wiltshire and Des Duffy’s APAT Show while he was grinding this event but chatting didn’t put him off the grind. O’Connor defeated Rui Da Silva heads-up to lock up the top prize and resign Da Silva to a $28,678 consolation prize. Two other players saw their bankrolls swell by five-figures. Fourth-place finisher Joel Nystedt scooped $13,158 with Joao Gaspar reeling in a $19,868 prize for his demise in third-place. The Big Game Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Jamie O’ConnorUnited Kingdom$79,128 2Rui Da SilvaCroatia$28,678 3Joao GasparMalta$19,868 4Joel NystedtAustria$13,158 5Dwayne SluisNetherlands$9,177 6Fahredin MustafovBulgaria$7,273 7Justin OuimetteCanada$5,843 8Joakim AnderssonSweden$4,737 9Jamie NixonUnited Kingdom$3,844 Other Highlights From partypoker LivviG – first-place in the $320 The 300 for $19,962*BeastFromDaEast – first-place in the $109 Weekender for $17,563*Andreas Puntigam – first-place in the $55 Mini Big Game for $17,155freestylee – first-place in the $111 One Shot for $13,848*youngblood – first-place in the $215 Warrior for $13,450*EZfold55 – first-place in the $55 Gladiator for $12,138* *includes bounty payments partypoker MILLIONS Online Schedule Features MEGA High Roller and $5m GTD Main Event Peter Traply Nets Sunday Super Sonic Top Prize Peter Traply Peter “Belabasci” Traply triumphed in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Supersonic and banked a cool $20,378. That only tells part of the story, however, because the Sunday Supersonic is a hyper-turbo structured tournament meaning Traply’s victory only took one-hour 13-minutes for an hourly rate of $16,750, which is nice work if you can get it! Runner-up “mindreader007” and third-place finisher “acesdesigner” were the two other finalists whose $215 swelled to a five-figure score. Second-place weighed in at $14,591 with the third-place finisher collecting $10,448. $215 Sunday Supersonic Final Table Results PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Peter “Belabasci” TraplyHungary$20,378 2mindreader007United Kingdom$14,591 3acesdesignerBrazil$10,448 4LilharmisFinland$7,481 5Michiel “utreg” BrummelhuisNetherlands$5,356 6Felipe “ultraviol3nt” OlivieriArgentina$3,835 Dutch Star Wins High Roller Sunday Supersonic “Daenarys T” from the Netherlands took down the $1,050 edition of the Sunday Supersonic and did so in a mere one hour and five-minutes. This meant their $24,032 prize was worth $22,251 per hour! There were some awesome players at the six-handed final table, including runner-up Bruno “botteonpoker” Botteon and third-place finisher Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle. The day, however, belonged to former Sunday Million champion Daenarys T. PlacePlayerCountryPrize 1Daenarys TNetherlands$24,032 2Bruno “botteonpoker” BotteonBrazil$18,451 3Benjamin “bencb789” RolleAustria$14,166 4Viktor “papan9_p$” UstimovRussia$10,876 5blackaces93Poland$8,350 6Andy “wiisssppppaa” TaylorUnited Kingdom$6,410 Other Highlights From PokerStars 13shaun – first-place in the $1,050 Sunday High Roller for $60,576Aleksei “AS Leshiy” Smirnov – first-place in the $215 Bounty Builder for $31,476*RaiseUpBlind – first-place in he $1,050 Sunday Cooldown for $29,468*yuhei33 – first-place in the $109 Bounty Builder for $29,419*Felipe “lipe piv” Boianovsky – first-place in the $215 Bounty Builder for $29,289*babecallme – first-place in the $109 Sunday Cooldown for $27,227*Black88 – first-place in the $215 Sunday Warm-Up for $17,941Artur “marathur1” Martirosian – first-place in the $1,050 Sunday Warm-Up for $17,814planty07/08 – first-place in the $109 Sunday Kickoff for $15,407Chris “ImDaNuts” Oliver – first-place in the Hotter $215 for $13,872*Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche – first-place in the $215 Fat Sunday for $11,782Christian “WATnlos” Rudolph – first-place in the $530 Sunday Marathon for $11,116 *includes bounty payments Get Ready for 107 MicroMillions Events Across Only Four Days! maestro1908 Grabs the $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep Title at 888poker The $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep had been hitting its guarantee lately but it reverted to type on February 14 when 892 players bought in to leave 888poker nursing a $10,800 overlay. “maestro1908” netted the $16,350 top prize after defeating the United Kingdom’s “needabridge” heads-up, leaving the Brit to bank $11,900. The $30,000 Sunday Challenge PKO performed much better with the 335 entrants ensuring the $30,000 guarantee was beaten by $3,500. “troms18” was the last player standing, a result that saw $6,327 head to their account. Swedish star “VnilaVader” was the tournament’s runner-up; they scooped $3,464 with bounties included. 888poker Giving Away $100,000 in 24/7 Freeroll Festival All This Month The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in Oddschecker Global Media, the parent company of PokerNews.
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When Relationships Fall Victim to Problem Gambling
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Many celebrate love, romance, and relationships during February and on Valentine’s Day. While no relationship is perfect, some endure significant hardship due to the presence of addiction, and gambling addiction is no exception. Did you know that relationship problems have been the top reported reason for seeking help by contacts to the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine for more than a decade? Contrary to social stigmas, individuals who struggle with problem gambling are not able to simply stop. Gambling addiction rewires the brain much in the same way as substance abuse, yet the symptoms are unseen, leaving loved ones unaware until the gambler hits “rock bottom.” Feelings like shame, guilt, and stress also flood these individuals and leave them hiding the consequences of problem gambling, exacerbating relationship difficulties and preventing them from seeking needed supports. Family members and other loved ones often do not know the extent of the gambler’s behaviors or debt. Over the past year, 76% of 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine contacts reported the presence of family conflict, and 52% indicated family neglect as a result of problem gambling, with some also experiencing domestic violence and abuse [1]. It is imperative to understand that for every case of problem gambling, an average of 8-10 additional people are affected — often those closest to the gambler.  Research published in the Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health found that the negative effects of their partner’s gambling problems centered on four key areas — financial loss, emotional distress, impairment of mental and physical health, and erosion of their relationship [2]. Complicating matters further, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing heightened levels of emotional distress and mental health impacts across the population, leaving those suffering from this hidden addiction even more vulnerable. HelpLine data shows that a large percentage of problem gamblers are experiencing significant anxiety (68%) and depression (67%), with more than one in five admitting to suicidal thoughts (22%) and an appreciable number (13%) reporting neurological disorders. These mental health issues understandably extend to family members and loved ones.  The good news is that help and hope can be found through the 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine for anyone in need, including loved ones. The HelpLine can also be reached by texting 321-978-0555, starting a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, emailing fccg@gamblinghelp.org, and messaging the FCCG on social media. Get connected to the resources that make a difference, including referrals to certified treatment providers! March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM), a grassroots effort to raise awareness about gambling disorder, classified by the American Psychiatric Association as a behavioral addiction, that impacts millions of Floridians who struggle directly with gambling related difficulties or are adversely affected by a loved one’s gambling problem. This year, our campaign theme is Shine the Light on Problem Gambling: Changing the Game. During this past year, the world has been forced to grapple with crippling impacts caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many Florida residents, like many Americans, are struggling given the unforeseen consequences resulting from the pandemic. For disordered gamblers and their families, the effects of the virus can exacerbate already serious financial, psychological, legal, and other problems caused by gambling. Click here to learn more about PGAM and join the movement in raising awareness about the issue of problem gambling and the help and hope available through the 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine! [1]  24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2020 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2020, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report. [2] Abbott, M., DA. Abbott, S., Boyatzis, R., V. Braun, V., EM. Chan, A., Charmaz, K., . . . Volberg, R. (1970, January 01). Impacts of gambling problems on partners: Partners’ interpretations. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/2195-3007-3-11
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2021 Australian Open: What to Watch on Tuesday Night
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Rod Laver Arena | 11 p.m. TuesdayAndrey Rublev vs. Daniil MedvedevAndrey Rubley and Daniil Medvedev secured the ATP Cup for Russia earlier this month, with neither player losing a singles match throughout. In their three meetings on the ATP Tour, Medvedev has come out on top each time, including in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in September.This may be Rublev’s chance to finally overcome his friendly rival. He has looked particularly dominant, not dropping a set throughout the tournament. His match against Casper Ruud ended after only two sets when the Norwegian withdrew with an injury. Going into the quarterfinals, Rublev has led the field in both percentage of first service points won and second service points won, a sign of how hard it has been for opponents to break his serve.Medvedev has also been playing well, aside from a chaotic, disorganized third round match against Filip Krajinovic. He has now won 18 matches in a row, with his last loss coming in October at a tournament in Vienna. Although the fast surface fits Medvedev’s flat baseline shots, Rublev’s open stance is well suited in defense, and we’re sure to see many dynamic, aggressive point.Rod Laver Arena | 3:30 a.m. WednesdayRafael Nadal vs. Stefanos TsitsipasRafael Nadal, the No. 2 seed, has moved smoothly through the first four rounds, no surprise for a player with 20 Grand Slam titles. Although Nadal won his only Australian Open title over a decade ago, he has reached the finals on four other occasions since, and is a clear favorite in his half of the draw to do so again. Nadal’s powerful topspin shots are well-suited to clay courts where he can drag opponents around with tightly angled shots. Nadal’s ability to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses with relentless pressure can break most players on their best days.Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP finals winner in 2019, is a study in unpredictability. The fifth seed has a capable all-court game, but lacks the consistency to execute match after match. The 22-year-old has worked to improve this aspect of his game, but needed five sets to push back unseeded Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round. After receiving a walkover in the round of 16, Tsitsipas will be well rested and hoping for an advantage against one of the most mentally tough players on tour.
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Partypoker adds new MyGame Whiz to Online Poker Client
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Every poker player wants to improve their game. It is quite common for poker players to use tools such as hand histories to review gameplay and try to make different decisions based on certain scenarios. At partypoker, the online poker platform has released a new tool called MyGame Whiz that allows players to improve their game and make fewer mistakes along the way. The new feature is an extension of the MyGame tool and works as a personal poker trainer. What is MyGame Whiz? New players can benefit from the MyGame Whiz tool for a number of reasons. Because the tool is a trainer, it helps to avoid common mistakes. The tool includes one-on-one communication to personalize the experience for each player. The tool studies each player’s game style, including how a hand is played. The tool has access to hand history and studies the hands of each player, not the opponent. Personal hand history is used to provide tips and suggestions on what you can do to improve your decision-making skills. Targeted messages allow you to make decisions in real time and improve your win/loss record. Each player will receive messages that are created for them specifically based on table actions. Interactive commentary is also provided as players compete to help with game moves. Choose to replay, save, and share hands as you like with this new tool. The more hands you play, the more advice you will receive. This helps to know how to strategize based on a wide range of poker hand situations. Another unique aspect to this tool is that questions can be asked to MyGame Whiz. By asking questions, you receive customized replays to help with any questions or advice needed. Creating a Poker Tutor Basically, partypoker has created a poker tutor for its members. With instant feedback, it’s like working with a real person online. The tool works for each player individually, just as a tutor would in real life. Every player can work to improve their game, no matter how skilled or experienced. The tool is specialized so it caters to your skill level. Partypoker officials pointed out that they wanted to create a tool that would give players something to use at the beginning of their poker journey to improve their game. It is particularly helpful for players who are brand-new to online poker. For new players, the tool includes report cards so you can track your progress. See what you have improved on as well as how you can make changes to improve in certain areas. If you have less time to study the game, the MyGame Whiz does the work for you. Simply review the details and you will be able to analyze your gaming and make smart decisions in the future as you play. Check out the new tool today by logging in to the partypoker client. Review your gaming and see what changes you can complete the improve each decision you make while playing in cash games and tournaments.
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Serena’s husband rips tennis administrator after win
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Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian has fired another shot at Madrid Open owner Ion Tiriac after Williams booked yet another Australian Open semi-final appearance.Williams was in imperious form in her quarter-final clash against Simona Halep, thoroughly dismantling the No.2 seed en-route to a 6-3 6-3 win at Rod Laver Arena.Watch the Australian Open with live streams of every court at 9Now. Click here to start watching!The 39-year-old has looked extremely sprightly after being forced to pull out of the French Open early last year through injury, chasing down balls defensively with the same ferocity she did earlier in her career. Williams' vintage showing so far in the Australian Open has silenced many of her critics who believed her chances of winning another Grand Slam title were slim, with Tiriac one of the more vocal critics.Williams was in untouchable form against Simona Halep in her Australian Open quarter-final clash (Getty)Following Williams' dominant display against Halep and advanced to her 40th Grand Slam semi-final, Ohanian made sure to stick the boot into Tiriac on social media."Good thing no one listens to that racist sexist (clown) Tiriac," he tweeted.The tweet wasn't the first time Ohanian had taken aim at Tiriac and called him racist and sexist, after also doing so late last year when Tiriac called out Williams' physique."At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago," Tiriac said on Romanian TV."Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire." Williams' improved lateral movement has stood out so far in her Australian Open campaign, with her agility a far cry from the version of her fans saw in Melbourne Park last year when she was hampered by ankle and Achilles issues.Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou admitted this week that her withdrawal from the French Open last year had allowed the 23-time Grand Slam winner to get out of a "vicious circle".Williams' lateral movement has been noticeably improved after she had been hampered by injuries (Getty)"We've been struggling those last years because she had a lot of injuries, so she was not able to practice the way we wanted," he said."It's a bit of a vicious circle because when you can't practice well, you don't get fit. When you're not fit, you get more injured. We had to get out of this vicious circle."In Roland Garros she had an injury that could get really worse, and that would have been extremely bad. That was definitely the right decision to stop, to heal, and to start working hard because she was able after that to do the necessary work in order to get fit."Now we're more in a virtuous circle than a vicious one. You have to start that virtuous circle by being fit, then everything goes better."For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
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European Golden Shoe 2020/21: Messi on the leaderboard but Lewandowski scores again
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Lionel Messi scored two goals of the highest quality in La Liga this weekend to take his tally to 15 for the season.Both of the Argentine's goals were scored from outside the box in superb fashion, as he helped Barcelona on their way to a 5-1 win against Alaves.Messi may now make our leaderboard, but he is still some way off reaching the runaway leader, Robert Lewandowski.The Bayern striker scored again on Monday in the German side's rearranged Bundesliga match versus Arminia Bielefeld which was moved due to their Club World Cup exploits over the weekend.Lewandowski now has 25 goals and 50 points.His nearest rival for the Golden Shoe is fellow Bundesliga striker Andre Silva, who has now scored 18 for the season.Liverpool may have lost against Leicester, but Mohamed Salah still scored a lovely goal to take his tally to 17.Georgios Giakoumakis of Venlo has scored an impressive 22 goals and is the highest player on our list who doesn't feature within one of Europe's top five leagues.A talented group on 16 goals for the campaign includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Romelu Lukaku, and Luis Suarez.2020/21 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE STANDINGS 2020/21 European Golden ShoeA reminder: The five elite leagues - Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 - all carry a weighting of 2, meaning that a player will be awarded two points for every goal they score in these competitions. For the leagues ranked sixth to 30 in Uefa's coefficients rankings goals scored are given a weighting of 1.5, and goals scored in a league outwith the top 30, goals are given a weighting of 1. Ciro Immobile won the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, scoring 36 goals for Lazio in a tremendous Serie A season. 2020/21 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE (Summer Leagues) 2020 European Golden ShoePlayerTeamGoalsPointsKasper JunkerBomo/Glimt2740.5Amahl PellegrinoKristiansund2537.5Philip ZinckernagelBodo/Glimt1928.5Christoffer NymanNorrköping1827Rauno SappinenFlora Tallinn2626Veton BerishaViking1624Astrit SelmaniVerbergs1522.5Mushaga BakengaOdds BK1522.5Moses OgbuMjallby1421Anders ChristiansenMalmo1319.5Leke JamesMolde1219.5Maksim SkavyshBATE Borisov1919This is the 2020/21 European Golden Shoe race. If you want to see the final standing for the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, follow this link. .
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Criticisms of Michael Slepian’s Stanford study on poker tells and hand movements (published 2015)
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Some places the study was featured. The following is reposted from a 2015 piece I wrote for Bluff magazine. It was originally located at this URL but has become unavailable due to Bluff going out of business. I saw this study mentioned recently in Maria Konnikova’s book ‘The Biggest Bluff’ and was reminded about this piece and noticed it was offline, so I wanted to share it again. A few notes on this piece: The original title below and was more negative-sounding than I liked; Bluff chose it. Also, if I could rewrite this piece now, I’d probably choose less negative-sounding phrasing in some places.  Regardless of the exact factors that might be at work in the found correlation, I realize it’s scientifically interesting that a significant correlation was found. But I also think it’s possible to draw simplistic and wrong conclusions from the study, and my piece hopefully gives more context about the factors that might be at work. Image on left taken from Michael Slepian’s media page. The Slepian Study on Betting Motions Doesn’t Pass Muster A 2013 study¹ conducted at Stanford University by graduate student Michael Slepian and associates found a correlation between the “smoothness” of a betting motion and the strength of the bettor’s hand. In a nutshell, there was a positive correlation found between betting motions perceived as “smooth” and “confident” and strong hands. The quality of the betting motions was judged by having experiment participants watch short clips of players making bets (taken from the 2009 WSOP Main Event) and estimate the hand strength of those bets. This experiment has gotten a lot of press over the last couple years. I first heard about it on NPR. Since, I’ve seen it referenced in poker blogs and articles and in a few mainstream news articles. I still occasionally hear people talk about it at the table when I play. I’ve had friends and family members reference it and send me links to it. It’s kind of weird how much attention it received, considering the tons of interesting studies that are constantly being done, but I guess it can be chalked up to the mystique and “sexiness” of poker tells. The article had more than casual interest for me. I’m a former professional poker player and the author of two books on poker behavior: Reading Poker Tells and Verbal Poker Tells. I’ve been asked quite a few times about my opinion on this study, and I’ve been meaning to look at the study more closely and write up my thoughts for a while. In this article, I’ll give some criticisms of the study and some suggestions for how this study (and similar studies) could be done better. This isn’t to denigrate the work of the experiment’s designers. I think this is an interesting study, and I hope it will encourage similar studies using poker as a means to study human behavior. But I do think it was flawed in a few ways, and it could be improved in many ways. That’s not to say that I think their conclusion is wrong; in fact, in my own experience, I think their conclusion is correct. I do, however, think it’s a very weak general correlation and will only be practically useful if you have a player-specific behavioral baseline. My main point is that this study is not enough, on its own, to cause us to be confident about the conclusion. I’ll give a few reasons for why I think the study is flawed, but the primary underlying reason is a common one for studies involving poker: the study’s organizers just don’t know enough about how poker works. I’ve read about several experiments involving poker where the organizers were very ignorant about some basic aspects of poker, and this affected the way the tests were set up and the conclusions that were reached (and this probably applies not just to poker-related studies but to many studies that involve an activity that requires a lot of experience to understand well). Poker can seem deceptively simple to people first learning it, and even to people who have played it for decades. Many bad players lose money at poker while believing that they’re good, or even great players. In the same way, experiment designers may falsely believe they understand the factors involved in a poker hand, while being far off the mark. Here are the flaws, as I see them, in this study: 1. The experimenters refer to all WSOP entrants as ‘professional poker players.’ This first mistake wouldn’t directly affect the experiment, but it does point to a basic misunderstanding of poker and the World Series of Poker, which might indirectly affect other aspects of the experiment and its conclusions. Here are a couple examples of this from the study: The World Series of Poker (WSOP), originating in 1970, brings together professional poker players every year (from the study’s supplemental materials) These findings are notable because the players in the stimulus clips were highly expert professionals competing in the high-stakes WSOP tournament. The WSOP Main Event is open to anyone and most entrants are far from being professional poker players. Categorizing someone’s poker skill can be difficult and subjective, but Kevin Mathers, a long-time poker industry worker, estimates that only 20% of WSOP Main Event entrants are professional (or professional-level) players. This also weakens the conclusion that the results are impressive due to the players analyzed being professional-level. While the correlation found in this experiment is still interesting, it is somewhat expected that amateur players would have behavioral inconsistencies. I’d be confident in predicting that a similar study done on only video clips of bets made by professional poker players would not find such a clear correlation. 2. Hand strength is based on comparing players’ hands This is a line from the study that explains their methodology for categorizing a player’s hand as ‘weak’ or ‘strong’: Each player’s objective likelihood of winning during the bet was known (WSOP displays these statistics on-screen; however, we kept this information from participants by obscuring part of the screen). They relied on the on-screen percentage graphics, which are displayed beside a player’s hand graphics in the broadcast. These graphics show the likelihood of a player’s hand winning; it does this by comparing it to the other players’ known hands. This makes it an illogical way to categorize whether a player believes he is betting a weak or strong hand. If this isn’t clear, here’s a quick example to make my point: A player has QQ and makes an all-in bet on a turn board of Q-10-10-8. Most people would say that this player has a strong hand and has every reason to believe he has a strong hand. But, if his opponent had 10-10, the player with Q-Q would have a 2.27% chance of winning with one card to come. According to this methodology, the player with the Q-Q would be judged as having a weak hand; if the test participants categorized that bet as representing a strong hand, they would be wrong. It’s not stated in the study or the supplemental materials if the experimenters accounted for such obvious cases of how using the percentage graphics might skew the results. It’s also not stated how the experimenters would handle river (last-round) bets, when one hand has a 100 percent winning percentage and the losing hand has 0 percent (the only exception would be a tie). It’s admittedly difficult to come up with hard-and-fast rules for categorizing hand strength for the purposes of such an experiment. As someone who has thought more than most about this problem, for the purpose of analyzing and categorizing poker tells, I know it’s a difficult task. But using the known percentages of one hand beating another known hand is clearly a flawed approach. The optimal approach would probably be to come up with a system that pits a poker hand against a logical hand range, considering the situation, or even a random hand range, and uses that percentage-of-winning to rank the player’s hand strength. If this resulted in too much hand-strength ambiguity, the experiment designers could throw out all hands where the hand strength fell within a certain medium-strength range. Such an approach would make it more likely that only strong hand bets and weak hand bets were being used and, equally important for an experiment like this, that the player believed he or she was betting either a strong or weak hand. 3. Situational factors were not used to categorize betting motions When considering poker-related behavior, situations are very important. A small continuation-bet on the flop is different in many ways from an all-in bet on the river. One way they are different: a small bet is unlikely to cause stress in the bettor, even if the bettor has a weak hand. Also, a player making a bet on an early round has a chance for improving his hand; whereas a player betting on the river has no chance to improve his hand. When a player bets on the river, he will almost always know whether he is bluffing or value-betting; this is often not the case on earlier rounds, when hand strength is more ambiguous and undefined. This experiment had no system for selecting the bets they chose for inclusion in the study. The usability of the clips was apparently based only on whether the clip meant certain visual needs of the experiment: i.e., did the footage show the entirety of the betting action and did it show the required amount of the bettor’s body? From the study: Research assistants, blind to experimental hypotheses, extracted each usable video in each installment, and in total extracted 22 videos (a standard number of stimuli for such studies; Ambady & Rosenthal, 1993) for Study 2 in the main text. Study 1 videos required a single player be in the frame from the chest-up, allowing for whole-body, face-only, and arms-only videos to be created by cropping the videos. These videos were therefore more rare, and the research assistants only acquired 20 such videos. The fact that clips were chosen only based on what they showed is not necessarily a problem. If a hand can be accurately categorized as strong or weak, then it doesn’t necessarily matter when during a hand it occurred. If there is a correlation between perceived betting motion quality and hand strength, then it will probably make itself known no matter the context of the bet. Choosing bets only from specific situations would have made the experiment stronger and probably would have led to more definite conclusions. It could also help address the problem of categorizing hand strength. For example, if the experiment designers had only considered bets above a certain size that had occurred on the river (when all cards are out and there are no draws or semi-bluffs to be made), then that would result in polarized hand strengths (i.e., these bets would be very likely to be made with either strong or weak hands). Also, the experiment’s method for picking clips sounds like it could theoretically result in all strong-hand bets being picked, or all weak-hand bets being picked. There is nothing in the experiment description that requires a certain amount of weak hands or strong hands. This is not in itself bad, but could affect the experiment in unforeseen ways. For example, if most of the betting motion clips chosen were taken from players betting strong hands (which would not be surprising, as most significant bets, especially post-flop, are for value), then this could introduce some unforeseen bias into the experiment. One way this might happen: when a video clip shows only the betting motion (and not, for example, the bettor’s entire torso or just the face, as were shown to some study groups), this focus might emphasize the bet in the viewer’s mind and make the bet seem stronger. And if most of the hands-only betting clips were of strong-hand bets (and I have no idea how many were), the study participants watching only the hand-motion betting clips would falsely appear to be making good guesses. My main point here is that thinking about the situational factors of a betting motion, and incorporating that into the experiment in some way, would have resulted in less ambiguity about the results. (It appears that it was difficult to find usable clips from a single WSOP event; in that case, the experimenters could just add footage from another WSOP Main Event to the study.) 4. The number of chips bet was not taken into account The experiment designers did not take into account the chips that were bet. In their words: During betting, each player pushes poker chips into the center of the table. Each chip has a specific color, which indicates a specific value. These values range from $25 to $100,000. This range of chip values has a crucial consequence for the current work. The number of chips does not correlate with the quality of the hand (see Table 1A in the main text). Players could move a stack of 20 chips into the center of the table, and this could be worth $500 or $2,000,000 (the winner of the 2009 WSOP won $8,547,042, thus the latter bet magnitude is a bet that can be made in the WSOP). Because no participants were professional poker players, nor considered themselves poker experts, they were not aware of chip values. They could not, then, use the number of chips as a valid cue to judge poker hand quality. It’s true that your average person would not know what the chip colors at the WSOP Main Event mean. But it seems naïve to think that seeing the chips being bet couldn’t possibly have an effect on the experiment. For one thing, the number of chips being bet could bias a participant to think a bet was stronger or weaker, whether correctly or incorrectly. What if all the strong-hand bets in the study were also bets that involved a lot of chips? (This is not implausible because smaller bets with weak hands are common early in a hand, when bets are small, whereas larger bets later in the hand are more likely to represent strong hands.) And what if some of the study participants were able to deduce (consciously or unconsciously) the strength of the bet from the number of chips? Also, it’s possible that some of the test participants were knowledgeable (consciously or not) about some WSOP chip colors and what their denominations were. Or they were able to deduce (consciously or not), from the arrangement and number of chips, what the chip values were. (For example, large denomination chips are generally required to be kept at the front of a player’s stack.) Again, this could have been addressed by selecting bets taken only from specific situations and only of certain bet sizes. If all bets chosen were above a certain bet size, and this was communicated to the study participants, then this would have lessened the impact of the chips being able to be seen. 5. Quality of “smoothness” was subjective The experiment was based on the perceptions of study participants watching the assembled video clips. It was not based on objective measurements of what constitutes “smoothness” of a betting motion. This was a known issue in the experiment: Thus, both player confidence and smoothness judgments significantly predicted likelihoods of winning, which suggests that movement smoothness might be a valid cue for assessing poker hand quality. It is unknown, however, how participants interpreted “smoothness” or whether the players’ movements that participants rated as smooth were truly smoother than other players’ movements. Other physical factors, such as speed, likely played a role. This is not a major criticism; I think using perception is a fine way to find a correlation, especially for a preliminary study. But I think it does mean that we have no reason to be confident in the idea that smoothness of betting motion is correlated with hand strength. If there is are correlations between betting motion and hand strength (which I believe there are), these could be due to other aspects of arm motion or hand motion, such as: the betting speed, the position of the hands, the height of the hand, or other, more obscure, factors. In summary Again, I don’t mean to denigrate the experiment designers and the work they’ve done. I think this was an interesting experiment, and I think it’s probable the correlation they noticed exists (however weak the correlation may be). Also, as someone who is very interested in poker behavior, I’d love to see similar studies be done. My main goal in writing these criticisms and suggestions was to emphasize that poker is complex, as is poker behavior. There are many behavioral factors in a seemingly simple hand of poker and taking these factors into account can make an experiment stronger and the results more conclusive. Patricia Cardner, PhD, EdD, is a poker player and the author of Positive Poker, a book about the psychological characteristics of professional poker players. She had this to say about poker’s use in scientific studies: “While researchers often have the best of intentions, it is difficult for them to fully understand the nuances of poker. Researchers who reach out to poker players for help can make more informed decisions about the research areas they choose to pursue, increase reliability and validity, and improve the overall quality of their results and conclusions.” ¹: Slepian, M.L., Young, S.G., Rutchick, A.M. & Ambady, N. Quality of Professional Players’ Poker Hands Is Perceived Accurately From Arm Motions. Psychological Science (2013) 24(11) 2335–2338. Related
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Get Ready for 107 MicroMillions Events Across Only Four Days!
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February 11 2021 Matthew Pitt MicroMillions returns to PokerStars from February 11 but does so with a twist. PokerStars has named the festival MicroMillions Marathon and you’re about to discover why the new name is so fitting. MicroMillions Marathon takes place at PokerStars from February 11 through February 14, a period of only four days. Despite the short runtime, the festival boasts of a schedule featuring 107 tournaments and combined guaranteed prize pools weighing in at $3 million! It truly is a marathon series. There’s a new MicroMillions Marathon tournament starting every half hour throughout almost all the series. The first tournament, a $3.30 buy-in 3-Stack Turbo 6-Max with $5,000 guaranteed, shuffles up and deal at 7:04 a.m. ET (12:04 p.m. GMT) on February 11. Another 24 micro-stakes tournaments are schedule that day! It is a similar story on February 12 when another 25 MicroMillions Marathon tournaments run throughout the day. What better way to spend a Friday than by grinding more than two dozen tournaments from the comfort of your own home? The weekend sees the remaining 57 events take place, including a massive $1 million guaranteed MicroMillions Marathon PKO Main Event costing only $22 on February 14. “shkolota148” Turns $50 Into $116K and 50/50 Series Main Event Title Sign Up to PokerStars Today You’ll obviously need a PokerStars account if you want to compete in any of the 107 MicroMillions Marathon events. If you don’t have an account, download PokerStars via PokerNews to get your hands on a lucrative welcome bonus worth up to£400. Create your free PokerStars account, make a deposit using the bonus code "200PERCENT" and PokerStars matches your deposit 200 percent up to £400. In fact, your first three deposits in the first 60-days after creating your account are matched up to a combined £400. You then have four months to release as much of this bonus as you can by playing real money poker, including cash games, tournaments, and even Spin & Go tournaments. Full 107-Event MicroMillions Marathon Schedule DateTime (ET)EventGuarantee Thu 11 Feb07:04001: $3.30 3-Stack, Turbo (6-max)$5,000  08:04002: $1.10 PKO, Hyper-Turbo (4-max)$3,500  09:04003: $5.50 NLHE$12,500  09:34004: $1.10 PLO (8-max)$3,500  10:04005: $3.30 PKO Zoom, Turbo (6-max)$10,000  10:34006 $5.50 Heads-Up, Total PKO, Hyper-Turbo$5,000  11:04007: $3.30 NLHE$12,500  11:34008: $1.10 PKO, Turbo (8-max)$8,000  12:04009: $3.30 Win The Button$12,500  12:34010: $5.50 PLO, Turbo (6-max)$8,000  13:04011: $11 (8-max)$80,000  13:34012 $3.30 PKO$40,000  14:04013: $5.50 NLHE$35,000  14:34014: $1.10+R, Hyper-Turbo (8-max)$40,000  15:04015: $3.30 PLO-H/L, PKO, Turbo (8-max)$10,000  15:34016: $5.50 PKO, Turbo$40,000  16:04017: $1.10 NLHE$8,000  16:34018: $5.50 Limit 8-Game (6-max)$3,500  17:04019: $1.10 NLHE (6-max)$5,000  17:34020: $3.30 Hyper-Turbo, Bubble Rush (8-max)$12,500  18:04021: $5.50 PKO (8-max)$20,000  18:34022: $3.30 NLHE$15,000  19:04023: $1.10 PKO$7,500  19:34024: $3.30 4-max, Turbo, Shootout$3,500  20:04025: $1.10 Big PKO, Turbo$3,500 Fri 12 Feb07:04026: $1.10 Zoom, Turbo (8-max)$3,000  08:04027: $3.30 PKO, Turbo (6-max)$10,000  09:04028: $1.10 NLHE (6-max)$5,000  09:34029: $5.50 NLHE$10,000  10:04030: $1.10 NLHE$8,000  10:34031: $3.30 NLHE (8-max)$10,000  11:04032: $5.50 PKO, Turbo (8-max)$35,000  11:34033: $1.10 PKO, Hyper-Turbo, Zoom$10,000  12:04034: $3.30 NLHE (8-max)$30,000  12:34035: $5.50 NLO, Turbo (6-max)$12,500  13:04036: $3.30 PKO$20,000  13:34037: $11 PKO (8-max)$100,000  14:04038 $5.50 NLHE$40,000  14:34039: $3.30+R, Hyper-Turbo (8-max)$40,000  15:04040: $5.50 PKO, Turbo, Zoom (8-max)$50,000  15:34041: $1.10 PKO$10,000  16:04042: $3.30 6+ Hold’em (6-max)$7,500  16:34043: $5.50 (8-max)$15,000  17:04044: $1.10 PKO, Turbo, Win the Button$5,000  17:34045: $3.30 PKO, Turbo$20,000  18:04046: $1.10 Omaha H/L, PKO (8-max)$3,500  18:34047 $5.50 PKO, Hyper-Turbo, Bubble Rush$10,000  19:04048 $1.10 Turbo (6-max)$5,000  19:34049: $3.30 Deep Stacks, Hyper-Turbo$5,000  20:04050: $1.10 Hyper Turbo$3,500 Micro Stakes Poker Strategy: How to Beat the Games Online DateTime (ET)EventGuarantee Sat 13 Feb06:04051: $5.50 PKO, Turbo (7-max)$8,000  07:04052 $3.30 NLHE (8-max)$5,000  08:04053: $1.10 NLHE$5,000  08:34054: $3.30 PKO$10,000  09:04055: $1.10 Hyper-Turbo (6-max)$5,000  09:34056: $5.50 PKO (8-max)$12,500  10:04057: $1.10 NLHE$5,000  10:34058: $3.30 PL Fusion (6-max)$3,500  11:04059: $5.50 PKO, Turbo (7-max)$20,000  11:34060: $1.10 NLHE$7,500  12:04061: $3.30 PLO, PKO (6-max)$5,000  12:34062: $9.80 Big PKO (8-max)$125,000  13:04063: $3.30 NLHE$40,000  13:34064: $1.10+R Splash (8-max)$50,000  14:04065: $5.50 PKO$40,000  14:34066: $3.30 Turbo (7-max)$35,000  15:04067: $1.10 NLHE (8-max)$10,000  15:34068: $5.50 NL Omaha H/L, PKO (6-max)$12,500  16:04069: $3.30 Heads-Up, Total PKO, Turbo, Zoom$10,000  16:34070: $1.10 Win the Button (4-max)$7,500  17:04071: $3.30 NL 6+ Hold’em, PK (6-max)$7,500  17:34072: $5.50 Hyper-Turbo, Bubble Rush (8-max)$5,000  18:04073: $1.10 Turbo (7-max)$3,500  18:34074: $5.50 PKO$10,000  19:04075: $3.30 NLHE$7,500  19:34076: $5.50 Big PKO, Hyper-Turbo (6-max)$5,000  20:04077: $1.10 Turbo (6-max)$3,500 Sun 14 Feb06:04078: $1.10 Total PKO, Turbo (6-max)$3,500  06:34079: $3.30 Zoom (8-max)$10,000  07:04080: $5.50 PKO, Turbo (8-max)$25,000  07:34081: $3.30 Big PKO$10,000  08:04082: $1.10 PKO, Deep Stacks, Hyper-Turbo (8-max)$5,000  08:34083: $5.50 NLHE$15,000  09:04084: $1.10 NLHE$5,000  09:34085: $3.30 PKO, Turbo$15,000  10:04086: $5.50 Win the Button (8-max)$10,000  10:34087: $1.10 NL Omaha (6-max)$3,500  11:04088: $3.30 NLHE$15,000  11:34089: $5.50 NLHE$25,000  12:04090: $1.10 Turbo (8-max)$15,000  12:34091: $5.50 PKO$60,000  13:04092: $3.30 (6-max)$40,000  13:34093: $22 Main Event, PKO$1,000,000  14:04094 $5.50 PKO (8-max)$75,000  14:34095: $11 NLHE$100,000  15:04096: $3.30 PKO$60,000  15:34097: $5.50 Turbo (8-max)$50,000  16:04098: $1.10 PKO$20,000  16:34099: $3.30 Limit Horse (6-max)$7,500  17:04100: $1.10 NLHE$5,000  17:34101: $5.50 6+ Hold’em (6-max)$15,000  18:04102: $3.30 Total PKO, Turbo (8-max)$20,000  18:34103: $5.50 PL Omaha H/L, PKO (6-max)$12,500  19:04104: $1.10 Hyper-Turbo, Bubble Rush (8-max)$7,500  19:34105: $3.30 NLHE (8-max)$20,000  20:04106: $5.50 Turbo$30,000  20:30107: $1.10 Turbo (8-max)$10,000 The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in Oddschecker Global Media, the parent company of PokerNews
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‘It’s been a long process’: T-Wolves’ Towns returns from COVID vs. Clippers
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Kawhi Leonard had a season-high 36 points and Lou Williams added 27 points off the bench as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated Minnesota 119-112 on Wednesday night and spoiled the return of Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns. Leonard and Williams hit shots down the stretch, including a pair of late 3-pointers by Leonard, to thwart Minnesota's comeback try. Los Angeles snapped its first two-game losing streak of the season. After trailing by six at halftime, the Clippers outscored Minnesota 33-20 in the third quarter as Los Angeles pulled away. "We kind of turned it up in that second quarter and third quarter," Leonard said. "We needed a better fourth quarter, but I'm happy we got the win." Towns had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his return to action after missing 13 games. Towns announced on Jan. 15 that he tested positive for COVID-19 and remained on the league's health and safety protocol list until Wednesday, when coach Ryan Saunders said Towns was a game-time decision. "I thought he competed," Saunders said. "His wind was good; 18 and 10 coming back from a layoff like he did was a good night for him." Towns detailed his bout with COVID in his postgame comments, noting that underlying conditions made his battle with the virus especially tough. His mother, Jacqueline, died from virus complications last April. "I'm a high-risk case. COVID did not treat me well whatsoever," Towns said. ``A lot of scary nights. My dad called me 24/7.'' Wednesday was Towns' first game in nearly a month. He last played on Jan. 13. "I was just smiling on the court, even when it got to the end, because I was just so proud of myself to get to this point," Towns said. "It's been a long process." Naz Reid led Minnesota with 23 points off the bench, and Malik Beasley added 21. The Timberwolves have lost three in a row and eight of 10. Minnesota led by as many as 13 points in the first half before watching its lead disappear. The Timberwolves' bench built up the first-half lead behind strong efforts from Jaylen Nowell and rookie Jaden McDaniels. Trailing at the half, the Clippers used an 11-3 run to take the lead early in the third quarter. Leonard scored 10 of Los Angeles' 33 points in the third and the Clippers carried an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter. "There's a reason they're the best third-quarter team in the league," Saunders said. "They came out and they played like a team that's a championship contender.'' Patrick Beverley returned for the Clippers following an eight-game absence with a right knee injury. Beverley started Wednesday's game and finished with six points The Clippers welcomed back Beverley's vocal leadership on the court, something they missed while he was out. "It was good seeing Pat back out there," Lue said. "He's our emotional leader. Just seeing how hard he plays every night and competes, we needed that." While Towns was back for the Wolves, guard D'Angelo Russell remained sidelined with left leg soreness. Towns and Russell have played just five games together since Minnesota acquired Russell in a trade on Feb. 6, 2020. Russell remains day-to-day. TIP-INS Clippers: Paul George missed his third straight game with a swollen right toe. George is second on the Clippers in scoring this year, averaging 24.4 points. ... Williams' 27 points were a season high. Timberwolves: McDaniels had four blocks in the first half, a career high. Reid posted his fourth career 20-point game and third of the season. UP NEXT Clippers: Los Angeles concludes its short trip Friday with a game in Chicago. The Clippers will be without Paul George again in Friday's game. Timberwolves: Minnesota heads on the road to take on Charlotte on Friday. It's the first of two meetings the Wolves have with the Hornets.
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