Articles by Jaime Aguirre


CHUCK – I really like the concept of your “chalet casino”. It’s a welcome change from all the boisterous, vegas-style casinos on the Net. What led you to this concept?

GINO – Well, we wanted to create an atmosphere that gave a slightly more elegant feel for our players. Part of the appeal of the Internet is that it can take you to a whole new world without ever leaving your home.

When did Alps first open for business?

May 1999.

I know you offer comps and incentives. Tell us about them.

Part of our goal with Alps was to provide more than just a casino, we wanted to make a gameroom where people can play for fun, money or just hang out. To accomplish this we offer the standard casino incentives such as a 10% sign up bonus and a 10% referral bonus for referring a friend who signs up. We also have a sweepstakes available to anyone who wishes to enter, whether they have an Alps account or not. In addition, we have implemented a chat feature so that players can chat live with others at Alps.

Why did you decide to offer no-download JAVA games instead of download games? Any plans to offer download games in future?

Each type of game has its pros and cons. We wanted to make Alps as accessible as possible to surfers. A Java applet will load on the average in just under a minute. A download 789 package can take hours. Also, Java games mean that when people play, they are actually present at the website . This makes things like the chat feature possible. Right now, Alps is doing very well and we would rather expand on what we have going instead of heading off in another direction.

What games …

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Here are a few items that made the news over the past week.

From the ‘watch where you bet’ files: A U.S. teenager has agreed to return some of the $900,000 he allegedly made running an online sports betting scam.

Federal securities regulators in the States believe the 17-year-old bilked investors of more than $1 million through his Invest Better 2001 web site and bulletin board.

The teen promised risk-free investments for people who gave him their savings, and guaranteed returns of 125 percent to 2,500 percent. This money was then bet on sporting events through a Costa Rican sports betting site.

Down in the South Pacific, Vanuatu Internet Data Centre has announced that it will be launching a Sammy Davis Jr.-branded online casino.

Davis, who was a member of the legendary Rat Pack, died in 1990 but his wife signed a licensing agreement with marketers The LaRoda Group and Gaming & Entertainment Technology Inc. that allows them to use his likeness for the site.

The casino is expected to open in March. U.S. residents will not be able to make real-money bets, but will be able to collect points redeemable for Sammy Davis Jr. memorabilia.

The big news of the past week was William Hill’s decision to block Judi Slot Online customers from making bets on its sportsbook after January 31.

The company has said that it will no longer be taking sports bets from America because of the 1961 Wire Act’s ban on placing these types of wagers over telephone lines.

U.S. players will be able to withdraw money from their accounts after January 31 but will not be able to place bets or deposit money. They will, however, still be able to make bets at the William Hill online casino. Bettors in other parts of the world …

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Citibank, the largest credit card issuer in the U.S., has agreed to block all online gambling transactions that use its credit cards.

The agreement, announced by the bank and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, applies to all Internet gambling transactions – not just those in New York – and goes into effect in 60 days.

“Americans now waste $4 billion a year on this pernicious form of gambling,” Spitzer said, as quoted in an Associated Press report. “With this agreement, we will cut off an enormous line of credit that was a jackpot for illegal offshore casinos.”

Citibank controls about 12 percent of the nation’s credit card market. Bank of America, MBNA and Chase Manhattan Bank have also begun blocking the gambling transactions.

“Citibank agreed to take these steps to help alleviate concerns raised by the attorney general about the impact that gambling on credit may have on New York residents,” said Citibank spokeswoman Maria Mendler.

Credit cards are only one of several methods players use to buy credits at online casinos.

KAHNAWAKE, Canada — King Neptune’s Casino recently celebrated the 225th anniversary of the American flag by donating a percentage of its proceeds to one of America’s newest patriotic endeavors – a September 11th relief fund.

The Casino wanted to commemorate Flag Day, which was celebrated on June 14, by helping those Americans who were affected by last year’s attacks.

“Flag Day celebrates the ultimate expression of freedom, the American flag,” said King Neptune’s spokesperson Scott Gaines. “It’s the perfect holiday to show our support for the values that America was founded upon.”

To raise the money, the Slot Online Casino held a two-day “Flag Day Charity Challenge” during which $5 of every $100 purchase was donated to one of the September 11th funds. King Neptune’s management was …

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To Ram Vaswani, it’s not the size of the bet that counts. “It’s proper play,” he insists, “and with that, the money doesn’t affect me at all.”


Actually, there’s nothing that seems to affect Ram Vaswani, least of all the trappings that accompany his role as a poker celebrity. I caught up with Ram at the Four Queens, between tournaments and promotional gigs for The Hendon Mob, where he was candid and optimistic about life and the game of tournament poker. Although Ram’s poker accomplishments already read like a decent career, he quietly talks as if he’s just getting started. And you can believe him.


Ram didn’t start out as a professional poker player, but he was never that far away. Growing up in Finchley, London, he tells the story of a card game he played in at school from which he would use the money he won to buy sweets. One day the boys were banned from playing for money, so Ram had all the players go out and buy sweets to bring to the game, and after that, they played cards for the sweets. The school couldn’t ban a game for sweets.



Vaswani played snooker from an early age, bunking off school when he was 14 and 15 to make money playing for tenners and twenties. He turned professional at 19, when, he said, he was “good enough to make a living, but not good enough to be at the very top of the game.” When asked if he’d ever hit a century, though, Ram was incredulous, modest about his talent until pressed. “One forty-seven, mate! I once had three centuries in a match!”


And if it all comes down to skill and talent, you have to like …

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For the first time since the start of November, Barcelona are on top of La Liga, though only by a point,after mauling Rayo Vallecano 6:1 at the Camp Nou. Real Madrid lost 1:0 at Athletic Bilbao and with only two wins in five league games, paid for their recent ropy form this weekend.


Aritz Aduriz headed Athletic into a 26th minute lead from Mikel Rico’s cross and the Basques survived a second-half Real fightback to dethrone the leaders on Saturday.


Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo were denied but Gareth Bale almost scored the goal of the season seven minutes from time when his shot from within his own half beat the goalkeeper but cannoned off the left-hand post.


Real can point to their injury list as excuses – particularly the lack of midfield creators Luka Modric and James Rodriguez, but boss Carlo Ancelotti will shoulder the blame in the coming week for surrendering their perch on top of the league.


Barça got a lucky break when Lionel Messi’s 56th minute penalty was ordered to be retaken for encroachment after his initial effort had been saved, though the blaugrana did lose Daniel Alves to a straight red card ten minutes from time.


Messi bagged another hat-trick, his 32nd for his club and a Spanish football record, to take his goals to 30 for the season, level with Cristiano Ronaldo. Luis Suarez scored a brace to take his tally to seven, while Neymar netted to take him to 15.


87,151 watched the one-sided contest, the Camp Nou’s biggest crowd this campaign.


Atletico Madrid drew 1:1 at home to Valencia to sit six points behind Real in third. Los Colchoneros led through Koke’s 33rd minute opener but failed to net a second and had their lead …

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Their names tripped off the tongue together for so long it’s a strange feeling to think Mark Viduka is relaxing into unofficial retirement while Harry Kewell’s career is undergoing a perfectly timed renaissance for club and country.


Viduka has not played for the Socceroos since 2007 and decided against keeping his European career going after his contract with Newcastle United ended almost a year ago. He’s since divided his time between Croatia and Melbourne, and has given no indication of wanting to ever play again.


Meanwhile, Kewell’s past 18 months in Turkey with Galatasaray could hardly have gone any more to plan.


In blazing contrast to his unhappy five-year spell at Togel Hongkong boyhood idols Liverpool, the 31-year-old’s fitness has rarely been called into question, he is adored by the Gala supporters and has the confidence of coach Frank Rijkaard.


The golden boy of Australian soccer has come a long way since gambling on a move to the Turkish capital in 2008.


Kewell’s burgeoning reputation in England was ruined on Merseyside. Nobody there recalls the Leeds United teenager who tore right-backs to shreds and snubbed Manchester United’s interest to move to Anfield.


The Aussie winger is principally remembered for hobbling off midway through the first-half of the 2005 Champions League final in, all of places, Istanbul, jeered and heckled by his own supporters as he succumbed to another groin injury while Liverpool were being batted by rampant Milan.


Kewell was also substituted in the FA Cup final in 2006 with the same ailment, with those episodes and others leading Liverpool fans to conclude their £5 million signing was damaged goods and needed shipping out.


However, Kewell’s improved fitness record since leaving England for Turkey has seriously undermined that opinion with …

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In the same week that we saw for the first time an all-English top flight match kick off with no English players or coaches involved (Portsmouth v Arsenal), the jewel in the crown of the mother of football’s competitions performed its most traditionally exciting day with a whimper.


The Fratton Park clash surely dispels for good any arguments that England has a problem with youth development, while the decline of the FA Cup, alive and kicking since 1872, is equally depressing. The Cup’s 3rd Round, which traditionally takes place soon after New Year, is the stage where the big boys enter, which can make for mouth-watering David v Goliath clashes.


There were no shocks this year, another sign of the financial Data HK chasm between the Premier League and the rest, but the sight of half-empty stadia was glaring enough for the presenters of the competition’s biggest cheerleaders, ITV, to debate it on air just as they launched their station’s coverage with expensive graphics and a slew of advertising. Only 12,474 paid to watch megabucks Man City’s visit to Middlesbrough, while a thousand less attended Premier League Portsmouth’s tie with Coventry City. Premier League Wigan’s clash with Premier League Hull drew barely 5,000 paying spectators. This cup is half-empty.


When I was growing up in the 1970s and ’80s the FA Cup was as prestigious a trophy as the League Championship, a uniquely English prize which set it apart from the rest of UEFA’s member nations’ cup competitions.


Cup Final Day was the most exciting day of the football season, a Superbowl for England accompanied by ubiquitous fascination and a prize as glittering, if not more so, than winning the league itself in the eyes of fans. The minnows who raised the Cup or …

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Defending champions Gamba Osaka will meet Nagoya Grampus in the 2009 Emperor’s Cup final, after the duo conjured nervy wins in a pair of tense semi-finals on December 29.


Just over 25,000 fans turned out at the National Stadium in Tokyo as Gamba’s veteran Brazilian striker Lucas Severino gave the Kansai side an early lead against outsiders Vegalta Sendai.


The underdogs hit back through Takayuki Nakahara’s strike just before the hour mark, however the reliable Lucas notched again soon after, as Bandar Poker Qq Akira Nishino’s battle-hardened Gamba moved into another showpiece final.


Only a penalty shoot-out could separate Shimizu S-Pulse and Nagoya Grampus in front of just under 20,000 fans in the day’s earlier fixture at Ecopa Stadium in Fukuroi, as Dragan Stojkovic’s gritty Nagoya outfit prevailed following a 1-1 draw.


Japan international Shinji Okazaki opened the scoring for Shimizu, however Nagoya hit back from the penalty spot, with Keiji Tamada slotting home from twelve yards after former S-Pulse man Alex had gone down inside the box.


With the scores still level after thirty minutes of extra-time, the match went to penalties – with Shimizu defender Daisuke Ichikawa missing the vital spot-kick, as his effort clattered against the crossbar.


There was high drama from the final kick of the shoot-out, as Keita Sugimoto smashed his penalty against the underside of the crossbar, only to see the ball cannon down off Shimizu goalkeeper Kaito Yamamoto and in.


Nagoya’s dramatic shoot-out win sees them move into their first Emperor’s Cup final since 1999, when current coach Stojkovic inspired Grampus to their last major trophy with his exploits on the pitch.


The New Year’s Day final brings to an end the 2009 Japanese season, with Gamba and Nagoya both looking to lay …

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The 2009 Sudamericano Sub 17 takes place in the sleepy seaside town of Iquique in northern Chile over the coming weeks.


The fishing port enjoys a burgeoning reputation among surfers from around the world but just now the Armani suits of football agents are outnumbering Bermuda shorts three to one down on the boardwalk.


The Latin American footballing superstars of tomorrow are preparing to do battle for their domestic crown and gain qualification for the u-17 World Cup in Nigeria later this year.


The tournament starts with two groups of five Data Hk teams, each side playing each other once. The group winners will book their ticket to Nigeria there and then and the top three from each group will progress to a second round robin of six teams.


Two more World Cup berths will be dished out to the best performing teams in the second group stage and the team topping this round will take the title.


Bolivia – Group A


Bolivia will be on show on the opening day of the tournament when they make their bow against Colombia.


Coach Oscar Villegas has been given the resources to play nine friendly internationals in the lead up to the Sudamericano but even so he believes his squad are still short of preparation compared to their rivals.


“The experience which has been achieved with the international encounters is valuable,” Villegas said. “But it is still insufficient when compare to what other teams have done.”


Bolivia started their run of nine matches with impressive wins over Chile, Peru and Guatemala but have since failed to record a win in games against Colombia, U.S.A., Uruguay, Costa Rica twice and a rematch with Peru.


Further problems for Bolivia involve Jorge Pontons …

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It is true to say that in football, the strikers are the ones who get the goals and get the headlines. Goalkeepers can play fantastically well for a full 89 minutes out of a fantastic match but one mistake and all know what the internet and newspapers will focus on.


Lee Dong-guk is one of the biggest stars in the league. It seems that he has been around for ever but he is still scoring goals and lots of them.


As well as 14 in the regular season so far, the Togel Lion King, so named after his hairstyle at the 1998 World Cup when he burst onto the scene, has been on fire in the Asian Champions League. With the continental competition at the last four stage, Lee is now the leading goalscorer in the tournament with eight goals so far to his name.


Incredibly, six of those goals came in two games against Japanese team Cerezo Osaka. Both teams met in the group stage with both games ending 1-0 to the home side. The quarter-final was a completely different story with goals galore. The first leg in Japan ended 4-3 to Cerezo with Lee scoring twice.


The second leg was expected to be similarly close if not with as many goals. Last Tuesday evening at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, the opposite proved to be the case as there were goals galore as Jeonbuk won 6-1 with Lee getting four.


“It is the first time for me to score four goals in an official match,” said Lee. “We really want to win the Asian title but we also have to focus on the K-League.” it was one of the best nights of the player’s career.


It has been a long career …

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