In terms of picks, 7/12 isn't bad. Not great, but not bad either. Sadly, the bets were shambles. England made sure the bet went down nice and early but their were other culprits as well. Now we have seen what each team is capable of, hopefully I can conjure some decent bets. 1. Russia Vs. Slovakia - U2.5 Goals @1.57 LOST (CLOSE) 2. Romania Vs. Switzerland - U11 Corners @1.72 LOST (CLOSE) 3. France Vs. Albania - O2.5 Goals @1.85 LOST (CLOSE AGAIN!) 4. England Vs. Wales - O2.5 Goals @2.05 WON! 5. Ukraine Vs. Northern Ireland - Ukraine @1.57 LOST 6. Germany Vs. Poland - Germany @1.57 LOST 7. Italy Vs. Sweden - Italy @1.83 WON! 8. Czech Republic Vs. Croatia - U2.5 Goals @1.66 LOST (UNBELIEVABLE...) 9. Spain Vs. Turkey - Spain to Win to Nil @2.05 WON! 10. Belgium Vs. Republic of Ireland - Belgium @1.72 WON! 11. Iceland Vs. Hungary - Draw or Hungary @1.53 WON! (SCRAPED IT!) 12. Portugal Vs. Austria Portugal @1.83 PLEASE PORTUGAL DON'T FAIL ME! (BACKED 0-0!!!)
RUSSIA Vs. SLOVAKIA U2.5 GOALS:
Neither team is particularly strong and therefore I see them as being at a similar level.
The game will likely be tight and both teams lack scoring power.
Both teams got one goal but only made 2 chances.
Predicted scoreline: 1-0.
ROMANIA Vs. SWITZERLAND U11 CORNERS:
Romania surprised me (Though France were poor.)
Switzerland heavily disappointed me.
Switzerland scored early then couldn't do anything against a 10 man Albania.
Romania only scored from a Penalty.
I think it will be low scoring but also low attacking game.
Only 2 games have had more than 10 corners, Germany and Spain and they are also the only 2 games to have 60%+ for a team.
This will be a close game played in the midfield.
Predicted Scoreline: 1-1
FRANCE Vs. ALBANIA O2.5 GOALS:
France were poor.
Albania were surprisingly good.
However, I think France were nervous and Switzerland were just poor.
France's last 5 games have been O2.5
Albania are missing Cana due to suspension.
I can easily see France running riot, but also winning a close BTTS game like they did against Romania.
Predicted Scoreline: 3-0
ENGLAND Vs. WALES O2.5 GOALS:
Fuck Me, it is frustrating being an England fan. We have been shit for years, not winning anything or going far in any competition, yet we still expect to be good.
Wales won their game through a keeper error, then through fighting like a team.
England should have won 5-0 in the first half alone then let it slip.
The way we played shows we have the ability as long as we finish and I think we will fix our problem this time and get at least 2.
Wales might get 1 as well but I can honestly see the scoreline being anything from 2-1, to 2-3, to 4-0 so O2.5 seems like good odds to me.
Predicted Scoreline: 3-0
UKRAINE TO WIN Vs. NORTHERN IRELAND:
Northern Ireland looked poor, but also scared and played for the draw.
Ukraine impressed me in how much they took the game to Germany. They could have got a result if there wasn't some good last ditch defending and goalkeeping.
I don't think Northern Ireland have enough in defense to stop the pace/talent of Konoplyanka and Yarmalenko.
Predicted Scoreline: 2-0
GERMANY TO WIN Vs. POLAND:
One of the hardest games to call a bet for.
A draw is plausible with the way Poland played.
Settled on Germany because they have talent throughout the squad not just in patches like Poland.
Germany also have the experience.
Predicted Scoreline: 2-1
ITALY TO WIN Vs. SWEDEN:
I am not jumping on the 'Italy will win the Euros, based on that one win!' like some people are, but the price of @1.83 is insane!
Had it been @1.57 I wouldn't have considered it.
Sweden looked really poor, Zlatan was off the beat and got no service. Their goal only coming through an Own Goal.
Italy owned a talented Belgian squad.
A No-brainer to me.
Predicted Scoreline: 1-0
CZECH REPUBLIC Vs. CROATIA U2.5 GOALS:
Czech Republic were great at holding off Spain but had nothing in attack.
Croatia only managed to score past Turkey due to a phenomenal strike from Modric.
Croatia played good football so should win, but I fear a potential 0-0.
If Czech Republic try to defend like they did against Spain, we can expect a similar scoreline.
Predicted Scoreline: 0-2
SPAIN TO WIN TO NIL Vs. TURKEY:
Turkey were poor, only having 2 shots on Target.
Spain only allowed 4 shots on target and I can't remember any being too threatening apart from the last shot.
Spain dominated the play against Czech Republic.
Turkey will have to come at Spain as they need a result desperately.
This should allow Spain in behind.
Predicted Scoreline: 2-0
BELGIUM TO WIN Vs. REPUBLIC OF IRELAND:
Belgium under performed.
Ireland still only drew to a poor Swedish side, after having the lead.
Belgium were contained by an incredibly experienced Italian side.
Ireland do not have that sort of defensive capability.
Belgium need a result so will fire everything at Ireland and I don't think they can hold out long.
Predicted Scoreline: 3-1
ICELAND Vs. HUNGARY DRAW OR HUNGARY:
Hungary impressed with a 2-0 win.
Iceland impressed with a draw.
However, while Portugal and Austria were poor, Hungary looked good, Iceland looked a bit lucky.
Iceland drew despite several chances for Portugal, and one massive error in defence.
Hungary however, outplayed Austria (Regardless, of Austria's poor performance, Hungary pressed them contained them well).
I think it will be a draw but Hungary could be the shock package this season and top this group.
Predicted Scoreline: 1-1
PORTUGAL TO WIN Vs. AUSTRIA:
Portugal were poor, Austria were dreadful.
If Portugal finished their chances they would have smashed Iceland and I think it was one of those days.
Austria rely too heavily on Fuchs, Alaba and Arnautovic.
Whilst CR7 carries Portugal at times, this team has great players in every position and can win it without CR7 performing.
Predicted Scoreline: 3-1
1. RUS 1-0 SLO LOST (WAY OFF) 2. ROM 1-1 SWI WON! 3. FRA 3-0 ALB LOST (CLOSE) 4. ENG 3-0 WAL LOST (WAY OFF) 5. UKR 2-0 N.IR LOST (WAY OFF) 6. GER 2-1 POL LOST (WAY OFF) 7. ITA 1-0 SWE WON! (MONEY BACK ON DOUBLES) 8. CZR 0-2 CRO LOST (WOW) 9. SPA 2-0 TUR LOST (CLOSE!) 10. BEL 3-1 R.IR LOST 11. ICE 1-1 HUN WON! 12. POR 3-1 AUS LOST
SCORELINE DOUBLES: £0.15p x 66 Doubles on all Scorelines. £9.90 + £0.10 on All Results of 12 Scorelines including draws. If 2 scores are correct Half of stake is returned MINIMUM. 10p 12-Fold returns £161.
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FIRE and Kids – The cost of raising children in Australia
This post has been inspired by this recent podcast featuring three of the biggest names in the Aussie FIRE blogging community, and the follow on discussions in the Aussie Firebug Facebook group about how much it costs to raise kids in Australia. As all three acknowledge they don’t have kids so it’s not something they really have any experience with. As someone who has two young kids I thought it would be useful to write about it from my perspective. Obviously my situation isn’t the same as everyone else’s, there are plenty of people who would be horrified with how much we’ve spent, and others who would wonder how we manage to spend so little. Everyone’s situation is different, so what works for my family wouldn’t necessarily work or others. My oldest child has only just started school this year so I can’t really speak from experience beyond the 0-5yo age range, but I’ll talk through some of the typical costs, what we have and haven’t spent money on so far, and what we’re anticipating in the future. The costs people actually talk about The first two things that almost always come up when people start talking about the cost of babies are prams and carseats. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on these things if you want to, prams in particular. From a quick look at Baby Bunting the most expensive pram there is nearly 3 thousand dollars, and I’m betting that with a few accessories you can easily get over that mark. No, you do not need to spend that much on a pram. Yes you can probably pick one up on the cheap from Kmart or Target etc for well under a hundred bucks, but it’s probably not going to be as sturdy or hold much of the gear you take with you. Happily a pram is also the sort of thing where you can pretty easily and safely pick one up secondhand or get a hand me down from someone else. We bought a Babyzen Yoyo, which is basically a small sized pram although it still has enough storage room for us. It folds up so that you can take it on a plane as carry on luggage, is quite light, extremely maneuverable and very sturdy. I’ve taken it running plenty of times, it’s even got a Parkrun PB of 22:06! This thing is absolutely gold. Unfortunately it’s priced as though it’s made of it as well. There wasn’t an option to get one second hand because it had only just been released so we had to pay full whack. I think we spent over a thousand dollars on it including all the accessories and the lie flat and sit up seats etc. It was worth every cent. It’s been going for 5 years and 2 kids and is still in great shape, we’ve never had a problem with it at all. My wife tells me it is one of the best things I have ever bought her, although we both use it obviously. And at the end of the day a one off cost of $1,000 for us as a family is going to have basically zero impact on when we hit FIRE. Plugging the numbers into a compound interest calculator and using 7% annual return over 30 years I miss out on $8,000, which is about a month worth of returns on my target portfolio. I can live with delaying retirement one month for about 5 cumulative years of having a really good pram that works great for us. Similarly you can spend a fair chunk of money on car seats. This is one of those things that I wouldn’t want to get second hand because you can’t see if they’ve been broken or not and safety is a huge priority for us and presumably everyone else. Happily car seats don’t tend to cost that much, you can pick one up for a couple hundred bucks or less pretty easily. If you do that it tends to be one for a much shorter age range, say 0-2yrs whereas I think you can get ones which will take your kid from 0-8 but they cost a lot more. In any case per kid you’re probably looking at a thousand bucks total, and this could easily be a lot less. Again it’s not going to make any appreciable different to us reaching FIRE. So as easy as it is to point at this sort of stuff as being ridiculously expensive and over priced etc, it’s really not going to make much of a difference to most people. Sure you don’t want to spend any more money than you have to, but you also want to make sure you’re getting something that works for you. The other one off costs There are also a bunch of one off costs for babies and young kids like cots, beds, mattresses, baby carriers etc. From what I’ve been told you want to buy a baby mattress new, but that’s only about a hundred bucks at Target, potentially cheaper elsewhere. We have an Ikea cot which cost about the same, you could easily get one second hand or likely for free just by asking around your friends who will probably be delighted to get it out of their house. Some people do co-sleeping in which case you don’t need the cot and mattress although you may like to kid yourself that your baby will actually sleep in their own bed, maybe even through the night. It’s nice to pretend sometimes! As kids get older you’ll need a proper bed for them, again you can probably pick this up second hand pretty cheap and a mattress can be easily had for a couple hundred bucks. So none of these things are really going to have much of an impact so long as you’re a decent saver already. The big costs you see When you don’t have kids it can be great to live in a studio flat or one bedroom apartment in the inner city close to all the bars and restaurants and all the rest of it. You can stay in your local area and have plenty to keep you entertained, there is probably a supermarket nearby and plenty of public transport so you may not need a car either. Once you have kids, it’s likely going to be a different story as your priorities change. It may be that you’re happy renting with kids, but lots of people tend to prioritise stability and security when they have kids and that means owning your own home in most cases. I’m not saying everyone will want this, but a lot of people will. So now that you have kids you almost certainly want a second bedroom and if you’re planning on having more kids maybe a third or fourth etc. Obviously kids can share bedrooms for a while at least but sooner or later they will probably want their own space, as will you. You’ll also be wanting parks with playgrounds nearby and somewhere you can easily take your kids for a walk or kick a football around, ideally in a good school district which can add a couple hundred thousand dollars to the cost all by itself if you’re in Sydney or Melbourne. And if you want to live somewhere cheaper but send the kids to a good private school, well that can cost anywhere from the low thousands to multiple tens of thousands per year. Similarly if you didn’t have a car before, you will very likely want one now. I’ve mentioned before that we drive a base model Corolla which works just fine for us so far, but you’re still probably looking at $20k plus if you buy one new, mid teens if you want one used. If you want an SUV or a luxury model car, be prepared to fork out a lot more. In the same vein if you were previously going on lots of holidays and plan to keep doing so, well you now have at least one more plane ticket to buy, might need a bigger hotel room etc. As I talked about in this post about big ticket items, that all comes at a real cost. We bought land and built a house, so I can say that we spent roughly $100,000 more on that than we would have otherwise. The ongoing costs There are also a bunch of ongoing costs for kids as well. They need to be fed, they need clothes and shoes, they need medicine, and a bunch of other stuff that costs money. I wrote here about a bunch of things that we do to keep costs down, but the reality is that you still have to fork over a decent chunk of change. On top of all that contrary to what you might have been told public school is not free, there are a bunch of things that you have to chip in for here as well. We’re not at the stage that we’re forking out a fortune in extra utility bills etc but we certainly use the washing machine a lot more than we would if we didn’t have kids, there are extra lights and tvs etc on so there are extra costs there as well. There are also a bunch of extra items that you don’t really need to spend, but probably will. For us this includes stuff like swimming lessons, some sports like AusKick (AFL) and Junior Blasters (cricket), occasionally taking them to a theme park or zoo etc. They also get birthday and Christmas presents, and if they get invited to other kids parties they take a store bought gift with them. The above is about what I think our 5yo costs us at the moment based on our spending, our 2yo is probably about two thirds of that due mostly to her not eating as much and not getting swimming lessons yet, as well as not being in school or doing sports. I’ve left the holiday line blank because this is hugely variable. Last year we did a trip to the UK and it probably cost us about $3,000 extra between the two of them, next time it will be another couple thousand dollars more because the youngest one will need her own seat rather being on someone’s lap for the flights. So our spending for our eldest is about two thirds of the costs quoted in this article for a 6yo girl, I would assume that apart from a boy maybe eating a bit more the costs should be fairly similar. The main difference compared to our costs seem to be education and transport. Also, it was somewhat shocking to me just how expensive swimming lessons are! This is actually at our local council aquatic centre and is the cheapest in town. We do get to use the pool whenever we want, but that only tends to be once or twice a week at most. At least the lessons will hopefully only be for a few years for each child, although after that we may be forking out for something else instead. The hidden cost of kids The biggest cost is often actually one that doesn’t show up as an expense, the opportunity cost of one parent giving up paid employment entirely for a while or doing part time hours (I’ve used the phrase giving up paid employment here because looking after kids and a house is definitely work!). If we say that you’re giving up a full time paid job that’s at minimum wage of roughly $20 an hour for 40 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, then that’s $38,400 a year ($33,605 after tax and medicare levy) that the family is giving up for however long this goes on for. If you’d otherwise be earning more than that, then the opportunity cost each year is even higher. On top of that there is the hit to your career and future earnings, because those are definitely going to be impacted as well. If you’ve got two kids that are separated by two or three years and you as a family want a parent at home until they go to school, well that’s 7 or 8 years of missing out on that money which works out as around $250k based on a full time minimum wage job. I’m pretty hopeful that my wife would be earning more than minimum wage as well so for us it’s even more than that. On the plus side, she gets to spend more time with the kids although that probably feels like a mixed blessing some of the time! Alternatively if both parents want to keep working then there will likely be childcare costs for the first 4 or 5 years and then before and after school care, as well as missing out on spending time with their kids. Because we haven’t gone down this route I don’t know exactly how much it costs, I do hear plenty of stories about it being $100 a day minimum around where I live and it’s a lot more in capital cities. There are subsidies available for this, but you can pretty easily be spending tens of thousands each year on childcare while they’re young and then once they’re old enough before and after school care. You may be lucky enough to have grandparents or other family nearby that are happy to help out with this if they live nearby, but that won’t apply to everyone and it’s unlikely to reduce the cost entirely. The costs that are yet to come At the moment our kids are still young and fairly inexpensive. Between the two of them they tend to eat roughly what a grown adult eats, but from what I’ve been told that will change fairly dramatically as they get older. They’ll need new clothes more frequently, more shoes, potentially play more sports, go on more school excursions, you get the idea. Education could be another factor. There is a public high school that will be built in the next few years quite close by, and assuming that it’s decent our kids will likely be going there. But if it’s not, then we’ll have to look into private schools which can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. There will be extra curricular stuff as well. Given my wife and I are both horrible at music it seems unlikely that our kids will be doing extra lessons there, but there are plenty of other areas like sport or extra educational activities that we’d be considering. I know a few parents who have kids who are in elite sports programs (as in regional or state teams) and the costs here can very quickly add up, likewise if extra education is needed or wanted then that’ll be an extra expense. Government and other assistance I know that depending on your circumstances that there can be government assistance in the form of Family Tax Benefit, childcare subsidy and possibly other programs as well. We don’t get any of these which is fine, we don’t need them and they are presumably meant to be for those who do. If you’re not sure if you should be getting any of these then Centrelink does have this payment finder. We did get the one day a week Kinder program for 3yos and 3 days a week Kinder program for 4yos, although these both also came with costs of roughly $1,500 a year so it actually cost us money, again this is fine, just a reminder that it isn’t actually free. Depending on your employer you may also be able to get parental leave for a while, and there is a minimum payment which they have to make so long as you’ve met some requirements. Some employers may also have some continuing support with subsidised childcare and the like. None of this was applicable to our situation but at least some of it will likely be available for others. So what’s the bottom line? For us the biggest actual one off cost so far has been the bigger house and land that we purchased because we wanted our kids to be able to have plenty of space inside and outside the house. That cost about a hundred thousand dollars more than we would have paid if it were just the two of us. All the other stuff like a pram, car seats, cots/beds, mattresses and all the rest of it have been maybe $5,000 total, which is tiny by comparison. The opportunity cost has been bigger than this though. When we had our first child when we were in Hong Kong my wife wasn’t working much anyway as there just weren’t that many jobs she could do and my wage easily supported both of us so she was doing some very casual part time work and so not doing that work afterwards didn’t impact us much. In Australia though she probably would have been earning at least $40,000 a year after tax, so we’ve foregone almost $200,000 on an after tax basis there. Which as I’m sure you can imagine has a pretty big impact on when we will hit FIRE, particularly given we’ve got another few years or her not being in paid employment at all and then likely only working part time after that. So I would guess we’ll be looking at forgone earnings of at least $500,000 by the time all is said and done, and it could quite easily be a lot more. The actual ongoing costs of the kids so far haven’t been too bad. Between the two of them it’s about $8,000 a year at the moment, although we would anticipate that this will go up a fair bit over time as they start eating more and getting into more extra curricular activities. I get that this is spending that isn’t a necessity, but do I really want my kids to miss out on a bunch of fun stuff so that I can retire a year or two earlier? No, no I do not. So far the total costs look something like this. You can see that by far the biggest cost has been the earnings that we’ve missed out on because my wife has been at home looking after the kids and doing the household stuff (yes I do some of it because I think it’s important that we share the jobs and to role model stuff for the kids, but the reality is that she is at home a lot more than I am and does more of it). Buying a bigger house and land is next, and the actual costs of feeding and clothing and all the other one off stuff for the kids is a tiny proportion of the actual cost. All up I’m hopeful that we can keep the ongoing costs to somewhere between $125k and $150k per child from birth through to age 18, although if private school is necessary then that will push up the costs a fair bit. This is less than half of what this article suggests, so although it sounds like a lot of money it’s actually fairly frugal by comparison. To put it in perspective, it’s basically spending about 7 or 8 grand a year on each child. There are plenty of people out there who spend more than that on food alone, let alone the rest of their living expenses. As I said earlier travel costs are on top of this, and this can increase the costs quite a lot! Travel is a huge part of the reason we’re pursuing HIFIRE, and we want to be taking the kids on plenty of holidays while they’re growing up. That’s obviously discretionary spending to a large extent, but we do have close family living overseas who we want to see every couple of years or so, and it’s not fair to expect them to always be the ones travelling. I would guess that we’ll be looking at about $50k per kid in travel costs by the time they turn 18. That’s about 3 grand a year, which doesn’t sound wrong based on the cost of international travel. It may be less than that which would be great, but could also be a fair bit more. So all up for the two kids we’re looking at about a million dollars from birth to age 18. About half of that is the foregone wages from not working, which is by far the biggest impact. The actual cost of the kids is about another 30%, then travel is 10%, another 10% for the bigger house and land. And then right at the end is less than 1% for the one off stuff like prams and baby seats and cots etc. How could we spend less? Obviously there are other things we could be doing instead to keep the cost down. The biggest expense is the wages that aren’t being earned because my wife is looking after the kids and the household stuff. We could have chosen to have her work and instead pay for childcare and after school care etc. If we did though then she wouldn’t get to spend as much time with the kids (which she tells would be welcome some of the time!) and there would be a lot more house work and shopping that would need to be done after work or on weekends for both of us, we’d potentially eat out more often as it’d be more of a hassle cooking meals each night, as well as a bunch of other tradeoffs. So having her stay at home was our preferred method, and thankfully we’re in the financial position where we can afford to do it that way. Other people make different choices, or they’re unfortunately not in a position to make a choice, they need both partners working or if they’re a single parent have to do it this way. We could have also gone with a smaller house and less of a backyard. I shared a bedroom with my brother for part of our childhood and we both managed fine. It’s not ideal, but it’s certainly doable, and we could have saved a lot of money by having a smaller house. Again we chose not to because we wanted a bigger house and a decent sized backyard for them to be able to run around in and we can afford it. We don’t have to travel, although it’d be a bit rough expecting family to travel overseas to see us every year or two and then not reciprocating. Still, that would save a fair amount of money. It’s pretty hard to say how things will work out with the actual costs of raising the kids. I know roughly what we’ve spent so far, but it’s pretty difficult to know what we’ll be spending in future as they get older. They’re likely to be eating a fair bit more food, s they grow they’ll need new clothes and shoes, they’ll presumably be playing sport and doing other extra curricular stuff which will all cost money. $150k per kid from 0 to 18 seems like it’s a lot less than what it costs most people, but then we already live a fair bit more cheaply than most others so maybe it’s about right. At the end of the day we’re happy with the choices that we’ve made so far, but there has certainly been some room to have spent less money than what we have, or to have had more money coming in through both of us being in paid employment. Obviously it has an impact on when we will hit our FIRE number, but I’d rather take a little bit longer to get there than to make different tradeoffs along the way. Have you got kids or are thinking about having them? How do you think it will impact on your FIRE journey? Original post with pretty charts, pictures, tables etc is here.
Comes with Midlength MOE handguard ($20), K2+ grip ($20), MOE adjustable stock ($30), 6 position buffer tube ($15), carbine spring and buffer ($15), castle nut and endplate, Barrel nut and delta ring, Streamlight HL-X on MOE mount ($115), and Streamlight pressure switch mounted rock solid to the MOE handguard at 12 o'clock.
Basically everything you need to finish an FSB MOE conversion
APRIL PUTS bag holders.. so ya portfolio looking like the total opposite of what your expecting huh?
Let me guess, after quadruple witching failed, you guys all went to sleep during the weekend thinking this week our lambos and teslas will be printed by the end of this week huh? Let me guess, you also couldn't wait for this coming monday to huh? thought it was going to be blooody monday huh? Let me guess, you had one or even two circuit breakers planned for Monday huh? Let me guess, those so called 'diamond hands' you have are starting to deteriorate into 'paper hands' Let me guess, your asshole is clinching every time you look at your portfolio? Do me a favour... GROW A PAIR YOU FUCKING PUSSY. You think we came this far to fold? From getting fucked quadruply from witches left right and centre, getting fucked by the stimulus bill every week, getting fucked by retarded bulls week in and week out. You think we're here to fold? YOU THINK WE CAME THIS FAR TO SELL BEFORE APRIL? ARE YOU DUMB OR ARE YOU DUMB? do me a fucking favour, go to the closest mirror thats in your vicinity, loook in the mirror and slap yourself so hard that theres an echo in the room. Slap yourself so hard so you realize that your not drunk, its the markets. We will wait for the markets to sober up, we will wait when the president shuts down the whole country, we will wait when the unemployment numbers come out, we WILL follow suit with italy's economy and europe's economy (unfortunately), we will have more cases and panic.. this fucking list goes on. BIG RALLY = BIG FALL Remember, it doesn't matter how much money the feds offer coronavirus, the ronazz will keep on taking. We gave that bitch TRILLIONS and she still wants more? Us fucking bears realize that whatever amount of money we offer the ronazz it wont be enough. the ronazzz wants the WHOLE FUCKING WORLD, not a couple of trillions. SMARTEN UP BEARS. You weak bears are embarrassing us running around this forum crying that your puts are down. ANY SPORTS BETTORS OUT THERE? Sports betting (live odds) = options trading, IMO. Except live odds are priced in with time decay, and the greeks priced in with point spreads, better qb, better coach.. etc for sports. lets play football NFL for example: APRIL PUTS BAG HOLDERS WE ARE IN THE FUCKING SUPERBOWL RIGHT NOW NOT MAY HOLDERS OR JUNE BAG HOLDERS. WE ARE. APRIL FUCKING HOLDERS. WE ARE ONLY IN THE FIRST QUARTER. FIRST HALF. NOT EVEN IN THE SECOND HALF YET. The fucking superbowl HALF TIME SHOW(country lockdown, unemployment numbers, aggressive testing, supply chains disruptions, earning and sales) HASN'T EVEN FUCKING STARTED YET HOLD THE FUCKING LINE. TL/DR bears panicking right now, do me a ANOTHER favour, go to the fucking washroom, open up this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ikSfs9LETc and stare at the mirror and follow what hes doing in the song. BEAT YOUR FUCKING CHEST HARDER AS THE SONG PROGRESSES, HUM LOUDER, BELIEVE HARDER AND STOP BEING A FUCKING PUSSY AND .. HOLD THE FUCKING LINE. EDIT#1: positions like a true fucking retard IM ALL IN BITCH https://imgur.com/put52tZ https://imgur.com/FABUomU IT DOESNT GET MORE RETARDED THAN THIS BOYS. 2k -> 37k -> 11k. IM NOT FUCKING SELLING HOLD THE FUCKING LINE. SCARED MONEY DON'T MAKE NO MONEY. DIAMONDS FUCKING HANDS. EDIT#2 so much vaccine talks/cures. let me tell you something. I was alive when sars got introduced to the world. CV is even worse. they are both from the same family, the same strain. if we had a vaccine or a cure or something to suppress its rapid growth, we would have it by now and we would be working on a vaccine towards CV. reality is, they don't have one. everything is trial and error right now. clinical research trials takes years to produce and test. they are not going to come up with a vaccine before summer. stop being naive. look at the hard core facts with sars. there is no cure. EDIT#3 AS OF 2:22 PM (LITERALLY 3 MINS AGO) The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has surpassed 50,000, or 12.3% of all known cases worldwide
Does anyone remember a TV channel called ‘Beneath the Static’? (Part 5)
I have dreaded this moment since I started recounting what happened. It’s the same sensation of something unseen grabbing you from a nightmare before you wake up. Only now I barely sleep and the dread never goes away. I have said many times now that I am not who I say I am, that I’m sorry to those of you showing your support to me because your faith in me is so misplaced. I bear the responsibility for so much of what happened on that day, even if my friends tell me that it is not my doing. Guilt is a permanent parasite once you let it in, it nestles itself between the electrical pylons of your brain and makes sure you NEVER feel ease again. I’m stalling, forgive me, I need to do this. This may be the longest entry of them all, the one that will leave with more questions than answers, but not only is it necessary I explain things in this manner, I have no other way of doing so. I apologise in advance if the structure of what happened is confusing, I have put both perspectives together. There’s also a song at the end, indulge a broken soul, it’s all I can think about now when I relive those moments. There will be no immediate aftermath commentary, instead I will leave that onto whatever happens next. I got a text this morning sent within a group chat with the others, I’m too sleep deprived and pain addled to discern the majority of the message save for the end of it; “Flight gets in at six. We’ll see you for dinner. Time to end this.” Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 I’ll start off by apologising if any of this breaks the usual flow of things. This is Millie and I’m not the usual “dictator”, but there is no sign of Tristan or Fay in the home. We got over at the usual time, the door on the latch, and assumed that they were simply downstairs waiting for us. No car on the driveway so Mrs Muldoon was out, some soft music playing from Tristan’s room and the smell of recent cooking still hung in the air. It had the vibe of a lived in home and one that, at that moment, the four of us firmly believed was occupied. But, when we got downstairs to find snacks aplenty, Tristans laptop open and ready for dictation and the TV aptly tuned to the channel, blasting static the entire time, we grew concerned. For the sake of brevity, I’m picking things up from here and taking everything down. Tristan better hope it’s a prank or I’ll kick his stupid handsome ass into the ground and have Fay draw his busted up nose. Millie: Dammit, where are they? Preston: Maybe they stepped out to grab extra food? Or Mrs Muldoon could’ve asked them to do something? Warren: Unlikely, the 7/11 isn’t exactly far from here to walk, there’s already enough snacks for you AND your boyfriend, no reason for them to prank us when everything is so tense. There was a slight pause, Preston fumbling with his sweater. Preston: You guys… know about that? Millie: That you’re gay? Oh, yeah. We know. He’s cute, by the way. Mathias bet you asked him first, Warren said you were too much of a coward. Warren: In fairness, you aren’t the most assertive guy. We nodded in agreement as Preston held back tears and a smile. Preston: You guys are assholes, I love you. “Welcome back to Beneath The Static. Tonight’s show “Truth and Consequences” will be presented in front of a live audience!” 0:00 - A guy having more fun with a saxophone than anyone should be legally allowed to plays the fanfare as the 80s style title card floats lackadaisically over the front of the screen. A few moments later, we hear the smattering of applause from an obscured audience as the camera pans down from the top of the stairs to a large theatre stage not unlike the sort you’d see for a televised comedic special. On either side, separated by about 30ft, are two large rectangular boxes and a single microphone in the centre. “Those of you in attendance, living or dead; welcome to Truth and Consequences! Please welcome your host… JJ Watson!” At first I thought it was the continued applause of the crowd, but it was the skittering of gnarled, spiked legs as an elongated and malformed shape steadily crawls along the deep rafters of the studio, the large camera struggling to keep up with him. A pair of bright green eyes flash in the dark for a moment, staring directly down the lens before a wide grin filled with perfect teeth joins it. Like he knows we’re watching. Like he can sense it. He dives from the blackness and lands on his tiptoes, the sounds of tendons snapping and his feet giving way for but a moment. He sways, stumbles and the crowd joins in with the antics, a low “ohhh” echoing through the studio as he taps one foot, taps the other and jumps before slamming them down with force to the crowd’s adulation. His brow is sweating, eyes flushed with tears and the edges of his grin threatening to break under the pressure. But he simply takes a deep bow and grabs the microphone. Preston: Every time I convince myself that I can handle seeing him again. Then he appears and finds fresh ways to horrify me. Even when he’s not targeting ME, he knows what to do in order to send a chill down my spine. Mathias: Did anyone else dream about him? Y’know, between these meetings. We shake our heads, Mathias looks downtrodden and his shoulders fall. Mathias: Ah… just me, then. Should’ve guessed. Warren: What happens? Does he beat you up or is it creepier? Like does he eat you, tear you apart, burn you… Millie: Dude, ew. C’mon, don’t make it worse. Warren: Says the girl who wears a lucky cat’s paw around her neck and loves dead things. Well, what is it Mathias? Mathias takes a breath and looks over at the TV, JJ doing his introductory spiel and explaining the rules of the game; the interviewees are asked questions and must answer honestly or face consequences. Mathias cleans his glasses and his body shivers. Mathias: He just leans over me at night, or maybe it’s in my dreams… I don’t know. But he tells me I’m the one he likes the most, even if I’m not listening. He says it’ll be over soon… and then he shows me a chair on fire. It burns for what seems like hours before I realise there was a person sitting in it, long dead and nothing but charred bones and ash. The moment I realise this, he appears nose to nose with me, eyes wide and bulging, and asks me, “Where did the fire start?” He points to me… Then I wake up. Preston: Wow… kinda makes me glad I don’t remember my dreams. Did you look into what it could mean? Symbolism n’ all that. Mathias shook his head, muttered something about it not mattering and gestured to the TV, an obvious desire to change the subject. We looked back right as JJ was finishing his introduction. 00:04 - JJ takes the mic off of the stand and holds it candidly while leaning one of his lanky arms over it, perching himself as he tilts back and looks up at the rafters. “Y’know, folks. This is the one I’ve been waiting for. We’ve had a wonderful run so far, but all good things must come to an end and all truths must be outed. Both from our lucky contestants today and from yours truly. To that end, I’d like to share something with you before we begin tonight. Do you mind indulging an old fool?” He pauses, holds his hand up to his ears as the crowd cheers, he looks almost… tired as he displays a human smile and turns to the screen, posture returning and a haggard, withered look on his face as he talks. “Our time together grows short, and it is my duty to make sure you know the why behind it all. I am not the architect of this now obvious entrapment involving those of you watching at home, merely the tool to be utilised. We were hired by someone who knows all of you at home intimately, who wanted answers when they weren’t given and when deception was instead offered. A man who went through the grief of losing his only son one fateful summer’s eve at Mantis Reach and to this day, doesn’t know what happened to him. Dallas “Livewire” Mendoza. His father Ernesto Mendoza wanted to expose all of your faults, your fears, your flaws in the hopes that you’d give into the guilt. I’m sure if he were here with us, he’d have more to say. But, seeing as he’s not able to, he’s passed on a simple message before we begin…” We stared in stunned silence as we watched a man we’d grown accustomed to fearing, hating and filled with disgust at the mere sight of… slowly transitioned into the most human, grief rattled expression I have ever seen. Tears flowed down his face and that comical smile was twisted and turned into the deepest of frowns, no teeth to be seen but a quivering lip in its place. This was genuine grief, and when he spoke, the words shook his vocal chords and threatened to split my soul in two; “All of you, with all of your flaws and all of your pain… why did you live where my son died?” The moment hung in the air, JJ’s face a painting of suffering and our own guilt mirroring that. 5 seconds felt like 5 minutes. Preston: How… there’s no way he could… didn’t Livewire's dad… Warren: Yeah, he drank himself to death years ago. That doesn’t explain SHIT. What the fuck is this? The guy looks… he looks almost genuine. Mathias: He said it’d be over soon… Millie: You’re all missing the bigger question. They stare at me. My hands shake as I’m typing this out, knowing full well I could be documenting the worst thing imaginable, but unable to stop myself from doing it. It’s what he…no, *they* would want me to do. Millie: What’s in the boxes? 00:07 - As if the director shouted “CUT!”, each of his features sank back into their usual place. The lips curled, the eyes vacant. The lights switched off and JJ was suddenly back in the darkness. “Thank you, everyone! Now, we’ll move onto our contestants for this evening! Two remarkable people who don’t know that one of them has been keeping a small secret, while the other has been keeping a BIIIIIG one. There will be truth…there will be consequences.” He licks his lips and his eyes shake in their sockets before he saunters over to the centre of the stage and a pair of winches descend from the ceiling, latching over the top of these two boxes. With one click of his fingers, the winch lifts up, and it reveals two participants, both secured to metallic chairs with leather-bound straps, both beaten and disoriented. I see her dyed red hair that always showed off her inner fire, his distinctive wrist band that I got him for his 14th birthday he swore he’d never take off. It was Tristan and Fay. I don’t remember how I got here, only that my head is pounding and the lights and sounds are so overwhelming as I come around that I feel my skull threatening to burst. Last thing I remember is being in my room and while I don’t remember the actual song now, something in my memories replaced it over the years with a song that was released some 6 months later. To this day, I swear it was written for me, for us. Even as this all came to an end, I still hear it, like it’s a part of that moment now. My mind sticks to that for a moment before I smack across the face, jerks me back to reality. The hand isn’t fleshy; it feels like plastic and the smell of chemicals burns my nostrils. “Wakey, wakey! We have some big questions for the two of you!” That big fucking grin staring down at me like it’d done in my nightmares for so many weeks. It was finally my turn. 0:08 - Tristan and Fay, both exhausted and frightened, take in their new surroundings as each of us audibly gasps. Warren tries shouting at the TV, Mathias grows pale, Preston rocks back and forth while begging it to stop and I… well, I just feel like I’m going to puke. JJ looks as if he’s feeding off of our pain, our anguish and our suffering. He grins and walks over to one of them, smacking them in the face to focus their attention. “Wakey, wakey! We have some big questions for the two of you!” He smiles and leans his microphone to the crowd. “Don’t we, folks?!” To raucous applause and hollering. “Now… young Tristan Muldoon, it’s time for you to play:”The screen behind them flashes the neon words as the crowd chants, reminiscent of that very first show we covered; “TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES!” The lights dim and a spotlight produces above Tristan, who only struggles for the briefest of moments before looking over to Fay, nodding and turning back to JJ, stoic and defiant. “Now, Tristan. While it’s true that you and your womb-mate over there have no horrific secret tucked away under the folds of your skin… there IS something you’ve been keeping from everyone, isn’t there?” JJ leans down to the side of Tristan, still in full view of the camera and dragging his tongue across Tristan’s collarbone, all the way up to his ear, letting it slither inside for a moment before it snapped back in his mouth. He chuckles before adding, “And I’m not talking about the whole “Mantis Reach” thing!” dramatically putting his hands in the air and waving them before hanging his head in a makeshift rope for laughs. Tristan stares and swallows, eyes fixated on JJ and looking as if he knows the second he tears them away to check on Fay, his life will end. “Now, I will ask you a question and if you answer truthfully, the consequences will be mostly spared. IF you decline to answer the way I see fit or… hell forbid you’re foolish enough to lie, that will incur… consequences. Three strikes and you’re out!” He elongated the last two words to sound like a dramatic umpire, to the crowd’s delight and to our collective horror. “So, Tristan! Your first question: Do your friends know that you went back to Mantis Reach after your pact?” If Tristan was taken aback by the answer, he tried his best not to show it. Head sweating and fingers gripping the edges of his chair, he opened his mouth before speaking and seemed to struggle for a response. “I… I don’t…” He began, JJ waving his hand in front of him, eyes closed and still smiling. “Oh, now I should remind you, son. The consequences are always there, it’s just a matter of how severe you want them to be. Remember that.” His face twitched before he pointed the mic back at Tristan. Preston: We made a promise to never go back, he wouldn’t break that promise. Tristan would never… Mathias: Definitely not, but IF he did, maybe he had his reasons? Forget that, HOW did JJ get them? He’s always made contact, but this… this is the first time he’s ever gotten to us physically. Millie: He might’ve gone back, especially if there was a good reason to visit the hideout. Warren: We need to get them outta there, beat the shit out of JJ. Can’t you find their location with your tech shit, Mathias? Millie: You’re not listening. We can’t do anything right now, this is live. Best we can do is try to figure this out along with them, what JJ wants from them and us… Preston: What would be his reason for going back? That oath was to keep us ALL safe. The only reason one of us would go back is- Prestons eyes bulged and his lip quivered. The penny dropped. Millie: Unless Livewire was still very much alive. 00:11 - The camera zooms in on Tristan. Who, to his credit, was trying his best to keep his composure in the unblinking face of the monstrosity that is JJ Watson. It must have looked like he was standing next to a hungry predator, waiting to pounce. “I… it’s true, yes. I went back once to make sure things were… settled. That the lights had gone out.” He stuttered on the last bit, tears in his eyes. “None of the others knew, not even Fay. I had a hunch, and I was right. That’s why I went back.” There was a pause, JJ hung his head low and stood up slowly, his ungodly frame looming over Tristan like the darkness ready to swallow up the last sliver of light. He shook in place for a moment, bringing the microphone close to his sunken face before snapping back to that uncanny valley persona. “THAT IS CORRECT! Your truth has been accepted, bravo Mr Muldoon!” The applause rang out as was sat there, dumbstruck. Something drew Tristan back to the hideout, something he felt he had to finish. What the hell was it? Before we could discuss, however, there was a flash and the sound of a single, sickening crunch, followed by a horrific scream. In that moment, JJ produced a hammer and smashed it down on Tristans left hand, shattering the bones in an instant, releasing the shackles that bound him as he fell to the floor and writhed, clutching the mangled digits with agony. “And there is your consequence, as appropriate for what you did. Give him a “HAND” everybody!” He laughed, he laughed so much his skin undulated and crackled while Tristan screamed on the floor. “Now, Miss Muldoon, it’s YOUR TURN.” I couldn’t tell you what it was like to be in the same environment as JJ, especially after picturing him in my nightmares for so long. Only that he is every bit as horrifying as you can imagine. They say “don’t meet your heroes”, but they said nothing about your villains, your deep-seated fears, your trauma. JJ was all of that and more, his aura was stifling to the point where every breath felt fetid, decayed and filled with anxiety. He relished in front of the cameras, an obscured crew and a crowd hidden behind such bright lights that for all the noise they generated, I could never see them. My mind still reeling from the pain, I had no idea how he found us, if he’d let one or both of us go and most importantly; what he was gonna ask. He said three strikes and you’re out, but we didn’t realise until it was too late… The game was rigged from the start. Millie: Tristan… oh god, his hand… his FUCKING hand. Preston: We need to do something. Mathias, can’t you track where they are? Mathias: That’s not how this works, Preston. Warren: Well, what the fuck does THAT mean? You can’t or you won’t? Mathias: It means whatever you want it to mean, we just need to let this play out, horrible as it is. Figuring this out is the key to solving what’s going on. Tristan and Fay would both feel the same. Millie: Bullshit. Bull. Shit. You KNOW they would do everything to help you if you were in their shoes. Mathias shrugged. A cold stare greeting me as bitter words escaped his lips. Mathias: I’m not there though, am I? I'm here because I was smart, I was careful. Something my good-for-nothing family ingrained into me, at least... They let their guard down, this is what happens. Warren stood up so suddenly, his chair fell back. I swear he would have smashed Mathias’ face in if he thought it’d help. But no sooner had he taken a step, JJ was already interviewing Fay and our attention was drawn back. 0:14 - The same situation played out as it had with Tristan. The spotlight shone on Fay and Tristan’s screaming had grown to soft whimpers as JJ now stood behind her, hands gripped on her shoulders as the restraints were undone by unseen hands. His eyes gleaming in the darkness, voice oozing with glee as he spoke. “Now, Fay, your question requires nothing more than a yes or a no. It’s true that you were born into a loving, wealthy family. Your Father worked as an architect until he died of cancer, your mother always ensured you were cared for and indulged in your passions, your twin brother the perennial best friend. But that still wasn’t enough for you, was it?” His grip tightened on her shoulders and I could see him lick his lips before biting down hard on the lower right corner, drawing blood. “You still felt disconnected, uninspired and unworthy, didn’t you? You took to emptying the house of any alcohol or pills you could find to stop the numbness, the voices, oh the voices Fay… how they tormented you. Livewire BEGGING you to set him free, those last words echoing in your head like an ear worm with the deepest of hooks. But…” He let go of her shoulders and leaned his head out of the darkness, his appearance gaunt, pale and the eyes swivelling in their sockets like a Chameleon. When he spoke once more, his voice was deeper, gurgling and raspy, but filled with a primal sense of joy. “You still felt guilty for being so utterly miserable and worthless, didn’t you?” Fay stared forward, her face riddled with tears as she blinked and nodded. “Yeah. I still feel that way now, even more-so since…” but JJ cut her off, sinking his head back into the shadows and the studio lights blinking on once more, back to his usual self and declaring; “A SECOND TRUTH FOR THE MULDOONS!” To more uproarious applause from the crowd. We sat there in absolute silence, fists clenched and terrified for what he’d do next. With a snap of his fingers, Fays eyes rolled back into her head and her body convulsed, her nose bleeding and Tristan shouting from off-camera. “STOP! If you want to give someone a consequence… give it to me, this is all on me. Please…”The camera moved off of Fay and the wide shot showed JJ clicking his fingers as Fays head rolled forward. He sauntered over to Tristan and effortlessly hoisted him back onto his chair, ignoring Tristans howls of pain as he did so. “Well, if you insist!” He chuckled, and the spotlight was brought down one last time. They told me afterwards that I had trauma. Physical, mental, whatever. But it was because of that trauma that I couldn’t properly perceive what happened as that spotlight came down for the last time. I remember the question, the answer and the… consequence. But that’s through these transcripts that Millie dutifully took up in our absence. Because in that moment and for days afterwards, I could recall nothing, save for sound of a single shot that rang out as the show drew to a close. And the smile plastered over JJ’s face. Millie: I don’t want to write down anything else, I don’t want to be the scribe to their suffering. Warren: They did it for us because they KNEW how important it was for us and for the integrity of our search. We do it for them too. Mathias: Do not miss a single word, Millie. Cover everything. I don't want any details left out when all is said and done. Mathias was staring intently at the screen, biting his nails and body language that did not detail a man in distress, but a man filled with curiosity. Preston: Are you not the least bit worried about what will happen to Tristan and Fay? This isn’t a fucking experiment for us to emotionally distance ourselves from! Preston slammed his hand down. It was rare to see him so angry and upset, but this was a clear exception. Spit flew from his mouth as he finished talking, Mathias never looked up from his position once. Mathias: Tristan can handle himself, it’s Fay I’m worried about. You worry about your food, your family issues and your boyfriend, I’ll worry about her. She is EVERYTHING to me. Warren: They BOTH need our help, you Microsoft reject. Get your head out of your ass and stop pining for a girl who wants you as her FRIEND, Jesus Christ, dude. Again, Mathias shrugged and continued staring, coldness rippling through his words. Mathias: Well, your mom didn’t want you, but she put up with you after you killed your brother, so… maybe mind your own business? You & Fay will have something in common soon. Hell erupted after that, Warren leapt over the table separating the two before I or Preston could stop him, volleying Mathias with fists and screaming as he did, Mathias’ eyes still glued to the TV. It took a couple of minutes before we could pull Warren away, tears in his eyes and blood on his knuckles, sitting down in a heap and cupping his head in his bloodied hands, sobbing. Mathias put a shaking finger to his lips, giggling with a broken nose and pointing to the TV. Mathias: Here. We. Go. 00:20 - JJ pushed the chair to the centre of the room, turning it away from the crowd and motioning to someone off-screen to turn on the screen behind them, which began displaying photos of the twins as they grew up. Matching outfits as kids, Mario & Luigi as toddlers, birthdays screaming joyfully over new video games and art projects, 12-year-old Tristan with his arm wrapped around Fay mid-sob as she held a trophy highlighting her 2nd place award for the regional Karate championships, one of 16-year-old Fay pointing at her brother in his prom outfit like he was the star of the show. Lastly, a photo of the two of them mid-high five last spring on their birthday, happiness plastered across their faces, the rest of the gang off to the side clapping. The camera showing Tristans tear-stained face in a small reaction box on the right-hand side before fading to him fully as the last image hung on the screen. JJ sat on the ground next to him, an arm resting on his raised leg. “All those memories, a lifetime of love, bonding and togetherness. You must really love your sister, Tristan!” A chorus of “aww’s” emanating from the crowd before he continued, Tristan nodding silently. “But, I bet you didn’t know that among all that love, there was a betrayal.” JJ grinned and clicked his fingers, the screen zooming in on one of the gang; Mathias. “He loves your sister, you know. Loves her so very, very much. Now, she may not be that interested, but that doesn’t stop a man desperately in love, does it? He learned from his family that sometimes, all you need to do to get something you want… is cut a deal.” JJ swivelled his hips, so he was sitting in front of Tristan, the crowd softly chanting something indecipherable, an ominous feel came over everyone watching as Mathias whispered. “That’s the thing about unexplainable horrors… there’s always a man behind the curtain, pulling the levers and making the puppet man dance.” He holds his arms up like a marionette and jerks them around as he stands up, dancing as joints clicked and snapped, the chanting in the crowd growing more pronounced. “Mathias lived a life of keeping secrets, scouring information and learning that love can be unrequited, but still forcibly taken. Maybe he felt bad about Mantis Reach, maybe not, but he was the one willing to make a deal with Ernesto Mendoza- LiveWire’s father- and set our little ordeal into motion!” JJ turned to the camera and knocked on the glass, waving slowly as that sick fucking grin pulled at the tops of his lips and his ears wiggled. “Hi kids, this is all just for you. Even if there’s… regrets over our creative tactics and the way in which we get our information, the end result is the same. We get what we want.” There’s a pause and as Mathias silently waves, I feel the sweat run down my brow. Millie: He won’t stop until we tell him what happened at Mantis Reach. Warren: But we CAN’T. You know we can’t. Preston: Well then, what’s the alternative, Warren? Let our friends fucking die? We watch Mathias for a moment, bloodied and completely disconnected from us, staring at the screen where the bravado of Tristan has been completely replaced by fear. 00:25 - A crude advertisement for some bar flashed up at the bottom of the screen, not unlike a cartoon ad, showcasing unusual drinks and an even more unusual location between spaces. The camera panned over to JJ, taking deep breaths and hunching his back repeatedly. “Ah! I almost forgot! We have a FINAL question to ask! Forgive me, folks, this has been a LONG time coming, and we hosts can sometimes get a bit ahead of ourselves!” He swivels the chair around with almost no effort, slamming it down to face the crowd with glee. “I will never tell you what happened at Mantis Reach. No matter what you ask me.” Tristan stared up at JJ, eyes bloodshot and twitching from pain. “Oh, that’s alright. We’ll know one way or another. My question is more of a…hypothetical.” He chuckled and clasped his hands together around the mic before asking. “We know you love your sister, Tristan. The question is… would you die for her?” It happened in slow motion. Tristan spat in JJ’s face as he laughed, licking it off of his chin before smashing the hammer into Tristan’s face three times, blood spurting out like a crimson fountain, staining his clothes and the majority of it flying towards the crowd. Their chanting now audible and bone chilling: “One must stay, one must go.” As the camera did a sweeping shot, JJ let the hammer fall into the small pool of blood Tristan had made, Fay stirring off screen as we screamed in horror. He slid in the blood and danced as the image behind of the twins warped and twisted until the forms high-fiving were chunks of viscera held up by feeble bones, Mathias’ spectral shape laughing from a distance. JJ scooped up some of the blood, tasting some as it stained his perfect white teeth, much to the crowd’s delight. Walking over to Tristan, he rubbed his forehead with it before giving him a pair of light slaps, almost playfully. Stepping back and framing it with his hands, almost filled with glee. “I think we got our final truth, folks! You all know what happens at the end of the show, but before that… we need our ultimate consequence! I’m sure many of you at home spoiled it for yourselves, but I do love making everyone wait.” He winked at the camera, the crowd not even remotely reacting as they chanted louder, far more aggression in their voices that bordered on the inhuman. Then, without warning, he held a hand out to someone off camera. They handed him a gun that he pointed at Tristan as time stood still. The shot rang out, Tristan’s skull was pierced and the force sent his body back before he slumped forward. He didn’t move, Fay was nowhere to be seen. The crowd fell silent as JJ panted in a grotesque manner as the credits began to roll. The shape of Tristan was almost pulled off screen, like someone displaying an afterimage, but the screen went to static as we were left to unpack what we’d seen. Warren screamed, punching the wall over and over. Preston wailed into his sweater and Mathias… he just This fucking animal killed our friend. My better half. My everything. The shot rang out, and I felt my ears pop, my vision returned and I saw innumerable shapes, some 100ft away from me, some seated and others standing as they clamoured for the blood spurting from Tristan’s body. I swear some had horns and second mouths, but I could have just been hallucinating. But as the music played, I felt a whooshing sound and the feeling of heavy ran running down my back as I fell forward and onto the pavement. I was outside my home and I could hear the commotion downstairs, voices raised and the air thick with anger. My body moved before my mind could react to what had happened, like an extreme version of fight or flight. I rushed in, smashing my elbows against the door frame and crossing the threshold, that fateful song playing as I dashed through the hallways. “C’est La Vie” The innumerable family photos, video game nights, sibling rivalries and late night talks pulling me back from the edge. “C’est La Morte” I dashed to the basement door, trying desperately to hold back tears. “You and me” After everything, I thought it would be me. That it would be my turn. Not him… not him… “Forevermore.” Running down the stairs, I hadn’t realised the exhaustion until that moment, my legs like jelly as I stumbled down the last few and turned the corner to see my best friends in shambles, Mathias in the corner still clapping as I saw red.“Heaven or hell or somewhere in between” I grabbed him with all the strength I could muster and screamed at him. Fay: Why?! Why would you do this? We loved you… you were like a brother to us! Mathias: Because I wanted more. I still do. I spent my whole life keeping secrets, watching my family put those they love above everyone else. I did the exact same. Besides... there's always been a part of me that felt we deserved this, for what happened up on Mantis Reach. Fay: Why did we all have to suffer for what you wanted? Do you understand what you’ve done? Mathias: Oh I always knew, I was the one who got the email offering us a chance to "tell the whole story" and to "absolve us of what we did" and I don't know about you, but I WANT to be punished for what we did. Tristan was no different, it was appropriate he went first. Especially if he want back to finish what we started. I slammed him against the wall and with the thud of his skull against the wood, I half expected him to crumble, but he just laughed and said “Tristan sleeps beneath the static.” My anger raised as the group tried to wrestle me away, my face bloodied and filled with tears, the song still playing and the static beaming out of the TV. “Cross your heart and take me with you, please” It took one single voice calling from the stairs to snap me out of my rage and, for the most part, to pull us all to sanity. “Don’t go, please don’t go.” It was my mom, our mom. She was stood, drenched in the rain and utterly horrified at the sight of our group; Millie sobbing uncontrollably with her arms on my waist, Preston’s hair matted to his head in sweat and grimacing, Warren’s knuckles covered in blood and with me and Mathias in the middle of a scrap. “Fay… Where’s your brother?” “Don’t go without me.”
I DM a game set in a homebrew wild west setting, and naturally I needed a way to approximate poker with dice. I whipped up a quick, simplified rip off of Texas Hold 'Em using the d12, d8, and d4. It seemed to work out well, and I was encouraged to share it by one of my players. The rules and betting are pretty much lifted directly from Texas Hold 'Em, but you could use any of the variations on betting you see in cards. But here's what I did:
You set a minimum bet (let's say 2 gp for this example).
Each player rolls a d12 and keeps it a secret (this is their "hole card").
The first two players to the left of the Dealer are forced to bet; starting with the Little Blind, who makes half of the minimum bet (1gp), and then the Big Blind, who makes the minimum bet (2gp).
Then go around the rest of the table. The remaining players, consulting their hole card (d12), may choose to match the bet, raise (in increments of 2gp) or fold. Once all the players have either matched any raises or folded, the opening betting round is done.
The Dealer rolls a d8 (this is "the flop"). This is for all to see.
Another round of betting ensues for the players who haven't folded, without the opening forced bets for the two Blinds. Go around until all players have matched any raises or folded.
The Dealer rolls a d4 (this is "the river"). This is for all to see.
A final round of betting.
"Hole cards" of all remaining players are revealed, and are used to form hands with the two dice on the table. The highest ranking hand wins the whole pot. Hands are ranked like so (with the rolls represented d12-d8-d4 in order):
Royals - a combination of 12-8-4
Three of a Kind - a combination of three matching dice (1's, 2's, 3's, or 4's)
Straight - a combination of three dice in sequence (e.g. 1-2-3, 5-3-4)
Third Wheel - if your d12 is equal to the sum of the d8 and the d4 (e.g. 9-7-2, 8-4-4, 4-1-3. Note that a 3-2-1 or 3-1-2 are actually higher scoring Straights, and a 12-8-4 is the higher scoring Royals)
Pair - if your d12 matches one of either the d8 or d4
High Card - if you fail to form any hands, your d12 is played as a high card.
Ties: if players form hands of the same rank, the highest d12 "hole card" is the tie breaker. If players form the exact same hand, they split the pot. If the pot can't be split perfectly even, the remainder is tipped to the dealer.
I did some math (badly), and determined the relative strength of your d12 roll before you see "the flop," which is, in order: 3, 2, 4, 1, 5, 6, 8, 7, 12, 9, 10, 11. Somebody who is better at math should chime in and correct me if I'm wrong. After the flop it gets more complicated to determine relative strength of your hand- you have to figure in how the other players are betting, what hole cards the flop might interact with, and how those potential hands rank against your hand. Let me know if you see any ways to improve the game without complicating it too much. Otherwise, have fun with it at your table and tell us how it goes.
The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe
The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team,Puskás Akadémia FCmight seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football.(Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing). Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.
Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM
Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there. Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role. No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team. Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achievedpromotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season. Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009. On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy. He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born. Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.
Part 2: No stadium left behind
Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season). Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium. Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán). Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money). The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó”= corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division. Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.
Part 3: Small place, big game!
As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots. First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program. The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home. Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in. While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons. It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI. Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”. The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”. Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community. PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league. Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget,making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
Construction of a new tea kitchen for youth players for 650,000 EUR
Employment of a 45 person “cleaning and maintenance staff” for the academy.
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs. Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán. Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss. Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.) PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%. On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!
Epilogue: What's in the future?
As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title. However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football. But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you. And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say. TL,DR Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
Fold JJ vs two shoves (slightly cover) in a Bouty?
I was just playing a bounty hunter, UTG min-raised and I 3bet with JJ in late MP. It folds to the BB who shoves, and then UTG shoves too. These were two ~50k stacks, I'm sitting on around 55k... I decided to fold as I figure I'm at least vs one player with QQ+, and then they flip over AQo(BB) and KJo(UTG). Before I can say fuck, I see the flop throw out a J (which won UTG the pot). This was an $11. Am I retarded? *SORRY FOR TYPO IN TITLE*
For this year, 2020, Walmart is set-up to do about 480 Billion in in-store sales, and 41 Billion in eCommerce sales. As of now, only 8% of Walmarts total sales are coming from the eCommerce channel. If you are an investor considering Walmart and properly are evaluating Walmarts eCommerce upside potential, then here’s one of the limiting thoughts you’ve probably had: "Even if I bet on Walmart, how much will a meteoric rise in eCommerce sales be weighed down by Walmart's established but "boring" brick and mortal sales? Stock value won't ever capitulate the way a tech company can with so much of it's market cap locked into the in-store sales where PE ratios are low" Looking at the growth scenarios laid out below, their in-store sales should not be as big of a negative 'gut-check' analysis would have you believe. If Walmart can execute the eCommerce growth story, then not only does Walmarts eCommerce have the potential to out-size all of it’s current total yearly in-stores sales within a decade, but also massive overweight expectations for it's Market-cap because analysts will be forced to re-evaluate the type of holding Walmart is entirely. Walmart will not be "defensive-retail" when that shift begins to happen and it’s PE multiple will move accordingly. If it's eCommerce deliveries on a successful growth story, it's value will justify a much higher multiple of it's earnings. So - what are some potential out-comes for Walmarts eCommerce sales trajectory in the next few years? If Walmarts eCommerce division grows at an optimistic consistent 40% YoY increase, Walmarts eCommerce total gross sales will eclipse the sales of its current in-store business for this year in less than 8 years. In-store Walmart sales this year are set to be 480 Billion~ eCommerce 2020 set to be 41 Billion and grows to 432.40 Billion in 7 years.. 8 years is a long time, but that is massive upside potential and growth. At a more conservative growth rate of only 25% YoY eCommerce sales, Walmarts eCommerce sales will eclipse its current in-store business for this year in less than 11 years. Again, in-store Walmart sales this year are set to be 480 Billion~ eCommerce 2020 set to be 41 Billion and grows to 477.30 Billion in 11 years, year 12 it’s 596.63 Billion. Walmarts in-store business does not have the same growth potential as online. In-store sales growth outpaces inflation slightly, but it’s subject to so many more head-winds, low-margin products, and lack of automation/efficiency innovation than eCommerce. Assuming Walmart does not stop it’s eCommerce initiatives, there will at some point be an intersection point when Walmarts fast-growing eCommerce outweighs it’s in-store sales.. and given the scenarios above, it will be obvious to more people that this is happening in the next few years when that 8% of total sales continues to move higher and higher. Seeing the massive, utterly massive opportunity here for Walmart stakeholders on the table from the upside of 40%+ compounding eCommerce growth and the successful execution of a high margin online ecosystem of products – will Walmart be able to achieve that YoY exponential growth investors are so fond of, or will they let us down? Strategically speaking – it doesn’t take a genius to see that Walmart should be deploying all of its available resources into an eCommerce growth story when Amazon has already paid the innovation tax and proved the concept and scale which can be achieved. Walmart, if it wants to deliver value for shareholders, should be using its massive existing infrastructure to facilitate and replicate everything Amazon has proven works and is profitable in its successful eCommerce ecosystem, and beyond that, it should be developing ahead of Amazon in areas that leverage “what only Walmart can do”, for the eCommerce customer, with their existing unique assets & systems. Not only is it very obvious that they should be pursuing this area of growth with full focus, it is painfully obvious that they should be doing it as quickly as possible, because once consumers have gotten used to that Amazon prime-membership, they will be harder and more expensive to pull back to Walmarts ecosystem. While Walmart is uniquely positioned to overcome the value proposition there with media partnerships, and loss leader offers only it can provide from it's massive scale, it shouldn't be waiting. Walmart's management team is intelligent and risk-averse, that's how you get to Walmarts size, but the issue is that deferring these expensive and "inefficient" eCommerce investments and customer acquisition costs is that an eCommerce ecosystem will still be Walmarts absolutely biggest and best growth opportunity for the next couple decades… Strategically speaking, they not saving anything by moving slow… in fact they are piles burning stakeholder money this way. Understanding the online opportunity Walmart has, Walmart should not be leaving anything off the table in related to its spending to grow it’s eCommerce user-base and ecosystem. 40%+ yearly eCommerce growth is achievable for Walmart… Amazon has done it during many years in it's growth between 2006-2019, before they had any of the customer recognition or infrastructure Walmart has today. Also, Walmart will do 40%+ so this year, tracking for 44%+ growth for this year while they are sitting on un-invested cash and unambitious growth strategy… This is the “idiot-proof” tail-wind Covid-world can provide, and which is why Walmart is a wolf. What is holding Walmarts exponential eCommerce growth story back? The man in-charge of Walmarts eCommerce business is Marc Lore. Sort-of. He's in-charge but not fully in-charge. In an effort to understand Walmarts likelyhood of delivering value in the coming years for investors, we need to understand how Marc is navigating Walmart through it’s eCommerce strategy, and how well that area is moving ahead. Marc's history is beyond the scope of this DD post, but he’s certainly proven himself extremely capable before hopping on-board as a Walmart executive with multiple big eCommerce growth stories and successes under his belt. One of those successes, was his business Jet.com, which Walmart purchased for 3.3 Billion in 2016, and as part of sale conditions also acquired Marc who would take the helm and position Walmart for eCommerce growth for 5 years, maybe more. He was hired onto Walmart through that acquisition, and if we look at 2016 until now, Walmart has made progress with him around. Much of the traction we are seeing now for Walmart in their eCommerce initiatives has been a result of folding Jet.com’s team into pushing Walmart ahead. Despite the progress he has made for Walmart, we really need to figure out how he stacks up to the competition, and this sit down with Marc and Recode’s Jason Del Rey is basically a psychological window into the suffering soul of a man that should be leading Walmart to rapid exponential growth, but seems hindered in his ability by Walmart corporate leadership to act decisively, "inefficiently" (but as is necessary for blitzscaling eCommerce growth), and comprehensively. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4f6Fg78Jx4 Points of note: About 18 minutes in- Marc’s early strategy was to grow with major acquisitions / partnerships to fill out WMT’s online portfolio. Seems WMT executives have blocked these and are having him develop in-house incubated projects (Slow) About 25:30 minutes in- He’s clearly discouraged with how many approvals he needs and projects he can push forward… executives are not allowing him to push at the speed he wants to innovate with. General impressions – You're welcome to watch it yourself, make your own impressions, but it certainly seems like, in contrast to Amazon, where 12 exciting, high-margin and complimentary innovations are all taking place with full force on the same time horizon, Walmart leadership is afraid of burn-rate, afraid of anything “wasteful” and are not correctly evaluating the massive return on capital they could achieve with aggressive eCommerce spending. The environment seems too cautious for this guy to do his thing and make stakeholders money. The philosophy of those above him is not showing any indications they see the true merit in blitzscaling Walmarts eCommerce or that they are properly evaluating the upside potential compared to the in-store, which is strange, because Amazon is proof of concept and has shown that if they get customers online they will get better margins. Digital products take no money to deliver and are wildly profitable. As a narrative of Walmarts online growth story, I can’t think of anything more unpleasant than: “Entrepreneurial maverick with a track record of home-runs Marc Lore unable to make decisive, timely, and massively profitable decisions which can double Walmart’s size and operating margin in 10 years due to resistance from the committee of “the-old-guard” leadership”. Internally, it seems off-base that Walmart continues to pay dividends to shareholders and is recording that 15 Billion on the balance sheet as profit, instead of re-investing it in online growth, as though that decision is "helping it's stakeholders get value". Walmart should be deploying capital with less focus on "efficiency" and more focus on growth, allocating much more of it for guys like Marc to deploy and execute what Amazon has proven works. I can't think of any possible valid analysis that would indicate that Walmart's best growth opportunity for the next 20 years is anything other than an eCommerce ecosystem... and the longer they defer the investment the more expensive it will be to pull the marketshare back from other platforms like Amazon. For the Walmart investor here what is scary is that Marc, (or whoever fills his shoes eventually) seems to be viewed as a minor part of Walmarts story. "The-old-guard" of decision makers don't yet seem to want to grant the power and decision making authority the CEO of that division should wield considering how the execution there is the going to move Walmart billions of dollars up or down, and psychologically speaking that makes sense. "He's only running 8% of the business" is probably an easy misconception to make as a Walmart executive. Marc has laid some very positive groundwork on some very positive things for Walmart, but until that philosophy changes, Walmart will be it's own worst enemy to share-holder value. The competitive landscape is with them, Covid-19 is with them, consumer shopping habits are with them... they are holding themselves back. Despite this somewhat critical analysis on Walmarts comprehension of it's future - I don't want to be overly harsh on them or on Walmarts prospects. Risk averse executives who calculate, focus on margin and avoid mis-steps at all costs is how Walmart got it's crown and massive size to begin with. In the end, this year is a 40+% growth for it's eCommerce sales. Perhaps they will under-invest, under-perform internally with restrictions on Mavericks like Marc who can move the needle for them, and yet still slowly adjust and re-prioritize their focus and capital allocation over the next few years. Maybe a more optimistic outlook is that – Walmarts eCommerce potential can (and probably still will) over deliver on expectations even with executive management guiding Walmart away from its best use of capital with their old school philosophy. A rising eCommerce tide will deliver for the incumbents with buying power and established logistics, especially when you've got the customer trust already in-place.
"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." -Sun Tzu, The Art of War DISCLAIMER The following events were done by deranged individuals with complete disregard for their own physical and mental well-being. Please do not attempt this at home. My name is Technoblade and I'm the fastest skyblock player alive. To the outside world I'm an ordinary Minecraft youtuber, but secretly I've spent the last year fighting to maintain my spot as the number 1 potato farmer in Skyblock. Opposing me is Squid Kid, the former rank number 1. A man whose obsession with potatoes is rivalled only by my own. In my last video I talked about how the newly added rabbit pet could at its highest level could increase the amount of potatoes my minions made by 30% but I knew Squid would watch my video to find out my tactics so I left out a few of the finer details. See the boost from rabbit pets isn't the same as flycatchers or catalysts, you have to be there.. on the island for the boost to take effect. Once you log off or go to somewhere else on skyblock that boost is gone until you come back. But while I was experimenting with the rabbit pet I uncovered a few interesting facts about how the boost works for instance: Rabbit pets can boost other people's minions if you're visiting their island as a guest, but minions can only get boosted by one rabbit at a time so you cant just get 20 accounts with rabbit pets for infinite potatoes. The third thing I found was the most interesting and this is what Squid Kid didn't know. If there's multiple rabbit pets on the same island which one boosts the minions? You'd think it'd be the strongest one but it's not! If there's multiple rabbits the minions will be boosted by the one belonging to whoever's been on the island the longest. So hypothetically speaking if someone went to their island with their level 100 rabbit when someone was already there with the level 1 one, they wouldn't get their rabbit's 30% boost, they'd get the level 1's 0.3% boost. Unrelated fun fact, did you know that squid kid's island is still open to visitors? Yeah that's right we're doing this again... So I bought a new Minecraft account, slapped a level 1 legendary rabbit pet onto it and shipped it off to Squid Kid's AFK pool! I knew I had to maintain absolute secrecy- I didn't even tell my goons about this because I knew once Squid got wind of this it would be trivially easy for him to prevent it. I waited until the day I released the second Potato War video to start, after that video tourists flocked to Squid Kid's island to see it for themselves, my alt blended right in. Everday my alt would sit there in Squid Kid's afk pool to maintain rabbit priority in fact it usually had the rabbit pet deactivated during the day since you don't need to have the pet out to keep priority and since the rabbit was deactivated if squid checked his minions during the day he'd find nothing wrong with them. But every night around 2am Squid would leave his account AFK and go to bed and that's when I'd strike overriding his rabbit pet boost for the rest of the night and yes I memorized Squid's sleeping schedule, I mean at this point how is that even a question of course I did but unfortunately complications soon arose. Squid and I had both been rushing to get our rabbit pets to level 100 and I had a pretty heavy lead and I figured it'd take Squid several more weeks to get his there, but unfortunately and unknwon third party got there first and sold his level 100 legendary rabbit directly to Squid. Of course he didn't forget to brag about this victory on stream. Squid: "Oh my oh my, you know who doesn't have a level 100 pet, yikes he has a level 99 rabbit pet, he's poor, it's only level 99 I'm screaming ahhhhhhhhh." Little did he know that while he was flexing on stream, my alt was right there on his island overriding his level 100 bonus. But my problems didn't stop there you see, Squid got an alt account to AFK with his rabbit pet on his island while he was doing other things and since the alt account had no reason to ever leave his island it became much harder to keep control of pet priority and sometimes when I had priority he'd end up kicking everyone from his island because it was too full for his alt account meaning I had lost priority for the rest of the day. I was going to counter this by spending $30 to buy his alt MVP++ since that rank can bypass guesting limits #ad but unfortunately on March 20th my alt was kicked and Squid's island was closed forever. The jig was up but by that point I'd already achieved my objective. The two weeks it took to realize what was going on cost him about 2 million potatoes. Bit of a tangent but I'm pretty sure I lost a few fans over the rabbit pet because everyone would just be hanging out, they'd just be chilling on my island with their level 30 rabbits activated and I'd come see that and I don't care if it's intentional or not but they're sabotaging my potatoes! So I'd kick them out of my island to get priority back and they they'd come back 10 seconds later like: "Why did you kick me Technoblade? I just wanted to meet my favourite youtuber :(" And I'd be like woah woah relax dude relax it's not a big deal, I have a really good reason I just can't tell you because it is a secret and then you're like: "It's okay Technoblade I know the reason.. It's because you hate ME SPECIFICALLY I'll just go leave forever now." And I'm just like WAIT come back noooo so Squid closed his island which meant I couldn't sabotage him anymore, but what if I told you that was also part of my master plan? You ever noticed how my island has been open to visitors during the potato war? In the last video I explained: "I made an AFK machine on my island so planted potatoes would keep growing even why I wasn't online." I was actually using an advanced technique there called LYING, this clip of the AFK pool was from November, I didn't even make the manual farm until January! You might recall from the first Potato War video depending on whether there's people on the island or not. Because if no one is on the island, Hypixel's not gonna waste resources keeping that server online so they are going to close the server and then when you come back they're gonna go oh well it's been 7 hours and it's gonna run a calculation and give you 7 hours worth of stuff. But as we've seen before that calculation isn't perfect, so I ran an experiment and I found that when someone's on my island I get 10% more potatoes! And there was only one thing boosting my minions by 10%.. the Farm Crystal. The farm crystal is an external buff so it's not included in the offline calculation so if there's at least one person on my island and Squid's island is empty I'd get 10% more potatoes! Now it was easy to get people to AFK on my island, what was difficult was getting people off of Squid's island. You see even months after the first potato war video came out when the initial hype was starting to die down a bit there would be at least one of my own viewers AFK on Squid's island every night. You know.. as a joke! Sometimes I would be on Squid's island on an alt account and I'd see someone in the chat: "I'm gonna go AFK to help Technoblade win the potato war!" And I'd beg them, I'd be like "no dude please, please he fixed that months ago, that doesn't hurt him anymore and they'd be like: "I'M HELPING" and AFK all, Squid Kid was getting boosted by my own viewers and there was nothing I could do to stop them because what was I going to do, announce that AFKing helped him? Then even MORE people would AFK! I realised that the only way to stop this from happening would be to get Squid to close his own island to visitors without him realising that that's what I wanted all along. It took four long months but it finally happened, but anyways back to this tweet, so Squid says he closed his island because someone filled his potion system with rookie axes. A common trolling method in SkyBlock is to fill people's inventories with useless items like boats, but the rookie axe is even worse for players like Squid Kid who use the skyblock add-ons mod which has a feature which makes it very difficult to drop tools out of your inventory. The point is to stop people from accidentally dropping weapons worth millions of gold, but it also applies to the rookie axe sold in shops for 12 coins, so basically someone dumping a ton of rookie axes into your hopper system is the worst thing someone can do to you in skyblock. Now I've always been interested in psychology, in fact I almost majored in it so after 6 months of stalking Squid, I had developed a bit of a psychological profile of this man. I know how he TALKS, I know how he THINKS and when I saw this tweet I instantly knew that thiis man was LYING. Now don't get me wrong I completely believe that somebody dropped rookie axes into his hoppers because it was me but that's not the real reason he closed his island after all I'd been dropping rookie axes into his hoppers for weeks, but he sent that tweet eight minutes after he kicked my alt. So I get to thinking, why would Squid lie about that? And I realize Squid knows I monitor his tweets, but what he doesn't know is that that was my alt account from his perspective that could have been some random guy with a rabbit and if that was the case I'd have no idea rabbits could be used that way. As such him lying in that tweet could only mean one thing, he's about to sabotage ME! So i held a stakeout on my island and guess what I found a few hours later, a brand new skyblock account AFKing with a level 1 legendary rabbit. Truthfully I could have stopped squid before he even joined my island but I wanted to catch him in the act because I'm always getting comments saying: "OMG Technoblade why are you so mean to Squid?" They don't understand, this is WAR there's no holding back! I know that and Squid knows that, the only difference is that I'm 20 steps ahead, he's playing skyblock while I'm playing Deathnote. He thinks he can outsmart me with my own strategies because he is yet to realise that he is but a puppet and I the puppeteer DANCE POTATO BOY! DANCE! So anyways I got on my secret alt account and sent his secret alt account a party invitation and then I DMed him on discord Yo dude accept my invite! Squid: "Well this is awkward.." He actually did accept my invite and we had a lovely conversation and then I BANNED him from my island get OUT of here you trued again with another account a few days later, I don't have any proof that this account is him but look at that username "Stinky Bozo" That's a pretty unusual word in fact I've only heard one person say it: Squid: "Bozo, Bozo, you are Bozo Bozo, nice one Bozo, you're a freaking Bozo Bozo" Yeah that's right get out of here, I did eventually close my island, but not before I made sure I wouldn't lose potatoes. After that I moved on to the next phase of my master plan if I wanted to farm more potatoes I'd have to start farming pumpkins, but wait a minute Technoblade, that's the wrong vegetable! Wait.. what do you mean it's a fruit? Whatever at this point we pretty much maxed out the output of our minions the only thing left to work on was the speed we could farm potatoes by hand! The farming skill gives more crops as you level up so I decided to grind it to the highest level. I did the math and found that farming potatoes is so incredibly inefficient at levelling up farming that it was actually more worthwhile to build a whole pumpkin farm. I began the construction of a pumpkin farm large enough that by the time I finished farming it in full, the pumpkins at the beginning would have already regrown. I don't even want to tell you how long it took to build this. And so I began farming day after day at times I'd farmed for so long without break that the people watching thought that I was botting, word of my pumpkin farming soon reached Squid who began farming pumpkins himself, but he only saw the surface level of what I was doing. You see I wasn't just levelling up my farming skills I was also levelling up multiple legendary rabbits. There's a reason I wanted to stop people from AFKing on Squid's island even after he started AFKing himself and it's because it's almost IMPOSSIBLE for one man to AFK every hour of the day because servers restart, the game can update, your internet can go out and if you're asleep or doing something else you'll be missing out on those bonuses until you get back. Even the most dedicated individual might only average 20 hours of AFK coverage per day and those 4 hours alone without the rabbit pet and farming crystal cost you 100 thousand potatoes and over time, that adds up. To fix this flaw, I got multiple level 100 rabbits some leveled myself and others purchased for tens of millions of coins and then distributed to goons in diverse timezones. I set my island so only guild members could visit and I had my head goon code a discord bot that automatically pinged them within five seconds of the rabbit account leaving my island at which point one of them could log into the island themselves and boost my minions until I got back. After a few weeks we both reached farming level 50. On May 4th there was a pet update which added among other things the elephant pet which at its highest level could increase crop yield by 25%. Ordinarily a buff to manual farming would be bad for me since it allows squid to catch up that much more quickly, but I had a plan. The reason farming potatoes by hand is so inefficient is because when you break potatoes they don't grow back so 2/3 of the time you spend farming is spent replanting the potatoes you just harvested. Squid Kid and his viewers spent many hours trying to find a workaround to this even building an elaborate redstone machine in an attempt to somewhat automate replanting, but in the end they failed to find a better method and continued farming normally: Squid: "I should be able to plant five (potatoes) at the same time, why is it sodangslow it takes forever" What if I told you I found a way, you see back in January I had an idea, what if I had the minions plant for me. At the time this was impractical for two reasons, One, I didnt have enough farming bonuses for it to be worth sacrificing the minions normal output, but this was solved when i got farming level 50 secondly potato minions were simply too slow, but since then they've buffed fly catchers, added the rabbit pet and added foul flesh, a new fuel source which buffs minion speeds by 90% even then the potato minions weren't quite fast enough to keep up, but I thought to myself if they're only going to be planting they don't need to waste an upgrade slot on a super compactor, so I spent another 250 million coins to get 48 total flycatchers. Squid and I both started farming potatoes but his method could get at most 200 thousand potatoes per hour whereas my method with double flycatchers even after subtracting the amount the minions would have made themselves could get 410 thousand potatoes per hour. For the next three weeks Squid farmed hours every day but I was farming at the same time. Squid: "What are the odds he's farming right now, five bits I bet techno is doing the same thing just has like a 130% faster way to do it" In this time I expanded my lead by another 5 million potatoes, but at this point Squid and I had been farming potatoes for almost a year and we were still farming hours every day with no end in sight neither of us wanted this to continue so we came to an agreement. Whoever got to 500 million potatoes first would win the potato war. Hypixel even pitched in saying he'd give a surprise to the winner. Now I was only at 300 million potatoes at this point, but I figured I had this in the bag I mean I've been tracking Squid's potato count, I accounted for his afk coverage by having the discord bot track his alt accounts logins and I knew how much he was farming by hand because I was monitoring his farming experience. With a 45 million potato lead and a farming method twice as fast as his own, what could possibly go wrong? JUNE 6 Things go very wrong, it was just a small update with a few quality of life changes, you know like an enchantment which replants crops after you farm them and an item which automatically compacts items in your inventory so you don't have to spend time on that. You know, two minor changes which just so happened to buff Squid's farming method from 200 thousand potatoes to 1.2 million potatoes (per hour) and my farming method becomes WORTHLESS. Suddenly my 45 million potato lead goes from insurmountable to yes Squid could farm that in a couple days, Squid starts putting in crazy hours: Squid: "If I do 12 hours a day can he keep up absolutely not, people say Technoblade never dies but I'm putting him in the grave." Meanwhile I'm sitting here in shambles, I was out here with my lab coat on doing the science coming up with new never before seen potato farming techniques and this man just goes admins please replanting is too hard and they buff his farming method six-fold! Was that it? Eight months of plotting and scheming just to fail in the final stretch? NO i couldn't except that, I was going to win this war whatever the cost. I immediately drank three months of mystical mushroom soup and got to work expanding my old potato farm. A project which would take 25 hours over the next couple days. I knew I was playing the game as intended when I realised that the only reason I ever put on one of the strongest armour sets in the game was to use its 3% speed bonus to optimize tilling dirt. For the next two weeks I did nothing except eat, sleep and farm potatoes, there were only three interuptions each of which cost me millions of potatoes. The first was a dentist appointment and the second was when I had to play in Minecraft Championships. Squid: "What do I message him? Was it worth your time losing MCC? ehehehheheehhe" "It took me 2 hours to lose MCC but it'll cost you 9 months to lose the potato war, kayyyyyy RELAX, RELAX, hello?" Besides that there was only one other time: "I had to go to the store the other day, I had to interrupt my potato farming because my dad was like hey can you go to the store and pick up my medicine and I was like, can I really tell him that I'm not getting his medicine because I need to farm potatoes? Can I really? Look I'm an atheist, but when God sends me to hell I want him to hesitate, okay? I want him to hesitate for a few seconds. But Squid was also farming several hours a day and he had evem found a way to maxmize his afk coverage. He started sleeping with his headphones on and had his goons wake him up via discord call whenever his alt left his island. As someone with a discord bot tracking his online activity I can tell you right now that that man is telling the truth. He was waking up multiple times per night, I don't know why he didn't just use backups like me, he actually revealed to me later on that one of my original goons betrayed me and gave him one of our internal documents and the list of backup pet users is literally RIGHT there at the top of the first page I have no idea how he missed it. But anywas squid logged off an hour and a half ago, he should be entering REM sleep just about now it would be a real shame if someone woke him. I didn't actually wake him up because I wasn't sure if intentional sleep deprivation was legally considered torture or not so I decided to shelf that strategy for the time being. And after sacrificing two weeks of my life I finally reached 500 million potatoes. "WE WIN THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE" Squid was shocked: Squid: "He's at 499? No he's not, dude there is actually like, it's not possible! NOOOOO it's not, this can't be reaaal!" Squid had been certain that he was right on my tail. Squid: "I don't know how fr behind I am, 100% less than 30 million" And yet when I won the war I had a lead of over 88 million potatoes. How did i do it? It's just as Sun Tzu says: "All war is deception." -Sun Tzu You see I knew after the second potato war video things were gonna get more difficult from here on out, because at this point Squid had a full on organization backing him he had goons, a cabal of billionaires funding his every move, 100s of stream viewers on how to farm potatoes more quickly and reporting on my every move so in that video I prepared my final trick. I hid my true potato count. The number shown in my video wasn't edited, but it didnt include the millions of potatoes left uncollected in my minions. I also said that my minions now produce 1.58 million potatoes, but they're actually producing 1.75 million because the rabbit pet doesn't actually boost your minions by 30%, it boosts them by 43% why? I don't know it's probably bugged and Squid couldn't realise the real number when he got a level 100 rabbit of his own because he was being sabotaged! But the biggest reason my lead expanded by that much was because over those two weeks, while Squid averaged 8 hours of farming per day, I averaged 11! Squid: "I just can't believe how much he's farming." MenacingBanana: "The admins were legit saying that Techno is just like so focused, it baffled them at how like just insane he was he had no breaks!" Squid: "I swear to god this Technoblade dude is focused on another level" Towards the very end Squid had one of his goons write a program to chart how much I was farming by tracking how much experience my elephant pet had, but by then it was too late. Once I won the war there was nothing left to do except celebrate my victory with grace and humility. Squid: "OHHH MY GOOOOSH he's doing a little emote on me ooohh my not like this come onnnn, was was this necessary?" "Watch me dance Squid Kid you looose! You lose the WAR!" After the war the admins added a temporary NPC to the skyblock hub, the potato king it gave out a new talisman which boosted potato minions by 5%, a basket for the top 1000 potato farmers and to me, the POTATO CROWN engraved upon it: "All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." -Sun Tzu, The Art of War That NPC is gone now, I took too long to edit this video! I gained a lot from the Potato War; patience, discipline, carpal tunnel. I guess my main regret is that I bribed Squid's discord admin to give my alt permission to see into his secret text channels and then HE NEVER USED THEM ALL YEAR! With the war over Squid took down his potato minions and my fields have gone unfarmed while we were enemies I still respect Squid Kid, I understand now that it is only with a worthy rival that once can reach their fullest potential, while he may have lost the war, he's gone from 70 subscribers to having tens of thousands of fans so it can't be said that he's lost completely. For my part I've realized now that rank number isn't an achievement, it's a prison which forces you to dedicate your life to defending a temporary title, but now with the war finally over... I'm free *Wandering Nomad plays whilst Techno begs for subs* Well I guess we are done here :) If you got down this far I wouldn't mind an upvote, I spent too long doing this.
What is fold in betting? Fold is a sports betting term used to describe the number of selections contained within an accumulator bet. Fold is also a term used in playing poker, meaning to give up your cards for that hand and remove yourself from the hand. 12-1 and its implementing regulations. Only customers 21 and over are permitted to So place those selections as four fold accumulator with a £10 stake for this example. The way that you could calculate out your bet is simply £10 (stake) * 1.7273 * 4.0 * 1.9091 * 3.0 = £395.70 and that would be your total return and take out the initial stake to find your total profit which is pretty juicy from such a relatively low stake. Three times the BB is a standard raise size which we will go into later in this article under Texas Holdem betting strategy. But first, a little more on aggression to drive home the point: You should only raise or fold your hands when first entering the pot. However calling with some hands after someone else has raised is fine. Admittedly this style of betting is not for everyone, but to make a steady profit and get some good returns this is the way forward. I myself will still be placing the odd 10-12 fold accumulator, but I'll do so with the profits made from this method instead of always operating at a loss! What are Exotic Multi Bets? Sportsbet has lots of different options for exotic multiple betting. When you’re looking at the options available on the bet slip, hover your mouse over the name of the bet (i.e. Trixie) and you will be shown what combinations of Boxed Multi bets your bet will be made of.
Betting Time - Suggerimenti sulle scommesse calcistiche da fare nel week end del 30 Giugno 1/2Luglio
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