Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Macau casino that caters to gamblers others shun emerges as an unlikely winner

High-rollers who bet millions without batting an eye have turned Macau into the world's gambling capital.

But a bare-bones casino where gamblers pay for their own drinks has emerged as an unlikely winner in the chinese happy new year cards design territory by trumpeting its HK$20 ($2.58) minimum bets.

Jay Chun says his Kam Pek casino, housed in a downtown office...

MLB News: Seven Extension Candidates Before Season Starts

With Spring Training mercifully around the corner, it's that time of the year when teams start negotiating contract extensions. Clayton Kershaw started off the extension season with a deal that guarantees him $215 million, and the Atlanta Braves recently agreed on a lucrative deal with first baseman Freddie Freeman that will keep him under team control through his age-31 season while guaranteeing him approximately $100 million of new money.

Here are some players that are good candidates for contract extensions before the season begins.

Max Scherzer - When the Detroit Tigers traded away Doug Fister in what can best be described as a fleecing by the Washington Nationals and General Manager Mike Rizzo, it became apparent that they would focus on locking up CY Young winner Max Scherzer.

The 29 year-old hurler has blossomed over the last two seasons, posting a 3.29 ERA and 11.0 fWAR with a 29.0 percent strikeout rate that only Yu Darvish can top.

In 2013, he headlined a Tigers pitching staff that broke the major league record for strikeouts in a season, as he pitched to a career-best 2.74 ERA and 6.4 fWAR, on his way to capturing 28 of the 30 first-place votes in the AL CY Young voting. He's just one year from free agency, and after seeing the bidding for Masahiro Tanaka, he may decide to test the waters.

Miguel Cabrera - Just last year, the Tigers locked up Justin Verlander to a long-term deal that involved five years and $140 million of new money. Scherzer doesn't have his rotation mate's track record, but given the current rate of inflation in free agent salaries, a contract extension could approach Verlander territory.

Besides worrying about a Scherzer extension, the Tigers also have to deal with Miguel Cabrera's impending free agency. Shortly after trading for Cabrera in the 2007-08 offseason, the Tigers inked him to an eight year deal worth $152 million.

Now, the reigning AL MVP has just two years and $44 million left on that deal. If the Tigers don't extend him, he'll hit free agency at 32, a point at which he would likely have enough gas in the tank to procure another long-term deal. Mike Trout is the better all-around player, but Cabrera is the game's best hitter, and a move to first base should increase his value and his health.

Hanley Ramirez - It was just last season that the baseball world had seemingly given up on Hanley Ramirez as a superstar. From 2011-12, he hit a very mediocre .252/.326/.416 while playing below-average defense. His 3.9 fWAR put him on the same footing as Alcides Escobar, a far cry from his first five seasons when his 28.2 fWAR marked him as the premier shortstop in baseball and one of baseball's five best players.

Fast forward to 2013, and Ramirez produced one of the best seasons ever by a shortstop, albeit in only 86 games. He hit .345/.402/.638 with 20 home runs for a 191 wRC+ and 5.1 fWAR. When he was on the field, he was the best player in baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers and their seemingly endless stream of cash are intent on locking him up long-term, and something in the range of $20-25 million per year seems likely.

Jason Kipnis - In his last pre-arbitration year, Jason Kipnis established himself as one of the top five second basemen in baseball. Improving on a solid 2012 season, the 26 year-old hit .284/.366/.452 for a 130 wRC+ and 4.5 fWAR as the Cleveland Indians were a surprise playoff team. Among second sackers, only Matt Carpenter and robinson cano to dodgers Cano had a higher wRC+.

Because Kipnis didn't debut until 24, he isn't scheduled to hit free agency until he's about to turn 31. He's not on the elite level of Cano or Pedroia, and there are plenty of examples of second basemen who faded relatively young. Right now, it looks like he'll make in the neighborhood of $20 million over his three arbitration seasons, and any additional years will likely cost around $15 million per year.

Jon Lester - Jon Lester has publicly stated that he would be willing to take a hometown discount to stay in Boston. After a 2012 season where he posted a 4.82 ERA (though with more encouraging peripherals) he rebounded to a 3.75 ERA with 4.3 fWAR in 2013. In addition, he surrendered just six runs in five postseason starts, helping lead the Sox to a World Series title.

Since beating cancer, Lester has been one of baseball's most durable pitchers, averaging over 200 innings a year for the past six seasons, and totaling 27.5 fWAR, the 8th highest mark among starting pitchers. Even with a hometown discount, something in the range of five years and $90 million seems a likely price to keep Lester from hitting free agency after the 2014 season.

Homer Bailey - After years of being a top pitching prospect Homer Bailey has emerged over the last two seasons. 2013 was especially good, as the 27 year-old righthander had a career-best 3.7 fWAR along with a 23.4 percent strikeout rate.

With a fastball that averaged 94 miles per hour in 2013 and three secondary pitches, Bailey has excellent stuff, and could potentially make a Scherzer-like leap in 2014.

Though the Reds would like to sign him to an extension, he's only one year away from free agency and like Scherzer, the Tanaka bidding frenzy might entice him to test the free agent market.

Mat Latos - If the Reds can't lock up Bailey, they may turn their attention to rotation mate Mat Latos, who turned in an excellent 2013 season, with a 3.16 ERA and 4.4 fWAR.

The 26 year-old right-hander's elbow issues down the stretch might be a cause for concern, but overall, he's been very durable and his fastball velocity and swinging strike rate have been steady.

Latos is two years from free agency, and should command significant money in 2015, his final season of team control. Most likely the Reds will have to settle for either Bailey or Latos, with an extension for one meaning free agency for the other.

These are just some of the extension candidates that are close to free agency. While the Nationals agreed on two-year deals with Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond, they remain players that the club would like to secure long-term, along with pitchers Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg. Jeff Samardzija and Justin Masterson seem to be at an impasse with their respective teams, but discussions could turn around.

With the escalating prices in free agency, teams are more inclined to spend significant money on younger players. While there is a bit more uncertainty with a player who's only had one or two good seasons, paying for the prime seasons of a good player is more cost effective than paying for the decline seasons of a superstar.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Travel packages for Cardinals fans combines beach and baseball

February is a perfect time for daydreaming of two things many of us love: the beach and baseball.

Jupiter Beach Resort, an upscale hotel perfect for that catching a little beach time and Cardinals Spring Training, is offering two packages for Cardinals fans.

Play Ball! Spring Training package includes:

* 10 percent off best available rates on all room types

* Welcome gift including a baseball, red Sharpie pen and a box of Cracker Jacks

* $10 for a hotdog and beverage at Roger Dean Stadium (after tickets are presented at the stadium)

* Daily breakfast for two

Rates start $324/night and are valid from Feb. 28-March 27. To reserve, call 1-866-943=0950 or book online at and use Best Deals BALL.

Diamond MVP Spring Training package includes:

* Luxurious room accommodations in a Superior Suite

* Breakfast each morning for up to 4 people

* 4 Field Box tickets

* One "Day At The Stadium Experience":

o A personal curbside Roger Dean Stadium escort will greet your party

o A behind-the-scenes tour of the clubhouse and the 110-acre sports complex

o An opportunity to watch batting practice on the field

o Ceremonial First Pitch - Join the players for the pre-game festivities and then throw the first pitch to start the game off

o Two children can sit pre-game in the dugout for a photo and autograph opportunity (must be 13 years old or younger)

Rates start at $520/night (available during Spring Training home games only) and is valid from Feb. 28-March 27. Availability is limited. To reserve, call 1-800-228-8810 or visit and use promotional code DIAMOND.

And don't forget to enter the Post-Dispatch's contest for a free trip to Jupiter here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Galaxy S5 & iPhone 6 Release Dates MIA, But First Deal Isn't

Shoppers waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Apple iPhone 6 release dates to buy a new phone in 2014 are in for a special deal from Coupon Buy during the next two weeks.

Best Buy is not announcing the iPhone 6 release or stepping up to let shoppers know when to expect a Galaxy S5 release, but they are offering a deal that will help shoppers save $50 on these hot new phones anytime during 2014.

The new Best Buy smartphone deal offers $50 off the price of any phone on Sprint, Verizon or AT&T during 2014. Unlike many deals, you don't need to be up for a contract renewal right now to take advantage of this deal.

In fact, if you plan to buy an iPhone 6, Galaxy S5 or even an existing phone like the iPhone 5s, HTC One or Galaxy S4 you need to sign up for this deal.

Simply enter your mobile phone number on the Best Buy promotion page between February 2nd and February 15th and you'll reserve a $50 Best Buy gift card for when you update your phone. If you have a family plan you can register the primary line and up to four additional lines - each with a $50 gift card.

After you sign up, you can then buy a new iPhone 6, Galaxy S5 or any other phone sold at Best Buy between now and December 31st. The $50 gift card can be applied to the purchase price of the phone, and shoppers that don't need a new phone on release day can even pair this up with sales that could drop the price of the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S5 before the end of the year.

There is no commitment connected to signing up for this $50 gift card offer. If you don't upgrade or don't buy a new phone from Best Buy in 2014 the offer simply fades away so there is no reason to skip this if you think you will buy a new phone in 2014.

Best Buy offers this deal to upgrades and to users who switch a line to one of these carriers, but the offer is not good for new lines. Shoppers can check the upgrade eligibility of their lines to see if any are available in 2014.

This is the same offer Best Buy made in 2013, which worked out well for many shoppers, but there is one catch for early adopters. If you absolutely need the iPhone 6, Galaxy S5 or any other new phone on the first day it is available you might be out of luck. Best Buy typically sells the new iPhone and new Galaxy device at release, but stock is very limited and some stores may not be able to meet demand for weeks.

The iPhone 6 is expected to arrive in 2014 with many rumors suggesting another fall release, with a small chance for summer. Almost all the leaks suggest an iPhone 6 with a larger screen and many suggest two iPhone 6 models with larger screens, one between 4.5-inches and 4.8-inches and another above 5-inches in size. We expect a metal design and it is very possible that Apple will offer a Sapphire cover over the display. It is also likely that Apple will include a new Apple A8 processor and TouchID.

Samsung is reportedly planning a Galaxy S5 release for April or May and a launch event for the device in February or March. Rumors suggest we could see a larger 5.2 or 5.25-inch display and a higher 2560 x 1440 resolution is possible on at least one Galaxy S5 model. Additional rumors suggest a faster processor, enhanced 16MP camera and an updated TouchWiz Android overlay with new apps.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your mobile gear and loves to talk about tech on numerous radio programs. Josh uses an iPhone 5, Galaxy S4, HTC One, iPad mini, MacBook Air and Review Windows notebooks on a daily basis. Josh Smith on Google+ Email:[email protected]

George Clooney's 9 best quotes from Reddit AMA - 01/29/2014 | Entertainment News from

George Clooney participated in a reddit gone wild AMA (Ask Me Anything) Q&A session on Jan. 28, where he talked about everything from his basketball skills, shoe cobbling and even joked about his "Gravity" co-star Sandra Bullock.

Clooney took part in the Reddit AMA to promote a charity called Satellite Sentinel project and his new film "The Monuments Men," which he directed, produced and stars in. The movie focuses on a group of people who attempt to rescue artwork stolen by Nazis in World War II and return them to their owners.

Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Cate Blanchett also star in "The Monuments Men," which hits theaters on Feb. 7.

Check out nine quotes from George Clooney's Reddit AMA below.

1. He loved beating Leonardo DiCaprio in basketball.

"It's true. That was a fun day. It's always fun when you play people younger than you and win. We're playing a bunch of six year olds tomorrow."

2. He likes to make (cobble, specifically) shoes, and is better at it than Daniel Day-Lewis.

"Let me just tell you this. When Daniel Day-Lewis was spending all his time playing Lincoln, I was just fixing shoes. He's spending all the time focused on the hat, and the pipe, and getting into character, and I remained focused - with the overalls and the hammer."

3. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Golden Globes joke was all in good fun ... but there will be payback.

"Usually it's pretty funny. You know I got really good by Tina and Amy the other day and I'm working on getting them back in a big way. But for the most part most of the time when it's bad it's actually funny."

"You actually feel bad for the comedians up on stage cause you know if you've ever gone to a comedy club and you see somebody bomb it makes you cringe. Shows like that are designed to have fun with you without being devastatingly unkind. I've been the target of a couple of stupid jokes that didn't work, but in general I've only seen a couple that were really vicious toward people, and they didn't work. When they don't work you feel badly for the person doing it."

4. Brad Pitt pranked him big time while filming "Ocean's 12."

"It was Brad, we were shooting Oceans 12 in my hometown in Lake Como and he had a flier sent around saying George only wants to be called by his character's name Danny Ocean, don't look him in the eyes, and it got into the local paper. As you know, jokes don't translate at all, and they called me il divo [roughly translates to "divine male performer"], and said that I was treating the crew like [expletive]. When it got into the paper I came downstairs and Brad had the paper in his hand, and I said, 'You're mine from here on out. Brad just said, 'Please don't harm my children.' Yeah, he's done some pretty rotten things."

5. He is asked if he regrets making "Batman & Robin" a lot (but he doesn't).

"I get that question a lot. It's a funny thing, you've got to remember that when you're doing a movie, a lot of times you're spending 4 or 5 months on set and sometimes you're making really good friends and sometimes not. Some of the best films have been the least fun experiences and some of the worst, I've made lifelong friends out of it.

"It's the kind of thing where the memory of the film is very different than how it was reviewed, because it's months out of your life and you end up making close friends or having great experience on films that don't necessarily work. And that's a tricky thing to come to terms with."

6. Clooney is currently filming Disney's "Tomorrowland" and was strapped to a harness during his AMA.

"I'm on set and literally have a harness on right now. I was late, because right before I was hanging from about 30 feet over four different blue screens. So as we're talking now there are all these wires and contraptions hanging off of me. It's really, really, really good and Brad [Bird]'s a wonderful director, and a wonderful guy with a wild imagination. And if I don't screw it up it'll be a terrific film. Everybody's really good in it."

"Anyway, you always have to be careful what you say about these films so I don't want to sort of ruin it by telling you that everyone dies in the end. Oops, I've said too much."

7. He jokes his "Gravity" co-star Bullock couldn't lay off the alcohol on set.

"It's tricky cause Sandy drinks so much that oftentimes it's just hard to keep her upright. No, you know, Sandy and I have known each other for over 20 years and we both were struggling actors when we first met. She was dating a friend of mine at the time who's still a good friend of ours. Every time we're together it's funny. She's somebody I adore, really, she's just fun to be in a room with."

"I'm sure people will assume people aren't quite who they appear to be on screen -- they're shorter or taller or meaner or dumber--but Sandy is exactly what she appears on screen, an incredibly charming woman who's really just fun to hang out with. Very smart and centered, even though she does drink a lot."

8. Clooney feels "The Monuments Men" offers a positive view of the world.

"Grant [Heslov] and I finished shooting The Ides of March and looked back at the films we'd been doing, and it was nothing but cynical films. We're really not cynical people, so we thought we should do one with a positive view of the world. Grant had read the book and said maybe this is a film. We took it to Sony and they loved the idea. It was less about art in what we were looking for and more about looking for a new interesting story. I didn't know the story before."

9. You (yes, you) can go on a date with Clooney for as cheap as $10.

"I think I might be the cheapest date ever, $10. I'm literally the cheapest date anyone has ever been on. Check out It's gonna be fun though, we are gonna get out of the car together, walk the Monuments Men red carpet, the paparazzi will take a bunch of pictures, we'll go backstage at Letterman. You'll get to see the other side of it all, which is unusual and fun."

Sunday, February 2, 2014

This Isn't A Misprint: Best Buy Is Now Offering $50 Off The Purchase Of An 'iPhone 6'

Coupon Codes will soon offer $50 off the purchase of an "iPhone 6," "Samsung Galaxy S5," and any other new smartphone that is released before the end of the year. This is part of a new "Any Carrier. Any Phone. Any Plan. All In One Place" promotion.

To secure your $50 Best Buy gift card, you must register your interest in purchasing a new phone between Feb. 2 and Feb. 15, 2014. You will receive your gift card at the time of purchase - as long as that purchase is made before the end of 2014. You are under no obligation to purchase a phone after signing up. The deal simply expires at the end of Dec. 31, 2014.

Full details are as follows:

  • Between Feb. 2-15, 2014, just register your mobile phone number, email address and up to four more phone numbers on a family plan in-store or on
  • Then, any time before Dec. 31, 2014, purchase and activate a new mobile phone with the registered phone number and a two-year agreement on AT&T, Sprint or Verizon Wireless at any Best Buy or Best Buy Mobile store.
  • Enjoy your $50 Best Buy gift card, which can be applied to the phone purchase.

Best Buy hasn't been shy about discounting new smartphones, as its early iPhone 5c promotion in October proved. Nonetheless, this appears to be the first time the company has offered a discount on handsets that have yet to be released, let alone announced. Publicity stunt? Perhaps, but $50 is $50.

To register for your Best Buy gift card, click here beginning Feb. 2.

The next Samsung Galaxy is likely to arrive in April, while Apple's next crop of iPhones are expected in late summer or early fall.