Let the Good Times Roll for the Fords

By Pat O’Shea, Sports Writer

Ladies and gentlemen, the Haverford women’s basketball team is on a roll. With a victory this past Tuesday night against their rival Bryn Mawr,  the Fords secured their ninth victory in a row, surpassing the previous record of eight consecutive victories. After a hard-fought road loss to Ursinus College on Thursday, the Fords are now 13-5, and 10-3 in Centennial Conference play. After winning 12 of their past 14 games dating back to November, the Fords are in first place in the conference—one game ahead of second-place Gettysburg—as they get set to take on third-place Dickinson today at home with tip-off set at 1:00PM.

The Fords’ streak was no fluke. The team is ranked third in the conference in field goal percentage (38.3%), first in free throw attempts (72.9%), as well as first in blocks per game (5.7). Combine these offensive statistics with the fact that they hold their opponents to a league low 31.5% field goal percentage, and it is no wonder that the Fords are enjoying their best season since the 2013-2014 season, when they won the Centennial Conference Championship.

While the Fords have displayed the importance of playing “team first” basketball in recent weeks, Sierra Berkel ’18 is in the top ten of the conference in three offensive categories: ninth in points per game (12.4), fifth in rebounds per game (8.8), and fourth in field goal percentage (49.7%). Samantha Wetzel ’18 also has dominated the boards, averaging 9.1 rebounds per game this season, good for third in the Centennial Conference, and she also has 54 blocks for this season, second highest in the conference. During the record-breaking win at Bryn Mawr on Tuesday night, Wetzel ’18 also cemented her place in the Haverford record books by blocking the 161st block of her collegiate career, setting a new program record. Sophomore Macy Goldbach has also been integral part of the team’s success averaging 11.7 PPG this season.

Haverford has presented their opponents with the difficult dilemma of deciding which player to focus their defensive efforts on as the Fords have multiple players on the court that can score at will. The Fords feature an extremely deep lineup that includes seven players that average more than 17 minutes per game, ensuring that the team can stay fresh until “winning time” late in games. This formula has definitely worked thus far, and they are playing at a level that suggests Haverford will be playing basketball games into the conference playoffs in late February.

Today, in Calvin Gooding ’84 Arena, the Haverford women’s basketball team will play at 1:00PM as they look to continue their impressive season with an important match-up against the Dickinson Red Devils.

Photo courtesy of Megan Furch

How Skin Gambling in CSGO has become more popular in recent years

Photo labeled for reuse

By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

In the late summer of 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released across all platforms. The game was designed as an upgraded successor to the revolutionary Half-2 fan made mod, CS: Source. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO for short) quickly gained popularity on the PC and in no time at all, a bunch of professional gamers started competing in tournaments and live streaming adrenaline fuelled, fast-paced team matches.

For as long as people have been watching this popular esport, players have been wanting to get into gambling on live games. This has seen a huge increase of people looking to find CSGO gambling sites. The sites have been quick to add popular casino styled games for their players to play, with a unique CSGO theme. People who enjoy betting on CSGO have been treated to a bunch of unique games which you won’t find on other online casinos or betting sites.

The globally renowned and successful streaming platform, Twitch.tv, is predominantly used by gamers to watch or stream CSGO matches and tournaments. This largely helped towards the gaming phenomenon taking flight and being as recognized as it is today.

The reason why gambling on CSGO has become so popular is due to how accessible it is to all players. Many sites you can gamble at accept both real money bets as well as skin deposits. Real money CSGO gambling works incredibly similar to how regular betting sites work. You simply make a deposit and place a bet on the team you want to win. There is usually a selection of markets to choose from and some of the best sites will even let you bet in-play. Skin gambling works slightly differently. Players can deposit both skins or vGO skins into their account and either turn those skins into coins to use at the site or gamble the skin to win more valuable skins.

Betting on CSGO isn’t limited to any region or country and players from all over the world enjoy watching it and making bets on the scintillating tournaments it produces. If you reside in the U.S you might want to check a few things out before you join a new site, however. This is due to the strict gambling laws in North America can be. Currently only players from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware can gamble at online casinos. For sports and esports betting, players must reside in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island or West Virginia.

esports in schools from 2020

Esports to be Taught in Schools Across the Nation

By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

Esports Education – Courses to be offered to students training for a qualification in Esports

We’ve already seen esports as a college option being fully backed by governments in countries across Asia, but the United Kingdom have been the next country to back the academic side to esports.

Globally, the esports industry is projected to generate over $1.1 billion in 2020 with a 16% growth from the previous year, as reported by CSGOBettor.com.

Colleges around the UK are now looking to provide this to their students starting from September 2020. The Education and Skills Funding Agency has already confirmed and allocated the necessary funding.

Spotlight on Creativity: “The Coyote File” Unshelved

By Chloe Lindeman, Co-Editor-in-Chief

When was the last time you wrote or created something that really made you proud? For Alex Brooks (HC ’17), that moment is now — but it’s been in the works for more than four years.

After years of playing on some top cassava bingo sites, Alex Brooks struck inspiration and her love for new bingo games and slots were in her words "responsible for the recent change".

This Thursday, Brooks, a political science and Russian double major, is releasing the prologue to The Coyote Files, a digital article series he started during high school. It tells the story of the US and Russia fifty years in the future through the eyes of four different characters.

The Bi-College News sat down with the political science and Russian double major to hear what the process has been like for him. Here’s what he had to say:

Did you always know it was going to be a Russia-US story?

Not really … I wanted Russian characters in the story, because this was around the same time I was visiting Russia, participating in Russian programs and stuff. Russia’s a fascinating place, and it has a fascinating history, and so why not have some of it take place in Russia? It’s also a part of the world I understand more than I understand other places … I think the big caveat on what I’m writing is, this is my perspective. I don’t know everything about Russia; this is based on what I know and my experience and what thoughts I have personally.

Did you think a lot about it while you were studying abroad in Russia?

I did. It was hard for me to talk about exactly what it was about. I was trying to actually work on it in Russia. It was a lot harder to work on it in Russia because I was thinking in Russian and my ability to write in Russian is not as good … We had grammar class, and I was just tired of grammar exercises, so I would try to see if I could write a short story to use the grammar. Honestly, the idea didn’t work that well, but at least I got to explore what I could write in Russian.

You’ve been working on this for four years. Have things changed?

I’ve changed a lot; the story’s changed a lot, too. It’s nothing like whatever I was working on at first … I overhauled the story and completely scrapped everything I was doing and started from scratch at least five different times. I’ve written lots and lots of drafts. For every overhaul, I’ve written a draft of something … I did a lot of deleting stuff like crazy, especially if I learned something new and I’d realize that this element of something that I’d think is really important is not in the story at all; it’s time to change it. Or I’d discover I’m wrong about one sort of thing. Or I’d learn something new and I’d really want to work with that. But now I think … it’s ready now.

Was there ever a time when you thought about scrapping the project and doing something totally different?

I mean, not really. It’s weird because it’s something that’s stuck over the past few years, and there are times when I’m not working on it as much. I guess there are times when I have doubts. Like serious, serious doubts. And I’m wondering whether I’m going to do anything or whether it’s a waste of time or something. That’s definitely a thing, that’s happened multiple times. But ultimately, this is something I’m passionate about. I really like writing … at this point, I have the story; I just need to put it out there.

Brooks didn’t say much about the background of the story itself since the prologue is the background. He did note that among the characters are Allison King, “the daughter, basically, of the Bill Gates of their time;” Andrei Volodin, “who runs Kremlin Corp. … [which is] an arms corporation;” and Bagha, a “cybernetic soldier.”

“I’m starting with Trump and Putin … the prologue starts in 2020, so it’s not like now, and of course it hasn’t happened, but it’s foreseeable,” said Brooks.

You can read the prologue at www.thecoyotefile.com any time after its release tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 25, at midnight.

Growing interest in mobile bingos sites and apps

By Ethan Lyne, Lifestyle Editor

Online gaming has grown massively in the last couple of years, with mobile bingo sites perhaps being one of the most fun and easy to engage with. There’s not only the prospect of having a great time within a supportive online bingo community, there’s the chance to win millions and keep what you win from all sorts of no deposit bonuses and free welcome offers.

This demand from new bingo players looking to game at good mobile bingo sites is continuing to rise. All the while, mobile bingo apps are growing in popularity too. With 3G and 4G, iPhone and Android phones and super fast Internet becoming the norm, the world of online bingo just got more accessible.

The best rated online bingo rooms are never far away – with many available as soon as you open the app or site. Nowadays you can even read reviews to help choose before you play. And when you do play, have the option to deposit by a range of payment methods from Boku to Paypal to Ukash.

Choosing between a bingo app or site on mobile? Bingo sites today are built using HTML5 which makes them mobile-friendly, so you can enjoy the same type of experience as a desktop. Though, native apps provide a better overall user experience.

Mobile devices are ideal homes for the game of bingo – with touch screens, fast mobile networks and faster processors in-built. Now, many experts predict an even bigger increase in mobile bingo players in the not too distant future.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

10 best moments in poker

By Jonathan Byrne, Features Writer

While many things have been said about the popularity of poker games, we cannot deny the fact that poker has a history that runs back to the 18th century - that was the first time the game of poker was enjoyed around the Mississippi River. Poker was regarded as an outlaw game prior to the 20th century, and the general public did not have access to it in a free manner.

The game continued to spread across the US, especially during the 1894 Gold Rush and even during the Civil War. At that period, poker presented an opportunity to compete without gunshots and land some prize money in winnings. This captivated gamers and became very popular in saloons around, making it a common thing among the people.

However, poker did not blossom right away, because it took some time to explode. What we have done with this article is to make a very detailed timeline of the 10 most interesting facts about poker that every lover of the game should know.

Poker Becomes A Mainstream Game In The US

Just as we have said, poker was seen as an outlaw game in the US before the 20th century. The general public could not access it because of that and it was not recognized by a lot of people. But when many formats for playing poker were brought into the mix, and some purely entertainment and fun-focused types of poker like strip poker became very common things started changing. Having said that, the turning point came when Texas Hold’em that gets people more excited than other forms of poker like 5 card draw poker was legalized. Nowadays online poker at new UK casino sites is booming.

The first WSOP in 1970

What we could regard as the most respected poker tournament in the world was launched in 1970, though with a different format to what is obtainable in today’s WSOP. At that time, it was an invitational cash game where seven players challenged each other at the Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas. By the end of the first season, the first champion was decided by a vote, and Johny Moss emerged victorious.

Poker Event Was First Televised In 1973

After the first WSOP in 1970, they hit another milestone in 1973 when the first poker event was televised. The event was the WSOP in Las Vegas too, and it paved the way for the general public to get a taste of what the game is like. This shored up interest in the game and led to the first female players being invited to join them, as an uncommon move at the time.

First Online Poker Room Came In 1998

With the game garnering even more players and the proliferation of the internet, opening of the first online poker room was inevitable, and that signaled a new chapter in the entire history of poker. It was in 1998 that Planned Poker opened, and though it did not garner huge success in terms of traffic, the road was paved for other poker platforms to open, and the ones that came later recorded the expected success. The growth of the industry was hampered by disconnections, slow loading times, and limited internet access a bit. But when these problems were solved, it witnessed an exponential growth.

The 2003 WSOP Trophy Goes to Chris Moneymaker

The WSOP has had many champions, but none has influenced the game like Chris Moneymaker did. He was just 27 and an accountant from Tennessee. He was an amateur poker player, and got into the tournament through an internet satellite of just $86. He went ahead to defeat 839 professional players, and at the heads up battle, he defeated Sammy Farha to go home with the $2.5 million prize money. The number of people trying to replicate what he did has grown exponentially.  The tournament had 2,576 players in 2004, 5,619 players in 2005, and 8,773 players in 2006.

Isildur1 Surprised the Poker World In 2009

Only a few poker players succeeded in creating the type of buzz that Isildur1 created at the FullTilt poker room in 2009. This player that was not known by people at that time defeated the big names in the game and came out successful, taking home millions of their money. This made everybody start studying his moves. Many people launched FullTilt poker to look at his moves and how he beats other players. After defeating all the opponents, players that were breaking down his system to the last details and those sharing the databases Isildur’s hands in a move that was considered wrong at the time stopped him. The game will always remember him as a legend, and people will always savor the moments when he defeated the entire players.

Black Friday In 2011

Poker history witnessed one of its worst days on Friday the 15th of April 2011. It was the day domains of the biggest poker rooms at that time were seized by the Department of Justice of the U S. The affected rooms were the Ultimate bet, FullTilt Poker, and PokerStars. They locked players’ funds and blocked access to the site, and people started wondering what the problem was. After some time, an announcement came, and it revealed that only US players would be affected by the clampdown, but the act proved to be very inimical to the growth of the poker industry all over the world.

A World Record Was Set By PokerStars In 2013

Poker stars set a fresh world record in 2013, even as US players were not allowed to take part. It reached 225,000 players at that time. During the period under review, the buy-in was $1 and the guaranteed prize pool had $300.000. The tournament was memorable in many ways. The record has not been beaten till now, and it does not seem like any will do that in the nearest future.

Head up Games Got Solved by Poker Bots In 2015

With the development of poker strategies over the years, the arrival of poker bots became inevitable. Science departments in the biggest universities started working to create software that could play poker games, and though they did not hit success immediately, the silver lining became very clear in 2015. There were a lot of flaws with the first poker bots, so people were able to beat them easily. But ‘Cepheus’ arrived and put paid to Heads-Up Limit games and no one could beat it. The format was not popular and the threat was not much, but it still made a lot of players nervous, and they started questioning the next level for poker.

Pluribus, the AI Software Defeats Players in 6max Format In 2019

While the previous software couldn’t play one on one games, the arrival of Pluribus changed things. The advanced artificial intelligence (AI) software defeated 5 top players in the 6 max games, and players never appreciated that.

The bot was not taught any strategies by the scientists this time. Instead, they allowed him to learn by playing against himself with the basic rules of poker. Unexplainable play was learnt by pluribus, and this made it difficult for humans to beat.

What does the future hold? Let’s watch and see.

Haverford Basketball Off to a Promising Start

By Pat O’Shea, Contributing Writer

The Haverford Men’s Basketball team is off and running in their 2016-2017 season. They collected their first win on November 19th against Penn State- Schuylkill in the Lycoming Tournament, and have played three extremely hard fought games since including a two point loss to Bryn Athyn.

Coach Michael Mucci is in his 22nd season as the Head Coach of the Fords. Kyle Goldfarb ’19, the team’s leader in minutes per game, describes Mucci as “a players coach, and always has his player’s best interest in mind.” 

This year, Coach Mucci brought in new assistant coaches, Rudy Wise, Cory Jacobson, and Doug Young in order to help develop the team. According to Kahlil Garnes ’19 and the Fords leading scorer, Joe Scibelli ’19, these additions to the coaching staff are paying off.

Wise, Jacobson, and Young are “bringing some new energy, schemes and toughness that we lacked last year.” says Scibelli. “We are lucky to have them.” 

Notes Garnes, “all three are very knowledgeable and really want to win.”  

In addition to the new assistant coaches, the Fords are relying on their team chemistry in order to make strides in the Centennial Conference this season.

Scibelli believes that the “team chemistry is solid. We are a young team, which means that some of the typical hierarchy isn’t present. We are really close with the young guys and it has become a tight group.” 

Kyle Goldfarb, ‘19, agrees with Scibelli in that “the team chemistry has definitely improved. This is the second year we have had a class of six or more sophomores, and both classes have meshed well together.” 

Scibelli and Garnes also agree that the team can definitely improve their turnovers. “We are not valuing the basketball,” says Scibelli, “This should improve as the season goes on and we get more comfortable with each other. The team has done a decent job of meshing so far but we still have a long way to go.”

The common thread of reducing turnovers is one point that Garnes echoed along with improving their “technique after getting into the paint.”

The Fords will host the Muhlenberg Mules on Wednesday, and then travel to Washington College on Dec. 10. Be sure to come out to Gooding ’84 Arena to support the Fords.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Haverford Women’s Basketball Off to a Strong Start

By Pat O’Shea, Contributing Writer

The Haverford College Women’s Basketball opened the 2016-2017 season with hopes of making program history: the Fords will be looking to reach the Centennial Conference Tournament for a program record-breaking sixth consecutive season. The Fords are also looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since their 2013-2014 championship season.

Leading the Fords in her ninth year is Head Coach Bobbi Morgan, who has them very well positioned for a deep run. It is no coincidence that Coach Morgan has found success at Haverford in part because “she knows her stuff inside and out and constantly brings energy each day, which fuels us,” as Katie Cook ’19 says.

Junior Captain Sam Wetzel ’18 also commented on what Coach Morgan means to her and the team as “one of the best experiences I have had as a basketball player. She is like our mom at college.” A mom that understands her players and, as Wetzel says, “knows when we need a confidence boost and when we need a little tough love, but in the end, she helps us reach potential we did not realize we had.”

The team culture breeds success for the Women’s Basketball team. First-year Megan Furch describes her upperclass teammates as amazing both on and off the court.

“They are really patient teaching us plays and walking us through the motions,” said Furch. “They are some of the most supportive teammates I have ever had and I couldn’t imagine playing with anyone else.”

Sophomore Katie Cook believes that this chemistry helps the team on the court: “We are a very close team … it took some getting used to but we all play for each other, which is really important in this sport. When you have an entire team rooting for the success of everyone, it’s a powerful thing.”

So far this season, the Fords are 2-1 in Conference play with wins over Bryn Mawr and Franklin & Marshall. Junior Captain Sierra Berkel noted, “the start of the season has been really exciting. Even with just a few games under our belt, I have extreme confidence in the potential of our time this year.”

The Fords play two more Conference games before Winter break. The first is a home game against Muhlenberg on Wednesday, Nov. 7. On Saturday, Dec. 10, they travel to Washington College.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

“20 Feet from Stardom:” The Making of a Real Star

By Abby Hoyt, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In an era where most Hollywood singers sport commanding attitudes and resplendent clothing, Lisa Fischer’s humble nature and casual attire convinces the world to re-examine what makes someone a star.

Fischer strolled onto the stage in Bryn Mawr College’s Goodhart Theatre with a deep purple shawl draped gently across her body. A long, flowing yellow skirt occasionally floated away to reveal glittery sandals and painted toes. But don’t let this casual look fool you. This singer got her start as a back-up singer for legendary names like Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones and Luther Vandross.

Despite their talent, background singers tend to go unnoticed, and their voices are often overshadowed by the star of the show. Filmmaker Morgan Neville made a documentary in 2013 called “20 Feet From Stardom,” which examined the dynamic between background singers and the stars they work with. The film features renowned back-up singers like Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Judith Hill, portraying the struggles each woman went through in her quest to start a solo career.

Both Merry Clayton and Darlene Love show a small hint of disappointment when they speak about their solo careers. They express disappointment that they didn’t end up being the big stars they expected.

Fischer differs from these women in that she always found comfort in “walking the street and not having to worry about putting on sunglasses and hiding out.” In the documentary she describes her record deal as “just one of those things that just kind of blossomed,” and explains that she understands how fortunate she was. In 1992, she won a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her song “How Can I Ease the Pain.”

While the modern Grammy Award winner featured in an episode of MTV’s Cribs has a mansion decked out with the latest technology and impressive memorabilia, a scene in the documentary shows Fischer’s modest and cluttered apartment, giving the viewer insight into Fischer’s genuine humility. The camera pans around the room showing the apartment in a light state of disarray. We see a pile of clutter in the corner — clutter that turns out to be several gold albums and gifts from the musicians she has toured with. Later in the film we see her Grammy on a shelf with various other knick-knacks and picture frames. She blushes as she points it out and playfully admits, “Oh and here’s my Grammy…I just kinda keep it there. I don’t know what to do with it.”

After winning her Grammy she started to pursue a second record deal, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. “I was working on a second record and I don’t know. I just took too long. There was this window and it just took too long.”

Despite this setback, Fischer kept singing simply because she just likes to sing. In the film she is quoted as saying, “I love melodies. I’m in love with the sound vibration and what it does with other people. It’s familiar but so special and you’re just so happy when you get there and you try to stay there for as long as you can.”

And stay there she does. Her music combines elements of smooth jazz and soul that make the listener feel instantly relaxed. Her songs consist of mostly melodious tones and a cacophony of oos and ahhs that seem to never end. She’s careful to hit every note, and she leaves the audience to breathe in each note she makes and anxiously await the next one. In the film, she compares her singing style to that of a feather that was blown into the air.

“You just go, never hit a hitch,” she says. “You just land. That’s what it feels like to me.”

This is clearly conveyed to anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing her sing. There is so much effort that goes into every sound she makes, and the sound seems to come from her whole body, not just her mouth. She sways around the stage as if she is using her body to bounce the notes around the room. She doesn’t just hold the microphone; she tangos with it, creating different sounds by moving it in circles around her mouth. Her voice is genuine and warm. Even audience members with limited musical background (such as myself) had chills throughout the performance.

She began touring with the band, Grand Baton, in 2014, and in this setting she is advertised as the main attraction. However, her years as a backup singer have clearly left an impact on her, as she makes sure that the talent dynamics on stage are horizontal rather than vertical. She takes care to keep the main focus of the stage is not herself, and she dedicates generous time in her performance to feature each of her band members and allow them to go “off book” and show the room their talent.

Once she finished singing, several audience members came up to the stage to bring her bouquets of flowers. She graciously accepted the gifts, taking the time to bend down and thank each person individually. She walked back to center stage, put the flowers down, and softly thanked the audience, saying, “Thank you so much for these gifts, but just know that the best gift you could have given me was coming here tonight.”

Her concerts convey her desire to sing purely because she loves to sing. At the same time, they invite you into her heart and soul for an hour, and you walk away in paralyzing peace.

In the documentary, Sting makes an appearance. He comments on what separates real stars from the rest of the performers out there and argues that there is a “spiritual component to what they do that’s got nothing to do with worldly success.” He describes singing as “more an inner journey,” for true stars and that “any other success is just cream on the cake.”

Despite her start near the back of the stage, Fischer’s presence on stage and distinct musical talent have earned her a place among the stars of modern music.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Consent to Be Seen: Magill Library’s Newest Exhibit

By Sophie Webb, Features Editor

Sharpless Gallery in Haverford College’s Magill Library is home to a new exhibit, this one titled Consent to Be Seen. A collection of works by Riva Lehrer, the exhibit opened Oct. 28 and is curated by Courtney Carter ‘17 and Assistant Professor of Writing Kristin Lindgren.

The exhibit is a collection of thirteen pieces of art and two display cases of sketches, all by artist and disability activist Riva Lehrer. Lehrer is a Chicago-based artist whose work focuses on representing the human body, specifically differently abled and physically abnormal bodies and people whose identities have been challenged or traditionally not accepted by society. In Consent to Be Seen, she focuses specifically on the biomedicine idea of “informed consent,” or the permission a patient can give to receive treated from the doctor. But rather than focusing on biomedicine, the exhibit centers around the idea of consenting to being seen. In her work, Lehrer aims to represent disabled bodies and people whose identities are unaccepted as full subjects and full people, challenging the viewer to see something more than the disability.

Each of the thirteen pieces in the exhibit depicts a body, but the medium used ranges from acrylic to colored pencil to collage. The pieces are quite large, and all together they have a commanding presence in the room. Accompanying each piece is a paragraph written by Lehrer that describes the piece and offers more insight, so that the viewer can know more about the subjects of her paintings, whether that subject be herself, transgender poet and activist Eli Clare, activist and University of Wisconsin at Madison professor Finn Enke or Curator and Art Historian Rhoda Rosen. Each of these subjects and the others that accompany them have a story to tell, and Lehrer attempts to tell that story through her art.

The power of the exhibit can’t truly be conveyed through words; it has to be seen. The exhibit will remain open through late January.  Until then, it will continue to influence those who see it, making its viewers pause for a moment and truly think.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016