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Stokes's Bristol Nightclub incident in detail (From: The Comeback Summer by Geoff Lemon)

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a place where misadventure could begin, you can’t go past Mbargo. The nightclub’s streetfront is painted a purple so bright you’ll see it in your dreams. Strings of giant sequins shimmer in the breeze. Its phonically inventive name is spelt in silver letters that climb its three-storey terrace facade. Inside are strips of burning neon, a few booths, floorboards so marinated in drink that they have an ingredients list. Bristol is a student city on England’s south coast crowded with music and nightlife and street art. This is Banksy’s home town, and the tourism board suggests in rather strong terms that ‘you would be a fool not to see his amazing work firsthand’. The same organisation describes Mbargo as ‘intimate’, which is fair for a place where you can catch an STI standing up. Students cram into its modest dimensions while people with names like DJ Klaud battle for billing with £1.50 drink deals over seven sloppy nights a week. To get a sense of the story about to come, consider that it’s the kind of place open until two o’clock on a Monday morning, and that at two o’clock on a Monday morning, Ben Stokes still thought it had closed too early.
The Ashes of 2017–18 had disciplinary bookends. It was after that series that Australia’s two leaders went off the rails in South Africa. It was a few weeks before that Ashes tour that England’s biggest star windmilled his way into his own disaster.
In the early hours of 25 September 2017, Stokes and teammate Alex Hales were barred from re-entering Mbargo after a night out on the piss. A Sunday thrashing of an abject West Indies in an ignored series at the fag-end of the season apparently required ample celebration. After arguing with the bouncer and hanging about at the door for a while, they wandered off to find a casino in the hope of more drinking. They’d barely made it around the corner before getting in the middle of a conflict between four locals. As is said on the internet, it escalated quickly.
The 26 September reporting was bloodless. Withholding names, police stated that a man ‘was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm’ while another went to hospital with facial injuries. England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss separately confirmed that Stokes was the arrestee, adding that he had been released without charge and that Hales had gamely offered to ‘help police with their enquiries’. Administrators had a good chance of hiding behind that investigation, and the next day Stokes was named in the upcoming Ashes squad as expected. But that night the video emerged.
Bristol student Max Wilson had shot it on his phone, then offered it to The Sun. What he thought was playing hardball was actually lowball: his opening price of £3000 was snapped up by a tabloid that would have paid ten times that. The Sun went on to make a mint by syndicating the rights worldwide. From a window above the fray, the vision showed six men on the street below performing the muddled choreography of a melee. One was right at the centre of it. One was waving a bottle, one dipped in and out, one tried to calm it. Two others floated around the edges. The central figure was unmistakable: red hair burning even in the streetlight as he launched into a series of blows against two of the men, falling to grapple with them on the ground, then following both across the street, swinging punches the whole way. Hales trailed behind, repeatedly and impotently shouting ‘Stokes! Stop! Stokes! Enough!’ The ECB could fudge issues that existed only in thickets of legalese, but not those captured in moving colour. Stokes was stood down from the next West Indies match, then suspended indefinitely. It emerged that he had broken his hand during the fight, something he’d done twice before while punching objects in dressing rooms.
The response in Australia was fierce: Stokes was a thug, a lowlife, a selection that would disgrace England. It was not entirely coincidental that a ban for England’s best player would be handy for the Aussie team, but there was also a cultural split. In England, plenty of people still minimise pub fights as lads letting off steam. In Australia, heavy media coverage as a succession of young men were killed had inverted that tolerance. The discourse now saw any punch as potentially deadly and accordingly reckless. This was more poignant in a cricket context given that David Hookes, the dashing Test batsman and state coach, was killed in 2004 by a pub bouncer’s fist.
The PR situation was bad for Stokes as details emerged of the injuries to the men he’d hit, and that one was a young war veteran and father. Stokes wasn’t officially removed from the Ashes squad through October but stayed behind when his teammates left, hoping for police to dismiss the matter in time for a late dash to Australia. His annual contract was renewed on the due date in case that came to pass. Then 29 October brought a twist in the tale.
‘Ben Stokes praised by gay couple after defending them from homophobic thugs,’ ran the headline. Kai Barry and Billy O’Connell had emerged. Not entirely out of nowhere: while Stokes had made no public comment, this story in his defence had initially been leaked to TV host Piers Morgan after the fight, as soon as the video appeared. Police body-camera footage played in court would later show that Stokes had given the same story to the arresting officer on the night. But no-one knew the identities of the fifth and sixth men in the video, and police appeals had turned up nothing.
It was The Sun again with the breakthrough. Kai and Billy were perfect for a readership not keen on nuance. ‘We couldn’t believe it when we found out they were famous cricketers. I just thought Ben and Alex were quite hot, fit guys,’ said Kai, who was memorably described as a ‘former House of Fraser sales assistant’. The paper had the pair do a full photo shoot: layering the fake tan, showing off chest waxes, mixing Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton into a range of outfits. Their best shot had them standing back to back, heads turned to the camera, in a mirror-image Zoolander moment.
Suddenly The Sun was the England team’s best friend. ‘Their claims could lead to the all-rounder being cleared over the punch-up and freed to play in the First Test in Australia next month,’ it gushed, then gave a tasting platter of quotes: ‘We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero.’ ‘If Ben hadn’t intervened it could have been a lot worse for us.’ ‘We could’ve been in real trouble. Ben was a real gentleman.’ Would it be known forever as Kai and Billy’s Ashes? No. While the Bristol boys provided spin for Stokes’ reputation they didn’t influence the police. With charges still pending there was little choice – not given Strauss had previously sacked Kevin Pietersen for being annoying. Stokes remained suspended through the Ashes and a one-day series in Australia, and lost the vice-captaincy. It was January 2018 before the Crown Prosecution Service laid a charge.
That charge surprisingly came in as affray, a crime that can carry prison time but is classified as ‘a breach of the peace as a result of disorderly conduct’. The men he had punched, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, faced the same count, charged as equal participants in a fight rather than Stokes being charged with assaulting them. Alex Hales was not charged, despite being seen in the video to aim several kicks when Ryan Ali was lying on the ground. Given the underwhelming standing of the offence, Stokes was cleared by the ECB to tour New Zealand, and kept playing until his trial in August 2018, which he missed a Test to attend. None of the three defendants would be convicted.
The reasoning behind the charges was never released and was attributed vaguely to ‘CPS lawyers’. The service gave the case to Alison Morgan, a prosecutor of a class known as Treasury Counsel who usually handle serious criminal matters. Morgan had a scheduling clash and never ended up court for the case, but in 2018 and 2019 she would go on to win damages and admissions of libel from The Daily Mail, The Times and The Daily Telegraph variously for incorrectly reporting that she had been responsible for the inadequate and inconsistent charging decisions.
Morgan’s successor on the case was Nicholas Corsellis QC, who on the first day of trial was permitted by the CPS to request two assault charges be added against Stokes. ‘Upon further review,’ claimed a CPS statement, ‘we considered that additional assault charges would also be appropriate.’ This was patent nonsense from the service that eight months earlier had chosen the lesser charge. Any lawyer knows that no judge will allow new charges once a trial has begun, because the defence hasn’t had time to prepare. But such a request could deflect criticism of the prosecution service by technically making the judge the one who disallows the charge.
Working through the story from the trial and the tape is complicated. You had a Ryan and a Ryan, a Hale and a Hales, a Billy and a Barry and a Ben. You had several versions of events as to who knew whom, who was drinking with whom, who had insulted whom and who had merely engaged in ‘banter’, a word that in modern Britain has to do an unconscionable amount of lifting. The reporting had constantly mixed up the Ryans as to who had which injury, who was in hospital, who had played which part in the fight, and whose mum had which stern words to say about it.
Let’s agree that from now Ryan Ali is Ryan One, the firefighter who ended up with a fractured eye socket and a cracked tooth. Ryan Two can be Ryan Hale, the soldier who scored concussion and facial lacerations. Mr Barry and Mr O’Connell are best known per The Sun as Kai and Billy. In scorecard parlance we’ll leave the cricketers as Stokes and Hales.
Amid the confusion, Stokes and his lawyers built his case in a straightforward way. The UK legal definition of affray is ‘if a person threatens or uses unlawful violence or force towards another person, which causes another person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their safety’. That means it doesn’t account for violence that harms a target, but violence that might frighten a theoretical bystander. The wiggle room for Stokes was with ‘unlawful’, because the charge excuses violence in defending oneself or others.
This interpretation hinged on the beginning of the video, where Ryan One waves a beer bottle about and takes a swing at Kai. The version from Stokes was that he was minding his own business walking down the street when he heard homophobic abuse. He intervened verbally and was threatened verbally by Ryan One – something that Ryan One denied but that couldn’t be proved or disproved. In fear for his safety Stokes had to nullify that threat by bashing Ryan One before it went the other way. He registered Ryan Two in his peripheral vision as another possible threat, and again had only one recourse.
Stokes also had to convince the jury to disregard testimony from Mbargo’s bouncer that he had been looking for a fight. A solid lump of a man, Andrew Cunningham had not enjoyed his patron’s attempts to get back into the club after the bouncer declined an offer of a bribe. ‘He got a bit verbally abusive towards myself. He mentioned my gold teeth and he said I looked like a cunt and I replied, “Thank you very much.” He just looked at me and told me my tattoos were shit and to look at my job.’ Cunningham described these words as coming in ‘a spiteful tone, quite an angry tone’, and said that Stokes still seemed angry as he walked away.
These were details the doorman had nothing to gain by inventing, but each of them Stokes denied. By his own accounting he had drunk a beer at the game and three pints at his hotel, then ‘potentially had some Jägerbombs’ along with half a dozen vodkas at the club. He insisted that after all of this he was not drunk.
If I may take a moment here to call upon the wisdom of experience – a person who cannot definitively say whether they have had any Jägerbombs has definitely had some Jägerbombs. A Jägerbomb is an experience that does not pass one by. Further to that, a person who says they have ‘potentially’ done something has definitely done that thing and doesn’t want to admit it. A person who has had between 15 and 24 standard drinks in one evening is shitfaced. A person who tries to bribe a bouncer £300 – three hundred quid! – to get into Mbargo – Mbargo! – is beyond shitfaced.
If Stokes admitted that he was drunk then the prosecution could say he was out of control. He claimed clear recall of assessing a threat, feeling fear and deciding to protect himself with force. He confidently denied details from the bouncer’s testimony, like using the word ‘cunt’ or mentioning gold teeth. Yet on other details he claimed a ‘significant memory blackout’. He didn’t remember the punch that saw Ryan One taken away by ambulance. He didn’t remember what the Ryans had said to Kai and Billy, only that those words were homophobic. With no head injury, as one of the few people who hadn’t been hit, he had supposedly suffered this memory loss despite being sober.
The version from Kai and Billy was compatible but vague: they had been walking along, they ‘heard … shouts’ of abuse from an unspecified source, then Stokes ‘stepped in’ and thus they avoided possible harm. They claimed to have been bought a drink by Stokes at Mbargo, although CCTV showed them meeting outside. The overall implication from both accounts was that the cricketers had been pals with Kai and Billy, while the Ryans as per The Sun’s headline were a roving band of thugs.
The reality though is that the Ryans were the ones hanging out with Kai and Billy at Mbargo. Police discussed CCTV from inside the club in questioning and at trial. On that footage the four Bristolians bought drinks for one another, danced together, and Kai was noted to have variously touched Ryan Two’s crotch and Ryan One’s buttock. Ryan One told police that all of this was taken lightheartedly and wasn’t a problem. Indeed, when the Ryans called it a night the other two left with them.
This much is clear from footage out the front of Mbargo, which shows Kai and Billy exit the club and start talking with a subdued Hales and a demonstrative Stokes, who are stuck outside. The vision was played in court to determine whether Stokes was antagonistic towards Kai and Billy, as he appears to impersonate them and to throw a lit cigarette their way. More interesting is that after a few minutes the Ryans emerge, and all six actors in the fight video briefly form a prequel in the one frame.
Ryan Two pats Billy on the chest in friendly fashion with his right hand before clapping him on the back with his left. He moves past and does the same to Kai before leaving the shot. Ryan One stops to speak to Kai. They lean in for a moment, talking, then Kai turns and they walk out of frame together. Billy hangs around for a few seconds at the door and then looks after them and races to catch up. Stokes and Hales remain outside the club to remonstrate further with the bouncers. Whatever discord develops around the corner is between four men who left amicably together minutes earlier.
There’s no way to know what caused that friction. If Ryan One did use homophobic slurs, he might have been drunkenly obnoxious for no reason. He might have had an insecure macho response to some extra flirtation. He might have thought unkindness was funny – ‘banter’ once again. Or he might have said something that was misunderstood, as both Ryans insisted in court that they had not used nor had the impulse to use any abusive language.
What clearly didn’t happen was an attack by bigots on random passers-by. This kind of crime is regular enough that an audience understands the horror of it, and this is what was evoked by the public accounts of Stokes, Billy and Kai. All we know is that there was some verbal dispute among the Bristol locals, and that Stokes came along behind them and put himself in the middle of it. Ryan One responded to the interference aggressively and away they went. There are plenty of reasons to look sideways at the idea that Stokes was a saviour. Foremost, neither Kai nor Billy was called upon as witnesses in court. You’d think it would be ideal to have Stokes’ story backed up by those who benefited from his selflessness. But his defence team had developed the impression that the pair had shown a changeable recall of events amid a hard-partying lifestyle, and would be dismantled by the prosecution on the stand.
That raises the question of whether The Sun coached their quotes for the 2017 interview. Despite missing court, Kai and Billy clearly enjoyed the attention. In 2018 after the trial they did a follow-up spread in the same paper about how poor Ben had been mistreated. They got a television spot on Good Morning Britain and glowed about his heroism. In 2019 The Sun wheeled them out once more to say that Stokes should get a knighthood. In 2017 they had ‘never watched cricket’ but by 2019 were supposedly volunteering sentences like, ‘He saved us, now he’s saved the Ashes.’ Whether they were paid for these appearances is not known, but the chance to be famous for a day can be lure enough.
If you find this cynical, consider that on the night in question, the Bristol boys were so deeply moved and thankful for Ben’s intervention that they left him to be arrested and never attempted to find out who he was. Seconds after the video ended, an off-duty policeman reached the scene. You might think that someone grateful to a saviour would speak on his behalf. Instead, said Kai, ‘it all got a bit scary so we walked off. It was too much for me and we went to Quigley’s takeaway for chicken burgers and cheesy chips.’ They didn’t give their hero a thought for over a month while police issued multiple appeals for witnesses.
As for Stokes, he told his arresting officer that ‘his friends’ had been attacked. After three minutes of chat outside a nightclub, these friends were so dear to him that he has never contacted them again: not after the newspaper piece, not after the verdict. He didn’t want to see how they were or thank them for their support. He didn’t mention them by name in his solicitor’s statement after the trial.
The Stokes defence rested on Ryan One’s bottle, which he had carried out of Mbargo to finish a beer, not to use in a Sharks versus Jets amateur production. But once he turned it over to hold it by the neck it became a weapon. Intent and interpretation can change the material nature of things. Part of Stokes’ justification in court was that the bottle implied that the two Ryans might have ‘other weapons’ hidden away. You can understand how a jury could decide that created doubt.
Not being convicted, though, doesn’t give the contents of the video a big green tick. It does not, as his lawyer claimed, vindicate Stokes. Looking in detail, Ryan One is belligerent but his movements telegraph a bluff. Hales is the person he’s gesturing at, but they’re several metres apart when Ryan One cocks his arm ostentatiously, showing off the bottle rather than bracing to swing. He skips forward but Hales skips back and Ryan One doesn’t follow. Kai stretches out an arm to impede Ryan One, who has a drunken stumble, nearly eats pavement, then staggers towards Kai and hits him in the back. That hand is still holding the bottle, but his strike is a side-arm cuff on a soft part of the body. It’s all pretty tame.
This is where Stokes gets involved. Having moved across to protect Hales, he now takes three large steps to run around Kai and booms his first punch at Ryan One. They fall to the ground and the bottle clinks away. Stokes gets to his feet to punch down at the fallen man, while Hales arrives to kick him ineffectively then runs off across the street for some unknown reason. Ice-cream van? Stokes is soon back in the grapple having his shirt pulled up to show off his Durham tan. Ryan Two steps in for the first time to pull Stokes away, prompting a couple more random punches at this new target, then Stokes trips backwards over Ryan One and sprawls in the street. Hales chooses this moment to return and aim some solid kicks at the head of the man on the ground. Nothing so far is a triumph of moral philosophy or the pugilistic arts. But if it all stopped here, perhaps you could say it was somewhere approaching fair. Ryan One has behaved like a turnip and it’s not an entirely unjust world that would give him a whack across the chops. The antagonists have disentangled, Stokes has some distance, it’s time to dust off and go home. Ryan Two steps forward for this purpose with his palm raised in conciliatory style and says, ‘Settle down, stop.’
So Stokes punches him.
It’s roughly his fifth punch overall, and he really winds up into this one. He misses so hard that he stumbles away into the shadows of the shop awnings along the road.
Hales starts shouting for him to stop. Ryan Two backs into the street, still holding his palm up. Stokes closes on him from about five metres away, six large steps, to where Ryan Two is standing on his own. Stokes pushes him a couple of times, as Ryan Two keeps trying to placate him and saying ‘Stop.’ Stokes throws his sixth punch, largely missing as his target ducks.
Ryan Two keeps pulling away and reversing, into the middle of the street now. Stokes follows him, grabbing his sleeve to drag him back. By this point Ryan One has found his feet and walked around behind his friend. Both of them are in the same line of sight for Stokes, and both are backing away. Stokes aims his seventh and his eighth punches, which Ryan Two tries to deflect, as Hales walks up behind Stokes to grab him.
Stokes yanks away from his friend and switches to Ryan One instead, taking seven paces to grab him before throwing his ninth punch of the night. He grabs again; Ryan One blocks that arm and pushes himself back away from Stokes. Ryan Two again intercedes, putting himself between the two with his palms up and his arm extended.
Stokes throws his tenth punch, a right-hander at the face of Ryan Two, then shoves him backwards. Ryan Two backs away once more, four paces. Stokes follows, steadies, lines up, then launches his strongest punch yet, his eleventh, a proper right hook from a solid base, one that cracks across the man’s head and gives him concussion. Ryan Two ends up flat on his back in the middle of the street, his hands still outstretched for a moment in useless protest until they twitch and drop to the blacktop.
Stokes isn’t done. He once more shoves away the restraining Hales and follows Ryan One, who keeps backing away saying, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ Five more paces from Stokes before another blow at the man’s head. Kai and Billy are now standing over the poleaxed Ryan Two. The video ends, but seconds later Stokes will punch Ryan One hard enough to knock him out too, before off-duty cop Andrew Spure arrives on the scene to bring down the curtain. When the body-camera footage kicks in some minutes later, Stokes is in handcuffs but Ryan One is still laid out in the street. Ryan Two has regained consciousness, folded his shirt under his friend’s head and is asking police for an ambulance.
‘At this point, I felt vulnerable and frightened. I was concerned for myself and others.’ This was how Stokes described that sequence to the court. An elite athlete with years of gym work and training to snap a bat through the line of a ball with astounding power and precision, swinging fists as hard as he can at men with none of those advantages. Punching so hard that he breaks his hand, and repeatedly shoving away a friend so he can punch some more. Frightened and threatened by two targets shouting ‘Get back!’ and ‘Stop!’
The off-duty officer testified that Stokes ‘seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to’ Ryan One, who was ‘trying to back away or get away from the situation’. The student who filmed the video can be heard on the tape at one stage exclaiming ‘Fuck!’ and testified that it was because ‘I felt a little bit sorry about the lad that had been punched and it looked like he had his hands up’. That tallied with the prosecutor’s depiction of ‘a sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked at what was taking place’.
The defendant stuck to his strategy. ‘No, my sole focus was to protect myself.’ All up, in the 33 seconds of footage after he falls over, Stokes takes 35 steps forward to keep hitting two men who keep trying to get away. Not once is he hit back.
After the verdict, Stokes’ solicitor positioned him as the victim. It had been ‘an eleven-month ordeal for Ben … The jury’s decision fairly reflects the truth of what happened that night … He was minding his own business … It was only when others came under threat that Ben became physically engaged. The steps that he took were solely aimed at ensuring the safety of himself and the others present …’ The statement was impossibly self-righteous and self-absorbed.
If there was anyone to feel sorry for it was Ryan Hale, the second of our two Ryans. He’s the one who emerged from the club with a friendly arm around the shoulder for Kai and Billy. He’s the one who interposed himself to end the fight, then kept putting himself back in the firing line, trying to calm an intimidating stranger while dodging blows. For his show of restraint he got laid out regardless, concussed in the street, then was issued a criminal charge equal to that of the man who hit him, and described in national media as a violent bigot in an untested story to support that man’s defence.
Lawyers for Ryan Two made a more convincing post-trial statement, noting that Kai and Billy, ‘neither of whom were relied upon by the prosecution or the defence team for Mr Stokes, have taken the opportunity to speak with various media outlets about the alleged homophobic abuse that they received in the early hours of September 25. Mr Hale has passionately denied this allegation throughout the course of this case,’ it continued.
‘It is upsetting to Mr Hale that although he was acquitted, the accusation that he was the author of such abuse remains. Both Mr Hale and Mr Ali were knocked unconscious by Mr Stokes, and although Mr Stokes has been acquitted of an affray, Mr Hale struggles with the reasons why the Crown Prosecution Service did not treat him as a victim of an unlawful assault.’Good question. Avon and Somerset police were the investigating force, and they were frustrated by the decision. Ryan Two was filmed clearly not hurting anyone, but police were instructed by the CPS to proceed with a charge. Hales (the cricketer) was filmed fighting but ‘a decision was made at a senior level of the CPS’ not to proceed. Police expected Stokes to be charged with assault but the CPS declined. It doesn’t take a wild cynic to think that placing the same lukewarm charge on three men for vastly divergent behaviour might ensure that none would be convicted, even as the trial would maintain the pretence that a defendant of influential standing had not been given a free pass.
A couple of years down the line, the original interview with Kai and Billy has disappeared. All traces have been scrubbed from The Sun website, its social media history, and even from the Wayback Machine internet archive. Given its headline of ‘homophobic thugs’ and text that names Ryan Two but not Ryan One, the libel liability isn’t hard to spot. Later interviews with Kai and Billy take the passive voice – they ‘suffered homophobic slurs outside a Bristol nightclub’.
The article that was once claimed to exonerate brave Ben Stokes now links only to a missing content page, with a picture of a dropped ice-cream cone and the phrase ‘legal removal’ inserted into the web URL. In terms of consequences, Stokes missed one tour. When he resumed his career in January 2018, the Australians hadn’t yet ruined theirs. Their year-long bans looked much more stringent. But the Stokes case dragged on in other ways. With no criminal liability, the Australians confessed promptly enough for the sporting world to give them the full length of the lash. Their situation was ugly but there was closure. Stokes got stuck in legal stasis, unable to be fully backed or condemned. Instead his issue was always present, a browser full of open tabs that the ECB swore they would read any day now.
Through 2018 Stokes was back but he wasn’t back, in the sunglasses and finger-guns sense. In his return one-day series he nearly cost England a match with 39 from 73 balls in Wellington. His first Test hit was a duck as England got rolled in Auckland for 58. At Trent Bridge while Stokes was injured, England posted a world record 481 against Australia. With Stokes three weeks later at the same ground they made 268. He crawled to 50 from 103, the second-slowest any Englishman had reached that milestone in 20 years. That span covered Alastair Cook’s whole career. It was apologetic batting, acting out responsibility via the scorecard. Stokes was creeping back into the team like he’d been kicked out in a blazing row and was hoping to tip-toe to the sofa.
It was December 2018 before the ECB disciplinary committee ruled on him and Hales. In a ‘remarkable coincidence’, wrote Simon Heffer in The Telegraph, ‘the punishment both players faced in terms of bans from playing at international level was covered by the amount of games they had already missed when dropped by England’s selectors, in the furore that followed the incident’. The verdict compounded the omissions around the case by not addressing the violence at its heart. Nor did Stokes, apologising only ‘to my team-mates, coaches and support staff’, and then ‘to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game into disrepute’.
The implicit next step was to rebuild that reputation. It might have been easier had his court defence not meant that he wasn’t game to admit any fault at all. It might have been easier if he or his advisers had been willing to change tack once the trial was done. Imagine a world where Stokes had stood outside court and apologised for overreacting, for the injuries he’d caused, and for the time and energy he had sucked out of other people’s lives. That would have been a show of responsibility beyond a scorecard. When the time came around to assess forgiveness, it might have meant forgiveness was deserved.
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$700,000 Bet on Fintech - BFT

$700,000 Bet on Fintech - BFT
Alright Degenerates- I posted a small little snippet a day or so ago about BFT. I wanted to do a bit of DD on BFT but also wanted to highlight something that was brought to my attention by a degenerate gambler. Lastly, I wanted to compile some good little snippets that have been put together by some other members as well as from the investor presentation.
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Keep in mind that this merger is not complete, but the terms of the deal have been provided to investors and we will be able to either vote yes for the deal or vote no and redeem our shares in BFT for 10.00 cash. So there is downside to this play should the vote not go through or should the two entities terminate the agreement. Right now the downside is ~3 dollars per share according to the close price from today.

MY POSITIONS - Mostly PRPL, PSTH and BFT/BFT.W


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The Customers and MOAT

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----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I actually know Paysafe and the usage quite well.
PayPal has many restrictions in Europe regarding iGaming , so does Square.
This is a big play on iGaming for those that aren’t aware.
I was a mid- high stakes online poker player through the 2010-2018. Played a variety of sites. : iPoker; PokerStars, Paddy, MicroGaming, 888, Party. Why so many sites? Because I was always on lookout for where the action was, if a big whale sat down at one online casino; you bet your sweet ass I’m there.
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This was one of the cheapest and fastest ways to move money around online.
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Imagine you’re a professional sportsbettor, you’re not loyal to one site. Different spreads / odds are offered on every site, you want to be able to move your money from one to another quickly and cheaply. Arbitrage opportunities do exist in sports betting as bookmakers hedge their books to minimize risk, diff frequencies of bets occur on each sports book; you get the idea.
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One of the biggest markets this is prominent in is South east Asia, they are some of the biggest punters and fucking loving gambling. Looking at you pinoys, Indonesians, Malays. Not everyone wants to fly to Macau to get their rocks off.
As much as this is a play on FinTech, please understand this company has more or less the best Payment service on online gambling globally.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Comparable VALUATIONS

From this chart you can see that there looks to be some favorable multiples that could improve once a deal closes. Also, I'm very bullish on the great Margins as well as the conservative growth. I think Foley along with the growing Igaming undervalues the potential of this company. Just the Draft Kings relationship make me tingle.

CHART is COURTESY of u/CoachCedricZebaze
https://preview.redd.it/aozxwuft0b461.jpg?width=722&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e40cbc4538ff3bef87a31050dca316ecae996a9b

Management and Growth

  • Bill Effing Foley - I have a thing for guys name Bill and this guy get my nips hard.
    • This guy has turned shit into gold. See his previous ventures before and after....

https://preview.redd.it/dp6oe2ew0b461.jpg?width=386&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5e6f137c95fec971568dfa5bc07d0290997c753d
https://preview.redd.it/mhl9b7ew0b461.jpg?width=326&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f57ec2eb7c7c318323373af10c8bb12b03e9082e
  • Bill has connections and a strategy to dominate Igaming.
  • Igaming addressable Market is expected to grow immensely from a few billion to tens of billions.
https://preview.redd.it/qfacblzz0b461.jpg?width=241&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=dbcdace95286ffccf613daa79b93554ca3e5728b

This is an end to end payment processor with big big big name relationships for very disruptive companies that have huge addressable markets. The reason I am excited is because IGAMING is just really starting to take off and Paysafe is a first mover with brand new experienced management and very very fair valuations that could pop after a merger.
TL;DR- BUY BFT stock and BFT.W because BFT stands for big freaking tenderloins.
submitted by dhsmatt2 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

The Ultimate Parlay: DraftKings ($DKNG)

The Ultimate Parlay: DraftKings ($DKNG)
Here on a Sunday night to give you autists some time to cross-check my info, start your RH instant deposit, and let your wife's bf know you're coming back with a vengeance. Here's an in-depth analysis on DraftKings and how to maximize profits over the foreseeable future to squeeze this for every tendie we can. Now that many states face revenue shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic and wider budget deficits, there needs to be a push to fill that gap and nothing is better positioned than sports betting.
As you all know, $DKNG came to market through a SPAC merging with Diamond Eagle back in April, at the worst of the pandemic when live sports were dead and there was more uncertainty than ever for what was to come. Jason Robins, Draft Kings CEO, has balls of steel and knew that they needed to get to market quickly for a sports betting run-up the likes of which we've never seen. Sports are now on their way back, with a huge amount of positive catalysts coming up in the next few months to skyrocket this stock to the moon and beyond.

Management

I want to clarify that a large amount of my conviction from this play comes from the incredible management team leading the company. CEO Jason Robins is a stand-up guy and has led the company through a huge amount of scrutiny since its founding in 2012. He comes from a data analytics background which could not be a better fit for the sports betting business. He prioritizes the high speed data that fuels the DraftKings platform as its most valuable asset and speaks often on the commitment his team has to ethical values and encouraging a trustworthy environment for its users to gamble their paychecks on the DraftKings platform.
I've linked a great interview to get to know the CEO and give further insight into DraftKing's plans moving forward below and highly recommend anyone going in on this play give it a quick watch. Jason is optimistic about the future of state's legalizing mobile sports betting moving forward and says they will continue to invest boatloads of money into customer acquisition costs through TV ads and billboards on a state-by-state basis. Link: https://youtu.be/2OVFB9piEC0
Any of you who have come across DraftKings commercials, YouTube ads, billboards, know that their marketing is on point. This is a great play because DraftKing's expansion has occurred thus far on a state-by-state basis. This means that there's a large part of the nation (actually the majority) that is still ignorant to the sports betting wave that is coming in 2021. DraftKings is positioned extremely well to lead the way into the ~25 states still waiting to pass the bill.

Legislation

The fact that the top 4 states in the country still have not legalized online sports betting presents a HUGE opportunity to ride this wave with little downside risk. Sports have already gone through the worst-case scenario during COVID shutdowns and survived—now we’ve got a great amount of positive catalysts coming up (NBA season, March madness, Super Bowl, etc.) that the general population is begging for some action on, paired with more money in their pocket from significantly less entertainment costs since the pandemic started.
The Wuhan Virus gave DraftKings a shot in the arm to streamline its way into most (if not all) of the remaining state's ballots during Q1 and Q2 due to the huge cut in tax revenues that the lockdowns caused across the country. Governor Cuomo of New York released a statement last week stating he is now considering the passing of mobile sports betting in order to raise the state's tax revenue during a time where Congress completely skipped them over in terms of providing aid through the stimmy. New York is a huge catalyst moving forward. In my opinion, this is a make or break for how things look for DraftKings moving forward, and will largely influence how other states react. Mobile sports betting scares states as it is new and so accessible, but if you do research into the Powerball and other loterry companies, it just took a push in the right direction for states to realize how much money they are leaving on the table by not participating in these emerging markets. Sports betting has already benefited the 9 states which passed the bill (NJ leading the way) and has NY as well as every other governor, feeling major FOMO.
Current states where online (mobile) sports betting laws have passed:
  • New Jersey
  • West Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Hampshire
  • Iowa
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Tennessee
Some of the reported revenues from sports betting:
New Jersey: $931.6 million
Pennsylvania: $491.9 million
Illinois: $434 million
Indiana: $250.8 million
Colorado: $231.2 million

On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court found the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the federal law prohibiting states from authorizing sports betting, to be unconstitutional. It is now up to individual states to decide if they want to authorize and regulate sports betting in their state. Congress can also take action on the authorization and regulation of sports betting but has so far left it up to individual states.
As you can see, states are cashing out on the mobile sports betting wave, with New Jersey leading the way and making a large part of that revenue from NY residents crossing state lines to get their gambling fix in. Gov. Cuomo has been opposed to legalizing sports betting in the past, calling it "a violation of the constitution"...buut that was before covid lockdowns and his state was drowning up to their neck in debt.
DraftKings management issued extremely bullish guidance without even taking into account new states passing legislation. This is one of the things that I love about CEO Jason Robins that stood out to me in the hours of interviews/articles I’ve looked over. This man is the pinnacle of underpromising and over delivering. The staff at Draft Kings are extremely customer centric and focused on strong ethics to help them provide a platform for sports aficionados to enhance their viewing experience.

Data-Driven/Proprietary Tech Stack (the MOAT)

Legislation aside, the other huge catalyst is DraftKing's unique approach to owning its own data and proprietary tech stack. I believe that this will be where DKNG separates itself from the competition that is rushing to this space and will give it the upper hand in acquiring, and retaining, a large percentage of new users across opening states.
From investor presentation: "Upon close of the business combination, DraftKings will become the only vertically-integrated pure-play sports betting and online gaming company based in the United States. Through the business combination, DraftKings expects to realize synergies by transitioning its risk and trading sports betting platform to SBTech’s, instead of relying on a third-party platform. In addition to reducing costs, DraftKings will control its backend system and product roadmap, differentiating the company from other U.S. operators and giving it the ability to tailor its sports betting product to U.S. sports and users."
"SBTech is a global leader in omni-channel sports betting and gaming, with more than 1,200 employees in 10 offices worldwide. Since 2007, the group has developed the industry’s most powerful online sports betting and casino platform, serving licensees in more than 15 regulated territories. SBTech’s clients include many of the world’s premier betting and gaming operators, state lotteries, land-based casinos, horse racing companies, and iGaming start-ups. The group supplies highly flexible betting and gaming solutions to clients looking for exceptional configurability and the quickest route to market, complemented by proven business intelligence and reporting capabilities. The SBTech offering includes its seamless sportsbook, Chameleon360 iGaming platform, managed services, on-property sportsbook and omni-channel solutions that provide players with constant access to sports and casino products across all online, mobile and retail channels. Supported by unrivaled expertise in trading and risk management, acquisition and CRM, and the highest standards of regulatory compliance, SBTech’s partners consistently achieve rapid growth, enhanced brand loyalty and record revenues."
DraftKings prioritized OWNING their own backend technology via this merger with SBTech, making them the first, and only company in this space to own their risk and trading platform. This gives DraftKings a huge edge to the rest of the market. It forked up the cash to keep everything in house not only to provide a better customer experience, but also to widen the moat against competitors as new states come onboard. The key here is to clarify that DraftKings and SBTech combined to be the only player in the market with 100% vertical integration and control of their own backend. Jason Robins and the rest of the management team are placing their efforts on having the best technology and the best product and really going all in on owning the U.S. landscape opening up, with as little need for cross-platform interaction as possible.
This acquisition of SBTech was a complete game changer because it allowed them to be independent from paying revenue share to a third-party for betting lines and risk management services.
Clarification: no other sports betting/fantasy sports/casino company currently has 100% vertical integration on the level that DraftKings has established.

iGaming Boom

This is where the market is missing the mark. Take the time to read over analyst reports, news articles, and interviews and you'll quickly notice 99% of the general market is completely glazing over DraftKing's iGaming sector. This industry has been a CA$H COW in Europe for awhile now, and is only getting started in the United States. Out of the companies that occupy this space, DraftKings is the only one to create one synergistic platform for Fantasy sports/Sportsbook/iGaming. This will be a huge value proposition that will ultimately rocket DraftKings to the top of the gaming market and solidify it as THE gaming powerhouse moving forward.

The infrastructure driving DraftKing's products and Tech (all in one platform)
Anyone that's watched the run of Skillz and the hype pushing PaySafe, knows how much anticipation there is for iGaming to become the new norm in the world of gambling. DraftKings has emerged as the market leader in each state they've launched in, and continue to gain more and more market share. Once new users get introduced to their platform, the cross-selling opportunity is limitless and creates an extremely sticky customer acquisition cycle.
Competitors like Penn and MGM are dinosaurs in this space and have been playing catch-up to DraftKings since 2012. The new age of gamblers don't want to drive to a physical casino location or buy a home desktop to gamble. Everything will be mobile and run in real-time. DraftKings has been building an incredible live-sports ecosystem (first to market) and innovates the possibilities of what you can bet on a daily basis. Just download the app for yourself and do some exploring. I believe this is going to boom in the TikTok/millennial crowd as more states start to hop onboard.

2021 Projections

Pulled from the investor presentation, $DKNG has smashed every one of their 2020 assumptions listed below. For any stats guys out there, I would love to see some models at how much of this market is still up for grabs. DraftKings has positioned themselves to be at the head of this movement, and I believe that 2021 will be the year we really see them take off into triple digits share prices.
The catalysts are there, and the market is ripe for the taking. Their projections are extremely conservative and management lets the numbers do the talking. In my opinion, this is a bet on the management putting the dots together to EXECUTE as state legislation starts to go their way, once NY happens this shift will occur rapidly.

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgadata/1772757/000110465920032214/tm2012476d1_425.htm
The management is incredible and truly displays a vision for wanting to prop up shareholder value in the long-term through valuable data, a fully integrated platform, and aggressive customer acquisition to take control of this market as states realize the economic deficits which they are facing going into a new year. This along with the unprecedented hype that is going to be involved with sports events this year, will skyrocket DraftKings to new heights.
This is not a bet on sports betting alone, it is a play on a data-heavy and analytically driven behemoth, with strategic partnerships (league, team, and celebrity partnerships) and one of the most aggressive marketing strategies I have ever laid eyes on. The stock soared earlier this years upon news of the Michael Jordan partnership (https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/02/investing/draftkings-michael-jordan-deal/index.html) and there is many, many more big moves in the pipeline.

Conclusion

Long-term I am extremely bullish on people wanting risk to make up a daily part of their lives. The psychology of sports betting resembles that of the lottery and is becoming a must-have for people to have the choice to place bets from the convenience of their mobile phones. We are moving into a future where if risk and leverage are not involved, people will have little interest in dedicating their time to things. This shift can be seen with the boom in retail options trading (shoutout wsb gang) and will have a similar effect in sports, iGaming, and random prop bets/surveys that Draft Kings is innovating heavily in. This is not to mention the infrastructure that DKNG is continuing to build out to rival that of Europe in terms of live sports betting (which makes up three quarters of revenue for online sports books in the UK) and expanding their horizons to lesser betted on sports such as tennis, golf, soccer, etc.
If you've gotten this far, congrats you're just a few steps away from striking gold. Any feedback, comments, rebuttals, bear scenarios, etc. please comment. Good luck.

Positions

$70c 1/21/22
$90c 1/20/23
🚀🚀🚀 Bet at your own risk 🚀🚀🚀

Tl;dr

DraftKings has state legislation action coming, incredible management, is data-driven, is vertically integrated/owns its tech stack, has exposure to the full range of new world gaming (Fantasy/Sportsbook/iGaming), and is ahead of its competition forming league, team, and celebrity partnerships.
$70c 1/21/22
$90c 1/20/23

Sources (do your own DD dumbass)

https://youtu.be/2OVFB9piEC0
https://www.legalsportsreport.com/42835/draftkings-kambi-2021/
https://sportsbook.draftkings.com/help/sports-betting/where-is-sports-betting-legal?_ga=2.2847858.331721966.1608603855-1177209388.1608603855
https://www.legalsportsreport.com/46711/the-week-in-sports-betting-dec-21/
https://www.aol.com/news/why-draftkings-flutter-trading-lower-201654511.html
submitted by omertaproject to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Ultimate Casino Cashback Guide - Earn over £500 - Every Offer Explained!

This guide aims to outline all of the best gambling cashback offers available over a range of sites, following this guide you should be able to make over £500 in cashback
Note - Cashback often takes a while to payout, bear this in mind when completing offers as you may have to wait to cashout your earnings
When completing these offers don't chase any loses as the cashback will give you a profit with nerly every offer
A short review of each site and some referral links
Topcashback - Cashback will show as tracked within a few days, can take a few weeks to become payable, in some cases even longer, asides from gambling they have great offers for car insurance and mobile phone contracts, worth taking a look to save some extra money!
Ref - Extra £5 when you make £10 cashback
Non-Ref - No reward
Quidco - Much the same as Topcashback
Ref
Non-Ref
Minimum payment - £10
Ohmydosh - Faster Payouts but less offers
Ref - Extra £1
Non-Ref - No reward
Minimum payout - Any
Cashback Earners - A lesser known site in need of a fresh look, this site also has some bad reviews, referal income is paid to the site on a monthly basis with the dates for each site being different, offers don't seem to show as tracked until the website receive their payment, cashback should appear in your account within 1 month of completing an offer. Cashout amounts are specific, its best to build up a balance and then withdraw. Payment takes around 3 weeks.
Ref - Sign up bonus £6.5
Non-Ref - Sign up bonus £6.5
Minimum payout is £20
Payment Proof - Payments for all sites can be seen here, quidco isn't shown as i have signed up for all the casinos on offer through topcashback

How to Maximize Profit - IMPORTANT - READ THIS

For the majority of these offers you want to play blackjack following the chart found here
Any blackjack game will do, look for a normal version of the game at the site you are playing on and make sure it is a non live game as the hand sizes will be lower.
When playing blackjack there will often be more than one spot that you can bet on, allowing the player to bet more than one hand at a time, Its important to only bet on one spot at a time as it reduces the variance of the game and will ensure you get the maximum return possible from the game, stick to £1 hand sizes when playing and dont be tempted to bet larger amounts as you will be getting a nice amount of cashback from every offer
Through playing blackjack this way the player will get a return of around 98%, meaning for every £100 staked you will lose around £2. If you make a loss on a casino site after completing the required wagering amount, withdraw your remaining balance, don't chase loses as the cashback will make up for loses and give you a profit in most cases.
All offers are updated fairly regularly, make sure to check the terms for each offer as information in this post may become outdated. Also check for other offers every now and then as new casinos are added!

TopCashBack Offers - £400+ Profit

Topcashback Referral - Get an extra £5 - See the Ref Link at the top of the page!
If you dont already have an account at top cashback, you can sign up through my referral to get an extra £5 added to you account once you make £10 cashback
Lottoland - Cashback £15
Add £11 and play 11 separate £1 hands, following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Betfair Casino - Cashback £70
Note this is not the poker offer
Add £50 to your account and play 50 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Quidco are offering £100 for this offer
Party Casino - Cashback £26.5
Deposit and play 30 single £1 hand son blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Tombola - Cashback £24.5
Deposit £10 and open the tombola roulette game, choose a £1 chip size and choose 5 spots, repeat this twice, withdraw any remaining balance, you will likely lose money here but the cashback will give you a profit
Coral - Cashback £46
Add £10 and play 10 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Bingoport - Cashback £3
Sign up to bingoport to get an easy £3
Ladbrokes - Cashback £42
Add £10 to your account and play 10 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Pokerstars - Cashback £32
Add £25 and play 25 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
STS - Cashback £21
Add £30 to your account and play 30 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
William Hill - Cashback £54
add £25 and play 25 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Megacasino - £15.75
Add £25 - Play 25 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
LottoGo - Cashback £3.18
Buy a euromillions ticket
Slingo - Cashback £24.75
Add £10 play 10 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
PaddyPower Games - Cashback £20
Add £10 play 10 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
The Football Pools - Cashback £24.75
Sign up for the £10 a month subscription, cancel this after 30 days
Lottomart - Cashback £18
Add £10 - Play 10 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Genting Slots - Cashback £25
Add £30 play 30 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
OhMyDosh - Cashback £40+
Referral gives an extra £1, sign up through the ref link at the top of the post to get the bonus!
Gala Bingo - Cashback £17.50
Deposit at least £5, you'll get a £10 slots bonus and 100 free spins, these carry hefty wagering requirements, Open any slot and play the minimum spin size, play until you lose all of the money in your account or complete the wagering requirements on the bonus funds. Withdraw any remaining balance.
BGO - £10 Cashback
Deposit at least £15. Play 15 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance. DONT ACCEPT the welcome bonus from BGO.
Lottosocial - Cashback £4
Sign up to Lotto Social - Use your correct phone number when joining as it is the only way to login to your account. Purchase 10 lines for £1, after making a purchase go to your account page and find the list of syndicates your are in, leave the syndicates to avoid making any more payments.
Cheeky Bingo - £10 Cashback
Deposit £10 and get a £40 welcome bonus, just play bingo with all of your funds and hope to get some wins, bonus has 4x wagering requirements.

Quidco - Cashback £100+

Quidco don't offer a sign up bonus, find my ref link at the top of the post if you want to help me out!
All of the offers on quidco are much the same as topcashback, the only offer worth noting is the betfair casino offer which pays £100
Betfair - £100 cashback
Add £100 and play 100 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.

Cashbackearners - Cashback £180+

Sign up Bonus
Get a £6.5 sign up bonus, think this works with or without the ref link, links are at the top of the post!
To find these offers just search for casino on the site.
All of these offers state that you only need to make a deposit, its best to play through the deposit 1x to ensure that the cashback is paid.
LuckyMeSlots - Cashback £15
Add £15 and play 15 single £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Spin Genie - Cashback £12.5
Add £12.5 and play 12.5 £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Cashmo - Cashback £10
Add £10 and play through £10 on any slot staking the minimum amount per spin. Don't spin the wheel that pops up after signing up or accept any other bonuses.
Ice36 -Cashback £15
Add £15 and play 15 £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Spinhill Casino - Cashback £15
Add £15 and play 15 £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Galacasino - Cashback £30
add £30 and play 30 £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Casino765 - Cashback £12.5
Add £12.5 and play 12.5 £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
Casinosuperwins - Not recommended, bad site, awful support
Casino2020 - Cashback £15
Add £15 and play through £15 on any slot staking the minimum amount per spin. Keep track of spins and quit the slot after wagering the required amount. Don't spin the wheel that pops up after signing up or accept any other bonuses.
Pocketwin - Cashback £10
Add £10 and play through £10 on any slot staking the minimum amount per spin. Keep track of spins and quit the slot after wagering the required amount. Don't spin the wheel that pops up after signing up or accept any other bonuses.
The Sun Vegas - Cashback £15
Add £15 and play 15 £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
DrSlot - Cashback £10
Add £10 and play through £10 on any slot staking the minimum amount per spin. Keep track of spins and quit the slot after wagering the required amount. Don't spin the wheel that pops up after signing up or accept any other bonuses.
MrSpin - Cashback £10
Add £10 and play through £10 on any slot staking the minimum amount per spin. Keep track of spins and quit the slot after wagering the required amount. Don't spin the wheel that pops up after signing up or accept any other bonuses.
PrimeCasino - Cashback £15
Add £15 and play 15 £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
ConquestAdor - Cashback £10
Add £10 play 10 £1 hands on blackjack following the strategy outlined at the top of the post, withdraw any remaining balance.
MFortune - Cashback £10
Add £10 and play through £10 on any slot staking the minimum amount per spin. Keep track of spins and quit the slot after wagering the required amount. Don't spin the wheel that pops up after signing up or accept any other bonuses.
Thanks for reading, hope this of use to some people, happy earning!
submitted by Leth96 to beermoneyuk [link] [comments]

[US Promotion] I would like to celebrate Thanksgiving by gifting you all books!

UPDATE: More books added by siffis and West1234567890 further down
If are late coming across this post then do not worry you can still message me your email for a book.
To celebrate my day off today and Thanksgiving tomorrow I would like to gift my audiobooks.
In order to recieve a free audiobook gift just message me any title (below) along with your email address. If you have not recieved a gift before then you will get the audiobook for free. More details here and here. I am in the US market (but I hear from Canada and UK that it still works).
Books crossed out are not available.
TITLE - AUTHOR (Ordered by author)

siffis has generously offered to include his collection. If you like any of the books below then message directly.

West1234567890 [Also added additional books below](https://www.reddit.com/audible/comments/k0s76n/us_promotion_i_would_like_to_celebrate/gdlwylu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3).
submitted by BooksAreBelongToUs to audible [link] [comments]

Up to £244.55 profit in cashback through gambling offers with TopCashback, Quidco and OhMyDosh

Up to £244.55 profit in cashback through gambling offers with TopCashback, Quidco and OhMyDosh
TopCashback, Quidco and OhMyDosh always have a number of gambling offers available, with the offered amounts often changing daily or weekly. There are currently quite a few offers available on each where the cashback amount is more than the required deposit or wager amount. I've done most of these and always keep an eye out for when the amounts increase, to make sure I can get the most for my money. The offers they have on today are some of the best I've ever seen for each of them.
The first step is to sign up for the cashback sites if you haven't already. If you use a referral link to sign up then you can get an extra bonus once your cashback becomes payable:
Then the next step is to work through the offers. These are all only available for new customers, so if you already have an account with one of the sites then you won't be eligible for the offer from them unfortunately. It's also worth checking the terms as some have specific wagering requirements, for example Betfair Poker must be completed within 3 days of opening your account and low risk roulette bets (covering 25 or more of the 37 outcomes) are excluded from counting towards the wager.
Offers
# Site From Cashback Deposit/Wager Profit
1 Betfair Poker Quidco £50 £10 £40
2 Pokerstars TCB £45 £25/£10 £35
3 Coral Casino TCB £42 £10 £32
4 Ladbrokes Casino TCB £42 £10 £32
5 William Hill Casino TCB / Quidco £54 £25 £29
6 Paddy Power Games TCB / Quidco £20 £10 £10
7 Lottoland TCB £20 £10.01 £9.99
8 Lottomart TCB £18 £10 £8
9 Foxy Bingo OMD £5 £12.50 £7.50
10 Gala Bingo OMD £5 £12.50 £7.50
11 Tombola Quidco £17.32 £10 £7.32
12 BingoPort TCB £3 - £3
13 LottoGo OMD £4.50 £2 £2.50
14 Free Slots Genie OMD £1.25 - £1.25
15 Profit Accumulator TCB £1.05 - £1.05
16 The Best Free Spins OMD £1 - £1
17 Free Spins Wizard OMD £1 - £1
18 Pick My Postcode TCB £0.82 - £0.82
19 Search Lotto TCB £0.82 - 0.82
20 Free Spins Loopy OMD £0.80 - £0.80
21 Mr Free Slots OMD £0.80 - £0.80
22 Lotto Social TCB £0.60 - £0.60
23 FreeBingoGenie OMD £0.60 - £0.60
24 Cheeky Bingo OMD £10 £10 -
25 bgo OMD £10 £10 -
Notes
If you complete all these offers then you should make £232.55 cashback in profit through the offers alone. If you are new to the cashback sites and sign up through referral links then this will be £244.55 instead. There's also a chance you can make a profit on any or all the offers and walk away with even more.
There's also a final few key points:
  • Make sure you have all adblockers and tracking protection switched off as otherwise this may lead to issues with the cashback tracking correctly.
  • I've listed the highest paying in terms of deposit/wager to cashback offers here, but if you have a preference for one cashback site over the other then they often offer very similar amounts if you'd rather go with the other instead.
  • Similarly, some sites (OhMyDosh in particular) offer a lower cashback amount but also a lower deposit/wager amount, which may be more appealing to some.
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Let me know if you have any questions about any of these offers :)
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The best polo shirts — 14 tested

Polo shirts are possibly the most ubiquitous clothing item of the 21st century, undergoing a long journey from aspirational 1930s sportswear to becoming the default smart-casual option for millions of men. We’ve researched and tested 14 of the best polo shirts and think that the best polo is the Sunspel Riviera with its great fit, unique fabric and strong range of over twenty colours. If you’re looking for an elevated take on the polo then the John Smedley Adrian Polo is incredibly soft and will smarten up your wardrobe. Finally, if you’re on a budget the H&M Cotton Polo Shirt is a good quality take on the classic item at an affordable price point.
The original garment as we know it was based on a design worn by French tennis star René Lacoste aka ​“the Crocodile” in the 1930s as a practical, flexible, comfortable sports shirt. Unfortunately, from the 1980s onwards, creeping ​“casual Friday” dress codes made the polo shirt with badly fitting chinos an American business-standard. Later, it was the uniform of golfers and delivery drivers, security guards, and coffee chain staff not to mention the sometime uniform of the American far-right, in almost a parody of conformity.
What saves the polo shirt from fashion irrelevance is its potential for reinvention. Its been reclaimed by subcultures ranging from punks to skinheads and mods. As the tie disappears and the suit becomes increasingly relaxed, the polo shirt has become a place to experiment with shirting alternatives and continues its long tradition of reinvention, molding itself to the zeitgeist. For our review we tried to cover this range, from semi-activewear to knit-fabric classics to find the best polo shirt overall, looking as always at specialists who’ve produced these styles year after year in an attempt to find an ideal.

Best overall

Sunspel Riviera Polo
With a smart fit, retro-inspired basket weave fabric, and a huge range of tasteful colours, the Riviera is on its way to becoming a contemporary classic.
$105
The Riveria was introduced by Sunspel in 2006 after a design by Linda Hemmings for the James Bond film Casino Royale. The Riviera became something of an instant classic for a brand which up until then had been known largely for its undergarments. The references here (as the name suggests) are much more Talented Mr.Ripley than contemporary sportswear but it doesn’t feel like a period piece either. There has been some clever thought put into taking the best of that golden era and updating it.
The fabric has a looser, wider weave than most piqué polos, and a nice spongy texture with none of the coarseness that some piqué can have. After researching I found that the brand created the fabric with a vintage lace making machine in Sunspel’s HQ in Nottingham, and none of the competition I tried have a similar quality.
The fit is trim but not overly slim. The sleeves fall flatteringly halfway down the bicep, the length is standard and it has the classic split tail. The sleeves didn’t pull up into my armpits and I still had movement through the body. The collar is a fairly small point collar that sits well when buttoned up but also folds down easily into a camp collar shape when undone which allowed it to be worn cleanly both ways. The buttons are a discreet tonal plastic and the placket is a simple 2‑button design. I’m a fan of the pocket design though in a practical sense it’s not good for much and makes the shirt much more of a casual style.
Colours are another area where Sunspel gets it just right. They always have a strong seasonal palette which this year covers 20 options including a deep chocolate brown (seen above) an intense Yves Klein blue and a great brick red. Compared to their competitor’s depressingly basic ranges of pastels and neons, this quiet tastefulness is refreshing and it means that season to season it will be easy to update your wardrobe with some new additions.
Through washing and wearing over a number of weeks, I noticed no noticeable shrinkage or discolouring and the fabric kept its softness (which wasn’t always the case, especially if a garment has been chemically softened). I also kept an eye out for loose threads and buttons but found no faults.
Which brings us to the final question of value. Polo shirts are an interesting category in this sense as they are so tied up to a certain idea of aspirational dressing — and priced accordingly. Our testing found that the general quality and feel of a £10 polo from H&M didn’t massively improve when compared to its £80 Lacoste equivalent. But that’s to ignore the fact that you are paying for what that £80 polo says about you, what it represents in our culture, and the semiotics of that logo — a francophile or a football causal, a preppy or a punk. That said, if you’re like me and the branded polos aren’t your niche but you want something that feels premium, then, for the cost, you will have a beautifully fabricated, European-made polo shirt of notably better quality than its competitors in the same price bracket and that’s enough for us to award it the top spot.

Downsides

The downsides for the Riviera really come down to preference. I could imagine if you want a more classic fitting polo you may find it too slim or if you want one without a pocket that could turn you off. But as for the construction of the shirt itself or its fabric I couldn’t find any faults. Even the plastic buttons which might in other brands seem like a cost-saving measure feels more like a thoughtful design choice. It’s also more sportswear-adjacent than actual sportswear, but that feels like a quibble and true of any of the major polo brands at this point.

Also good

John Smedley Adrian Polo
Made from incredibly soft sea island cotton, this knitted polo is perfect if you want a softer, more formal style of polo.
$298
The Adrian Polo from John Smedley comes a close second to the Sunspel Riviera. The main attraction is the sea island cotton fabric which is incredibly soft with the best hand feel of any polo I reviewed. The placket length and knitted collar means it feels much more like the elegant mid-century polo shirt than something that would be mistaken for a 21st-century corporate uniform, albeit with some nice updates that make it feel more contemporary than other knitted polos.
Smedley is to fine knitwear what Burberry is to trench coats, or John Lobb is to shoes and considered to be the best in the world in the category (it’s where the Queen gets her knitwear). The Adrian genuinely felt like a luxury. Everything from the feel of the fabric to the way it fitted just right with substantial ribbing on the waist and sleeves (near the bottom of the bicep) with just the right amount of tension spoke to the care and attention that had gone into making it. It’s also versatile, working just as well under the lapels of my suit when I got married a few weeks ago as it did in our 35 degree London heatwave when worn with a pair of shorts although, it is a bit too formal to work with tracksuit bottoms. Out of all the styles I reviewed it felt much more like a smart option.
What the Adrian definitely isn’t on the other hand is a piece of grab-and-go sportswear that can be washed and thrown on like a t‑shirt or folded up at the bottom of your bag for destination holiday. I found myself hand-washing the delicate fabric to avoid rips and the collar, though it stands well, needs shaping with an iron after washing. Like a lot of luxury items, it’s delicate and requires a bit more care and attention than most and at £145 it’s not quite affordable enough to be a staple. That’s not saying it’s bad value necessarily, you can see the care and attention that was put into it and it’s UK manufactured but it’s probably not what most people are looking for when it comes to an everyday polo shirt, and those not quite the all-rounder that could hold the top spot. If you’re more likely to wear smart trousers than jeans and prefer a knit jumper to a hoodie then this is the polo for you.

Budget pick

H&M Cotton Polo Shirt
A great price paired with good fabrication and quality, the H&M polo offers the best value for money with their straightforward take on the classic polo shirt.
$12.99
If you’re unconcerned with logos and just want a classic polo shirt as a wardrobe staple you could do a lot worse than the H&M Cotton Polo Shirt. The piqué is soft and drapes well, the fit is classic, and straight (though as is often the case with H&M group, a bit long for me). In a blind test, I’m not sure I could tell the difference easily between this polo and the Lacoste L.12 which it’s clearly based it’s detailing on. And at £9.99 it’s extremely good value. Ethical clothing site Good on You’s review gives the brand an ​“It’s a start” rating for it’s environmental and ethical credentials noting that it’s environmental record is consistently improving while some issues with it’s supply chain labor remain.

What to look for

Range of colours: More than most sportswear, polo shirts are about colour, and we wanted our staple pick to have a good range of quality seasonal colours.
Flexibility: We wanted a Polo that looked good with a range of clothing from the formal to the ultra-casual (a pair of shorts or sweats)
Fabric: Has to work well in the heat, for most people a polo is a summer item and anything too heavy or coarse wasn’t going to cut it for us, we tried a range of synthetics and cottons of different qualities.
Fit: Piqué and knitted cotton are unforgiving fabrics so having a good fit is key to making a polo shirt work.
Collar: Does it stand up well, does it look okay when unbuttoned? is it easy to fold down or does it look sloppy.
Length: Long enough to wear tucked in but not long enough to look sloppy on its own.
Sleeves: We wanted the sleeve length to flatter the bicep but not ride up too high into the armpits, we also wanted easy movement as you’d expect from sportswear.
Easy Care: The best polos, like all good sportswear, should be easy to wash and care for.
Aesthetics: We wanted a polo that was more than a billboard for logo’s or an anonymous boxy t‑shirt alternative, the best would have a strong aesthetic quality.

The competition

The Fred Perry M12 & M3's are the most solidly constructed of all the branded polos I tried, and I was particularly keen on the thick ribbing on the sleeves and collar and the wide, reinforced placket. The collar had a slightly wider spread than most and which I found more flattering. The fit is trimmer than Lacoste and the hem is square so overall it has a neater, less sporty look. It's also nice that it's been continuously made in the UK since its introduction in the 1950s. The M12's aesthetic with its twin tips on the collar and sleeves have deep roots in the mod, Britpop, punk and skinhead subcultures in the UK and it can be a bit overpowering if you're looking for something more casual, but I love the simplicity of the M3's laurel crest and it has the same fit. Our favourite if you're looking for a logo.
We ordered from Lacoste as they're the originators of the style. The Lacoste L.12.12 is their staple and comes in a huge range of colours. It's hard to judge it fairly as it seems to be the most duped of all polo styles—the Ralph Lauren polo is said to be a copy of their pre-60s model after the designer was disappointed with the synthetic blend polos they produced in the 70s. It has a straight fit, flattering sleeve and fairly flat collar. The fabric is softer than most piques and the split tail is nice but there is nothing particularly stand out, though the mother of pearl buttons are a nice touch. In terms of transparency, they were probably the most disappointing of the branded styles as there was absolutely no place of origin for manufacture, not even a "made in" on their label (though I believe they are produced in Peru).
The Lacoste Paris Polo Shirt is their more contemporary update to the classic style and it features a slightly smaller collar, a bit of elastane in the fabric (6%) and a longer, narrower hidden placket and tonal crocodile patch. It's an interesting update, but if you're going for something so subtle I'm not sure why you wouldn't go for something completely unbranded.
The Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Mesh Polo Shirt was an interesting variant. Its piqué was solid and soft feeling, It had a really thick placket and nice mother of pearl buttons, but it was largely indistinguishable from the Lacoste L.12 and its dupe status makes sense. It has a slightly lower stepped hem and a surpassingly slim fit for a "classic" style. It comes in a huge range of colours (some pretty dubious) and is the most expensive of the branded options we tried, coming in at £85. It's also shorter than most of the polos we tried so could be a good option for smaller guys.
Kent Wang is one of menswear's best-kept secrets and we're a big fan of the Kent Want polo shirt. It splits the difference nicely between the more casual sportswear elements and smarter styles like the Adrian with thick quality pique, mother of pearl buttons and a high spread collar designed to look good under a suit jacket or jumper. If you want something with the formality of the Smedley and the easy-care of a classic polo then this is probably your best option and it has some of the most tasteful colours of any brand we reviewed (as well as a wide range of long sleeve options). It should be noted that the fit is quite slim and it's worth sizing up.
The Uniqlo Airism Jersey Polo is sleek and technical without seeming dorky. It kept me from sticking to the sofa when the heat in London got to a high of 35°C (95°F). It would be the ideal choice for a warm-weather tech enthusiast and looked pretty cool and sleek worn with my black running shorts.
The other Uniqlo style I tried was the Uniqlo DRY PIQUE polo, which I was less of a fan of. It was fine but not particularly interesting fit wise and has a slightly coarse plastic-y feel to the fabric.
I tried ASKET's Pique Polo and while it has the brands great fit range (you can choose the length from small to large) was a disappointment overall. The piqué was soft and mercerized but also the most transparent of all the ones we tested which meant nipples showed through. The collar was strangely floppy and unstructured so looked messy when buttoned up but also had trouble sitting flat when opened and the placket looked visually off centre. As usual with the brand, the environmental and social tracing is excellent and I hope they can perfect the style.
Finally, I also gave the H&M COOLMAX Polo a try and while I might appreciate it if I lived in a much warmer country, the texture just suffered in comparison to the pure cotton pique of their standard polo.
This is a new guide from Typical Contents, the “wirecutter for clothes”. It’s by the team behind Epochs, a now defunct menswear blog.
*We’re reviewing categories of clothing in hopes of finding the best item(s) in that category. All items tested in this guide were purchased with our own money. This post does not contain affiliate links.
Check out our previous guides on boxer briefs, plain t-shirts, low top canvas trainers, and summer socks.
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[USA] [H] NES Minis, Games for Nintendo and Sony Systems, Gaming Collectibles [W] Kirby's Dream Land 2 CIB, Etrian Odyssey Nexus cart only, Mario Party 2 box, many more games in list

Looking to trade! I have over 100 confirmed trades :) Right now I am mostly looking for the wants I have listed below, especially the high priority stuff, but I may be open to offers. Just please do not be offended if I say no!
p.s. "CIB" means complete, as in including all the booklets and such that were supposed to come in there, otherwise I will clarify what is included. "NIB" means New In Box, aka sealed, "brand new," in the shrink, etc.
p.p.s. If we are going to trade, all I ask is please be honest about the condition of your items. I can provide pictures for anything I have, please be willing to do the same! Thanks!

HAVE

Mini Consoles
GameCube games, accessories and packaging
N64 booklets
Switch
3DS consoles, games, accessories
3DS boxes and manuals (no games)
DS console, games and accessories
DS boxes and manuals (no games)
GBA games and videos
GBC games and more
GB games and more
GB manuals (no games)
Wii U games and packaging
Wii games and accessories
NES games and accessories
PS3 boxes and manuals (no games)
PS2
PS2 boxes and manuals (no games)
PSX
PSX boxes and manuals (no games)
PC
Strategy guides
Books
Collectibles and posters
Comic Books
Random Stuff

WANT

The high priority stuff:
Lower priority:
Limited Print Switch Games (prefer CIB, also fine with Best Buy retail versions when applicable)
Retail Switch Games
3DS Games
DS Games
GBA
GBC
Game Boy
Wii U Games
Wii Games
GameCube games
PS2 Games
PS3 Games
Strategy Guides
Also if you've read this far, I recently started an Instagram dedicated to video game collecting and would love to connect with others! My username is chillcollector.
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Daily Skins Review - S6 E3 “Alex”

After the unfortunate death of Grace, we move on to the next episode, three, titled “Alex”. Now, I obviously know who Alex is, but at the time he just kinda came out of nowhere, so let’s see what this new character has to offer. Last time they did this it was Sketch, which was a fucking shambles. Let’s go.
The camera pans across to an alarm as we see a map and some sailing paraphernalia as some dodgy music starts playing (perfect opportunity to use Fisherman’s Blues but whatever). Some bloke (Alex) then counts down the seconds before his alarm goes off and then hops up and gets dressed. He picks up a list with 6 numbers and some writing written on it and he also picks up a die. Alex then takes some breakfast to a woman who I assume is his grandmother and then gets a call from his dad who asks him if he’s ready to move house the next week. Alex’s grandmother makes a rather disrespectful gesture at the sound of Alex’s dad’s voice, who mentions that she’s being put in a home soon. She then calls him a “silly old twat” when he hangs up (wow, how she gonna do her own son like that?) and asks if he even wished Alex any luck. She tells him he doesn’t need it anyway and Alex is next seen messing about with his die and list at a bus stop. Alex is next seen being shown around Roundview by Doug, who tells him that his father changed some of his subjects around (what a silly old twat). Alex is introduced to his class, which Liv, Mini, Alo and Nick are also in and we find out that Doug is now the head teacher (finally, the real MVP is leading the line). Alex messes about with his die again as he and Liv share a glance. He sits in the canteen and notices Grace’s memorial, while also looking at Liv as she pours some vodka into her drink (just casually in the middle of a school I might add). He catches her eye and they smirk at each other (fuck me, first Rider, then Matty and now Alex. Liv does love a proper impromptu relationship). Alex takes out his list of six options (which I’m not gonna type out, but they’re all a bit odd) and rolls his die. He lands a two, which is “punch the next person to walk in”, who just happens to be young Alo Creevey. He’s arguing with Nick, who’s complaining that he’s partners with Rich for some project, but he’s obviously not in for the foreseeable future. Alex then gets up and fucking sparks Alo out of it in front of everyone before helping him up, apologising and telling him it’s “only numbers” as he walks off. Liv seems impressed (didn’t realise she liked some good old assault).
We then see Liv at her locker, who approaches Mini and confronts her about avoiding her lately because she doesn’t want to talk about Grace, which Mini denies. Mini gets upset and storms off, the lurking Alex in the background viewing the whole thing. Liv notices him and asks him what his deal is and why he socked poor Alo. He then gives this whole “numbers” thing (which I get is supposed to be a quirk of some sort, but it’s really cringeworthy to me). He then demonstrates, rolling a three and then kissing Liv. She reciprocates...by slapping him. She then sort of smiles and they introduce themselves to each other. And then she’s walking to his house (like I said, it doesn’t take much to convince old Liv to do anything). Alex then finds his Gran in a closet and introduces her to Liv. She tells Liv she “likes to colour” of her and they share a laugh. Alex then serves then beans on toast (good bit a food that) and Alex’s Gran does some reminiscing. However, things go south when she starts talking about being put in a home and about Alex’s dad. As he sees Liv out, she invites him to the pub, Alex telling her he might come. Alex then reads to his Gran and ignores a call from his dad. He arrives at the pub (despite not knowing what time they were going at) and sees the gang minus Rich (and Matty and Grace obviously) looking rather dejected. He goes over and asks if any of them want a shot (Alo getting confused and thinking Alex is offering him out). As Alex goes to get drinks, Alo complains about him and Mini tells Liv they don’t need any new friends (honestly, the way characters treat each other in this show, it’s hard to believe they’re friends at all). Nick comes up beside Alex at the bar and he asks Nick what Grace was like, Nick telling Alex he’s alright but just to “leave that alone” (yeah, why is Alex such a nosy twat?). Liv introduces them all to Alex, Mini quickly downing her shots before going for a dance with some prat. Alex notes Alo’s annoyance at Mini’s behaviour as he points out that they’re all “a little on edge” (I don’t really think Angie’s psychology class would be needed to spot that to be honest Alex). Alo then gets up to dance, nobody joining in, Nick telling him that’s gay (this show would be cancelled today just for that joke alone). Alex then gets a phone call and goes outside as Nick agrees to dance with Alo. Being the only two alone, Franky and Liv gaze at each other, not speaking. Alex has another angry phone call with his twat of a father and then goes to some shady casino with Liv. After an intense poker game with a load of Asians which ends in an Alex victory, one of the players goes mental and accuses Alex of being a “fucking cheat”. Alex then invites the man for a game of heads and tails for the money, daring the man to choose tails, which he does. He flips the coin to the man, which lands on heads. Liv collects the money and Alex shakes the man’s hand and they start to walk away. However, the man discovers that Alex used a double sided coin and he and Liv have to leg it. Alex then has to go back to his Gran and gives Liv some of the money. He kisses her cheek before she heads off. He then takes out his phone, goes on some gay dating app and hooks up with some man (well, that came out of nowhere). Alex gets offended when his fling offers him some money, Alex exclaiming that he’s “not a rent boy” before ripping up the money, kissing the man’s cheek and leaving.
Alex does his countdown before alarm nonsense again before caring for his grandmother and ignoring his father. We then see him in school as Liv approaches and he rolls his die again. He lands a one so he and Liv break into someone’s house. The house they’re in is messy with porn magazines scattered around (Sid’s house maybe?). To mess with the guy, they clean up, leaving his room spotless. Liv starts making a move on Alex, who starts to explain something to her (likely that he’s gay) but they have to run when the man (who’s not Sid unfortunately) comes home. They head back to his but Alex finds his dad at home. They have an icy exchange, Alex wanting not wanting to put his grandmother in a home and offering to look after her. He leaves and tells Alex he’ll be back later. We then have a nice scene as Alex dances with his grandmother, Liv joining in. We then see Alex at college, introducing Nick to the concept of the die. Nick starts reading off his list which involves outcomes such as hanging himself and getting into heroin (that might’ve been the best tragic humour this show has done). Alex tells him to starts smaller and they start to make a new list until they’re interrupted by some bloke who’s making an announcement (he’s literally the biggest Percy Weasely I’ve ever seen). He announces they’re having a memorial service for Grace, his manner proving to be off putting for Liv, Nick, Alo and Mini who don’t want to go. However, things turn sour when Mini accuses Liv of trying to speak for all of them, causing Liv to get upset. Alex goes after her and finds her crying. He consoles her and Liv kisses him. However, just as Mini approaches to, Alex reveals to Liv that he’s gay (which shouldn’t be surprising considering each generation needs a gay character. This wouldn’t be Skins otherwise). She calls him a headfuck (I can’t stress enough how overused that word is in this generation) and accuses him of being spineless. She gets angry with him as Mini reveals herself and piles on, Alex leaving. Liv then tells Mini to do one. Alex sprints out of the school and back home. He calls his grandmother, finding her in bed, her eyes shut. He looks at her bedside locker, picking up the empty pill bottle that was lying on its side. Alex takes the picture of the boat that was in her hand, kissing her head as he starts to cry. We then see Liv at Grace’s memorial, stony faced among the tearful crowd. Percy Weasely whips out a keyboard and him and some other girl sing, to Liv’s disgust. Mini and Franky join her and they look on at the distasteful glorifying of Grace’s death. Franky marches up and pulls at Percy’s keyboard, insulting him (wait, there might be enough time for redemption for Franky...). Liv joins and smashes his keyboard and then flashes the crowd (...Liv. Why’d you do that?). She runs off crying and gets a phone call from Alex, who’s watching her from afar. He apologises and offers to help her. “With everything”.
A blue van pulls up near the sea (or just some stretch of water at Bristol. My UK geographical knowledge isn’t amazing, but isn’t Bristol coastal? Like near Wales and that?). The gang (minus Rich of course) get out and we see a man loading stuff onto a boat. Alex stands aboard and they all sail out. They have a drug fuelled party out at sea. When Liv asks Alex if he stole the boat (yes Liv, I forgot how simple it is to steal a whole fucking boat) but he says he rented it because he thought they all needed it. When Liv questions his motives as he didn’t know Grace, he tells her he “needs a friend right now” and then motions at Mini, telling Liv that “so does she”. As Liv and Mini try and fail to reconcile, Mini sits down on something. She then becomes curious to what it is, freaking out when she finds Alex’s grandmother’s body resting inside. The gang then question Alex’s decision to bring a dead body to their boat party (which is understandable. Alex is alright but he could definitely be the type to murder them all and sink the boat). He goes on to explain that he wants them to help him bury his grandmother at sea. Before they dump her in the water, he reads from that sailor diary, the gang crying about Grace, before they throw her on the water, the casket floating for a few moments before Alex does some weird finger gun shit, counts to down from three, then shoots the casket, it sinking on his cue. Franky then rings Matty, going to voicemail, then telling him it’s her and “don’t ever come back”. Liv and Alex agree to be mates and Alex does another die roll, rolling a six, “Always run away”. So they both jump in. Liv throws the die and they both swim after it.
Okay, new character introduced. And he’s actually pretty good. Obviously he’s a bit overly enigmatic and is definitely not a realistic teenager, but he’s got a pretty good story and just made the season more interesting and brought it back to life. I know this episode was a bit bleak, but Alex’s pretty ridiculous ongoings in this episode really shadowed the entertaining stories that we saw in Gen One and Two. He was a real breath of fresh air, as was this episode in general. Anyway, take note of: - Character of Alex - Fractured morale among the group - Gang somewhat coming to terms with Grace’s death - Franky’s voicemail to Matty - Alo and Mini’s romantic tension
So yea, that was a refreshing episode. It might’ve been a bit over the top, but Alex was the kind of character needed to keep this generation interesting and to add something new. And the overall plot of this one was quite good for all the characters.
Overall Rating: 8/10
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Part 6: Completing Casino Offers (LIVE EXAMPLES) - YouTube

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