All posts by Fernando Casamada

Professional poker player and sports tipster.

It’s Phil Ivey A Fish?

Phil Ivey is considered by many the best all-around poker player in the world, however, lately when he sits at an online high stakes table in Full Tilt Poker there is a growing number of players willing to play against him. And, perhaps counterintuitively, he will generally finish his session in the same fashion that your drunken neighbor’s night, at the weekly homegame, inevitably ends: with heavy loses.

In fact since poker’s own Black Friday Ivey has dropped a whopping 6.4 million dollars in 194,847 hands played over a span of less than three years, he is amazingly the big fish in this games only surpassed by “The Great Dane” Gus Hansen who is down a cool 17.5 million dollars since Black Friday. Maybe just “The Dane” will be more fitting?

So has Ivey suddenly become terrible at poker? of course not. He is just facing the same problem that many poker players suffer in casinos and poker sites all over the world: bad table election. Simply explained, if you sit the ninth best poker player in a game where the other eight best players happen to be seated, he is bound to lose his shirt.

Easily the biggest factor that comes in play at bad table selection is a poker player’s ego, and we’re not talking your regular nobody can beat me at “whatever silly sporty thing”, no, poker player’s ego is in a league by itself. It’s such a psychological conundrum that should need teams of doctors devoted to it, if not entire universities, just to get a shot at solving it.

So, next time you visit your local casino and find a hundred regular looking poker players, you can be quite sure you just found one hundred persons who feel sorry for the other ninety nine poor souls that are about to be torn apart by their superior poker skills. It’s easy to see then, why this poker masterminds can’t be bothered to take a minute to walk around the poker room looking for the most lucrative tables. But you should. Because in poker success is measured very easily: how much you win.

Of course there are benefits to sitting in a game with a bunch of players better than you. You’ll stand lo learn a lot of useful lessons on how to beat yourself, and all this for the mere prize of the contents of your wallet. Is it worth it? Phil Ivey thinks it is. Or is he just another fish?


Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team’s Offense Come From?

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

There are just four more weeks in the NFL season, so let’s take a look in on how the offenses in the league are doing, and which positions have been most productive for them.

How These Work

These charts are an update to the ones we did at the quarter and halfway points of the year. As usual, we’re using Football Outsiders data to put these visualizations together. Each circle in these charts represents how productive that position has been for a given team. We added up every qualifying player’s DYAR (explained below) at a given position—so you’re not just looking at single players, but whole units. (Calvin Johnson finally took over as the best receiver in the league, but the Denver group is a better unit.) Bigger circles mean more production relative to the league average. Red circles mean below replacement level play. So, a big red circle means that that position really sucks.

If you’re unfamiliar, DYAR stands for Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement. It’s a Football Outsiders metric that compiles the total value a player generates over the course of a year, and adjusts for the strength of opponents, instead of the slightly better known DVOA. (After week 10, the opponent adjustments are at full strength.) Broadly, we’re using DYAR because we wanted to show how much production each team has gotten from each of its positions, not how well each player has played in whatever snaps he was on the field for. (DVOA is a rate stat, like the NBA’s PER, meaning a highly productive five plays would set you ahead of league leaders. We aren’t so interested in that here.)

A few takeaways:

  • The Patriots offense is finally coming around, with all its positions out of the negative, and all but wide receivers above league average.
  • It is very hard to have amass a lot of negative DYAR as a wide receiver—much harder than as a QB or running back, so the Cleveland combination of Davone Bess and Greg Little both going under -100 DYAR, and being the worst and second worst in the league, is quite the accomplishment.
  • While it isn’t quite as funny to have a “worst possible squad” made up entire of Jaguars units, it’s refreshing to see a few other groups sneak into the mix.
  • Nick Foles, DeSean Jackson, and the rest of the Eagles have been on a tear since we did this at the halfway point, which is obvious enough, but it’s come without slowing down LeSean’s production. The Eagles are scary.
  • Andrew Luck’s 411 DYAR puts him 15th among quarterbacks, but more than a third of that is from his rushing. He has 143 DYAR as a rusher, which puts him first among all QBs for rushing (Michael Vick is still #2).

Average NFL Team:

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

Best Squads:

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

Worst Squads:

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

1. Denver Broncos: +32.6% DVOA (Ranked 1 after Week 8)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)D

2. San Diego Chargers: +22.0% DVOA (Prev. 3)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)D

3. Philadelphia: +18.2% DVOA (Prev. 13)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

4. New Orleans Saints: +16.5% DVOA (Prev. 4)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

5. Seattle Seahawks: +13.3% DVOA (Prev. 14)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)D

6. New England Patriots: +11.8% DVOA (Prev. 20)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

7. Green Bay Packers: +11.7% DVOA (Prev. 2)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)D

8. Carolina Panthers: +11.4% DVOA (Prev. 9)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

9. Chicago Bears: +11.0% DVOA (Prev. 7)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

10. Dallas Cowboys: +7.9% DVOA (Prev. 12)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

11. Atlanta Falcons: +6.0% DVOA (Prev. 10)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

12. Pittsburgh Steelers: +5.7% DVOA (Prev. 17)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

13. Detroit Lions: +5.4% DVOA (Prev. 8)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)D

14. San Francisco 49ers: +5.1% DVOA (Prev. 6)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

15. Indianapolis Colts: +3.8% DVOA (Prev. 5)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

16. Kansas City Chiefs: -0.3% DVOA (Prev. 16)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

17. Miami Dolphins: -0.7% DVOA (Prev. 19)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

18. Tennessee Titans: -2.3% DVOA (Prev. 18)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)D

19. Washington Redskins: -3.0% DVOA (Prev. 15)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

20. St. Louis Rams: -4.3% DVOA (Prev. 24)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

21. Cincinnati Bengals: -5.1% DVOA (Prev. 11)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -6.6% DVOA (Prev. 30)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

23. Minnesota Vikings: -7.1% DVOA (Prev. 22)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

24. Arizona Cardinals: -7.2% DVOA (Prev. 26)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)D

25. Buffalo Bills: -8.2% DVOA (Prev. 21)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

26. Houston Texans: -12.3% DVOA (Prev. 29)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

27. New York Giants: -12.9% DVOA (Prev. 27)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

28. Cleveland Browns: -17.7% DVOA (Prev. 23)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

29. Oakland Raiders: -18.4% DVOA (Prev. 28)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

30. Baltimore Ravens: -20.7% DVOA (Prev. 25)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

31. New York Jets: -27.2% DVOA (Prev. 31)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)

32. Jacksonville Jaguars: -36.1% DVOA (Prev. 32)

Infographics: Where Does Your NFL Team's Offense Come From? (Week 14)




Cover of "Rounders (Collector's Edition)&...
Cover of Rounders (Collector’s Edition)

Rounders is a 1998 film about the underground world of high-stakes poker. Directed by John Dahl and starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, the movie follows two friends who need to quickly earn enough cash playing poker to pay off a large debt. The term “rounder” refers to a person travelling around from city to city seeking high stakes cash games.

The movie opened to mixed reviews and made only a modest amount of money. However, with the growing popularity of Texas hold ’em and other poker games, Rounders has become a cult hit.

In the movie there are of course a lot of poker scenes LDO can you name the poker variants played in the movie AND in wich game/scene? the comment that names the most poker variants AND the scenes where they are played wins.

example: they are playing 7 stud in the judge’s game, etc.

The 5 best scenes from the 5 worst poker movies

Poker in movies is cool, intense, and dangerous – unless you know anything about the game. Then it’s cringeworthy and laughable.

NOTE: it’s difficult to pick a “best” scene from bad movies, but if you take “best” to mean “provides most amusement to poker geeks” then it actually becomes pretty easy.

5. Deal (2008): scene

This film has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 3%, which is really difficult to get even if you’re trying to make a ridiculously bad film (Snakes on a Plane has 68%). Even Burt Reynolds couldn’t save this one.

About the movie

With cameos from a myriad of famous poker faces, this film follows online poker hotshot Alex Stillman as he tries to conquer the live poker arena – specifically the World Poker Tour. Oh, and he also has to find love because Hollywood can’t produce a film without a love story.

The best scene

Alex’s first foray into the big leagues sees him at a final table with Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari, and not-Jennifer-Tilly who evidently decided she’d rather be an actor than a poker player for this movie.

In this clip he runs top two pair into a set and everyone treats him like a contemptible piece of shit for going all-in and losing thiscooler. At least they set up sympathy for the protagonist early on… but he is a bit of a cocky douche, don’t worry.

4. Casino Royale (2006): the slowroll showdown and “tip”

While not strictly a poker movie,  a significant amount of time in the film is spent at the poker table (Bond runs into more cold decks than he does beautiful women and henchmen). It’s not actually a terrible film in my eyes, but from the perspective of a poker fan it’s pretty awful.

About the movie

Bond, James Bond, is picked by the British Secret Service to compete in a high-stakes poker game in a bid to win terror-funding money. Oddly, the CIA have done the same thing but sent Felix Leiter instead of Phil Ivey to try and win it for them.

The best scene

It has to be the final hand – not only do a flush draw, two sets, and a straight flush manage to checkthrough the turn, every last player slowrolls – especially Bond, who waits for all his opponents to reveal their hands before flipping the nuts. Then again, this is a man who even slowrolls his own name when he introduces himself.

My favourite moment, unfortunately not shown in the video, is when Bond tips the dealer with a worthless tournament chip.

3. Lucky You (2007): least subtle collusion ever

In this film, The Not-So-Incredible Hulk (Eric Bana) and ET’s girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) find love in Las Vegas. There’s also some poker involved, and for some reason both Robert Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr. are there.

About the movie

Lucky You is the story of a man with a dream, who via grit and determination makes it to the final table of the World Series of Poker.

Wait, no – replace “dream” with “serious gamblingproblem” and “grit and determination” with “sheer dumb luck” and that’s bang on the money.

The best scene

The first scene, in which the protagonist is desperately trying to get money from a pawn shop, pretty much sets the tone for the entire film. However, the best scene is definitely the least-subtle collusion ever in which Eric Bana mucks the best hand on the riveragainst his father to ship him the pot.

OK, fine – do what you gotta do to resolve your daddy issues. But when it’s at the (televised) World Series of Poker final table… people are going to notice.

2. In Time (2011): a four-outer for your life

Between this and Runner Runner, Justin Timberlake has a knack for appearing in terrible poker scenes. Like Casino Royale above, this is by no means a poker movie. However, this scene is so laughable that it merits inclusion.

About the movie

This is a film where time is currency (literally, the amount of time you have left to live). This naturally would lead to some pretty intense gambling.

The best scene

Without a doubt this is one of the more ridiculous plays made on film, especially because Justin Timberlake isn’t betting his net worth – he’s betting his entire existence. Having recently acquired a lot of years, he immediately heads to a casino and bets over half of it on a gutshot – and binks the river to take the pot worth over a millennium. He didn’t even have the nut straight!

Of course there’s still time for a slowroll even when you only have 30 seconds left to live.

1. All-In (2006): the whole damn thing

This film is so bad that I’d forgotten what it was called (perhaps I’d repressed the memory like a traumatic childhood experience) and actually found it simply by Googling “worst poker movie ever”.

About the movie

In retrospect, the word “poker” is a redundant term in that search – it is actually simply one of the worst films I have ever seen in general, let alone poker-related films. It simply has no redeeming features whatsoever*.

I don’t know how deeply in debt Michael Madsen was [erm, that’s a joke – lawyers] to take a part in this but both he and Dominique Swain of Lolita fame star in this monstrosity.

There’s a sub-plot about evil doctors, as broke medical studentsraise money through poker – a bit like if Scrubs developed agambling addiction and a drinking problem.

The best scene

I really can’t narrow this down. It’s either the overly-evil corrupt doctor teaching at the hospital, or Ace (yes that’s the main character’s name) proving her skills by getting her money in with queens against aces and hitting a set on the river.

Just watch the trailer, it says more than I ever could.

Did we miss any terrible poker scenes in any movies you can think of? How about some surprisingly good ones? 

Caesars Really Wants You To Play Online Poker, Nevada’s second real-money online poker site to launch this year, is just over two months old. Competitor Ultimate Poker got a five-month head start by getting cards in the air, so to speak, back in April. Its launch was a bit subdued and relied on in-house advertising resources., owned byCaesars Interactive Entertainment, is taking a more explosive approach in trying to sign up new players and take control of the online poker market. If you have a Total Rewards account, step foot in a Caesars hotel room, or even watch TV in the state of Nevada, Caesars is going to let you know about

Online, Caesars is promoting through many of its own websites. staff are reaching out to gamblers elsewhere on the web and regularly post on poker message boards. Additionally, targets existing Total Rewards members with a rewards system that connects to their accounts. Although the levels don’t match up exactly, it is possible to advance your casino status through online play and vice versa. Credits earned online can also be converted to credits for use at Caesars properties.

Caesars hotels are pushing guests towards the new gaming site through the use of branded hotel items. Key cards and water bottles with new logos and slogans are provided to guests at check in. Inside our room during a recent stay at Harrah’s, we found that the ‘do not disturb’ sign had been replaced with a WSOP-branded version.

It’s the recent blitz of TV and radio advertisements, however, that has garnered the most attention. The campaign has been limited to areas where the site can legally operate so, if you’re outside of Nevada or New Jersey, you’re safe. The TV ads, which first premiered in Nevada during the season finale of Breaking Bad, seem to run continuously. Nevada residents can’t escape them and, if you turn on the TV in your Vegas hotel room, you will likely find Scotty Nguyen going all-in.

Cruz Azul y su Maquinista Fantasma

Cruz Azul lleva viajando década y media por las solitarias llanuras de su grandeza, una larga travesía que reseca cualquier buen recuerdo del Club. Es difícil explicar a los nuevos aficionados, propios y rivales, que efectivamente aquella Máquina de fútbol existió. El primer contacto que tuve con este equipo fue a través de las llagas de Miguel Marín. Con el retiro fundó una escuelita de futbol en el Colegio México de los Hermanos Maristas. El “Gato” solía enseñarnos sus manos destruidas a balonazos. Tenía los nudillos hechos callo y los dedos torcidos como acordeón. Marín era la fanfarria desconocida de Superman, la anatomía perfecta del guardameta: reumática, histórica y mortal. Con esa vocación de superhéroe dedicó sus últimos días a aquella escuela de fútbol donde nos enseñó a leer la vida en sus llagas familiares, valientes y honestas. El estigma que acompañó su apostolado de padre, portero y maestro.


Pero la historia moderna de Cruz Azul es insoportable, porque si su leyenda ganadora tardó medio siglo en construirse, bastó poco tiempo para que Facebook, Twitter y Youtube propagaran durante años las burlas, motes y memes de corrosión masiva y replica en internet, que borran de cualquier servidor los detalles heroicos de su vida. Apenas quedan imágenes de ese último equipo de Palencia reforzado por Cardozo que puso a Boca Juniors contra las paredes de la Bombonera en una final de Libertadores. Sin embargo, un título menor para la mayoría, La Copa, parecía haber tenido propiedades curativas. De otra temporada perdedora, al borde del vigésimo fracaso y a punto de echar al entrenador, Cruz Azul encontró de repente la confianza que dan los campeonatos.


Abrió sus vitrinas apolilladas, rechinaron sus bisagras oxidadas y dentro colocó su Copa con mucha seriedad. Quizá le hacía falta respirar el aire a viejo de su sala de trofeos. Las bodegas donde los clubes almacenan sus victorias siempre huelen bien; la madera, la humedad y el olor de limpia plata recomponen el ambiente viciado en los equipos grandes. Cruz Azul que no se había visto al espejo en años, se reconoció. Pero aquel Campeón de Copa se desvaneció en el último minuto de la final vs América, durante esa noche trágica fue enterrado vivo en el Azteca. Una inmensa fosa común donde Cruz Azul vive muerto. No existe sentimiento más triste que el de un pueblo que no sabe dónde terminaron sus cuerpos. Una campaña más, dentro de un estadio solitario y sin ningún otro recuerdo para heredar, Cruz Azul vuelve buscar el espíritu olvidado en su viejo portero, Miguel Marín, el maquinista fantasma.

Por José Ramón Fernández Gutiérrez de Quevedo

Did Phil Ivey cheat?

English: 2009 WSOP Seat 3 - Phil Ivey - 9,765,000
English: 2009 WSOP Seat 3 – Phil Ivey – 9,765,000 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barry Carter looks at the legal battle between Phil Ivey and Crockfords Casino and asks whether what he did could be considered cheating, as they have alleged.

Despite being universally considered the best player in the world as well as being a key figure in the story of the Full Tiltscandal, Phil Ivey has garnered perhaps the most mainstream media attention for a non poker related story.

That is his alleged cheating at Crockfords Casino in London playing Punto Banco. Ivey had his £7.5 million winnings confiscated and is now taking the casino to court to reclaim them.

More than likely this will get settled out of court. Money aside, both parties stand to lose a lot in the form of bad publicity for their future endeavors if this gets dragged through the legal process.

But either way, was what Ivey did cheating?

Edge sorting

The argument being made is that the cards being used had small design flaws, which made it possible to identify what card it was from the pattern on the back. Ivey is alleged to have brought an associate who was adept at spotting these design flaws, which gave him an edge.

Ivey and his associate would then request the decks be changed, until a deck with design flaws on the back was used, which he then requested would remain in play.

Casino error
The casino has argued that Ivey “acted to defeat the essential premise of the game” but Phil himself has said that it was the casino’s error and he was an advantage player, who played within the rules of the game.

This technique is much the same as card counting in Blackjack, which, although it will get you banned from a casino, is not technically a form of cheating. Although Ivey did influence the decks that were in play, he never influenced the way in which the cards were dealt. He simply observed and made decisions based on his observations.

The casino was well within their rights to change the deck at any time, but they wanted to keep Phil happy and playing.


The big question is how can a casino, which is prepared to host high stakes games as big as these, make such a fundamental mistake of using a deck of cards with design flaws on the back?

One would argue this was incompetence. If I were a cynic I might suggest that it was because they are fully aware of these design flaws and would want to use them to their own advantage.

So was it cheating? I don’t think it was, not even close.

Ivey didn’t influence the outcome of the cards one bit and was privy to the same information the casino was. I’m not saying it wasn’t calculated or even a little bit shady on Phil’s part, but any blame has to go to the casino for allowing such a vulnerability in the first place.

For me, Ivey acted within the rules of the game and Crockfords had ample opportunity to influence the action that took place to ensure Phil did not have an edge. It is sour grapes and incompetence on their part, and they should…..

Irina Shayk, elegida la más sexy del planeta

Irina colgó en Facebook las páginas de Maxim

Mientras Cristiano Ronaldo espera acabar con la tiranía de Messi y coronarse como el Balón de Oro de este año pese a no haber ganado ni un solo título, su novia Irina Shayk ha sido elegido como la mujer más sexy del mundo por la edición rusa de la revista Maxim.

Irina conquistó el título a través de una votación popular realizada entre los lectores de la citada publicación que la colocaron en el número uno de una lista de un centenar de las mujeres más bellas y excitantes del planeta.

“Gracias por esta agradable sorpresa. Muy agradecida a los que han votado por mí”, tuiteó Irina al conocer la noticia.

Os dejamos con una galería fotográfica en la que no queda ninguna duda de los méritos de Irina para obtener este título honorífico.


Fourth question of the promotion: Defeat NTIT at HU and win 100 dollars

All In
All In (Photo credit: banspy)

If you somehow knew for certain that your opponent’s holecards are Red Aces and you had the chance to pick two cards that have the best statistical chance to beat him, if you played to the end of the hand, which two cards will you choose?

NBA back in Mexico with Spurs vs Timberwolves game

English: Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spur...
English: Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs telling the refereee: “What did you just call my mother?” Photo was taken during the Spurs-Nuggets match on 12-22-2010 in San Antonio, TX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The NBA is back in Mexico for a regular-season game, and the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves are learning there’s an additional rival to conquer: The altitude.

During a practice game Tuesday, Minnesota’s players looked noticeably exhausted.

“It was very tough getting through the sprints,” Kevin Love said. “You lose your breath very easy in here, but it was a good practice. Hopefully we’ll have our wind tomorrow.”

The Timberwolves and Spurs will play Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m. EST.

Sitting at 7,350 feet above sea level, Mexico’s capital is at a far higher elevation than Denver, which is the NBA’s highest venue at 5,280 feet.

“In Denver, which is the highest city in the United states, we can feel (the altitude) in the first five minutes,” the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili said. “I’m sure it will be much more difficult here.”

Minnesota, which will be the home team, has never played in Mexico. During the practice, Love and the rest of his teammates looked visibly tired.

“We did not know the altitude would affect us so much but we were able to run a bit during practice,” said Jose Juan Barea, who has twice played in Mexico for Puerto Rico’s national team – in Cancun and Guadalajara.

“The trainer asked us to drink a lot of water because he wants to make sure we’re OK,” Barea said.

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said he plans to modify his strategy a bit to take the city’s altitude into account.

“We have to be very aware on probably getting guys in earlier than we normally would,” Alder said. “We had a scrimmage to get ready for it. Our substitutions will be quicker.”

Spurs coach Greg Popovich said he won’t change his substitution plan and simply hopes that “as the minutes go by, the (altitude’s) effect will pass. I’m not planning any changes.”

The game Wednesday will be the 21st played south of the border. Although, this will be the first regular-season game since the Dallas Mavericks faced the Houston Rockets on December 6, 1997, at Mexico City’s Palacio de los Deportes.

The Spurs have played five games in Mexico, including one just a couple of years ago when they played a preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“It’s certainly different because now is a sum game,” Ginobili said. “In preseason, it’s for fun. Now we do not want to lose.”

All but two of the 21 games have been held in Mexico City.

After their practice, the Spurs took their socks and sneakers off and played against a team of Trique Indian boys, who have earned acclaim in Mexico and abroad after sweeping through a youth basketball tournament despite their generally short stature and the fact that most play barefoot.

The team from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca won all six of its games to become this year’s champions at the International Festival of Mini-Basketball held recently in Argentina.

“It’s a wonderful story,” Popovich said. “They have good fundamentals. I was surprised to learn many don’t speak Spanish.”

They played a five-on-five that was won by the Trique Indian boys, 10-4.

“We ran, and we had fun,” said Ginobili, who is from Argentina. “I know they did well in Argentina and it was pleasure to have had this experience with them.”