great sports betting stories about friendship

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Bernard W. Dempsey, S. In a centralized economy, currency is issued by a central bank at a rate that is supposed to match the growth of the amount of goods that are exchanged so that these goods can be traded with stable prices. The monetary base is controlled by a central bank.

Great sports betting stories about friendship sports betting paypal deposit

Great sports betting stories about friendship

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FA. BETTING UNTERWELLENBORN

He started gambling in the bleachers of Wrigley Field, and soon found himself making more money from gambling on baseball and football than he made at his day job. He quit and turned to gambling full time. Once bookies figured out how sharp he was they stopped taking bets from him, so by the early s McNeil went to the other side of the desk and started making book himself.

He had an idea he thought could actually level the playing field between bookmaker and handicappers like him, and he believed it would prove popular among gamblers and bookies alike. In doing so, he turned every contest into something closer to a coin flip. By offering bettors a fair contest, he would ideally attract equal action on both sides. Point spreads proved popular, and soon a publisher in Minneapolis named Leo Hirschfield began publishing the spread for games all over the country.

He employed a team of handicappers who talked to contacts across America to obtain information to set their lines. By , there were 23, miles of telegraph lines leased from Western Union to service 20, bookies with up-to-the-minute sports data.

Those bookies in turn provided that information to other smaller bookies. In all there were estimated to be more than , bookmakers earning their living from sports betting in the United States in By , there were more than , As attorney general, Robert Kennedy made shutting down the illegal sports betting network in the United States a top priority, believing the proceeds were funding organized crime. Despite his efforts, by the number of people working in the illegal bookmaking industry in America eclipsed a million.

Spanky graduated with a degree in computer science and went to work at Deutsche Bank right out of college. He was earning decent money but he was still spending a lot of time betting on sports. He read books on handicapping and betting systems. He looked for patterns, for edges wherever he could find them.

In the s, sports betting was moving to the internet, with black market bookies decamping for the Caribbean to operate their bookmaking business far from the arm of U. As Spanky combed through one sports betting website after another, it dawned on him that he could use his computer coding skills to beat the bookies. He could do the same types of things he was doing for finance banks to give himself an edge on sports bets. While sitting in a pizzeria watching a basketball game with his then-girlfriend, he told her his idea.

Her response was a shrug. She knew her boyfriend loved puzzles and games. She had no idea how much this particular puzzle would consume him. Spanky approached a coworker he respected and shared his idea for writing code that could identify positive expected value in sports betting markets. But whenever those games fell right in the middle of the two lines, in this case if the Steelers lost by three points, then they would win both of their bets.

Bet after bet Spanky and his colleague just kept losing the vig, never hitting the middle. Then they hit another, and another, and another. They kept this up for two years without ever taking a dime out of their online accounts.

The first time they requested a withdrawal, Spanky says, the bookmaker had them meet someone on the street in Manhattan rather than cash the money out directly to their bank. A total stranger handed them a sack full of cash. They rushed back to Deutsche Bank and counted it in the restroom. They had never seen that much cash in their lives. It was real money. How big, they wondered, could they make this?

The bank they worked for did the same thing they were doing but in financial markets, and their bosses were all filthy rich. Could betting on sports make them rich, too? In June , the casino reopened as Ocean Resort Casino. Though the property is one of the glitziest in Atlantic City, it is one of its lowest-earning casinos. And on a Monday night in March, it shows.

The teller takes my money and punches the bet into a computer. Back in the s, Bob Martin knew the guy who ran the cleaning crews at the Las Vegas airport. Those newspapers, from towns large and small, far and wide, were his bread and butter. The 10 percent tax on bets handled was too high to make a profit, since sportsbooks were expected to earn roughly only 4 percent over the long run.

This meant the early bookmakers in Las Vegas were mostly no different from the gamblers who bet with them. They had to take positions, to be invested on one side of certain bets. Essentially they had to gamble against their customers. And looking at the prop, I would have probably had to close the place if Hagler won. Hirschfield and the Minneapolis operation had closed up shop in after Robert Kennedy convinced Congress to pass a number of new antigambling laws. That meant that among legal bookmakers operating in Las Vegas, there was no agreed-upon line for games.

Each bookmaker was on their own to take a position. And lines up and down Glitter Gulch sometimes differed wildly. When Martin made his way through town making bets, those lines would quickly coalesce around whatever he was betting, because his opinion was often more respected by the bookmakers than their own.

He asked Martin to come work for him to manage the book and make his lines. Las Vegas remained the epicenter of the sports betting world, both legal and illegal, for nearly a half-century, until the internet changed the landscape in ways Bob Martin and his stack of small-town newspapers could never have imagined.

Early on a Tuesday morning, I arrive at the Ocean sportsbook and sit in the front row of seats, my bag full of money clutched in my hands at all times. After three years of betting on sports on his lunch breaks and on weekends, Spanky Kyrollos was earning more from gambling than from his finance job. He told his wife that he and his partner were quitting Deutsche to pursue their sports betting business full time.

Years ago in the pizza parlor after Spanky told her his idea to write code to help him bet on sports, she had dismissed it as a flight of fancy. This time she knew he was serious. Not only that, if he had more time to devote to it and more help with it, he believed he could scale it up.

He and his partner quit their jobs and hired a couple of old friends as their first employees. To place as much money into action as they needed, they had to make bets in literally hundreds of accounts in sportsbooks all over the world.

They wrote code and built betting robots that could automate the bets for them. They taught their friends about how their system worked, and got the friends to a point where they could work virtually independently. Much of their business was being done with online offshore sportsbooks, most of which were located in Costa Rica. Many of the proprietors of the websites headquartered there were people who had learned the business as illegal bookmakers in the United States.

Spanky flew down and worked out deals with the bookmakers to give him credit, rather than requiring him to post large sums of money and cash out through e-wallets like Neteller every time he won. If he could bet on credit, they could settle up stateside in cash. And bookmaking in Costa Rica was legal. So nobody was doing anything wrong, they figured. One day, while Spanky awaited the birth of his daughter in the hospital, his partner went to a Dunkin Donuts to pick up some money an offshore book owed them.

Then, as they got in their cars to leave, they were surrounded by police officers with their guns drawn. Trap door? For what? The other employees, shaken, followed him out the door. He even expanded his operation beyond middling games, and together with his new brain trust developed new models that allowed him to take positions on games.

Fundamental analysis is handicapping. You make numbers. Technical analysis, you look at the market. His team started spending their days watching screens with lines from sportsbooks all over the world, and using finely tuned models to analyze the various line movements and interpret what they meant.

In some ways it was similar to what day traders might do in the stock market. By , middling and steam betting had made Spanky what he deemed a fortune, and he had made a name for himself. After Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in , it became next to impossible for American gamblers to deposit and withdraw money from offshore gambling sites.

Not all bookmakers decamped from the Caribbean, however. Those who stayed behind had to largely forgo doing business with the American market. Johnny Aitken, who went from working as a runner for a major gambling syndicate in Australia all the way up to becoming CEO of the Australia-based sportsbook PointsBet, watched it happen. But recreational gamblers either get lucky and win or they go broke, and if they get too lucky, too often they get banned.

Either way there is a law of diminishing returns for the bookmaker who will tolerate no risk, unless that bookmaker can continually locate new, untapped pools of players, like an energy company constantly looking for new pockets of oil or gas buried beneath the shale.

These became the two prevailing models of bookmaking. On one side were the European-style books. On the other side were companies like Pinnacle, who offered lower odds and took on larger bets. Pinnacle and BetCRIS were known to let certain sharp players bet their lines before they went public. One side gets a bet at house limits, the other side gets valuable information. This is the way it worked for many years, more or less. But according to Peabody, the days of posted limits and sharp players being able to bet started to end when William Hill arrived in Nevada.

Of the physical sportsbooks in Nevada, William Hill operates more than If someone is good enough to beat you why not use that information internally? Take the bet at a smaller amount and use it to move your line. It is completely false to say that we ban people simply for winning. There are literally tens of thousands of customers in Nevada that are winners at William Hill. In the rare situation where we do prohibit someone from wagering with us, there are a variety of reasons why.

If someone tells you that the reason that they are prohibited from wagering with William Hill is because they are winning, they are not telling you the whole story. Total, total, utter bullshit and you can quote me on that. By , Spanky says he was allowed to bet directly in only five places in the entire world.

He had three kids, with a fourth on the way. His business had been profitable and predictable. His employees were happy. He was becoming a wealthy man. But the European-style changes in the market could potentially kill his livelihood.

That meant that he needed to keep millions of dollars in action to earn enough to support his family and his employees. And with so many sportsbooks refusing his action, he needed to get creative. They would provide Spanky with their own accounts to bet into with other bookmakers, and they could split the proceeds.

These bookmakers already knew he was a winning player, and most leaped at the opportunity to make a profit off his plays, while at the same time taking a bite out of their competition. Bookmakers were more skittish about taking on risk than Spanky had ever seen before. With so little independent data and analysis of their own lines, bookmakers were flinching at every shadow.

I give him the money and take the betslip, then return to my chair in the front row. The game then appears on the screen, only the line is now Xavier They should have given Toledo MORE points, not fewer, to get someone to take the other side of the game and balance out my bet. Instead, by moving the line in my direction, they were trying to entice me to bet more!

I clutch my backpack and go back up to the counter to speak to the manager. He punches it into the computer and waits for word from the trading office in Las Vegas. When I return to my seat, the game flashes again, and this time the line goes back to Back to the counter, and another bet approved. This time, the line moves to You can keep sending people with new names and fresh money.

He was betting much smaller amounts. Instead of reacting to my bet, William Hill reacted to the lines moving at all the places Spanky was betting, from -5 to When I left the casino the line was already at One of the people Spanky partnered with in to make bets for him was a bookmaker in Allentown, New Jersey. Investigators overheard Spanky talking to the bookmaker about money he was owed. I was just a bettor. Through those wiretaps, investigators traced an intricate web of bookies and bettors that stretched across the globe, and involved both illegal street bookies and a major Wall Street financial firm, Cantor Fitzgerald.

They took him away in handcuffs. In all, they arrested 25 people in five states. Spanky says he was a victim of a misunderstanding about how his business worked, that he was mistaken for a bookmaker when he was merely a bettor.

He was placing bets through so many accounts and with so many partners, often with bookmakers who themselves were operating illegally in the United States, that it created a confusing web of cash moving back and forth among many parties on both sides of the law. In all, Spanky was charged with enterprise corruption; fourth-, third-, second-, and first-degree money laundering; first-degree promoting gambling; and fourth- and fifth-degree conspiracy.

As Spanky and Mike sat in jail, they contemplated their future. Perhaps they should get out of the gambling business. Mike suggested they open up a hot dog stand. He took his first break from betting in 12 years. He joined a touch football league. We agreed we were going to share the bet. I never paid him my share, but I asked for half the winnings anyway. My overture was swatted away like a floater in the direction of Dikembe Mutombo.

The summer after college I moved home and catered for a few months. One of the chefs an awesome Italian guy and I were close and were on the same crew that worked together a lot and were a well-oiled machine. One day, he saw me with my BlackBerry during staff dinner and asked if it got internet. I said yes, and he asked for a baseball score. So I obliged. A few weddings later he asked me for another baseball score — except neither of the teams playing were the same as the first two teams he had asked about.

When Roy Hodgson was the manager at Fulham, my favorite soccer team, he kept his team very organized defensively. Thus, a lot of their games ended in ties, especially away from home. So I started betting on that. I, a college student in New Orleans at the time, opened an account at a gambling website, and for every Fulham away game, I would bet on a tie.

At the time it seemed normal and smart, and I did make a little bit of money. But one morning I woke up at a. Nate, I thought to myself, you are a college student in New Orleans, in the prime of your life, living in the greatest city on Earth. And every Saturday you are waking up early in the morning to sit by yourself and watch a soccer game played thousands of miles away, rooting for your favorite team in the world to tie.

At an arcade in Japan, right around the time I was of legal Japanese drinking age and definitely not slightly under it, I was way into money matches. I played people for around five U. Driller, Tetris , and quite a few others. Eventually, I got on a pretty good winning streak on Blitz and was getting arrogant with my bets. I was invincible. I could not lose. So I went for it, and I lost bad.

Like extremely bad. Dejected, I left the arcade and realized it was the middle of the night, I had no money for a cab or a bus or anything like that and, furthermore, the trains in the area were not even running. I wound up in a bar, where I managed to convey my situation to both the person tending bar and a few people around me. Or at least I thought I did. The person behind the bar, seemingly understanding of my plight and sympathetic, put a drink in front of me.

I drank it. They put another drink in front of me. This happened a few times, and when it was extremely late or extremely early, I guess , I stood up to leave.

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Even the most popular celebrities may have some routine before they do anything. But, sometimes, the superstitions may take over us, and we will feel unsafe and bad if we are not able to perform our whole ritual. Here are a few examples of that:. The other NBA players who were on the same team with him, saying he was wearing the same practice shorts, even after he left the North Carolina team because he considered them lucky. When he came to Chicago Bulls, he was still wearing the light blue shorts underneath.

Maybe that was his secret of being that good in the basketball, and help the team win so many cups and championships. Tiger Woods was studying in the Stanford Cardinal school, where the students were wearing red uniforms. Since then, he is considering the very same color as lucky to him, and if he feels like he needs more of it, he wears red shirts before important events.

According to his beliefs, red is just the opposite of green, which is the color of the golf grass around him. Also, this color is known as energizing, strengthening, and passionate, everything a sports player needs before their important event. The baseball player Larry Walker believed in the power of three, and he always insisted on wearing the number 33 on his uniform.

The story goes even further. He was always setting the alarm 33 minutes past the hour, and according to his friends and family, he scheduled his wedding at pm. Serena Williams is one of the most popular tennis players with a huge row of wins, and rarely losing a match.

Her secret? Wearing the same socks, until she loses a match. It may seem like a gross ritual, but probably it worked so smoothly for her. She has a brilliant career behind her, and of course, wearing stinky socks is not the part we all want to remember from her shiny moments. You guess we are talking about Cristiano Ronaldo. If you follow his career, you probably know that his hair is never messy, no matter how much he is sweating while playing football. For example, when he travels by plane, he wants to get off at first, but when the team travels by bus, he wants to be the last one that leaves the bus.

His co-players confirm he is stepping onto the grass with his right foot. When it comes to his hairstyle, he is fixing it between the two halftimes, so he can be sure it always looks good. The science says there is nothing like unnatural and paranormal energy in the world, but the fact is that many of us witnessed some weird situation that somehow worked great, and we are not able to explain it.

This is the moment where the superstitions jump in. To be honest, we do a lot of things on a daily base that is not proven that work, but we do that anyway. Popular sports figures are not an exception. As we all know, even the most popular and successful person in this world may have some rituals , that they believe makes them happy and lucky.

Essentially they had to gamble against their customers. And looking at the prop, I would have probably had to close the place if Hagler won. Hirschfield and the Minneapolis operation had closed up shop in after Robert Kennedy convinced Congress to pass a number of new antigambling laws.

That meant that among legal bookmakers operating in Las Vegas, there was no agreed-upon line for games. Each bookmaker was on their own to take a position. And lines up and down Glitter Gulch sometimes differed wildly. When Martin made his way through town making bets, those lines would quickly coalesce around whatever he was betting, because his opinion was often more respected by the bookmakers than their own. He asked Martin to come work for him to manage the book and make his lines.

Las Vegas remained the epicenter of the sports betting world, both legal and illegal, for nearly a half-century, until the internet changed the landscape in ways Bob Martin and his stack of small-town newspapers could never have imagined. Early on a Tuesday morning, I arrive at the Ocean sportsbook and sit in the front row of seats, my bag full of money clutched in my hands at all times.

After three years of betting on sports on his lunch breaks and on weekends, Spanky Kyrollos was earning more from gambling than from his finance job. He told his wife that he and his partner were quitting Deutsche to pursue their sports betting business full time. Years ago in the pizza parlor after Spanky told her his idea to write code to help him bet on sports, she had dismissed it as a flight of fancy.

This time she knew he was serious. Not only that, if he had more time to devote to it and more help with it, he believed he could scale it up. He and his partner quit their jobs and hired a couple of old friends as their first employees. To place as much money into action as they needed, they had to make bets in literally hundreds of accounts in sportsbooks all over the world. They wrote code and built betting robots that could automate the bets for them.

They taught their friends about how their system worked, and got the friends to a point where they could work virtually independently. Much of their business was being done with online offshore sportsbooks, most of which were located in Costa Rica. Many of the proprietors of the websites headquartered there were people who had learned the business as illegal bookmakers in the United States. Spanky flew down and worked out deals with the bookmakers to give him credit, rather than requiring him to post large sums of money and cash out through e-wallets like Neteller every time he won.

If he could bet on credit, they could settle up stateside in cash. And bookmaking in Costa Rica was legal. So nobody was doing anything wrong, they figured. One day, while Spanky awaited the birth of his daughter in the hospital, his partner went to a Dunkin Donuts to pick up some money an offshore book owed them. Then, as they got in their cars to leave, they were surrounded by police officers with their guns drawn. Trap door? For what? The other employees, shaken, followed him out the door.

He even expanded his operation beyond middling games, and together with his new brain trust developed new models that allowed him to take positions on games. Fundamental analysis is handicapping. You make numbers. Technical analysis, you look at the market. His team started spending their days watching screens with lines from sportsbooks all over the world, and using finely tuned models to analyze the various line movements and interpret what they meant.

In some ways it was similar to what day traders might do in the stock market. By , middling and steam betting had made Spanky what he deemed a fortune, and he had made a name for himself. After Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in , it became next to impossible for American gamblers to deposit and withdraw money from offshore gambling sites. Not all bookmakers decamped from the Caribbean, however. Those who stayed behind had to largely forgo doing business with the American market.

Johnny Aitken, who went from working as a runner for a major gambling syndicate in Australia all the way up to becoming CEO of the Australia-based sportsbook PointsBet, watched it happen. But recreational gamblers either get lucky and win or they go broke, and if they get too lucky, too often they get banned. Either way there is a law of diminishing returns for the bookmaker who will tolerate no risk, unless that bookmaker can continually locate new, untapped pools of players, like an energy company constantly looking for new pockets of oil or gas buried beneath the shale.

These became the two prevailing models of bookmaking. On one side were the European-style books. On the other side were companies like Pinnacle, who offered lower odds and took on larger bets. Pinnacle and BetCRIS were known to let certain sharp players bet their lines before they went public. One side gets a bet at house limits, the other side gets valuable information.

This is the way it worked for many years, more or less. But according to Peabody, the days of posted limits and sharp players being able to bet started to end when William Hill arrived in Nevada. Of the physical sportsbooks in Nevada, William Hill operates more than If someone is good enough to beat you why not use that information internally? Take the bet at a smaller amount and use it to move your line. It is completely false to say that we ban people simply for winning.

There are literally tens of thousands of customers in Nevada that are winners at William Hill. In the rare situation where we do prohibit someone from wagering with us, there are a variety of reasons why. If someone tells you that the reason that they are prohibited from wagering with William Hill is because they are winning, they are not telling you the whole story. Total, total, utter bullshit and you can quote me on that.

By , Spanky says he was allowed to bet directly in only five places in the entire world. He had three kids, with a fourth on the way. His business had been profitable and predictable. His employees were happy. He was becoming a wealthy man. But the European-style changes in the market could potentially kill his livelihood. That meant that he needed to keep millions of dollars in action to earn enough to support his family and his employees. And with so many sportsbooks refusing his action, he needed to get creative.

They would provide Spanky with their own accounts to bet into with other bookmakers, and they could split the proceeds. These bookmakers already knew he was a winning player, and most leaped at the opportunity to make a profit off his plays, while at the same time taking a bite out of their competition.

Bookmakers were more skittish about taking on risk than Spanky had ever seen before. With so little independent data and analysis of their own lines, bookmakers were flinching at every shadow. I give him the money and take the betslip, then return to my chair in the front row.

The game then appears on the screen, only the line is now Xavier They should have given Toledo MORE points, not fewer, to get someone to take the other side of the game and balance out my bet. Instead, by moving the line in my direction, they were trying to entice me to bet more! I clutch my backpack and go back up to the counter to speak to the manager. He punches it into the computer and waits for word from the trading office in Las Vegas.

When I return to my seat, the game flashes again, and this time the line goes back to Back to the counter, and another bet approved. This time, the line moves to You can keep sending people with new names and fresh money. He was betting much smaller amounts.

Instead of reacting to my bet, William Hill reacted to the lines moving at all the places Spanky was betting, from -5 to When I left the casino the line was already at One of the people Spanky partnered with in to make bets for him was a bookmaker in Allentown, New Jersey.

Investigators overheard Spanky talking to the bookmaker about money he was owed. I was just a bettor. Through those wiretaps, investigators traced an intricate web of bookies and bettors that stretched across the globe, and involved both illegal street bookies and a major Wall Street financial firm, Cantor Fitzgerald. They took him away in handcuffs. In all, they arrested 25 people in five states.

Spanky says he was a victim of a misunderstanding about how his business worked, that he was mistaken for a bookmaker when he was merely a bettor. He was placing bets through so many accounts and with so many partners, often with bookmakers who themselves were operating illegally in the United States, that it created a confusing web of cash moving back and forth among many parties on both sides of the law. In all, Spanky was charged with enterprise corruption; fourth-, third-, second-, and first-degree money laundering; first-degree promoting gambling; and fourth- and fifth-degree conspiracy.

As Spanky and Mike sat in jail, they contemplated their future. Perhaps they should get out of the gambling business. Mike suggested they open up a hot dog stand. He took his first break from betting in 12 years. He joined a touch football league. He played in board game tournaments. Eventually he wondered what he was doing with his life. This is all I know how to do.

His Princeton guys got scared and quit. His betting partners worried he was hot, maybe working with the feds. And his wife was terrified the police might come kicking in the door again. She asked him to promise it would never happen. What he could promise her was that he would live his life out in the open. There would never again be any doubt which side of the counter he was on. Over the next few years, Spanky and Mike worked hard to build their business back up. They started betting again, building their bankroll back up.

They had a few good football seasons. Things appeared to be getting back on track for them. It was like a dream come true. The work that Spanky had done his entire life—work that once required him to hide his identity, to meet people in back alleys to trade sacks of cash, work that led to his phones being tapped, his nest egg being confiscated, and his reputation dragged through the mud—he would finally be able to do with his head held high.

Showing astute foresight, William Hill signed a deal with Monmouth Park in , a full five years before the PASPA decision, at a time when few people were predicting the law would be overturned. But Mike thought it was worth a shot. The first day Spanky arrived at Monmouth Park, the place was packed, and people were betting with both hands.

Could it be possible that bookmaking in New Jersey was going to be a return to the good old days? Spanky interrogated the manager for the video. From then on, Spanky was a man on a mission. As each new sportsbook opened in New Jersey, Spanky showed up.

Each time he negotiated bet limits. Each time he was welcomed by the sportsbooks with open arms. Casinos usually salivate over players willing to bet large amounts, wining and dining them and putting them up in free suites.

The new sportsbooks in New Jersey were no different. Four weeks I was there. Once I started winning, I had a big weekend and held 32 percent, they cut me off. Sometimes it was after a week of taking his bets. Sometimes within a couple of days. Each time he recorded it and posted the videos on Twitter. Each time his followers grew, cheering him on. After Pennsylvania legalized bookmaking and Parx Casino opened its sportsbook, Spanky tweeted that he was planning to go check it out.

Not every sportsbook in New Jersey has banned Spanky. The Hard Rock, the most recent sportsbook to open in Atlantic City, welcomes his action. He was the manager of the famed Stardust sportsbook in Las Vegas in the s and early s. While others are run by large international conglomerates pooling money from bets taken all over the world, the Hard Rock is backing the sports bets it takes with its own money.

Johnny Aitken at PointsBet is also hoping to make a big splash in New Jersey by going against the grain and allowing sharp players to bet big, and he hopes it will even help give his book an edge. The three-day event was a trade show for the technology and data companies, many of whom are European, that hope to break into the fledgling American market. Data and technology are the driving forces in sports gambling now, more closely resembling a bizzaro version of Wall Street.

Bookies are now traders. Bets are positions. Instead of talking about fumbles or points or vig or juice, you hear talk of Python and stacks and hold and risk. Old-school bookmakers are being replaced by algorithms that do the work once done by armies of traders, whose jobs are now to oversee the systems that power the trading floor. Well, I call them traitors. Gambling, it seems, is only what the customer is doing. Gambling is for suckers.

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