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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Poker

Heck, it’s hardly worth playing for

Top prize at the 2007 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas will be $8.25 million based on the 6,358 players who have entered the no-limit Texas Hold ‘em main event over the tourney’s four starting days.

Organizers revised the payoff up from the previously announced $8.23 million and said about $59.8 million will be paid out of the tournament’s pot to players who finish in the money.

The totals are short of last year’s record 8,773 participants and $12 million top prize. But it comes nine months after President Bush signed a law cracking down on Internet gambling, which is blamed for shrinking the number of entrants who would have qualified in online tournaments.

Shortly after starting Monday, a daily announcement drew a chuckle from the crowd. The recipient of the day’s first royal flush, the best hand in poker and a 649,739-to-1 occurrence, would get a free massage.

“When I heard the offer, I was like, ‘Yeah right,’ ” said Fred Hwang, a 42-year-old anesthesiologist from Keller, Texas.

Then he hit it, holding a jack and 10 of diamonds with a flop of ace, king, and queen of diamonds. Hwang actually found action on the hand, as an unfortunate opponent had a lower flush.

“If I win the tournament, I’ll buy you dinner,” Hwang told his opponent.

Yeah, right.

Football

Cougs announce TV games

Three Washington State University football road games and one home game have been selected for broadcast on ABC and Fox Sports Network, Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced.

ABC will broadcast the Cougars’ Sept. 1 opener at Wisconsin (12:30 p.m. Pacific) and their game at USC Sept. 22 (5 p.m.).

FSN will show the Oct. 27 home game with UCLA (3:30 p.m.) and the Cougars Nov. 3 game at Cal (7 p.m.).

Also, a 4 p.m. kickoff time has been set for the Cougars’ Sept. 8 non-conference game against San Diego State at Qwest Field in Seattle.

Softball

Lakeland grad Adelphi coach

Lakeland High School graduate and former North Idaho College assistant coach Paige Smith has been hired as the head coach at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y.

Smith played college softball at NIC and Campbell University (N.C.), where she graduated in 2003. She started every game at second base during her NIC career and was a NJCAA Academic All-American. At Campbell she was twice a conference all-academic selection.

Smith was an assistant at St. John’s University last season, spent two years as an NIC assistant before that and was an assistant at Louisburg College (N.C.) for a year.

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