Funny thing about July 4th weekend – the most important action in the sports world is all overseas.
The three-day absence from posting here won’t happen often. Had a lot of actual paid work to do, plus a week of solo parenting. Shouldn’t have a break like this until vacation.
Off we go (all times ET) …
Water polo: Big comeback keeps the U.S. women unbeaten in World League final tournament.
Poker: The last weekend before the Main Event — the $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold-’em World Championship that draws thousands of entrants and weeks of ESPN coverage — features several events of interest:
- Tournament of Champions: They’ve only knocked the field down the original 27 to 17, and that’s causing scheduling problems. The idea was to play it across two weekends. They’ll resume Saturday at 10 p.m. IF none of the 17 players is busy in another event. They may have to resume at noon Sunday. That’s 9 a.m. Vegas time. Is anyone awake then?
- $25,000 buy-in six-handed no-limit hold’em: Several big names just missed out on the final three tables (18 players) — John Juanda, Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Rousso, Freddy Deeb, Erik Seidel and Phil Ivey. But Daniel Negreanu is still in, threatening Saturday’s Tournament of Champions start. So is Frank Kassela, who’s in position to edge Juanda for Player of the Year honors.
- Pot-limit Omaha World Championship: Phil Hellmuth is still active in this one and the TOC, and a few other notable names are still going after Day 1.
- Two smaller no-limit hold’em events that shouldn’t attract may top players.
- Ante Up for Africa: Poker pro Annie Duke and actor Don Cheadle host an annual charity event that usually draws a good crowd of celebrities, some of whom hang around for the Main Event the next week, and many top players, though the crowded schedule may preclude a few people from entering.
FRIDAY (all times ET)
10 a.m.: World Cup quarterfinal, Netherlands-Brazil. ESPN / ESPN Deportes / ESPN3 / Univision
10:45ish a.m.: Wimbledon men’s semifinal, Andy Murray-Rafael Nadal. Winner faces Tomas Berdych, who upset Roger Federer this week and Novak Djokovic this morning. Murray’s path of Nadal, always better on clay and inconsistent here, and Berdych is Britain’s best hope in a generation. ESPN2, shifting to NBC at noon
2:30 p.m.: World Cup quarterfinal, Uruguay-Ghana. Just think — this could be the USA. ESPN / ESPN Deportes / ESPN3 / Univision
7:30 p.m.: Softball, World Championship final, USA vs. Canada-Japan winner. Not vouching at all for quality, reliability or even safety of this Webcast. Venezuelan government
9 a.m.: Wimbledon women’s final, Serena Williams-Vera Zvonareva. Also should get some doubles finals, with at least one American player to appear in the women’s doubles. NBC
10 a.m.: World Cup quarterfinal, Argentina-Germany. ABC / ESPN Deportes / Univision
11:30 a.m.: Tour de France, prologue. Lance Armstrong is saying this will be his last, though he has said that before. If he’s trying for an individual win rather than a teammate’s win this year, he’ll need to do well in the time trials, starting here. Versus
2:30 p.m.: World Cup quarterfinal, Paraguay-Spain. ABC / ESPN Deportes / Univision
4:30 p.m.: Track and field, Diamond League Prefontaine Classic. One of the most storied meets in the USA is now part of the world’s top circuit. Full preview coming later today. Really. Hold me to it. NBC
5:30 p.m.: Poker, $25K no-limit hold’em six-handed. See above. ESPN3
7:30 p.m.: Water polo, World League women’s final. TeamUSA.org
8 p.m.: MLS, Columbus-Chicago. FSC
9 p.m.: UFC 116, Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin for the heavyweight title in the main event. Spike has Seth Petruzelli, whose win over Kimbo Slice was erroneously called the biggest upset in MMA history at the time, in one of its two prelims. Spike, shifting to PPV at 10 p.m.
10:30 p.m.: MLS, Chivas USA-Philadelphia. FSC
8:30 a.m.: Cycling, Tour de France, Stage 1. Cue the sprinters. Thor smash? Versus
9 a.m.: Wimbledon men’s final and possibly mixed doubles final. NBC
Noon: Hot dog eating. No Kobayashi? ESPN3
10:30 p.m.: MLS, Los Angeles-Seattle. ESPN2
- Full soccer listings at Soccer America.
- Selected weekend listings at USA TODAY
- ESPN3: Australian Rules football, CFL, golf, lacrosse and poker.
- Tennis Channel: Classic matches.
- Universal Sports: Beach volleyball and more Prefontaine Classic coverage.
- More Olympic sports: Canoe/kayak World Cup final stop, U17 men’s basketball World Championship, U.S. men’s volleyball in Egypt for World League