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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.
submitted by wingzero00 to Cricket [link] [comments]

Best Mobile Casino in UK - Slot O Nation

submitted by HenryKerman to mobilecasinos [link] [comments]

$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.
Before reading further please understand the major Risks.
  • This is SPAC with ~10.00 NAV, if the deal falls through it could drop to 10.00 USD
  • The warrants could be very lucrative but they can be called and if a deal fails to materialize, these can become worthless.
  • If you're ok with the above risks, continue reading.
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


https://preview.redd.it/ygrfo9vp0b461.jpg?width=1065&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ccd5cd4846d0cdcd6f1ed0e7a37548399a5cf461
https://preview.redd.it/fd3o99vp0b461.jpg?width=1072&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=96faf02b077fc060c6025bbf7976b54edc6db493


The Customers and MOAT

  • Deep Customer Base with deep ties to gambling/betting industry with Deep penetration in Europe and growing customer bases around the world. Gambling is a tricky business and regulated differently than other industries. Many big players have avoided the industry and Paysafe has a great reputation and has become one of the early movers in the industry. The following are some notable customers.
https://preview.redd.it/0bhbpnvr0b461.jpg?width=473&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=57ec71dfedd8c6eb1d604282021340fbd8d39025
https://preview.redd.it/cno03rvr0b461.jpg?width=285&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4281b8e0db4783b7b4b6cce74f62f0694bdbb008

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.
So let me give you my take as a consumer that’s probably spent over $100,000 in transaction fees personally on Paysafe.
This was one of the cheapest and fastest ways to move money around online.
Unlike Stripe this which is against risky business such as CBD and gambling, paysafe is actually one of the leading payment providers in both UK/AUS / Ireland for iGaming.
Big example is William Hill, Bet365, Bwin.
Now why would you want to move money online around as a gambler ?
Well, Visa/MC charge close to 50%->75% more, online casinos = the merchant. They don’t wanna pay that, and in fact put limits on this type of payment processor. (Your visa’s credit cards etc). If a punter deposits / withdraws frequently, the online casino could literally be on the hook for like 20-30% of the turnover throughout the gambler’s period. (This assumes the gambler doesn’t lose all his money per deposit.
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.
For recreational punters, it’s simple: some sporting events that are smaller simply don’t exist on one site that exist on another. Eg. Perhaps you using Pinnacle / 10dimes for low spreads on high volume events, but perhaps you want to gamble on live events on bet365 on another day, and bet ponies on Hill.
What if you only have $5000 ? Giant pain in ass to deposit money to each site, paysafe lets you move it around easily.
Should you use visa, you may get blocked from depositing on various sites; Bodog, WHill, Bet365 just to name a few. Withdrawals and clearing deposits with bank transfers or checks takes days-> weeks and gamblers ain’t gonna wait for that shit.
You can also buy prepaid paysafe cards from stores if you don’t wish to use your real credit card; and load that shit up.
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]

Greater London in Coronavirus Tier 3 (Very high alert) from Weds 16th Dec 00:01

Due to a sharp rise in Coronavirus cases, Greater London (32 boroughs + the City of London) will move in to Tier 3 (Very high alert) on Wednesday Dec 16th at 00:01.
Most surrounding counties including all of Kent, most of Surrey, and parts of Beds, Bucks, and Essex are (or will be - as of Saturday) in Tier 3 as well.

The Usual Stuff

Stay 2m (6ft) away from people that you don't live with where practical, and at least 1m (3ft) away at all times. Do your very best to maintain hygiene, washing your hands and shared surfaces at every opportunity. And of course, you should only do what you're comfortable with.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild, stay home for at least 10 days until you no-longer have a temperature. Get a test through the gov.uk testing website or calling 119. Others in your household must stay home for 14 days source.
Most coronavirus cases are mild, but if you're very ill, call 111, or in an emergency, call 999 - DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital with COVID-19. Continue to keep NHS appointments for other purposes unless your clinician tells you otherwise or the government changes the advice.

What are the restrictions?

Under Tier 3:
Single adult households can still form a (permanent) mutual support bubble with one other household.
There are various other exceptions for things like weddings (up to 15 people), funerals (30 people) and in a few other areas. You can read the full Tier 3 restrictions here.
You can leave your home to escape injury or harm.
If you break these rules you may be fined from £1000 or more, depending on the offence.

Making a Christmas Bubble

Between 23rd and 27th December the rules are being loosened so we can see close family and friends over the festive period. For these four days you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
Note that:

Can I visit London now?

Theoretically yes. Many of the typical tourist attractions will be closed during Tier 3 so make sure you check anything you want to do in advance and book the limited space available.
Many incoming foreign travellers from higher risk countries are subject to a mandatory two week quarantine. Check if your country is on the list.

Test to Release scheme

Starting on Dec 15th, you can reduce your time in isolation after arrival to 5 days (instead of 10 days) by paying for a coronavirus test.
This must be from a test provider participating in the government scheme and you have to opt in on your passenger locator form when you arrive in England from abroad. There are currently very few providers and the tests are quite expensive (£180) but this list will likely be expanded in the coming weeks. You will need to pre-book (there's considerable lead time).
The full guidance is here

Can I go somewhere else?

The government advises that you should not leave a Tier 3 area unless for work, education, or some other good reason, and if you normally live in a Tier 3 area you should not stay away from home overnight.

Face masks

Face coverings are compulsory on all forms of public transport and in all shops, takeaways, hospitals and care homes. This is a law and you can be fined if you do not comply. You don't need to buy a fancy respirator, instead think about buying or making your own from fabric, or use a scarf or bandana. As long as you wash them at a decent heat between uses this is much more environmentally friendly than disposable surgical masks.

The NHS App

The NHS COVID-19 app is now available. It uses Apple & Google's co-developed bluetooth protocol which does not transmit any of your personal details to anyone, including the government. It's been used as the basis for apps in privacy-conscious countries like Germany and Ireland, and is generally considered safe and secure.
The app is particularly effectively in dense urban areas, and NHS England's also includes features to help you check in to venues and get a test.
Download it!

Get help or give help

With the short days, the cold weather, and the lockdown restrictions, this is going to be a hard time for everyone.
This is not official advice - just our summary and might contain errors and omissions. Check gov.uk for the letter of the law. Please post any feedback or suggestions
submitted by ianjm to london [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.
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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]

I never thought my work injury would cause me so many issues in PSO2 socially

The biggest problem I've ever had with MMO's?
The other people.
I started playing PSO2 back in May. Found a work around for getting the game here in the UK early, and what with being on furlough due to the current pandemic, I sank a lot of time into it. I'd played Phantasy Star 2 on the Megadrive and a little bit of PSU back in the 360 days, so was excited to give it a go. However, there was an issue...
Last year I sustained an injury at work (an accident involving machinery...) resulting in my index finger and middle finger on my right hand being semi-paralyzed. Basically, I can very slightly move them sometimes, but I wouldn't rely in them to do anything. Occasionally my thumb seizes up too, so I can't exactly rely on that either. If I attempt to use any of those digits extensively, I get bad pains and cramps along the back of my hand. Isn't permanent nerve damage fun? I've had various physio sessions and am on a repeat prescription for painkillers, but I will never have full use of my right hand ever again, and yes, it was my dominant hand.
It's an ongoing struggle to not let it rule everything I do, but obviously I've had to make a lot of lifestyle adjustments. The most relevant one here being how I game. I'm very much a console gamer. Turn based JRPG's are now my best friend. Classic Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Pokémon remain very much unchanged, just at a bit of a slower pace. Everything else... When I booted up a new game, usually the first thing I do (if the option is available) is to crank the game up to the highest difficulty. I just find games more fun if there's a fair challenge. Let me... try my best to describe how I use a controller now for the longest and easiest gameplay. I rest the whole controller on my thigh. So left hand, as you'd expect, left hand is fine. Right, I use the palm of my hand to control the right thumbstick (thankfully most games, just the camera). A thumbgrip on the stick makes this easier than you'd think. My ring and little finger do all the rest, so on an Xbox controller that's A,B, X, Y and the two R buttons. I'll use my left hand if I need to use the Menu button. It's really not easy, and whilst I'm learning to get used to it, it is still a struggle, and my days of hardest difficulty are long over.
Now back to PSO2...
There's many different ways to play and enjoy the game. Explorations and ARKS quests are no real issue for me, Casino sessions are a ridiculous amount of fun, I love the story, and fashion... DAMN, I love CASTs. Urgent Quests... For the most part, I'm actually OK with it. Mining Bases and Gone With the Wind and Rain were my first few UQs at max level (75 at the time).
I play Braver. Initially this was because in games where you can choose a class like this one, I've always favoured bows and quick melee weapons. Braver appealed to me. I stuck to this class because Morning Mistreaver combined with the Katana Combat invincibility is very forgiving for my ailment.
Dark Falz Elder I remember being the first one I died a lot in. I majorly ticked off my alliance at the time with how badly I was doing. I decided to explain my injury in the alliance Discord, hoping they'd just keep it in the back of their minds when they played with me. What happened next... My alliance basically split in two with me. Half I expected, the other half I didn't.
So one half did exactly what I feared an shunned me. Wasn't allowed in any triggers, was never invited to the UQs, wasn't even allowed to come along for VHAQ and SHAQ's which I had no real issues with. I was sad but I can't expect serious end game players to bring along a player with a handicap. What bothered me was that people who I had banter with in the lobby now would no longer even talk to me. That hurt.
The other half... I became a charity case, or maybe a challenge? People would take me, but encourage me to just be there. I was being prompted to be carried. UQs would come along, not even Elder, and alliance chat would have people telling me they don't need a 4th so I can 'tag along and watch'. Also, some people started talking to me in layman's terms, or over explaining things, talking to me as if I had a mental disability. No offence to people who do of course, but my disability is physical. I know how to augment and I research the market and drops to see what gear is best. I don't need someone telling me to 'imagine your weapon is a pet. You want your pet to grow big and strong, don't you? So you need all these vitamins to feed him to make him the best he can be! So get these other weapons with the vitamins you need, and you can get an even better weapon for yourself!'. I wish I was exaggerating... as I sat there with my Nemesis Cougar with 6 augments I did myself including ARKS Max and Apprentice Soul (which if you remember back then was a big deal).
I left that alliance, switched the blocks I frequent and moved on. I joined a new alliance and told myself I wouldn't tell anyone else about my hand. I'd rather have people just think I was a bad player. I ended up just joining randoms for the boss UQs from now on. It stayed this way for a long time... until the Fellwyrm. Before the first time it popped up, I was already chilling with fellow alliance members in the lobby. My plan was to break off when the emergency announcement went up, but received a party invite from an alliance officer before I could. I decided what the hey and accepted, figuring I could play it off as a new UQ and that I'm not sure how it works if I died a lot. I made the mistake of saying as a joke 'Sorry if I die, new UQ, gotta learn it! XD', to have the officer say they're a JP vet, explaining the basic outline and giving a few tips. It was genuinely quite helpful, and I only died twice! Then I learned it was a 2 part quest...
Yes, I had attempted Deus Esca with randoms before this one, and yes, I was responsible for 4 of the 5 deaths (2 of the people in the party blocked me afterwards). I told myself OK, not going to burden anyone with part two any more, that's unfair to others. I tried to back out of my party before the second half, saying I didn't want to do it, I'll make us reach the death limit, to be told there wasn't one. I left the party to be re-invited into it... So because (I thought) I got on well with the officer, I decided to go for it. We... ran out the timer. Granted, not just my fault (another member of the party wasn't fantastic either), but I got singled out by the officer for the blame on it as they noted I was pretty much just using one photon art (Morning Mistreaver. It does good damage and helps with aim and gap closing, genuinely so helpful) and rarely if ever used my bow. I met the ugly side of this officer and was asked to give a public apology and an explanation for my actions, as I had now 'deprived 3 members of the alliance a proper experience with the Urgent Quest'. There was even talk of me compensating them with Meseta. I tried to plead my case that I did say and try to leave (with one party member thankfully taking my side in that one), and even contemplated explaining my condition... but instead just logged off. I was pinged many times in Discord, but muted. When I logged into PSO2 the next day, I was no longer a member of the alliance, and had a Discord PM from the leader (who was offline during this UQ) saying they heard I had purposely gone out of my way to deprive my fellow members of a good experience, with logging out (to escape abuse) apparently solidified I did it out of spite.
I decided to go at it as a solo player, and told myself I'd never do another UQ.
I changed blocks again but... This time I found it hard to socialise with anyone. If people would chat to me, I would go quiet, bolt if asked to join anyone for stuff, and often pretend to be AFK and just lobby watch, forever torn between wanting to join the fun and not wanting to spoil it. I also made an Alt as Summoner class in hopes that maybe that class would work out better for me, and honestly it probably does but I find it such a dull class to play. Just a personal preference.
I do log into this game everyday. That can be a full session, or can just be 15 mins or so to knock out the daily missions. One day whilst I was lobby watching in a popular block, I actually jumped on a conversation when people were talking about Phantasy Star 2 on the Megadrive. There's lots of players who have been playing Phantasy Star since the Dreamcast, but it's less common to find people from the old bit days. Turns out the people in the conversation were in an alliance together, one of which being the leader. They invited me to join. I hesitated at first, telling them I hadn't had much luck with the social side of things. They told me they were a chill alliance, and a bonus is the leader and a lot of members were UK based, so no problems with time zones matching up. I went for it... However I still had issues socialising.
I often still lobby watched. I think subconsciously I didn't want to build up more social connections to have them severed again by my abilities. Honestly I'm not bothered about going to UQs, I'm more upset that the social aspect of the game is being hindered because of my ailment. We were in the second or third week of Halloween events when I joined this alliance, making Trick or Treat my first UQ since the dragon. It was a pretty easy one too, had a lot of fun with that one.
This alliance liked to have characters of NPC players too, spurring me to make one and try out ranger class. As much as I love my braver, Ranger class actually works stupidly well for me too, and honestly I don't know why I didn't try it sooner.
And yet despite this, I still couldn't find it in myself to properly be social again. I'd see events in Discord and say I was going to join in but then just didn't. I tried joining in with more NPC shenanigans but...
It was like my mind was telling me to back off before I was shunned again.
We had a lot of alliance drama completely unrelated to all that recently. It involved a rift in the officers and the leader leaving and taking most of the other members with them. To my dismay it was pretty much all the UK players that left, meaning I'd now often be logging out as all the alliance events were happening. I wasn't scouted for the new alliance. I guess I wasn't social enough, but to be honest I don't think I would've joined anyway due to my views on how the ordeal went down.
I want a 15* fancy weapon, so I've been braving the Persona UQ. To be honest I think I'm definitely getting used to it all, I'm managing to get through it with no deaths on both my Braver and my Ranger. I even decided to run with the alliance again... which got me invited to a 4 man trigger. Yes, I died a lot, but I needed that void stuff. To be honest, the alliance reacted very well to it, not bothered at all that I was down a lot. I took myself out of the equation for future 4 man triggers, but was pleasantly surprised that there was no backlash. The only thing that's bothering me is I'm getting advice on skill trees and tactics that I can't pull off, but that's nothing major. Hope they're not expecting to see any improvements.
This now small alliance is so different to the others I've been in. Maybe they'll react differently to my ailment, and I'm concerned that if I don't say anything that I may get pushed out. Should I tell them? I'm contemplating confiding in my alliance leader first and then seeing how they react, but then if they react negatively that could affect my position. I don't want to switch social blocks again, I'm enjoying the social atmosphere of the game again. Maybe I'm overthinking it, and these bad experiences I should just disregard as isolated incidents, but then I think of how well I got on with people in my previous groups before they found out about my ailment and/or how bad I was at the game.
What do I do? I genuinely don't know any more.
I guess what I'm trying to say is don't treat people badly for not being great at the game, and remember that the social aspect can be taken separately to the core game. You never know what your actions will do to people long term.
submitted by MusingsIfYouWill to PSO2 [link] [comments]

The Fall were a group from Manchester founded by the enigmatic Mark E. Smith in 1976, after seeing the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. The group would go on to influence many bands over it's 40+ years of existence, such as Pavement and LCD Soundsystem. (Click link for write up on band)

The Fall was founded by one Mark E. Smith back in 1976, after seeing the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall (The same gig attended by Ian Curtis and Peter Hook of Joy Division, Morrissey of the Smiths, and Tony Wilson, who founded the highly influential indie label Factory Records. Basically, Mark was at one of the more important gigs of the past 50 years, as this gig inspired all of those previously mentioned to either start bands or get involved in the punk scene, and changing the course of British indie music.). Over their 40+ years of operation, the band had Mark E. Smith at its helm as the sole constant member throughout it's existence. The band would become known for its classic assortment of records, with the tight musicianship by members such as guitarist Craig Scanlon and drummer Karl Burns (shown in the beginning of this clip from MTV's Cutting Edge) and Mark's esoteric lyricism, the witty, while often-times volatile and difficult, personality of Mark E. Smith, and the constant changing lineup of its members as a result of Mark's volatility. They would also remain to be the favorite band of legendary DJ John Peel, with the band holding the record of the most Peel sessions by a band, which is 24 sessions. The Fall would ultimately come to an end with the untimely death of Mark E. Smith in 2018 due to kidney and lung cancer.
The Fall are a significant band in the history of Post Punk, with a wide catalog of music to listen to released throughout the different eras of the band. I have decided to make a write-up going through the many eras of the Fall, while giving some recommendations from each era to start you off.
(1976 - early 1979 - Early Beginnings: The Martin Bramah Era)
during these years, the Fall were just getting their start with their sound. Their early material leans more towards the punk side of the sword rather than the post punk of their later years, but the embryo of the Fall's sound is clearly present. This can possibly be attributed to the guitar style of Martin Bramah in their early releases, which has a high pitched and trebly sound to the guitars. Their first recorded released came on a live album on the last day of operation for the Electric Circus, then they released their debut EP Bingo Master's Breakout then a single called It's The New Thing all in 1978. They finally released their debut album Live at the Witch Trials in March 1979 before Martin Bramah left in April 1979 due to increasing tensions with Mark E. Smith. He would then go on to found a band by the name of Blue Orchids with another former Fall member Una Baines, who he was dating at the time. Martin would prove to not be the only member to leave because of Mark's controlling demeanor in the band's future.
Here's some tracks to introduce you to this era's punky edge:
Last Orders
Bingo Master's Breakout EP (The entire EP's good to check out)
It's The New Thing
Rebellious Jukebox
Futures and Pasts
Mother-Sister
(mid 1979 - 1982 - The First Golden era: the Marc Riley Era)
I'm calling this the Marc Riley era because, even though Marc Riley was a part of the Bramah era, after Martin Bramah left, Riley would become the main guitarist instead of his previous role as bassist. This would open the door for members like Craig Scanlon to join on rhythm guitar and Steve Hanley on bass. This would end up transforming the sound of the band into the post-punk sound most people are familiar with the band. After releasing Rowche Rumble and the album Dragnet in 1979, the band would end up releasing a string of classic singles in 1980, such as Fiery Jack, How I Wrote Elastic Man, and probably their most well-known song, Totally Wired, as well as releasing the great album Grotesque (After the Gramme). 1981 would also prove to be a good year, with the release of the single Lie Dream of a Casino Soul and the 10-inch EP Slates. The band would end up travelling to Iceland for a string of gigs, which would lead to the recording of some songs for probably their best album Hex Enduction Hour, with tracks like Hip Priest and The Classical displaying the Fall's power in full force. The band would also released the album Room To Live and the single Look, Know. However, this year would prove to be the last with Marc Riley on lead guitar. After learning of their chart success in New Zealand (which was about 300 copies sold to get in the top 20), the band travelled there to play a few gigs in Australia and New Zealand. While there, increasing tensions between Smith and Riley came to a head in Australia when Riley punched Smith in the face for slapping the band for dancing to the Clash (yes, really). There is even a television interview where Mark's black eye is visible (even with heavy makeup). This tour would end up being released as a live album by the legendary New Zealand label Flying Nun Records as the album Fall in a Hole in 1983 (Which Smith would eventually threaten legal action for and forced Flying Nun to pay all of the revenue from the record, effectively almost killing Flying Nun in its infancy). Marc would end up being sacked by the end of the year. This left a hole to be filled for the lead guitar role, and that would be filled after a trip to America.
Here's some tracks to check out to introduce you to the classic Fall sound:
Rowche Rumble
How I Wrote Elastic Man
Totally Wired
New Face in Hell
Prole Art Threat
Lie Dream of a Casino Soul
Hip Priest
The Classical (N-Word Warning)
Iceland
Winter
Marquis Cha-Cha
(1983 - 1989 - The Second Golden era: The Brix Smith Era)
The band would soldier on without Marc Riley into 1983, with Craig Scanlon taking his place on lead guitar. This period would lead to the release of singles like The Man Whose Head Expanded and the Kicker Conspiracy EP. During the Fall's first American tour without Marc Riley, Mark E Smith was introduced to Brix Smith after a gig in Chicago in April. Within three months, Brix would move to England and end up marrying Mark. She would eventually join the band in September of that year and would first appear on their album Perverted by Language, albeit with minimal involvement and only appearing on one track. Her introduction to the band would end up bringing a pop sensibility to the band, as she would eventually become a major songwriting contributor along with Mark and she would try and push the Fall into a more commercially viable direction.
This period would lead to some of the band's most critically acclaimed,as well as their most commerically successful, material. early singles like C.R.E.E.P and Oh! Brother in 1984 display the early shift into the pop sphere for the band. The band would also release the album The Wonderful and Frightening World Of in 1984. By 1985, the band were starting to hit their stride in the commercial sphere, with singles like Cruiser's Creek and Couldn't Get Ahead appearing in the singles charts and the great album This Nation's Saving Grace receiving critical acclaim and decent sales. The band would continue to release increasingly pop-oriented records between 1986-1987, with singles like Mr. Pharmacist, Hit the North and Hey! Luciani reaching the lower ends of the charts, There's a Ghost In My House giving the band their highest singles chart peak, and the album Bend Sinister reaching the Top 40. However, 1988 would prove to be a banner year for the band, with the album The Frenz Experiment reaching the top 20, and the single of the Kinks song Victoria also reaching the top 40. However, this era would eventually come to an end in 1989, when Mark E Smith and Brix Smith ended up divorcing and Brix left the band. Her last record in this era would prove to be the album I am Kurious Oranj, a collaboration with the Michael Clark dance group. However, the trajectory that Brix set the band upon would let their success continue into the 90s, With the band eventually reaching their peak in commercial popularity. However, not all good things are meant to last.
Here's some songs to check out to introduce you to this era's pop-leaning sound:
The Man Whose Head Expanded
Kicker Conspiracy
Eat Y'self Fitter
C.R.E.E.P
2 X 4
Cruiser's Creek
No Bulbs
Spoilt Victorian Child
My New House
I am Damo Suzuki
Shoulder Pads #1
Mr. Pharmacist
Hey! Luciani
There's a Ghost in my House
Hit The North
Victoria
Big New Prinz
Dead Beat Descendant
(1990 - 1994 - The Peak, followed by the Fall: The Major Label years)
After Brix left the band, Martin Bramah was brought back into the fold to fill in her place, and would be featured on the album Extricate, which led to songs like Telephone Thing, which shows influence from the Madchester scene of that time period, which included the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays, and the love song Bill is Dead, which possibly reflects upon his divorce the previous year. However, Martin Bramah would not be staying for long, as he would end up being kicked out of the band that same year for having a relationship with the keyboardist. This album marked the period when the band would be featured on a major label, with the band being signed to Fontana. The Fall would continue on to have success during this period, with the aforementioned Extricate reaching the top 40, albums like Shift-Work and Code: Selfish reaching the top 30, and singles like White Lightning and Free Range reaching in the single charts, with Free Range being the bands last top 40 single. Their commercial peak would come with the album The Infotainment Scan, which contained a cover of Lost in Music by Sister Sledge, giving the Fall their first and only top 10 hit album. Mark would also be featured on a top 20 single, which was I Want You by the Inspiral Carpets. However, Mark E. Smith's speed and alcohol addiction, which persisted over the previous decade, started to take its toll. The bands fortunes started to dwindle with the album Middle Class Revolt, Which only reach number 48 in the charts, a far cry from their previous Top 10 success. With this album, the Fall would begin to go downhill, both in their commercial performance and their critical stature.
Here's some songs to check out from this banner period for the Fall:
Telephone Thing
I'm Frank
Bill is Dead
Edinburgh Man
Free Range
Lost in Music
Hey! Student
15 Ways
(1995-1998 - The Low Point: The Brownies Years)
By this point, Mark E. Smith begins to go downhill with the previously mentioned drug and alcohol addiction, and its effect on the music shows. Brix Smith returns around this time period and would come back on the album Cerebral Caustic. Even with her involvement in the band, the album got middling reviews and performed worse than Middle Class Revolt. Smith would also dismiss the long time guitarist Craig Scanlon, who had co-written 120 songs with Smith over the previous 16 years. Smith would later say that he regretted this decision. By the time of The Light User Syndrome, Brix had enough of Mark E. Smith's degrading state and behavior due to alcohol abuse, and would leave on the tour supporting this album. This period would be wrought with increasing tensions in the band and financial troubles, which ultimately came to a head on the US tour supporting the album Levitate at an infamous gig at the New York venue Brownies in April of 1998. Smith ended up appearing drunk at the gig, and did everything in his power to make it hard for the band to play. It came to a head when drummer Karl Burns, who returned to the band when Middle Class Revolt was made, ended up shoving Smith for messing with his drum kit. Burns and long-time/essential bassist Steve Hanley would end up leaving the band and never returning. After this gig, the next few years are marked with the band remaining a low profile for the most part, where would eventually return to form by 2003.
Here's some tracks to check out (if you want to) from this era:
Don't Call me Darling
Rainmaster
D.I.Y Meat
The Chiselers
Powder Keg
Masquerade
(1998 - 2002 - Touch Sensitive: The Long Lull)
During this period of the Fall, the band was just starting to be put back together by Mark after the debacle that was the Brownies gig. The band was able to achieve some form of critical favor with their album The Marshall Suite in 1999, with Touch Sensitive being a particular standout on the album and being featured in a Volkswagen commercial. The band would then release their album The Unutterable, which also started to gain the critic's favor back. The next album Are You Are Missing Winner, however, didn't do the band any favors, as it was recorded when the band was tight on funds. It was considered a misstep by the Fall after the acclaim that the last album received. However, this would ultimately lead to the start of a new era of the fall that would effectively renew their relevance as a band in the public's eye.
Here's some tracks to check out from this transitional period of the bands history:
Touch Sensitive
W.B
Sons of Temperance
Dr. Bucks Letter
Bourgeois Town
(2003 - 2009 - A return to grace: The Third Golden Age)
This era of the fall proved to be a rebirthing of the band's relevance and quality, with Mark writing some of the best material the band had in years. This era starts with the album The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click) in 2003, which provided the band with some late era classics, such as Mountain Energei and Theme From Sparta F.C. Around this period, the DJ John Peel, who was one of the band's biggest supporters from the beginning, died of a heart attack, but not before the Fall could release one more Peel session a couple months before his death. The Fall would then release Fall Heads Roll in 2005, which also provided the band with another late-era classic in the form of Blindness. The band would also release albums like Reformation Post TLC and Imperial Wax Solvent within the same period. Imperial Wax Solvent would end up being the first Fall album in 15 years to reach the top 40. This would lead into the final era of the Fall leading up to Mark E. Smith's untimely death.
Here's some tracks to check out from this era:
Mountain Energei
Theme From Sparta F.C.
Blindness
Clasp Hands
Fall Sound
Latchkey Kid
Is This New
Strange Town
(2010 - 2018 - The Witching Hour: The Domino and Cherry Red/final years)
In 2010, the Fall would release Your Future Our Clutter on Domino Records, the same label that releases records by the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand, Two bands heavily influenced by the Fall. Mark E. Smith would also end up recording vocals for Glitter Freeze on the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach, which was released in 2010. The band would eventually move to Cherry Red records, which would remain the label of the band until its dissolution. On Cherry Red, the Fall would release album such as Ersatz GB, Re-Mit, Sub-Lingual Tablet, and New Facts Emerge. The latter album would prove to be the band's last record. Over this period, Mark began to develop significant health problems, and would eventually be diagnosed with terminal lung and kidney cancer. This is probably due to the fact that Mark E. Smith was a heavy smoker for most of his life, and his previous problems with drugs and alcohol didn't help either. Mark would perform his final gig with the Fall in November of 2017, and would eventually succumb to his illnesses on January 24th, 2018. Mark E. Smith would leave behind a long history of innovation, wit, and volatility and large catalog of great music for others to be inspired by.
Here's some tracks to check out from the final era of the Fall:
Bury Pts. 2 + 4
Nate Will Not Return
Loadstones
Fibre Book Troll
New Facts Emerge
(Final Remarks)
So that's my write-up for the Fall. I discovered this band about 3-4 years ago and I have fallen in love with them ever since, and I just felt like that they deserved some attention. I wrote this post for anyone who may be interested in checking out the band and giving them a place to start from no matter the era. May Mark E. Smith rest in peace, for he wrote "Northern white crap that talks back" and dug repetition.
P.S: For any fans of the fall, what is your favorite album/song by the fall and why?
If you want to, you can come check out my subreddit Collectionhauls, where I've been posting vinyl finds I've had at the flea market, and have been posting music to check out since March. If you want, you can come post something from your collections to show to others. Anyway, goodbye and I hope you enjoyed my post and possibly enjoy the Fall even more.
submitted by ryuundo to CoreMu [link] [comments]

Greater London under Tier 2 from tomorrow, Weds 2nd Dec

London (and the rest of England) will be returning to the Tier system. Initially we'll be under Tier 2 (High alert) along with most of the rest of England.
Notable Tier 3 areas near London include all of Kent* and Slough.
(*the administrative county, not Bromley and Bexley that still sometimes claim to be in it)

The Usual Stuff

Stay 2m (6ft) away from people that you don't live with where practical, and at least 1m (3ft) away at all times. Do your very best to maintain hygiene, washing your hands and shared surfaces at every opportunity. And of course, you should only do what you're comfortable with.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild, stay home for at least 10 days until you no-longer have a temperature. Get a test through the gov.uk testing website or calling 119. Others in your household must stay home for 14 days source.
Most coronavirus cases are mild, but if you're very ill, call 111, or in an emergency, call 999 - DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital with COVID-19. Continue to keep NHS appointments for other purposes unless your clinician tells you otherwise or the government changes the advice.

What are the restrictions?

Almost everything should now be reopening, except for nightclubs.
However there are restrictions under Tier 2:
Single adult households can still form a (permanent) mutual support bubble with one other household.
There are various other exceptions for things like weddings (up to 15 people), funerals (30 people) and in a few other areas. You can read the full Tier 2 restrictions here.
You can leave your home to escape injury or harm.
If you break these rules you may be fined from £1000 or more, depending on the offence.

Can I visit London now?

Theoretically yes. Many of the typical tourist attractions will have reduced capacity so make sure you book anything you want to do in advance. Many incoming foreign travellers from higher risk countries are subject to a mandatory two week quarantine. Check if your country is on the list.

Can I go somewhere else?

You can travel to Tier 1 or Tier 2 areas. When in a Tier 1 area, you must continue to obey Tier 2 rules. The government advises against travel to Tier 3 areas for all but essential purposes.
There are different rules for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We will need to confirm what they are over the next few days.

Face masks

Face coverings are compulsory on all forms of public transport and in all shops, takeaways, hospitals and care homes. This is a law and you can be fined if you do not comply. You don't need to buy a fancy respirator, instead think about buying or making your own from fabric, or use a scarf or bandana. As long as you wash them at a decent heat between uses this is much more environmentally friendly than disposable surgical masks.

The NHS App

The NHS COVID-19 app is now available. It uses Apple & Google's co-developed bluetooth protocol which does not transmit any of your personal details to anyone, including the government. It's been used as the basis for apps in privacy-conscious countries like Germany and Ireland, and is generally considered safe and secure.
The app is particularly effectively in dense urban areas, and NHS England's also includes features to help you check in to venues and get a test.
Download it!

Get help or give help

With the short days, the cold weather, and the lockdown restrictions, this is going to be a hard time for everyone.
This is not official advice - just our summary and might contain errors and omissions. Check gov.uk for the letter of the law. Please post any feedback or suggestions
submitted by ianjm to london [link] [comments]

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