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  • DavidK44

    Almost every time scripts come up in these forums, the debate is on the substantive value of them – whether they give anyone an actual advantage (“just build better lineups”), whether maybe certain scripts do, whether sites should ban them to level the playing field or not, or whether the playing field has nothing to do with scripts.

    I think this element is overlooked – the vast majority of the population in America doesn’t know anything about DFS except what they hear on TV. Thanks to FD/DK’s insane advertising blitz, and a few media reports that may or may not have carried ulterior motives, the public perception on DFS is not paticularly positive. They also don’t really understand what a script is, or what it does, or why it may or may not give an advantage. They just hear that the top pros use scripts as part of a report, and often times the reports say the scripts are part of why the pros beat them (regardless of whether or not it’s true).

    Perception is often far more important than reality. If the public percieves scripts to be a problem, then they’re a problem. Unless either FTSA, or DK/FD, or Rotogrinders, or some other entity, wants to put out a massive marketing plan to try to change the perception about scripts and what they can or can’t do, then this perception is probably never going to change. And unlesss public perception changes, then scripts need to go. Period.

    The long-term health of DFS depends on casual players continuing to play for low-stakes, losing small amounts to the overall pool from time to time, as well as new customers signing up on a regular basis. It also depends on having politicial entities and big corporations not looking for any small thing to jump on to try to go after the entire landscape. Scripts, specifically the public perception of scripts and their increased awareness of the use of them, are a huge problem for the industry. They really need to be banned. Not because they’re bad, not because they may give an advantage, but because the vast majority of the population outside of DFS, and a significant portion of the population inside DFS, think they give an advantage.

    The same theory is why Ethan should have been let go by Draft Kings almost immediately. Regardless of whether or not he had access to ownership percentages before lock, and regardless of whether he used said ownership percentage information to build a FanDuel Lineup, thanks to media reporting that was either incompetent, lazy, stupid or had blatant ulterior motives, the narrative was “DraftKings employee uses insider information to win $350,000 on FanDuel”, and the public perception was almost universally that exact narrative.

    Too often people on here focus on the substance of an issue, forgetting that for the most part, the American public is uninformed, and isn’t going to turn to a Rotogrinders thread for a substantive debate on the issue. So regardless of whether something actually happened, what “Joe Sixpack” thinks is just as important, if not more important, than what actually happened.

  • einars

    @DavidK44 said...

    The same theory is why Ethan should have been let go by Draft Kings almost immediately. Regardless of whether or not he had access to ownership percentages before lock, and regardless of whether he used said ownership percentage information to build a FanDuel Lineup,

    yeah i mean who cares what the right thing to do is, do whatever is going to appear to be the right thing…..are you a politician?? you dont care if(key word) he didnt do anything you think he should have been sacked right away to save face….

  • iSplashRollz

    Excellent post by DavidK, waiting for the “ all the complainers took down DFS” crew of about 3-4 people to find fault with it. I see one already was the first responder…

  • DavidK44

    It’s callous and unfair to him, but yes. I’m not a politician. But I am someone who recongizes that what’s right from a moral or ethical stand point isn’t the same as what’s the optimal decision from a corporate stand point, or an industry stand point. That also was a side point of mine and not the main point – included to demonstrate the point that public perception is what matters.

    If you can figure out a way to change people’s minds and change the now seemingly universal narrative amongst the non-DFS people that “Employee at DFS used insider information to win $350K on FanDuel”, then absolutely, do it. And then yes, I’ll happily say that Ethan shouldn’t have been fired. Good luck. The American public is not very insightful or willing to look past the easiest answer.

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    @einars said...

    yeah i mean who cares what the right thing to do is, do whatever is going to appear to be the right thing…..are you a politician?? you dont care if(key word) he didnt do anything you think he should have been sacked right away to save face….

    I hate to be on the ‘political’ side, but perception is why DFS is currently in shambles. I’m confident that this whole mess will be sorted out soon, but one thing is certain: Ethan made a grave(and extremely costly) error in publishing ownership numbers ahead of schedule. People have been fired for much less.

  • iSplashRollz

    @DavidK44 said...

    It’s callous and unfair to him, but yes. I’m not a politician. But I am someone who recongizes that what’s right from a moral or ethical stand point isn’t the same as what’s the optimal decision from a corporate stand point, or an industry stand point. That also was a side point of mine and not the main point – included to demonstrate the point that public perception is what matters.

    If you can figure out a way to change people’s minds and change the now seemingly universal narrative amongst the non-DFS people that “Employee at DFS used insider information to win $350K on FanDuel”, then absolutely, do it. And then yes, I’ll happily say that Ethan shouldn’t have been fired. Good luck. The American public is not very insightful or willing to look past the easiest answer.

    Right on the money, I see it on Facebook everyday when DK posts the landing pages to their contests, the string of comments by Joe Public is “fraud” “scam” and the like.

    I’m not accusing anyone of anything for the record, I’m just validating the fact that the general DFS public sees this as a money grab operartion

  • tonytone1908

    Why would you play something you didn’t think you had an advantage in? That’s why you play in the first place right? Because you think you’re smarter and more knowledgeable. THAT is an advantage. Without one person having advantage over another you basically just have a lottery.

    The American public IS uninformed. But they are uninformed in way bigger and worse things than this and yet we turn a blind eye every day. Joe Sixpack doesn’t care if someone is scripting. He’s just wondering why the hell he didn’t use Devonta Freeman last week because he would have won if he did. He doesn’t realize someone else had the LU he wish he had because some guy who spends $125K in entry fees that week was able to put 1000 more entries than he did. Hell, he could have made one more entry with Freeman in and took it down by entering 2 lineups!

    There are many Joe Sixpack’s that were that ONE PLAYER AWAY every single contest but guaranteed they’re not blaming on a guy with a script. They’re blaming themselves for not playing a different lineup.

  • DavidK44

    @kaetorade said...

    I hate to be on the ‘political’ side, but perception is why DFS is currently in shambles. I’m confident that this whole mess will be sorted out soon, but one thing is certain: Ethan made a grave(and extremely costly) error in publishing ownership numbers ahead of schedule. People have been fired for much less.

    I’m not as confident as you given that both DK and FD do not appear to understand (or simply don’t care) about the value of perception. DK especially, but both sites, respond to problems with either a shrug, or with actions/statements that absolutely do not help, and often only “flame the fans even more”.

    My favorite recent one was DK’s antagonsitic response to the FBI investigation.

    That it took either site this long to understand that given how much money is at stake, having a lobbyist in Washington is a good idea, is just one more example of their inability to understand perception. I’m also fairly sure that neither company has a sizeable marketing/PR department, and that neither company thinks it’s important at all. FD allowing Justine Sacco, of the “I hope I don’t get AIDS, j/k I’m white” infamy, to be their main PR spokesperson just illustrates that concept. I wouldn’t have ever hired her, but even if you hire her, don’t let her be your spokesperson, have her work behind the scenes only.

  • tonytone1908

    @iSplashRollz said...

    Right on the money, I see it on Facebook everyday when DK posts the landing pages to their contests, the string of comments by Joe Public is “fraud” “scam” and the like.

    I’m not accusing anyone of anything for the record, I’m just validating the fact that the general DFS public sees this as a money grab operartion

    Every business in the United States is a money grabbing operation.

    If only you people put this same energy into real laws and legislations we might actually get something changed in this country.

    But we’re all happy as long as the government keeps giving us handouts. I guess they want DFS to be a handout too?

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    @tonytone1908 said...

    Why would you play something you didn’t think you had an advantage in? That’s why you play in the first place right? Because you think you’re smarter and more knowledgeable. THAT is an advantage. Without one person having advantage over another you basically just have a lottery.

    The American public IS uninformed. But they are uninformed in way bigger and worse things than this and yet we turn a blind eye every day. Joe Sixpack doesn’t care if someone is scripting. He’s just wondering why the hell he didn’t use Devonta Freeman last week because he would have won if he did. He doesn’t realize someone else had the LU he wish he had because some guy who spends $125K in entry fees that week was able to put 1000 more entries than he did. Hell, he could have made one more entry with Freeman in and took it down by entering 2 lineups!

    There are many Joe Sixpack’s that were that ONE PLAYER AWAY every single contest but guaranteed they’re not blaming on a guy with a script. They’re blaming themselves for not playing a different lineup.

    I wish people in general were as accountable as you’ve painted them out to be. Unfortunately, it’s my opinion that for most people, it’s easier to blame someone or something else. In this case, Scripting and ‘Insider Trading’ is that ‘something else.’

  • einars

    @DavidK44 said...

    That it took either site this long to understand that given how much money is at stake, having a lobbyist in Washington is a good idea, is just one more example of their inability to understand perception. I’m also fairly sure that neither company has a sizeable marketing/PR department, and that neither company thinks it’s important at all. FD allowing Justine Sacco, of the “I hope I don’t get AIDS, j/k I’m white” infamy, to be their main PR spokesperson just illustrates that concept. I wouldn’t have ever hired her, but even if you hire her, don’t let her be your spokesperson, have her work behind the scenes only.

    yeah i mean i agree with this. they handled it terribly (and i cant believe sacco got another pr job….amazing). I did think Robbins tour the day after was a good job in damage control. I hope they can speed up the investigation and come out with some changes that are past due. I can understand not letting employees play on other sites solely for perception purposes (even if they arnt gaining an advantage) but i think firing someone who you know (from robbins perspective anyway) didnt do anything close to a firerable offense (if (key word again) he didnt have access early all he did was publish an article early) purely for perception purposes would be a terrible move.

  • DavidK44

    @tonytone1908 said...

    Why would you play something you didn’t think you had an advantage in? That’s why you play in the first place right? Because you think you’re smarter and more knowledgeable. THAT is an advantage. Without one person having advantage over another you basically just have a lottery.

    The American public IS uninformed. But they are uninformed in way bigger and worse things than this and yet we turn a blind eye every day. Joe Sixpack doesn’t care if someone is scripting. He’s just wondering why the hell he didn’t use Devonta Freeman last week because he would have won if he did. He doesn’t realize someone else had the LU he wish he had because some guy who spends $125K in entry fees that week was able to put 1000 more entries than he did. Hell, he could have made one more entry with Freeman in and took it down by entering 2 lineups!

    There are many Joe Sixpack’s that were that ONE PLAYER AWAY every single contest but guaranteed they’re not blaming on a guy with a script. They’re blaming themselves for not playing a different lineup.

    Joe Sixpack cares about scripting when their local news comes out and says “A new scandal in the world of fantasy sports, as we learn that the most profitable players use automated computer programs, called scsripts, to beat everyone else”. Then he goes “I’m sure it was that computer that told them to play Devonta Freeman, or heck it was inside information like that other report”.

    Joe Sixpack also is incredibly annoyed by the vast number of advertisments run by these two sites. Another public perception mistake made. It’s comical at this point how many different ways the DFS industry and paticular entities have erred in regards to how the main public sees them.

    But we do agree that the general public is massively uniformed. H.L. Mencken had it right (he was the one with the nobody ever went broke underestimating the american public, not P.T. Barnum).

  • DavidK44

    @einars said...

    yeah i mean i agree with this. they handled it terribly (and i cant believe sacco got another pr job….amazing). I did think Robbins tour the day after was a good job in damage control. I hope they can speed up the investigation and come out with some changes that are past due. I can understand not letting employees play on other sites solely for perception purposes (even if they arnt gaining an advantage) but i think firing someone who you know (from robbins perspective anyway) didnt do anything close to a firerable offense (if (key word again) he didnt have access early all he did was publish an article early) purely for perception purposes would be a terrible move.

    If the guy was such a close friend that you didn’t want to fire him, fine, at least suspend him. Do something besides “oh we told him not to do that again”. Suspend him and tell the public that he’s been transferred to a department that doesn’t access sensitive data.

    The perception of improperity is far more important than whether or not there actually is improperity.

  • DavidK44

    @kaetorade said...

    I wish people in general were as accountable as you’ve painted them out to be. Unfortunately, it’s my opinion that for most people, it’s easier to blame someone or something else. In this case, Scripting and ‘Insider Trading’ is that ‘something else.’

    Oh so much this.

  • tonytone1908

    @DavidK44 said...

    Joe Sixpack cares about scripting when their local news

    Joe doesn’t watch the news. He’s watching ESPN. Who has barely mentioned this at all.

  • DavidK44

    @tonytone1908 said...

    Every business in the United States is a money grabbing operation.

    If only you people put this same energy into real laws and legislations we might actually get something changed in this country.

    But we’re all happy as long as the government keeps giving us handouts. I guess they want DFS to be a handout too?

    I doubt anyone on this forum is the type to be asking for handouts. But I’m not asking for one. I’m asking that the DF industry recognize that a lot of the public does want handouts, because they’re not the most informed.

    We even agree every business in the US is a money grabbing operation. The difference is that most businesses know how to frame the perception so they don’t come across as one. FD/DK did not (and does not, as far as I can tell).

  • einars

    @DavidK44 said...

    The perception of improperity is far more important than whether or not there actually is improperity.

    see and this is pretty much the only point i disagree with. If something is the right thing to do (ie not fire him because your investigation shows he didnt do anything wrong) then you should do it. just because doing the wrong thing saves a little (ok alot) of $$$ doesnt mean you should do it

    plus i am not convinced firing him would help the perception. it would probably just make it worse because it would be seen as an admission of guilt.

  • tonytone1908

    They did shoot themselves in the foot on these latest issues but everyone made this widespread panic about it and it’s going to take us down completely.

    These things are hiccups. Every industry has them. They learn from them and grow. People just made it a bigger issue than it needs to be.

  • einars

    @kaetorade said...

    I wish people in general were as accountable as you’ve painted them out to be. Unfortunately, it’s my opinion that for most people, it’s easier to blame someone or something else. In this case, Scripting and ‘Insider Trading’ is that ‘something else.’

    yeah this is 100% true. people would much much much rather come up with an excuse as to why they failed than admit they just wernt good enough and didnt perform well enough (regardless of context, not just dfs)

  • DavidK44

    @tonytone1908 said...

    Joe doesn’t watch the news. He’s watching ESPN. Who has barely mentioned this at all.

    ESPN had a lot of coverage about “the Ethan thing”, for lack of a better descriptive term. Lots of hilariously bad articles that basically said “There is no actual evidence of wrongdoing, but someting definitely could have happened!!!”.

    Also, Joe does watch the news. I just didn’t want to turn this into a possible left-right political debate, so I intentionally said local news instead of Fox News or MSNBC or whatnot. But Joe definitely watches Fox News or MSNBC or CNN in some form. Well not so much CNN.

  • tonytone1908

    @DavidK44 said...

    ESPN had a lot of coverage about “the Ethan thing”, for lack of a better descriptive term. Lots of hilariously bad articles that basically said “There is no actual evidence of wrongdoing, but someting definitely could have happened!!!”.

    Also, Joe does watch the news. I just didn’t want to turn this into a possible left-right political debate, so I intentionally said local news instead of Fox News or MSNBC or whatnot. But Joe definitely watches Fox News or MSNBC or CNN in some form. Well not so much CNN.

    I’m sure ESPN knows bad news for DFS certainly doesn’t help them out at all since they show so many games. They have a stake in this as well I would think.

  • MikeSos760

    @tonytone1908 said...

    Joe doesn’t watch the news. He’s watching ESPN. Who has barely mentioned this at all.

    This a ridiculous assumption.

    The news surrounding this has been on the front page at least once on most of the major news websites. IT has been on the front page of ESPN’s website. It has been on deadspin. It has been talked about on air on different news broadcasts and on ESPN. It has been all over Twitter and Reddit. It has been on podcasts. Shit it has even been talked about on “The Daily Show.”

    You can bet “Joe” has heard about it from one of these sources, or on his facebook, or from one of his friends who plays.

  • WilliamDeBrigham

    Exactly what I was trying to say yesterday, If perception is 5-10% are skilled and the other 90% are not skilled im pretty sure general perception include lawmakers will be its a game of luck not skill… I said this 20 times yesterday.

  • WilliamDeBrigham

    You cant look at this from our eyes or view, you got to think what the general public/lawmakers who have very limited knowledge will view since thats all that will matter.

  • DavidK44

    @einars said...

    see and this is pretty much the only point i disagree with. If something is the right thing to do (ie not fire him because your investigation shows he didnt do anything wrong) then you should do it. just because doing the wrong thing saves a little (ok alot) of $$$ doesnt mean you should do it

    plus i am not convinced firing him would help the perception. it would probably just make it worse because it would be seen as an admission of guilt.

    You make two points – the second, that firing him may have actually been the wrong move because it would have been an admission of guilt, I can see the argument, but to me, you make it clear that he did not cheat but nonetheless he publicized data that should not have been published and that is unacceptable to a company like DraftKings that understands the value and importance of integrity and the sensitive nature of said data.

    Remember, he did do something wrong – he released ownership data that included data on players left to play in the 4PM and later games. Incredibly minor compared to what he was accused of doing, but it’s still a mistake. You fire/suspend him based on that mistake and make it seem like you’re some super watchdog company.

    And as others have pointed out, many people get fired for a lot less. Anyone working in a medical industry, where HIPAA exists, knows that even the smallest breach of privigled information can, and often does, result in termination. This is because even the smallest breach can lead to huge fines. Casinos routinely fire workers who do the smallest breach in protocol because of the potential for said breach to possibly lead to bigger problems down the road.

    You may be a better person than I am. But if I’m running a company, I’m firing, or at least suspending, someone when they breach company protocol (in this case, releasing ownership data of players left to play) when that brech causes massive shifts in the perception of the company. Or, at the very least, doing a LOT more to aggressively frame the perception so it doesn’t shift against my company. You say Robbins did some legwork, but really, he did one day’s worth of it. If he felt not firing/suspending Ethan was that important, then he needed to do a LOT more than just one day’s worth of interviews.

  • tonytone1908

    @MikeSos760 said...

    This a ridiculous assumption.

    The news surrounding this has been on the front page at least once on most of the major news websites. IT has been on the front page of ESPN’s website. It has been on deadspin. It has been talked about on air on different news broadcasts and on ESPN. It has been all over Twitter and Reddit. You can bet “Joe” has heard about it from one of these sources, or on his facebook, or one of his friends who plays.

    And yet not one person I know has mentioned it to me. All my friends and family know I play DFS regularly and no one has said a word to me about it. Nothing on Facebook at all either. No posts or article shares at all.

    Joe is just still kicking himself for not playing Freeman in that $2 LU he played just for fun.

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