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  • CrazyGabey

    A Tough Decision Regarding FanThrowdown

    Howdy folks, I want to address a few things openly to the community. This may be a bit lengthy, but I appreciate you giving it a read.

    When the fiasco with FanThrowdown happened a little less than two weeks ago, I was just as shellshocked as the rest of the community. Unlike most of the community though, I obviously had a vested interest in FanThrowdown. This left me in a strange position. I decided to take a step back from my blogging and social media duties for a few days, and to wait until the situation I found myself in became clearer. My largest concern was the community of daily fantasy players that have given me the ability to do what I love for a living. Without you I wouldn’t be where I am, and it gave me serious cause for concern that my name might be associated with something that was despised by the community.

    I’m writing this today because after multiple, lengthy conversations with varying members of MGT and FanThrowdown I am once again excited about the future!

    My concerns in the wake of recent happenings were not new by any means. Just like you, I shared many of the same worries in the preceding months. After careful deliberation, I settled upon three main issues that I needed addressed before I, in good faith, could move forward with FanThrowdown. These three items will be expounded upon below.

    1. A unification of leadership and direction.

    Like many of you, I had concerns over the direction FanThrowdown was heading. At times the leadership on the site appeared to be disjointed, and on some occasions downright strange. Without hashing up discussion that has already been settled, I can say to you with supreme confidence that not only is the newly appointed leadership a breath of fresh air, but it is also the first time I have felt confident in the direction FanThrowdown is moving in quite some time. After hearing the plans from top to bottom on how the site will be operated moving forward I am anxious to see what the future holds!

    2. Transparency.

    This one is simple. A better effort was needed by everyone involved to make sure players were consistently kept up to date with the issues that mattered to them. This is something that I can help with in the future.

    Moving forward I am a resource available to you, the community, as a means of voicing your thoughts to FanThrowdown in regards to non-customer service matters. Send me a message if you have any concerns or questions about’s what’s taken place over the past month, and I’d be glad to discuss them with you. The leadership at FanThrowdown cares about what you have to say.

    3. Technical Issues.

    There’s no beating around the bush here. The site speed, especially leading up to kick-off, tip-off, first pitch, etc, has been unacceptable. After having a chance these past few weeks to speak with many people within the company, I believe the pieces are finally in place to put this chapter behind us. These technical changes accompany an influx in new technical talent that monitor, repair, and constantly improve the site’s operation.

    After the $500,000 football championship debacle, it was discovered that a solve prediction algorithm was running on the entire contest roughly 25 times per page load. This resulted in extremely slow load times, and as soon as the problem was fixed during the next optimization cycle the site began running exponentially faster. As mentioned above, FanThrowdown now has the proper development support in place to quickly address any future problems that should arise.

    In closing, I hope it’s clear that my decision to remain a part of FanThrowdown was not one made in haste. As a voice in the daily fantasy community this was a difficult decision to make, with many angles to consider. My sincere hope is that you are willing to give FanThrowdown a chance to make things right. I am.

  • WhiskeyTavon4

    • 718

      RG Overall Ranking

    • x2

      2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • 2017 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    FTD payed me quickly and I will give them another shot. With that being said the biggest issue to me is how the 500k football championship site shutdown problems were completely swept under the rug. I spent several hours on that sunday trying to get Stafford and Megatron out of some of my lineups when news broke about Tron’s injury and I was eventually after a couple hours able to late swap some of my teams but not others and this situation had to occur for others as well. It could have helped me just as much as it hurt me but for this problem to even occur is beyond the scope of any semblance of competency by a site and its designers/programmers. No one even talks about this which is shocking to me.

  • rotokevin

    2014 RG Bowling Co-Champion, CPA & DFS Tax Guru

    • 2014 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @WhiskeyTavon4 said…

    FTD payed me quickly and I will give them another shot. With that being said the biggest issue to me is how the 500k football championship site shutdown problems were completely swept under the rug. I spent several hours on that sunday trying to get Stafford and Megatron out of some of my lineups when news broke about Tron’s injury and I was eventually after a couple hours able to late swap some of my teams but not others and this situation had to occur for others as well. It could have helped me just as much as it hurt me but for this problem to even occur is beyond the scope of any semblance of competency by a site and its designers/programmers. No one even talks about this which is shocking to me.

    Well, the $500k was only raked at 18%. How can you expect a functioning product with them taking so little off the top?

    I know every satellite in the world overlayed, so the effective rake is much lower…and probably negative, but the fact remains that there were 75 more entries in the contest than there should have been given the stated buy-in.

    EDIT: It doesn’t show in my comments here, but I actually liked FTD, in spite of its flaws. Its baseball product enabled me to salvage what was a pretty forgettable summer of DFS for me. Even with that, I believe in accountability, which is an area the FTD needs much improvement.

  • troveur

    Back to the original point of this post…Good Luck to you Gabey and I hope you and Brit and the rest of FTD can address and fix the many issues there reasonably quickly.

    I’m always open to giving 2nd chances so maybe I’ll come back and kick the tires the start of baseball season.

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    I apologize in advance if I’m mistaken, but you ‘just’ blog there, right? I mean, NOBODY should blame you for FTD’s issues. Also, the ‘tough’ decision would’ve been to sever ties with FTD because you have a financial stake involved.

  • spyder

    @britdevine said…

    Kevin,

    I’m speaking 100% the truth, I would not lie about this or any issue.

    If you wish to talk some more about it, please e-mail me brit@fanthrowdown.com and I’ll be glad to discuss it more in depth with you.

    AKA “Please email me and keep this discussion private so as to not rekindle the negative feedback that we deservingly received due to our blatant mistake.”

    Nobody, in any industry, schedules service impacting maintenance during semi-peak, or peak hours. Nobody, period. If that’s the case, I sure as hell would not make a post saying that I am confident in my affiliate’s direction having known that it was in fact scheduled. If this was scheduled for this time-frame days in advance, the IT personnel needs to take internship at a functioning business to garner more experience. Not even a green ITT-Tech graduate would make that mistake.

  • futureoffantasy

    • 343

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #79

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Sounds like Gabey used this situation to his advantage and got himself a raise :)

    Congrats. I don’t blame you because I would do the same thing in your shoes, but this doesn’t change everything that has happened. It will take a while for them to regain trust from the community. I hope you are right when you say the future is bright for FTD. Could always use more legit DFS sites. Especially ones that offer golf.

  • CrazyGabey

    Thanks to everyone who offered their support. It means a lot to me.

  • CrazyGabey

    @viewfromtop said…

    Well said Gabey good luck in future endeavors. Any idea/discussion if FTD is ever going to rectify the 500k debacle for those affected?

    Let’s talk. I’ll send you a message.

  • CrazyGabey

    @rotokevin said…

    I agree with Stevie. Respect the approach and transparency, Gabey, but there’s far too much baggage for me to consider FTD for my daily play at this point. I admittedly don’t know anything about the new leadership, but the level of incompetence shown by the prior regime is tough to forgive.

    I understand your sentiment 100% Kevin. When I decided to stick with FTD I knew that rebuilding the reputation was going to be a process. It’s up to all of us at FTD to prove to the community that we can be trusted again. We definitely don’t expect everyone to come back overnight, but I hope this is a “first step” towards that rebuilding process.

    Thanks for your insightful comment :)

  • CrazyGabey

    @tmhsport said…

    I used to play there a good amount but the mobile experience was so terrible I had to stop. It was extremely slow & I couldn’t export LUs using Safari or my iphone. I brought these issues up w/ multiple customer service reps and nothing was ever done. Good luck & if these issues are ever solved hit me up on twitter & I will give the site another try.

    The mobile site is on the short list of items that will be given an overhaul. I’m out of my office a ton, and as such I play on FanDuel and DraftKings’ mobile interfaces quite often. I understand it’s a necessity to have a quick, responsive, and comprehensive mobile application.

    I’ll make sure you’re one of the first people to know when we’ve resolved the issues.

  • CrazyGabey

    @tshirt said…

    I agree with rotokevin. Taking down the site and changing the terms and conditions on the site was extremely shady and is enough to prevent me from playing ftd

    When I talked about the need for better, more unified leadership I was implying that particular situation among others. Also I mentioned the leadership has changed, and those issues have been dealt with consequently.

  • CrazyGabey

    @CruzinToVictory said…

    Hey Gabey,

    Thanks for putting this out there. I’ve never really played on FTD, but the fact that you’re comfortable enough with them to slap your name on it is a good sign.

    I think it’s going to be an uphill battle to win back the trust of the community, but I wish both you and FTD nothing but the best.

    Thanks Cruzin!

  • CrazyGabey

    @WhiskeyTavon4 said…

    FTD payed me quickly and I will give them another shot. With that being said the biggest issue to me is how the 500k football championship site shutdown problems were completely swept under the rug. I spent several hours on that sunday trying to get Stafford and Megatron out of some of my lineups when news broke about Tron’s injury and I was eventually after a couple hours able to late swap some of my teams but not others and this situation had to occur for others as well. It could have helped me just as much as it hurt me but for this problem to even occur is beyond the scope of any semblance of competency by a site and its designers/programmers. No one even talks about this which is shocking to me.

    Thanks Whiskey, I know it means a lot to everyone that a high volume player such as yourself would be willing to give us another shot.

    If you notice in my post I asked the same questions about site speed performance when I had the ear of some of the people at MGT and FTD. The easiest way to explain it is before there were not proper staff in place to handle the situation quickly and efficiently. Now there is a team in place, ready to handle any and all situations like this.

  • CrazyGabey

    @troveur said…

    Back to the original point of this post…Good Luck to you Gabey and I hope you and Brit and the rest of FTD can address and fix the many issues there reasonably quickly.

    I’m always open to giving 2nd chances so maybe I’ll come back and kick the tires the start of baseball season.

    Thanks troveur! Hope to see you back on the digital diamond!

  • CrazyGabey

    @kaetorade said…

    I apologize in advance if I’m mistaken, but you ‘just’ blog there, right? I mean, NOBODY should blame you for FTD’s issues. Also, the ‘tough’ decision would’ve been to sever ties with FTD because you have a financial stake involved.

    You hit the nail on the head. I blog, record videos, and interact on their behalf on social media.

    The decision was exactly as you stated. Leaving was definitely on the table, but like I wrote in my original post, I talked with many members of MGT and FTD and was convinced that the ship could be righted.

  • CrazyGabey

    @futureoffantasy said…

    Sounds like Gabey used this situation to his advantage and got himself a raise :)

    Congrats. I don’t blame you because I would do the same thing in your shoes, but this doesn’t change everything that has happened. It will take a while for them to regain trust from the community. I hope you are right when you say the future is bright for FTD. Could always use more legit DFS sites. Especially ones that offer golf.

    Regaining trust from the community is a process for sure. I hope this is a solid first step on the long journey!

    Thanks for your comment buddy :)

  • kaetorade

    • 2013 DraftStreet DSBBC Finalist

    @CrazyGabey said…

    You hit the nail on the head. I blog, record videos, and interact on their behalf on social media.

    The decision was exactly as you stated. Leaving was definitely on the table, but like I wrote in my original post, I talked with many members of MGT and FTD and was convinced that the ship could be righted.

    I didn’t mean to belittle your contributions to FTD. It’s just that I find it difficult to see how others could point a finger in your direction, given your role at FTD.

  • CrazyGabey

    @kaetorade said…

    I didn’t mean to belittle your contributions to FTD. It’s just that I find it difficult to see how others could point a finger in your direction, given your role at FTD.

    No belittling taken. In fact, I felt belargened by your comment :)

  • looningabout

    @CrazyGabey said…

    No belittling taken. In fact, I felt belargened by your comment :)

    this made me uncomfortable…belargened sounds like an extenze commercial adjective

  • sportsgrinder

    • Blogger of the Month

    Gabey and Brit,

    I wish you the best.

    Yes, I didn’t play a ton of volume on FTD before, but with all the quality DFS options out there, I can’t see myself ever playing on FTD again after my past experience. I don’t like the “infinity” double up games, bad experience with site performance, the tax debacle, changing tos, etc. I appreciate that you all were quick to address these issues or at least attempt to address them, but there is nothing special about FTD that would cause me to come back. I only have so much time in the day and FTD would be last on my list of places to spend time.

    Maybe someday there will be a compelling reason to pull me a way from the other sites, but as you said, the rebuilding of this brand is going to be a long road IMO.

    Again, I appreciate both of your contributions to the RG community and wish you both the best in your personal endeavors.

  • BirdWings

    • 900

      RG Overall Ranking

    • x4

      2014 StarStreet MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    • MLB 2014 Rankings Leader

    @rotokevin said…

    Brit, you’re one of the good guys in all of this, but this is exactly the kind of nonsense that I can’t stand for.

    If I am to believe that the downtime was scheduled several days in advance, it only speaks to the incompetence of the team. Wouldn’t it make sense to do major database maintenance during an off time, not in the middle of the afternoon ahead of contests that need filling? I’m more likely to believe that FTD had an ‘oh shit’ moment and had to take the site down to prevent a catastrophic failure.

    As for the changes to the TOS, as the drama unfolded that day, we all witnessed the TOS change during the time the site was down. Whether the site was required to be taken down to update or not is irrelevant. The terms did not change “several hours” before the site went down.

    I’m willing to believe that the downtime and the TOS changes were independent, unrelated events, but let’s not rewrite history on this. How am I supposed to trust a site with my money when its representatives are is constant bullshit mode?

    Pretty much this. I have no dog in this fight but i’ll call bullshit when I see it. This wasn’t scheduled maintenance and the TOS changed when the site was down. To suggest otherwise is a lie. I’m not sure how else to put it.

    If we ever want to be taken serious as an industry we can’t have this nonsense and have to be open and honest with one another. It starts with the sites, site reps, and trickles down to the players. We don’t need scandal and half truths. And when shit hits the fan, or you lie, cheat, or steal – own up and move forward.

    I should say this isn’t directed at Brit, Gabey, or anyone specific.

  • CrazyGabey

    @sportsgrinder said…

    Gabey and Brit,

    I wish you the best.

    Yes, I didn’t play a ton of volume on FTD before, but with all the quality DFS options out there, I can’t see myself ever playing on FTD again after my past experience. I don’t like the “infinity” double up games, bad experience with site performance, the tax debacle, changing tos, etc. I appreciate that you all were quick to address these issues or at least attempt to address them, but there is nothing special about FTD that would cause me to come back. I only have so much time in the day and FTD would be last on my list of places to spend time.

    Maybe someday there will be a compelling reason to pull me a way from the other sites, but as you said, the rebuilding of this brand is going to be a long road IMO.

    Again, I appreciate both of your contributions to the RG community and wish you both the best in your personal endeavors.

    Thanks for the kind words buddy :)

  • Snoopdog

    FTD needs some crisis management help bad!

  • clarnzz

    Interface is kind of painful, even slightly worse than starstreet where I can’t find the motiviation to play more than a pick 5. Kinda wish I wouldn’t of flamed on Draftkings so quick becuase the interface is beautiful, draftstreet good as well, but making a team is just so complex. I kinda stick to fanduel, is KISS, and prolly since it the only one I’ve done well on. :)

  • CruzinToVictory

    RG Product Coordinator

    • Blogger of the Month

    @clarnzz said…

    Interface is kind of painful, even slightly worse than starstreet where I can’t find the motiviation to play more than a pick 5. Kinda wish I wouldn’t of flamed on Draftkings so quick becuase the interface is beautiful, draftstreet good as well, but making a team is just so complex. I kinda stick to fanduel, is KISS, and prolly since it the only one I’ve done well on. :)

    This actually really surprises me. In my opinion the interfaces rank DK/DD > SS >>>>>>>FD >>>> DS/FTD

    It could use a few adjustments, but overall I love the SS interface.

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