With the ChipotleAddict/Papagates issues reaching a boiling point I think it’s critical to get more organized about how it is handled on RotoGrinders, and hopefully the broader DFS community.
Note that this thread will be heavily moderated in order to stay on a narrow focus. If you’d like to discuss broader issues, post in Awoo’s thread here. Know that I believe Awoo’s thread is full of misinformation and false narratives, which is why I’m creating this clean, focused thread you’re reading now.
Here are the four main points I want to make:
1. After multiple calls with Martin Crowley (papagates) and Matt Kalish (Co-Founder of Draftkings), I am further convinced that the two brothers are not violating DraftKings terms. The two brothers built a model together. They work from the same source data. Some days they interpret and act on the data very similarly, other days very differently. While this produces the optics problem, it is not collusion, even if they are splitting funds. It only becomes collusion if they are working together to align their lineups to circumvent entry limits. Read Luke’s article here that dives into 14 slates of data on that. If you think that rules should be changed, you’re not alone. It’s a very complex issue, but it’s one we can more effectively discuss without the cheating/DK turning blind eye claims.
2. Regardless of whether they are violating terms or not, the optics of this situation are bad. It drives players away and it produces the narrative that DraftKings turns a blind eye while high volume players cheat. That cheating narrative clouds the issue, making it impossible to have a productive, constructive conversation about how to improve the optics and ecosystem issues.
3. Many people that believe CA/PG are being unfairly treated have asked me why we don’t lock or delete Awoo’s thread. My answer is that locking that thread now will hurt this issue, not help it. Too many smart people believe they are cheating. We need to have a focused, transparent discussion to change the narrative, not simply shut down opinions. I think Crain’s post in Awoo’s thread is wrong but I also don’t know if I’ve ever seen that many “upvotes” on a RotoGrinders thread.
4. Nearly everyone involved in this could have handled it better to prevent the cheating narrative to get to this point. I could have diverted resources to analyzing the spreadsheets so that we could have a data driven conversation instead of one supported by circumstantial evidence. PG/CA could have been more transparent and involved in the conversation when it started during NFL season. DraftKings could have been a lot more communicative about what is/is not allowed in the Community Guidelines. Fanduel could get into this conversation. Crain could have realized that, as a major influencer, he should dig into the data and be certain about his claims before making such a harsh post.
I want to address this so that we can move focus to a constructive conversation about how to deal with the optics and other legit concerns that players have with this situation. I want PG/CA to not be referred to as cheaters by the broader community. I want people to know that DraftKings Compliance team is very aware of this and not turning a blind eye. I want the broader DFS community to be on the same page about the DK Community Guidelines and what constitutes collusion. In order to get there, we need to address the question of “Are they cheating?” There are lots of smart people and influencers that believe they are cheating, so this is going to require looking at the data and having focused, constructive conversation.
I hope this thread and Luke’s article on the front page get us there, but we can go beyond that if needed. Again, this thread will be heavily moderated. Stay on the subject of “Are PG/CA violating terms.” If you’re not clear what is/is not allowed by DraftKings Community Guidelines, you’re not alone. Feel free to ask for clarification. DraftKings cannot comment on any individual cases but they should be able to comment in this thread to clarify what is/is not allowed. PapaGates will also be posting here if you want to ask him about his process.