INDUSTRY FORUM

  • Mountain_Cobra

    Is anyone else having trouble getting paid out by Fantasy Up? I submitted a withdrawal request for some of my funds over a month ago but I still haven’t been paid, despite the fact that I have exchanged many emails with them They keep promising that funds will be paid out shortly but then they go radio silent until I email them again.

    Does anyone have any recommendations about what I should do if they continue to fail to pay? I would prefer not to take legal action because of the cost and inconvenience (and because up until now they’ve provided a good service) but at this stage I don’t know what other options I have.

    Admin Note: This situation was eventually resolved when FantasyUp player accounts were purchased by the iTeam Network. Gabe Hunterton’s post is copied below. You can also read it on page 30 of this thread:

    iTeamGabe’s (Gabe Hunterton, CEO) post:

    I’m happy to be the bearer of good news. As Dustin from LSR reported yesterday, iTEAM Network has executed an agreement with FantasyUp. When we heard about the situation a couple weeks ago, we decided to do something about it.
    We announced today an agreement with the former owners of FantasyUp to acquire the www.fantasyup.com domain and customer data. Paying back FantasyUp players was the key component in this deal. No one affiliated with the original FantasyUp has any involvement whatsoever moving forward.
    After you activate your account, your funds will be immediately available for withdrawal, although we do hope you give us a chance to earn your trust and loyalty by playing in our contests. We think you will appreciate our first class customer support and our unwavering commitment to game integrity. To welcome you to the new FantasyUp.com, we’re putting on a series of overlay contests exclusively for FantasyUp players, beginning with the “FantasyUp – Fresh Start” contest; that features a $1,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool, with a Maximum of 1,100 entries and a buy in of just ONE CENT!
    While you’re playing, take a look at our unique software features like our patented “Sweat List” which shows you not only who you are rooting for, but just as importantly, who you are rooting against. Since launching five months ago, we’ve made significant investments and built our software development team to over 40 full time employees. You can expect major product development and innovation from us throughout 2016.
    Getting the site up-and-running and paying back players is a complex challenge involving technical, practical and regulatory hurdles affecting thousands of player accounts. We ask for your continued patience as we work together through this process, particularly if you reside in one of the banned jurisdictions.
    We have just begun the process of sending an email to all users who have an existing account balance.
    For further information about our agreement with FantasyUp and how it affects you, we are regularly updating the FAQ page at www.fantasyup.info. In addition, you can email us anytime at support@fantasyup.com.

  • cAUmberlandtiger8

    @bfos said...

    That’s a good point and probably true. But, they must already know that if those of us who who have lost access to our funds aren’t made whole, many of us are going to make sure news organizations (and more) latch on to it. The only smart thing for he industry to do here is to take care of this before that happens….and time is running short on that.

    While I agree the industry should be proactive in helping talk some sense into DZ, I don’t think the big names should be on the hook for fantasy ups customers. This would open the door for other less reputable companies to do the same thing. Their line of thinking “oh the big boys will bail me out”

  • Putz

    @cAUmberlandtiger8 said...

    While I agree the industry should be proactive in helping talk some sense into DZ, I don’t think the big names should be on the hook for fantasy ups customers. This would open the door for other less reputable companies to do the same thing. Their line of thinking “oh the big boys will bail me out”

    Yet, he’s out rubbing elbows with those same people at the FSTA conference. A black ball should be delivered, otherwise, be proactive to help the players.

  • joephoto

    One thing I see definitely happening.
    I believe players will still want to play, but the industry is gonna see us all keep MUCH smaller, safer balances.

  • Cal

    RG CoFounder & Admin

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    @Putz said...

    Yet, he’s out rubbing elbows with those same people at the FSTA conference. A black ball should be delivered, otherwise, be proactive to help the players.

    Dan Ziernicki was not at the FSTA conference. There was a group at the FSTA conference that is currently speaking to him about a deal, though. Hoping something good comes of that.

  • Putz

    @Cal said...

    Dan Ziernicki was not at the FSTA conference. There was a group at the FSTA conference that is currently speaking to him about a deal, though. Hoping something good comes of that.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  • sgrignoli3

    Note on DK this morning:

    We are currently experiencing a high volume of withdrawal requests. Please allow an additional 24-48 hours longer than usual for processing. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

    Gee I wonder why that may be…

  • crazypaul

    @sgrignoli3 said...

    Gee I wonder why that may be…

    The end of NFL season….that’s why.

  • sgrignoli3

    Naivety…it’s adorable. And Teddy Bridgewater is a pro bowl worthy quarterback.

  • bfos

    @cAUmberlandtiger8 said...

    While I agree the industry should be proactive in helping talk some sense into DZ, I don’t think the big names should be on the hook for fantasy ups customers. This would open the door for other less reputable companies to do the same thing. Their line of thinking “oh the big boys will bail me out”

    I agree. I think most of us are open to many forms of resolution of this issue. I wouldn’t argue that FD and DK are “on the hook” so much as it is in their best interest to step up (as it is for other industry leaders and voices) and not let this situation remain unresolved. All the more so after just how much FD and DK have damaged the game and industry this year.

    Also, ideally, regulation, one way or another, will be in place to stop the next budding DZ.

  • bfos

    @sgrignoli3 said...

    Note on DK this morning:

    We are currently experiencing a high volume of withdrawal requests. Please allow an additional 24-48 hours longer than usual for processing. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

    Gee I wonder why that may be…

    I don’t remember these kinds of delays last year. I’m not overly worried. But, it’s not like those aren’t similar to the excuses Fantasy Up used earlier this year.

    Given the state of the industry right now, It certainly makes sense for more people to be extra cautious with their funds than they otherwise would be. Considering that, and the fact that we now know there is nothing to ensure that our player funds are not being used to keep operations alive on any given site, it’s possible that there could be a breaking point on withdrawals, even on FD or DK, where they aren’t able to pay back all players.

  • dsiman

    I really wonder if we will hear from Dan Z again…

  • bfos

    Probably not. But, we’ll probably be told over and over that there are talks happening to resolve the situation…just wait a little longer.

  • Jason10

    @dsiman said...

    I really wonder if we will hear from Dan Z again…

    A man like this deserves his full name recognized….DAN ZIERNICKI

  • Csufantasy

    @cAUmberlandtiger8 said...

    While I agree the industry should be proactive in helping talk some sense into DZ, I don’t think the big names should be on the hook for fantasy ups customers. This would open the door for other less reputable companies to do the same thing. Their line of thinking “oh the big boys will bail me out”

    You are 100 percent correct on this. I really would be shocked to see any sort of bailout. These are the risks you take playing on a non reputable site. Stick to the big 3 or if you are really concerned stick with just Yahoo. Even if DFS dies yahoo will certainly have the funds to pay out. If you see a site that constantly has huge overlay it’s a site that is hemorrhaging cash. You can run to the media if you want to try to damage the industry as a whole. That does absolutely nothing to help your cause in getting the money back.

  • WhiskeyTavon4

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    @Csufantasy said...

    You are 100 percent correct on this. I really would be shocked to see any sort of bailout. These are the risks you take playing on a non reputable site. Stick to the big 3 or if you are really concerned stick with just Yahoo. Even if DFS dies yahoo will certainly have the funds to pay out. If you see a site that constantly has huge overlay it’s a site that is hemorrhaging cash. You can run to the media if you want to try to damage the industry as a whole. That does absolutely nothing to help your cause in getting the money back.

    This post couldn’t be more wrong on every level. Since 2010 I have played at and received tax forms from 40 different DFS sites. Fantasy Up is the first site where I have been stiffed. The biggest mistake 99% of all DFS players make is only playing on Fanduel or Draftkings. While FD and DK are great sites and deserve our business, other smaller sites offer players far more in the form of bonuses,rakeback,loyalty rewards, overlay, and far far softer games against real people making real lineups instead of the algo driven competition in the major markets. Moreover, I had large balances at the following sites when they went out of business:Starstreet,Fanthrowdown,Daily Joust,Draftzone,Buzzdraft, Draftstreet, Sportstradex, and DraftorPass. Every single one of them worked out a deal to have player balances transferred to another site. What Mr.Ziernicki is doing is unprecedented in the DFS industry. He is simply stealing our money and to this point has gotten away with it. Also, just to clear up misinformation, Fantasy UP did not have huge overlay. Occasionally they had a little overlay but it was nothing out of the ordinary and they took preventive measures to limit overlay throughout their existence.

    As for a site bailing Fantasy UP out. Please explain to me the downside. Say a site like Fantasy Aces that has tremendous customer service, innovative games, live finals, and a great monthly wins bonus program decides to bail out Fantasy UP players. They simply acquire the player balance sheet and offer every player their fantasy up balance in the form of bonus money at Aces. Since all bonus money has to be played through and trickles into regular player accounts at a 4-5% drip rate all a site offering a bailout is doing is increasing revenues by allowing those wronged by Fantasy Up to play through a bonus at their site. There is zero outlay to a prospective bailout site, they are risking nothing in terms of their own funds.They could even ask for a deposit that is equal to our fantasy up balance and put a 30-60 day hold on the money. In summation a prospective bailout site has nothing to lose and everything to gain. A lucrative new revenue stream by rake generated of those playing through their bailout bonuses, new player acquisition, increased action from those that already have accounts, and a good deal of positive public relations in an industry that badly needs as much positive p.r. as it can get.

    I dont want to speak for our entire group but the consensus I have gathered via email communication is we would much rather have Mr.Ziernicki just pay us the money he owes us and not have to ask another site for a bailout. The amount of information the group has compiled on Mr.Ziernicki and his business practices is truly astounding. These dudes did some serious research and as a group we are prepared to move forward in recovering our funds via legal channels if necessary. However, we also feel that for all involved a bailout deal satisfies the interests of all parties. A potential deal allows Mr.Ziernicki to retain a shred of his reputation and saves our recovery group the time,money, and energy it would take to move forward via legal/criminal channels while concurrently generating business for a prospective site offering aggrieved Fantasy Up players a bailout.

  • Csufantasy

    @WhiskeyTavon4 said...

    This post couldn’t be more wrong on every level. Since 2010 I have played at and received tax forms from 40 different DFS sites. Fantasy Up is the first site where I have been stiffed. The biggest mistake 99% of all DFS players make is only playing on Fanduel or Draftkings. While FD and DK are great sites and deserve our business, other smaller sites offer players far more in the form of bonuses,rakeback,loyalty rewards, overlay, and far far softer games against real people making real lineups instead of the algo driven competition in the major markets. Moreover, I had large balances at the following sites when they went out of business:Starstreet,Fanthrowdown,Daily Joust,Draftzone,Buzzdraft, Draftstreet, Sportstradex, and DraftorPass. Every single one of them worked out a deal to have player balances transferred to another site. What Mr.Ziernicki is doing is unprecedented in the DFS industry. He is simply stealing our money and to this point has gotten away with it. Also, just to clear up misinformation, Fantasy UP did not have huge overlay. Occasionally they had a little overlay but it was nothing out of the ordinary and they took preventive measures to limit overlay throughout their existence.

    As for a site bailing Fantasy UP out. Please explain to me the downside. Say a site like Fantasy Aces that has tremendous customer service, innovative games, live finals, and a great monthly wins bonus program decides to bail out Fantasy UP players. They simply acquire the player balance sheet and offer every player their fantasy up balance in the form of bonus money at Aces. Since all bonus money has to be played through and trickles into regular player accounts at a 4-5% drip rate all a site offering a bailout is doing is increasing revenues by allowing those wronged by Fantasy Up to play through a bonus at their site. There is zero outlay to a prospective bailout site, they are risking nothing in terms of their own funds.They could even ask for a deposit that is equal to our fantasy up balance and put a 30-60 day hold on the money. In summation a prospective bailout site has nothing to lose and everything to gain. A lucrative new revenue stream by rake generated of those playing through their bailout bonuses, new player acquisition, increased action from those that already have accounts, and a good deal of positive public relations in an industry that badly needs as much positive p.r. as it can get.

    I dont want to speak for our entire group but the consensus I have gathered via email communication is we would much rather have Mr.Ziernicki just pay us the money he owes us and not have to ask another site for a bailout. The amount of information the group has compiled on Mr.Ziernicki and his business practices is truly astounding. These dudes did some serious research and as a group we are prepared to move forward in recovering our funds via legal channels if necessary. However, we also feel that for all involved a bailout deal satisfies the interests of all parties. A potential deal allows Mr.Ziernicki to retain a shred of his reputation and saves our recovery group the time,money, and energy it would take to move forward via legal/criminal channels while concurrently generating business for a prospective site offering aggrieved Fantasy Up players a bailout.

    For anyone that actually follows the business deals have been slowing for a while because they are no longer bringing in unique users. Previously companies were buying out smaller competitors because they were bringing in users they didn’t already have. Sites are finding out that this really isn’t working anymore. It’s why you haven’t seen any of the big 3 really shopping for other sites.

    No company is going to turn your money
    into bonus money at their site because that wouldn’t be legal for them to do and would open them up to lawsuits. The money wasn’t originally bonus money so they can’t acquire the company and turn it into that. Unless the new site feels like they are acquiring a bunch of unique new users a bailout isn’t likely to come. New users is key here. If you already have an account with the new buyer you are not considered a value of the site they are purchasing. If I was running a dfs company I would look at this deal poorly. Since it wouldn’t be legal to put restrictions on it I would be acquiring accounts that would most likely be withdrawing immediately and just providing me a negative loss.

    As for legal and criminal charges the odds of that working are slim. You have to prove purposeful fraud. I would estimate it’s above a 90 percent chance it isn’t judged criminal. Instead it would be a civil suit against a company. The company is bankrupt. Unless you can prove he was flat out fraudulent and not just a poor businessman you can’t even sue his him as an individual. While you might not like what I am telling you I am being honest as to what the most likely result will be.

    Just to be clear but I am rooting for you guys to get made whole. I think those of though that played poker before remember the collapse of companies and were much more leery of these smaller companies. This isn’t coming as a shock that this happened to a lot of people.

  • WhiskeyTavon4

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    @Csufantasy said...

    For anyone that actually follows the business deals have been slowing for a while because their no longer bringing in unique users. Previously companies were buying out smaller competitors because they were bringing in users they didn’t already have. Sites are finding out that this really isn’t working anymore. It’s why you haven’t seen any of the big 3 really shopping for other sites.

    No company is going to turn your money
    into bonus money at their site because that wouldn’t be legal for them to do and would open them up to lawsuits. The money wasn’t originally bonus money so they can’t acquire the company and turn it into that. Unless the new site feels like they are acquiring a bunch of unique new users a bailout isn’t likely to come. Since it wouldn’t be legal to put restrictions on it I would be acquiring accounts that would most likely be withdrawing immediately and just providing me a negative loss.

    As for legal and criminal charges the odds of that working are slim. You have to prove purposeful fraud. I would estimate it’s above a 90 percent chance it isn’t judged criminal. Instead it would be a civil suit against a company. The company is bankrupt. Unless you can prove he was flat out fraudulent and not just a poor businessman you can’t even sue his him as an individual. While you might not like what I am telling you I am being honest as to what the most likely result will be.

    Just to be clear but I am rooting for you guys to get made whole. I think those of though that played poker before remember the collapse of companies and were much more leery of these smaller companies. This isn’t coming as a shock that this happened to a lot of people.

    Would love to see any form of source or evidence for your unique user argument. Fanduel has never in existence bought out a smaller competitor and Draftkings did twice I believe with starstreet and draftstreet. Not sure who the third is in your big 3 since there isnt really one. FD and DK have no reason to buy out any current smaller competitor but I fail to see what that has to do with the fantasy up situation. As for the legality argument over bonus money when other sites have already done it a number of other times not sure I understand what is illegal about it if everyone agrees to it. Who would sue a site after it bailed them out and what law does it violate? Perhaps I am overlooking something but it seems totally legal to me. Dont understand the restrictions and what is illegal about it.

    In regards to your estimation of our legal chances. I am not interested in going into too much detail on this board but both separate law practices I spoke to directly contradicted the information you are relaying. Perhaps they were blowing smoke up my ass to acquire my business but in regards to purposeful fraud there is a mountain of evidence that it indeed was committed in this case.

    I never understand the poker stuff on this board. It is totally different. All those sites were operating offshore and not within the confines of the US criminal justice system. The poker companies got busted for money laundering and alleged bank fraud. Also, why would the collapse of the offshore poker industry make one leery of smaller companies. The DOJ suit was filed against the three biggest offshore operators and the two that stiffed their customers, Absolute and Full Tilt were hardly small companies.

    Maybe you are totally correct in your legal and business assumptions and I am totally wrong on both fronts, it would not totally surprise me, I would just like to see some factual basis for those opinions.

  • joephoto

    Thank you WhiskeyTavon4

  • dsiman

    Still no sign of the great Dan Ziernicki on here…..almost that time for our group to take the next step I think

  • sgrignoli3

    Do we have any sense on timing of a resolution from the group in contact with Dan Ziernicki? A week, a month, a year, a never?

  • ChicagoJoe

    I agree with you on all of it, but FantasyUp wasn’t a big enough blip on the radar in the DFS community for the big dogs to think that the FantasyUp situation is representative of the entire industry. FD and DK could never go the same route because it’s too big. Too many layoffs. Too big of dollars. Too many leaders that would stage a coup if one of the leaders even suggested doing business this way. Absolutely we should all be concerned, and I wish FD or DK would speak on behalf of the entire industry about it. However, the real threat is to the smaller sites. It’s like the battle mom-and-pop shops face surviving in the shadows of WalMart and Target. Once the industry is established, it takes forever for a new company to build credibility and trust. And that trust can be dumped with one stupid move (something Johnny Manziel didn’t listen to). And that stupid move sullies the perception of all of the smaller sites that established the trust of the player.

    I can promise you, I’m going to be gun shy about joining a small site because I’ll have worries that the site is operated by some dumb kid in his parents’ basement trying to get rich quick on what he thought was a slam dunk plan. Even if that isn’t true, we know that’s not how DK and FD are run, we trust them (last year’s controversies notwithstanding). So I’ll stick the to big dogs until another site with a real personal touch (and a fun way to play, of course) goes out of its way to connect and show it’s trustworthy. It’s not fair, everything Whiskey said was right, but perception and trust matter when it comes to where we put our dollars. DFS as a whole is already on shaky ground, but I have the reasonable belief that if one day, it is completely wiped out by the law, I won’t be losing my whole account. But in this little rogue situation, I lost my whole account. Nobody wins here, but the small sites should the most worried. And if I were one of them, I’d hunt Dan because of the public relations threat he’s caused.

  • sgrignoli3

    No one is arguing that F-Up was big. The argument is the potential ripple effect. This is exactly what the naysayers want…turbulence in the industry, another reason for the NY AG to pound his chest and grandstand about why he’s right about the DFS industry being evil and corrupt.

  • bfos

    @Csufantasy said...

    You can run to the media if you want to try to damage the industry as a whole. That does absolutely nothing to help your cause in getting the money back.

    Appreciate a lot of what you had to say here. I think you’re probably right on much of it, if not all of it. That said, I personally have no compunctions about the notion that a single individual like me could damage the industry. If I actually can have that kind of impact, it only comes after much more important groundwork was laid by idiotic and negligent actions of industry leaders and voices. You mentioned the reputability of sites like FD and DK, but based on their absurd lack of controls and buffoonish presence in public light, they have created this maelstrom that I would look to join. I’m not sure it would be accurate to say any of these sites are exactly reputable. Some are just bigger than others.

    Everyone loves to bash Eric Schneiderman (along with other attorneys general) because he’s threatening a game we love. But, we also have to admit, as has now been proven by Fantasy Up, that he was 100% correct. This is an unregulated gambling industry that skirts law and provides no protections for its customers as you pointed out; Fantasy Up very likely did nothing illegal. As such, there’s nothing to stop any site, including FD and DK, from following this same path.

    I’m willing to give until next week to hear something about these “talks” that are supposedly happening on our behalf. If we are still left in the dark and the industry continues to sit on their hands hoping this just quietly goes away, I’ll do what I can to not let that happen. I’ll do what I can to make sure any AG who has made an effort against or even questioned this industry knows what has happened to us as a preview of what could happen to their constituents on all of these remaining sites.

  • tjabchs6

    @bfos said...

    I’m willing to give until next week to hear something about these “talks” that are supposedly happening on our behalf. If we are still left in the dark and the industry continues to sit on their hands hoping this just quietly goes away, I’ll do what I can to not let that happen. I’ll do what I can to make sure any AG who has made an effort against or even questioned this industry knows what has happened to us as a preview of what could happen to their constituents on all of these remaining sites.

    You need to think about the implications of that a little bit further, and what that actually accomplishes.

  • sgrignoli3

    Typical response from people who didn’t have their money stolen by Dan Ziernicki…“bend over and take it.”

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