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JohnW1970

Phenoms going under

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I think it would be hard to be working 100 hours a week building a business and making only small amount of profit all the while being able to see the giant wad of players funds sitting in your bank account.

My gut says he started out as a honest guy but eventually got burned out and figured he'd try to make his one big score.

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How crazy is it that Bernie madoffs name is pronounced Made Off.

I would not invest with a guy named Brian Hieatmieater or George Scamsya either.

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Cache of some of his twitter from years ago.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:wIbWc3oLPdoJ:https://twitter.com/unluckyz+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Talking about losing at poker and about a job that pays thousands a week!

That glimpse at his twitter feed is making me think he might have turned into a degenerate gambler/sports addict/get rich quick dreamer.

But who knows, just speculation.

Edited by JimmyJabroni

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Cache of some of his twitter from years ago.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:wIbWc3oLPdoJ:https://twitter.com/unluckyz+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Talking about losing at poker and about a job that pays thousands a week!

That glimpse at his twitter feed is making me think he might have turned into a degenerate gambler/sports addict/get rich quick dreamer.

But who knows, just speculation.

I love that his location is SL, UT

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Now we just need Anonymous to go in and we can have this wrapped up by lunch tomorrow.

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The first tweet he posted on June 8th 2009 pretty much sums it all up as to what type of person we were giving our money to. He should have listened to his own tweets

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Remind me never to rip off you guys. Bunch of detectives in here, damn.

You aren't kidding. 24 hours and his dad's phone number was posted. Seriously though, I don't think contacting his dad is cool.

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Remind me never to rip off you guys. Bunch of detectives in here, damn.

You aren't kidding. 24 hours and his dad's phone number was posted. Seriously though, I don't think contacting his dad is cool.
I agree, but I'm not losing thousands of dollars either.

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Like I said earlier, he probably looked at the year over year decrease in funds coming in and decided to steal the cash now

This is my guess, as well.

Dailys are crushing it, and I know several people dropping the head-to-head leagues to concentrate on FanDuel. Great time to walk away with everyone's investment.

Serious question...what's to stop FanDuel or any of the other dailys from doing the same thing. Granted you wouldn't have the time invested but what if, after they collected a bunch of deposits at the beginning of the year they just closed up shop and bailed with people's cash? Hard to trust any website tied in any way to gambling.

DFS sites are required by law to keep player funds separate from operating costs. As opposed to required by industry convention, or required by a promise they made on their own website.

Also, FD and DK raised over $100m in venture capital between them this past offseason. They're not small operations. The sheer size alone offers some protections- just like you are probably safe leaving your money with a Vegas casino while you go gamble with their chips.

Thanks for this info, Adam!

Does anyone have information on how much we can trust LeagueSafe, or the various smaller DFS sites?

I think sites are going to have to be up front and transparent as to how they are handling player money in the future. I'm leery as can be at this point.

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Remind me never to rip off you guys. Bunch of detectives in here, damn.

You aren't kidding. 24 hours and his dad's phone number was posted. Seriously though, I don't think contacting his dad is cool.
I agree, but I'm not losing thousands of dollars either.

No one should be angry with his dad but perhaps if he knows his son might be doing some serious prison time he could put pressure on him to pay back the money.

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Ironically, this was a coorespondence Mike sent to me not a few months ago:

Mike Zangrilli <phenoms@gmail.com>
Jul 24
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
to me
cleardot.gif
Ben,
You can't just rip-off your buddy. That's not fair to the league. I'm sure you're upset that I'm not letting you rip him off, but you know it's a rip-off. If you want to make a fair trade with him, that's OK.

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Ironically, this was a coorespondence Mike sent to me not a few months ago:

Mike Zangrilli <phenoms@gmail.com>

Jul 24

cleardot.gif

cleardot.gif

cleardot.gif

to me

cleardot.gif

Ben,

You can't just rip-off your buddy. That's not fair to the league. I'm sure you're upset that I'm not letting you rip him off, but you know it's a rip-off. If you want to make a fair trade with him, that's OK.

Last year, Mike overturned a trade of my Gore for Welker, because it wasn't "fair" to the league. Nevermind they were drafted within one pick of each other and Welker cooled off while Gore ramped up. Struck me as odd that Mike would care so much about a trade much less worry about how fair it was to the league.

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Ironically, this was a coorespondence Mike sent to me not a few months ago:

Mike Zangrilli <phenoms@gmail.com>
Jul 24
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
to me
cleardot.gif
Ben,
You can't just rip-off your buddy. That's not fair to the league. I'm sure you're upset that I'm not letting you rip him off, but you know it's a rip-off. If you want to make a fair trade with him, that's OK.

you can't just rip off your buddy, but you can rip off thousands of strangers, apparently.

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I think it would be hard to be working 100 hours a week building a business and making only small amount of profit all the while being able to see the giant wad of players funds sitting in your bank account.

My gut says he started out as a honest guy but eventually got burned out and figured he'd try to make his one big score.

My gut says he finally gave in to the temptation to gamble with our money.

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Here he is folks.

2:24 in the video

Awesome work. (The lesson: never trust someone with modern art in his office.) Weakens the notion of the "long con", as appearing on local newscasts would be decidedly bad planning.

Edited by Drunken Benson

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If he did hide say 600k somewhere all this will be long forgotten to 99% in 4 years. He'll buy a place outside LA and enjoy life.

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Found a profile of him on this website.

http://www.opportunity-investor.com/authordetail.php?autid=1720

he joined Nov of last year

Not sure what the website is...looks like a get rich quick type website?

http://www.opportunity-investor.com/

Well that's pretty interesting...

Could be living in Texas according to that profile.

Oh man, that website canNOT be good news.

Add in a little poker habit, and I think I am developing a theory.

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Something I haven't seen mentioned here is that players who joined Dynasty leagues this year (like me) for the first time at Phenoms had to pay year 1 AND year 2 (as a deposit). So in a $100 league you pay 200$. We got doubly screwed

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I emailed Deadspin, KSL, 20/20, Dateline, and Nightline with the Phenoms story

I will keep you guys informed on anything that happens with these news outlets

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This is the first I've heard of this site but can someone give me some background? How long have they been around? Who is this guy that ran it? I clicked on the link above to see the site and based on first impressions there's no way I would ever have signed up for that and sent money. It looks pretty amateurish.

He was a long time board member (Unlucky) here at FBG. He started running leagues largely composed of guys that posted here. I can't remember the details, but he was a staff member for a bit. You would have to asked Joe or David for details there. I interacted with him a bunch. Seemed a solid guy and he built a great reputation here among board members. Hence, a guy like me isn't going to be so quick to condemn the guy. I'm not trying to excuse the guy's actions, but my default setting is going to be that he did something stupid and just flushed his life down the toilet. I understand why people would want to quickly condemn the guy as a thief, but someone like myself or Bri who have been around for a long time are going to withhold judgment without knowing more. I'm not excusing his actions because I don't really know what those actions were. Do I feel for guys that might be out $100 bucks? Sure. Some might be even out more than that. That blows and you have my sympathies, but like I said my default is that Mike did something stupid and his life is a heck of a lot worse than it was a year ago. How can any of us know for certain? I certainly don't.

What "stupid" thing could he have done, other than take other peoples' money that was supposed to be put in escrow and spend the hell out of it?

Arguably beyond stupid and into unethical.

I don't disagree. That's arguable. I don't know what he did or didn't do. At this point it would just be speculation. Again, we all are going to have default settings. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt if I feel they've earned it. That's entirely a personal decision depending on you're talking about and how much interaction you've had with that person. I interacted with Mike more than most posting on this thread. I participated in one of his first batch of Greek leagues. Its understandable that others that didn't know him at all would jump right to the unethical side of things. I'm not alone in my position. You'll find several others in this thread that have known the guy for a long time.

My best guess is he made a very poor business decision (and perhaps unethical). Maybe he trusted someone on the web development cite too much. Maybe he was naive when it came to the web development side of things. Again, just speculation. But this is the direction my speculation is going to head as opposed to "he pocketed the money and is sipping a tropical drink somewhere". Further, my speculation is headed towards the thought that Mike did something to #### up his own life and that he'll regret it for a long time.

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Something I haven't seen mentioned here is that players who joined Dynasty leagues this year (like me) for the first time at Phenoms had to pay year 1 AND year 2 (as a deposit). So in a $100 league you pay 200$. We got doubly screwed

Has it always been that way for Phenoms dynasty leagues, or did the need for 2 years pay suddenly develop this year?

Edited by fatness

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This is the first I've heard of this site but can someone give me some background? How long have they been around? Who is this guy that ran it? I clicked on the link above to see the site and based on first impressions there's no way I would ever have signed up for that and sent money. It looks pretty amateurish.

He was a long time board member (Unlucky) here at FBG. He started running leagues largely composed of guys that posted here. I can't remember the details, but he was a staff member for a bit. You would have to asked Joe or David for details there. I interacted with him a bunch. Seemed a solid guy and he built a great reputation here among board members. Hence, a guy like me isn't going to be so quick to condemn the guy. I'm not trying to excuse the guy's actions, but my default setting is going to be that he did something stupid and just flushed his life down the toilet. I understand why people would want to quickly condemn the guy as a thief, but someone like myself or Bri who have been around for a long time are going to withhold judgment without knowing more. I'm not excusing his actions because I don't really know what those actions were. Do I feel for guys that might be out $100 bucks? Sure. Some might be even out more than that. That blows and you have my sympathies, but like I said my default is that Mike did something stupid and his life is a heck of a lot worse than it was a year ago. How can any of us know for certain? I certainly don't.

What "stupid" thing could he have done, other than take other peoples' money that was supposed to be put in escrow and spend the hell out of it?

Arguably beyond stupid and into unethical.

I don't disagree. That's arguable. I don't know what he did or didn't do. At this point it would just be speculation. Again, we all are going to have default settings. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt if I feel they've earned it. That's entirely a personal decision depending on you're talking about and how much interaction you've had with that person. I interacted with Mike more than most posting on this thread. I participated in one of his first batch of Greek leagues. Its understandable that others that didn't know him at all would jump right to the unethical side of things. I'm not alone in my position. You'll find several others in this thread that have known the guy for a long time.

My best guess is he made a very poor business decision (and perhaps unethical). Maybe he trusted someone on the web development cite too much. Maybe he was naive when it came to the web development side of things. Again, just speculation. But this is the direction my speculation is going to head as opposed to "he pocketed the money and is sipping a tropical drink somewhere". Further, my speculation is headed towards the thought that Mike did something to #### up his own life and that he'll regret it for a long time.

What part of "you can't take prize money to pay for operating expenses" don't you understand? No speculation is necessary- that is 100% wrong, and that's the "best" case scenario here.

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Something I haven't seen mentioned here is that players who joined Dynasty leagues this year (like me) for the first time at Phenoms had to pay year 1 AND year 2 (as a deposit). So in a $100 league you pay 200$. We got doubly screwed

Has it always been that way for Phenoms dynasty leagues, or did the need for 3 years pay suddenly develop this year?

I think it's been that way for a while to encourage people to stick around rather than drafting a redraft type team selling all your draft picks and then quitting if you don't contend for the title.

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Something I haven't seen mentioned here is that players who joined Dynasty leagues this year (like me) for the first time at Phenoms had to pay year 1 AND year 2 (as a deposit). So in a $100 league you pay 200$. We got doubly screwed

Has it always been that way for Phenoms dynasty leagues, or did the need for 3 years pay suddenly develop this year?

Never was 3 years pay, was this year and next for dynasty leagues. Was like that last year as well, not sure about before then.

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I don't disagree. That's arguable. I don't know what he did or didn't do. At this point it would just be speculation.

We do know some of what he did, though. He told everyone in all his leagues that, at best, the winners would get 20% to 40% of what they were supposed to win. So for starters he's not paying winners 60% to 80% of their money.

Add to that the dynasty players who joined this year and had to pay for 2 years, when there isn't going to be a next year for them with a prize pool waiting.

So we know that for starters.

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Something I haven't seen mentioned here is that players who joined Dynasty leagues this year (like me) for the first time at Phenoms had to pay year 1 AND year 2 (as a deposit). So in a $100 league you pay 200$. We got doubly screwed

Has it always been that way for Phenoms dynasty leagues, or did the need for 3 years pay suddenly develop this year?

For any dynasty/keeper league it's always been that way. He refunds the deposit minus any shortage after he sells your team if you leave. I left a contract league at the end of last season and was lucky enough someone paid face value for my team, so I got my money back.

Like I said in the other Phenoms thread, never had a problem with him paying out, but I guess I got out at the right time.

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Something I haven't seen mentioned here is that players who joined Dynasty leagues this year (like me) for the first time at Phenoms had to pay year 1 AND year 2 (as a deposit). So in a $100 league you pay 200$. We got doubly screwed

Has it always been that way for Phenoms dynasty leagues, or did the need for 3 years pay suddenly develop this year?

Never was 3 years pay, was this year and next for dynasty leagues. Was like that last year as well, not sure about before then.

I meant 2 years, so thanks for catching that. I fixed the post.

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What part of "you can't take prize money to pay for operating expenses" don't you understand? No speculation is necessary- that is 100% wrong, and that's the "best" case scenario here.

I don't disagree. What we don't know is exactly where or why the money went somewhere else. There's a fairly vague description in the initial email. Speculate away.

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Guy is probably a con. Chalk it up to life happens and know what goes around usually comes back around. If you didn't produce the person don't trust them with your money. If you did make them verify every step of the way.

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What part of "you can't take prize money to pay for operating expenses" don't you understand? No speculation is necessary- that is 100% wrong, and that's the "best" case scenario here.

I don't disagree. What we don't know is exactly where or why the money went somewhere else. There's a fairly vague description in the initial email. Speculate away.

Your posts make it sound like you do disagree. Can you come up with any plausible scenario where he didn't completely screw over hundreds of people? If you want to argue "it may only be really, really bad instead of the really, really, really bad that some are speculating", knock yourself out. If you want to say that this might just be a big misunderstanding, sorry, but you've got your head firmly planted in the sand.

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Read and respected Unlucky for over a decade. I can certainly understand why folks who are owed loot are upset and it certainly sounds like Unlucky made some poor decisions, but the guy has always been nothing but good people on FBG.

I agree with Hooper - I'll wait to hear more details but I'm not ready to throw Unlucky overboard until we know more. :shrug:

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Your posts make it sound like you do disagree. Can you come up with any plausible scenario where he didn't completely screw over hundreds of people? If you want to argue "it may only be really, really bad instead of the really, really, really bad that some are speculating", knock yourself out. If you want to say that this might just be a big misunderstanding, sorry, but you've got your head firmly planted in the sand.

Disagree with what?

Did he screw people out of money? Sounds to me like that's not debatable. Mike ####ed up and other people are going to pay the price.

Did he pocket that money? I doubt it, but that's my opinion of the guy based on history.

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Mike just sent an email to a friend of mine, informing him Mike now has a "legal team" and he is reviewing his options and "solutions" with them...

Kind of an ominous sign… Not that anyone expected to see much if any, but this seems to put the proverbial nail in the coffin

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