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I debated for a day whether I should post since I am in the industry and am not a regular here but I have read every post, theory and idea how to possibly recoup what is rightfully the members money.

Mike is reading this thread and must be amused that his "divide and conquer plan" is working so splendidly. 25 percent of the "winners" from all the prize suckers who paid in are uniting against the

Young Chuck moved to Montana and bought a horse from a farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the horse the next day. The next Day he drove up and said, "Sorry, Son, but I have some bad news

Wait, this guy was charging 10% to basically just hold money in trust and then pay it out? Amazing.

That and commishing hundreds of leagues.

If any of you who don't know Phenoms think you are going to uncover some huge clue everyone missed, or expose people for being stupid for using the site, it's not gonna happen.

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Foreshadowing in the TimLeeg thread?

Just taking a look in the rear-view mirror. How's it going back there, suckers?

So glad somebody finally posted this.

It's cute that you'd think I'd wade through this abortion of a hand-wringer to see if it's a honda. :lol:

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I posted in the Looking for Leagues Forum. It's a tough time to trust someone but if you're looking to join a new dynasty league next season, check out the post. You'll see why that would never happen in any of my leagues. And the payouts have always been 95 to 100%. Not looking to make any money.

well...maybe a little.

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Wait, this guy was charging 10% to basically just hold money in trust and then pay it out? Amazing.

10% sounds like it included organizing and commishing almost 1000 leagues.

2000 if you believe that piece on KSL5's Bill Gephardt Gets It.

This is astonishing to me. I assume that he had people on his payroll acting on behalf of Phenoms? It just sounds like an impossible task given the timing of, say the drafts for example. We're talkin' Santa Claus-like task/timing here.

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This is all good news for the big sites like CBS, Yahoo and ESPN as well as the daily leagues. The more smaller sites like this go down, the more business they get. And i'm not buying all the people on here saying they're done with the hobby. Believe me, fantasy sports is an addiction and even though you have a bad taste in your mouth about it now, come May/June...you'll be just like me and needing to get your fix again! And the big sites will be right there waiting to give it to you!

If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

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You guys in any Masters leagues? They appear to be doing the same thing Phenoms was (minus the theft so far).

masters payouts are terrible

Terrible meaning they don't/won't/take a long time to pay?

Or terrible in % kept/commish fee/only top 2 paid?

Just curious, am desperately looking for something like Mike's site to join……..

So soon after getting scammed? I want to join a new league eventually too, but the wound is still fresh to be thinking about jumping to a new site. My trust affinity is close to zero.

I should clarify, any other site I join I am going to insist on full transparency and third party holding of funds…

That said, as I have stated earlier, I lost thousands to Mike this year, but what I am most upset about is losing the competition and camaraderie, Deep rosters, and simplicity...

Not sure if I will ever find it, but I will always be looking

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This is all good news for the big sites like CBS, Yahoo and ESPN as well as the daily leagues. The more smaller sites like this go down, the more business they get. And i'm not buying all the people on here saying they're done with the hobby. Believe me, fantasy sports is an addiction and even though you have a bad taste in your mouth about it now, come May/June...you'll be just like me and needing to get your fix again! And the big sites will be right there waiting to give it to you!

If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I won't go back to the big box sites. I hated their setup, hated the ad pop-ups, the busy web layout, the slow scoring updates. Mostly I hated the standard and PPR scoring systems that have become so stale imo. Phenoms was able to provide some interesting scoring and lineups that those big sites just don't offer and aren't willing to offer. (Superflex, 2 QB, 2 Def, 2 QB, IDP, 0.5 PPR, etc) If CBS is the only game in town, I might go fishing for a league here on this board with an MFL overlay, or I give up altogether. There's a reason I switched to Phenoms from CBS and it's got a lot to do with just being bored with that experience. I don't think I'm especially a rare cat in that regard. Until someone comes up with a clone of Phenoms with a league safe or other verified escrow service attached to it, fantasy football will take a hit next year.

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If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I wasn't familiar with Phenoms but putting together a website like his would be trivial, all the real work was done by third-party sites like MFL. It sounds like the product he was really selling was his commissioner services. He would organize drafts, rule on trade disputes, manage dynasty leagues, etc. That's a giant headache. If it was simply a matter of capital and software, I'd jump in to fill the void, but I have no interest in all the other stuff.

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If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I wasn't familiar with Phenoms but putting together a website like his would be trivial, all the real work was done by third-party sites like MFL. It sounds like the product he was really selling was his commissioner services. He would organize drafts, rule on trade disputes, manage dynasty leagues, etc. That's a giant headache. If it was simply a matter of capital and software, I'd jump in to fill the void, but I have no interest in all the other stuff.

I think that is why Mike was looking to launch his own software, hypothetically automating all the drafts so that he didn't have to personally be there for every one. I can't image what a time drag it would be to personally attend 765 drafts from May to Sept. Not only show up, but supervise them and manage the clock/timer, track down people who lost their connection, get last minute phone calls that their pick was put in wrong, etc. That would be a major headache of a job. The actual commish issues of handling trades and ruling on collusion would be kind of sidebar. Mike earned his keep all summer hounding us with emails about leagues he wanted to fill, auctioning off orphan dynasties, and attending live drafts and auctions into the wee hours of the morning. That's a big committment for someone only raking in around $75k a year. No wonder he wanted to automate things.

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If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I wasn't familiar with Phenoms but putting together a website like his would be trivial, all the real work was done by third-party sites like MFL. It sounds like the product he was really selling was his commissioner services. He would organize drafts, rule on trade disputes, manage dynasty leagues, etc. That's a giant headache. If it was simply a matter of capital and software, I'd jump in to fill the void, but I have no interest in all the other stuff.

I think that is why Mike was looking to launch his own software, hypothetically automating all the drafts so that he didn't have to personally be there for every one. I can't image what a time drag it would be to personally attend 765 drafts from May to Sept. Not only show up, but supervise them and manage the clock/timer, track down people who lost their connection, get last minute phone calls that their pick was put in wrong, etc. That would be a major headache of a job. The actual commish issues of handling trades and ruling on collusion would be kind of sidebar. Mike earned his keep all summer hounding us with emails about leagues he wanted to fill, auctioning off orphan dynasties, and attending live drafts and auctions into the wee hours of the morning. That's a big committment for someone only raking in around $75k a year. No wonder he wanted to automate things.

Yep.

I can't say it hasn't crossed my mind to try and take things over since this thread popped up. I have the capital to get it started but nowhere near the knowledge about fantasy football to keep it running. Plus, you have to think this is going to scare off a lot of the customers.

I really feel like a partnership with both LeagueSafe and the MFL would have been the right angle to go here. Get yourself some better discounts, and make a few extra bucks on the side. Even still, I wonder if LeagueSafe is incapable of going under. They seem infallible, but what do I know without looking at how they keep money put aside.

I wondered also about giving folks access to the view the escrow account where the prizes are kept as a matter of trust, but that seems like a pain to work out with an attorney and bank as well. I'm really not even sure if that's feasible.

The right mind could make this work for the future with this customer base. Either way, you'd need capital up front to design a site that people would enjoy playing on.

It could be done and with nationwide advertising like Fanduel, could become a big play in a market that needs something like this

Edited by Reginald Cornsilks
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If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I wasn't familiar with Phenoms but putting together a website like his would be trivial, all the real work was done by third-party sites like MFL. It sounds like the product he was really selling was his commissioner services. He would organize drafts, rule on trade disputes, manage dynasty leagues, etc. That's a giant headache. If it was simply a matter of capital and software, I'd jump in to fill the void, but I have no interest in all the other stuff.

I think that is why Mike was looking to launch his own software, hypothetically automating all the drafts so that he didn't have to personally be there for every one. I can't image what a time drag it would be to personally attend 765 drafts from May to Sept. Not only show up, but supervise them and manage the clock/timer, track down people who lost their connection, get last minute phone calls that their pick was put in wrong, etc. That would be a major headache of a job. The actual commish issues of handling trades and ruling on collusion would be kind of sidebar. Mike earned his keep all summer hounding us with emails about leagues he wanted to fill, auctioning off orphan dynasties, and attending live drafts and auctions into the wee hours of the morning. That's a big committment for someone only raking in around $75k a year. No wonder he wanted to automate things.

Even if he used his own software, I would think he would have to attend each live draft. Losing an internet connection is not specific to MFL or ESPN. It will happen on his site. I believe he was trying to save the MFL costs (increase profit margin) and increase the value of his company (maybe to sell later down the road?) by implementing his own proprietary software to host the leagues.

I've prob done 40+ live drafts/auctions with Mike, the guy was good at what he did, and he did it all on his own. Seemed very knowledgeable and was always fair when something would mess up on a live draft (mostly auction drafts where there were bad bids). But that doesn't make him any less a crook if he dipped into the escrow funds

ETA: One thing I forgot is that all the live auctions were done at ESPN (Because MFL software sucked for live auctions). So Mike had to upload all the rosters from ESPN to MFL. I don't know if he had that automated somehow? But sounds like a huge PITA. That may be another reason to have is own software to host leagues.

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If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I wasn't familiar with Phenoms but putting together a website like his would be trivial, all the real work was done by third-party sites like MFL. It sounds like the product he was really selling was his commissioner services. He would organize drafts, rule on trade disputes, manage dynasty leagues, etc. That's a giant headache. If it was simply a matter of capital and software, I'd jump in to fill the void, but I have no interest in all the other stuff.

I think that is why Mike was looking to launch his own software, hypothetically automating all the drafts so that he didn't have to personally be there for every one. I can't image what a time drag it would be to personally attend 765 drafts from May to Sept. Not only show up, but supervise them and manage the clock/timer, track down people who lost their connection, get last minute phone calls that their pick was put in wrong, etc. That would be a major headache of a job. The actual commish issues of handling trades and ruling on collusion would be kind of sidebar. Mike earned his keep all summer hounding us with emails about leagues he wanted to fill, auctioning off orphan dynasties, and attending live drafts and auctions into the wee hours of the morning. That's a big committment for someone only raking in around $75k a year. No wonder he wanted to automate things.

Exactly what I was alluding to in my previous post. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Business/commitments may have grown to the point where it almost became unmanageable. He might have come to the crossroad where he either needed to double his rate, or get a bigger chunk of the return (proprietary software)... chose the latter, and the landslide ensued.

This happened to a friend of mine. Start-up business, service-based, cool little niche... didn't charge enough, had to raise her rates... lost her clients (back) to the less expensive "plan B's."

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If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I wasn't familiar with Phenoms but putting together a website like his would be trivial, all the real work was done by third-party sites like MFL. It sounds like the product he was really selling was his commissioner services. He would organize drafts, rule on trade disputes, manage dynasty leagues, etc. That's a giant headache. If it was simply a matter of capital and software, I'd jump in to fill the void, but I have no interest in all the other stuff.

I think that is why Mike was looking to launch his own software, hypothetically automating all the drafts so that he didn't have to personally be there for every one. I can't image what a time drag it would be to personally attend 765 drafts from May to Sept. Not only show up, but supervise them and manage the clock/timer, track down people who lost their connection, get last minute phone calls that their pick was put in wrong, etc. That would be a major headache of a job. The actual commish issues of handling trades and ruling on collusion would be kind of sidebar. Mike earned his keep all summer hounding us with emails about leagues he wanted to fill, auctioning off orphan dynasties, and attending live drafts and auctions into the wee hours of the morning. That's a big committment for someone only raking in around $75k a year. No wonder he wanted to automate things.

Even if he used his own software, I would think he would have to attend each live draft. Losing an internet connection is not specific to MFL or ESPN. It will happen on his site. I believe he was trying to save the MFL costs (increase profit margin) and increase the value of his company (maybe to sell later down the road?) by implementing his own proprietary software to host the leagues.

I've prob done 40+ live drafts/auctions with Mike, the guy was good at what he did, and he did it all on his own. Seemed very knowledgeable and was always fair when something would mess up on a live draft (mostly auction drafts where there were bad bids). But that doesn't make him any less a crook if he dipped into the escrow funds

ETA: One thing I forgot is that all the live auctions were done at ESPN (Because MFL software sucked for live auctions). So Mike had to upload all the rosters from ESPN to MFL. I don't know if he had that automated somehow? But sounds like a huge PITA. That may be another reason to have is own software to host leagues.

As to the bolded, maybe and maybe not. I remember Mike would ##### and moan about the MFL software during live draft chats. Always apologizing for quirks in the system that allowed a player that was already picked somehow still in the draft hopper. He'd tell everyone to hang on for a minute and then refresh. Mike would do something on his end and fix the glitch. Handling MFL drafts seemed like an arduous task. I'm sure if he got a better software platform, he'd still be attending all the drafts/auctions probably the first year, but as the issues became more and more infrequent, he'd set up an alarm flag notifiing him to join the draft to fix problems instead of attending every single one of them. Even if he cut down to just half of the drafts he had on his plate, it would allow for more expansion and much easier and manageable workload. He must have been running himself ragged with all those leagues.

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If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I wasn't familiar with Phenoms but putting together a website like his would be trivial, all the real work was done by third-party sites like MFL. It sounds like the product he was really selling was his commissioner services. He would organize drafts, rule on trade disputes, manage dynasty leagues, etc. That's a giant headache. If it was simply a matter of capital and software, I'd jump in to fill the void, but I have no interest in all the other stuff.

I think that is why Mike was looking to launch his own software, hypothetically automating all the drafts so that he didn't have to personally be there for every one. I can't image what a time drag it would be to personally attend 765 drafts from May to Sept. Not only show up, but supervise them and manage the clock/timer, track down people who lost their connection, get last minute phone calls that their pick was put in wrong, etc. That would be a major headache of a job. The actual commish issues of handling trades and ruling on collusion would be kind of sidebar. Mike earned his keep all summer hounding us with emails about leagues he wanted to fill, auctioning off orphan dynasties, and attending live drafts and auctions into the wee hours of the morning. That's a big committment for someone only raking in around $75k a year. No wonder he wanted to automate things.

Exactly what I was alluding to in my previous post. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Business/commitments may have grown to the point where it almost became unmanageable. He might have come to the crossroad where he either needed to double his rate, or get a bigger chunk of the return (proprietary software)... chose the latter, and the landslide ensued.

This happened to a friend of mine. Start-up business, service-based, cool little niche... didn't charge enough, had to raise her rates... lost her clients (back) to the less expensive "plan B's."

The job became a full time job and not paying enough in his estimation. He was really good at it, but it's a far cry from what I imagine he thought he could be doing as a former chemical engineer student. That and his gambling habit and affinity for get rich quick schemes may have driven him over the tipping point. What was once a stable, reputable business toppled like a house of cards.

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And where he was a bartender shut down a few years ago, did he get another full time job? or was Phenoms his only job? (no idea how he could bartend during july/aug/sep months - with all the drafts)

A chemical engineer to a ski bum working as a bartender, makes you wonder. I hope we eventually get the truth out of what happened here.

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This is all good news for the big sites like CBS, Yahoo and ESPN as well as the daily leagues. The more smaller sites like this go down, the more business they get. And i'm not buying all the people on here saying they're done with the hobby. Believe me, fantasy sports is an addiction and even though you have a bad taste in your mouth about it now, come May/June...you'll be just like me and needing to get your fix again! And the big sites will be right there waiting to give it to you!

If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I won't go back to the big box sites. I hated their setup, hated the ad pop-ups, the busy web layout, the slow scoring updates. Mostly I hated the standard and PPR scoring systems that have become so stale imo. Phenoms was able to provide some interesting scoring and lineups that those big sites just don't offer and aren't willing to offer. (Superflex, 2 QB, 2 Def, 2 QB, IDP, 0.5 PPR, etc) If CBS is the only game in town, I might go fishing for a league here on this board with an MFL overlay, or I give up altogether. There's a reason I switched to Phenoms from CBS and it's got a lot to do with just being bored with that experience. I don't think I'm especially a rare cat in that regard. Until someone comes up with a clone of Phenoms with a league safe or other verified escrow service attached to it, fantasy football will take a hit next year.

These are my thoughts to a T

And thats the issue that I have seen with other similar sites, they all seem the same.. Have not found one's with DEEP rosters, bonus scoring, PPR but 0.5 for RBs...

Also, I really enjoyed the semi-slow drafts.. To me drafts are half the fun, so being able to draft over a 1-2 week period was AWESOME..

Still have not found anyone who has these features...

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Yup, I too loved the semi-slow drafts. In the olden days used to be a 12 or 18 hour timer that was too long, but Mike got it right with the semi-slow drafts on 6 hours windows. Drafts are a big part of the fun of even playing. And the semi-slow drafts allowed for interesting trade proposals mid draft. Mike is a crook for taking our money, but I have to admit he had some good ideas.

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I own DerbyCityFootball.com After playing at Phenoms for years (and still did up to now), I started my own league site to recruit players to come and play. I ran leagues locally in Louisville Ky for years and started to DerbyCity for on-line players for the 2014 season. I promise you I probably have more to lose with this BS than anyone. I played in 32 Phenoms leagues this alone. This experience has taught me 2 things....

1-As someone who also commissions leagues and holds money of others just like Mike did, I know understand more than ever how truly devastating it can be as a "victim" in this hobby of ours. I took the security of other player's money seriously, but I guess this just takes it to a whole new level......

2-I can understand how this can turn away players. I get it. More than anyone.... But there are still some honest sites out there. Not trying to plug Derby City here. There are others as well out there that do it the right way. Up to this point, never had a problem with Masters...they pay. Fuzzy's as well....I think I saw a post from him earlier....Its a shame that the action of a few (Antsports, Phenoms) can ruin it for the pleasure of many.

Best of luck to you guys.

Kelly Thompson

Derby City Fooball

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Benefit of hindsight, not sure why he wouldn't have either switched to free service like Yahoo/ESPN/NFL.com and/or lower the payout %s. Given his solid long time reputation up to that point, I don't think he'd lose many customers (and he'd make substantially more in the process). Their aren't lot of leagues with all the custom league options he had......with the reputation. Just go look at how many fantasy football companies have went under in the past 5-7 years (listed at least some of them in prior post). Reputation in the industry is almost down to nothing. Really depressing.

I don't buy the software story in full. My best guess, like others, gambling got out of control (twitter seems to verify he is/was a gambler), and I think he made well less than some numbers thrown about here. For all the time invested he probably felt it wasn't worth it. Frankly I think running A dynasty league is more trouble than it's worth -- simply couldn't imagine having to look over numerous ones.

------------------------------------------------------------

His first Tweet on his deleted @UnluckyZ account I'm sure has to raise some eyebrows:

This company is hiring with wages from $2000-$3000 a week! http://is.gd/RBZDgg

Think it's already been posted, but here's his oldest twitter account: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:wIbWc3oLPdoJ:https://twitter.com/unluckyz+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Edited by Craig_MiamiFL
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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:

tommy, based on his OWN ADMISSION he took prize money and used it for something else, and now he can't pay it back. Ultimately what else is there to know about this?

The circumstances? If he was taking out 50k markers at the Bellagio and doing lines off of Samantha Saint's ### at Spearmint, I'll be first in line to issue a curb stomp. If his daughter has cancer and he spent 50k of the prize money for treatments, I won't be quite as angry.

:lmao: I like where your heart's at GB but come on, the writing's on the wall here. The size of this is large. Gambling bartender (and whatever else he might be into) all of a sudden sinks the ship. Nobody's salvaging a dime here, although I hope I'm wrong. When does stuff like this turn out?

I understand wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he's kind of lost that chance with how it was handled, no? Total surprise. Look at the timing. And there is no way he didn't see it coming. Hello??? That speaks volumes, imo. He waited to drop the bomb at an opportune time. Terrible sign. Um, that, and all the money that's gone.

Maybe I missed the post, but has it been established he has a gambling problem?

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I wondered also about giving folks access to the view the escrow account where the prizes are kept as a matter of trust, but that seems like a pain to work out with an attorney and bank as well. I'm really not even sure if that's feasible.

Just a thought, but I'd see if an established business like Paypal would be interested in holding funds for a percentage. They already have most of the legal-eeze figured out with their current business model. It'd be easy money for them and I think people would trust them.

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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:

tommy, based on his OWN ADMISSION he took prize money and used it for something else, and now he can't pay it back. Ultimately what else is there to know about this?

The circumstances? If he was taking out 50k markers at the Bellagio and doing lines off of Samantha Saint's ### at Spearmint, I'll be first in line to issue a curb stomp. If his daughter has cancer and he spent 50k of the prize money for treatments, I won't be quite as angry.

:lmao: I like where your heart's at GB but come on, the writing's on the wall here. The size of this is large. Gambling bartender (and whatever else he might be into) all of a sudden sinks the ship. Nobody's salvaging a dime here, although I hope I'm wrong. When does stuff like this turn out?

I understand wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he's kind of lost that chance with how it was handled, no? Total surprise. Look at the timing. And there is no way he didn't see it coming. Hello??? That speaks volumes, imo. He waited to drop the bomb at an opportune time. Terrible sign. Um, that, and all the money that's gone.

Maybe I missed the post, but has it been established he has a gambling problem?

An old snapshot of his Twitter was posted, and it was filled with comments about sports wagering and poker. Doesn't necessarily mean he had a problem per se, but it sure seemed he gambled often, at least as of a few years ago, when the tweets were dated.

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Yup, I too loved the semi-slow drafts. In the olden days used to be a 12 or 18 hour timer that was too long, but Mike got it right with the semi-slow drafts on 6 hours windows. Drafts are a big part of the fun of even playing. And the semi-slow drafts allowed for interesting trade proposals mid draft. Mike is a crook for taking our money, but I have to admit he had some good ideas.

The Live Draft Room on MFL.com can be set up and run (any length of time) in a variety of ways without micro-managing. There is a 16-team league at work where I basically set everything up for them and just tell them to call me if they hit a snag. Went off without a hitch the last two (2) seasons.

Not sure if the scoring goes as deep as you would want, but my understanding is that Phenoms was using MFL.com anyway, so should be the same options... no?

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Yup, I too loved the semi-slow drafts. In the olden days used to be a 12 or 18 hour timer that was too long, but Mike got it right with the semi-slow drafts on 6 hours windows. Drafts are a big part of the fun of even playing. And the semi-slow drafts allowed for interesting trade proposals mid draft. Mike is a crook for taking our money, but I have to admit he had some good ideas.

Agreed. And his slow-auctions added a whole different dimension. Drafts that stretch out over a week or so are actually lots more fun.

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The screenshot of his Twitter was about losing $20 in poker, so the "gambling problem" statements are pretty far-fetched. I am a retired poker player and most of my friends are still high stakes professionals, and I've never heard of Mike playing and never saw his face at a casino. You also can't play online poker in Utah as of 2011.

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Yup, I too loved the semi-slow drafts. In the olden days used to be a 12 or 18 hour timer that was too long, but Mike got it right with the semi-slow drafts on 6 hours windows. Drafts are a big part of the fun of even playing. And the semi-slow drafts allowed for interesting trade proposals mid draft. Mike is a crook for taking our money, but I have to admit he had some good ideas.

The Live Draft Room on MFL.com can be set up and run (any length of time) in a variety of ways without micro-managing. There is a 16-team league at work where I basically set everything up for them and just tell them to call me if they hit a snag. Went off without a hitch the last two (2) seasons.

Not sure if the scoring goes as deep as you would want, but my understanding is that Phenoms was using MFL.com anyway, so should be the same options... no?

Basically it can all be duplicated and a number of players in my league are talking about taking our teams the way they are set up now and switching to MFL with a yet to be chosen commssioner. It can be done, but here's the wrinkle. One of the owners already said he'd bail on that idea because he was in the playoffs and sold off his picks for a run this year. He didn't want to go into rebuild mode next year without getting the benefit of his run this year. Seems like a petty excuse to me, but I can kind of see his point.

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The screenshot of his Twitter was about losing $20 in poker, so the "gambling problem" statements are pretty far-fetched. I am a retired poker player and most of my friends are still high stakes professionals, and I've never heard of Mike playing and never saw his face at a casino. You also can't play online poker in Utah as of 2011.

I don't claim to be a poker guru but I do know what being a commish of FF leagues(22+years) is like. It can be maddening, time consuming and not worth the "rewards" if there are any. The only thing I get is peace of mind that it's being run honestly and correctly.

Having said that, $75K per year to run a thousand leagues would not be enough cash to make it worth it. He had to be getting burnt out and unable to afford more employees. I can say with some certainty that he swung for the fences in poker, gambling or some investment deal and lost. BIG TIME. We will all pay for it now.

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If someone has the fortitude to establish a new site similar to this one, they would absolutey clean up. It may take several years to gain people's trust again...but there are ALOT of ex-Antsports and Phenoms customers out there to be had now. I wish I had a little more capital and software building experience to do it!

I wasn't familiar with Phenoms but putting together a website like his would be trivial, all the real work was done by third-party sites like MFL. It sounds like the product he was really selling was his commissioner services. He would organize drafts, rule on trade disputes, manage dynasty leagues, etc. That's a giant headache. If it was simply a matter of capital and software, I'd jump in to fill the void, but I have no interest in all the other stuff.

I think that is why Mike was looking to launch his own software, hypothetically automating all the drafts so that he didn't have to personally be there for every one. I can't image what a time drag it would be to personally attend 765 drafts from May to Sept. Not only show up, but supervise them and manage the clock/timer, track down people who lost their connection, get last minute phone calls that their pick was put in wrong, etc. That would be a major headache of a job. The actual commish issues of handling trades and ruling on collusion would be kind of sidebar. Mike earned his keep all summer hounding us with emails about leagues he wanted to fill, auctioning off orphan dynasties, and attending live drafts and auctions into the wee hours of the morning. That's a big committment for someone only raking in around $75k a year. No wonder he wanted to automate things.

Even if he used his own software, I would think he would have to attend each live draft. Losing an internet connection is not specific to MFL or ESPN. It will happen on his site. I believe he was trying to save the MFL costs (increase profit margin) and increase the value of his company (maybe to sell later down the road?) by implementing his own proprietary software to host the leagues.

I've prob done 40+ live drafts/auctions with Mike, the guy was good at what he did, and he did it all on his own. Seemed very knowledgeable and was always fair when something would mess up on a live draft (mostly auction drafts where there were bad bids). But that doesn't make him any less a crook if he dipped into the escrow funds

ETA: One thing I forgot is that all the live auctions were done at ESPN (Because MFL software sucked for live auctions). So Mike had to upload all the rosters from ESPN to MFL. I don't know if he had that automated somehow? But sounds like a huge PITA. That may be another reason to have is own software to host leagues.

As to the bolded, maybe and maybe not. I remember Mike would ##### and moan about the MFL software during live draft chats. Always apologizing for quirks in the system that allowed a player that was already picked somehow still in the draft hopper. He'd tell everyone to hang on for a minute and then refresh. Mike would do something on his end and fix the glitch. Handling MFL drafts seemed like an arduous task. I'm sure if he got a better software platform, he'd still be attending all the drafts/auctions probably the first year, but as the issues became more and more infrequent, he'd set up an alarm flag notifiing him to join the draft to fix problems instead of attending every single one of them. Even if he cut down to just half of the drafts he had on his plate, it would allow for more expansion and much easier and manageable workload. He must have been running himself ragged with all those leagues.

Having run a small internet business back in the dark ages (1990s), I can shine some light. A TON of the workload is something most people don't even consider: IDIOT CUSTOMERS. 95% can follow simple instructions, but the other 5% cannot...

1) Type their own email address correctly, and have an obsolete "reply to" address. They will then complain angrily that you never respond.

2) Comprehend how to make PayPal or credit card orders.

3) Keep their browsers up to date (your website is BROKEN!!!)

4) Understand where viruses come from (you BROKE MY COMPUTER!!!)

Walking these sorts thru the steps took up almost half my time. I eventually figured out that I was working myself to death for minimum wage and sold my share my business partner (who, come to think of it, died before his time). Stick to your day job, kids!

Edited by Drunken Benson
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Anyone who is attempting a CC chargeback, how are you getting around the 90 day window?

My CC (mastercard) didn't blink about a 90 day window. FYI to anyone attempting a CC chargeback, don't attempt to try to explain what happened or any fantasy football league mumbo jumbo to them. They don't speak this language. All they want to know is that you paid for a product you didn't receive. They hit the appropriate button and tell you the case will be resolved one way or the other within 60 days.

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The screenshot of his Twitter was about losing $20 in poker, so the "gambling problem" statements are pretty far-fetched. I am a retired poker player and most of my friends are still high stakes professionals, and I've never heard of Mike playing and never saw his face at a casino. You also can't play online poker in Utah as of 2011.

you didn't scroll down, plenty of swings in poker, and talking about a few "large" plays with his MLB system

Taking a week break from poker. Last 4 sessions = -1470 after going +2050 the 3 prior. Can't take the swings right now.

Another hot night. +1200. Helps when you flop a set the first big pair you get, and turn the nut straight a few hands later. No JINX!

Good night of poker last night. +800. Hopefully, tweeting doesn't jinx my poker like it did for baseball.

Usually, you'd be happy winning 6 of 7 baseball games. Except when you have far more on the game you lost.

Frustrated once again with baseball system. Tryin to get out of a hole, but keep digging deeper. Lesson: stay out of holes.

Baseball system struggling last 3 days. Need a lot of wins from home teams today, especially stl, sd, det, cws, and tor.

Large on the Cardinals tonight, medium on White Sox, Tigers, and Padres. On all other home teams as well. Let's have a good Friday night!

Edited by ArbyMelt
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Anyone who is attempting a CC chargeback, how are you getting around the 90 day window?

My CC (mastercard) didn't blink about a 90 day window. FYI to anyone attempting a CC chargeback, don't attempt to try to explain what happened or any fantasy football league mumbo jumbo to them. They don't speak this language. All they want to know is that you paid for a product you didn't receive. They hit the appropriate button and tell you the case will be resolved one way or the other within 60 days.

I was attempting the online dispute and was hoping to not call and try to explain this mess!
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Anyone who is attempting a CC chargeback, how are you getting around the 90 day window?

My CC (mastercard) didn't blink about a 90 day window. FYI to anyone attempting a CC chargeback, don't attempt to try to explain what happened or any fantasy football league mumbo jumbo to them. They don't speak this language. All they want to know is that you paid for a product you didn't receive. They hit the appropriate button and tell you the case will be resolved one way or the other within 60 days.

I was attempting the online dispute and was hoping to not call and try to explain this mess!

Trust me. They aren't interested in the explanation. Their heads will explode. They like to categorize complaints. This one falls into "goods not received". The dispute is launched and they can cheerfully ask you if they met all your expectations and tell you to have a nice day. They are not up for a fantasy football conversation.

ETA: They did ask if I had received any communication from the proprietor and I did tell them I had an email. And that I would likely have to fax them that email as part of the investigation. And they will likely be going after PayPal for the damages, and that's where I get skeptical I'll ever receive a penny.

Edited by Raiderfan32904
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Did not see the baseball gambling bit, but I still think its quite an assumption to say he has a gambling problem or that he gambled our money away.

Also, in regards to CC dispute, just tell them it was for fantasy football and that the site owner is shutting down the site and claims he does not have the money to pay prizes, they asked me when the last time I contacted him was, and I told him I emailed him and got an automated legal response on Saturday. My CC has credited my account back with the charges already (although this is far from resolved, I may end up losing the dispute and having to pay anyway).

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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:

tommy, based on his OWN ADMISSION he took prize money and used it for something else, and now he can't pay it back. Ultimately what else is there to know about this?

The circumstances? If he was taking out 50k markers at the Bellagio and doing lines off of Samantha Saint's ### at Spearmint, I'll be first in line to issue a curb stomp. If his daughter has cancer and he spent 50k of the prize money for treatments, I won't be quite as angry.

:lmao: I like where your heart's at GB but come on, the writing's on the wall here. The size of this is large. Gambling bartender (and whatever else he might be into) all of a sudden sinks the ship. Nobody's salvaging a dime here, although I hope I'm wrong. When does stuff like this turn out?

I understand wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he's kind of lost that chance with how it was handled, no? Total surprise. Look at the timing. And there is no way he didn't see it coming. Hello??? That speaks volumes, imo. He waited to drop the bomb at an opportune time. Terrible sign. Um, that, and all the money that's gone.

Maybe I missed the post, but has it been established he has a gambling problem?

I mean, you gotta be kidding me, at this point.

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Anyone else in here looking to lose a lot of money? I know people are mad but if you didn't win any money you really don't have much skin in the game. I'm hoping that the people who are looking to get chargbacks are people who have won. Because if someone that didn't win any money try to get the money the lost back and it costs me I'm not going to be happy. Doing that is just as fraudulent as what is going on.

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Did not see the baseball gambling bit, but I still think its quite an assumption to say he has a gambling problem or that he gambled our money away.

I think it's safe to say I make more than Mike does. And I shudder to think I could have gambling sessions where I'm up 2050 or down 1470 over any run. I'd have to admit I have a gambling problem.

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