Sunday 3 July 2016

Bell Rings Hollow

To ensure that this blog remains far and balanced in its reporting of sports betting issues, it's only right that I mention RJ Bell's response to the Deadspin article mentioned yesterday. As an impartial observer, I have to say that Bell's complaints about some of the '28 deceptions' (as he calls them) seem to be a little weak. His opening one is this:
The criticisms do not start strong – contradicting themselves right off the bat. First saying that “Bell demands that Pregame customers trust him” about records. But then, in the next paragraph admitting that it’s true that every pick ever sold on Pregame is archived and available for review.
That’s Deadspin Deception #1. We’ll be keeping count for 12 pages!
Bell seems to have missed the key word 'ostensibly' - the point the Deadspin article made was that while the claim that every pick ever sold on Pregame is archived and available... ostensibly true, [but] to access results older than 30 days requires clicking through a calendar, day by day, and entering CAPTCHA codes for each one. Before long you find yourself in an infinite CAPTCHA loop, unable to continue, blocked from any attempts to tabulate the hard evidence.
Other 'deceptions' are petty at best. Bell suggests that his adoption of the word 'valedictorian' was because he misunderstood what the word meant after the New York Times had used it in an article about him. This may well be true, but it doesn't make RJ Bell look too smart or professional that he would make such a mistake. And I write this as someone who graduated from Primary School super fornicam.

The full thread is available on the website, but what is noticeable is that the main thrust of Deadspin's article - that subscribers lose a lot of money - is not contested with any facts. This is summed up by a comment from someone (Joe D) far more familiar with than myself, who writes:
Ok RJ, pretty easy to see that you are personally pissed off and seeking to clear up the inaccuracies in the article, etc......That's great, best wishes for success with that.
It's what I am not seeing here that is more alarming.....
In the article, it's pretty clear that a great majority of every pro at Pregame is a long-term loser.
And if you go by retail pricing (which is how every other business in the world is graded), just about every pro ever to give out a pick at Pregame is a net loser for their players.
Haven't seen you leap to their defense yet.
Haven't seen you include a single handicapper at Pregame in your lawsuit.
No offense, but people that come on here to buy picks care about winning bets. They don't care about where you stood in your freakin' graduating class at Ohio State, and we certainly don't care about some Canadian media company.
Hey Guy (it's so confusing, who knows what anyone's name is around here), it seems pretty simple......
No deception means no deception. Where there's smoke there's fire. I have been coming on here for many years and I have no idea what any handicappers record is for any season, in any sport, for any year. NO IDEA! If you are not going to provide those numbers then I'll get them from someone else. Ryan Goldberg is the only guy that has put out all of the numbers for all of your pros. I'm inclined to believe him because he's the only one putting them out!! And ever since he put them out, they seem to be the one thing that you have not contradicted!
I'll continue to come on here to gather information, thanks for that. If you can monetize that somehow, well then good for you too. Since Ryan Goldberg is the only guy to ever put out all of the numbers for the pros, and it is an awful picture indeed, then I'll continue to not buy into a losing situation and avoid buying plays at Pregame. The absence of your criticism of those numbers speaks volumes. Thanks for that too.
Well said. The idea that in today's connected world where information is usually immediately available, someone, somewhere, somehow has an edge on a major event that he would rather sell to you for essentially nothing rather than put his own money on the outcome, is illogical and palpable nonsense.

The fact that (before Deadspin's article) long term records were in practice impossible for any visitor to uncover, and the general obfuscation that goes on in this industry, only served to make this point clearer.

Deadspin's article on RJ Bell and Pregame isn't the first - who was it mentioned smoke and fire earlier? The Vegas Watch blog had a series called The Long Con of @RJinVegas. Part 3 - Elements of a Scam says it all really: Make it impossible for a neutral third-party to verify the long-term record of your program.

No comments: