Free Play at CoinRoster Fantasy Sports

My friends are promoting their fantasy sports site, based on bitcoin, called CoinRoster.

As a special promotion, they are giving away 0.02 bitcoins worth of free play to any new user that signs up using a link from my page!

The bitcoins can be used to play on CoinRoster, but they can’t be withdrawn until they have been played 20 times, which in this case is 0.40 bitcoins worth of play.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with bitcoins, at the time of writing these 0.02 bitcoins are worth about $40 Canadian dollars or $25 US dollars.

I’d say the best games they currently offer are about Golf. They have a weekly golf fantasy game and also have a daily hockey game. In the summer they tell me they’ll have a baseball game going and in the fall they will do NFL.

Does the UL IC help Ko & Henderson?

This week the LPGA Tour hosts the UL International Crown, where 8 teams of 4 players compete based on nationality in a match play format. Several players have commented on how this event, plus the Olympics has made their schedules busier than normal. Christie Kerr said she is playing 5 weeks in a row because of this event and this is the most in a row she has played since her early 20s. Professional golfers have a demanding travel schedule, so getting rest and off weeks is important to rejuvenate their minds and body as professional golf requires intense focus.

Certain countries have a deeper pool of professional golfers than others. Some countries such as the US have a deep pool of high ranked players, but others only have a few top players and not much else.  Take New Zealand & Canada as examples. The top two ranked players in the world right now are Lydia Ko who is Kiwi and Brooke Henderson who is Canadian. But they are from countries without deep pools of top ranked golfers, so because of the qualifying format, their countries did not qualify for the UL International Crown.  This gives them a critical week off going into the British Open the following week.

For Brooke Henderson, a week off was a necessity. If Henderson had to play the UL International Crown, it would have meant a non-stop string of big tournaments in a row since she is the 2 time defending champion in Portland which is followed by the US Open, then the British Open, Olympics, and then two Canadian events in a row including the Canadian Open and the Manulife, and then the last major of the year at the Evian.

At the same time, I think the schedule also hurts the top ranked American and Korean players such as Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis, Soyeon Ryu, Ingee Chun, and Seiyoung Kim. It also helps players that don’t have to play in either/or the UL IC or Olympics such as Ha-Na Jang, Anna Nordqvist and Suzanne Pettersen, Jessica Korda, and Sung Hyun Park.  Adjust your odds, and look for the players who have got some breaks to play well at the last few majors of the year.

Tiger Woods Retirement?

Its impossible to determine who is the greatest golfer of all time. Golf has been played for over 100 years and the equipment and course design is always evolving. We can however, confidently narrow down the greatest players to a shortlist, which would obviously include names such as Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, and Young Tom Morris. Tiger Woods should also be considered one of the greatest golfers of all time. He revolutionized the game by making it more powerful and precise, thereby forcing players to become more athletic. The aspects to the game that Tiger pioneered are as important as Young Tom Morris introduced wedges, shot shaping, and backspin. Tiger also set a new standard for golf as a global game played for huge purses.  Tiger will continue to be one of the highest earning athletes until his death.

Jack Nicklaus won the Masters at age 46.  Winning a major at this age is less likely today because of the style of play that Tiger Woods made commonplace in professional golf.  It is now more likely that professional golfers have a competitive career similar to a basketball or baseball players because of the pressure their bodies take in order to push themselves to compete at a high level.

Tiger Woods’ Private Struggles

Turning 40, the golfer talks about his high and lows on and off the course By Lorne Rubenstein Tiger Woods was raised to be a champion. Groomed by a father who put a golf club in his hands before he could walk, Woods has been one of the most dominant athletes of all time since turning pro at 20 in the summer of 1996.

Rory McIlroy Open Odds

I was disappointed to learn that Rory McIlroy has injured his ankle recently, and its unlikely he will play in the Open Championship. After hearing the news, I immediately checked Betfair to see his odds. To my delight, Betfair posted a market on whether Rory will play at all. At this moment, the market is 1.20 to 1.30 that he will NOT play in the Open. Now even if he DOES play, how effective will he be?  This guy swings at 120 miles per hour, and puts a lot of torque and strain on his joints. To my surprise, the market on whether Rory will win the Open is currently 14.5 to 15.0.

Rory McIlroy will give the media an update later in the week, but at this point it is probable Rory will not win the open and 15 to 1 odds would be an incredible steal.

Frank Nobilo weird grunts during Masters broadcast

It was by far the funniest part of the Masters broadcast this year, during the 3:13 minute mark of the CBS coverage, during the 11th hole fly-over, Frank Nobilo’s commentary is broken up by some really weird grunts.  Its almost like he was squeezing out some gas.  Sir Nick Faldo turns the commentary over to Nobilo who starts describing the 11th hole while a flyover shows on the screen, but then twice during his description interrupts with some soft grunts.  Very likely he was tooting on air during the Masters.  Other possible explanations include getting pleasured under the table during the commentary.

Tiger Woods Over?

I’m a Tiger Woods fan.  He was an incredible golfer and took professional golf in a new more athletic direction. But now its clear the style of golf that Tiger plays, might not allow him to continue competing on the PGA Tour into his 40s.  He swings hard and puts a lot of strain on his body.  This intensity will probably prevent him from beating Nicklaus’ major records.

Golf Tournament

Last weekend I played in a four day golf tournament hosted by my friend’s software company.  We travelled to Calgary and then on to Banff, Golden, and Invermere.  It was a ton of fun with a great group of golfers.  16 participants played in the tournament, their handicaps ranged from plus 2 to 15, so there was a pretty wide range of skills, although everyone could play a decent round, there were no hackers.  We divided up into two teams of 8.  The teams were formed by two captains prior to the event.  Each round we played a different format, including skins and KPs on each hole.  Skins were calculated by dividing the total skins available by the holes won. Formats ranged from team stableford to two man best ball hi-low to singles matches on the last day.

There was a ton of debate during the event on how the teams would be matched and how the matches would be set.  Each night, the captains drafted the matches. There wasn’t much money on the line, the total purse was about $4,000.

I think the odds and payouts could have been more fair by letting the market decide rather than let the captains make the teams. The problem with the captains making the teams was their decisions were open to huge debate, whereas, if we used an auction method to determine the payouts, betters could put their money where their mouth’s were.

I suggest that next year, we employ a calcutta or pari mutuel system.  This would bring a price to each match and player, and allow a fair bet for the lopsided matches.  In one case, there was a player with a plus 2 handicap playing a 5 handicap, it was almost certain that the plus 2 was going to win 90% of the time.  We could have also made more betting markets among ourselves, so that players could offset some of their perceived injustice by the captains.