[ Rouleur Derby ]

Rouleur Derby Report No. 25

Wednesday, February 16, 2011



In this Rouleur Derby Report:

1. And we're back!

2. Some changes

3. Cash prizes

4. Spread the word

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1. AND WE'RE BACK!

After a well-deserved rest period, Rouleur Derby's army of programmers, designers and oracles have been working in shifts to prepare for the 2011 season of the world's best fantasy cycling game.

Things have progressed well. So well, in fact, that I'm looking to open the season next week in time for the opening classics of Belgium: Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Sunday's Kurrne-Brussels-Kurrne.

I'll reveal the new design soon, and I'll send out an alert as soon as betting is open. (Also note that you can subscribe to an RSS feed of open bets: http://rouleurderby.com/rd/feeds/races.)



2. SOME CHANGES

Most of the changes are either cosmetic or under the hood, but here are a few things you'll notice:

* Inflation! Players now start with 1,000 points, not 100, and the minimum bet is 1 point, not 0.1. This will have no affect on game play, but several people asked for it, so what the heck.

* No more probation. Previously, new players were restricted to small bets when they joined. Moving forward, novices can be as profligate as they like.

* The identical 25 percent bonus will accompany the winning bets in the spring monuments (Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège), the world championships and each of the grand tours (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta d'España).

* The season will end with the world championships.

* The bailout loan system remains unchanged. If you go bankrupt, you can get a 750-point loan. Your betting is limited for the next week, and to be eligible for prizes you must repay the loan, plus 10 percent interest. However, I am open to suggestions as to how to tweak this system. The goal is to allow players to continue play even after a run of bad luck, but in such a way that discourages abuse and doesn't punish the more successful players.



3. CASH PRIZES

I'm offering nominal cash prizes to the players who have the highest rates of return during the three grand tours, plus a "Spring Classics" contest for the major one-day races.

These contests will include all propositions related to the races, not just picking the overall winners. Bonus points will not be counted.

Winners will be the players with the highest rates of return, not necessarily the players who win the most points. This means that even if you get off to a rocky start to the season, you can still win something. For example, the impoverished player who bets 500 points and profits 300 will beat out the rich player who bets 1,000 points but profits only 400.

The prizes will start at $25 for each contest and $50 for the end-of-season winner. I cannot rule out that these prizes will increase should Rouleur Derby enjoy some sponsorship.

(I also cannot rule out, now that Rouleur Derby is offering over-the-table prizes for predicting the outcome of sporting events, that I catch the attention of a bored state's attorney and I am asked to cease and desist. Just saying is all.)


4. SPREAD THE WORD

Your enjoyment of Rouleur Derby hinges on how many active players we have. The more players, the more action. The more action, the more stable and predictive the payouts. We are, after all, crowdsourcing here, and it's hard to crowdsource without a crowd.

Some things you can do to help:

* Tell your friends and teammates!

* "Like" Rouleur Derby on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rouleur-Derby/196351073715789. (The first 100 players to do this will get a 50-point bonus to start the season.)

* Follow @rouleurderby on Twitter and retweet anything remotely clever.

That's all for now. See you next week!

Have fun, play well, tell a friend,

Luke