[ Rouleur Derby ]

Rouleur Derby Report No. 7

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In this Rouleur Derby Report:

1. Rouleur Derby goes on location

2. Upcoming races

3. New features



Many horseplayers like to spend a few minutes each morning walking past the paddock, inspecting the horses and taking note of who looks particularly frisky.

So it is that I leave this afternoon for Belgium, where I plan to get a firsthand look at our "horses." I'll be watching Sunday's Ghent-Wevelgem and the following week's monument, the Tour of Flanders, and perhaps some of the races in between.

And to thank them for their hard work, I'm bringing the entire Rouleur Derby staff with me: the graphic designer, the Django developer, the marketing interns and the not-small team of bookmakers, actuaries and string theorists. In other words, the parquet corridors of Rouleur Derby world headquarters will go dark for the next two weeks.

What does this mean for you?

Hopefully, nothing. Game play will continue, new players will be able to join and we'll find a way to create propositions for the Tour of Flanders.

However, the system still has its hidden bugs. If an error occurs that requires some under-the-hood fixing, it may be a few hours or even days before it gets fixed. After all, the entire Rouleur Derby team will either be on the road or up to its ears in frites and trippel. Responsiveness may lag. Rest assured that your points are safe, and the fix will be in, so to speak, as soon as possible.


It's a busy weekend.

Saturday Belgium turns its eyes to the semi-classic E3 Prijs Vlaanderen. Will Boonen win his fifth? Odds started fairly even but are now drifting away from his favor.


In France, Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong will battle each other for the first time since that tense staredown over the last breakfast waffle last July. This one has attracted a lot of action, about 85 percent of it on Contador, but anything can happen.


Finally, Gent-Wevelgem moves to a Sunday this year. The proposition on this is for a straight-up winner. Haussler is on the start list, bum knee and all, but Boonen is not. I've included Boonen, however, since news reports indicate he'll be participating. As always, I will note any scratches and adjust payouts accordingly.


Also this week: I have introduced the NRC team contests, for both men and women, our first foray into domestic racing. These will stay open through April 11 and 17, respectively. This weekend's Redlands Classic is of course the NRC opener, but consider it a gimme. Feel free to hold your bets until seeing who stakes an early lead.



I added a few new features this week.

You can now see a record of your bets. Select "Your past bets" from the top tabs and you will see a list of closed bets, including the payout at the time of wager, the final payout and your net gain or loss.

I've also built a bailout feature. If you drop below 10 points, you can request a bailout loan of 75 points. You can do this only once a week, and it comes with a few provisions: For the next 7 days, your training wheels will be back on, meaning you can bet only 2 points at a time. Loans will be deducted from your points in the standings, meaning standings can show negative points, and an asterisk will appear next to your name until you have repaid the loan -- at 10 percent interest.

The goal here is to let people continue playing after an unlucky streak, yet also to discourage profligate or reckless betting patterns.

And there are many more features that I'd like to implement when I return, including profile customization and better data visualization. In time, my monsters!

Play well, have fun, tell a friend,