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February-25-2003,
I Strongly Recommend Avoiding Infinity...By The Philosopher

I Strongly Recommend Avoiding Infinity

I would like to share with readers my experience with Infinity sportsbook. I am not doing one of my full formal reviews of them, but I do have some things to report that I think are relevant to sportsbook consumers choosing which books to entrust with their post-up money.

The situation in question, for better or worse, has been resolved, so I do not write this with an eye toward recruiting people for my .side. to put pressure on the book. I write it purely for informational purposes, with the hope that it might enable others to avoid going through what I did.

Ultimately, my conclusion is that Infinity is not a trustworthy operation, and I do not recommend playing there. But I will give you the whole story, even that which goes beyond the narrow dispute itself, and if you derive a different conclusion from it and choose to play at this book, that.s fine. Either way at least you.ll have this additional information at your disposal.

Infinity has at least some degree of affiliation with NASA. What the exact relationships are amongst all those books I have never known, but clearly they are in some sense under the same .umbrella.. But as with Millenium and some others, I really hadn.t heard the kind of negative things about Infinity that we all have about NASA itself. The minimal amount of feedback I got from other players about Infinity was favorable, and I noticed they offered three team parlays at 7-1 (i.e., no juice). I am of course a definite low vig whore, plus I don.t have the anti-parlay bias that a lot of supposedly sharp players have, so I decided to give them a try.

I joined Infinity in early November 2002. I took whatever was the standard bonuses offered. (I believe it was 10% on your first two deposits, and then only on .new. money after that. The deposits I made after the first two came after withdrawals and so were not bonused.) Whatever rollover requirement there was I satisfied many, many times over.

During the first approximately three months I bet the account, I played almost every day. I made seven deposits totaling $9,100. I made nine withdrawals totaling $22,335. That left a certain sum in limbo, which I will get to shortly.

When I signed up, I explained that I was interested in playing with them because they offer the 7-1 three team parlays. I told them that I was flexible enough in my betting that if it was most advantageous to bet parlays, then I could do so, and that if allowed, I might well bet all or almost all 3-team parlays with them. They assured me that that would be no problem. I told them that I would certainly understand if there were unstated limitations to the promotion, given that I didn.t see how they could make any money if a person bet only their no vig offerings, but that I.d like to know what they are up front so that I could make an informed decision whether to pass or play. They reiterated that there were no such informal restrictions and that I was welcome to play as many 3-team parlays as I wanted.

I believe I played an occasional NFL money line, but other than that, I did indeed play all 3-team parlays. I played NFL, college football, NBA, and college basketball; sides and totals; full games and first halves. I did not play steam, move for a syndicate, etc. If 1% or whatever of my plays coincided with a line movement, it was by chance and just as likely to be moving in the .wrong. direction. I certainly never consciously tried to bet the moves.

The online limit for these wagers is $1,000. As I interpret it, this is cumulative, i.e., if you have a given team in multiple wagers.straight, parlay, teaser, etc..cumulatively you may play them for no more than $1,000 online.

My most common individual bet size was $100, and my most common cumulative wagers on one team was $400-$500. I had a handful of parlays of over $100 to maybe $250, and cumulatively I may have gotten to $700 or $800 once or twice, but I.m almost sure I never crossed $1,000.

What I typically did was take the teams I was interested in playing, and throw them together in various random 3-team parlay combinations of $100 each, to where each pick was included in four or five of these parlays.

I often bet these maybe a little more rapidly than I normally bet, both because I had a lot of bets to get down, and because at no vig it didn.t seem like a big deal if I inadvertently bet the opposite side of what I intended. If I caught it subsequently, I could either just bet the other side to, in effect, back out of it (without eating any vig since it.s no juice), or I could just ignore it.

Early in January, I attempted to log into my account and received a message that my account was suspended and that I needed to call. I was eventually transferred to a supervisor. I believe I spoke with Andrew.

Andrew explained that I was in violation of a rule that limits customers to making no more than 30% of their wagers (I don.t remember if it.s 30% of the wagers or 30% of the money wagered) on props. I responded that I had made few if any bets on props, but he stated that they categorize first and second half wagers as props, and that furthermore a parlay that includes both full game components and first or second half components counts as a prop. By that criteria, he said, maybe as many as 90% of my wagers up till then had been props.

Probably that estimate is high, but clearly I had bet over 30% of what they categorized as props. (I would guesstimate that 25% of my 3-team parlays were all full games, 25% were all first halves, and 50% had at least one of each, thus 75% would be .props. by their odd interpretation.)

I asked if this was in any way related to the fact that I was playing almost all no vig 3-team parlays. Just as I had when I joined, I expressed a willingness to abide by whatever more informal rules there were concerning that promotion. I told him that I really appreciated being able to bet under such favorable conditions, and I didn.t want to inadvertently end up on some list of .problem. customers who are unfairly exploiting the promotion. He assured me that it had absolutely nothing to do with that, that it was solely a matter of props versus non-props. I said I was puzzled why they would feel more vulnerable taking full vig straight bets on first halves, say, then no vig parlay bets on full games, but he said that that was just their rules and that I was more than welcome to play all 3-teamers if I chose, but to please make no more than 30% of them .props. from now on.

Throughout, he was very polite. He told me that now that he had explained the situation, he was unlocking my account. He urged me to read the rules on the website.

I did so. The 30% rule was indeed there. However, I found nothing in any of the rules stating or implying that first half wagers, or parlays including at least one first half, count as props.

As a matter of fact, precisely the opposite was implied. There was a rule stating quite clearly that props could not be parlayed at all. But I had been playing first halves in parlays all along (and the software had accepted these bets, other people I spoke to also played parlays with halves, in my conversation with Andrew he had never indicated I shouldn.t play halves in parlays, etc.)

So either halves are not props (in which case the 30% rule does not apply to them) or they are (in which case the limit of how many parlays may include them is 0%, not 30%, and I and countless other customers violated the rules every day by betting them). In any case, the written rules and what I was told in further elaboration of them by Andrew are simply contradictory.

I decided not to challenge them on this point, because I didn.t want to nit pick and take the rules too literally in a way that would make me a pest. I figured it was better just to adjust my betting to where 30% or fewer of my parlays included halves, and let it be. Contrary to what they told me, their rules did not require this.not consistently anyway.but if that.s what they wanted me to do, I was fine with it.

Indeed, in general I bent over backwards to be a cooperative customer. I valued being able to bet there for multiple reasons. Number one of course, I was able to bet at no vig. But also, the customer service had always been very friendly and polite, and I had taken several payouts without any significant problems. They were an out I was coming to use and to value more and more, and I felt like I had a good relationship with them, and I didn.t want to endanger that.

So as soon as Andrew brought to my attention their peculiar interpretation of what is a .prop,. I very meticulously kept track of my subsequent wagers to make sure that never did more than 30% of them include halves. (It ended up being about 25% for the remaining time that I bet the account.) Certainly I didn.t do anything that would typically raise a red flag, like betting steam, betting a .bad line,. betting after a game started, etc. I did continue to bet the no vig 3-teamers, because I had given them multiple opportunities to steer me away from those and they had repeatedly told me not to worry about it.

As further indication that I was not looking for ways to unfairly get over on them, a week or so after my account was temporarily locked and I spoke with Andrew, I even called to their attention a possible error they had made in my favor.

What happened is they had had a reduced vig day of some sort where all the bets were on a 14 cent line (-107 each way). Typically when they run such a promotion, the parlays are adjusted to the normal odds instead of improved odds. For example, they have 10 cent lines on certain sports on Fridays, but if you bet three such .105 plays in a parlay, it.ll pay off at the same 7-1 that they normally use for three .110 bets. So I would assume three .107 plays combined into a parlay.when the juice has been similarly reduced across the board.would also be 7-1. But I had two winners that day, and they each paid slightly more than that. It was only a few dollars, but I called to inquire about this after I saw how they had been graded.

I first spoke to customer service, but I wasn.t real confident she understood what I was asking, so I subsequently spoke about it to the wagering department as well. I was assured that the grading was correct, and told that if I still doubted that, I was welcome to call the next day, since the supervisors were already gone. I said that I felt calling it to their attention twice was enough, and that it was now up to them if they wanted to look into it. But anyway, I certainly went above and beyond the call of duty in giving them more than a fair chance to correct what was possibly a mistake in my favor.

By the way, when I read through the rules after talking to Andrew, I did notice one stating that you are not supposed to bet opposite sides of the same game in different wagers. I didn.t focus much attention on it, but I remember speculating what the point of it might be. I came up with two possible situations to which it might apply.

First, it might be a defense against allowing people to middle or scalp at the same book after a line move. The majority of books don.t prohibit this, but I remember Game Day had a controversial rule against this, and maybe a few other books do also. Second, it might be a defense against people using the 3-team no vig parlays flexibly enough to also be able to bet the equivalent of 2-team no vig parlays or even no vig straight bets. That is, a person could bet, say, a and b with c as a 3-team parlay, and a and b with c.s opponent as another 3-team parlay, thus guaranteeing winning the third leg of one of those parlays and losing the third leg of the other. This would render it functionally equivalent to a 2-team parlay on a and b, for no vig. (Considerably later, a friend alerted me to another possible thing the rule could be intended to block. Without this rule, a person could bet all eight possible three team parlay combinations of three games, and thereby be guaranteed of winning one and losing seven. At 7-1, this just means you.ll break even and thus seems pointless. However, one could put it to the use of fulfilling bonus rollover requirements risk free.)

But I had no intention of doing any of these things, so I wasn.t particularly conscious of the rule after this.

So in general I felt like I was being very conscientious about playing fairly and dealing honestly with this book. Indeed, I believe I have a good reputation in that respect on the posting boards and with the books I have played into, and this is what bothered me when subsequently Infinity in effect accused me of cheating them and punished me accordingly.

That.s not what I.m about. I can supply as many books as you like to tell you that I.ve never tried to cheat them. Do I bet games where I believe I am more likely to win than lose? Do I take bonuses if they happen to be offered? Do I bet reduced or no vig promotions if they happen to be offered? Absolutely yes. I don.t deny that I bet sports to win. I plead guilty to that. I.m trying to make money. But do I cheat? Absolutely not. I try to deal fairly and cooperatively with my books, and to win fair and square.

In late January, I attempted to log into my account and again was greeted by a message that my account had been suspended and that I needed to call. My only thought was that somehow I had miscalculated and bet more than 30% .props. after my warning after all. I was pretty certain this was not the case, so I intended to challenge them to redo their math if they said they were closing my account completely or that I would no longer be allowed to play the 3-team no vig parlays.

I spoke to Andrew, and it turned out instead that I was allegedly in violation of a different rule. He told me that they discovered after the fact that a few days earlier, I had bet five $100 parlays that included Furman, and one $100 wager that included their opponent Davidson, and that this was contrary to their rules.

I know that maybe once every several hundred bets I.ll click the wrong team, and I thought it might have happened once fairly recently, but I didn.t have any clear recollection of it. So either I intended to bet Furman six times and inadvertently bet their opponent one of those times instead and never caught it, or I intended to bet Furman four times, and after realizing I made a mistake and bet their opponent one of those times, I simply bet them a fifth time to in effect cancel the error. As I mentioned above, in a situation where I make a mistake like that, sometimes I just play the other side to back out of it, especially if there is no vig to eat and thus .no harm, no foul. for me or the book. It.s a lot easier than calling and trying to get them to delete the erroneous play.

So I don.t even remember the situation in detail, but what I can say with certainty is that I did not intentionally bet both sides of a game in order to gain some sort of an unfair advantage over the book. As far as I know, the line didn.t move so there was no pseudo-scalp or middle. (At least, that hasn.t been alleged; I don.t even remember the plays.) And certainly my betting style was not such as to systematically reduce the no vig 3-teamers to no vig 2-teamers by strategically combining opposite sides of games with the same plays. I doubt I would have bet opposite sides just once per hundreds of wagers if that.s what I was up to.

My reaction, then, was that I didn.t doubt that I bet both sides on this occasion as they claimed, nor for that matter that there was a rule against this. But it was clearly by accident, and was a violation of a technicality that gave me no unfair advantage over the book at all. I was surprised they went to the trouble of freezing my account for something so incredibly trivial, and certainly anything beyond the mildest of warnings would be excessive punishment.

Instead, I was informed that $1,400 was being confiscated from my account. The grounds for this were that all six wagers that included Furman or Davidson.not just the one with Davidson.were tainted by my violation of the rule against betting both sides of a game in different wagers, and that they were going to count the losses and cancel the wins. As it turned out, I happened to lose four of the six, and I won two (for stakes of $100 to win $700 on each). The profit on those two winners was $1,400, so that.s what they now were taking back.

Andrew stated that the punishment did seem a little harsh even to him, but that there was nothing he could do, as this was a decision the owner himself made. He said that normally they would be more likely to issue a warning instead, but that presumably the owner had chosen to go beyond that in this case because I had already violated a different rule a couple of weeks earlier, and I had been reminded to read the rules. So now they felt justified in enforcing them more tightly on me.

Well, two problems with that. First, as to this notion that I am a .repeat offender. in effect, as explained above I did not in fact violate the 30% rule stated on the website on that earlier occasion. I only violated it if halves are props, and the rules clearly imply precisely the opposite. Thus it is simply false that they already caught me cheating once, and so had reason to be more harsh with me the second time. I abided by their peculiar interpretation of the 30% rule once they made it clear to me; I accept no obligation to somehow have guessed that that.s what it meant prior to that.

Second, as to the idea that I.m not in a position to plead ignorance of the rule since they advised me to read all the rules on that earlier occasion, that.s true, but I could have read the rules a thousand times and it wouldn.t mean I.d never accidentally click the wrong team, especially when I.m making such a large number of wagers. I think making that kind of error once every few hundred plays is pretty good. It.s ludicrous to interpret a rule so narrowly that a simple.and utterly harmless.mistake results in the confiscation of a big chunk of one.s account.

So, sure, I read the rule. I just never dreamed it would be interpreted and enforced so ludicrously.

I compare it to the .bad line. rules that are so controversial. The way a lot of sportsbooks word those rules, by the letter of the rule they can cancel any bet they please. But in point of fact, if they cancel a bet on Tyson +350 because it was a misprint for Tyson .350, only the real hard core opponents of those rules complain; if they cancel a bet on Tyson .150, it gets more of a mixed response; and if they cancel a bet on Tyson .340, people would rightly scream bloody murder. And that.s even though a literal reading of their rules gives you warning that they can equally well do any of the three.

I violated their rule, but in about as innocent, trivial, and harmless a way as one can imagine.

I don.t object to the rule if it is interpreted and applied in a common sense way to counter people looking to unfairly exploit some vulnerability. But that is simply not what happened here.

Instead it has all the markings of a dishonest .trap. rule.

Decades ago I worked in a restaurant where the new management distributed a list of absurdly trivial offenses that they wanted to give us fair warning constituted sufficient grounds for being fired. Things like being late for work once, getting a single customer complaint, etc. I was new to this kind of thing, but I made some offhand remark about it to one of the veteran workers, and he explained that the whole point of it was precisely to list things that they knew sooner or later every employee would violate. Thus everyone was a rule breaker who could justifiably be punished at any time on the whim of management. If they wanted to fire an employee because they thought they overheard him say the word .union,. or a hot waitress because she turned down the sexual advances of a manager, surely they would have broken some rule or other during their employment, and there would be their excuse.

I wouldn.t put it past a dishonest sportsbook to behave similarly. It.s one thing if you.re playing with an Olympic or a WSEX. If there is some rule that they could in principle apply so as to take your money when you really haven.t done anything to cheat them, it.s a pretty safe bet they won.t do it. If something like that happened at all, you.d probably just have to get on the phone with them and they.d see that the proposed punishment was absurdly harsh and would work it out with you. But that.s because, to put it bluntly, they.re not thieves.

There are other books that are, as I was finding out.

I don.t know if they were specifically punishing me as an individual, either for betting too many of the no vig offerings (which they had repeatedly told me was absolutely allowed) or more likely just for winning, or if they would have jumped at this chance to confiscate a quick $1,400 from any player regardless of their playing style and success rate.

Interestingly, Andrew did mention in our conversation that they frequently cancelled winning bets based on this rule, so don.t think this was somehow an isolated case. (You also should be aware that subsequently I discussed this matter with various other players, including in Vegas when we were there for Super Bowl week. None had had bets cancelled based on this rule, but they had heard of it happening. And more than one of them not only had heard of but had personally experienced bonus confiscation. Infinity is a book that--like CRIS--if they decide after you.ve already met the bonus requirements that you.re too .wise,. they will take the bonus right back out of your account.)

I will say that Andrew was very courteous about the whole thing, as Infinity personnel consistently have been with me. I disagreed strongly with the substance of what they were doing, but verbally he was not an asshole about it, and we discussed it in a perfectly friendly and civil manner.

I asked him if this was their way of pressuring me to leave, or to change my betting style. He said certainly not, that now that the situation had been explained to me, my account was being unfrozen (minus the $1,400) and I was a customer in good standing more than welcome to remain with them.

After I got off the phone, I didn.t make any immediate decisions, because I was upset and I figured it would be better to wait and consider the big picture. I thought about whether I should just get all my money out of there right away, or if I might have a better shot at getting them to reconsider if I left some money in and continued to bet my account in good faith.

But I opted to get out. I suspended my wagering with them entirely. I pulled out my remaining balance in two Netellers.one the next day, and one the day after that.

At this point, I decided to check into what help might be available from watchdog sites and others in the industry. Those who have been around long enough will recall that the Shrink was instrumental in getting me (and others) paid when the Dunes was in slow pay mode some years ago. And The Major and The Devil have made behind-the-scenes efforts.some successful and some not.for many of us in the past when we had a problem with a book. So I knew there was at least some hope.

I first called The Major, pretty much just to alert him to the situation, as I knew this was the kind of case on which he would likely not be able to help. (Let me explain, because if you haven.t dealt with The Major, in my experience he.s pretty consistent on these matters. If it.s a book that advertises on the site or that he has any kind of a decent relationship with, he.ll do everything he can, and he pretty often gets results. If it.s a book of which he.s an adversary, he.ll tell you flat out that he has no pull with them and that his contacting them on your behalf would do you no good whatsoever. If you want him to use the .bully pulpit. of his site and pressure them publicly instead, he won.t do this if you.re not willing to go public yourself. He.ll take nothing but abuse if he proclaims that such-and-such a book is stiffing or slow paying people, while being unable to produce any of the alleged customers. So he.ll urge you to go public yourself if you choose, but he won.t do it for you while you remain out of sight. Since Infinity is affiliated with NASA, I knew going in that The Major could not have a cordial relationship with them, since he hates everything NASA and they hate him.)

He clearly thought I was being screwed, and he was not the least bit surprised. He stated that he hears things like this often about these books under the NASA umbrella (whereas I had heard them only about NASA itself). Predictably, he noted that there was nothing he could do as a middleman, but he did offer the advice to contact Sting, who not only has NASA connections, but is a friend of the Infinity owner specifically.

I sent a note to Sting. (This was the first contact of any kind I had ever had with Sting, by the way.) He called me immediately, and we had a good conversation. He was very nice, and sympathized with my position, but he did note that in his experience Infinity was extremely strict with their rules, so there was no guarantee they would relent. He said I could use him as a fallback. He suggested I try to get around the management and talk directly with the owner, and if that failed, he gave me the names and numbers of a couple of other NASA people in the same building who were very customer-friendly and might well be prevailed upon to speak on my behalf informally with the Infinity owner and work something out. Sting said that if I got nowhere doing this, then I should get back in touch with him and he would pursue it himself.

I called to try to speak to the owner twice, but not surprisingly he was always .out.. In the meantime, I was told that MadJack might be a good person to try, since Infinity advertises on his site, and he apparently is on good terms with the owner personally.

I spoke briefly with Jack about the matter in person in Vegas. Shortly thereafter, I E-Mailed him a full account. He agreed to take on the case.

He had good news for me almost immediately. He E-Mailed me to let me know that he had discussed it with the owner, and though the owner doesn.t like bending on this kind of thing, he.d do so this time as a favor to Jack. The two bets in question would not be voided after all, and the $1,400 was to be put back in my account.

I checked my account, and it still read zero. After some more time passed and it was still zero, I informed Jack. He was surprised and said he would follow up immediately, because the owner was about to leave town for an extended period, so if he forgot to do this now, there could be a problem getting it done at all.

More nervous moments for me as I wondered if they would abide by what they had said and give me my money back after all.

The answer was no. Jack contacted the owner, and the owner told him he had changed his mind. He wasn.t going to reinstate the bets, despite what he had said.

Jack persisted, telling him that aside from everything else, he was making him look like an ass by reneging, since he had already told me they had reached an agreement and I was to be paid. The owner suggested a partial payment with a rollover requirement, and they negotiated back and forth. Jack made the best deal for me he could, which was reinstating the full $1,400 worth of bets, but with a four time rollover requirement. So I would have to give them another $5,600 in action.

I wasn.t thrilled with that, but I agreed. First off, any degree of punishment for this unintentional and utterly harmless .rule violation. was absurd, and second, they had already agreed to put the money back in my account without any such strings, so they were going back on their word. But the rollover requirement was mild enough in my opinion that I decided to go along with it. (In fact, I had even told Jack before they added this condition that I would likely play it through a time or two before withdrawing it just to show good faith, and he had agreed that that would be a good gesture.) So no big deal.

Ah, but it gets worse. When I next checked my account, instead of showing zero, I was locked out entirely, with a message to call them. I did so, and Andrew explained that they were putting the $1,400 back in my account, and they wanted to go over the conditions with me. A formality I assumed, since I already knew about the four time rollover requirement they had added.

No, it turns out they decided to renege on that deal before the ink was dry as well. Now it was different again. Not only would I have to give them $5,600 in action, but they were adding a crucial new condition. I was forbidden to win.

That.s right. It would only count if I lost or broke even. That is, if as a result of the rollover, I ended up with anywhere from $0 to $1,400 in my account, then that was fine and dandy and that.s how much I was entitled to. However, if I won, all profit would be confiscated. So if I ended up with $1,401, $1,500, $2,000, $20,000 or whatever, only $1,400 of it would be mine and they.d skim off the remainder as my punishment.

Furthermore, I had to complete the four rollovers within a month or the deal was off and my account would be reset to zero. (At first it sounded like I also had to leave the money in at least a month, so that it was both a minimum and a maximum time frame, but that wasn.t clear.) I let Jack know about this development, but by now he felt like he had done everything he was in a position to do, and it was up to me if I wanted to go along with their latest deal.

That.s fine. He went above and beyond the call of duty, and if I ever got a penny from these people it would only be because he made the effort he did.

Well, you have to know I came very, very close to telling Infinity in graphic detail just how deep up their lying, thieving ass to shove the $1,400. Some of the people I talked to advised me to turn it down, not so much out of anger, but on the grounds that since they had reneged on the earlier agreements, there was too good a chance that they wanted me to jump through this hoop because that way either I would blow out the account and have no grievance left against them, or they would simply renege again and come up with another and another hoop for me if I still had money left in my account.

I don.t know what was the best thing to do in that situation, and I don.t know what you the readers would have done. Because of the month deadline, I couldn.t hold off on a decision indefinitely. I did consider it for a day or two however, and ultimately I decided to play it out under their latest set of conditions.

That meant I also had to think about what would be the best strategy, given this very artificial situation where I was not allowed to win, and indeed where there was a realistic chance that they would renege again and never send me any money no matter what I did.

I decided not to try to middle/scalp it out with another book. I also decided not to make plays there that I otherwise would have made elsewhere.

In an interesting way, this determined whether winning or losing would result in their stealing money from me. Let.s say I had decided instead to just make my .real. bets there, the ones that I would have made anyway but would have made elsewhere. Now if I win, I.m getting screwed. Instead of winning at a real book and getting paid, I.m winning at a book that confiscates the profit. Whereas if I lose, well, I would have lost if I had put those bets in at a real book anyway, so I.m not any worse off.

But the way I was doing it was the other way around. By just making artificial bets that I otherwise would not have made, if I ended up ahead I was fine. Yes, they were confiscating that profit, but in the absence of this arrangement I would have never made those bets and made a profit to begin with. On the other hand, if I lost, that was all stolen money in my mind. I would never have made these plays if they hadn.t forced me to; I would have simply withdrawn my whole $1,400.

Anyway, that.s just an aside, but that.s the way I was looking at it. If I ended up behind, it would be an undeserved loss, and if I ended up ahead and had the winnings confiscated I wouldn.t feel I was being screwed because those paper winnings would have never happened in the absence of this artificial challenge.

I also had to decide how to bet, given that in the end I would only be allowed to withdraw a maximum of $1,400. The three team parlays of course offered the lowest juice. But there was also the issue that bets with a high upside were pointless, since I could never collect if I hit them. Furthermore, a high number of small bets seemed mathematically to give me the best chance of ending up somewhere around even, but at the same time, I preferred to get this over with quick if possible, which argued for fewer, larger bets.

Though I hated to put so much time into it, I decided to pursue the small bet strategy on the grounds that in the long run, I.d be even more upset at myself if I let them manipulate me into playing at higher risk and losing this money back to them out of frustration and impatience.

As far as what to bet, again I didn.t want to do anything too fancy and time-consuming. I decided just to use Olympic as hopefully a sharper line than Infinity, and I went up and down the available games at both sites, noting where there was a half point or greater difference. Those are the ones I bet at Infinity.

So each day for the next ten days or so, I spent a half hour to an hour identifying those games where Infinity.s line differed from Olympic, and I combined them into dozens of $10-$20 no vig three team parlays. (You have to remember that this whole time I had the added stress and resentment each day of knowing that this could all be a futile waste of time and effort, since given their track record with the previous agreements, there was every chance they wouldn.t pay me regardless of the outcome of this little game they were putting me through.)

My account fluctuated between about $900 and $1,800; about 80% of the time it was below the starting $1,400. When I had a lead, especially as I neared the end of the rollover requirement, I would switch to all small straight bets instead of parlays. True, the expected return was slightly worse because of the vig, but again I had to factor in that the big upside of 7-1 shots didn.t help me as much as it normally would, given the .not allowed to win. conditions.

I had to give them $5,600 in action. When I crossed $5,000, I contacted them to see if their math was the same. I didn.t want any unpleasant surprises about how such-and-such bets didn.t count, or they had their own unique way of calculating action or whatever. I wanted them to tell me exactly how much more I had left. My account at the time was in the $1,300s.

It took me a couple of days to even get this update on where they acknowledged my rollover to be. (Meanwhile, I made more of my small plays, lost a little more, and crept up closer to the $5,600.) I called multiple times, and finally got a supervisor. He said he couldn.t tell me where I stood until he had gone through my account and made the calculations, and that he would call me later with that information. I did get him to explicitly commit that rollover means amount risked, and that it includes all bets.straight, props, no vig parlays, etc. But he just couldn.t give me an exact figure.

He never called, so I called back. He was gone, and no one else had the information. I left my number again. He eventually called when I was out, leaving a message that did not include the information I was seeking, but just that he needed to talk to me about my account.

On Sunday, February 16, I attempted to log into my account to resume my strategy, and I discovered I was locked out, with a note to call them.

I got through to the supervisor.John.that I had been playing phone tag with trying to find out how much rollover I had left. He informed me that my .five time rollover. requirement had been met, and that I was free to withdraw my remaining balance (which was now $1,313) the next day. (They do not offer weekend withdrawals.)

He was, of course, wrong on two counts. It was a four time rollover, not five, unless they had unilaterally changed that yet again. And I hadn.t quite met even the four time rollover. By my calculations at least, I had so far played $5,406 of the required $5,600.

What.s interesting is that he clearly had little or no idea how much I had played. It was as if they have no capacity to check daily or weekly action totals and would have had to go through each and every little $10 and $20 wager individually and they didn.t want to bother. I think that by my asking about the rollover, they assumed I meant, "I.ve satisfied your rollover; can you confirm that?" and they decided just to take my word for it. Really all I meant was "I.m getting close, and I want to find out exactly how close, by your figures."

(In a small way I was actually disappointed they were letting me out of the final approximately $200 of the rollover. I really wanted the satisfaction of getting back to $1,400, and I was close enough that I had a quite realistic shot at it. But obviously I wasn.t going to argue the point.)

He also mentioned in passing, .Of course you know your account is being closed.. Of course I knew nothing of the kind. Not that I care, since I have zero desire to ever play there again. But you.ll recall I had explicitly been told by Andrew when they initially confiscated my money that they were not booting me, and not even sending me an unofficial signal that they wanted me to leave voluntarily. So clearly I was not being booted for the horrible sin of accidentally clicking the wrong team that one time out of hundreds or thousands of bets. Presumably I was being booted for contesting the confiscation and going through Jack as a middleman.

So I had assumed that when this rollover was done, the remaining money (up to $1,400) would just become regular unrestricted funds and I could bet it, withdraw it, do whatever I please with it. Of course my intent was to withdraw it, but they made that decision for me. My account was never unfrozen.

The next day, I withdrew my money via Neteller, and it went through without a hitch. As you might imagine, I breathed a big sigh of relief.

So, the bottom line is, had I kept my mouth shut and just taken it, my punishment for this ridiculously trivial rule violation would have been $1,400. Instead, because I fought it, and because Jack came through for me, it cost me $102 ($87 in losses and an extra $15 Neteller fee that I would not have had to incur if I had been able to take this disputed money out with my other funds), I.m guessing maybe 20-25 hours of time (placing all those extra bets each day, negotiating with them, telling the story to Sting and Jack, etc.), and a significant amount of aggravation.

I like that better than just letting them take the $1,400, but I certainly don.t feel like I came through the process unscathed. I got back what I could, but I wasn.t made whole.

What conclusion would I draw from all this? Well, I suppose it could be summed up by, .If you see Infinity coming, run like the wind in the opposite direction.. This, to me, is a garbage book. I won.t ever play there again. I don.t recommend anyone else play there. I don.t think they belong on any site.s recommended list. I don.t think sites should even accept them as advertisers.

I respect that others might feel differently. If you.re truly hard core about .rules are rules,. then the fact that I bet both sides of the same game in different bets is really all that matters, and whatever they did to me I had coming. I think you have to look at whether the interpretation and enforcement of a rule is equitable, but I know not everyone agrees. (The farthest I ever saw a poster take this was to affirm that if the rules posted on a sportsbook web site said they would kill you if you committed a certain violation, then they would indeed have the right to kill you, since they gave you fair warning and you still played there. I wouldn.t expect to be able to ever convince someone like that.) You.d still have to explain away their reneging on the first two arrangements they made with Jack, but maybe there.s some excuse for that and I.m the bad guy after all.

Fine. Because even aside from the question of whether they wronged me or not, I would still contend this is not a good place to play. Let.s stipulate that I.m a terrible scammer deserving of no sympathy and they were within their rights to do what they did to me or worse. The fact remains that unless you are absolutely sure that you will never inadvertently click the wrong team when making a bet, and will never do any other completely trivial and harmless thing that happens to be contrary to a strict, literal reading of their rules, this same thing could happen to you. (And I would feel very safe in hazarding a guess that it.s especially likely to happen to you if you have the audacity to win.)

Another consequence for me is I.m somewhat more likely to clump the NASA books together now than to think the sins of NASA are irrelevant to the other books under the umbrella. I played very briefly with Gibraltar, and a little longer with Millenium, and though I had no particular negative experiences in either establishment, I.m inclined now to never re-up with them. It may well be that everything NASA touches is tainted. In any case, I feel safer steering clear of all of them for now.

I would say also that this points out the need to read, and take seriously, the rules where you play. I wouldn.t push that point too far however, because presumably every book is going to have rules.like the .bad line. rules I mentioned as an example earlier.that if they wanted to they could screw you. If there isn.t some degree of honesty, fair play, and common sense from the book, surely they can find something you did that their rules give them the right to cancel bets or confiscate your account. But at least do what you can as far as reading and understanding their rules, calling and asking questions before you.re already embroiled in a dispute, etc.

And of course keep your ears open for stories like mine that will alert you to books that manifest a lack of that very honesty, fair play, and common sense that I mentioned, and share your own stories of similar experiences. When bad things happen to us, let.s get the word out and decrease the chances that others will suffer the same fate.

So, in conclusion, Infinity blows.



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