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More Tales From 2+2: A Very Controversial $70k prop bet

I enjoyed writing up and seeing positive feedback from this post so I decided to write up about an interesting prop bet that came from the 2+2 poker forums that I feel went under the radar. It's way longer than I thought it would be but this story has it all: large amounts of money being bet, furious grinding, 25 buy in swings, community outrage and Doug Polk.

The Site

The modern cash game grinder may be surprised to hear that there used to be a Sharkscope style tracking website for online cash games, it was called PokerTableRatings or PTR. It tracked hands fairly accurately. Today, it doesn’t exist and has been shut down for years but it was a valuable resource for grinders and having one browser open to check out opponents was useful. PTR showed your graph and win rates at different stakes, it also had an achievement system. Some achievements were serious like ‘1 Million Dollars In Profit’ and some were less serious like ‘Check Raise 3 Times In A Hand’. One coveted achievement given by PTR was the ‘Ultimate Grinder’. This was given to the most profitable player each month at each stake, this was all tracked on the Ultimate Grinder Leaderboard. So for example: if you are the top of the leaderboard for 50NL in December 2008, you will receive the ‘Ultimate Grinder December 50nl 2008’ badge on your PTR profile.

The Bets

The year is 2010. Johnathon Duhamel has won the WSOP Main Event. Poker, especially online poker is still booming. The grinders are plentiful. The fish are more plentiful. Posts flow on 2+2 like wine.
Enter Silent_0ne. He puts out a proposition bet on BBV (Beats, Brags and Variance: a subforum of 2+2 which is the precursor to Poker’s weekly BBV thread). Back in the golden days of online poker and 2+2 it was common for large prop bets to be made on BBV. Silent_0ne’s prop bet is he will be the ultimate grinder for December 2010 at 100nl. No easy feat, the previous months' ultimate grinders had won between $12k-18k and Silent_0ne claimed to have never played more than 10 tables or ever played on Pokerstars. The odds were set at 6:1 odds in Silent’s_0ne’s favour. Jalexand42 was selected to be the escrow and judge of this prop bet, so he will be the middleman for the money and he will arbitrate any disputes. The rules were set down covered many different situations. The judge was confident of this:
Jalexand42: Just a quick note about the judging... I'm optimistic there won't be any controversy in this bet the way the rules have been defined. (#83)
He would turn out to be so wrong.
Many 2+2 posters weighed their opinions in and started to place bets:
Chicago Joey (Joey Ingram): damn that is going to be interesting for a bunch of reasons(#46)
Canoodles: If I was OP, I wouldn't take this for less than 100-1. (#18)
Chinz: Settling for 6-1 and doing it on December when lots of SNE chasers are playing really high volume... You don't seem to like money. (#218)
Nearly all the posters doubted Silent_0ne but he seemed confident and Jalexand42 started collecting money.
By the 28th November, with 3 days to go until the challenge begins the bets were placed and finalized, 14 people put up between $600-$3k. Silent_0ne stood to gain $67,500 or lose $11,250 from the bet alone. In just a few days he would put himself at the mercy of variance and would dedicate himself to destroying 100nl. If he overcomes this challenging month, he stood to win a significant amount of money.

The Play

December the first rolled in and Silent_0ne starting playing. It was a rocky start for him, he finished day two down more than $2k and received comments from 2+2 posters like:
ChicagoJoey [Joey Ingram]: lol trainwreck (#392)
MinSixBet: are you still taking action? (#399)
But some posters really believed in him and were rooting hard:
Eaglesfan1: Forget about the leaderboard and focus on your game and playing ur best. (#406)
However things got worse and Silent_one seemed to be losing hope, on day 4 he posted this:
Silent_0ne: just got owned
bad rly bad "hero call" for big pot
set of 8s < set of As
KK < AK
bad river bluff shove
set of 6s < str
10s < Js
AK < AA
AK on AK6 board < 66
AA < 99 on 974 board
^ all greater than 200 big blind pots
could have prevented half of those if I didnt suck so much (#410)
Day 5 and Silent_0ne was doing better but was down a few buy ins, still far behind his target. Remember, he needs to be number one in profit in the massive 2010 pool of 100nl Pokerstars players. He posted this astonishing hand:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 9 players
Silent_0ne: $568.55 UTG+1: $444.30 UTG+2: $519.10 MP1: $226.75 Hero (MP2): $257.70 CO: $250.00 BTN: $100.00 SB: $257.70 BB: $120.90
Pre Flop: ($3.30) Silent_0ne is MP2 with 9h9c
Silent_0ne raises to $4.80, UTG+1 raises to $18.60, 1 fold, MP1 calls $18.60, 5 folds, Silent_0ne calls $13.80
Flop: ($59.10) 2h8s5s(3 players)
Silent_0ne checks, UTG+1 bets $32, MP1 folds, Silent_0ne raises to $92, UTG+1 calls $60
Turn: ($243.10) Kc (2 players)
Silent_0ne checks, UTG+1 checks
River: ($243.10) 4s (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $127, UTG+1 raises to $333.50 all in, Silent_0ne calls $206.50
Final Pot: $910.10
Silent_0ne shows 9h9c (a pair of Nines)
UTG+1 shows 9dJc (high card King)
Silent_0ne wins $907.10
As you can see, 2010 was truly an amazing place for online poker.
Silent_0ne was bringing out his inner grinder and was playing 16 hour sessions and seeing huge swings in the first week. Day 7 and he posted some hands that shocked the community and his growing fan base:
DPred123: wtf at those HHs. (#520)
Transa: LoLolLololooLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL (#521)
Here are two of the hands he posted:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 9 players
Pre Flop: ($3.30) MP1: $365.20 Hero (CO): $342.35 Silent_0ne is CO with 7s7d
3 folds, MP1 raises to $4, 1 fold, Silent_0ne raises to $15.50, 3 folds, MP1 raises to $41.90, Silent_0ne raises to $342.15 all in, MP1 calls $300.25
Flop: ($687.60) ThKc6s(2 players - 1 is all in)
Turn: ($687.60) Ts (2 players - 1 is all in)
River: ($687.60) 2h (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $687.60
MP1 shows AcAh (two pair, Aces and Tens)
and:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 3 players
BTN: $656.85 Silent_0ne(SB): $288.00 BB: $345.00
Pre Flop: ($2.10) Silent_0ne is SB with 4d4h
BTN raises to $3, Silent_0ne raises to $12, 1 fold, BTN calls $9
Flop: ($25.60) 3h6d5s(2 players)
Silent_0ne checks, BTN bets $18, Silent_0ne raises to $275.80 all in, BTN calls $257.80
Turn: ($577.20) Js (2 players - 1 is all in)
River: ($577.20) 9c (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $577.20
BTN shows 3d5d (two pair, Fives and Threes)
Hero Silent_0ne 4h4h (a pair of Fours)
BTN wins $576.20
Silent_0ne explained:
Silent_0ne: barely ate anything last few days. i just get up and play, dont prepare anything. im playing right now btw. down around 2700$ for the month. im really dumb for spewing off 3k+ just cause i was tilted/ran bad, and snapped. another problem that people overlook is the extra attention i get at the tables for doing this prop bet. lots of regs can exploit my plays and then all tend to focus on owning me. (#554)
Silent_0ne had started the month on a $3k downswing, then won $2.5k before going on another $3k downswing in just one week. He must have felt desperate as after an hour and a half Silent_0ne had an idea and events took a shocking turn:
Silent_0ne: any interested if i give up 100nl and start tomorrow on day 7 at 50nl to try and get the badge there for 6 to 1. i wanna gamble and break even on the month, so im willing to put up 5k on this if any1 is interested? (#570)
This new bet must have seemed too good to be true. At this point he had been relentlessly grinding 100nl for a week, was losing badly, he was tilting, was likely playing more tables than he can handle and he’s a week behind getting to the top of the 50nl leaderboard. The bets started to pour in and within an hour he had 7 people place action. The community commented:
Absurd: This is adsurd (#601)
jalexand42: Seriously, take a day to cool off. (#599)
King Fish: I'd be interested but highly advise you to reconsider this and maybe take an hour and step back. Edit: will take $1800 to your $300 assuming same judge and escrow. (#574)
loK2thabrain: I call dibs on first bet when he moves down to win the 25nl badge. (#700)
Everyone on the thread couldn’t believe what they reading, However, Silent_0ne seemed to accept that the 100nl bet was dead and he wasn’t getting the $67k prop bet win. He was willing to pay the $11k out and enter a new prop bet. Now, being the Ultimate Grinder at 50nl is his goal. Again, the bets were substantial and he had 8:1 odds in his favour for being the Ultimate Grinder for December at 50nl. The same day he made the new bet, he started at 50nl and was off.

The New Bet

Enter Fees. Fees is the 2+2 username of Ryan Fee (Currently on Team Upswing), at this point he was known for being a fearsome 2000nl grinder and writing Ryan Fee’s 6 max guide, which he distributed for free. In a world where succinct and good poker strategy was hard to come by, this was a valuable guide for many players. He takes interest in the thread on the 7th of December:
Fees i'll take all the action, PM me (#746)
Fees booked action late and the details of this booking were not listed in the thread. The next day, Fees acts a question about the rules:
Fees: what if kerpowski or jeffmet wins the ugl and he gets second? (#878)
Kerpowski and Jeffmet are players who took action against Silent_0ne. They are also 50/100nl grinders. The case of fellow grinders taking action was covered in the rules. A poster quotes the rules and informs Fees that they have to be existing 50nl/100nl grinders. Fees then asks the following question:
Fees: i think that implies at the same tables as him, but what if they just play completely different games and just win the ugl?
Remember these probing questions, they’ll become relevant later.
By the 10th of December things looked tough for Silent_0ne, the player of the top of the 50nl leaderboard was already at $2.5k profit (50 buy ins). Silent_0ne was up $1.1k and estimated he was only 2-3 days behind pace. By the 12th of December he was still playing brutally long sessions:
Silent_0ne: just finished 11 hour session, too tired to post anything, ill go to bed for a couple hours then post graphs/hands when i wake up. was tilted throughout entire session, played 12k hands...eyes burn...ran bad for once (6 buyins below ev)
He also posted eight hands that looked pretty spewy, here is one of them:
Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em $0.10 Ante - 5 players BB: $50.00 UTG: $103.40 CO: $137.65 BTN: $133.00 Silent_0ne (SB): $144.60
Pre Flop: ($1.25) Hero is SB with AdQh
1 fold, CO raises to $1.50, BTN calls $1.50, Silent_0ne calls $1.25, BB calls $1
Flop: ($6.50) 6c6d6s(4 players)
Silent_0ne checks, BB checks, CO bets $4, BTN folds, Silent_0ne raises to $14.75, BB folds, CO calls $10.75
Turn: ($36.00) 8h (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $25.75, CO calls $25.75
River: ($87.50) 4d (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $102.50 all in, CO calls $95.55 all in
Final Pot: $278.60
CO shows JdJc (a full house, Sixes full of Jacks)
Silent_0ne shows AdQh (three of a kind, Sixes)
CO wins $276.60
Even people taking action against him gave him advice:
King Fish: I am speechless … It's NL50. Stop trying to get so fancy. (#1038)
But then, Silent_0ne has an explosive session and is up an incredible $2800 in one day, that’s 56 buy ins! The posters go wild as he moves into 3rd place on the 50nl Ultimate Grinder leaderboard:
  1. vaike $3,142, 19.38 Hands BB/100
  2. zzn1980 $2,833, 2.46 Hands BB/100
  3. Silent_0ne69 $2,634, 5.19 Hands B/100
For the first time people are starting to believe that he can do this.
Fast forward to the next day, December 13th and with another miraculous winning session he reaches number one on the leaderboard. He has $3.4k profit at 50nl and number two is close behind with $3.1k, if he can maintain his win rate of 6b/100 hands then he should have a very real chance of making an incredible comeback.
14th December. Fees posts:
Fees: still taking action, I want 2:1
Despite Silent_0ne being top of the leaderboard when he posted this and Fees already buying action Fees seemed willing to take 2:1 in Silent_0ne’s favour.
Soon after, a poster in the thread reveals that:
tightmaniac: fees is 4th
It is revealed that Fees who is normally a 2000nl player is playing 50nl HU and is 4th on the leaderboard. HU 50nl still counts towards the 50nl leaderboard. With the higher rate of hands of HU, bigger winrates of HU and Fees' skill, it could mean he would soon reach the top of the leaderboard. 10 minutes after TightManic’s post Fees lowers his odds:
Fees: Looking to take action on this at 1:1 (#1180)
The judge weighs in:
Jalexand42: If fees' didn't disclose this to whoever has his action, it's obviously pretty questionable, although that probably should have been asked. As far as the prop bet tho, I specifically asked Silent whether HU players should be included/excluded and he said included. The rules clearly don't exclude some random player from dropping down and playing $50nl (or $100nl for the original bet). They DO clearly state that people who bet against Silent one as part of the prop bet are NOT allowed to interfere with the bet, but I don't have anything to do with whatever side action fees may have on this. I told kerpowski last night that I didn't want him to play HU to try to win the badge, since I felt like it was a gray area in the intent of the rules (since he obviously doesn't normally play those stakes).
Kind of sucks for OP if this is going on, but I can't really change the rules after it's started since that would affect the people that bet against Silent. (#1196)
As of the 15 December Silent_0ne was still top of the board with $4.4k and most posters were expressing their displeasure if Fees were to continue playing 50nl. Silent_0ne drops this bombshell:
Silent_0ne: ‘2. Actions must be in accordance with the intent of having a fair prop bet. No actions (chip dumping, collusion, ghosting/coaching players on Silent_0ne's tables, etc) can be taken with the intent to affect the outcome of the prop bet. Violations will result in the violator's action being forfeited and may result in additional modification/extention to neutralize the interference.’ [Silent_0ne is quoting the rules here.] ‘The spirit of the bet is that OP is competing against players who 'really' play NL100, both ring and heads up.’
I know a friend of Fees and his friend said he was legit and everything. alittle after the bet started and action was full, fees approached me and my friend about taking additional action at 10 to 1. my friend and I took an additional 2.5k to his 25k and escrowed to wcgrider. the bet was under the assumption that the same rules as the 100nl bet were going to be used, and whatever the judge decides would be final.
so given the quotes above, it is against the rules that someone betting against me should also be able to compete against me given that he does not regularly play at 50nl (he plays 6max 2knl and WON the UGL badge last month at that stake) also, im not allowed to play 50nl HU which is really fishy and easy to win the UGL badge at if you put in enough volume.
regardless of if fees action is with Jalex or not, i think the same rules apply, because he is not a regular at the stakes and he accepted the same rules when making the bet with my friend and I going to eat something then start up a grind session, hopefully I continue to crush and run good, though my heart has sunk when I looked at fees in forth, and I feel ill and tilted (#1205)
Silent_0ne posted that he did a deal, off with main thread with 10 to 1 odds (Fees betting $25k to Silent_0ne’s $2.5k that Silent_0ne will win ultimate grinder 50nl) with Fees and that WCGRider (Doug Polk, currently of Upswing Poker and poker Youtube fame) is the escrow, not Jalexand42. Most posters now seem outraged:
King Fish: Wow what an angle shoot by Fees on this. This does help define the measure of what type of person he is that he is even attempting it. (#1207)
Tumaterminator: sickest hustle ever. (#1210)
kp1022: wait, doeboyfre$h is fees?
he sat me in 50nl HU a few days ago FWIW
after PTR'ing him , i asked why was he playing so low? he replied, "busto" (#1234)
Some of the posters were trying to play Fees at the 50nl in attempt to slow down his winning streak and tell Fees that he is breaking the rules. Silent_0ne expressed his displeasure and downed mental state:
Silent_0ne: this is horrible. im going to start my first grind right now. imo what fees is doing is against the rules and is unfair. i really hope i dont lose alot right now, but im in a pretty poor emotional state
please whoever is decent, sit it up with fees and discouarge him to continue what hes doing. 2knl player won badge last month, makes big bet against me and decides to compete for 50nl badge against me... (#1267)
For the first time in a few days Fees posts:
Fees: Hey,
Just to clear a few things up,
  1. I haven't broken any rules, there isn't a rule that explicitly states that I cannot win the UGL.
  2. I'm not trying to scam/do anything shady/etc, when I made the bet I posted in this thread asking if a bettor could win the UGL […] anyway I'm going to try and win the 50nl UGL this month... I haven't done anything wrong and there is nothing wrong with me going for it.
Then, an enflamed debate about the rules erupts, almost every poster is furious at Fees
Silent_0ne: had a conversation with WCGRider over the phone. the assumption was that jalex is the judge of this bet, and his word is final. WCGRider is simply just an escrow. fees and I agreed on the rules of the bet and having jalex of the judge. #1352
Then WCGRider (Doug Polk) posts for the first time:
WCGRider: Wanted to make a quick post here because i talked to colin earlier about this and i want to clear up a few things.
First off, I was never told i was going to be an escrow. I literally woke up with colins [Silent_0ne] money in my account. I was never asked anything, I was never told anything, I just was sent the money and thats it.
So now im being brought into this to make a decision, which i dont think really is fair. I haven't read any of this thread, I haven't read the rules. Also, fees has to be one of my best friends here in las vegas, and I want that to be clear before i give my opinion about this. I think its sort of unfair that i get put into this situation.
jalexand42 then posts his judgment in a lengthy post (#1526) but I believe this excerpt sums it up:
jalexand42: So, while it is not UNFAIR of fees to be playing $50nl, he has CLEARLY taken actions that will influence the outcome of the bet IF he wins the UGL for $50nl for December. Fees would clearly NOT be playing $50nl (and in fact is still playing his normal stakes) if he didn't have action on this bet. Fees also clearly understood this was a questionable area with regard to the rules based on his posts in this thread and he did not clarify it with the judge. He posts also indicate clearly that he felt he was subject to the rules. Therefore, I rule that Fees' standing on the UGL for December WILL BE IGNORED for purposes of determining this bet if he wins.
Many posters praise Jalexand42. But Jalexand42 does not have the money from the sidebet between Silent_0ne and Fees. WCGrider does. Silent_0ne gives his piece of mind and a quick poker update:
Silent_0ne: yes, i agree with this [Jalexand42's judgment].
also, fees can keep the 25k in the bet without any forfiet. im just really happy things worked out okay.
however i probably should have read this before my session I just played. probably wouldnt have spewed as much at the endodays been my worst day since the start of the 50nl bet so far. gonna play 1 more session later tonight and going to be in alot better and focused mood (#1561)
Then, another bombshell drops, a friend of WCRrider’s reveals that Fees didn’t even escrow his money to Doug:
theskillzdatklls: Afaik, Fees did not ship his $25k share to Doug, only Colin [Silent_0ne] sent his part. (#1669)
2+2 reacts:
Handbaggio: LOL wtf, fees hasn't escrowed his bet??? (#1676)
rnb0sprnkles: LOL and when I thought the drama was starting to die down, the thread gets even crazier (#1698)
Jalexand42 has a conversation with WCGRider to reach an agreement and reports:
Jalexand42: Okay, so here's the summary of my conversation with WCGRider:
  1. He is only holding Silent & the_most's action, $2,500.
  2. He did talk to Fees. Fees told him he was going to talk to Colin [Silent_0ne] today and 'hopes to work out something reasonable'.
  3. I asked what that means, he said he didn't feel like he could tell me, because he felt like what Fees told him was as a friend, but that it sounded fair in WCGRider's opinion.
  4. WCGRider said he thought my decision making sounded reasonable.
  5. WCGrider said that noone told him what to do, so he figured he was just holding on to Silent's money.
  6. I told WCGrider I was willing for him to ship me the $2.5k now if he was feeling uncomfortable, he said he'd wait to see what Silent & Fees work out. ( #1703)
Back to actual poker and Silent_0ne reports a bad losing session on the 16th December citing all the ongoing drama:
Silent_0ne: 22 buyin downswing im playing really bad right now, and I really wish I didn't have to think about and deal with all these other problems.
The community are rooting really hard to him at this point and are all telling him to stay strong. Things start to get messy when Jalexand42 speaks with WCGRider and Fees and in a long post ( #1957) said that WCGRider protested his participation was unfair and Jalexand42 accused him of not of not already sending the $25k to Jalexand42. Fees also tried to offer Silent_0ne a $1k buy out saying it was ‘super generous’, it was refused. Silent_0ne states that the reason fees doesn't want his money escrowed by Jalexand42 is that he is afraid that his bet will be forfeited due to breaking the rules. WCGRider chimed in to defend himself (he also spoke about playing 50nl-100nl and having a rough year, which is interesting as he developed into the top HU player for a time and couldn’t get action, even at the highest stakes.) The 2+2 community then debate and lightly harass WCGRider and Fees to concede and send the money to Jalexand42. Fees finally agrees to a 50% buyout.

The Outcome

On the 17th of December and Silent_0ne slips to number 2 on the leaderboards.
  1. vaike $3,835 ,17.44BB/100
  2. Silent_0ne69 $3,523, 4.25BB/100
Silent_0ne then makes a post that changes everything:
Silent_0ne : Hello everyone
firstly, I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout this bet. i cant stress how much it meant to me to see any post wishing me goodluck, or someone pming me given me some life lessons and more encouragement.
ive been approached by the bettors on numerous occasions regarding a buyout. the original buyout deal offered was 33%. eventually 37% was offered, and then 44%, and finally I agreed on 50% of total wagers from all 6 bettors as their buyout.
I am not really satisfied with a buyout, and I was not the one originally looking for the buyout. the bettors wanted it and I decided to see what they had to offer. what I wanted was time to spend with friends and family throughout the christmas break. With continuing this bet, I do have alot of confidence of accomplishing it, but at the expense of isolation through one of the most special times of each year. My family was mad at me when I tried explaining to them I probably wouldn't be able to particpate in any family events and have much if any celebration of christmas.
my goal the next 14 days was to just grind it out 10 hours each day with breaks inbetween, and sleep. Instead I will be able to go back to my regular, stress free grinding, and shipping 50% of the total wagers after half the month as gone by. In the end, including both the 100nl and 50nl prop bets, I made a net of roughly +20k. The other two options would be risking a net of -20k or a net of +60k. I took the variance free route, and all the bettors did the same thing. None of us wanted to lose the bet obviously, so I think we worked out a fair resolution with this buyout.
I have no hard feelings against fees or wcg rider. Perhaps a different scenerio would have occured if the recent issues did not occur, but thats in the past now and i'm looking forwards to a postive future. (#2511)
So, in the end all the parties involved reached a buyout agreement on the 50nl prop bet. Silent_0ne would stop playing the 50nl prop bet and would be up $20k. The community replies:
Ditch Digger: Silent, nice job. 50% is more than reasonable. (#2516)
kelnel: gg on +20k, u rocked!! (#2520)
shhhnake_eyes: I call this the most anticlimactic finish ever. (#2522)
Link to original thread.
Note: Please note I’ve tried to be impartial in writing this. Please let me know publicly or privately if there are any errors or you feel I misrepresented something or someone. The quotes I’ve included don’t always show the full post made but I’ve included the post number in each quote so you can read it on 2+2 in full context. If you want to be fully informed you should read the whole 2+2 thread.
submitted by GiantHorse to poker [link] [comments]

[Online Poker/Proposition Bets] A Very Controversial $70k Proposition Bet

I wrote this article on poker and I thought it would go down well here, it has some online poker hand histories and some poker lingo but it’s not vital to the story. The post is pretty long but it’s got it all: large amounts of money being bet, degenerate behavior and community outrage in the world of online poker. To give some context, poker was and still is taken very seriously by many people. Some of these poker players are professional players and some are professional players online. Online poker was very popular between ‘The Poker Boom’ of 2003 and ‘Black Friday’ of 2011 and serious money could be made with hard work, careful money management and discipline. It was (and still could be) possible to achieve winrates of $20-300+ an hour. The 2+2 Poker forums were incredibly popular during these times; the following post chronicles a proposition bet on the 2+2 forums. A proposition bet is where someone takes bets on the likelihood of them completing a task.
Here’s a quick glossary:
Buy in: The normal amount of money that you buy in for in a poker cash game
50nl/100nl: The way to describe online stakes. 50nl means the big blind is 50 cents and that the normal buy in is for $50, $100nl means the big blind is $1 and the normal buy in is $100.
HU: Heads up, this means just two players in a hand. It’s considered to be a skillful and difficult form of poker
Escrow: A third party who takes care of cash in a bet or trade. They should only move cash as agreed by both sides or the rules set.
Grinder: Some who plays a large volume of hands. Usually a serious player. If they play online, they may play 4-12 tables of poker at once.
Fish: A weaker poker player

The Site

The modern cash game grinder may be surprised to hear that there used to be a Sharkscope style tracking website for online cash games, it was called PokerTableRatings or PTR. It tracked hands fairly accurately. Today, it doesn’t exist and has been shut down for years but it was a valuable resource for grinders and having one browser open to check out opponents was useful. PTR showed your graph and win rates at different stakes, it also had an achievement system. Some achievements were serious like ‘1 Million Dollars In Profit’ and some were less serious like ‘Check Raise 3 Times In A Hand’. One coveted achievement given by PTR was the ‘Ultimate Grinder’. This was given to the most profitable player each month at each stake, this was all tracked on the Ultimate Grinder Leaderboard. So for example: if you are the top of the leaderboard for 50NL in December 2008, you will receive the ‘Ultimate Grinder December 50nl 2008’ badge on your PTR profile.

The Bets

The year is 2010. Johnathon Duhamel has won the WSOP Main Event. Poker, especially online poker is still booming. The grinders are plentiful. The fish are more plentiful. Posts flow on 2+2 like wine.
Enter Silent_0ne. He puts out a proposition bet on BBV (Beats, Brags and Variance: a subforum of 2+2 which is the precursor to Poker’s weekly BBV thread). Back in the golden days of online poker and 2+2 it was common for large prop bets to be made on BBV. Silent_0ne’s prop bet is he will be the ultimate grinder for December 2010 at 100nl. No easy feat, the previous months' ultimate grinders had won between $12k-18k and Silent_0ne claimed to have never played more than 10 tables or ever played on Pokerstars. The odds were set at 6:1 odds in Silent’s_0ne’s favour. Jalexand42 was selected to be the escrow and judge of this prop bet, so he will be the middleman for the money and he will arbitrate any disputes. The rules were set down covered many different situations. The judge was confident of this:
Jalexand42: Just a quick note about the judging... I'm optimistic there won't be any controversy in this bet the way the rules have been defined. (#83)
He would turn out to be so wrong.
Many 2+2 posters weighed their opinions in and started to place bets:
Chicago Joey (Joey Ingram): damn that is going to be interesting for a bunch of reasons(#46)
Canoodles: If I was OP, I wouldn't take this for less than 100-1. (#18)
Chinz: Settling for 6-1 and doing it on December when lots of SNE chasers are playing really high volume... You don't seem to like money. (#218)
Nearly all the posters doubted Silent_0ne but he seemed confident and Jalexand42 started collecting money.
By the 28th November, with 3 days to go until the challenge begins the bets were placed and finalized, 14 people put up between $600-$3k. Silent_0ne stood to gain $67,500 or lose $11,250 from the bet alone. In just a few days he would put himself at the mercy of variance and would dedicate himself to destroying 100nl. If he overcomes this challenging month, he stood to win a significant amount of money.

The Play

December the first rolled in and Silent_0ne starting playing. It was a rocky start for him, he finished day two down more than $2k and received comments from 2+2 posters like:
ChicagoJoey [Joey Ingram]: lol trainwreck (#392)
MinSixBet: are you still taking action? (#399)
But some posters really believed in him and were rooting hard:
Eaglesfan1: Forget about the leaderboard and focus on your game and playing ur best. (#406)
However things got worse and Silent_one seemed to be losing hope, on day 4 he posted this:
Silent_0ne: just got owned
bad rly bad "hero call" for big pot
set of 8s < set of As
KK < AK
bad river bluff shove
set of 6s < str
10s < Js
AK < AA
AK on AK6 board < 66
AA < 99 on 974 board
^ all greater than 200 big blind pots
could have prevented half of those if I didnt suck so much (#410)
Day 5 and Silent_0ne was doing better but was down a few buy ins, still far behind his target. Remember, he needs to be number one in profit in the massive 2010 pool of 100nl Pokerstars players. He posted this astonishing hand:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 9 players
Silent_0ne: $568.55 UTG+1: $444.30 UTG+2: $519.10 MP1: $226.75 Hero (MP2): $257.70 CO: $250.00 BTN: $100.00 SB: $257.70 BB: $120.90
Pre Flop: ($3.30) Silent_0ne is MP2 with 9h9c
Silent_0ne raises to $4.80, UTG+1 raises to $18.60, 1 fold, MP1 calls $18.60, 5 folds, Silent_0ne calls $13.80
Flop: ($59.10) 2h8s5s(3 players)
Silent_0ne checks, UTG+1 bets $32, MP1 folds, Silent_0ne raises to $92, UTG+1 calls $60
Turn: ($243.10) Kc (2 players)
Silent_0ne checks, UTG+1 checks
River: ($243.10) 4s (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $127, UTG+1 raises to $333.50 all in, Silent_0ne calls $206.50
Final Pot: $910.10
Silent_0ne shows 9h9c (a pair of Nines)
UTG+1 shows 9dJc (high card King)
Silent_0ne wins $907.10
As you can see, 2010 was truly an amazing place for online poker.
Silent_0ne was bringing out his inner grinder and was playing 16 hour sessions and seeing huge swings in the first week. Day 7 and he posted some hands that shocked the community and his growing fan base:
DPred123: wtf at those HHs. (#520)
Transa: LoLolLololooLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL (#521)
Here are two of the hands he posted:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 9 players
Pre Flop: ($3.30) MP1: $365.20 Hero (CO): $342.35 Silent_0ne is CO with 7s7d
3 folds, MP1 raises to $4, 1 fold, Silent_0ne raises to $15.50, 3 folds, MP1 raises to $41.90, Silent_0ne raises to $342.15 all in, MP1 calls $300.25
Flop: ($687.60) ThKc6s(2 players - 1 is all in)
Turn: ($687.60) Ts
River: ($687.60) 2h (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $687.60
MP1 shows AcAh (two pair, Aces and Tens)
and:
Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em $0.20 Ante - 3 players
BTN: $656.85 Silent_0ne(SB): $288.00 BB: $345.00
Pre Flop: ($2.10) Silent_0ne is SB with 4d4h
BTN raises to $3, Silent_0ne raises to $12, 1 fold, BTN calls $9
Flop: ($25.60) 3h6d5s(2 players)
Silent_0ne checks, BTN bets $18, Silent_0ne raises to $275.80 all in, BTN calls $257.80
Turn: ($577.20) Js (2 players - 1 is all in)
River: ($577.20) 9c (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $577.20
BTN shows 3d5d (two pair, Fives and Threes)
Hero Silent_0ne 4h4h (a pair of Fours)
BTN wins $576.20
Silent_0ne explained:
Silent_0ne: barely ate anything last few days. i just get up and play, dont prepare anything. im playing right now btw. down around 2700$ for the month. im really dumb for spewing off 3k+ just cause i was tilted/ran bad, and snapped. another problem that people overlook is the extra attention i get at the tables for doing this prop bet. lots of regs can exploit my plays and then all tend to focus on owning me. (#554)
Silent_0ne had started the month on a $3k downswing, then won $2.5k before going on another $3k downswing in just one week. He must have felt desperate as after an hour and a half Silent_0ne had an idea and events took a shocking turn:
Silent_0ne: any interested if i give up 100nl and start tomorrow on day 7 at 50nl to try and get the badge there for 6 to 1. i wanna gamble and break even on the month, so im willing to put up 5k on this if any1 is interested? (#570)
This new bet must have seemed too good to be true. At this point he had been relentlessly grinding 100nl for a week, was losing badly, he was tilting, was likely playing more tables than he can handle and he’s a week behind getting to the top of the 50nl leaderboard. The bets started to pour in and within an hour he had 7 people place action. The community commented:
Absurd: This is adsurd (#601)
jalexand42: Seriously, take a day to cool off. (#599)
King Fish: I'd be interested but highly advise you to reconsider this and maybe take an hour and step back. Edit: will take $1800 to your $300 assuming same judge and escrow. (#574)
loK2thabrain: I call dibs on first bet when he moves down to win the 25nl badge. (#700)
Everyone on the thread couldn’t believe what they reading, However, Silent_0ne seemed to accept that the 100nl bet was dead and he wasn’t getting the $67k prop bet win. He was willing to pay the $11k out and enter a new prop bet. Now, being the Ultimate Grinder at 50nl is his goal. Again, the bets were substantial and he had 8:1 odds in his favour for being the Ultimate Grinder for December at 50nl. The same day he made the new bet, he started at 50nl and was off.

The New Bet

Enter Fees. Fees is the 2+2 username of Ryan Fee (Currently on Team Upswing), at this point he was known for being a fearsome 2000nl grinder and writing Ryan Fee’s 6 max guide, which he distributed for free. In a world where succinct and good poker strategy was hard to come by, this was a valuable guide for many players. He takes interest in the thread on the 7th of December:
Fees i'll take all the action, PM me (#746)
Fees booked action late and the details of this booking were not listed in the thread. The next day, Fees acts a question about the rules:
Fees: what if kerpowski or jeffmet wins the ugl and he gets second? (#878)
Kerpowski and Jeffmet are players who took action against Silent_0ne. They are also 50/100nl grinders. The case of fellow grinders taking action was covered in the rules. A poster quotes the rules and informs Fees that they have to be existing 50nl/100nl grinders. Fees then asks the following question:
Fees: i think that implies at the same tables as him, but what if they just play completely different games and just win the ugl?
Remember these probing questions, they’ll become relevant later.
By the 10th of December things looked tough for Silent_0ne, the player of the top of the 50nl leaderboard was already at $2.5k profit (50 buy ins). Silent_0ne was up $1.1k and estimated he was only 2-3 days behind pace. By the 12th of December he was still playing brutally long sessions:
Silent_0ne: just finished 11 hour session, too tired to post anything, ill go to bed for a couple hours then post graphs/hands when i wake up. was tilted throughout entire session, played 12k hands...eyes burn...ran bad for once (6 buyins below ev)
He also posted eight hands that looked pretty spewy, here is one of them:
Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em $0.10 Ante - 5 players BB: $50.00 UTG: $103.40 CO: $137.65 BTN: $133.00 Silent_0ne (SB): $144.60
Pre Flop: ($1.25) Hero is SB with AdQh
1 fold, CO raises to $1.50, BTN calls $1.50, Silent_0ne calls $1.25, BB calls $1
Flop: ($6.50) 6c6d6s(4 players)
Silent_0ne checks, BB checks, CO bets $4, BTN folds, Silent_0ne raises to $14.75, BB folds, CO calls $10.75
Turn: ($36.00) 8h (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $25.75, CO calls $25.75
River: ($87.50) 4d (2 players)
Silent_0ne bets $102.50 all in, CO calls $95.55 all in
Final Pot: $278.60
CO shows JdJc (a full house, Sixes full of Jacks)
Silent_0ne shows AdQh (three of a kind, Sixes)
CO wins $276.60
Even people taking action against him gave him advice:
King Fish: I am speechless … It's NL50. Stop trying to get so fancy. (#1038)
But then, Silent_0ne has an explosive session and is up an incredible $2800 in one day, that’s 56 buy ins! The posters go wild as he moves into 3rd place on the 50nl Ultimate Grinder leaderboard:
  1. vaike $3,142, 19.38 Hands BB/100
  2. zzn1980 $2,833, 2.46 Hands BB/100
  3. Silent_0ne69 $2,634, 5.19 Hands B/100
For the first time people are starting to believe that he can do this.
Fast forward to the next day, December 13th and with another miraculous winning session he reaches number one on the leaderboard. He has $3.4k profit at 50nl and number two is close behind with $3.1k, if he can maintain his win rate of 6b/100 hands then he should have a very real chance of making incredible comeback.
14th December. Fees posts:
Fees: still taking action, I want 2:1
Despite Silent_0ne being top of the leaderboard when he posted this and Fees already buying action Fees seemed willing to take 2:1 in Silent_0ne’s favour.
Soon after, a poster in the thread reveals that:
tightmaniac: fees is 4th
It is revealed that Fees who is normally a 2000nl player is playing 50nl HU and is 4th on the leaderboard. HU 50nl still counts towards the 50nl leaderboard. With the higher rate of hands of HU, bigger winrates of HU and Fees' skill, it could mean he would soon reach the top of the leaderboard. 10 minutes after TightManic’s post Fees lowers his odds:
Fees: Looking to take action on this at 1:1 (#1180)
The judge weighs in:
Jalexand42: If fees' didn't disclose this to whoever has his action, it's obviously pretty questionable, although that probably should have been asked. As far as the prop bet tho, I specifically asked Silent whether HU players should be included/excluded and he said included. The rules clearly don't exclude some random player from dropping down and playing $50nl (or $100nl for the original bet). They DO clearly state that people who bet against Silent one as part of the prop bet are NOT allowed to interfere with the bet, but I don't have anything to do with whatever side action fees may have on this. I told kerpowski last night that I didn't want him to play HU to try to win the badge, since I felt like it was a gray area in the intent of the rules (since he obviously doesn't normally play those stakes).
Kind of sucks for OP if this is going on, but I can't really change the rules after it's started since that would affect the people that bet against Silent. (#1196)
As of the 15 December Silent_0ne was still top of the board with $4.4k and most posters were expressing their displeasure if Fees were to continue playing 50nl. Silent_0ne drops this bombshell:
Silent_0ne: ‘2. Actions must be in accordance with the intent of having a fair prop bet. No actions (chip dumping, collusion, ghosting/coaching players on Silent_0ne's tables, etc) can be taken with the intent to affect the outcome of the prop bet. Violations will result in the violator's action being forfeited and may result in additional modification/extention to neutralize the interference.’ [Silent_0ne is quoting the rules here.] ‘The spirit of the bet is that OP is competing against players who 'really' play NL100, both ring and heads up.’
I know a friend of Fees and his friend said he was legit and everything. alittle after the bet started and action was full, fees approached me and my friend about taking additional action at 10 to 1. my friend and I took an additional 2.5k to his 25k and escrowed to wcgrider. the bet was under the assumption that the same rules as the 100nl bet were going to be used, and whatever the judge decides would be final.
so given the quotes above, it is against the rules that someone betting against me should also be able to compete against me given that he does not regularly play at 50nl (he plays 6max 2knl and WON the UGL badge last month at that stake) also, im not allowed to play 50nl HU which is really fishy and easy to win the UGL badge at if you put in enough volume.
regardless of if fees action is with Jalex or not, i think the same rules apply, because he is not a regular at the stakes and he accepted the same rules when making the bet with my friend and I going to eat something then start up a grind session, hopefully I continue to crush and run good, though my heart has sunk when I looked at fees in forth, and I feel ill and tilted (#1205)
Silent_0ne posted that he did a deal, off with main thread with 10 to 1 odds (Fees betting $25k to Silent_0ne’s $2.5k that Silent_0ne will win ultimate grinder 50nl) with Fees and that WCGRider (Doug Polk, currently of Upswing Poker and poker Youtube fame) is the escrow, not Jalexand42. Most posters now seem outraged:
King Fish: Wow what an angle shoot by Fees on this. This does help define the measure of what type of person he is that he is even attempting it. (#1207)
Tumaterminator: sickest hustle ever. (#1210)
kp1022: wait, doeboyfre$h is fees?
he sat me in 50nl HU a few days ago FWIW
after PTR'ing him , i asked why was he playing so low? he replied, "busto" (#1234)
Some of the posters were trying to play Fees at the 50nl in attempt to slow down his winning streak and tell Fees that he is breaking the rules. Silent_0ne expressed his displeasure and downed mental state:
Silent_0ne: this is horrible. im going to start my first grind right now. imo what fees is doing is against the rules and is unfair. i really hope i dont lose alot right now, but im in a pretty poor emotional state
please whoever is decent, sit it up with fees and discouarge him to continue what hes doing. 2knl player won badge last month, makes big bet against me and decides to compete for 50nl badge against me... (#1267)
For the first time in a few days Fees posts:
Fees: Hey,
Just to clear a few things up,
  1. I haven't broken any rules, there isn't a rule that explicitly states that I cannot win the UGL.
  2. I'm not trying to scam/do anything shady/etc, when I made the bet I posted in this thread asking if a bettor could win the UGL […] anyway I'm going to try and win the 50nl UGL this month... I haven't done anything wrong and there is nothing wrong with me going for it.
Then, an enflamed debate about the rules erupts, almost every poster is furious at Fees
Silent_0ne: had a conversation with WCGRider over the phone. the assumption was that jalex is the judge of this bet, and his word is final. WCGRider is simply just an escrow. fees and I agreed on the rules of the bet and having jalex of the judge. #1352
Then WCGRider (Doug Polk) posts for the first time:
WCGRider: Wanted to make a quick post here because i talked to colin earlier about this and i want to clear up a few things.
First off, I was never told i was going to be an escrow. I literally woke up with colins [Silent_0ne] money in my account. I was never asked anything, I was never told anything, I just was sent the money and thats it.
So now im being brought into this to make a decision, which i dont think really is fair. I haven't read any of this thread, I haven't read the rules. Also, fees has to be one of my best friends here in las vegas, and I want that to be clear before i give my opinion about this. I think its sort of unfair that i get put into this situation.
jalexand42 then posts his judgment in a lengthy post (#1526) but I believe this excerpt sums it up:
jalexand42: So, while it is not UNFAIR of fees to be playing $50nl, he has CLEARLY taken actions that will influence the outcome of the bet IF he wins the UGL for $50nl for December. Fees would clearly NOT be playing $50nl (and in fact is still playing his normal stakes) if he didn't have action on this bet. Fees also clearly understood this was a questionable area with regard to the rules based on his posts in this thread and he did not clarify it with the judge. He posts also indicate clearly that he felt he was subject to the rules. Therefore, I rule that Fees' standing on the UGL for December WILL BE IGNORED for purposes of determining this bet if he wins.
Many posters praise Jalexand42. But Jalexand42 does not have the money from the sidebet between Silent_0ne and Fees. WCGrider does. Silent_0ne gives his piece of mind and a quick poker update:
Silent_0ne: yes, i agree with this [Jalexand42's judgment].
also, fees can keep the 25k in the bet without any forfiet. im just really happy things worked out okay.
however i probably should have read this before my session I just played. probably wouldnt have spewed as much at the endodays been my worst day since the start of the 50nl bet so far. gonna play 1 more session later tonight and going to be in alot better and focused mood (#1561)
Then, another bombshell drops, a friend of WCRrider’s reveals that Fees didn’t even escrow his money to Doug:
theskillzdatklls: Afaik, Fees did not ship his $25k share to Doug, only Colin [Silent_0ne] sent his part. (#1669)
2+2 reacts:
Handbaggio: LOL wtf, fees hasn't escrowed his bet??? (#1676)
rnb0sprnkles: LOL and when I thought the drama was starting to die down, the thread gets even crazier (#1698)
Jalexand42 has a conversation with WCGRider to reach an agreement and reports:
Jalexand42: Okay, so here's the summary of my conversation with WCGRider:
  1. He is only holding Silent & the_most's action, $2,500.
  2. He did talk to Fees. Fees told him he was going to talk to Colin [Silent_0ne] today and 'hopes to work out something reasonable'.
  3. I asked what that means, he said he didn't feel like he could tell me, because he felt like what Fees told him was as a friend, but that it sounded fair in WCGRider's opinion.
  4. WCGRider said he thought my decision making sounded reasonable.
  5. WCGrider said that noone told him what to do, so he figured he was just holding on to Silent's money.
  6. I told WCGrider I was willing for him to ship me the $2.5k now if he was feeling uncomfortable, he said he'd wait to see what Silent & Fees work out. ( #1703)
Back to actual poker and Silent_0ne reports a bad losing session on the 16th December citing all the ongoing drama:
Silent_0ne: 22 buyin downswing im playing really bad right now, and I really wish I didn't have to think about and deal with all these other problems.
The community are rooting really hard to him at this point and are all telling him to stay strong. Things start to get messy when Jalexand42 speaks with WCGRider and Fees and in a long post ( #1957) said that WCGRider protested his participation was unfair and Jalexand42 accused him of not of not already sending the $25k to Jalexand42. Fees also tried to offer Silent_0ne a $1k buy out saying it was ‘super generous’, it was refused. Silent_0ne states that the reason fees doesn't want his money escrowed by Jalexand42 is that he is afraid that his bet will be forfeited due to breaking the rules. WCGRider chimed in to defend himself (he also spoke about playing 50nl-100nl and having a rough year, which is interesting as he developed into the top HU player for a time and couldn’t get action, even at the highest stakes.) The 2+2 community then debate and lightly harass WCGRider and Fees to concede and send the money to Jalexand42. Fees finally agrees to a 50% buyout.

The Outcome

On the 17th of December and Silent_0ne slips to number 2 on the leaderboards.
  1. vaike $3,835 ,17.44BB/100
  2. Silent_0ne69 $3,523, 4.25BB/100
Silent_0ne then makes a post that changes everything:
Silent_0ne : Hello everyone
firstly, I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout this bet. i cant stress how much it meant to me to see any post wishing me goodluck, or someone pming me given me some life lessons and more encouragement.
ive been approached by the bettors on numerous occasions regarding a buyout. the original buyout deal offered was 33%. eventually 37% was offered, and then 44%, and finally I agreed on 50% of total wagers from all 6 bettors as their buyout.
I am not really satisfied with a buyout, and I was not the one originally looking for the buyout. the bettors wanted it and I decided to see what they had to offer. what I wanted was time to spend with friends and family throughout the christmas break. With continuing this bet, I do have alot of confidence of accomplishing it, but at the expense of isolation through one of the most special times of each year. My family was mad at me when I tried explaining to them I probably wouldn't be able to particpate in any family events and have much if any celebration of christmas.
my goal the next 14 days was to just grind it out 10 hours each day with breaks inbetween, and sleep. Instead I will be able to go back to my regular, stress free grinding, and shipping 50% of the total wagers after half the month as gone by. In the end, including both the 100nl and 50nl prop bets, I made a net of roughly +20k. The other two options would be risking a net of -20k or a net of +60k. I took the variance free route, and all the bettors did the same thing. None of us wanted to lose the bet obviously, so I think we worked out a fair resolution with this buyout.
I have no hard feelings against fees or wcg rider. Perhaps a different scenerio would have occured if the recent issues did not occur, but thats in the past now and i'm looking forwards to a postive future. (#2511)
So, in the end all the parties involved reached a buyout agreement on the 50nl prop bet. Silent_0ne would stop playing the 50nl prop bet and would be up $20k. The community replies:
Ditch Digger: Silent, nice job. 50% is more than reasonable. (#2516)
kelnel: gg on +20k, u rocked!! (#2520)
shhhnake_eyes: I call this the most anticlimactic finish ever. (#2522)
Link to original thread.
submitted by GiantHorse to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]

On rulers: a guide on the forms of government for a campaign

On the top of the hill, overlooking the ragged terrain of the chosen battlefield, the king anticipates the battle of his own making. Besides him, each one clad in plate astride a trained stalion, are his noble vassals, all powerful man in colorful arms. Very few came. Can he trust them? And are any of his other vassals to be found in the oposing ranks?
The marketplace rages with products from a hundred ships, but one speaker manages to stand out, a herald of the state announcing to the people the new laws that an assembly of citizens has passed the day before. Some of the people sigh, others shake their head, but most give it no mind, having already heard the news in the afternoon. This is their lot, to take note and obey the citizens' will. For they are not citizens, they are too poor to have a stake in their city.
In the wilderness, north of the land of empires, the fierce warriors of the Griffin Tribe prepare a raid on their enemies. A big herd of bulls migrated to this land, and both sides want to use it. The fierce battle is bound to be detrimental to both sides, though. These warriors will be needed next spring, when the southern kings come to claim their land for their nobles.

Welcome, lawgiver

In worldbuilding, so much depends on the structures and institutions of your nations. An epic war between kingdoms, an expanding empire, a horde of nomadic orc invaders and the intrigues of an elvish oligarchy, all these premises require solid systems of government.
However, the "government" section in RPG sourcebooks has always felt a bit wanting. Sometimes, they try to do too much and seem to do too little. You might be left wandering why is it that feudalism, aristocracy and monarchy are all presented. What is a magocracy? How the hell is kleptocracy a thing? And there is the everpresent problem of democracies (wait, who is my character's choice for the House?).
In the interest of producing something minimaly clear on the subject, i present you this humble manual. Here you will find some basic guidelines to help you create a more consistent government for your stories.

Who should use this guide

You may not be interested in politics. Maybe you don't care what could be "anachronistic" and just like the idea of a totalitarian kingdom with fascistic knights for the PCs to fight against. You may just want the realms of your world to fight because the White Queen of Justice is lawful good and the Red Lord of Evil is that chaotic neutral douchebag who stole from her purse while traveling with her to kill goblins.
If so, you can ignore everything and go do your thing. Sometimes, the players don't need to know anything more about the baroness than the fact that she has a castle, she has gold and she wants those ghouls out of the cemetery.
However, if you are a worldbuilder, if you want to create a campaign of intrigue, or you like "realistic" consequences for your character actions (Red Lord of Evil rolled 20 and killed the king again, that prick), than maybe this can help. But don't be afraid to bucher everything, take a bit of what you think works, mix and mach to fit your fantasy needs.
Next, you will find six categories of government for a pre-modern, pre-industrial society. I have refrained from adding anything about religious practices, because the subject could be very diverse and because this post is already long enough. Also, I'm not really knowlegeable in the subject. The idea here is to provide an outlook for how people in an "ancient" setting would concieve of government without our notions of industry, representative democracy (or really any representation) and totalitarianism. People under these old "constitutions" would justify them in forms that may seem alien to us moderns. And understanding this a little bit could help you determine how the cogs of your world should turn.

The tribe

"Tribe" is a really broad term. It could apply to a nation, an ethnic group, a clan or, more commonly to whoever we'd like to label as savages. But in the context of D&D, a tribe is usually that group of less developed "barbarians", fierce warriors or nature-loving wild people. So maybe we should accomodate to the stereotype. What we call tribal societies can be very complex, and extremely organized (see the iroquois), so I propose a simpler way of distinguishing tribes from kingdoms.
Whatever the specific organization, the choice of chieftains and shamans, the main characteristics of a tribe should be their association of identity to their land and blood. These people will have very distinct ways of declaring themselves as members of one tribe, and will resent being confused with the other tribes, even though they may all seem very similar to an outsider. They will use symbols like body paint, tatoos, carvings and engravings on their tools and huts, as well as flags, standards or totems to advertise their identity through images of their shared myths. So be sure to create at least a simple mythology (it doesen't need to be false) that explains their origin and gives a meaning to them as a group (who they are, where they came from, what's their purpose).
The most important aspect of this myth and of the tribal culture should be their relation to the land. The land of the tribe is not an object. It cannot be bought or sold, or owned for that matter. The tribe lives off the land and the land, by providing fruits, animals and minerals, or even magic, is a subject with a will. Maybe it is sacred, or maybe it is connected to the gods (a mountain, forest or lake could be itself sacred). This means the people of the tribe will not understand the idea of an individual conquering land and owning it, and will dispute this notion fiercely. When tribes fight, it tends to be for the usage of resources needed for the survival of the community. Two tribes may share a river, but each at a margin. One tribe could win the right to a pasture, or a new herd could move to the area and many tribes dispute the use of the animals.
Remember that the tribal societies do not need to be technologically inferior. It's interesting to give them some technological edge over their neighbors, like better metal, better weapons, better stoneworking or farming, better riding or better magic. This would contribute to their reputation and make them stand out in your setting.
Sometimes, a warlord is able to unify many tribes and forge the beginings of a kingdom. If so, this warlord will likely make himself the new myth of this society, and start changing it rapidly. This is a dangerous development for everyone that lives around the tribes, and is the beggining of many a "barbarian horde" nightmare.

The classical categories

Good old Aristotle once wrote a book called "Politics". This became the bedrock of the idea of classifying "forms of government" for the next centuries. His classification works by answering two simple questions: who rules? for whom do they rule? He answered the first question with "one", "few" and "many"; and the second question with "for themseleves" and "for everyone". As a result, people spent the next centuries thinking in terms of the three following categories.

Democracy and mob rule

The rule of the many (or the people), is literally the democracy. For us modern know-it-alls, this is the ideal stuff, associated with "liberty", "equality" and "rights". But if we put ourselves in ancient shoes, we would think very differently, for democracy was the nightmare of many learned people.
Democracy here means direct democracy. All citizens, no exception, are expected to participate in deliberation. This is not a right, they do not have the right to rule. It is a solemn duty to their city. Of course, such an arrangement could not exist in entities much bigger than a city-state. At maximum, this would work for one city with colonies and client states. Villages and small chiefdoms can be simple democracies.
First, you should decide who is a citizen in your democracy. Are women citizens? Or maybe only whoever is the family leader? Are there slaves? Remember the citizens need to be free. Also, they need to have spare time to dedicate to politics. Consider the military. A citizen will probably be expected to defend the city, so it's a good idea to eliminate from the citizen body whatever group cannot be counted on to do so. Foreigners and migrants may not be citizens. Whatever your decision, this will create the dynamic of your democracy and its internal tension.
All the citizens cannot, of course, organize stuff. You need governing bodies for that. How are they chosen? Through the vote? No! Of course not! Voting means choosing the "better" people, ant that's aristocratic. You choose people to political positions by lotery. That's right, let the gods decide. And also, this limits the power of rich people who might use their wealth to finance campaigns and distribute bribes. This has a couple caveats. First, it's not all random (e. g. in Athens, generals were elected). Second of all, there may be requisites for being able to participate in the lotery, like being vetted by religious authority, or elected by a smaller constituency. Finally, because it's random, these people would tend to serve for very short terms (even only one day long), minimizing any damage a power-hungry citizen could inflict.
Democracies are chaotic because the people, as free persons, vote directly on policy decisions. And when many people gather to solve problems, sometimes the winning argument is the louder, the most passionate, the most ridden with fallacies. The citizens "represent" no one but themselves and their dependents, so a good argument to the people can have immediate consequences. In a democracy, expect many great orators, good negotiators and lawyers. People who can argue their way are big here, which means there are many who would teach others the ways of the Charisma (Persuasion) proficiency. You know those obnoxious business people who insist they can "control the mind" of anyone and want to sell you "persuasion" courses? Well, now imagine the ancient version of that, charging in gold.
The corrupted form of democracy is mob rule, when the "many" rule for themselves exclusively, assaulting the minorities (usually, the rich, but also the proponents of losing arguments). This is why democracy was feared. It is ripe for the rise of demagogues, who could whip the people into a frenzy and cause them to commit injustice. The idea of lynching mobs is the thing that comes to mind, and it is easy to fret the power of fear, prejudice and jealousy in large crowds.

Aristocracy and oligarchy

Aristocracy means the rule of the "best". Think about it: who should take the biggest decisions about the whole polity? Why, the best prepared of course! The ones most virtuous, brave and honest. Or perhaps the ones who have a bigger "stake" in the city. This means the first decision here is determining what the criteria are for being "the best". A certain lineage, that goes back to the foundation of the community? Wealth, or business acumen? Perhaps it is something religious? Or maybe you need to know magic? This means deciding what are the virtues that people think are the best for ruling the society.
Aristocracies are very hierarchical and stratified. The citizen body may be itself very restricted, and maybe only some citizens could be eligible to a governing body. The main form of ocupying government positions in an aristocracy is the vote, and sometimes there can be many different assemblies, designed to choose some positions, but not others.
Needless to say, this is a very conservative arrangement. The aristoi will usually form a dominant class, of course, and devise institutions what perpetuate their power. Slowly, they may become also the richer people, and start governing with the sole goal of augmenting their own wealth. This is the corrupted form of aristocracy: oligarchy, the broken system where the rich rule in perpetuity like a cabal of leeches. Aristocracies are for many noble families a good idea, because it shares power and avoids having a king dictating stuff. It also tends to validate the nobility's ideas of virtue and valor, while adding civic virtue to the list. But for the people at large, it can quickly be seen as tyrany of the few, and this form of government is always hiding a big tension, that can topple down the estabilishment if things get too bad.

Monarchy and tiranny

All the bickering of the masses and the futility of the rich are mere distractions. Sometimes, things must get done! And when you need quick decision-making, one person must call the shots. This is the big advantage of the kingdom. Have one guy (or gal) on top. This is the ruler, period. Do what they say. At its best, this is the ideal government, super efficient, decisive and organized. All you need is a virtuous king, like King Arthur, or Aragorn. There is a reason the good king trope is so ubiquitous: the good king, the one that makes all in his kingdom happy and prosperous, is a true blessing.
However, we all know the problem here. How do we know the next king will be any good? Hell, maybe the next guy is a sociopath. And you can already see the signs, can't you? The young prince Gary asked you yesterday if you could give his barbarian-warlock-monk a +3 morningstar at level 3, even though all his stats came out 18s. And how could you say no to the prince? This is the ever-looming problem of monarchy: the prospect of tyranny, when the king rules only for himself.
But an estabilished king, good or bad, is still better than a dead king without a clear heir on the throne. There is a reason the British say "the king is dead, long live the king" in the same sentence. There cannot be a single minute of doubt, else everyone starts sharpening knives. Sometimes there will be no clear heir. Sometimes the oficial heir is much worse than someone else who has a decent claim. Every succesion means drama, intrigue, sometimes war and too many times even a good king must start his reign with some beheadings and exiles.
If you want to make a monarchy, you must flesh out two things. First, who is your king and who are his relatives. You must know his family, his "house", his childeren, his main advisors and his wife. Does he have mistresses? Is that an issue? Who is educating his kids? How? Does his family have any jealous branches. Make a family tree, even a very simple one. And make sure not to repeat names (yes, yes, I know GoT did it, but an RPG campaign is not a novel, have all the names super different and simplified and that's a royal decree).
Secondly, what are the rules? Who will be king if he dies? Why? What if he gets sick? Can a woman be King? Perhaps only women can. What about a child? What about all those nobles who would like very much to sway the king's opinion. How would they go about it? can they see the king when they want? Are there many banquets? Create for your kingdom a simple web of loyalties, and give each player one main interest like "get rich" or "the good of the realm" or "advance my religion". Do not concern yourself with titles of nobility, though. Make some simple titles like governor, mayor and general. This should give you flexibility enough to improvise in a structured way if you want that good old palace intrigue.

The republic

So, you can already see the problem. Kingship is nice, but can devolve into tyranny. Than maybe the nobles would prefer an aristocracy, but that could become an oligarchy. If the people then rise up and make a democracy, everything could become the chaotic rule of lynch mobs. In this situation, it's better to have one man save us all, a king! Wait, haven't we tried this one already?
This cycle of doom got the ancient thinkers... well, thinkin. Maybe there is a way of keeping all the good and leaving out all the bad? Enter the idea of mixed government. Take a bit of each and twist them in a way that they counterbalance each other.
Now, this does not mean checks and balances. No-one wants a "limited" king, because the point of monarchy is to have the power to act right now. Aristocracy is virtuous and democracy, free. We don't want to loose that. So we mix them in a way they do not interfere, but complement each other. This is the idea that started the republic.
There are many ways to make a republic (or just a mixed government like the Spartan constitution). The important thing to remember is that there is no "representation" involved and no "democracy" as an ideal. These are modern things, put in practice by some english colonists in 18th century Earth.
[Edit: for clarity, a proper republic does not have a literal monarch, like Sparta did. But you may use the term republic here broadly to accommodate to your creative vision]
In the republic, the aim is to make a stable government. Maybe the end result is not really democratic, even though the people may have a voice. Doesn't matter. We dont want the people to have too much of a voice anyway. So maybe they can elect one representative or two, who may or may not be very powerful. Perhaps the elections are rigged in favor of the aristocracy. Perhaps some roles are randomly assigned. Perhaps there is no king, but an elected position that mimics a king, or maybe there are two kings. The idea of having always two or more people vetoing each other is very common. And all the lawmaking should go through the three stances: people, nobles, "king".
When creating the republic, do not worry too much with the details of elections, bills, etc. Worry about the easier stuff from the previous entries. Decide who is the king, but don't go into detail on all noble houses. Decide what is the aristocratic virtue, but focus on large parties (usually just two). Decide who are the citizens, but don't worry too much about how they vote, and consider that maybe they don't show up for most of the decisions they have the right to rubberstamp. And support of the people may be gathered via spectacle, festivals and such, organized by rich aristocrats.
Three things must be on your mind though. First is the rule of law. A republic is defined by its constitution, so the rule of law is super important. Expect extreme legalism, written laws, lawyers and bureaucracy. Even if it seems anachronistic to you, try to bring up some paperwork. If people don't know how to read and write, have scribes be common. On the other hand, make a point to show that, despite the hassle, people like knowing what's what and not being surprised by arbitrary rules and tax collections (except for the bribes).
The second thing is military. This is super important, because in a republic, pandering to the masses gives legitimacy, and military conquest is an easy way to win a name and bribe the people. It can also advance the standing of a politician among their peers. Republics tend to be militaristic and expansionistic. Consider if there is something like a professional army (usually not), and if military service is recquired of citizens (usually yes). Also, consider trading military accomplishment for something else, like magic proficiency or beast slaying.
Thirdly, remember a republic is very stable, but at the same time very tense. The people may not call the shots, but they do have a voice. And they may decide to take to the streets, stop working or maybe just cease supporting a politician if they are displeased. Restless people make a thriving republic, so consider if your story could use an enraged citizenry, protests, or maybe even street violence if the situation gets ugly. Also, consider the power of demagogues, religious leaders and folk heroes.

Feudalism

Real-life medieval Europe, as well as some other places in different times, had some form of feudalism, also known as a complete mess of a system. This is the last session because it is so complicated. If you want to go full feudal in your worldbuilding, you will need to dumb it down.
If you've read the Song of Ice and Fire books, and you think you know what feudalism is, I tell you George Martin made a very, very dumbed down version of feudalism, in which there are no titles (everyone is "lord" and "lady"), no border gore, no overlapping loyalties (funny how there's not a single vassal of the Stark with southern lands and vice-versa), no clerical teritorry and no free cities (also called burgs). And you know what? The result is still inapropriate for an RPG campaign. Too many names, too many stories, too many houses. You need a different form of dumb.
First of all, let's understand feudalism. Its basic unit is a fief, which is the domain of a lord. Everything in the fief belongs to the lord personally. This includes people.
The social bond of feudalism is the oath. The serf ties himself and all of his family forever to the land by an oath of obedience. The lord pledges protection in return. This relationship is mimicked by the nobles themselves: vassals swear to answer to their lords, who swear to defend them and their lands.
The result is a patchwork of small nobles organizing around more powerfull ones all the way up to the king, who is the highest lord and "commands" this frankenstein of a kingdom, mostly because he can somehow justify his claim to this larger territory. In reality, the authority of a king only goes so far as the loyalty of his most powerful magnates. This means being a king is a lot of work. Politics is basically marrying people off and solving family disputes. A king of a large kingdom will usually travel a lot, as a guest of his nobles, who you can bet hate to have to sustain a court in their castles. And because of this family politics, land would pass out of kingdoms by inheritance, resulting in extremely messy "borders".
All (male?) nobles in feudalism are warriors. They train from infancy in martial arts, and should be immensely superior to any untrained or poorly trained combatant. A knight would make short work of anyone. And speaking of knights, if you are going for feudalism, do have knights, knightly ideals and knightly orders. And because nobles need to assert themselves as honourable, and because courtship is political, have the nobles dress richly, have all kinds of manners, and speak differently from serfs. Actually, peasants shouldn't ever act normal towards nobles or even look them in the eyes.
So, a couple things to have in mind. No set of rules you read online will ever embody some "ideal" feudalism. Each place was different. Sometimes the serfs did own their homes, and even their backyards. Sometimes the king was super powerful. Sometimes the king was elected. Serfs would usually pay taxes on taxes and be forced to use the lord's land, the lord's mill etc., but that's not what defines feudalism. What defines it is the mess. You could have a theocratic territory, a free burgeois city or even a small republic inside a kingdom, positioned as a vassal entity. You can have the same lord with two different and conflicting loyalties. And of course the law of each territory is different, and since some authorities overlap, it can get to the point where no two vilages live under the same set of laws.

Simplifying Feudalism

Feudal kings can be pathetically powerless. Maybe a king only has very small tracts of land, while his dukes are great magnates (see 11th C France), and other times the king would be the largest land owner and reserve the right of expelling rebelous nobles (see norman England). Be free to create your system. Just remember: lord, vassal, fief, serf.
When you create your feudal kindom, you must use titles. But don't waste too much time detailing them. I recomend you take a look at the strategy game Crusader Kings II and blatantly rip it off:
That's it. If you want, add some vicounts for flavour. If you want a really small noble, try adding gentry (nobles without big titles) and poor knights. Not every castle is made of stone, some are just a wooden tower. If your kingdom needs cultural flavor, change the names. What about an "Emir" for a king, a "Jarl" for a Count or a "Boyar" for a Baron. Maybe add titles for clerics and mages, or other specific orders and hierarchies, but always try to make them equivalent to one of the above.
In real life, a noble would be called Title Name Surname of Title-Teritorry. Like "Lord Drogar of house Grimm Count of Aria". You don't need this. Just go for title name territory and treat it as surname. "Count Drogar of Aria" is good enough.
Now, the next level is creating the noble houses. Word to the wise: limit yourself to four of them. Maybe add a fifth. If you make an extremely simplified family tree for each, you will have to make a lot of names and stories. Write it all down in simple words.
My favourite method is just go making up nicknames like "Haggar the Horrible", and then looking at the family tree and imagining why that nnickname came to be. Example: "lord Urg (the coward) - is very thin". And then let your imagination work with these nuggets. Try to have only one main couple originating the family and don't make more than four generations, including childeren. Remember to intermary some of the families.
As a result you will have in your hands thre or four sets of characters. You will never use them all, so just figure out witch ones are the most interesting and see what stories you can come up with them.
Give every family a distinctive symbol. It doesn't need to be complicated. you know all that complicated heraldic you see on books? Forget it. Most of it is much too recent anyway (16th century is basically not medieval anymore). Go for distinctive shapes, simple figures and bright primary colors. Avoid purple, as it conveys the idea of imperial opulence and clerical wealth.
The main reason for dumbing this down is that you need your players to remember stuff (and write it down quickly when you tell it to them). If they remember that Count Drogar's soldiers use the green field with a red bird, that's a win. If they can remember he is a vassal of Duke Bob, who has a beef with the queen, you have all you need.
An interesting thing that no-one seems to remember is that feudal kingdoms are not national states. At all. So there can be many nationalities, ethnicities and cultures living inside a kingdom in relative autonomy with very little hassle. The king is not legitimate because he embodies his people. He is legitimate because people of a territory owe him loyalty (justified by religion/tradition/make up some covenant). Every nationality is equal(ly unimportant) for the king. In a D&D setting, this means go ahead and have that dragonborn-majority county inside the human kingdom. Their leader is not a count, he is a "Blarg", ruling a "Blargdom", but he gathers his knights and goes fight for the king (or the usurper who will hopefully be the king thanks to the fire-breathing knights). Go nuts with your dwarven cities and elven forests.
One last advice: if you want players to remember characters and family relations, keep them close to these characters for some sessions, and they will. Do not bounce around the kingdom and expect them to remember every baron they talked to.
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Thank you for making it this far. Please note that i'm not claiming to be an authority on the matter. If you think something needs improvement, please let me know. If you liked it, maybe I'll post more of this stuff in the future.
submitted by Eric_VA to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

The bad science and history of a science-focused story: What does Senku from Dr. STONE get terribly wrong despite the incredible manga’s attention to detail and being so well-researched? Its most central topic: What science is. (Part one, minimal spoilers.)

SUMMARY INCLUDED NEAR THE END. I feel I should emphasize because a lot of people missed the summary and it caused a great deal of confusion. Please see summary if you’d like to know what’s what.
Anyway, hi /badscience! I’m pretty much certain that nobody remembers me, but I used to have fun making these little high effort R1s back in the day here and people really liked them! I truly had a blast, and I recently watched a show that made me want to return here again. So, not that it will mean anything to anyone, but long time no see. :) Really had fun with this one and look forward to any polite thoughts, amendments, addendums, et cetera!

Introduction: What is Dr. STONE all about?

So, I just finished Dr. STONE, binged it all while studying for my physics final (which I did pretty well on, thanks for asking). It’s not perfect; I could definitely write a pretty detailed review on its aesthetic and moral accuracies and inaccuracies, but I’m willing to bet plenty of people more experienced with that sort of thing already are, and have repeated the points I’d have to make ad nauseam.
No, what really prompted me to write about Dr. STONE is not my assessment of how good the show is and whatever evidence I have to convince you that I’m right (though I do think it’s a fairly good show), but rather my claims about the accuracy of Dr. STONE’s claims about science. The show, for those unfamiliar with it, is about a teenager with superhuman scientific knowledge trying to see if he can (for reasons I won’t reveal) obtain our technology from scratch.
While he does this, the show explores a lot of topics central to what science is:
  1. Does science produce epistemic achievements about unobservables? That is, does science ever figure out anything? Are our best scientific theories approximating truth?
  2. What is the essence of science?
  3. Does science have a specific method to it? If so, what?
  4. Who should we, and scientists, recognize as having epistemic authority?
All of these are really important questions, but I can’t go over them all. Here’s a brief answer to each of them, and an overview of what I’ll be discussing in this post.
  1. Experts are about four times as likely to say “yes” than “no,” but there’s still a lot of disagreement on the issue. Furthermore, despite the expert consensus on the matter, scientists at large seem to disagree, with many leading scholars observing that scientists tend to hold or express what are called “anti-realist” attitudes.
  2. Not any of the main answers prior to the last few decades.
  3. No, “the scientific method” is a myth (though fortunately, people are listening more and more to experts on the matter) and there’s likely no such thing, though often useful for teaching those unfamiliar with science about it.
  4. There’s disagreement, but there’s been a stronger push away from hard distinctions between observers and subjects in terms of epistemic authority, and naïve notions of objectivity. Much research shows that they have an ironic tendency of moving us away from the objective truth.
I could talk at great length about all of these issues and how the shows explore them. I’m especially passionate about 4. But I’ll be going with 2, and briefly, 3.
I should clarify that I don’t think the show (and presumably manga) is wildly inaccurate, bordering on pseudoscience or anything. Indeed, it’s specifically the fact that the manga is so well-researched, accurate, and pays so much attention to detail that it makes for a good subject of analysis. I mean, who would want to see me give a detailed analysis of how Ant-Man or Avengers: Endgame is at odds with science? I think everyone can tell the films were playing it a bit fast and loose with quantum mechanics (and classical mechanics, and their own mechanics, etc.).
But Dr. STONE can be so accurate that where it gets things wildly inaccurate becomes especially interesting. It’s actually so good that instead of writing a paper like my professor asked for for my final assignment, I wrote a Dr. STONE (and Back to the Future) inspired short story that explores the four issues I just listed above. I won’t be sharing that story, of course; it was a rushed, 3-day final project, but this should speak to just how much I fell in love with elements from this show.
So. What is the essence of science?

How Dr. STONE drops the philosophers’ stone: What Senku says

Senku makes a lot of offhand comments about what science is. While the show proposes several positions with respect to all four topics above, I’ll be focusing on the things relating to topics 2 and 3. Some stuff worth going over are Senku’s claims that:
Some of these, I might mention or comment on in passing while saying quite a bit more on the others. So, what does Senku get right and what does Senku get wrong?

Is Senku right about hypothesizing, experimenting, and replication? Let’s find out.

Is Senku right about hypothesizing, experimenting, and replication? Let’s find out.

Senku claims that science involves hypothesizing and experimenting over and over, slowly, to refute another character’s claim that science was epistemically failing them. Is it true that these are necessary (Senku seems to be claiming that these are necessary rather than sufficient conditions for science; the latter claim would be a bit more untenable) conditions for science?
There’s a lot to be said about whether hypotheses and experiments are necessary to science, but I think I’ll give Senku those since I think the last part is a bit more interesting (and it’s a bit harder to adjudicate what exactly Senku means with the former components, and some ways of interpreting it might run into issues with cases like Bell’s theorem).
Science seems to centrally need replication and reproducibility, does it not? That’s why, after all, the purported replication crisis we’ve had for some time now seems so fundamentally troubling for science.
But as historian of science Friedrich Steinle will note, while replication is important, it’s not so essential that science can be accurately described as the process of hypothesizing and experimenting over and over. Sometimes, you hypothesize, do an experiment, and there’s no demand for replication at all, which, by Steinle’s lights, appears to be a correct judgment. So as it turns out, science’s relationship to replication and reproducibility is incredibly complex, and a great deal of research by historians, philosophers, and social scientists has been necessary to understand this relationship.
Steinle offers an example, noting that “The first vacuum pump was designed and put in operation by the Magdeburg mayor and former technical advisor Otto von Guericke in the 1650….Guericke’s apparatus was unique, complicated, expensive, and difficult to handle….In any case, it is clear that replication was not an issue for Guericke; but even without replication, no doubts were raised about his results. This had probably to do with his public performance that could be witnessed by a large number of participants.” There’s no reason to think that the common sense of scientists at the time was wrongheaded. The judgment that replication was unnecessary in the case of Guericke’s experiment, and unnecessary to science overall, seems to be a very strong datum that it is, in fact, not necessary. This doesn’t mean replication can be neglected or that it’s unimportant, Steinle himself will note that it’s clearly necessary in all sorts of cases. But here, it was not. The need for replication is incredibly contextual, and it is not a part of the necessary or sufficient conditions of science.
Indeed, there may be no such things as necessary or sufficient conditions of science. To elaborate, let’s consider the two related claims that science is fundamentally about figuring out underlying rules, and that it is the “pain-in-the-ass” method by which we discover those underlying rules.

Getting directly at the several millennia old issue: What is the essence of science, and what does Dr. STONE get wrong about science?

So, what about those two claims?
They’re actually precedented. What Senku is claiming here is rooted in a mish mash of historical events, but, as I’ll demonstrate, what these events teach us is actually that Senku is rather confused about what it is that science is. First, we’ll need to talk about the problem we’re grappling with here, then the history of the problem, and finally what we can draw from that history.

What’s the problem?

What we’re dealing with is called the demarcation problem, and it’s a problem we’ve been facing for over two millennia. It’s an incredibly important problem, and is the engine behind a great many events in intellectual history. The importance of this problem to those events is to such a severe extent that some historians or those interested in history have considered it disappointing that those events are taught without this incredibly necessary context.
So, what is the demarcation problem and why is it so damned important that it’s so central to so many historical events? Briefly:
Why is this so important? Well, science has a lot of epistemic weight. Since the ancient era, we listened to scientists. When they said something was going on, we took them at their word. That is, they have epistemic authority. We teach our children, as well as adults, what the results of science were and what scientists are doing today. We fund scientists. And we do all of these things to science in a way where we don’t do it to that which isn’t science; we rightly pass on scientific knowledge and not pseudoscientific knowledge, or at least we try or purport to.
Short of the infeasible task of getting all legislators and everyone else familiar with every branch of academia and its pseudo-counterparts, sufficient to distinguish science from pseudoscience, we’re gonna need a demarcation between science and non-science.
With that in mind, what are some things we want from a theory of what demarcates science and non-science? For ease of reference, I’ll call these desiderata from here on out.

The desiderata of demarcation

I’ll not only be going over the desiderata of demarcation, but why those desiderata are justified. A demarcation between science and non-science should:
  1. be in line with actual scientific practice,
  2. provide the necessary conditions of science,
  3. provide the sufficient conditions of science, and
  4. explain the normative properties of science (i.e. why it’s so valuable in all the ways we think it’s valuable.
So , why do we need to satisfy all four desiderata? I’ll consider them one by one.
(1) Why should a solution to the demarcation problem actually describe scientific practice? A solution should aim to fit within the sciences those paradigmatic sciences such as physics, chemistry, and biology. For consider if the demarcation only purported to show some non-actual, ideal demarcation. How would a solution do any of what we want it to then? If physics isn't a science, then our desire to take physicists to be authoritative cannot come from our desire to take scientists in general to be authoritative, since that desire corresponds to non-actual scientists.
(2) Why should a solution to the demarcation problem provide the necessary conditions for science? If it only gave the sufficient conditions, then certainly, we'd be able to know when some investigation isn't pseudo-scientific, is authoritative or worthwhile as such, etc. But now, we'd have no ability to know when some investigation isn't pseudo-scientific, shouldn't be paid any heed, shouldn't be funded, etc.
(3) Why should a solution to the demarcation problem provide the sufficient conditions for science? If it only gave the necessary conditions, then certainly, we'd be able to know when some investigation is pseudo-scientific, isn't authoritative or worthwhile as such, etc. But now, we'd have no ability to know when some investigation is pseudo-scientific, shouldn't be paid any heed, shouldn't be funded, etc.
(4) Why should a solution to the demarcation problem make it clear why science is valuable? If all we're doing is just coming up with some unimportant, formal distinction between fields, the problem wouldn't be any more important than demarcating between various sciences. Sure, we think there's a difference between physics and biology, but if it came to light that this wasn't the case, would it matter, and would everyone focus intensely on figuring out the demarcation? A solution to the demarcation problem should let us know what to fund, who to listen to, etc.
So, without further ado, here is the history of answers to this problem.

What have we already tried?

It’s a little ambiguous what exactly Senku is saying, but I think I have a good idea of what he might be trying to get at. So I’ll try to go over the history (with much thanks to Larry Laudan) independently of Senku’s thoughts, and then offer my comments on what Senku is trying to get across.

A. Aristotle

So, with the four desiderata in mind, what solutions have been provided throughout the history of philosophy and science to the problem? What did people think was the difference between science and non-science? We can trace this problem back to Parmenides of Ancient Greece. Concerns about the difference between episteme, or knowledge, and doxa, or mere opinion, loomed large. Aristotle provided a solution in his Posterior Analytics, positing that scientific knowledge had to involve indisputable, complete, absolute certainty. After all, if scientific beliefs are as uncertain as the rest of our beliefs, it's not obvious that there would be any hard divide between scientific knowledge and mere opinion.
He also thought that scientific knowledge must involve more than knowing how to do things, but knowing why those things work. I may know that trees lose their leaves in fall because of wind blowing them away, but this is not scientific knowledge. I must demonstrate how this occurs from more fundamental, general causes for scientific knowledge. So, scientific knowledge would be deeper, like the knowledge that less sunlight limits chlorophyll which is needed for leaves to stick to trees.
In other words, science had to be “derived from first principles,” so to speak. You can think of Aristotle’s “first principles” as something like the most basic laws of nature. What Aristotle had in mind specifically, was the prevailing geocentric theory having to do with elements. This part of history may be a little more popularly known than some of the other parts. Back in the day, the universe was thought to be geocentric; the Earth was at the center. Why? Was this just some sort of self-importance on our part? No, this seemed to best explain a lot of the phenomena we were witnessing. There were four fundamental elements. There were heavy, Earth-y things, or Fire-y things that went up. But up, down, etc. in relation to what? The Earth. Everything they observed seemed to have the Earth as a “telos,” as Aristotle would say. And they could see that. They could apparently sit down and observe, over and over, that all Earth-y objects have, as their telos, the Earth while Fire-y objects went away from the Earth.
So, they were certain of that much. There was no denying that there were four elements, that interactions between these elements and the rules they played by explained all phenomena. So, if it could just be demonstrated that something was entailed from these first principles, such a thing could be known for certain just like these first principles.
For science, we need principles which we are certain of and can logically derive facts of the world from, and we need to know what is fundamentally happening, on a deeper level, with our observations. This is what gives us absolute certainty.

B. Seventeenth and eighteenth century

By the time of Galileo and Newton, the need to figure out what was fundamentally going on at a deeper level was no longer taken to be needed for science. Galileo Newton refused to figure out why what he was saying was true, but all the same, he knew what he said of free-falling bodies was true with absolute certainty. Newton Galileo similarly didn't claim to know why the celestial bodies moved the way he said they did, but he said he was coming up with theories directly from the phenomena and so he was sure. He wanted to know why, but felt that was unimportant to his theories being scientific.
There were two driving forces behind dropping the second demarcative component devised by Aristotle, and keeping only certainty. First, it didn’t match up with the sciences. By this time, and even before, by the time of Ptolemy, mathematical astronomy was not at all deriving the trajectories of the celestial bodies from first principles. Astronomers were simply figuring out correlations between the movements of the celestial bodies and other bodies, the seasons, and so on. Explanation from first principles was no consideration at all. Some bit the bullet that astronomers just weren’t scientists, but this was a hard bullet to bite since it seems rather clear that we should listen to astronomers.
Second, there was an extremely worrying revolution that shook every scientist and philosopher to her core. The fall of geocentrism and the very first principles that all scientific knowledge had been derived from since then. After this, there was very little agreement over how it was that scientific knowledge was absolutely certain. René Descartes was someone who famously sought to show how we could have scientific knowledge. Certainty was very important, hence he dug down to find a belief in which he was certain, which he thought was his famous Cogito: I think, therefore I am. He thought we could derive all of science from this, and that’s how we could be certain of scientific knowledge. This wasn’t a fruitless endeavor. While he developed this attempt at demarcation, he discovered a lot that we still use to this day. For instance, it was Descartes who came up with science as being concerned with mechanisms and laws of nature, something physicists still do today. Prior to then, science was an investigation into teleology and purpose, not mechanisms and laws. This was a fundamental shift in our empirical investigations, one that has persisted in all sciences and one we can thank Descartes for.
When David Hume potentially showed that we couldn't even form any justification by which we could derive our predictions from just our observations beyond practical need, Immannuel Kant freaked out and spent the rest of his life coming up with an entire system of philosophy meant to show how science could be justified to a point of certainty as well as metaphysics as a science, which was concerned with only a small set of questions which could be answered in metaphysics (anticipating later attempts to throw out metaphysics, he too threw away much of it).
Newton, Kant, Descartes, Locke, Bacon, etc. argued all the time, then, over how it is scientific knowledge is infallible. But nobody denied that, of course, it was, if done right, infallible. If they just figured out how to do it right, they’d obtain certain knowledge.

C. Nineteeth century

By the nineteenth century, the fallibility of all of our beliefs became dominantly accepted, and so this solution could not do any longer. But if not complete and indisputable certainty, what could distinguish science from non-science? Researchers in the nineteenth century tried to demarcate science from non-science via method. There must have been some identifiable scientific method by which it could be shown that some pursuits were scientific and some were not.
The scientific method, they reasoned, could still be fallible, could still lead to mistakes, and so on, and so there was no threat of making the same mistake as the infallibilists of all the eras before them. But this method of testing would allow us to correct ourselves so that we could keep progressing despite our mistakes in our pursuit of knowledge. This attitude can be summarized in E.V. Davis’s pithy remark that, “"if science lead us astray, more science will set us straight.”
To be clear, the idea that there was some specific method of going about scientific investigation was not a new idea. But the idea that it was fallible, but still the best method of forming knowledge, was new. So, everyone tried to figure out what was in common between the sciences, and how it was that this method was better than other methods of trying to figure things out. Various proposals were made, but all of them were not only vague, they didn't even actually match what scientists were doing. Furthermore, nobody was able to explain how their proposed methods were better at forming knowledge than any of the other proposals.
Now, it is taken to be the case that there simply is no such thing as "the scientific method." Despite this, as noted in the following two links (also check their citations, especially Bauer's Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method), many science educators and the public at large still act as if it exists:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4522609/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-method/#SciMetSciEduSeeSci

D. Twentieth century

So, certainty doesn't work. Fundamentality doesn't work. Methodology doesn't work. Maybe distinguishing science and non-science via semantics and meaningfulness would work.
This was a large part of the attempts of the members of the Vienna circle, a group of scientists and philosophers who started a movement known as logical positivism. Logical positivism was an incredibly complex movement, which few contemporary summaries do justice. But to give an idea of the movement, I’ll briefly discuss their motivations and two prominent formulations of one of their central theses.

FORMULATING EARLY LOGICAL POSITIVISM

Logical positivism rose with the apparent increase in success of scientific, logical, mathematical, and linguistic investigation. Feeling the need to throw out all of philosophy which did not appear to show the promise of similar success, logical positivists aimed to restrict what sentences were meaningful down to much less. This would, in effect, allow them to put front and center the sciences, the mathematics, and so on, throwing out what they took to be nonsensical metaphysics. You can consider this a birthplace of certain scientistic cultural elements which persist to this very day.
It should be made clear that the logical positivists came off the heels of an era of philosophy where philosophers would make claims like "The absolute is perfect" or "Nothingness nothings," which the logical positivists saw as just a bunch of pseudo-poetic nonsense, as evidenced by their lack of any form of measurable success against their scientific counterparts, who made claims like "This is the data we should expect from this experiment." The logical positivists were much more sympathetic to the latter form of claims. They really seemed to mean something and weren't just apparently pseudo-poetic word salad, and they really seemed to be getting at some sort of success.
Another causally relevant factor was that Bertrand Russell had a significant influence on how the logical positivists thought of philosophy in the Medieval era. Russell would often mischaracterize them because he really hated them, and many of the logical positivists simply trusted Russell’s account after Russell became a central figure in philosophy due to his immense contributions to logic, mathematics, and the philosophies thereof. So, they aimed to throw away much of medieval philosophy too, which we know now was a grave mistake on their part, perhaps even more problematic than their belief that the claims in the previous paragraph were meaningless word salad.
In short, scientific investigation was good, nonsensical metaphysical investigation, whatever that was, was silly.
With those motivations in mind, in what follows, I will explain early logical positivism and its death as briefly as I can. I can elaborate should anyone be interested in these problems, but I suspect nobody will be, and so I will cut myself short on each part.
Early logical positivists defended the verificationist criterion of meaning, meaning they believed that all declarative sentences were:
A. Analytic: True or false in virtue of the meanings of the terms (e.g. "All squares have four sides," "All ravens are birds"). B. Empirically verifiable: Logically entailed from some finite set of possible observation (sentences), or could in principle be verified by some finite set of observation (sentences). C. Meaningless. It’s difficult to make out exactly what this means, but importantly, it meant that something wasn’t worth investigating.
This account failed.
First, it couldn’t account for sentences of universal form, or sentences of the form “All F is G,” or “Each x is such that if it is F, it is G,” or to put it symbolically, “(∀x)(Fx⊃Gx).” For example, claims like “All stars emit light” or “All electrons repel other electrons.” These weren’t true or false in virtue of the meanings of the terms alone, nor was it possible for them to be entailed by some finite set of observations (or rather, the sentences for those observations).
Second, it couldn’t resist the addition of meaningless disjuncts. Via disjunction introduction, the purportedly meaningless sentences could be added on without problem.
Third, it made certain claims about the same very same thing, of the very same subject, etc. meaningful while their counterparts were meaningless. For example, “unicorns exist” would be meaningful under this criterion, while “unicorns don’t exist” would not be. Why? Well, you may know that all positive statements are logically equivalent to some negative statement. This is often brought up when someone debunks the myth that “you can’t prove a negative.” But perhaps less known is that you can take this further: negative existential statements are logically equivalent to some positive universal sentence, such that negative existential statements run into the problem of being sentences of universal form, and thus (as previously demonstrated) meaningless.
A demarcation which distinguishes between “unicorns exist” and “unicorns don’t exist” as scientific or not is deeply, and perhaps fatally, problematic.
Fourth, Gödel's theorem, often summarized as truth outrunning provability in formal systems, demonstrated that for any language with a finite set of axioms (and inference rules) that let you do some arithmetic, some sentences within that language can't be proven or disproven. This meant that, contrary to the hopes of the logical positivists, mathematics couldn’t all be accounted for analytically via a small set of syntactic rules.
Fifth, the early criterion was self-defeating. The criterion itself was neither analytic nor empirically verifiable. So, if the criterion was correct, then it was meaningless. Otherwise, it was incorrect. A.J. Ayer’s defense against this claim involved taking “meaningless” to be an academic term of art, simply defined a certain way, but that would mean that it has nothing to do with whether something is worth investigating or whether some research was worth respecting.
In short, early logical positivism faced a lot of problems, any of which were individually fatal to it, which prompted later developments.
Later on, many logical positivists (though I emphasize again the incredibly diversity of the movement) defended the translatability criterion of meaning, meaning they believed that all declarative sentences were either:
A. Empirically translatable: Translatable into an empiricist language, which, following Hempel, I'll denote as L. B. Meaningless.
What does it mean for a sentence to be translatable into language L? This can be left a little bit open, so that various languages are proposed which would satisfy the motivations of the logical positivists. But Hempel considers a specific proposal for L that he thinks at least approaches being a serious contender. L is any language wherein:
C. The vocabulary of *L* contains (i) logical expressions like "if...then," "not," "and," "or," "all," "some," and so on, (ii) certain observation predicates, where observation predicates are terms which designate directly observable characteristics like "green," "soft," and "taller than," and so on, and finally (iii) any expression which can be defined via the terms of i and ii. D. The syntax of *L* is the syntax of some contemporary logical system, like that of the Principia Mathematica.
If you don't quite get that, that's fine; the basic idea here is that there is this language which is entirely restricted to sentences which would describe something we can observe and investigate. It has to be about a direct observation, or something that a direct observation implies. If you say "Hey, my good is green," I can do some science on that claim and be like "Yep, sure is, Sam-I-Am," or "Nope, I am afraid you are outside of your mind with respect to the coloration of those items, my dear friend Sam-I-Am." If you say "Hey, this glowing stuff is radioactive," then even though I can't directly observe radiation, I can do some science on that claim too because it entails certain direct observations.
Hopefully, that gives at least some blurry shape to this criterion.
This solves all of the old problems (will elaborate if needed), but comes with fatal new problems.
First, it can’t account for dispositional terms like “fragile.” We can do this today thanks to the advent of possible worlds semantics (which is also how we know, with nearly unanimous consensus, that there exist other possible worlds), but even that probably wouldn’t have helped the translatability criterion.
Second, by the 1950s, plenty of highly sophisticated theoretical abstracts simply couldn’t be defined or reduced to observation predicates. These include terms like “wavefunction” or “electric field.”
Third, accounting for inductive inference syntactically made inductive inference relative or underdetermined by anything other than language. Inductive inference is central to our everyday lives. When you decided to eat food rather than drink arsenic for nutrition this morning, you inferred from what you’ve observed what experiences you haven’t observed would be like. Any theory that can’t account for this is wrong.
In response to problems like this, even later thinkers would allow for theories which had any observational component(s) at all, so long as the rest of the theory was broadly, appropriately, liberally related to those observational components.
But of course, research in metaphysics, much like theoretical physics, does do that. This marked the end of the anti-metaphysics and anti-philosophy of logical positivism, as it was demonstrated despite their best efforts that it seemed impossible to demarcate between the sciences and metaphysics. Later on, logical positivism died.
What were some other attempts worth mentioning in the twentieth century? Karl Popper thought that maybe the sciences were falsifiable while the non-sciences weren’t, but this position is as dead as logical positivism. Others thought that science was unique in that it progressed, while non-sciences didn’t, but this doesn’t turn out well at all either. Others interpreted science pragmatically and as having to do with its useful and practical applications, but this didn’t work out either.
Others have done great work on how these failed, but with this section dragging on a bit, I’ll just note for one of them that clearly, plenty of non-scientific fields progress, like literary criticism, metaethics, history, foundations of quantum mechanics, military strategy, etc. We certainly know more in those fields than we did a century ago, it’d be absurd to tell a military general otherwise. On the other hand, plenty of sciences don’t or didn’t progress for a very long time, tentative candidates brought up by Larry Laudan being: “acoustics from 1750 to 1780; human anatomy from 1900 to 1920; kinematic astronomy from 1200 to 1500; rational mechanics from 1910 to 1940.”
Perhaps an even bigger problem with some of the attempts in the twentieth century is many of them, Popper’s and A.J. Ayer’s in particular, failed to meet the fourth desiderata. They became much closer to simply esoteric distinctions without implications.

E. Do we have a solution today?

So, are we still trying to figure out the demarcation problem now? Or did we figure it out? I think it’s the latter. But insofar as we’re trying to understand what Senku says (he never does touch on the correct answer), this is likely mostly irrelevant for our purposes. But I’ll make a few notes here so as to not leave readers unsatisfied, then move on.
The contemporary answer usually involves giving up necessary and sufficient conditions altogether. This is as revolutionary as it is deeply problematic for practical reasons. Let me offer a historical fact that I’m uniquely situated to give. Once upon a time, there was a United States Supreme Court case meant to decide once and for all whether creationism should be taught in schools. The answer is, of course, that it should not be.
So, the supreme court brought in a very well known expert on the matter: Michael Ruse. Michael Ruse was going to adjudicate on what was and wasn’t science for the purposes of the United States Supreme Court, and was going to change the world with it. What was Michael Ruse’s answer? Something like logical positivism.
Why did he do this? Well, Michael Ruse happens to be my professor’s professor, and so I have a bit of insight into what Ruse was thinking here via what he said when his student asked him about his decision to give a false answer to the demarcation question when he was asked for the goods.
Here’s the problem. The newer answers have no necessary or sufficient conditions. The Supreme Court can’t work with that. But obviously, we need to keep creationism out of schools. The older answers lacked the normative component, and also were demonstrably not the correct necessary and sufficient conditions, but you could work with them. You could clearly adjudicate on what was and wasn’t science for legislative purposes.
But even if all the answers involve quite a bit of vagueness, resistant to the sort of judgments practically necessary, we do have answers. These days, demarcative questions involve quite a bit of vagueness. Laudan himself suggests simply giving up terms like “pseudoscience” and “non-science,” researching only into what knowledge is and isn’t reliable. So, on the one end, you have fields like history, metaethics, literary criticism, biology, foundations of quantum mechanics, modal semantics, mathematics, causation, and so on. These fields give us reliable knowledge. Then, closer to the other end of the spectrum, you have things like social Darwinism, creationism, Myers-Briggs typology, objectivism, acupuncture, conversion therapy, and so on. These fields, theories, topics, etc. don’t give us or involve reliable knowledge.
And then, between the reliable sciences and non-sciences, it’s not uncommon (though not unanimous) to see another sort of spectrum. On one end, you have research that might be thought of as more “direct” or “observational.” Further away, you have more theoretical fields. So, modal semantics, the foundations of quantum mechanics, moral ontology, causation, physical cosmology, and so on.
In short, many contend that the search for strict demarcation has ended, for better or worse, contrary to what Senku seems to want.

What does this mean for Senku? Why is he wrong? (Summary included)

Senku claims that the basis of science is figuring out underlying rules. But as we’ve seen, this Aristotelian view of science didn’t work out so well. Now, of course, one reason was that our understanding of underlying rules wasn’t infallible, which is hardly a problem for us today, seeing as we’re fallibilists. But another is that plenty of sciences simply don’t look for underlying mechanisms explaining the phenomena, etc. I gave the example of astronomy, which for the longest time did no such thing. There are plenty of other examples today. Indeed, many physicists complain that this is the case for large swathes of their field.
He also expresses a belief in the scientific method. But after intense research in the nineteenth century, it doesn’t seem like there’s any such thing. Throughout history, much research, being done clearly as it ought to be, didn’t involve many things often purported to be methodologically necessary, like replication or hypothesizing.
Anyway, I’d love to write more, and if enough people find any part of this interesting, I plan to write more, whether to elaborate on certain things I cut short here or to answer the other questions I listed that the show tackles. But you gotta make the cut somewhere.
All in all, despite these inaccuracies, I don’t want people to be left with the notion that this show is overall scientific hogwash. While it gets its central and fundamental questions wrong, the research into other areas are pretty detailed.
I’d love to talk to the mangaka, Riichiro Inagaki, about all of this. I wouldn’t just bring up the flaws I just mentioned, but my adoration of the show and the aesthetic context it exists in. I’d want them to understand both these flaws and what an incredible achievement with respect to representations of science it is. But alas, I have no way of communicating to Inagaki at this time! Maybe one day, hey?
Anyway, to summarize like I did in the other sections, the show explores a lot of topics central to what science is, two of which are:
  1. What is the essence of science?
  2. Does science have a specific method to it? If so, what?
Here’s a brief answer to both:
  1. Not any of the main answers prior to the last few decades.
  2. No, “the scientific method” is a myth (though fortunately, scientists are listening more and more to experts on the matter) and there’s likely no such thing, though often useful for teaching those unfamiliar with science about it.
Senku has something of a mish mash between Aristotle's, Descartes's(?), and the nineteenth century account, and unfortunately, all of these have been debunked.
Hopefully, everyone’s gained something from all of this. Let me know and let me know if it’s worth writing the rest of what I’d like to write about on the matter. :)

Sources and further reading

To stay under the character limit, I'll add this as a comment below. Someone remind me!
submitted by justanediblefriend to badscience [link] [comments]

i don't like doing this but here we are

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A blind is a forced bet; it counts for the first betting round. An ante is not a bet at all. In fact, it does not matter whether the ante is paid by all players at the table or just by one player (search for "button ante"): The ante is removed before the initial betting phase starts – Uwe Oct 26 '19 at 17:03 Let’s look at how betting odds work. Essentially, odds define the projected return as a multiple of the stake when a bet is successful. There are two main types of odds that are used in the UK and across Europe. These are known as either fractional or decimal odds. Fractional odds have been in use for much longer. Ante-post bets are an exception to Rule 4 deductions. Bets placed on an ante-post market will not be subject to a Rule 4 deductions regardless of any non-runners. This is one of the main benefits of ante-post punting, however if you stake an ante-post bet and your selection does not take part in the event, your stake will not be refunded as a Ante-post: A bet placed before the betting market opens on the expectation that the price of the horse is presently more favourable than it will be when the course's market opens. Apprentice: Young jockeys who work for/with a trainer while they gain valuable riding experience. Outrights / Ante Post Betting. The biggest advantage of placing Ante Post bets online is you don’t have to keep the ticket unscratched, everything is digital after all! Let’s say you want to back England to win the 2018 World Cup.

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