Category Archives: News, Updates, Etc.

I Wrote a Novel!

Click the cover to see the book on Amazon.

Last spring I published my first novel, a technothriller titled All In. Here’s the blurb:

“During a routine corporate security job, hacker Jim Ericssen accidentally steps on the digital toes of something he’s never “met” before: a powerful, malevolent, artificial intelligence, buried deep in cyberspace. He probably could’ve survived just fine. All it would take is an apology and a promise of silence.

But Jim’s big problem—pride—gets in the way, and he pushes too far.

Immediately, he’s in serious trouble: an escalating back-and-forth battle with a brutal menu of real-world consequences, including everything from prison to an early grave. And his AI foe proves able to hack and use just about anything attached to the internet as a weapon.

As their one-on-one fight explodes into an inconceivable global conflict, Jim must navigate dwindling options to save not just his own life, but humanity, from a desperate future…”

Read it now on Amazon/Kindle, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books & More!

Taking a Break in 2018

I’m sorry to report I won’t post NASCAR Cup driver rankings or DraftKings driver values this season. Doing all that posting is a big time suck, and I don’t make hardly any money doing it. It also reduces the amount of time I can spend on other projects, and one of my contract jobs has gotten much busier this winter.

Most importantly, I built up a decent bankroll on DraftKings last year (in part by taking down the NASCAR Beast), so I’m gonna take it seriously this year to see if I can actually win some consistent, significant $. I figure posting driver rankings and DraftKings driver values might actually harm that pursuit, so I will stop giving my competitors my info.

Or at least until I go broke! Who knows, if I go bust on DraftKings, I may resume posting rankings/values at some point this season. I’ll leave the blog up, and I may post non-rankings content, too.

Good luck this season!

NASCARPredict’s 2016 Results

fantasyracingcheatsheet2016finalnumbers screenshot

Last season my top five picks topped the expert panel on Fantasy Racing Cheatsheet.

With the NASCAR Sprint Cup 2016 season in the books, I’ve gone through all my final race rankings and DraftKings lineups from this year and evaluated how they performed compared with all the actual race results. Here are the results in five arenas:

1. Race Winners

In 2016, I picked four winners out of the 30 non-plate and non-road course races. That’s a 13% win rate, but keep in mind those 30 races don’t provide statistical significance because NASCAR Sprint Cup racing features so much variance.

To gain statistical significance, I increased the sample size by adding the data from my 2010–2015 picks, which gives me 205 non-plate/road-course races. (Sharp-eyed readers will notice five years of non-plate/road-course picks should equal 150 races, not 145; it’s 145 because I didn’t handicap two races in 2010 and three in 2011.)

The results: Over 205 races, I’ve picked 37 of 205 winners. That’s an 18% win rate, which works out to 4.6-1 odds for break-even betting.

2. Top 5 Percentage

Last season I again participated in Fantasy Racing Cheatsheet‘s (FRC) Experts Picks section. In this section, FRC lists the top five picks for each NASCAR race from four NASCAR handicapping and fantasy experts (including me), and the aggregate picks of its readers. It also lists how successful each expert was picking the top five drivers all season.

The experts’ 2016 top-five pick rates ranged from 38%–43%. I tied for first place at 43% with the readers’ aggregate picks (yes, there is something to that pesky wisdom-of-crowds concept!).

3. Standard Deviation
For each race last year, I ranked all 40 drivers; that is, I predicted where each driver would finish in each Sprint Cup race. I’ve since gone back and calculated the difference between each driver prediction with their actual race result. Example: At Homestead, I predicted Jimmie Johnson would finish 7th, but he actually won, so the difference (i.e., deviation) equaled 6.

I’ve also calculated the overall standard deviation (SD) for all my 2016 predictions. Calculating SD involves squaring each difference, adding all the results, calculating the mean and then calculating the square root of the mean. The result: 10.37.

That’s my best result since 2012.

4. Yahoo Fantasy NASCAR

2016yahoofantasynascarresults screenshot

I stumbled to the finish line this year in the Yahoo game, finishing in the 97th percentile.

Last season I was so-so in the Yahoo game. I finished with 10,094 points, which placed me in the 97th percentile. I finished 9th out of 48 competitors in Kyle Wiseman’s league in Fantasy NASCAR Preview’s forum, and 7th out of 493 competitors in the /r/NASCAR league on Reddit. I actually was crushing it for the first 2/3 of the year, but my teams fell down during the Chase with several disastrous Sundays.

5. DraftKings Lineups
I started fooling around with DraftKings NASCAR in late 2015, and I began playing it in earnest last season. I actually won a big guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tourney late last season, which was exciting. Of course, I suffered some old fashioned beat downs on other weekends, too.

draftkingsgppwin screen shot

I finally took down a DraftKings NASCAR GPP in November.

In all, I’ve played 298 total NASCAR lineups so far, with an average return-on-investment (ROI) of +9% (i.e., on average every $1 bet returned $1.09). I learned a lot across all those races, and I think both my lineups and my entry tactics have improved over time, particularly when I sat down last spring and made some big adjustments. And the numbers bear this out: From March 20 through the end of last season, I played 245 lineups with a +22% average ROI. Even better, those 245 lineups include a big downswing at the end of the season.

Bottom line: I anticipate a healthy ROI next season. And yes, I play lineups from the same list of top 30 lineups I post each week (though sometimes I’ll dip below the top 30 into somewhat weaker territory).

That’s it for now. It’s almost time to start crunching Daytona data!