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Unnecessary Risk - How Valve's lack of enforcement could be hurting the integrity of the game
I’m sure many of you have seen the recent thread on the ESEA forums which involved a game between Nexus and ThirdEq. In case you haven’t, here’s the link to the thread. It has since been locked, but it’s still four pages and 166 comments of ridiculousness. You’ll probably want to read through all those pages if you want to be fully informed, but I’ll go ahead and link all of the screenshots that were in those comments. https://gyazo.com/3338244b86820984c582c6b7370e0939 http://i.imgur.com/SKpB3HS.png https://gyazo.com/a402a8a36382cf28ecb11a61410fa01b https://embed.gyazo.com/6215d43c8334d9aa190a786c9a93806e.png https://embed.gyazo.com/a5c8c38b1aba20c1358a265d6b835608.png https://gyazo.com/3af3bb8df53fd3f85d81458414cb60dd Now, as you can see, there are some bold accusations being made in there…. But keep in mind that that is ALL that is in there. Speculation and accusations…. No real firm proof. Take what you want and formulate your own opinion on what you think about it, but I cannot stress this enough, “NONE OF WHAT IS IN THOSE SCREENSHOTS DEFINITIVELY PROVES THAT MATCH FIXING IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.” What I want to talk about is the “Unnecessary Risks” blog post that was made by Valve after the iBP incident. In this blog, Valve not only addresses the integrity of professional players placing bets, but they mention something that I find interesting. “Professional players, teams, and anyone involved in the production of CS:GO events, should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches, associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets." I think most of us can agree that players on the highest tier professional teams don’t bet on competitive CS:GO games. There’s just too much risk for too little reward for them. However, the part that I am interested in is the “Professional players, teams, ……. Should under no circumstances …… associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets.” That seems pretty clear to me…. Players on professional teams SHOULD NOT have high profile gamblers on their friends list. They should not communicate with them. They should not provide information to them. If you are at all familiar with gambling on Counter-Strike games, then you'll know that there are some big fish out there. There is a select few people who have betting profits of well over $100,000 (some of which are in the screenshots I linked above). And you know what a lot of those people have in common? A large portion of them have an uncomfortable amount of professional players on their friends lists.... One such bettor has the following NA pros readily available for a steam chat: MikNutty, Relkys, Roca, RUSH, Lex, Virtus, Abe, Bloominator, dsr, cubed, fl0m, nitr0, f0bless, NAF-FLY, mCe, Paul_Newman, Twistzz, Fugly, ryx, vice, wade, zNf, MARIO, daps, shinobi, fruit, aGm, autimatic, JoshRT This particular person has been associated with large betting sites and has accumulated over $150,000 of sales on OPSkins. Let me repeat that; this SUPER heavy bettor that has a 6 figure betting profit, has players on his friends list from a majority of the T1-3 teams in NA. My worry is that these players don’t even realize what jeopardy they are putting themselves in. Valve may not be the most proactive company in the world, but if one day they decide to enforce the rules they provided, then this might shatter the NA scene. I’m not saying that they will ban all these players for this association, but if evidence comes forward that shows someone's involvement in match fixing, these guys may well be caught up in the ensuing investigation. I honestly don’t think this is a good situation for anyone involved - the players, the bettors, nor the community. It’s like a bookie in Vegas having the numbers for players on the Lakers, Knicks, Cavs, etc. in their phone. The NBA would never stand for that type of “guilty by association” crap. They would swiftly and handily deal with said players, even if it meant that they handled it behind closed doors. And what does Valve do? They make a definitive statement that they never bother to reinforce. I once had a manager that gave me some great advice when he was telling me about managing other people. "Inspect what you expect. If you don't hold people accountable for what you tell them to do, both positively and negatively, then how will you know it's actually being done?" Valve's lack of inspecting their expectation could potentially cause a whirlwind of unnecessary drama. The onus is on them to take preventative measures to protect the integrity of their game. Gambling has always had a reputation for attracting people who are willing to compromise their integrity in order to make a few bucks. As a growing industry, eSports is susceptible to the initial pains of this more than established professional sports that have been around for ages. We've already seen evidence of this in the Counter-Strike scene with the iBP players getting caught throwing a game. It would be naive to say that they were the only ones. In fact, with the information provided above, professional players throwing games may still be a problem. And until Valve is willing to enforce their own statements, then it'll continue to be an issue going forward.
Unnecessary Risk - How Valve's lack of enforcement could be hurting the integrity of the game
NOTE: This is gonna be a long one boys.... I typed this out a little while ago and I edited it a bit before submitting it to /GlobalOffensive. It's original intent was to be posted here, but I feel like it like it's an important enough issue to warrant a general post over there as well. If you manage to read through the whole thing, good job :D I really hope you enjoy the article and can glean your own interpretation of how Valve's blog should be interpreted. I’m sure many of you have seen the recent thread on the ESEA forums which involved a game between Nexus and ThirdEq. In case you haven’t, here’s the link to the thread. It has since been locked, but it’s still four pages and 166 comments of ridiculousness. You’ll probably want to read through all those pages if you want to be fully informed, but I’ll go ahead and link all of the screenshots that were in those comments. https://gyazo.com/3338244b86820984c582c6b7370e0939 http://i.imgur.com/SKpB3HS.png https://gyazo.com/a402a8a36382cf28ecb11a61410fa01b https://embed.gyazo.com/6215d43c8334d9aa190a786c9a93806e.png https://embed.gyazo.com/a5c8c38b1aba20c1358a265d6b835608.png https://gyazo.com/3af3bb8df53fd3f85d81458414cb60dd Now, as you can see, there are some bold accusations being made in there…. But keep in mind that that is ALL that is in there. Speculation and accusations…. No real firm proof. Take what you want and formulate your own opinion on what you think about it, but I cannot stress this enough, “NONE OF WHAT IS IN THOSE SCREENSHOTS DEFINITIVELY PROVES THAT MATCH FIXING IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.” What I want to talk about is the “Unnecessary Risks” blog post that was made by Valve after the iBP incident. In this blog, Valve not only addresses the integrity of professional players placing bets, but they mention something that I find interesting. “Professional players, teams, and anyone involved in the production of CS:GO events, should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches, associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets." I think most of us can agree that players on the highest tier professional teams don’t bet on competitive CS:GO games. There’s just too much risk for too little reward for them. However, the part that I am interested in is the “Professional players, teams, ……. Should under no circumstances …… associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets.” That seems pretty clear to me…. Players on professional teams SHOULD NOT have high profile gamblers on their friends list. They should not communicate with them. They should not provide information to them. If you are at all familiar with gambling on Counter-Strike games, then you'll know that there are some big fish out there. There is a select few people who have betting profits of well over $100,000 (some of which are in the screenshots I linked above). And you know what a lot of those people have in common? A large portion of them have an uncomfortable amount of professional players on their friends lists.... One such bettor has the following NA pros readily available for a steam chat: MikNutty, Relkys, Roca, RUSH, Lex, Virtus, Abe, Bloominator, dsr, cubed, fl0m, nitr0, f0bless, NAF-FLY, mCe, Paul_Newman, Twistzz, Fugly, ryx, vice, wade, zNf, MARIO, daps, shinobi, fruit, aGm, autimatic, JoshRT This particular person has been associated with large betting sites and has accumulated over $150,000 of sales on OPSkins. Let me repeat that; this SUPER heavy bettor that has a 6 figure betting profit, has players on his friends list from a majority of the T1-3 teams in NA. My worry is that these players don’t even realize what jeopardy they are putting themselves in. Valve may not be the most proactive company in the world, but if one day they decide to enforce the rules they provided, then this might shatter the NA scene. I’m not saying that they will ban all these players for this association, but if evidence comes forward that shows someone’s involvement in match fixing, these guys may well be caught up in the ensuing investigation. I honestly don’t think this is a good situation for anyone involved - the players, the bettors, nor the community. It’s like a bookie in Vegas having the numbers for players on the Lakers, Knicks, Cavs, etc. in their phone. The NBA would never stand for that type of “guilty by association” crap. They would swiftly and handily deal with said players, even if it meant that they handled it behind closed doors. And what does Valve do? They make a definitive statement that they never bother to reinforce. I once had a manager that gave me some great advice when he was telling me about managing other people. "Inspect what you expect. If you don't hold people accountable for what they do, both positively and negatively, then how will you know it's actually being done?" Valve's lack of inspecting their expectation could potentially cause a whirlwind of unnecessary drama. The onus is on them to take preventative measures to protect the integrity of their game. Gambling has always had a reputation for attracting people who are willing to compromise their integrity in order to make a few bucks. As a growing industry, eSports is susceptible to the initial pains of this more than established professional sports that have been around for ages. We've already seen evidence of this in the Counter-Strike scene with the iBP players getting caught throwing a game. It would be naive to say that they were the only ones. In fact, with the information provided above, professional players throwing games may still be a problem. And until Valve is willing to enforce their own statements, then it'll continue to be an issue going forward.
The man swung the door open with a frantic shove, barely stopping short of tumbling into the endless void waiting on the other side. "i tHink yOu Will fiNd yOurself hArd preSsed tO loCate a mEans oF eGress, Mr. LoMan,” crackled a discordant voice, resonating from everywhere at once, and yet nowhere at all. The disembodied antagonist sounded human enough, but meted out syllables with a perturbed, unnatural cadence. The speech sounded foreign yet familiar, as though uttered by an entity who’d studied language exhaustively, but hadn’t ever attempted to speak aloud until this very moment. The terrified man whom the voice addressed – Mr. Loman, presumably – scanned the empty hotel hallway. He saw only doors and doors and doors, stretching off into infinity on either side of him. A low rumble welled up from under the carpet, rattling the bones beneath his damp, sweaty skin. Mr. Loman ran. He ran for a solid minute before daring to look behind him. Even then, he risked only a quick jerk of the neck over the shoulder, sprinting all the while. The sight that greeted Mr. Loman forced him onward, despite burning lungs and aching knees. The floor was collapsing. Not even collapsing -- vanishing. Patterned section by patterned section, the hallway faded from existence, swallowed by a boundless oblivion. “sO muCh timE wasted, seeKing eXternal trutHs, aS thoUgh tHe worldS wiThin oUrselves aRe noT alReady inFinte…” The hallway ended abruptly, concluding with a single locked door. Mr. Loman tugged at the knob with an agitated groan. The door did not oblige him. The interminable blackness rapidly devoured the floor beneath his feet, swallowing both Mr. Loman and his screams as he tumbled into the darkness. “wE All conTain multitUdes, mR. LomAn – eVen oNe Such aS yOu…” Saturday, January 19th, 2038 Noelle King’s morning – like most of her better ones – started with a whisky-cut latte and a dead body. She paced the limited quarters of the squalid motel room, looking for anything out of place. Well, anything other than the corpse, obviously. The poor, lifeless bastard lay slumped in a washed-out armchair, chin pulled to his chest, eyes still open, half-closed in death. But aside from the stiff throwing off the room’s feng shui, nothing else seemed amiss: no signs of a struggle, nothing bloodied, nothing broken. That was bad news for Noelle and her partner, Charlie B. A murder investigation could be rolled into several days' worth of expenses for their P.I. firm. Several weeks' worth, even, depending on how creative Charlie got with the accounting. Death by natural causes, however, produced far fewer billable hours. And as it stood, cash proved the only effective means of keeping at bay the particularly ill-intentioned swarm of creditors, bookies and bankers who drifted into the agency’s orbit on an almost daily basis. “We sure this is even a crime scene, Charlie?” asked Noelle, pouring more Seagram’s into her cup, further diluting the already nominal coffee-to-not-coffee ratio. “Could’ve been a heart attack. Or an overdose. Hell, I’ll bet you a year’s Basic that we find some cheap speed in the nightstand, right next to the Bible.” “Oh, did you qualify for Basic Income when I wasn’t looking?” quipped Charlie, scanning the room through the Augmented Reality interface embedded in the lenses of his thick-rimmed eyeglasses. “So, we’re just turning over dirty motel rooms and hanging out with dead dudes for sport, then?” “It’d be more of a sport than whatever that nerd shit was that you dragged me to last night,” shrugged Noelle, wrinkling her flat, broad face. She tugged open the nightstand, peering inside. Disappointingly, the empty drawer contained neither drugs nor divinity. “I can't believe people even bet on that stuff. Video games are not a sport. Period.” “Oh, boy,” grimaced Charlie “where to even start with that…” He made a grand show of dramatically rolling up the sleeves of his tattered, red hoodie, as if symbolically prepping to do some hard labor. Once the cuffs had been rolled all the way past his lanky forearms and up to his beady elbows, he held up a finger to count off each subsequent point: “One — Rite of Champions if fucking awesome. Period. “Two— You’re just pissed off because my winning bracket wiped every conceivable floor in every conceivable universe with your sad, didn't-guess-a-single-correct-matchup, little shit-show. “And” he droned, dragging out the single syllable word for roughly the length of an actual sentence, “Three — Yes, this is a crime scene. Basically. During housekeeping rounds this morning, the Auto-HK bot declared foul-play and locked down the entire floor. The motel can’t legally rent out any second-floor rooms until there’s been an investigation, which the cops aren’t exactly clamoring to start.” Noelle ran her hand through the longer half of her asymmetrically cut auburn hair, stalling as she attempted to find the words necessary to vocalize her frustration. “Why would the cops not—“ Noelle stopped herself short, having already answered her own question. “Oh, for fuck’s sake, Charlie! Is he undocumented?” “Maybe,” he said, in a tone that clearly meant ‘yes.’ “Be honest, though – when I VOIPed you this morning, would you have agreed to traipse all the way up to North Omaha at 6 AM on a Saturday to investigate the possible murder of an undocumented John Doe?” “Maybe” she said, in a tone that clearly meant ‘no.’ “Look – the cops are sending someone ‘when they can,’ ” said Charlie briskly, tapping the corner of his glasses to cycle different AR displays. “But if a ‘certified private contractor’ can rule out foul play in the meantime, then the motel can start booking rooms again and we get a little something for our troubles.” Noelle grunted noncommittally, and then pressed her index finger against her temple. The subdermal neuro-implant beneath her skin whirred to life, and the iris of her left eye shifted from its natural green to a deep indigo. As her own AR software finished buffering, a familiar analytics grid filled her vision, painting the tiny hotel room with fine indigo lines. Her private military corporation tech was leaps and bounds above Charlie’s homemade eyeglasses setup. Granted, Charlie had circuited and soldered his gear up himself, mostly by following online tutorials he streamed from The Mirror. Noelle’s augmentations came courtesy of a different time in her life, a darker period, and now served as a reminder that there were far more morally compromising ways to make a living than as a second-rate detective-for-hire. Noelle started rifling through the corpse’s pockets. As she did, her implant sketched translucent magenta outlines across a virtual plane, drawing her attention to items of interest. “Guys’ got no ID chip, no social metrics," Noelle mused. "And there's nothing in this wallet, except a Video Dome punch-card with one punch left 'til a free rental— which just screams fraud.” She stood up and stretched. Her tall frame eclipsed the lamplight just so, plunging her comparatively diminutive partner into darkness. Noelle managed a half-hearted shrug by way of apology for blocking his light, which he neither accepted nor appreciated. She wandered over to the bed and sat down, eyes flitting back and forth as she skimmed a hulking digital wall of lavender text. “Neuro-scan shows no signs of poisoning, internal bleeding – any ‘silent killers,’ really. And aside from the obvious ailment of being dead, our friend’s medical records look clean. Squeaky, even.” Translation: no leads. “If this was actually murder, we're screwed, Charlie. You swore this would be an in-and-out job, not some true-crime-procedural, cold-case shit.” “Weren’t you just moaning that this didn’t look like a crime scene?” scoffed Charlie. “Now you're angry that it might actually be one?” He continued on with his rant while still sizing up the room, conflating both activities into a singular outpouring of frantic energy, like a noisy rooster pecking for feed. Between his overly animated manner, high-pitched voice and messy tangles of dark hair, Noelle felt that comparison especially apt. “I swear, ‘Elle… The only times you’re happy are – “ Noelle held up a hand to cut him off. “Charlie… if you do your annoying finger-listing thing again, I’m gonna start breaking them..." “Eh,” he shrugged, “I only had one: when you can find any excuse to be miserable.” Noelle rolled her eyes and continued searching the body. She found cigarettes – actual cigarettes – in the breast pocket of his hideously striped dress shirt, plus a broken, non-holographic smart phone tucked inside his faded sports coat. This guy was a relic, through and through. “I'm fine working a body,” said Noelle, after the silence had calmed her nerves some, “but that tends to be a helluva easier if you at least know whose body it is.” “Look... if we find enough to prove murder, but not enough to solve it, maybe we get a little creative,” replied Charlie with a malicious smirk. “Doctor up a tox-screen, leave out an empty bottle of bottom-shelf scotch and a few empty pill containers. Nobody’s gonna look too closely at the last moments of a literal nobody. Especially if we sharpen Occam’s razor, y’know?” “Poetic,” said Noelle, mostly wondering why she’d even gotten out of bed today. “I mean, sure… it sucks for this guy,” said Charlie, alternating between exploring a rare pang of conscience and actively suppressing it. “But in my 33 years on this planet, I have yet to meet someone with a torched ID chip who wasn’t a shitty person.” “Says the guy who torched his own ID chip,” she zinged. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he replied with mock indignation. “Was what I just suggested not something a shitty person would do?” Noelle's AR display piped up before she could. A small violet circle stretched into being, pinging about the back of the corpse's neck. The undulating wavelength display that accompanied the circle indicated the signal her implant had picked up was heavily dampened. "You got something?" asked Charlie, reading his partner's face as her eyes narrowed in on the corpse's neckline. "Yeah -- it's weak. Heavily obscured with a lot of noise, but there's something transmitting from the back of his neck." "Man, I gotta get me some of that ATHENA tech," sighed Charlie. "Maybe I should've spent my 20's murdering kids all across the Third World, too, huh?" She ignored him -- partly because that was just Charlie's sense of humor, and partly because he wasn't wrong. Noelle reached forward, mentally activating the 300x3 metallic exoskeleton that strained beneath the sleeves of her black duster. The 300x3 added an additional 300 pounds of lift to a person's body strength, for periods of up to 3 hours -- thus the name. Charlie kept up with the latest exo advancements, always raving about the features of the 400x7 or the 550x3A. For Noelle's line of work, however, the twelve-year-old tech suited her just fine. Noelle's exo groaned and creaked as she flipped the body around, but her gear always did that when she first fired it up. The violet circle of her AR display kept highlighting the back of the man's neck, but there was nothing there. "Yikes," muttered Charlie, already stepping back half a pace. "Shall I prep for surgery, doctor?" Noelle smiled, despite herself. She peeled the black glove off her right hand, revealing the cybernetic hand beneath. Yet another ATHENA gift from the lost decade of her life. She dug her steel thumb into the corpse's flesh, which quickly gave way to the pressure. A splatter of blood coated the wall, but the man in the chair offered no further protest as Noelle pried a small chrome orb from between his vertebrae. "Recognize this?" asked Noelle, dropping the quarter-sized ball into the see-through plastic cup Charlie held out to catch it. "Nope," answered Charlie, blue eyes crackling like a blowtorch. "But that's what makes it exciting, right?" He reached into the decal-and-patch-laden messenger bag at his feet, fishing out a long coil of white cable. He plugged one end into the orb, and then connected the other to the pico USB port embedded in his glasses. “Nice!” exclaimed Charlie. “Yeah, this baby’s running JadeRay OS, which means it must have Kimswift firmware… So, then it’s gotta be rocking either an L-Worth or L-Fried motherboard, which means it’s definitely got Abdeir transistors under the hood, and that probably means…” Noelle swallowed the urge to tell her partner to ‘spit it out.’ That never worked. Ever. “… we can hammer attack the living crap out of it,” he finished, finally, lightly gasping for air as he did. Charlie made a few twisting gestures in the air, followed by a definitive pointing motion. A bright, red spiral of lights flared to life along the white cable, crawling repeatedly from glasses to orb and orb back to glasses. “Anyway – this’ll take a few minutes.” “How’s it work?” she asked, killing time. “The hammer attack, or whatever.” “Short answer – cat GIFs,” he said with a wink, passively monitoring the status of his digital B & E out of the corner of his other eye. "Billions and billions of cat GIFs." “I assume the long answer is slightly more illuminating?” “Yeah, I can go into details if you want -- we've got the time." "Try me," she challenged, actually far more interested than she let on. "Okay," he began, attempting to translate his unbridled enthusiasm into a coherent stream of thought. "So... it's physics, basically? Like, you know how computers only understand 1's and 0's?" "Binary, yeah -- believe it or not, ATHENA did send me to college, Charlie." "So you've told me, 'Elle. Anyway, computers don't actually even understand 1's and 0's. All a computer actually 'gets' is having power versus having no power. So, in order to actually keep track of all those 1's and 0's, computer chips have these little capacitors that store super tiny amounts of electricity. If there's above a certain amount of electricity stored, then that's a ‘1’. If there's not, then that's a ‘0’". Noelle nodded. She wasn't aware of the finer details in so many words, but she knew her way around a circuit board well enough to conduct basic repairs on her arm and exo. Charlie still handled the more complex stuff -- mods, massive firmware refactors, and so on -- but Noelle had always valued self-sufficiency. "So," continued Charlie, sucking as much air as his tiny lungs could hold. "Most operating systems have two different modes: admin and user. Admins can do whatever the fuck the want, users can only do what the admin lets them. And the difference between admin mode and user mode is actually just the value of a single capacitor: the mode bit.” Charlie stopped briefly to check the status of his hack, and then soldiered onward. "So, for a hammer attack, the idea is that you ask the system to perform a crazy number of operations in a really short amount of time. That way, the capacitors keeping track of all the 1's and 0's don't have time to clear themselves between cycles, so that residual electricity keeps building and building and building. And if you hammer a bunch of capacitors close enough to the mode bit --" "The residual electricity bleeds over and flips it on," answered Noelle, taking advantage of Charlie's pause for breath. "Bingo," said Charlie, complete with unnecessary finger guns. "See, nowadays, most GIFs are actually video-based, to save on space. But way back when, people actually made GIFs by stringing together hundreds of separate images to make these crappy, digital-flipbook-like movies. Which... damn. Talk about inefficient. "So you just flooded this system with several billion old school cat GIFs?" asked Noelle, no longer able to hide her amusement. "Just fucking pummeled it into submission," laughed Charlie, as a ding sounded off in his inner ear. "Anyway – let’s see what kinda weird porn this dude is into, yeah?" “Or find out his name?” chided Noelle. “Whatever’s good for you, really.” “You know what your problem is? No idea how to mix business and pleasure.” “Somehow, I think I’ll manage.” Charlie flicked his fingers across a number of phantom screens, suddenly bursting into hysterical laughter. “Holy fucking shit!” he chortled. “Someone is clearly messing with us, ‘Elle.” “His porn stash really that vulgar?” “No, no – porn’s pretty tame, actually. It’s on the Desktop in a folder labeled ‘Stock Portfolio.’ “What’s got me going is this guy’s name: Willy Loman. And, he’s been exchanging all these messages with someone going by ‘Arthur Miller,’ who claims to be the chairman of the ‘Union of Traveling Salesmen!’ They all have to be codenames– did we just stumble onto the lamest black ops mission in history?” “Didn’t take you for a theater fan,” she sneered. “Please,” muttered Charlie, flicking the information over to Elle’s AR display like an invisible frisbee, “’Death of a Salesman’ is, like… the one play everyone has to read in high school. Plus, I just saw this article about a new algorithm for solving the Travelling Salesman Problem. The A.I. cranking it out was called L0man. With a zero for the ‘O.’” “Think it’s related?” she asked offhandedly. “Naw,” he responded. “It’s probably just that one thing, where, uh… y’know – you learn about something obscure, and then you see it referenced the next day?” “Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?” she volunteered, filtering large chunks of data into ethereal folders like a child stacking blocks. “Yeah! How’d you know that?” “I was just reading about it...” “I can’t tell if you’re joking or not,” he said flatly, packing tech gear back into his messenger bag. He unzipped the front pocket, producing a pill container and an empty vodka bottle that would have only marginally increased in value had it still contained vodka. “Anyway, this is a dead end. I assume we’re gonna forge this dude a prescription or two, and then go get paid?” “Yeah, that sounds about right,” said Noelle, collapsing her AR display with a light clap. “And to answer your other question, some us look up real, honest-to-God information on The Mirror, instead of just streaming porn…” “I’m sure you meant to say ‘in addition to,’ right?” Noelle and Charlie stepped out into the brisk morning air, their pockets significantly heavier than their consciences. The holographic clock popping off the pillar of a nearby strip mall showed just past eight, but the dirty streets of Omaha were already packed with people, grubby-elbow-to-grubby-elbow. Noelle had grown up here, long before ATHENA’s recruiters came knocking. She remembered when there were separate cities along the eastern edge of Nebraska, instead of just the one, unending urban sprawl. Ten million people crammed into a space barely big enough for two or three… Charlie tilted his head in a half-nod toward a line of people winding around the block. The gesture simultaneously served as both an inquiry as to whether Noelle wanted to wait in line for a D’Leon’s breakfast burrito, as well as a blunt assertion that he didn’t actually give a shit and was getting one regardless. Noelle gazed blankly at the filthy streets, her eye-line tracing a path from the graffitied sidewalk all the way to the roof of a 64-story apartment building. At the top, a lone Mirror antennae dangled over the edge, the tiny dish somehow expected to provide online access for the tenement’s thousands and thousands of occupants. She strained her memory, trying to remember how this street had looked when she was young. Back then, when the shit had started dripping into the fan, Noelle was old enough to comprehend the events unfolding around her – just not what they would eventually mean. At the turn of the 21st century, most people lived along the coasts, packed like sardines itching to return to sea. Naturally, then, the Greenland ice sheet melting seemed like the worst disaster of the 2020’s. It didn’t even melt all the way. Just enough to spike sea levels by a few meters. Still, it drove millions of people inland. That grand migration barely made the news, actually. Of course, Noelle’s dad kept claiming dark days were on the horizon. But he’d despaired enough times about enough counterfeit omens that no one really bought into his proclamations of gloom and doom. But as the saying goes, a broken clock is right twice a day. And Alan T. King had predicted complete and utter calamity at least a dozen times by that point, so pops was due for a win. The majority of the displaced population had purchased their flood insurance through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program. Unfortunately, the heavily subsidized NFLIP’s dirt cheap premiums didn’t even come close to reflecting the true risk of the restless oceans eventually going straight up biblical. When the coastline flooded, too many people made too many claims in too short a time period. The NFIP imploded. Groups with enough capital to hire expensive legal teams generally recouped their losses okay. Everyone else was SOL. "A chain-reaction of nuclear proportions,” is how the news had eventually referred to the fallout from the floods. Some days, Noelle wondered if an actual nuclear winter would’ve caused less suffering. Desperate to avoid defaulting on an already austere budget following the NFIP meltdown, the 2027 U.S. government got creative with revenue generation opportunities. Worst among these 11th hour Hail Maries was the auctioning of public lands and resources to the highest bidder. The new proposals carved their largest chunks out of the Midwest. The Apostle Islands transformed into luxury vacation condos. Most of the Niobrara River bank got snapped up by a conglomerate of movie studios. And an unnamed munitions manufacturer bought 90% of The Badlands for a song, deducing the already craterous region to be ideal for heavy weapons testing. But, the final nail in the coffin came when a certain, tremendously unpleasant bottled-water company won the bidding war for the Ogalalla Aquifer. To peoples’ credit, a band of do-gooder conservationists rallied around the auction as a “last stand for the little guys,” organizing a crowd-funding campaign to field a competing offer. They got crushed by a factor of ten. A portly teenage wearing a digi-weave T-shirt cut in front of Charlie, his clothing's expensive computerized fabric constantly shuffling through ironic slogans. The oblivious line-cutter appeared fully engaged in his AR voice-call, which was 80% jargony bullshit like ‘fundamentally disruptive IPO strategies’ and ‘reaffirmations of changing revenue streams’. But from the way he glanced at Charlie before quickly looking away, one could surmise the self-absorbed asshat was fully aware that the D’Leon’s line actually started way back around the corner. “Eat me – I’m gluten-free!” read the egotistical jerk-off’s shirt at this particular moment. Nobody exemplified the new world’s demarcation between have’s and have-not’s better than bratty tech-wonderkids. Granted, this piece of work probably wasn’t from Silicon Valley, but he may as well have been. Back when the coasts flooded, California locals took rapturous delight in the news that “those smug tech pricks’ with their fancy fuckin’ offices” had been gobbled up by hungry waves. But their schadenfreude at seeing most of Palo Alto underwater quickly gave way to dismay when those same “smug tech pricks” started winning their settlement lawsuits against the government, and then funneling that money toward buying up the country’s most newly invaluable commodity: land. “Dude!” shouted Charlie. He smacked the techie shitheel in the back of the head, channeling the particular strain of courage that came from by being best friends with a 6-foot-1, cybernetically enhanced, exoskeleton-rocking former mercenary. “What’s your problem, bruh?” spat Mr. Startup McBitchTits, of the North Hampton McBitchTits. “My problem? My problem?” asked Charlie incredulously. “My problem, bruh, is that the rest of us have been patiently waiting to get some of the only ‘real’ food in a 30-block radius, and you act like you don’t have to?” Noelle smirked. Back when she was a kid, D’Leon’s was about the farthest thing you could get from ‘real’ food. If anything, this showed just far peoples’ standards had fallen. Near the end of the government’s ‘natural wonders fire sale’, farmland also regularly changed hands. See, every middle management executive in the country was cooking up some bat-shit crazy scheme to leverage their new properties. It was only a matter time before some spongy, balding, wacky-tie-wearing-but-only-Fridays nobody suggested utilizing the vast tracks of resplendent nature to monopolize food production. First, though, the competition (i.e. every farm not already corporately owned) needed a little thinning. The buy-out process typically ran a familiar course: Some twenty-three-year-old jackass sporting a seven-thousand-dollar suit (and equally pricey haircut) VTOLed his way down to a small, family-owned farm; he’d make a grand show of wealth, with his Patek holo-watch and his fully autonomous android assistant; he’d offer to buy the farm for more money than the farmers could possibly scrape together in five generations. The farmers always refused. They had their pride; they didn’t need the money; farming was in their blood and in their bloodline; so the VP of East Coast Revenue Dynamics and Bland Yet Shitty Personalities made a counterbid; the farm had several loans outstanding, didn’t it?; well, loans were debt, you see, and debt could be bought and sold like any other commodity; and the VP of Global Paradigm Planning and Incredibly Boring Stories That Don’t Go Anyway had friends at all the right financial institutions; sure, it was technically illegal to purchase a certain block of debt, but his friends knew every loophole; with that in mind, the VP of Human Capital Redistribution and Mentioning His Annual Salary As A Pick-Up Line would just hate for the farmers to leave the table with nothing at all, so wouldn’t they please take another look at his offer? The farmers always accepted. The corporations spared no expense fully automating their acreages, replacing the calloused, hardworking hands of the American farmer with pristine, tireless robot claws. Their R & D departments had a literal field day developing designer seeds, each little sprout genetically fine-tuned for high yield rates and low growth time. Of course, this actually lessened crop survivability, but that hardly seemed a pressing concern within the confines of your average climate-controlled, luminescence-monitored, hydroponically irrigated superfarm. That next year, America saw its highest food production rates in history. The good times didn’t last. “Look, guy – you use the app Guthry at all?” wheezed the entitled tech baby. “That’s my company. You’re welcome. You can thank me by not hassling me while I’m trying to get some goddamned breakfast.” “I don’t give a fuck if you wrote the JadeRay kernel, buddy!” The CEO of Guthry opened his mouth to deliver a surely devastating comeback, but never got the chance. Noelle grabbed him by the scruff of the shirt, lifted him several inches off the pavement, and wordlessly deposited him on the far end of the street corner, well outside the generally accepted confines of ‘The Line.’ The deposed burrito king turned bright red. He stormed off, but muttering about how he “wasn’t even hungry,” and if those “idiots in line used Guthry, they’d know a dust storm was rolling in soon, anyway.” Noelle had never heard of Guthry – there were almost as many dust storm monitoring apps as there were actual dust storms. But the kid was probably right, nonetheless. Following the hostile corporate takeover of America’s heartland, the soil went to hell. Normally, the government gave out conservation subsidies in exchange for leaving certain plots of land dormant for the year, in order to maintain soil health. But in farm-to-boardroom-table America, the federal government was already in dire straits. Naturally, the meager subsidies they offered failed to impress the corporate bigwigs. Those CEO’s had sprung for fully automated food production units and dammit, they were going to farm! The drought of 2029 smacked them right in their big, dumb faces for their hubris. Most scientists agreed the drought could’ve been mitigated if the Ogalalla Aquifier had retained healthy water levels. The great irony there, of course, was that the most of the aquifer’s water was still in the region, just individually bottled and sitting on convenience store shelves… The resulting dust bowl proved catastrophic. In fact, Dust Bowl 2.0 made its predecessor seem almost quaint by comparison. The Dust Bowl of the 1930’s raged for almost the entire decade, displacing roughly 3.5 million people. Dust Bowl 2.0, however, spun up at the tail end of the New 30’s, and looked to have enough fury to rampage well into the New 40’s or 50’s. So far, 15 million people had been driven from their homes. That was the way things were now: 483 million Americans eking out some type of life or another, the dust driving them into the cities and the cities grinding them back into dust. The two partners bought their burritos without further incident, stepping outside to enjoy their spoils. Charlie tore back the grease-splattered wax paper, eyeing his prize with the intensity of a stray dog staking out a butcher shop dumpster. He opened his mouth to take a bite and then… stopped. In fact, everything stopped. Cars halted in the middle of intersections. Birds hung in the air, suspended between flaps. Everything and everyone stood frozen in time – mid-step, mid-word, mid-wave. Everything and everyone, but Noelle. “gOod morNing, detecTive,” called a voice that wafted up from the sewers and skidded down from the heavens concurrently. “miGht i tRouble You foR A momeNt oF Your timE?” “You seem to have mistaken me for someone you can fuck with,” muttered Noelle, already unholstering the sidearm hidden beneath her jacket. “aNd yOu seEm tO haVe miStaken Me foR soMeone whO feArs yOu.” “Go ahead,” she shouted, whipping out her weapon and scanning the street from sidewalk to rooftop. “Pissing me off is gonna end badly for one of us, and I like my odds.” “tHat iS hOw This joUrney eNds, yeS – buT tHere Is mucH tO acComplish bEfore tHat Point.” “cOme, noElle – i’Ve suCh woNders tO sHow yoU…”
Time for the Epic 2016 Summer Movie Draft Mid-Season Update! ("Epic" refers to length; quality not guaranteed.) Currently...
Week 7 1st Place - Chainsawsuit - $350M ($16M last week) - $31 Spent - 11.3 Multiplier 2nd Place - DTNS - $344M ($47M) - $31 - 11.1 3rd Place - Night Attack - $248M ($183M) - $57 - 4.4 4th Place - Amtrekker - $58M ($1M) - $8 - 7.3 5th Place (tie) - Cordkillers - $0 ($0) - $0 - 0.0 5th Place (tie) - We Have Concerns - $0 ($0) - $0 - 0.0
We really thought DTNS would move into first this week. After gaining $70M on Chainsawsuit in Week 6, Tom and Jennie seemed poised to make up the needed $37M this week to take the lead. But it turns out the very words "Mother's Day" as a title was enough to send children all over the country, desperate for a gift idea for Mom, racing to her side to announce, "Guess what? We're taking you out to a movie! And the movie is called Mother's Day! Cool, right? Yeah, I know, but you know how critics are--they hate anything without subtitles and a fatal disease. Besides, Julia Roberts is in it; you love her, you watch all her cra--her movies. The five of us kids and Dad are each pitching in to buy your ticket. And popcorn! We really hope you like--yeah, okay, a drink too, I guess. So happy Moth--Sno-Caps? Jeez. Alright--but we're stopping at Walgreen's for those. We could get four boxes there for what one costs at the theater. No, I didn't mean--what are you going to do with four boxes?! Fine, okay, relax... still cheaper than flowers, I guess. D-Box seating? Those seats that move around and cost, like, triple the price? No, those are for action movies. This isn't Michael Bay's Mother's Day. No, there's no 3D either. Also, before you ask, no IMAX. You need to see a 50-foot tall Jason Sudeikis? Ugh, never mind, I don't want to hear about it." Which is to say, despite a 7% Rotten Tomatoes score and opening last weekend to only $8M, Chainsawsuit's Mother's Day became the rare movie to make more in its second weekend, jumping 32% to $11M.
This proved unfortunate for Tom and Jennie, as the Mother's Day resurgence1 likely had a hand in The Jungle Book having it's largest week-to-week drop (46%), depriving the DTNS duo of their best early-season chance (where "early-season" equals "the first 96% of the season") to assume the top spot. While they will undoubtedly catch Chainsawsuit this week, that accomplishment comes at the same time as the Captain America-fueled Night Attack resurgence,2 which will likely send Brian and Justin cruising past both teams.
While Marvel's latest fell shy of the widely-projected $200-$210M, $179M is a nice enough chunk of change to bring Night Attack within a week of claiming first place. They should threaten the $400M plateau by this time next week, so with DTNS's Free State of Jones having moved from this coming weekend to June 24 (and frankly, the Jones was probably going to have to be Jessica to make a difference), it's going to be a while before Tom and Jennie get another crack at glory.
Spending what feels like months peacefully slumbering in the mid- to upper-$50Ms, Amtrekker dozes on and quietly rolls over, barely noticing the mild ripple caused by My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2's3 $1M week.
"Don't tell us about peacefully slumbering," said Cordkillers and We Have Concerns, each still awaiting their first dollar.
Just before the season started, way back in the era known as "April," the CRUMDUM continued its time-honored tradition of predicting who would emerge as Movie Draft champion. Now, in the mid-season update, we break with tradition by 1) presenting said mid-season update only a third of the way into the contest (due to an anticipated scheduling conflict in Week 11, namely that we are scheduled to not exist by Week 11), and 2) stunningly, NOT changing our mind about our pre-season pick. Seven weeks ago, we placed our bet (we have a very open-minded bookie) on Night Attack to walk away with the championship, outdistancing runner-up DTNS by $50M. This was due in large part to the $350M we expected Captain America: Superheroes Really Aren't Getting Along This Summer to make. Now, after a $179M opening weekend, it seems Cap and the gang are sure to crack $500M, possibly reaching $550. This extra $150-$200M means they will be a shoe-in... to finish in the top two. Yes, we're sticking with Night Attack as our pick (interestingly, we are 0-3 in pre-season picks, but 3-0 in mid-season picks, so something has to give this time), but with DTNS's The Jungle Book pretty much matching Captain America's over-performance, and our expectations for Night Attack's Ghostbusters having deflated significantly after the first trailer, we think the edge is going to be more like $5M than $50M.
And now... the future...
Week 8 -- For the first time all season, Chainsawsuit is not in first place, being passed by both DTNS and Night Attack, Brian and Justin nabbing the top spot. Night Attack is in first place! The CRUMDUM called it! Good night everybody! Week 11 -- Night Attack falls out of first. After a three-week vacation, Mikey and Kris return to the familiar surroundings at the top on the combined strength of Alice Through the Looking Glass: Depp Being Depp and TMNT. Meanwhile, Cordkillers and We Have Concerns have checked into the game, Kristi and Mulango starting strong (given that they started in Week 10) with $150M from X-Men after its first two weeks. Week 12 -- Unexpected disaster strikes for Amtrekker, We Have Concerns, and half of Night Attack. How can disaster strike half a team? When the other half doesn't give a rat's ass when the Golden State Warriors lose the first two games of the NBA Finals at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-109 and 115-114, each in double-overtime.4 Week 13 -- Chainsawsuit opens Criminal Intelligence and crosses the $600M plateau while pushing their lead over Night Attack to $130M. In other plateau-breaching news, Amtrekker, Cordkillers, and We Have Concerns hit $400M, $300M, and $100M, respectively. But there's more bad news on the basketball front for Bay Area boosters. As the series moves to Cleveland, Steph Curry looks to drag the Warriors back into contention virtually on his own, hitting eight threes in the first eight minutes to give Golden State a 37-15 lead after a quarter. Curry begins to lose his stroke, however, when, early in the second quarter, Matthew Dellavedova--to the sound of 20,562 fans chanting Delly! Delly!--inadvertently jumps on Curry's back, accidentally locks him in a stranglehold for twenty-five seconds, and unwittingly head butts him half a dozen times. Referee Scott Foster calls a foul, drawing deafening boos from the crowd, but does rule it non-flagrant, calming the fans somewhat while Steve Kerr picks up the Warrior bench and breaks it over his knee. Curry misses both foul shots--neither coming within a foot-and-a-half of the rim--and goes 1-for-18 from the field the rest of the game. The Cavs come all the way back, capping off the 99-98 win when LeBron James hits two of three free throws awarded when the Warriors' Shaun Livingston, on the bench and in street clothes after being ejected by Foster in the first half for wiping sweat from his brow "in a derogatory manner," is whistled by Foster for allegedly hacking James in the act of shooting a three-pointer. Steve Kerr picks up the scorer's table and breaks it over his head. Game 4 is the biggest blowout in NBA history, as Scott Foster ejects half of the Warriors before they leave their hotel. Steve Kerr suits up and leads the team with eight points in the 137-24 loss. In the waning seconds of the lost cause, Steve Kerr, still unable to give up, drives to the hoop, hits a reverse layup, and breaks Scott Foster over a courtside seat. Cleveland celebrates for a month. Week 15 -- The lead is now over $200M! Can anyone stop Chainsawsuit? Aside from Kris and Mikey's vise-like grip on first, the top three receives a vigorous shake-up as both Amtrekker and Cordkillers sweep past DTNS and Night Attack to take over second and third place, respectively. Brett rides the expected blockbuster success of Finding Dory, while Kristi and Mulango, in a Movie Draft version of Tony Montana's last stand, empty their armory, firing off five movies in six weeks, including Independence Day: Resurgence,5The Purge: Election Year, and The Legend of Tarzan over a span of eight days. Week 16 -- Kristi and Mulango each convince a friend to go to the Sunday 9:45pm showing of The Purge, resulting in Cordkillers and Amtrekker ending the weekend tied for second with $605,286,193. Brett kicks himself for making his sixth viewing of Dory a matinee. Week 17 -- DTNS has fallen to fifth place, nearly $300M behind league leading Chainsawsuit. Pretty safe to say they are out of it. Right? Week 18 -- Picking up the Dory audience, whose parents were ready for a change, Week 16's The Secret Life of Pets combines with Week 17's Ghostbusters to catapult Night Attack, eight weeks after losing possession of it, back into first place with $870M. Night Attack is in first place! The CRUMDUM called it! Good night everybody! Week 19 -- In the We Have Concerns camp, Jeff's Jason Bourne opens to $75M, continuing a run that will see him earn $300M over the final six weeks, during which he announces, "Okay, practice round's over. I got this. When's the next draft?" In the meantime, he clicks over to http://www.slashfilm.com/2016-summer-movie-wager-podcast/ to check on his progress in another cool movie game, Slashfilm's Summer Movie Wager. Oh, and DTNS is $230M behind. Done. Right? Week 20 -- Night Attack extends its lead to $110M over Chainsawsuit, $945M to $835M. Suicide Squad comes out, and combines with Star Trek Beyond to give DTNS their best week in over three months with $110M, but it's way too little, too late. Right? I mean, they move into third, but that's all the movies. Season's basically over. Now it's just waiting for everyone's tank to run dry. Right? Week 21 -- Trailing by $145M heading into the week, DTNS picks up $70M on Night Attack, cutting the deficit almost in half, and passes Chainsawsuit for second. Night Attack - $975M. DTNS - $900M. Week 22 -- Suicide Squad is a huge hit. Night Attack - $990M. DTNS - $955M. Week 23 -- A final flurry of movie-going before school starts. Suicide Squad plus Star Trek manages $45M. Kids convince parents to make one more run at Pets, which combines with Ghostbusters for $15M. Final Standings...
1st Place - Night Attack - $1.005B 2nd Place - DTNS - $1.000B 3rd Place - Chainsawsuit - $840M 4th Place - Amtrekker - $710M 5th Place - Cordkillers - $610M 6th Place - We Have Concerns - $505M
The closest Movie Draft competition in history comes to an end with two team cresting the $1B threshold, separated by a mere--hey, here's an interesting fact that the less generous might call an oversight--all of our weekly calculations were based on results as of Sunday night, the end of the weekend. The season actually ends Thursday night, September 1. Four extra days. Not that it would change our prediction. DTNS would have to make up $5M in those four days. What are the odds of... ah, sonofabitch.6
1st Place - BrowncoatJedi - $911M 2nd Place (tie) - BillNyeTheMovieGuy - $874M 2nd Place (tie) - cobolisdead - $874M 2nd Place (tie) - LaundryScent - $874M 5th Place - RocketRyan - $868M 214th Place - Mrrix32 - $505M
Just like in the Main Event league, there are new faces at the top in the Chatrealm, as those who not only held out for Captain America, but had the foresight to nab the other two stars of this season in Batman v Superman and The Jungle Book. The three teams tied for second will sort themselves out in June when Central Intelligence, Warcraft, and Now You See Me 2 open, as each owns one. The fifth spot has a familiar face in RocketRyan, the winner of the Chatrealm's 2014 Summer Movie Draft (at least I think so--the 2014 winner was spelled RocketRion, but we're assuming this is some artistic decision on Rocket's part, and not an imposter trying to horn in on his glory). And in 214th place, Patreon star Mrrix32, tracked here as part of his buck-per-issue, Will Smith-level patronage. While he doesn't have The Jungle Book, he also has no flops. Only Batman v Superman and Captain America have opened for him, so the rest is pure potential. He'll need something from the Now You See Me 2, The Legend of Tarzan, and The Purge: Election Year troika to break big along with season-ending Suicide Squad to reach the really rarified air, but at this point, nothing is impossible. Incredibly, multiple teams should break a billion dollars this week. One billion dollars. In Week 8. Which is about ten weeks sooner than ever before. Yikes. While Greek Wedding, The Boss, and even Mother's Day won't be disasters based on the price paid for them, we still think there are going to be better options for those non-Big Three budget dollars later in the season. Specifically, the consensus at CRUMDUM HQ is that Finding Dory will be the most profitable expenditure of those remaining 37 budget dollars. And with eighteen teams holding the combination of Batman v Superman, The Jungle Book, Captain America, and Finding Dory, we think the winners of the Chatrealm League will be, with an insane $1.6 billion... @rickfoster, Brusselbury, byaduk, Charles, confusedByMovies, consciousb, DrLul, Feuerstein, jhopp, lonelysoap, madmarv, phelanwci, Pratik, Rollercoasterjeff, TheH, TheRealTravis, WhiskeyWolf, and YSSMAN. Good luck sharing the trophy.
One Last Gasp...
CRUMDUMAGEDDON not doing it for you, huh? I say that because Patreon is now requiring me to pay a cleaning fee for all the dust accumulating in the CRUMDUM account. Fair enough. Scratch Armageddon. There are plenty of other movies we can rip off. Cue Bill Pullman...
"Good evening. This week, Patreon supporters from here will join others from around the world. And we will be launching the largest crowd-funding battle in the history of the CRUMDUM. CRUMDUM--that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty desires for "accurate" reporting anymore. We will be united by our common interest--nonsensical Movie Draft reporting. Perhaps it is fate that today is the 12th of May, the anniversary of the very first CRUMDUM,7 and we'll be fighting for our freedom--not from editing, censorship, or the Comic Sans font--but from ANNIHILATION! We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the week of May 12 - 18 will no longer be known as Week 8 of the Summer Movie Draft, but as the week when the world declared in one voice: The CRUMDUM will not go quietly into the night! MovieLeagueMike will continue to write! It is going to live on! It is going to survive! Because it's probably not the worst thing we've ever read! So, what the hell, we'll go ahead and throw some change at it each week! At http://patreon.com/crumdum! Today, we celebrate our CRUMDUMPENDENCE DAY!"8
Of course, thanks to the current patrons who have already performed their heroic best to make the CRUMDUM an ongoing venture. (You guys starting to feel like the people partying on the top of buildings in the original Independence Day, the ones waiting to meet the aliens? You see those bay doors opening and that bright light seemingly aimed your way? Try to ignore it. Have another drink.)
Thank you to Jeff Goldblum-level (or higher) supporters Lisa Boban, Jennie Josephson, Tom Merritt, Brett Rounsaville, Laundry Scent, and Roberto Villegas. And a special thanks goes out this week to Martin Rix, who stepped back, looked at the CRUMDUM rapidly taking on water, and saw not a vessel about to be irrevocably swallowed whole into a deep dark sea of disinterest--no, what he saw was possibility! A cool Movie Draft-themed swimming pool, maybe--the tipped file cabinets are water slides! the capsized mini fridge is a swim-up bar!--he saw potential, and, Patreon saints praise him, doubled his pledge! Bless you, Martin Rix, you freaking beautiful bastion of CRUMDUM benefactory! Or maybe a bug crawled on his mouse and when he squashed it he accidentally clicked on the $1.00 pledge. Either way, thanks Martin!
1 Not to be confused with Independence Day: Resurgence. 2 Not to be confused with Independence Day: Resurgence. 3 Not to be confused with Independence Day: Resurgence. 4 While labeling office supplies and furniture with multi-colored price stickers for the looming CRUMDUM liquidation sale, we latched on to this silver lining--being able to talk crap about the Warriors, but not being around to answer for it if9 the Cavs somehow, some way, do what Cleveland sports teams have been doing for fifty years and not win a championship. So I got that going for me. 5 Not to be confused with--oh, hey, look at that! 6 Night Attack. We still say Night Attack, damn it. 7 Actually, it was June 20, but didn't we just say we can't worry about accuracy any more? 8 I suppose that could be taken as "independence from the CRUMDUM," but we all know that's not what I meant, and it's two in the morning and I'm not going back and rewriting now. 9If. Haha. If. Hahahaha. Being a Cleveland sports fan sure is fun.
See you next week for--barring a Patreonic miracle--the final CRUMDUM.10 10 It's the Final CRUMDUM... say, is the band Europe doing anything since that Geico commercial?
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