World Cup Meets BitBets Court of Appeals

The 2014 World Cup has been nothing less than stellar thus far.i

Entertainment,ii upsets,iii goals,iv and a sense global unificationv that makes the Olympic Games feel like backyard bocce ball at your laws-in-laws.

Of course, there’s nothing like a little gambling to spice things up even more! And where better than BitBets?vi So after throwing down a little here and a little there, midway through Costa Rica’s second (of three) group matches, I plunked down 1.5 BTC on “YES” for Costa Rica to advance. Things were looking good for Los Ticos and there was a little coin on the “NO” side up for grabs. It seemed like a sweet little opportunity. Low-hanging fruit, if you will.

After Costa Rica clinched,vii the bet was closed and I waited over the weekend for it to be resolved by BitBet’s administrators. I felt as though I’d won fair and square, but I also knew that my bet was last-minute-ish and I didn’t have any experience with in-game sports betting on BitBets. Sure enough, the resolution saw my bet refunded less the standard 1% admin fee, meaning that I’d bet too late in the game. 1.485 BTC found its way into the wallet from whence 1.5 BTC had come.

I’d lost. Or had I?

Prepared for such a gentlemanly dispute, I headed to the BitBets Court of Appeals: IRC.viii

bitcoinpete: Wondering who did the admin for http://bitbet.us/bet/921/costa-rica-will-advance-from-the-2014-world/ … kakobrekla ?ix
assbot: BitBet – Costa Rica will advance from the 2014 World Cup group stage :: 0.41 B (35%) on Yes, 0.75 B (65%) on No | closed 2 days 13 hours agox

bitcoinpete: ;;later tell kakobrekla On the Costa Rica bet, http://bitbet.us/bet/921/costa-rica-will-advance-from-the-2014-world/#b11 was made around 55′ mark of the game. The team clinched after the final whistle was blown at 90+4′. Granted, this is close. But how close is too close in World Cup betting?

mircea_popescu: bitcoinpete: wondering who did the admin for http://bitbet.us/bet/921/costa-rica-will-advance-from-the-2014-world/ << Why ?
bitcoinpete: because http://log.bitcoin-assets.com/?date=23-06-2014#729957. Curious what the cut-off is on bitbets for future reference. 1 hr before they can possibly by resolved? 6 hrs? I completely understand that betting after an event has occurred, even if the bet is still “open” warrants a simple refund less admin fee. But there’s an undefined (to me) grey area prior to that point. I’ve little doubt that this has arisen before. I’m just not familiar with the SOP.

mike_c:xi ^ this is also applicable to the “in-game betting” conversation from the other day.
bitcoinpete: Right. That’s the scenario here. I don’t recall, was there a consensus following that conversation?

mike_c: Well, the consensus was to do it and all the World Cup expiration dates were moved out. You can probably dig it up with the fancy new search tool.xii
bitcoinpete: Thanks be to mthreat.

kakobrekla: I dun think there’s any hardcoded rule, mods call it and then you can bitch about it here.
bitcoinpete: Sorry, was just having a bite on the patio here at The Mac.xiii So nao I’m curious who moderated that Costa Rica bet if not kakobrekla ? mircea_popescu ?

kakobrekla: Neither of the said. :(
bitcoinpete: blargh!

mircea_popescu: You’ll never know.
bitcoinpete: Can either of your adjudicate ?

kakobrekla: If MP sez so.
bitcoinpete: That’s fine as long as my case can be plead.

mircea_popescu: in principle either of us can, historically we never have.xiv Go ahead.
bitcoinpete: TY.xv

mircea_popescu: Pleas are to the gods anyway, rather than specific people.
bitcoinpete: As previously mentioned, Costa Rica was playing its second World Cup game on Friday. There are 3 games in the opening round, though it’s possible to advance after only two games. In the 55th minute, give or take a few, a bet was placed that Costa Rica would win the match and therefore advance. The bet was confirmed. With >30′ of play remaining in the game. Costa Rica won the game and advanced. This in-game bet was rejected.

mircea_popescu: http://bitbet.us/bet/921/costa-rica-will-advance-from-the-2014-world/#b11 this one you mean ?
bitcoinpete: Precisement.

mircea_popescu: Game was at 20 June 2014 13:00 GMT ?
bitcoinpete: Just confirming… http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/round=255931/match=300186500/index.html#nosticky. 13:00 local time.

mircea_popescu: So 16:00 GMT ?
bitcoinpete: Recife is UTC – 03:00

mircea_popescu: Even if there’s some sort of daylight savings time stuff, its 17:00 GMT at the latest, the bet is half hour or so after close. This may be because it took a while to confirm, but anyhow.
bitcoinpete: That doesn’t add up. Game starts at 1600. Half time at 1645.

mircea_popescu: aha
bitcoinpete: Restart game at 1700. Bet confirmed at 1732. Game concludes no later than 1750.

mircea_popescu: Hm.
bitcoinpete: My thoughts exactly.
I’m off for today and I look forward to hearing from you on the Costa Rica bet. it would make a lovely birthday present!xvi

[2 hours later…]

mircea_popescu: bitcoinpete teh court finds your arguments persuasive.

And just like that, another 0.47344501 BTC found its way into the wallet from whence 1.5 BTC had come.

The system works. A precedent has been set.

¡Pura Vida!

___ ___ ___

  1. If you’re in to that kind of thing. []
  2. The dives, oh the dives! And the bites, oh the bites! []
  3. As if the Italians, Spanish, and English people didn’t already have it hard enough, all three of their overpaid and over-manicured national teams failed to advance past the group round. To boot, shit-disturbers like Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Greece have all advanced. []
  4. The 2014 World Cup is on pace to surpass the 1998 record of 171 goals in the tournament. []
  5. eg. https://twitter.com/AgnesBun/status/480908190314291201   []
  6. BitBets is listed on MPEx, that stock exchange thing, and therefore in that WoT thing. And as a further reminder that Bitcoin does strange things to people, BitBets is also the first place I’ve ever tried online gambling with real money. Not that Bitcoin is real money… but you know what I mean. []
  7. Phew! []
  8. This conversation occurred over several hours and has been edited for brevity and clarity. []
  9. kakobrekla is the co-owner of BitBet alongside Mircea Popescu. []
  10. This is the coolest URL tagging, neh? It was a concerted effort by the #bitcoin-assets crew to refine and tweak this, though I take no credit. []
  11. mike_c runs the most excellent btcalpha.com. []
  12. Yup, thanks to Argentinian wizard mthreat #bitcoin-assets finally has searchable logs. []
  13. “The Mac” is the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, opened in 1915 with a construction cost of $2,250,000 (infinity billion in today’s dollars). On a cloudless summer day, the patio there is easily one of the peachiest spots in the city. []
  14. Ooo goody! An opportunity for a historical precedent! []
  15. M’lad. []
  16. Yesterday was my birthday :) []

13 thoughts on “World Cup Meets BitBets Court of Appeals

  1. BingoBoingo says:

    Re: “The 2014 World Cup has been nothing less than stellar thus far.”

    Stellar would imply that all of these games aren’t ending in draws all of the time.

  2. […] counting the extra effort which stretched the resources of the mod team, and which led to a few perfectly excusable mistakesxiv that cost me about half a […]

  3. Aaron says:

    I wish I was more familiar with sports betting in general. I’m not very big into sports but just putting a few mBTC on a match can make it all the worthwhile.

    I’m more than happy to see grown men successfully resolve a dispute that involves Bitcoin. No matter what they say, a voluntary free market is the optimal path forward. The only problem is people don’t understand how a free market truly works.

  4. […] than settling World Cup wagers, that is. […]

  5. […] Amtel’s die? Not that I’d expect it to be a popular bet, but no less so than the early World Cup bets. […]

  6. […] Public Relations: Whereas Obama plays golf and waddles like a penguin down the red carpet, Putin can be seen riding horseback shirtless, hosting the Sochi games without a hiccup, hosting his country’s first F1 race just last month,xi and, in 2018, hosting the World Cup of Football. […]

  7. […] never been a particularity passionate hobby of mine even if the somewhat transcendent qualities of World Cup do manage to hold my attention now and […]

  8. […] rule that’s the direct result of this little adventure, if you’ll recall, though one that doesn’t seem to be enforced terribly strictly as 1 […]

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