Old Pool-Runner Announcements

This page is essentially a history of the changes that have gone on in the system. You may find some hints or tips for using the system in here, such as features of the system that you might not notice in the configuration screens.

Old Announcements

  • 11/05/2016 A long-standing problem has been fixed, when there is a Thursday game and you have a certain setup with confidence points and/or over/unders. Sometimes they can't change their picks after Thursday because it gave an error message. This has been fixed!
  • 09/26/2016 You can now REQUIRE that the tie-breaker be entered (Modify Pool --> Make Picks options)
  • 09/11/2016 The Change Player Name function now works! Don't use this unless you really have to, it affects a lot of tables.
  • 09/05/2016 Trash talk now works for all browsers. It didn't work for IE10. If you have IE10, you have to uncheck the "use fancy editor", and you can still use trash talk. The trash talk manager is also fixed.
  • 09/04/2016 If you aren't using spreads and you don't want your players to know (easily) who the favorite is, you now have the options to NOT show the favored team in bold. Game Runner Menu --> Modify Pool --> Make Picks Options
  • 09/02/2016 OK finally the team code STL has been changed to LA. All STL picks have been changed to LA. Please let your players know if they get worried about the change.
  • 08/31/2016 For those of you worried about STL in your show picks (it's now the LA Rams), I'm working on changing the team code from STL to something else (LAR? LA?). But the team name has been changed to "Los Angels Rams" in Make Picks. So just hold on, the code will be updated soon!
  • 08/31/2016 The PULL GAMES has been massively improved! You can now pull games from a specific pool. You now can see the pool numbers you are pulling from, in case you want to always pull from a specific other pool.
  • 08/27/2016 You can now score by point difference. For example if CLE @ PIT, you pick PIT, and the score is 27 to 3, you LOSE 24 points. If the score is 3 to 14, you WIN 11 points.
  • 08/20/2016 We now have the option to NOT VALIDATE confidence picks. E.g if you have a "best bet", (one pick each week), they don't HAVE to make the pick. Or if you have 1 point for 2 games, and 2 points for 3 games, they can make some but not all of the picks. (But, why would you want to? Ahhh, if you have the "SUBTRACT points if you lose" option, then it makes sense..!)
  • 12/05/2016: IMPORTANT. A lot of game runners are not recieving my emails, somehow they got flagged as spam. Please add "admin@castle64.com" to your contact list so you don't miss next year's early bird special, and also so you don't miss confirmations of payments, etc.
  • 06/19/2016 2016 SCHEDULE IS NOW LOADED. Most of the programs have been recompiled on the new server (all the important ones). Please let me know if you notice any errors: craigh01@gmail.com. Thanks!
  • 05/30/2016 In the process of moving to a new hosting service (Linode). This server is MUCH faster than the shared hosting I was using (it's a VPS - Virtual Private Server). Right now I'm working on getting all the programs recompiled for the new server (64 bit instead of 32 bit). As soon as that's done I'll get the 2016 schedule in.
  • 09/14/2015 Some of my emails sent out had the wrong email address. Please make sure and use craigh01@gmail.com. (So it's craig with an H, craigh01@gmail.com).
  • 12/25/2014: The NFL has changed the schedule for week 17, the Cincinatti/Pittsburgh game is now the last game, I can NOT change the tie breaker game at this late stage, so if you want to adjust your tie breaker game you have to use the override option on your game runner menu. (Or just leave Saint Louis / Seattle as the tie breaker since some people have probably already picked it).
  • 12/05/2014: We now have a video with an overview of how the site is used on youtube, you can see it here: Football Pool Overview Video
  • 10/05/2014 The Survivor Pool Report now lets you sort by "num wins" or "num losses" so you can group all the people who are "out" together at the top (or bottom).
  • 09/26/2014 The Survivor Pool report is now finished, and it's cooler than ever. Have your players give it a try! I'd like to hear feedback if anyone thinks this is useful, or could be improved. Thanks!
  • 09/21/2014 At long last, the long-promised, never delivered Survivor Pool Report is now available! This is a quick way to see who picked what, and who's out, in your survivor pool. This matches an Excel report I used to get from the guy that ran our pool at work: it was real easy to see the whole survivor pool picture with that report. Note: You and your players may need to refresh the page for it to show up. Note2: if you run this for a non-survivor pool, it will be kind of silly but it won't hurt anything! One other thing: I noticed that a lot of people are running a survivor pool, and even have the survivor pool combined into one page with their main pool, but have not yet taken advantage of the new "control" options that enforce the survivor pool rules (like, you can't pick the same team twice, etc). It might be a good idea to set those options (or you can just continue to enforce them manually like before...)
  • 09/08/2014 Pull Games has been massively improved, you can now pull JUST scores (just update, don't add). So this should be a massive improvement for those people using college games... Also, it doesn't duplicate the games over and over, each game is only shown once (or, as many times as there are different scores out there).
  • 09/07/2014 Uploading files to your personal page used to only handle certain file types like .txt, .xls, and .doc. Now it handles EVERY "mime type", so you can put PDF's, images, music files, .xlsx files, .docx files, just about anything on your web page.
  • 09/06/2014 The options for Survivor Pool are FINALLY in the system. I'm still working on this, so the options are not actually honored by "Make Picks" yet, but they are there so you can set them up. For a survivor pool, there are normally 3 things you set up:
    1. Max picks of 1 game per week (we already had that option, but now it's also on the Survivor Pool options menu
    2. People can only use the same team ONCE (new option on the Survivor Pool menu)
    3. People are ELIMINATED after missing one team Previously, you could do it, but you had to enforce options 2 and 3 above manually. Now it will be automatic (when it's done).
    4. 09/05/2014 If you downloaded college games from Sheridan, you got your date/times wrong. I fixed that. I also changed it so you can UPDATE only the games you have (like, if you download 44 college games, and delete 24 of them, it won't add the 24 back again if you update). That way, you can now UPDATE and get your correct dates/times. That will come in handy if point spreads or game times have changed, and you want to update it...
    5. 09/04/2014 Since I didn't delete players from last year, if you are using the same pool from last year, you may need to do a RESET POOL on your game runner menu. No rush, any time before you calculate the stats for week 1... Actualy it would be better to do it soon so no one looks at "overall stats" and wonders why they have values...
    6. 08/09/2014 At a users request, I have now set up a FORUM where people can request members for their pool or can look for a pool to join. Since most pools on this system are private, I'm not sure how well that will work out. BUT, we can also post feature requests and things like that in there. I'll just leave it up there for a while and see what happens. It's not the best forum, because you have to register separately, but for now, that will have to do. This is on the player menu and the main menu.
    7. 08/03/2014 Well after migrating to the new server, I ended up having to move back to the old server: a lot of my code won't work right on that newer 64-bit system! OK maybe next year!
    8. 05/22/2014 I have finally migrated the system over to a new server! This is a much faster server, and I actuall have a VPS! (Virtual private server). So I'm hoping it will run even faster than before. The old server was in Chicago, this one is in Iowa, not sure if that will make a difference.
    9. 12/26/2013 The SCHEDULE listing now shows the college bowl "name" (e.g. "Rose Bowl"). Also open/close pool has been changed for college bowls so that it only shows you the college bowl week, not all the other NFL weeks which ends up being confusing. Also, MAKE PICKS alsow shows the BOWL NAME, makes it much nicer!
    10. 12/08/2013 In show picks, the scores for games which are FINAL are now shown in BOLD. I hope this doesn't mess up anyones screens. Let me know if this becomes a problem for you, I may need to make it optional. This way, when you see the GREEN, you'll know whether you are still just hoping or if it's all over...
    11. 12/01/2013 In Show Picks, the total points and YTD totals now allow fractional points. This is helpful if you have one of those pools that, say, give 1/2 point for a tie, etc.
    12. 11/25/2013 In Show Picks, you can now move the totals over to the left of the report. This will come in handy if you've got one of those pools with dozens of games (adding lots of college games, etc), and your players have to scroll all the way over to the right to see the totals. You can now move the totals back over to the left so they don't have to scroll.
    13. 10/09/2013 **** POINT SPREAD UPDATED LATE *** The auto-download of point spreads assumed that anything with a number of 25 or less was a spread, and 26 or more was an over/under. Well, I guess this is the first time in the NFL I've seen a spread of 28 (actually 27.5) for Denver! Turns out this spread ties for the highest in NFL history: ties for the Baltimore Colts over the Atlanta Falcons in 1966. Because of this I had to update the point spread for Denver AFTER the deadline (around 9:00 AM EST Wednesday). This link shows that in the last 10 years the spread has been over 25 just twice: Largest spreads
    14. 09/29/2013 Finally after 4 weeks got the auto-score updates working. Me and my wife sitting here trying to update scores every 5 minutes just didn't work too good. Yahoo changed their web site, and some sort of new fangled "chunked transfer" technology for web pages, and my old C code couldn't handle it... Took me all this time to finally figure it out. But the good thing is, we now download the scores every 2 minutes instead of every 5 minutes, so it's an improvement!
    15. 10/21/2012 The tie breaker and second tie breaker Make Picks screens are now grayed-out right before the game starts! Previously, the tie-breaker scores were grayed-out at 1:00 on Sunday. Now, the tie-breaker scores will stay open right up until the start of the actual tie-breaker game. A highly-requested fix!
    16. 10/20/2012 YOU CAN NOW HAVE A MONDAY DEADLINE! Previously, you couldn't really use a Monday deadline because the system takes your DEADLINE DAY, (say, "Saturday"), and went back the PREVIOUS day prior to the Sunday game date. Therefore a Monday deadline went back all the way to the prior Monday, making it useless. Now, a Monday deadline goes to the Monday AFTER the Sunday game date. So you can set your deadline prior to the Monday night football game. That makes sense, because some reports don't show up until you close the week (even though games are grayed out after they have started).
    17. 10/20/2012 BIG IMPROVEMENT ON TIE BREAKERS! This has been an often-requested feature, and I finally implemented it: you now have the OPTION to have ONLY 1 PLAYER ALLOWED TO PICK EACH TIBREAKER TOTAL SCORE. If you use this feature, then, say Sally S. picks 43 for her total score tie breaker. Then no one else would be allowed to pick 43. This is a great feature, and it will ensure you never have to split the pot! To implement this feature, go to your game runner menu -> Modify Football Pool -> Make Picks Options.
    18. 10/15/2012 MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT FOR THOSE OF YOU USING COLLEGE GAMES! You can now automatically pull in ALL college games from Danny Sheridan's odds on USAToday.com. So he usually has the odds on about 55 or so "important" college games. If you don't want ALL 55 games, you can just pull them all in and delete the ones you don't want. Well, OK, this might not be great because I don't know how many of you use that many college games! Maybe it's only this one guy that I did this for! Anyway, it's there...
    19. 10/14/2012 When adding games in your game runner menu (usually COLLEGE games), previously it only let you add 16 games at a time. Now you can add as many as you want in one screen: it asks you how many add lines you want to get.
    20. 09/16/2012 Fixed the problem in "show picks" where it sometimes showed your deadline as being on SUNDAY instead of the actual day.
    21. 08/22/2010 After doing Make Picks, there is a new button NEXT WEEK that will automatically bring you to the Make Picks screen for the next week.
    22. 09/19/2009 You can show the number of MISSES in Show Picks. If you want to, go to your game runner menu -> Modify Football Pool -> Show Picks Options and check the "Show number of MISSES in show picks?". In a NORMAL pool your number right + your number of misses should equal the number of games. (In some of the other pools with different rules who knows what it's going to show!).
    23. 09/19/2009 The game for the tie-breaker pick now displays in MAKE PICKS. (Previously it said just "Tie breaker total score:", now it says, for example, "Tie breaker score of the Indianapolis Colts @ Miami Dolphins game:".
    24. 09/19/2009 There was a problem where if you would override the TIE BREAKER, it would mess up the point spreads for that game in Make Picks. That's fixed!
    25. 09/19/2009 Previously you could not override the tie breaker to be one of your COLLEGE games. It only worked for NFL. Now the override tie breaker works for both NFL and College.
    26. 09/07/2009 There are some new options that allow SEASON limits for certain picks. For example, there is a new Maximum picks for the ENTIRE SEASON. Also, the "pick of the year" has a season limit. Therefore I had to change RESET POOL to allow you to clear out PRE-SEASON picks. Previously, reset pool just zeroed-out the overall scores. You didn't need to clear the pre-season picks, because they didn't affect anything. However now that there are season limits, I had to add the option to clear out the pre-season picks.
    27. 09/04/2009 This year I decided to wipe out all the players from last year. I guess that was not a great idea, as a lot of people have complained about it. The theory was that each year, most people forget their password, some people don't come back, etc. So I thought it would be easier to just wipe everything out and let everyone start over. However, turns out a lot of people would prefer to keep all the players they had from last year. If you would like your players restored, please email me at craigh01@gmail.com and I can restore them from last year.
    28. 08/30/2009 You can now take the QUICK PICKS off your Make Picks screen. Some people don't like this. You can also take of JUST the "All Favorites"/"All Underdogs" quick picks. This may come in handy if you are NOT using point spreads and you want to avoid people just doing "All Favorites" every week
    29. 08/30/2009 There is now a PICK OF THE WEEK section. You can have X Picks of the Week (or "Best Bet"), Picks of the Month, and Picks of the Year. If you use "Pick of the Week" (best bet), it's really the same as a simple confidence pool. So for example if you give them 3 picks of the week, for 1 extra point each, it's the same as a confidence pool where they can have 3 confidence points for 1 extra point each. However the FORMAT is different. Instead of entering a "1" next to the pick, there is a drop-down with "Pick of the Week".
    30. 08/30/2009 Being able to upload a file to your web page was massively messed up. This is where you can upload, like, "rules.doc" or some such thing to your home page. It's all fixed up now! If you run into problems please let me know...
    31. 08/01/2009 You now have the ability to do over/under picks for ALL games. Previously, you could add one or two over-under picks to your pool from the game runner menu. You can still do this. But if you want, you could also have an over/under pick for ALL games. There is a new option screen: Modify Football Pool -> Over/Under options.
    32. 08/01/2009 You now have the ability to do over/under picks for ALL games. Previously, you could add one or two over-under picks to your pool from the game runner menu. You can still do this. But if you want, you could also have an over/under pick for ALL games. There is a new option screen: Modify Football Pool -> Over/Under options.
    33. 11/17/08 We had a TIE game this week: PHI at CIN! Well a lot of people doing confidence pools want EVERYONE who picked that game to get their points. So I added that feature this evening. If you want that, you can go to Game Runner Menu -> Confidence Pool Options. There is a check box for "make tie games a win for everyone".
    34. 11/15/08 OK the whole "high scoring game" debacle is now behind us! The logic is now impeccable. Here's how it works: if you pick the high scoring game, and that game has started, you can NOT change that pick anymore. Also, you can NOT pick any games that have started as your high scoring game. But, as long as you haven't picked a game that has started, you can continue to pick any game that has not started. IS THAT CLEAR AS MUD??? OK here's an example. This weeks Thursday game is NYJ at NE. Say on Wednesday I picked NYJ at NE. Today, I can't change my pick!. Say I picked OAK at MIA. I can go ahead an change my pick to any game EXCEPT the NYJ at NE game. Whew!
    35. 11/09/08 A lot of people are having problems with the Thursday game / Pick the High scoring game feature. The way the current program workis is the highest scoring game can't be picked after ANY game has started: otherwise you'd have an advantage by waiting. Or do you? I guess I could change it so that you can pick the high scoring game only for games that have not started. No, that would be unfair. Lets say there is a Thursday and Saturday game. You could immediately pick the Thursday game as the high scoring game. If the score was low, since the Saturday game is open to pick, you could CHANGE your pick to that. Then if the Saturday game score was high, you could stick with it. Or if it was low you could change it again. I guess the way around THAT would be: if you pick a high scoring game, and if THAT game has already started, you would not be allowed to change your pick again. If you have opinions on this please send me an email: craigh01@gmail.com
    36. 10/25/08 The top-requested feature, the ability to delete trash-talk entries is now available!
    37. 12/13/07 For those of you that don't want to use ALL of the 32 bowl games, you can now go to "Override Point Spreads or Delete Certain Games" to get rid of some of the bowl games you don't want.
    38. 12/09/07 It's now EASY to create a College Bowl Pool! Just go to castle64.com and hit SETUP NEW FOOTBALL POOL. Then choose Pool Type College Bowl Pool. All 32 bowl games have already been added into the system!
    39. 11/23/07 (later): ANOTHER MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT This is in the top-ten requested enhancements (even though I don't think it's needed.. but...): you can now DELETE the Thursday or Saturday games if you don't want to include them in your pool. You COULD do it before but you had to do a roll-your-own. Now you can just delete Thursday or Saturday games (or any games). Use the Override Point Spreads or Delete Certain Games option on your game runner menu.
    40. 11/23/07: MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT In Show Picks, any games that have already started will be displayed, even if the pool is not yet closed!! This is a great help for Thursday and Saturday games. In fact, it makes deadlines irrelevant, or should I say moot.
    41. 10/20/07: You can now have bonus points for picking the underdog based on the point spread. So, for example, you could say that if you pick an underdog with a spread of 0 - 4.5 points, and you win, you get 2 points. If the spread is 5 - 9.5, you get 3 points, if the spread is 10 - 14.5 you get 4 points, and so on. You get to choose the ranges and the points.
    42. 10/20/07: There is now a PICKS COUNT at the bottom of the SHOW PICKS report. So you can see at a glance which games were heavily one-sided and which ones had a more even mix of picks.
    43. 10/13/07: You now have a new Approve Pick Sheets option on your game runner menu. The first time you go into this option, it will ask you if you want to be in "approval mode". If you click yes, any pick sheets that are not approved will display as "n/app" in Show Picks, and will not be counted in overall stats.
    44. 9/23/07: I had a thought: those pools not using point spreads might not appreciate the new "quick picks" that lets you pick all favorites. It might encourage everyone to just pull all favorites. What do you think? If anyone would like to remove the "all favorites" and "all underdogs" quick pick buttons, let me know, and I'll make that change. If noone responds, I'll just leave it as is.
    45. 9/20/07: If anyone was having a problem with the "Stats for all Weeks" report, it should be fixed, I forgot to delete the "all weeks" data for pre-season...
    46. 9/15/07: You now have the option to override point spreads. And example where this can be used is in week 2. Our deadline for point spreads is Tuesday at 8:00 PM. As of that time, the spread for the NYJ @ BAL game was not yet established at the Vegas sportsbooks. Now I have 10 people yelling at me that the spread should be BAL -10. But if i change it, I'll have 10 other people yelling at me that the point spreads were changed after I made my pick! The solution (on the to-do list for the last 2 years) is to give each game runner the ability to override the existing point spreads. So our deadline will be at Tuesday at 8:00 PM, but you can go ahead and adjust them after that time. This is a new option on your game runner menu. The primary advantage of this change is that you will be the one to get yelled at instead of me... :)
    47. 9/2/07: You can now have bonus points for winning a week. You can have one bonus setting if you are the single winner of the week, and a different number of bonus points if there are multiple winners. To set this, go to Modify Football Pool -> Bonus Points Options
    48. 9/1/07: We now have Quick Picks buttons on the Make Picks screen. Players can pick all visitors, all home, all favorites, all underdogs, or random.
    49. 8/26/07: You can now track player information: Real Name, email address, and phone number. This information can be optional or required. If required, the players will be forced to enter this information in order to get their new player created (in Make Picks).
    50. 8/19/07: You can now have an Alternate Schedule. This just means that, if you don't like "NFL Week 1", "NFL Week 2", etc, you can make up your own schedule. This may come in handy for those running college pools or high school pools. The week-ending dates still have to be Sunday, though.
    51. 8/10/07: You can now change your pool name! This comes in handy for those people that have, like, "2006" in the name. You can now just change the name to "2007" instead of having to setup a new pool.
    52. 8/10/07: You can now delete your pool. This is nice if you've set up several test pools and have settled on a final pool. Then you can delete the other test ones to avoid confusion. The old ones would have gotten deleted eventually, but it's better to get rid of them right away.
    53. The Stats for All Weeks report is now working! This is a nice report, summarizes the overall stats week by week! If you've ever RESET and RECALCED your pool, you'll need to RESET and RECALC weeks 1 - 12 to use this report. The reason is, the RESET POOL program did NOT reset the weekly stats table, and thus if you previously did a RESET, your Stats for All Weeks report will be doubled-up. If you have NOT done a reset, it should be fine.
    54. By popular request, the NFL scores will now be automatically updated every 10 minutes on Sunday afternoon/evening and Monday night!!!
    55. You can now change your GAME RUNNER password in the "Modify Football Pool" screen.
    56. Previously if you OPEN a pool, that overrides the deadline and it's permanently open. You can now OPEN the pool but still honor the deadline. This way, you can temporarily close your pool, then re-open it and still have it hit the deadline. Previously, if you closed your pool, then re-opened it, the deadline was ignored because the "open" forced it to be open from then on.
    57. In the past I've auto closed ALL pools at 12:55PM Sunday (just so the pools that were still open could then see their picks). Some pool runners want to keep it open so they can continue to change picks for late games. Therefore I won't be closing the pools automatically anymore, so check your deadline and close your pool if you want it closed.
    58. The SHOW PICKS program now closes the pool when you hit your deadline. Previously, only MAKE PICKS would close the pool.
    59. There is now a Reindex Databases option on your game-runner menu! This option is there ONLY for pools that have signed up. Because your databases are in your own subdirectory, you can now reindex your databases. This should be done if you notice any problems, e.g. a player name is showing up twice, or not showing up, or there appear to be picks missing. Normally you should not need to use this, although it doesn't hurt anything to run it.
    60. There is now a PICKS LOG report on the "Other Reports" menu. This shows a Date/Time stamp for every pick made in your pool!
    61. Reminder: the cutoff for spreads is 8:00PM EST every Tuesday night. This year, for those game runners that want a different cutoff or different spreads (we use vegasinsider.com), there is going to be a feature to let you override the spreads for your pool only. Unfortunately, that's not done yet, so probably by week 2 or week 3 you'll have that...
    62. The MAKE PICKS screen now shows you the DEADLINE for the week you are making picks in (at the bottom). That will help verify that your deadline is set the way you want. The deadline now also works with military time in addition to AM/PM format.
    63. All subscribing pools have now been moved into their own subdirectory. This makes it run faster and keeps your picks and players separate to help avoid problems.
    64. Pull Games is back up. Note: do NOT use "Pull Games" if you are using all the NFL games (even if you have college games). Only use it if you are using SOME NFL games mixed with some college games.
    65. There is now an option for NO TIE BREAKER. If you don't want the tie breaker displayed, you can go to Advanced Options and change the option.
    66. You can now have the Tie Breaker be a pick to WIN instead of TOTAL POINTS. E.g. pick Baltimore to win as your tie breaker.

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