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BG Room

From:   Stanley E. Richards
Date:   12 October 2007
Subject:   BG-Rooms First 278 Games
Forum:   GammOnLine

I have been anxious to tell you of my experience at BG-Room online
backgammon money site. After 278 money games, I am ready to report. Lets
start with my conclusion. BG-Room is a fine site to play backgammon for
money. I highly suggest that money players establish an account. Initially,
BG-Room will give you $5 to begin playing at their site.

The user interface and graphics are comparable to the quality of most
online sites. I have tried some new sites which do not have downloadable
software. I find these sites to have sub par graphics. However sites with
downloadable software like BG-Room, TrueMoneygames, Play65,
BackgammonMasters, and PartyGammon all provide similar quality 3D
backgammon boards and friendly, user interface controls.

Play65s basic rake is 9.8% charged to the winning player:

  - Decreased of 50% if both players are over 1700
  - Increase of 25% if one player is less than 1620 (WTF?????)
  - Increase of 50% if rating difference of 100 to 199
  - Increase of 100% if rating difference of 200 to 249
  - Increase of 150% if rating difference of 250 to 299
  - Increase of 200% if rating difference of 300 or more. No increase
    commission if both players are above 1650 or less than 1450.

BG-Rooms basic rake is 7.8% charged to the winning player:

  - No increase or decrease if both players are over 1700
  - Increase of 50% if 1 ranking group difference
  - Increase of 100% if 2 ranking group difference
  - Increase of 150% if 3 ranking group difference
  - Increase of 200% if 4 ranking group difference Ranking groups are green
    (0-1499), blue (1500-1599), purple (1600-1699), orange (1700-1799), and
    red (1800-1899).

So, whose rakes are better? I really do not know. If your rating is 1705
and your opponents rating is 1695, you will pay an increase at BG-Room.
You will not pay an increase at Play65. Since BG-Room charges increases
based on ranking group and not based on rating difference, BG-Rooms rakes
may be higher in spite of their lower base rake. Or perhaps, their rakes
are overall lower. Based on observation, it appears that most games have a
penalty increase because most games are between players of different
ranking groups. Thus be aware that BG-Rooms low 7.8% base rake comes with
a catch.

When BG-Room started, I refused to play at their site. They did not provide
game logs. Fortunately, they have corrected said deficiency. Unfortunately,
their game logs service is grossly inferior to their competitors. TMG and
Play65 are best in this area. Their match/game records can be evaluated by
either GNU or Snowie. PartyGammon is somewhat poor in this area, because
their records are not Snowie compatible. BG-Room is far worse. BG-Room does
not immediately provide a record which Snowie or GNU can recognize. Its
record is in their own *.bgr format. One must load the match/game with the
BG-Room software under the "My Account" tab. After loading, one can export
the record to an *.mat format. However, this format is not truly a
jellyfish match format. It cannot be read by Snowie. It can be read and
evaluated by GNU in some cases. It can only be properly evaluated by GNU if
the contest was a match. If the contest was a money game, GNU believes that
it is evaluating a one point match. Thus, the checker and cube evaluation
is flawed. BG-Room simply does not provide true jellyfish *.gam and *.mat
logs like TMG and Play65. Also, it is irritating to download your BG-Room
files. Each file must be downloaded one at a time with the BG-Room software
under the "MyAccout" tab. Instead, fine software like TMG and Play65
already have the game logs available without downloading each file

My solution is to download each file to the flawed *.mat format.
Afterwards, I open the file in GNU. Then using GNUs software, I export the
file to a jellyfish game format. Afterwards, I evaluate said file with
Snowie. Now, doesnt that sound cumbersome? Snowie does not evaluate passed
cubes with this file. It does evaluate take cubes. The file becomes
completely corrupted when a player is on the bar versus a closed board.
This may occur because BG-Room does not require that the closed out player
still roll his dice. This file frequently misstates the winner. The
expected and effective ppg metrics from Snowie are useless. Nevertheless, I
am able to evaluate 90% of my play and have a decent estimate of my Snowie
error rate. This is much better than BackgammonMasters which refuses to
offer any game logs.

I have an overall high opinion of BG-Room because they impress me as people
who are listening to their customers and are trying to improve. They have
added game logs and removed a silly chat area. They listened to their
customers and decided to add these features. They also conducted a vote to
determine whether to add rankings. These were added due to their wish to
please their customer. Thus, their horrible decision to add rankings was
apparently done to satisfy most of their customers. I am optimistic that
BG-Room will improve its match/game records to the level of its
competitors. I also have slight hope that they will realize that rankings
are bad for its business. Rankings reduce activity. Right now, 52 players
are playing at $5 or more money games at Play65. 37 of these players are
rated at purple or below. 15 orange or above players are playing. 15 orange
or above players are waiting to play. From experience, these waits can be 5
minutes to 30 minutes. Only one lower ranked green player is waiting. He
will not have to wait long. So due to rankings, 15 out of Play65s 68
potential customers are not generating income for Play65. Losing revenue
from 22% of your customer base is not wise. Providing poor service by long
waits and frequently greater rakes to strong players is a poor business
practice. Half of the strong players cannot even play at Play65 at this
moment. PartyGammon realized this policy was lousy business. Play65 will
never get it. Something tells me that BG-Room is smart enough to figure
this out one day.

Regardless, BG-Room provides money backgammon gambling at a level which is
comparable to its competitors. It deserves more attention from the
backgammon world.


Bruce  writes:

For the .mat money game, I open an editor and change the 1 point match to a
0 point match. If I'm really motivated, I will open a number of games and
copy/paste them into a single session but that is more like work. Someday I
will write a Perl script do it for me.

I live in the US but not in one of the forbidden states. I have
successfully cashed out my initial deposit via paypal without any
difficulties and will hopefully cash out some winnings soon.

Customer service seems to be quick and efficient. I've emailed 3 times with
various questions including once about a deposit bonus that was less than I
expected. Within 24 hours I had a response and the missing amount was
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