On this page will forever be enshrined those competitors who have distinguished themselves by producing superlative performance in a RotoGuru-sponsored contest or a top ranking among all Gurupies in a RotoGuru-covered game.
Click here to jump to the most recent enshrinees.
Enshrinee: Joanna Brock
Contest: Guru's March Madness Contest, March 1998
Up close & personal: Joanna Brock, of Kokomo, Indiana, is a stay at home Mom (with a 15 month old son) and is also the secretary/bookkeeper for her husband's business in Indiana. Her key picks for this contest were Rhode Island, a #8 seed which upset Kansas in the first round of the regionals, and #10 seed Washington, which won twice.
Enshrinee: Doug Taylor
Contest: Guru's 2nd Chance (Hoops) League, Jan.-Apr. 1998
Up close & personal: Doug is a 24-year old computer consultant from Culver City, CA. He got hooked on fantasy sports during the 1996-97 basketball season while working for the Congressional Budget Office in Washington DC. Also a top 50 finisher in the regular 1997-98 Smallworld Hoops game, Doug trounced the Second Chance field, not only outdistancing his closest competitor by more than a 2% margin, but doing so while conserving 7 of his 50 trade allotment until the final weekend, when he didn't even need them!
Enshrinee: Brian Jefferey Butvin
Contest: 1998 Smallworld Football, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Sep.-Dec. 1998
Up close & personal: Brian is a 38-year-old computer software developer from Cleveland, Ohio, who has been playing fantasy sports since the early 1990's - before the internet made availability and administration so easy. His winning team, "BJB's #2", was drafted in less than a half-hour at the last minute ("What the heck, I thought!"). While ranking first (out of 712) in the RotoGuru team rankings, Brian's team also placed #17 (out of 100,000+) in Smallworld's worldwide rankings. Brian's defensive team picking was above average (#53 RotoGuru ranking), but it was clearly his offensive player picks that made the biggest difference (ranked #5 in the RotoGuru universe).
Enshrinee: Matt Hritz
Contest: 1998 Smallworld Football Playoffs, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Dec. 1998 - Jan. 1999
Up close & personal: Matt is a 17-year-old high school junior in Augusta, Maine. His winning team, "Playoff Destroyers", was actually his second team. (His first team - which was supposed to be his best - finished well behind.) Matt's key to success was picking up Terrell Davis early, good defensive selections, and keeping the maximum number of roster slots active throughout. While finishing first among all RotoGuru teams, he also ranked 7th worldwide among all Smallworld Playoff managers.
Enshrinee: Greg Robinson
Contest: 1999 RotoGuru March Madness Contest, March 1999
Up close & personal: Greg is a 30 year old banker from Sacramento, California, married, with 2 young boys. Greg attributes his contest success to his key long picks of Ohio State, Miami (OH), and SW Missouri State. He eeked out a 2 point victory over a group of close contenders, in spite of failing to be long the tournament winner, UConn. Overall, Greg's entry, Endangered Species, included 4 of the top 8 longs, and 5 of the top 8 shorts. Greg confesses that he didn't study all of the scoring nuances in advance, but just picked teams based on the Guru's pre-contest summary. Greg has played a variety of fantasy sports since 1994, and has been an avid RotoGuru user since the site's infancy.
Enshrinee: Jay Siegel
Contest: 1999 Smallworld Hoops, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Feb-May, 1999
Up close & personal: Jay Siegel of Bethesda, MD is a 46 yr. old physician/scientist. His Bethesda
Panthers finished first in the combined SmallWorld/CNNSI standings of over
200,000 teams. He has been a SmallWorld fantasy sports fan since fall,
1997 and an avid RotoGuru fan and participant nearly as long, finishing
second in the Guru's 2nd Chance (Hoops) League (97-98) winning several Guru Dream Team contests. [Note: Jay missed a second Hall of Fame appearance by a scant 0.5 SWP margin in the 2000 SW Hoops Playoff game.]
Jay is extremely proud of his sons, 14 year old Micah, whose WWVikes
finished 44th in the SmallWorld rankings and 12 year old Joshua, whose
PylePanthers finished 92nd in the SmallWorld rankings. Jay is particularly
grateful to his wife, Mona, who, although she cannot exactly comprehend why
anyone would want to spend so much time thinking and talking about fantasy
sports, nonetheless tolerates it.
Enshrinee: Richard Paganelli
Contest: 1999 Echelon Full Court, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Feb-May, 1999
Up close & personal: Rich a self employed accountant, who does the books solely for a family
operated sales agency in Chicago. He has only been playing fantasy
sports for about one year. He is quick to point out that the winning team, "Rick's Best", was a combination effort by Rick Trevino, Jamie Fewer, and Richard Paganelli. Rich mentions that "we
had many heated discussions on how exactly to interpret RotoGuru's
statistics. As much as I would like to say we won entirely due to our
skill in roster decisions, the element of luck definitely enters into the equation. Any fantasy sports game winner that says otherwise is very arrogant."
"Rick's Best" was consistently ranked #1 worldwide in the Full Court game from March 1st through the end of the season.
Enshrinee: Brent Wolf
Contest: 1999 Smallworld Hoops Playoffs, RotoGuru Team Rankings, May-June, 1999
Up close & personal: Brent Wolf of Dickinson, ND is a 19 yr. old college student majoring in Math Education with a minor in Coaching. His "Midgets2" finished fourth in the worldwide SmallWorld rankings. This is Brent's first year playing internet fantasy sports games, with this game being the first that Brent followed closely. He was introduced to the RotoGuru site by his uncle, and has been a daily visitor since.
Enshrinee: Paul Scheirer
Contest: 1999 Smallworld Baseball, RotoGuru Team Rankings, April-Oct, 1999
Contest: 1999 CNN/SI Baseball, RotoGuru Team Rankings, April-Oct, 1999
Up close & personal: Paul is a 40-something computer consultant in Northern Virginia who lives
with his wife, one teenage girl and a preteen boy. This was his first full
year of fantasy baseball (he started a few weeks late last year). He has
also played the Smallworld football and hockey games, placing teams in the
top 300 or so in each sport. He is known to many Gurupies as the producer of a web site that gives
Smallworld hockey statistics. One of the
keys to his baseball success was patience. Even when he was not very high in either
the WWR and not winning his division, he saved some trades and resisted
rotating pitchers until he had enough trades and money to make that
efficient. But of course he couldn't have done it without the statistics
wisdom of the Guru (who he also beat), and of course a little luck.
Enshrinee: Kevin Bills
Contest: 1999 Smallworld Midseason Baseball, RotoGuru Team Rankings, July-Oct, 1999
Up close & personal: Kevin is a 22 yr. old actuarial analyst living in Houston, TX. He
from Texas A&M University in May. He has been playing fantasy sports for
about a year, with his first team starting halfway through the 1998
season. Kevin's team, "Middle Men," finished first in the worldwide
SmallWorld Rankings in addition to leading RotoGuru's team rankings. His team,
wasn't even ranked in the top 1000 in late August, made a great
comeback with a flurry of pitching trades in the last month of the season.
Kevin attributes his success to surrounding Chipper Jones with a good bunch
of cheap position players in his initial draft and using all of his trades
only for pitching starts.
Enshrinee: Steve Wigdor
Contest: 1999 Smallworld Baseball, April-Oct, 1999
Up close & personal: Steve Wigdor is the VP of Sales for Foodgalaxy.com. He is married to Susan
with their first child on the way.
Residing in New Jersey, Steve entered two teams in Smallworld
and finished 1st and 2nd worldwide out of 330,000 teams. Steve's
background as a draftee who "never made the show" was beneficial in
the players and, as is always needed, got some luck with Vladimir finishing
off the year so strong. Steve's best moves, Vladdy withstanding, were
jumping on Millwood, Scott Williamson and Freddy Garcia before the crowd.
Steve's worst move was starting with Benito Santiago as catcher and waiting
and waiting and waiting for him to produce, which never happened.
[Note: Steve was not acquainted with RotoGuru.com until around midseason (when he was already ranked #1 and #2 worldwide), which makes his success all the more impressive, since he managed the first half without any RotoGuru statistical support. Even though he was not entered in the RotoGuru team rankings, his top worldwide status certainly qualifies him for inclusion in the Hall of Fame.]
Enshrinee: Eric Wright
Contest: 1999 Echelon Ball Park Dreams Baseball, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Apr.-Oct, 1999
Up close & personal: Eric, 24, is a graduate of the University of Buffalo (stats major), and currently works for a health coverage company in the DC area. Eric expresses his thanks to the Guru (for all of the schedule and stats support), to Rich Paganelli (HOF enshrinee and runner-up in Ball Park Dreams) for pushing him all season, and to Al Leiter, for his final day shutout which vaulted him over Rich's team.
Enshrinee: Michael Mankus
Contest: 1999 Smallworld Football, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Sep.-Dec., 1999
Up close & personal: Mike is a 22-year old chemical engineering
college student. His team, Go BENGALS XI, finished first in the RotoGuru team reankings, and was ranked #16 worldwide. This was his first year playing Small World Football. Mike attributes a great
deal of his success to RotoGuru.com and its message board (where he uses the name "Mike"). By mid-season, Mike's strategy included going with the
same consistent guys week in and week out without making many trades. Mike says, "I probably had Manning and Warner for about 7 straight weeks at one point.
While I may not have gotten the highest scoring players for a given week, I
also avoided having too many sub par performances." During the last weeks,
he started to carefully differentiate to
attempt to gain ground on the teams ahead of him. Mike also recognizes that his team enjoyed a great deal of luck.
Enshrinee: James Surles
Contest: 1999-2000 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Oct. 99-Jan. 2000
Up close & personal: James is a 27 year old with a PhD in
Statistics, and he uses statistical methods to help
improve his performance in all things fantasy, including the development of
a model that he stuck with from the second week of the Pickoff until near the
end, when the outcome was no longer in doubt. James, who's Pickoff entry was named "Sludge" (and who also uses that handle at the message forum) virtually lapped the field with a margin of 466 points over the 2nd place entry. He has also run a fantasy football league known as the Blind Moose League of Fantasy Football for well over 10 years now, winning the championship 3 times. James also notes that he was up to a #5 WWR in Smallworld Baseball at one time in '99, but his honeymoon put to rest any hope of finishing top 100.
Enshrinee: David Engle
Contest: Guru's Market Madness Contest, March, 2000
Up close & personal: David (32) is married with 2 kids, and works for
Pepsi Cola General Bottlers as a route salesman in Eaton, Indiana. His favorite teams are the New York
Yankees, L.A. Lakers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Purdue, and the Miami Hurricanes. His most hated teams
are the Dallas Cowboys, Celtics, the IU Hoosiers(especially basketball) and
the FSU Seminoles. His favorite sport is baseball, and he still actively participates in
golf(kinda), softball and basketball, along with a host of fantasy teams. David won this contest handily, finishing almost 20% ahead of his closest rival.
Enshrinee: Mark Mendoza (KB8ers GM)
Contest: 1999-2000 CNN/SI Hoops Regular Season (#1 WWR)
Up close & personal: Mark is a 31 year old from New
Jersey who makes his career as a producer in the music business. His venture
into playing online fantasy games began in 1999 with SmallWorld baseball,
then football, but never found the desired success in rank. His turning point
came when finding RotoGuru.com at the start of the hoops season. Mark, who also finished 1st in the Gurupie Forum Standings with his SmallWorld team
(WWR #4), credits
his success to using Guru's various tools and combining it with his sports
intuition of using "non-statistical intangibles" for making trade decisions.
He also found value in the information, encouragement and comeraderie he
shared with the Gurupies on the Message Boards and in private.
Enshrinees: Richard Paganelli(WAB) and Chris Jensen
Contest: 1999-2000 Echelon Basketball(#1 WWR)
Up close & personal: Rich and Chris teamed up to co-manage their team,
"Rick's Best" to the Echelon Basketball title, giving
Rich the honor of being the first two-time HOF entrant
with victories in different years. Chris, known as
"Punishark" on the message boards, is a 36 year old
civil engineer living in Lodi, CA. Chris has played a
variety of fantasy sports since 1989, where he formed
his own baseball rotisserie league, for which he is the
league's 3-time winner and defending champion. Other
fantasy accomplishments include a #9 WWR in Echelon's
1999 Baseball game, and a 10th place finish in the
Guru's inaugural Football Pickoff game. Rich and
Chris formed an excellent team, where Chris'
insistence on beginning to spend at a higher daily salary
earlier than most paid off in the end. Chris was also invaluable to the
early season calculations that proved crucial to winning "down the
Enshrinees: Greg Robinson and Richard Paganelli
Contest: 2000 Smallworld Playoff Hoops - RotoGuru rankings
Up close & personal: These two existing Hall of Famers teamed up for a run at the #1 WWR in the Smallworld Playoff Hoops game, and they nearly got there. Ranked as
high as #3, they fell to #5 in the standings while actually gaining ground on the overall leader. In the end, fate didn't go their way, as they
finished at #6 WWR. In their haste to differentiate from the leaders, they barely hung on to the Gurupie title, finishing a miniscule 0.5 SWP
ahead of fellow HOF'er Jay Siegel. Greg and Rich attribute their success in part to their at-times combative natures -- it is always good-natured
but their heated discussions usually turn out finding the best strategies.
Enshrinee: Jeff Klein
Contest: 2000 Smallworld Baseball - RotoGuru rankings (#1 WWR), Apr.-Oct., 2000
Up close & personal: Jeff is a 21 year old business major from Atlanta, where he has lived all his life. Jeff has always been an avid sports fan, and recalls that even before fantasy games,
any spare time he had was spent memorizing numbers and watching TV trying to learn more about every sport.
Jeff attributes most of his success to the RotoGuru message boards. He stated, "There are several
people there with superior sports knowledge, and their support and
suggestions had a big impact on my decisions. But what separated me from some of the other contenders late in the year (besides a great deal of luck) was
just going with my gut in certain situations and not relying on pure numbers.
Sometimes going with a young pitcher you have followed in the minors and you
know has major league type stuff can help you out. (For me it was Benson,
Zito, and Ankiel.) In addition, I missed only 1 Randy start, 0 Pedro starts, and
only 1 or 2 Kevin Brown starts."
Enshrinee: Rich Paganelli
Contest: 2000 Swirve Baseball (#1 WWR), Apr.-Oct., 2000
Up close & personal: Rich becomes the first 4-time enshrinee in the Hall of Fame with his #1 worldwide ranking in Swirve Baseball.
"I'd like to say it's an honor to once again be
inducted into the RotoGuru.com Hall of Fame," offers Rich. "I think it's the highest
award any of us can get playing fantasy sports. I'd like to
thank several people who ALWAYS help me in every fantasy game that I
play. Guru, your site is invaluable to me at the beginning of any
fantasy season. The information you provide in a variety of
forms (blurbs, message boards, sortable stats) is always up to the minute. I
couldn't win anything without your site. KB8ers, YOU are simply the best
manager playing fantasy sports. Your incredible knowledge & resources
are amazing. I learn alot from you every season. Thanks for sharing your
intellect with me. Punisharks, my successes started with you.
Thanks for always keeping my head in the game. You won Swirve baseball
for us this year, with yur cheap and efficient pitcher picks in August.
Great Job! Greg Robinson (Species), thanks for being a soundboard all
season. A successful manager can never have too many people to bounce
ideas off of. Jamie Edman (Jedman), congrats on a successful baseball
season yourself. For only being a beginner at this fantasy sports stuff,
your knowledge of the game, and friends in high places, were great aids
to many of us this season."
"I'd also like to give thanks to all the RotoGurupies who make
contributions on the message boards. Much of my information to make
decisions came from many of you reading this. It's great to have our own
little community to speak our minds. All of us are what make
RotoGuru.com the #1 fantasy sports site on the internet."
Enshrinee: Chris Jensen
Contest: Swirve Baseball, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Apr.-Oct., 2000
Up close & personal: Chris, a 36-year old father of two, successfully finished in the top ten for the second consecutive year of playing Swirve Baseball. This season, he ended with the #2 WWR team (chosen for his wife), "Lana's Giants", giving him his second entry into the RotoGuru Hall of Fame. In addition to this team, Chris (who posts under the name "Punishark" at the message forum) had the good fortune to sweep the top four slots in the RotoGuru Team Rankings. However, Chris says none of this would have been possible without his co-manager (and partner in crime), Rich Paganelli (WaB). Chris and Rich again teamed up, using their combined strategizing skills, to close what appeared to be an insurmountable gap on the team "SAS" over the final six weeks. Chris also won his second consecutive (and fourth overall) office fantasy baseball league title this year. Chris wants to thank several Gurupies for their assistance, including Species, jedman, KB and Guru himself (for providing the competition and the "sartibles"). On a side note, with his winnings, Chris bought his wife a horse. She named it Blondie, but Chris will probably call it Madman.
Enshrinee: Jamie Edman
Contest: 2000 Midseason Small World Baseball, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Jul.-Oct., 2000
Up close & personal: Jamie is a 47 year old father of four. He is self-employed in the vending machine business and has owned Total Vending Services for 12 years. He was introduced to Small World hoops in 1999 by his son's roommate and floundered until finding Rotoguru in December of 1999. With his newfound knowledge and friends at the message boards, he finished in the top 1000 for the full season and was 6th in the Rotoguru Midseason standings. His addiction to fantasy sports continued as he moved on to baseball where his team "jedman" finished 30 WWR in full season and his team "vendors" finished 6 WWR in mid-season, where he topped the Gurupie standings. Jamie owes all of his success to Rotoguru and the vast amount of knowledge and wisdom that is shared on the message boards, as well as his constant IM sessions with WAB, Punishark, Species, KB8ers, Madman, and Dave R.
Enshrinee: Neil MacPhee
Contest: 2000 Midseason Small World Baseball, Jul.-Oct., 2000
Up close & personal: Neil MacPhee is a 38 year old engineer working in New Brunswick, Canada. Neil posts in the message forum using the handle "Caper", and has been playing SW sports since 1999. He qualified for enshrinement by attaining the #1 worldwide ranking in Small World's Midseason Baseball game.
always enjoyed playing and following sports, but SmallWorld and RotoGuru.com have rekindled some of my lost enthusiasm. The tools and discussion available at RotoGuru and the competition of some truly great players and people in 'The SmallWorld Order' are what spurred me to be a much better player."
Enshrinee: Brian Talmadge
Contest: 2000 Small World Baseball Playoffs, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Oct., 2000
Up close & personal: Brian, 35, lives in Pennsylvania, where he manages an apartment
complex for over 500 college students. Brian's beginnings in fantasy sports
started in 1998, playing fantasy football. Known to message forum users as "philflyboy", his first venture into Small World (baseball 1999) was not very good, finishing in the 25000's. "I did not
really enjoy Small World at the time, as I did not really understand the
better ways of playing the game. A friend led me to RotoGuru and I started
reading the posts on the message forum and began to understand the games
and the ways to succeed. Now I play mostly Small World and enjoy the
competition more than any other site." Playoff Baseball was the first time
Brian managed to break into the top 100. He gives most of credit for his success to his chatroom buddies for sharing their wisdom and intuition.
Enshrinee: Greg Robinson
Contest: 2000 Swirve Football, RotoGuru Team Rankings, Sep.-Dec. 20000
Up close & personal: Greg gains his third Rotoguru Hall of Fame entry after recording the top three teams in the RotoGuru rankings, with his best team finishing with a
worldwide rank of #4. What is impressive about Greg's entries in
the Hall is the fact that he is the first one to do it
in 3 different games: one Swirve game, one Smallworld
game and one Rotoguru.com game. A "Triple Crown" of sorts!
Greg credits much of his recent fantasy sports success
to his good friend and fellow HOF'er Rich Paganelli.
"Rich instilled the killer instinct in me", Greg
notes. "He told me that you shouldn't play these
games 'just to finish in the top 50' - that you play
"The camaraderie we shared when we teamed up for the
SW Playoff Hoops game last year proved to me that Rich
is the best fantasy strategist out there" Greg says,
"and when you combine that with his drive to be the
best it elevated my game as well."
Greg is quick to give credit to Rotoguru.com for both
the statistical support and the friendships he's made
on the message boards that all had their part in his
success. He notes that his AIM buddies also drive him
to succeed and credits KB (who rooted really hard!),
Punishark and jedman for their help, as always,
throughout the year.
Enshrinee: James Surles
Contest: 2000-01 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2000-Jan. 2001
Up close & personal: James (who goes by "Sludge" at the message forum) repeats as the overall winner in Football Pickoff. Not only did he win, but he openly discussed his strategy in the message forum at the beginning of the season, and then after spotting the field a head start (while he dug himself into a -326 point hole during the first two weeks), he steadily moved up the leader board, finished strong, and virtually clinched the title prior to the start of the playoffs.
James credits Victor Davis (a.k.a. "Madman") for his immense help in writing the
code to implement the picking procedure. The program
is freely available to anyone by clicking here.
Since winning it last year, James and his wife, Gini, had their first child, a
little boy named Jonathon, and also bought a house. His wife was very competitive for much of the season, so Jonathon has to be regarded as a serious contender at some point in the future.
Enshrinee: Alfred Rodriguez
Contest: Guru's Market Madness Contest, March 2001
Up close & personal: Alfred Rodriguez is a 48 year old junior high school history teacher.
His favorite teams are any of those that he can accurately predict the
performance of. As a native and life long resident of Bakersfield, CA,
he admits to having a bias toward PAC 10 teams. Al feels fortunate
to have such a lovely and tolerant wife that puts up with his sports
fanaticism. He is a 20 year vet of the Tharon Patrick Collins Memorial
APBA baseball face to face league. Only once has his team "Trout
Fishing in America" finished under .500. He also enjoys other internet
fantasy and pick'm games.
"Guru's scoring simulator tool at the Market Madness
Contest site got me home. I didn't think I could ever get this close again
after 1999 when I was the runner up to Endangered Species in 1999
RotoGuru Market Madness Contest."
Enshrinee: Alex Vajda
"Making it into the RotoGuru Hall of Fame was totally unexpected, leaving me with the same giddy feeling as when I cashed tickets
on Sheik Albadou (at 12-1) and the Pleasant Stage/La Spia exacta ($386.20) in consecutive races in the 1991 Breeders' Cup.
I attribute my success in the 2001 Market Madness to the Long Island Rail Road, whose delays which gave me more time to bone
up on the field; a thread in the RotoGuru forum spearheaded by Sludge and Steve Houpt, which confirmed my strong feelings about
Maryland and Arizona; and to accidentally stepping in a pile of canine "good luck" on the first day of the NCAA tournament.
Contest: Guru's Market Madness Contest (basket free category), March 2001
Up close & personal: Alex Vajda is a 34 year old actuarial analyst from New Hyde Park, NY. He occasionally posts at the message forum under the moniker "Vaj", although he usually just lurks.
Enshrinee: Rob Anderson
Contest: Small World Hoops RotoGuru Rankings, Nov.-April, 2001
Up close & personal: Rob Anderson is a 23 year-old graduate (Class of 2000) from Loyola Marymount
University, originally from Lodi, CA. He currently lives in L.A. and
works in LMU's Development Office while starting his MBA at the school.
This was his third year of Small World fantasy basketball after running his own
leagues with friends (with a pen and excel spreadsheets) for 7 years. He played
CNN/SI in the lockout shortened season and finished 13th before switching
to SW's site last year. Not only did he take the RotoGuru title this year, but he also finished with the #2 worldwide ranking. Rob's forum handle is "lionprideguy"
"I found RotoGuru.com halfway through the last season and it was like a
revelation! I had spent the first year and a half developing my own
spreadsheets creating formulas for ROI and schedule outlooks before finding
out that there was a whole community of people that also were approaching
the game in the same way. I submitted my team for the standings this year
to try and test myself against the players who I knew were the very best and
just hoped I didn't embarrass myself. I know that I was only able to do
well this year because of a lot of luck and the incredible assistance and
insight from the great Gurupie community."
Enshrinee: Rich Paganelli
Contest: Swirve Basketball, Nov.-April, 2001
Up close & personal: Rich finished with the #1 worldwide ranking in Swirve Hoops, completing a "Jordan-esque" three-peat in this game. His accomplishment also prompts his unprecedented fifth entry into the RotoGuru Hall of Fame.
Although Rich is a formidable competitor in a wide variety of fantasy sports and formats, his utter dominance in Swirve Hoops is nothing short of awesome. Rich has been a loyal Gurupie since the infancy of RotoGuru.com, and is always quick to credit many of his Gurupie comrades for helping him think through his ideas. While Rich certainly demonstrates world class capabilities in strategic planning, research, and statistical analysis, it is his intuitive feel for many of the "intangibles" that continually results in his teams appearing among the elite.
Enshrinee: Bill Fleming
Contest: Swirve Basketball RotoGuru Rankings, Nov.-April, 2001
Up close & personal: Bill led the Gurupie rankings while finishing #3 in Swirve's worldwide rankings. A 45 yr. gold and silver dealer, Bill occasionally posts at the message forum under the name "j o s h".
Bill started playing the Swirve basketball game 2 years ago, and credits the support of his 16-year old son Justin and the patience of his wife as critical factors in his successful season. Although his favorite sport is baseball, he has shown a consistent ability to excel in fantasy basketball as well. Bill's stated keys to success - "differentiation and intuition. However in the Swirve
efficiency format, you still obviously have to play the schedule and look for bargains. And last but not least; LUCK!"
Enshrinee: Michael Dean
Contest: Smallworld Battle Hoops, Nov.-April, 2001
Up close & personal: Michael Dean took the worldwide grand prize in Small World's inaugural pay version of its Hoops game. He is 27 years old, and currently pursuing his "Working Mans PHD" in Paragould, Arkansas, where he is also a full-time slow pitch softball player during the summer. In addition to finishing #1 (and #2) in the pay game, his entry in Small World's free game also finished #5 worldwide. This was his third year of playing fantasy sports.
"I love the RotoGuru message boards, and contribute occasionally under the name 'The Bandwagon'. This accomplishment wouldn't be possible without the RotoGuru website, as well as the support of Dave R., What about Bob, and KB8ers. We all chatted and talked strategy every week during hoops season. Finally I'd like to thank my beautiful wife, Jenny, for putting up with my countless hours on NBA.com and the Small World website."
Enshrinee: Nathan Rochette
Contest: Small World Hoops Midseason, Feb.-April, 2001
Up close & personal: Nathan, a 29-year old who works in the insurance industry in Connecticut, attained the #1 worldwide ranking in the SW Midseason Hoops game. He has been playing SW sports since 1998.
"Much of my success can be attributed to the RotoGuru message forum, where I use the handle 'D.Dawkins'. (I was a 76ers fans growing up and Daryl Dawkins was one of my favorite players.) I'd like to give some credit
to my fellow Gurupies, Brian Minich (Hoop Hop) and Nolan Fisher (Schwag 4:20)."
Enshrinee: Mark Mendoza
Contest: Small World Baseball RotoGuru Rankings, Apr.-Oct., 2001
Up close & personal: Mark (known at the forum as "KB8ers GM") returns to post his second entry into the RotoGuru Hall of Fame by way
of his 1st place finish in the Gurupie Standings for Smallworld Baseball.
Mark's WWR of #4 was just good enough to claim the Gurupie title by 395 TSNP.
"Given the popularity of the SW/TSN platform and the incredible competition
within the RotoGuru.com community" Mark mentions, "I am honored to be the
first to win Hall of Fame status in two different sports playing the SW/TSN
game. Thanks and credit again goes out to Guru for his site and the
camaraderie from friends and on the boards."
Enshrinee: Tyge Spane
Contest: Small World Baseball, Apr.-Oct., 2001
Up close & personal: Tyge is 26 years old and works for UPS in Everett, WA. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1998. He was a rookie at SmallWorld baseball
this year, but his good knowledge of baseball and understanding of
salary cap games certainly paid off with the #1 worldwide ranking.
"Although I'm fairly
new to the RotoGuru site, I'm hoping to be more active. I'm looking forward
to improving my basketball and football success, and I'm sure the RotoGuru site
Enshrinee: Michael Wehner
Contest: Swirve Baseball, Apr.-Oct., 2001
Up close & personal: Michael (known to gurupies as "beastiemiked") is a
20-year-old college student from Cape Girardeau, MO. This was his first
year playing Swirve, and he attributes most of his success to the many tools
at RotoGuru.com and the fact that Swirve changed its game format from last
year so that everybody was new to the game. He couldn't have lasted the whole
season without the support of his chatroom gurupies. Despite winning Swirve
this year, Michael views this year as somewhat of a letdown from last year,
when he finished #2 in both Smallworld Fullseason and Smallworld Midseason.
Enshrinee: Dave Hall
Contest: Small World Midseason Baseball RotoGuru rankings, Jul.-Oct., 2001
Up close & personal: Dave Hall, the owner and producer of RotoGuru.com, finished with the #3 worldwide rank and the top spot in the midseason RotoGuru rankings. This was an unusual season for the Guru, as his fullseason Small World baseball exploits were a disappointment, but he also finished with the #1 worldwide rank (out of 834 entrants) in the free baseball game produced by Progressive Sports challenge.
"It's hard to figure how I can excel with some teams while underperforming with others all at the same time. I guess it attests to the extreme combination of both skill and luck required to post a top finish. There are many Gurupies who have the requisite skill to finish on top; I'm just happy that the winds of luck blew in my direction for a change."
Enshrinee: Tony Sorensen
Contest: Small World Playoff Baseball RotoGuru rankings, Oct.-Nov., 2001
Up close & personal: Tony, 32, is married to Florence and lives in Chicago, where he is a
telecommunications engineer. Known to message forum users as "ChicagoTRS", 2001 was his first venture into fantasy sports.
"I have always been a huge sports fan and kind of knew I
would love fantasy sports. I shied away from it because I knew to do it right and to be competitive would require a huge commitment of time and energy. I finished in the top 100 (WWR) in both fullseason(#69) and midseason(#75) Small World games, won the message
forum full season "no headed monster" division, and capped it off by finishing with the #3 WWR in playoff
baseball. I love
baseball because of the long season and the amount of games. I really think it allows the best
players to rise to the top of the rankings."
"A lot of my enjoyment from the fantasy games came from reading, posting, and
communicating on the message forums of RotoGuru.com. I never would have done as well as I did without the tools and combined knowledge of the message forum and web site. I also have to give special thanks to my wife for putting up with my
checking on stats every evening and logging on everywhere to make last minute trades."
Enshrinee: John Oord
Contest: Small World Golf 2001
Up close & personal: John (known as "WeBeJammin" at the message forum) has three children, lives in Charlotte, NC, and manages a Real Estate Land Trust. He played SW Hoops in 1999 and 2000. This was his first year
playing SW Fantasy Golf, and he joined the night before rosters were due. John's #1 worldwide rank, promoted by the many regulars at the RotoGuru Golf Forum, prompted this first enshrinement honor for a fantasy golf game.
His secrets of success? First, "the Rotoguru Golf Message Forum and all of
its regulars, such as Makisupa, Dr. Doom, Allhair, Sarge, Katie and so many
more. I had no chance without them. And secondly, some timely advice from
my Rotisserie Football partner, Frank Alessio."
Enshrinee: Michael Hicks
Contest: Swirve Football, Sep. 2001 - Jan. 2002
Up close & personal: Michael, 37, is married to Shaun, has 3 children
and lives in the Kansas City area, where he is a retail specialist and
internet businessman. He is a
10-year fantasy veteran who considers baseball and football as his specialties. Since joining internet leagues 6 years ago, he has won
many league titles, including several top 10 national contest finishes
from sites like ESPN, CBS, Sandbox and now Swirve, where his two football entries finished with worldwide rankings of #1 and #4.
"I am quite
proud of this national title and plan to roll my momentum into the
upcoming baseball season and improve on my 108th and 116th finish last
year in Swirve. I
found RotoGuru last year, and even though I don't get into forums much,
I have enjoyed all the info offered at the site. Special props go out to my
brother KC-ICEBERGS and my bud TONGANOXIE TRITONS. My dominance over
their teams keep me going year after year after year."
Enshrinee: Matthew Morris
Contest: 2001-02 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2001-Feb. 2002
Up close & personal: Matthew is 27 years old, married, and has an 18 month old son named Stockton. A huge Utah Jazz fan, he resides in Salt Lake City and works for the University of Utah as a computer professional
in the payroll office. His team, jungleman24, led the second place finisher by almost 1000 points, a winning margin of almost 40% of the 2nd place score.
"My first love is fantasy basketball with football
coming up a close second, and I have been playing for almost 4 years
now.(My team name is 'Other Ones' in SmallWorld.) I also won the
midseason Football Pickoff last year. I attribute winning this year by
luck and mostly first instinct."
Enshrinee: Allan Blocker<
Contest: 2002 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March 2002
Up close & personal: Allan, 23, lives in Birmingham, AL. He is a recent graduate of Auburn University with a Software Engineering degree.
"I always hoped I'd make it into the Hall of Fame, but
thought I'd get in through TSN Hoops or Baseball. Of all the ways to get in, I think Market Madness involves the most luck and the least strategy.
Not that I am not proud of my victory (because I am), but I hope to 'earn' my way back via a different route in the near future."
"The News page of the Contest site said, 'One
of the best ways to figure out this scoring format is
to try it for a year.' I found this statement to be
very true. I played for the first time in 2001 and
didn't have a clue when making my picks. This year I
understood what I was doing and obviously fared much
better as a result. Even so, I thought I was finished when Duke lost to Indiana
(had Duke and ACC as Longs, #5 seed as a Short), but
some big upsets and key basket units (Long: Big 10,
Short: SEC & Conf.USA) helped me stay in contention."
Enshrinee: Kurt Nuss
Contest: 2002 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest (basket free category), March 2002
Up close & personal: Kurt is a 32 year old Director of Origination/Sales for a
commodity/energy trading company located in Kansas City, MO. He lives in
Olathe, KS, with his wife of six years, Theresa, and their two girls, Hannah
and Maggie. His favorite sports teams are the Royals, Chiefs, Kansas State
and anyone playing against Kansas in basketball, Nebraska in football, and
Missouri in any sport. Kurt is a four year vetaran of fantasy football
leagues (playoffs for three years) and has played in one fantasy baseball
This was Kurt's first attempt at the RotoGuru Market Madness Contest.
"I was quite surprised with this finish. I owe it all to my good
friend and fantasy league comrade David Quisenberry, for informing me about
the contest." Kurt attributes his success in fantasy leagues to clean living
and a bottle of Coors per evening.
Enshrinee: Dave Richards
Contest: 2001-02 TSN Ultimate Hoops, Nov. 2001-Apr. 2002
Up close & personal:
Dave, 50, is self employed in the insurance business in Denville,
NJ. Married for 26 years, Dave is the father of two college students, Dana - a Deans
List student at Ramapo College, and Kevin, who plays #1 on the golf team at
Shennandoah University. Dave began playing Small World 4 years ago (SANFORDORS) and found RotoGuru shortly thereafter.
"Although I've had moderate success in Baseball (several top 50 finishes)
and Golf (I don't play football or hockey), basketball is my first love and
I thought placing 2 teams in the top ten last year was great. But this year
was the ultimate, especially coming from behind the last week to finish #1. I've said on
numerous occasions to my friend Jedman that I can't imagine playing this
game without RotoGuru. I also owe a lot to all my AIM buddies, ever
expanding and too numerous to name."
Enshrinee: Terry Bullen
Contest: 2001-02 TSN Free Hoops, Nov. 2001-Apr. 2002
Up close & personal: Terry (known as "El Tel" at the message forum) retired last Christmas after a 25 year career as a Planning Director of
the London (England) branch of a major global advertising agency. Terry finished the season with the #1 worldwide ranking. He became fascinated by fantasy sports games playing soccer and cricket
games with some (financial) success in the UK. "I took the plunge into
Small World and Swirve in 1998. Previous best was 10th in the SW Premier
League soccer game, but usually manage Top 100 finishes in basketball and
baseball. Have a golf team going well at the moment too."
"I am honoured to win a TSN game outright, something I never thought possible,
and will admit takes a great deal of luck overlaid on Guru's
irreplaceable tools. I am proud, too, to represent Great Britain and Europe here."
Enshrinee: Nathan Lucash
Contest: 2001-02 TSN Ultimate Hockey, Nov. 2001-Apr. 2002
Up close & personal: Nathan Lucash (known as "quik_ag" on the boards) is a
Cornell University student that spends far too much time playing fantasy
sports and far too little time studying for the courses he's enrolled in.
Originally from just outside of Woodstock, NY, he also works as a web site
designer and developer in his spare time.
"It seems that hockey is my strongest sport. I'm now batting 1.000 in the
pay games I've entered, taking home the top honors in my division in the TSN
playoff game last year, and the top WWR in the ultimate game this year."
Nathan believes hia strategic mind is best suited for the balancing of schedule,
production, and efficiency priorities that the hockey season demands. "Now if
only I could apply the same strategies to the baseball game so that my
friends could understand what a fantasy sports genius I really am!"
Enshrinee: Steve Walker
Contest: 2001-02 TSN Ultimate Hockey Philliephan Standings, Nov. 2001-Apr. 2002
Up close & personal: Steve (forum name "walk") just turned 40 (ugh). He lives and works in New York
City, where he is married with two children, ages 4 and 1. While his 4
year-old daughter would rather use the PC at home to visit various Disney
web-sites (princesses and dinosaurs are her faves), he has high hopes for his 1 year old boy. "The guy has seemingly shown an interest in throwing a bean ball sippy cup at my head," from which Steve's highly trained psychological mind infers that the little guy ("JD") would love to play fantasy baseball one day.
Walk has been playing fantasy sports, mainly Small World, since 1998. He
stumbled onto the RotoGuru.com web-site playing baseball that year, but the
damage was already done -- he had burned up most of his trades. Still,
with the help of some good 'ol fashioned research and some questionable
reading while on the job, walk learned to use Guru's tools for good rather
than evil. In 1999, he finished 20th in baseball. Unfortunately, his
fantasy prowess in football has never quite reached such levels of
attainment. Walk, however, enjoys TSN hockey mucho and finished
26th worldwide this year, which was good enough for tops in the exalted
Philliephan Standings (thanks Paul!). "My success in TSN games shows you
that with enough luck, excessive forum verbosity, and statistical
regression to the mean, you too can achieve Gurupian Hall of Fame status."
Enshrinee: Brad Hess
Contest: 2002 TSN Ultimate Baseball, RotoGuru Rankings, April-September 2002
Up close & personal: Brad is a 19 year old meteorology major at Florida State University. This was his second year playing TSN baseball, and he claimed the #2 worldwide ranking in a tight race for the top spot that went down to the wire. "The season seemed extremely long, and I peaked too early. If there was a
strike, I would've had #1 WWR. I also thought I put myself back into the
drivers seat a week before the end, only to lose it."
Active at the RotoGuru message forum where he goes by the handle "smallwhirled," Brad also describes himself as a former chatroomer turned AIM guy. He particularly wants to thank all of the AIM gurupies who helped with the news updates the last few months. His advice: "Stick to your guns, and you will be successful. It's impossible to change your overall strategy every week, you'll never win that way."
Enshrinee: Bill Fleming
Contest: 2002 Swirve Baseball, RotoGuru Rankings, July-September 2002
Up close & personal: Bill Fleming is a 46 year old precious metals dealer who also deals in diamonds and rare coins. Known as "j o s h" at the message forum, he topped the RotoGuru Rankings in the Swirve game, finishing with the #24 worldwide ranking. He attributes his success to differentiation and intuition. "There always
has to be a certain amount of luck, especially being math challenged while the Swirve formats seem to require mathematical efficiency. Also prowling around the RotoGuru message board is a tremendous help along with my
wife's usual patience and my son Justin's input. It's an honor to be in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame along with some of the best fantasy sports players on
This is Bill's second entry in the RotoGuru HOF, having been previously enshrined for his 2001 Swirve Basketball season.
Enshrinee: Randy Turner
Contest: 2002 TSN Midseason Ultimate Baseball, RotoGuru Rankings, July-September 2002
Up close & personal: Randy, 35, lives on Whidbey, Island, WA, where he works in the wine industry. Although his team in the RotoGuru rankings has the #4 world ranking, he also managed the #1 ranked team. He first began playing Small World games with the hoops '98-'99 season (strike year), and discovered
RotoGuru.com in March '99, where he uses the forum handle "Tosh".
"I'm normally stronger in basketball. I've always played baseball a little more
casually because I take several camping trips each summer. A busy work
schedule this year didn't allow me any trips, so I was able to make all the
trades I needed. I picked up several hot cheap fielders early on, which
allowed me to go with costlier but proven pitching. It is truly an honor to find my name listed among all these fantasy champions whom I've followed for years. Thanks to the Guru for providing the tools and the forum for analyzing the game."
Enshrinee: Pete Pedersen
Contest: 2002 TSN Basic Baseball, RotoGuru Rankings, July-September 2002 (Season 2)
Up close & personal: "Pistol Pete" is a 37 year old welding shop owner and Army Reserve Captain from Omaha, Nebraska. He has been managing fantasy teams in baseball, football and basketball leagues since 1993 and internet games (SmallWorld, etc.) since 1997. "At my wife Diana's
request I took a minimalist approach this year when it comes to
playing TSN games as I am already committed to a football and baseball
league with longtime friends. I also promised her to not spend money on
internet games. In addition, I completely cut off our home internet
connection in December 2001 and did all my research and trading when I got
to work in the morning. I had intended to skip TSN baseball altogether for
the 2002 season but finally decided to draft ONE! Season 2 NET (no extra trades) team and a
500k team on the morning Season 2 began."
"The lay-off must have been good for me as I was able to manage 1st
place in both competitions. I credit my success to using all my trades on
pitching and toughing it out with the offensive players I placed on my
initial roster. Braden Looper was a key acquisition for me in the stretch
run as he become the Marlins closer for the last few weeks of the season and
held his own. I remembered an old piece of advice when acquiring Looper-
'even bad teams get saves'. "
Enshrinee: Peter Gundrum
Contest: 2002-03 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2002-Jan. 2003
Up close & personal: Peter, 28, lives in Milwaukee, where he is employed as an Accountant for the largest bank in Wisconsin. He graduated
from Rutgers-Newark University in NJ.
"I guess what helped me win Pickoff was that I have been following the Vegas point
spreads for many years because of my interest in sports gambling. Playing Football Pickoff is relatively easy compared to
trying to pick winners against the Vegas point spread. I don't use any software when picking games and really
didn't have a system either. Just a strong respect for the Vegas oddsmakers."
Enshrinee: Roy Jones
Contest: 2002-03 Swirve Football, Sep. 2002-Jan. 2003
Up close & personal: Roy, 49, lives in a suburb of Dallas, and has been an active fantasy sports participant in many sports for many years. Known as "deepsnapper" at the message forum, Roy's recent worldwide ranking of #11 (and top spot in the RotoGurupies division) in the Swirve football game earns him this berth in the RotoGuru HOF.
"It's apropos that I made the Rotoguru HOF playing Swirve Football since I originally found Rotoguru.com by following a link from the Echelon football site back in 1997. I'd click the link for the "Daily blurb" page, open another browser window and leave for 5 min or so. Man, 19.2 was slow! ( that page seemed huge!). I'm proud of being enshrined in the Rotoguru.com Hall of Fame. The "wait" was certainly worth it!"
Roy was recently selected by Guru to manage the football entry of "Team RotoGuru" in the 2003 PROFL (Pro four-Sport League) hosted by FantasyAsylum.com.
Enshrinee: Dave Hall
Contest: 2002-03 TSN Ultimate Hoops, Oct. 2002-Apr. 2003
Up close & personal: As the producer of RotoGuru.com, Dave is somewhat reluctant to include himself in the local Hall of Fame. But his #1 WWR in the 2002-03 TSN Ultimate Hoops game is certainly a deserving criteria. This was Dave's second win in the TSN Hoops format, having also finished in the top spot in the '97-98 Small World game.
"I don't consider myself an especially avid NBA fan, but for some reason, I seem to do better at Fantasy Hoops than in other fantasy sports. I think this is because there are some significant non-sports elements that are very important - value generation, schedule management, trade conservation, - that lend themselves to my mathematical approach to the game. Still, I recognize that luck plays a very critical role, and while I did generally avoid boneheaded moves this season (Robert Pack notwithstanding), I think some of my key moves this year were more serendipitous than inspired."
Enshrinee: Terry Faber
Contest: 2003 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2003
Up close & personal: Terry, 31, is married with 2 sons, and lives in Cincinnati. He is a former meteorologist and Penn State Alum, now working as a Sr. Computer Consultant. He designed and maintains the web site http://www.moreweather.com
As the father of two young boys, Terry doesn't have as much time to
fill out brackets and participate in online contests. "The RotoGuru Madness
game always intrigues me and I love the unique concept. I agree with the
statement that said you must participate in the contest a few years before
you really understand how to best select the Short and Long teams. This
being my third year playing the RotoGuru Madness game, it was my #3 entry
this year that had 3 of the final four teams and produced the top score. I
had confidence in Syracuse making it to the final four, but I honestly
expected Texas or Kansas to win it all. Fortunately, the Rotoguru Madness
game doesn't require me to pick a National Champion."
Enshrinee: Peter Gundrum
Contest: 2003 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest (excluding basket units), March-April 2003
Up close & personal: Peter completed a form of "RotoGuru slam" by finishing in the top spot in both RotoGuru games (Pickoff and Market Madness) in the same year. His Market Madness entry benefited by not only having tournament winner Syracuse as a long, but also #3 seeded Marquette, which survived into the Final Four. Still, he needed to win the tiebreaker to claim this title, which went his way by virtue of his better performing short selections.
Enshrinee: Randy Turner
Contest: 2003 TSN Ultimate Baseball, RotoGuru Rankings, April-September 2003
Up close & personal: Randy's second HOF entry now finds him in Vashon Island, WA (still looking for that perfect career). Known as "Tosh" at the message forum, he was first enshrined for last year's TSN Midseason Ultimate game, and this year, he gets the full season accolades, heading the RotoGuru rankings with a worldwide ranking of #6.
"I am certainly surprised to find myself eligible for the HOF
a second time. I'm a notoriously slow starter, but was even worse this year
as I didn't even break the top 1000 until late-June, and pondered abandoning
the team. A healthy cache of pitcher trades kept me active however, and I
hit the top-100 on August 3. Just goes to show to never give up on a team
too soon. Thank you Guru for all the tools and forums you provide for a true
statistical analysis of the game."
Enshrinee: Eric Ramos
Contest: 2003-04 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2003-Jan. 2004
Up close & personal: Eric, 31, hails from the Dominican Republic, hence the handle "DR Stars". He has a wife, 15 month old twins (both boys) and a baby girl due in April '05. He has been playing fantasy games for 4 years, and 2003-04 was his second year in Pickoff.
"It was great to have a race to the finish, and having (former winner) Sludge in there was an added challenge that I thought wouldn't be overcome. I remember asking about prizes for top 5 fully expecting Sludge to hold on to the top spot. Along with Pickoff, I usually play fantasy hoops, baseball and football from TSN, but I'm sticking with the basic games lately."
Enshrinee: Shawn Collins
Contest: 2004 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2004
Up close & personal: No biographical information provided.
Enshrinee: Pete Stover
Contest: 2004 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest (excluding basket units), March-April 2004
Up close & personal: Pete is a 23 yr old newly married college student taking Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. He has been playing fantasy sports online since 1998-99 using StephonMarbury2 as his usual team name. Other achievements include first in Swirve hockey, Swirve Baseball, PSC free baseball, PSC free basketball, PSC OP baseball, PSC OP basketball and Virtual GM on ESPN.com/NBA.com.
"I would like to thank rotoguru.com for the useful and entertaining daily blurbs, message forums, sortable stats and especially for having the best NCAA pool around!!!"
Enshrinee: Dave Richards
Contest: 2003-04 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2003-April 2004
Up close & personal: This is Dave's second listing in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame, having previously won TSN Ultimate Hoops in 2001-02. He is still self employed in the insurance business in Denville, NJ, and is a frequent contributor at the RotoGuru Message Forums.
"I feel honored to be inducted into the HOF for a second time, particularly as the winner of the first RIHC. What a great idea that was, and it's great to see it has expanded to other sports. I am a true sports junkie, but basketball is my favorite, as evidenced by being a Nets season ticket holder for the past 25+ years.
"I felt fortunate to win the RIHC as it was really my first serious venture into the Rotisserie type of format, only having half-heartedly participated in a couple of other leagues in previous years. Having Garnett fall into my lap with the 3rd pick and luckily landing a couple late round sleepers helped considerably. Thanks again to Rotoguru.com and to all my AIM buddies."
Enshrinee: Peter Nash
Contest: 2004 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2004
Up close & personal: Pete, 20, is currently attending Texas Tech University where he majors in Geophysics. Following graduation he plans to pursue a Masters degree in Atmospheric Science, also at Texas Tech University.
"I credit a lot of my success in fantasy sports to the tools provided at Rotoguru.com and the Gurupies who frequent the site. Without that, I know I would not be as successful. I was introduced to the boards by my good friend Roy Jones.(a.k.a. deepsnapper) in the summer of '99. It is a real honor to be enshrined into the Rotoguru Hall of Fame and have my name included with so many great fantasy sports players."
Enshrinee: Daniel Minjarez
Contest: GuruGolf 2004, June-November, 2004
Up close & personal: Daniel is 64, married, and lives in Lockhart, Texas, 20 miles SE of Austin. He manages an IT helpdesk department in Austin, Texas. He won the inaugural season of GuruGolf in impressive fashion, leading from wire to wire.
"I started playing fantasy games about 10 yrs ago. This is the first time that I have placed 1st. I enjoy playing against the RotoGuru players because they are very knowledgeable and competitive. I used to play golf on a regular basis, and usually broke 80."
Enshrinee: Erik Urban
Contest: 2004 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2004
Up close & personal: Erik lives in Niceville, FL (near Pensacola), where he is married with a 4-year-old daughter. He works for the Air Force.
"I've been playing fantasy sports since about 1998. I started with Small World Baseball, and have played at various times SW/TSN basketball, football, golf, and Brazilian soccer. I quit playing the salary cap games this year, and focused solely on draft-style, head-to-head leagues, of which I was in 4 and won 2. This was certainly my most successful season ever. It's been very rewarding to have some success after having toiled for so long without much to speak of before. I realize football is based a lot in luck, but I know my stuff and it finally came in handy this season.
"I started coming to Rotoguru.com in `98 or so to get more info and use the Sartibles for SW Football. I don't remember when I became an active member of the forum (handle: Motley Crue), but it's definitely the place that feels like home online to me."
Enshrinee: Duane Ockenfels
Contest: 2004-05 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2004-Jan. 2005
Up close & personal: Duane, 27, is a Senior Programmer Analyst from Cedar Rapids, Iowa who goes by the Gurupie name HooeyPooey. "I stumbled across RotoGuru.com several years ago when looking for March NCAA basketball contests to enter. Until winning Football Pickoff, my proudest achievements in fantasy sports were winning the booby prize in Market Madness two years in a row (2001-2002). I have always loved tinkering with fantasy sports, but have been unable to make the time commitment required to play anything other than the Guru games."
"I'd like to thank Sludge and Madman for providing wonderful insight on the 'optimal strategy' to Pickoff years ago. While I have never used their program to determine my picks, my formula has been based on their discussions. I typically use moneylines to determine probability of a team winning, but a little luck and gut feeling helps (and hurts) now and then also."
Enshrinee: Kevin Knight
Contest: 2005 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2005
Up close & personal: Kevin, 25, hails from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
He posts at the message boards under the name "kev".
"March Madness is my 2nd favourite time of year, behind the NFL season. I
played the Market Madness game for the last 2 years, and finally had a
bracket that worked out well for me, with my big picks being the longing of
Louisville, and hitting 3 of the 4 final 4 teams."
Enshrinee: Nate Ott
Contest: 2005 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest (excluding basket units), March-April 2005
Up close & personal: Nate, 24, lives in Saginaw MI. He is a
recent alum of Michigan State University in political science and
now working toward his teacher certification. "At MSU I was lucky enough to
be a member of the Izzone for 4 years and see many great college
basketball games from up close.( a UNC ball player even stole my "GO
STATE " sign as they ran off the court after a Spartan victory a few
years ago, so to lose to them this year was doubly bad)"
"Now I am the
head JV girls basketball coach and assistant Varsity boys basketball
coach at Valley Lutheran High School. I've entered this contest every
year and I've done well the past few years, but have just come up
short, so its nice to finally have things go my way. Even though most
of my longs didn't fare too well, picking all 4 final four teams made
up for my poor early rounds. Actually one of the reasons I keep coming
back every year to play this contest is to make it into the Hall of
Fame, so this is sweet."
Enshrinees: Brian Booden and Eddy Westerveld
Contest: 2004-05 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2004-April 2005
Up close & personal: Brian and Eddy co-managed the winning team in the RIHC. Brian, 26, is a Systems Administrator from
Edinburgh, Scotland. Eddy, 30, hails from the Netherlands.
Brian (Gurupie name: Swish City) says, "Winning RIHC in only its second season ranks as my proudest fantasy sports
achievement to date. I owe a great deal to my co-Gollum Edgar, who provided
the great majority of the statistical and analytical groundwork and
maintenance required to succeed in a league as tough as this. From this
perspective, we're a great complement, as my forte is more in the draft and
FA pickups. And between us, we managed to come to the key decision of
dropping our draft order to 9th to secure our ringkeeper LeBron. Our team
ended up a great set of all rounders, and I think this, along with being
quite lucky regarding injuries, was a decisive factor."
Eddy (Gurupie name: Edgar) adds, "When the RIHC for Hoops started I was honoured to be considered as a
manager. At that point I had been playing TSN Hoops for several years
but had absolutely no Roto experience. So I wondered if I could
find someone in a similar situation who would team up with me. That whole
process resulted a co-managership with Swish City who I joined to form
team Eurogollum. Seemingly endless
discussions were the strength of our co-operation and have led to a
winning of the RIHC in the second year of its existence. Key in this
result was our decision at 4 in the morning, looking into a Guinness
glass, to draft ninth and select Lebron James. King James brought us the
highly desired Ring. Of course all my congratulations go out to my buddy
Swish for making this possible. His awareness of the free agent market
and ability to construct a balanced roster have been amazing."
Enshrinee: Chris Alesso
Contest: 2005 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2005
Up close & personal: Chris is 22 and lives in Lancaster, California. He is working in retail "until he can find something better and more productive to do with his life."
"I found RotoGuru.com over 8 years ago while playing a free game called Small World Baseball. Guru used to write intelligent essays that were featured on the site, and it was only a matter of time before I was using Guru's message boards (and especially the Gurupie chat room) to score consistent top 100 finishes (during a time when there were over 500,000 registered teams.)"
"RIBC is my first serious foray into rotisserie baseball, and I found the format of the league extremely to my liking. The deep rosters, coupled with the large number of teams made it very important to know about players who normally wouldn't enter into consideration. Each competitor made it so that you had to earn every inch. I want to thank every participant in the league for being so competitive and thorough. Especially, I want to thank the Guru, for creating this wonderful site, this tremendous league and, naturally, this illustrious Hall of Fame!"
Enshrinee: Ted Derol
Contest: GuruGolf 2005, February-November, 2005
Up close & personal: Ted is 52, married, lives in New York, and works for the government. "I love everything connected with golf. I
just purchased my retirement home, where else but on a golf course in Florida. I
got a real charge out of winning GuruGolf, completing the daily double by
winning the TSN game in 2000 (aka Smallworld). I still remember playing with
the celebs in Tahoe. GuruGolf brings back the good old days of playing
fantasy golf. My advice would be to stay with the tested golfers and those
that are on recent hot streaks."
Enshrinee: Dave Hall
Contest: 2005 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2005
Up close & personal: Dave Hall, the producer of RotoGuru.com, wins his third Hall of Fame listing in his third different sport. "After hosting the Invitational Challenge leagues in hoops, baseball, and football for several years, it's nice to finally win one of them, particularly against such strong competition. All of these leagues have been characterized by extraordinarily capable managers, so finishing on top is really sweet."
"I actually did my best to try to sabotage this team, trading away my first round pick of Peyton Manning for Priest Holmes, only to have Holmes knocked out for the season several weeks later. In a perverse twist of fate, though, the departure of Holmes actually strengthened my team, as it allowed Larry Johnson to play full time and put up monster stats. Still, I benefited by a lot of good fortune during the regular season, as many opponents had below average weeks when facing me, allowing me to lead the league in points against. Still, I know my results weren't a fluke, as I did lead the regular season in points scored, and then had a strong playoff as well. It was particularly gratifying to wrest the crown from Motley Crue in the final playoff game, reversing the result of last season's championship game."
Enshrinee: Dan Girard
Contest: 2005-06 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2005-Feb. 2006
Up close & personal: Dan is a 56 year old dry cleaner from Masontown, PA. He has been married for 33 yrs., and has two grown daughters. "I've been playing fantasy games about 5 years, with only minor accomplishments so far. In 2003, I finished 2nd at Swirve in college hoops pick 'em. I was the 2005 GuruGolf runnerup. As the follow up to my Steelers Super Bowl victory, I've promised Bill Cowher to bring the 2006 GuruGolf trophy back to southwestern PA as well."
Enshrinee: William Heilman
Contest: 2006 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2006
Up close & personal: William is a resident of Sarasota, Florida.
He is generally known within the RotoGuru community as "Donkey Hunter". He not only won the overall grand prize, but also won the contest for the best score excluding basket units.
"I have been hanging around since like 1997 and check in the forum every day even though I very rarely play any fantasy sports anymore. I look forward to my Hall of Fame enshrinement because I know I no longer have the time and energy to get in through the smallworld route."
Enshrinees: Mike Donahue
Contest: 2005-06 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2005-April 2006
Up close & personal:. "Mike D" is a (recently turned) 40 year-old Insurance Claim Manager from Harrisburg PA. He has been a frequent contributor at the RotoGuru Message Forums since the late 90's and the early days of Smallworld.
"I feel honored to be inducted into the RotoGuru Hall Of Fame, particularly as the winner of the RIHC. The RIHC was an original concept that has drawn the crème de la crème of fantasy hoops players. And it's also drawn some pretty good ones, too! I've cut down on my fantasy sports activity dramatically, but fantasy hoops have always been my favorite. Winning a league where I played against so many other HOF members-----Swish & Edgar, Dave R., Doug, Tosh, and the Guru himself-----along with several others who I'm sure will one day be inducted-----is very satisfying, because I truly value the competition and camaraderie. The final surge made by Swish & Edgar was remarkable, and I feel lucky to have held them off. Thanks again to Guru for making it all possible."
Enshrinee: John Holt
Contest: 2006 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2006
Up close & personal: John, 36, lives in Enid, OK. His dad got him into APBA baseball in the early 80's and, still a stat junky, fantasy sports was the logical transition.
"Thanks to Guru for all of the invitational leagues. No other leagues I have played in come close to the overall experience you get from start to finish. The qualifying aspect makes for a nice community experience. Lots of players scratching and clawing for a shot to test themselves in the Big Leagues. "
"Winning an invitational league is not easy. The competition is heavy. The rosters are deep. Good FA's are not easy to come by. You don't just set a lineup and call it good. I did research on matchups and FA's on a daily basis. After finishing in 2nd place in 2005, it felt GREAT to close the deal and take 1st in 2006. Looking forward to 2007!"
Enshrinee: Bill Miller
Contest: GuruGolf 2006, February-November, 2006
Up close & personal: Bill, 56, lives with his wife in East Patchogue, New York. He is a retired Computer Systems Administrator who worked for the federal government for 32 years.
"I now work 3 days a week as an assistant in the pro shop of a local golf course and usually play golf 3 days a week. I'm a good friend and golfing buddy of Ted Derol (of Liters fame) whom you enshrined last year when he won the best ball competition. He already let me know which one of us got enshrined first but I'm countering with the fact I won 2 of the 3 competitions to his one." (Bill also won the prize for the highest financial value.)
Enshrinee: Roger Williams
Contest: 2006 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2006
Up close & personal: Roger, 31, is a Lead Support Analyst from Millers Creek, NC (about an hour west of Winston-Salem) who's known by the Gurupie name of "The Beezer".
"I started playing fantasy sports online in the mid-90s while I was at the University of Arkansas. My roommate and a bunch of other guys in the engineering programs started playing all the Smallworld games. I started following Guru's writing at that site over to RotoGuru.com, and finally made it to the message board after a while and haven't left since."
"Between getting engaged, successfully testing for my black belt in Kung Fu, finishing my Computer Engineering degree from Arkansas (after a seven year break), and winning the 2006 RIFC, it's been the best year of my life. I'd particularly like to thank Guru and all the other participants in the RIFC and associated leagues for the most challenging, competitive, and enjoyable game around. I look forward to trying to do it again next year!"
Enshrinee: Martin Lee
Contest: 2006-07 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2006-Feb. 2007
Up close & personal:.: Martin is a 52 year old Chartered Accountant from Richmond, B.C., Canada. blondiescookies (from the comic strip) was the name of a cookie shop he once owned. He is married with 3 children, including 2 sons who compete with him in sports pools of all kinds. This stunning victory gives him familial bragging rights and hopefully respect for years to come.
"Knuckles" introduced me to RotoGuru last year for the Market Madness Contest and I loved the originality and complexity of all the pools on the site. This was my first time in the Football Pickoff. I have never had much success in straight pick 'ems or even against the spread. My undoing has always been my habit of picking a preponderance of underdogs and here was a pool that actually rewarded that kind of bias. Right from week #1 my default position was to pick the underdog unless the difference in team strengths was obviously overwhelming. My logic is that parity reigns supreme in the NFL, that teams get too easily overconfident or complacent after a couple of wins and teams can get really fired up after a bad loss."
"After a long career of competitive sports, countless hours of practice and a legacy of pain, injury and creeping arthritis, I have finally reached the pinnacle, entry into a Hall of Fame. Not quite as I imagined, but a thrill nonetheless."
Enshrinee: William Heilman
Contest: 2007 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2007
Up close & personal: William won the Market Madness contest for the second consecutive year, lending strong credence to the supposition that his record is no fluke.
Enshrinee: Pete Stover
Contest: 2007 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest - excluding basket units, March-April 2007
Up close & personal: Pete is a 26 yr old actuarial analyst in Waterloo, Ontario. He has been playing fantasy sports online since 1998-99 using StephonMarbury as his usual team name. Pete is also a second time winner in this version of the Market Madness contest, having also won in 2004.
Enshrinees: Dave Hall
Contest: 2006-07 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2006-April 2007
Up close & personal:. The Guru gets his fourth listing in his own Hall of Fame, and the second for an Invitational league.
"This was one of the toughest titles to take, not only due to the intense competition, but also due to the strategy I chose to employ. During the draft, I realized that I was going to be uncompetitive in the blocked shot category, so I intentionally drafted with that in mind, aiming to be more competitive in the other seven categories. It's a high risk approach which requires a broadly competitive league, a finely tuned crystal ball, perseverance, and
some a lot of luck - particularly on the injury front. When Dwyane Wade injured his shoulder in mid-February, I though I was toast. But somehow, I hung on - making the title even more gratifying."
Enshrinee: Kirk Smith
Contest: 2007 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2007
Up close & personal:
Kirk, 48, lives in St. Louis, MO with his beautiful wife Judy. They have 3 girls, two of whom still live at home. He was introduced to smallworld baseball back in the late 90's by a coworker and soon found RotoGuru.com. His interest and success in fantasy sports can be directly linked to the invaluable tools and information provided by Guru and the RotoGuru.com user community. Being a true St. Louisan, where people live and die with Cardinal baseball, he adopted the user name StLCards. He may be best known on the RotoGuru.com message board for starting the Just 4 Fun: Top Ten Signs thread back in the year 2000.
Times change and so did Kirk's interest in smallworld/TSN games and his fantasy interests have shifted to roto style baseball formats and thus his interest in the RIBC leagues. "The RIBC leagues offer the competitive fantasy player a venue like no other with its hierarchical league structure. The competition is unparalleled as the RotoGuru.com community ranks among the best fantasy players in the world. Reaching the top league is in itself a major accomplishment, but winning the whole thing was a real honor. Hopefully I can successfully defend my championship or at least remain in the top league. A major thank you goes out to Guru for providing the RIBC for our enjoyment! Playing fantasy baseball competitively requires a substantial time commitment, so a big thanks goes out to my supportive family for putting up with my obsession!"
Enshrinee: Bill Miller
Contest: GuruGolf 2007, February-November, 2007
Up close & personal: Bill fits right in with a HOF class that is loaded with repeat enshrinees, having also won the GuruGolf title in 2006.
"Since this is my second enshrinement I really have nothing more to say other than I think you have done a fabulous job and I'm sure my quality of life would be greatly diminished if you ever closed your site."
Enshrinee: Steve Burch
Contest: 2007 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2007
Up close & personal: Steve, 35, is an engineer in Lafayette,
Indiana, where he lives with his wife, son and daughter. His Gurupie
handle is "Slackjawed Yokel."
"It seems like I've been frequenting Rotoguru since Al
Gore invented the internet, but it's probably only
been 9 years or so. This is the third sport in which
I've made it to the 'majors' in the Rotoguru
Invitational series, and I guess it's right what they
say about the third sport being the charm. Actually,
football is probably the game out of the three that
luck plays such a big part, and that's exactly what
allowed me to prevail (I did have a very good team,
but it was only the 2nd best in the regular season....but, I'll
take it!) Big thanks to Guru and the rest of the
managers for the expected - a very
Enshrinee: Terence Wilson
Contest: 2007-08 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2007-Feb. 2008
Up close & personal: Terry is a senior at Dartmouth College majoring in Mathematics. He is an avid Minesweeper player. Originally from New Jersey, Terry has been a member of the Rotoguru community since the days of Echelon football. "Guru's Pickoff competition is always a highlight of my football season. The unique format and the skilled group of opponents combine to create an unmatched experience."
Enshrinee: Mike Meek
Contest: 2008 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2008
Up close & personal: Mike, 48, has played fantasy sports for almost 20 years. “I’m not sure of the first year but I know Mike Piazza was an early pick in his first full year. I have played fantasy sports online for 10 years. My favorite teams are the Buckeyes, Browns and Reds. Hobbies are playing golf and drinking beer, thus the team name Beerhunters.”
Enshrinee: Dan Wolfe
Contest: 2008 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest - excluding basket units, March-April 2008
Up close & personal: Dan, 36, a University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse graduate (math with emphasis in stats), now lives outside Stoddard, Wisconsin. He currently works in the lending department at a La Crosse area credit Union. Dan stumbled on to rotoguru.com in 2001 when he started playing fantasy sports online.
“I feel honored that I in the first group of enshrines in the "second decade" of rotoguru.com. I have been playing Market Madness for a few years and believe that I finally got the hang of it last year as I finished second (thanks to Memphis beating Texas A&M). This year might have been the easiest for me to date because I knew that North Carolina, UCLA, and Kansas were pretty much locks, in my mind, to go to the final four. The only thing I was worried about was Memphis, who had the possibility of ruining my chances for the second straight year in the same building.”
Enshrinees: Mike Donahue
Contest: 2007-08 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2007-April 2008
Up close & personal:. "Mike D" is a 42 year-old Insurance Claim Manager from Harrisburg PA. He has been a frequent contributor at the RotoGuru Message Forums since the late 90's and the early days of Smallworld.
"I felt very honored to be inducted into the RotoGuru Hall Of Fame 2 years ago, but to be a 2-time winner of the extremely competitive RIHC is so much sweeter. The RIHC has always drawn the crème de la crème of fantasy hoops players from all over the globe. As I've said before, winning a league where I played against other HOF members is very satisfying, because I truly value the competition and camaraderie. Guru was on my tail until the very end and I feel lucky to have held him and the entire field off. Thanks again to Guru for making it all possible."
Enshrinee: Will Tyrer
Contest: 2008 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2008
Up close & personal: Will Tyrer, an Englishman, lives in Beverly Hills is married with 3 children all at college. He is a founding partner of Newmarket Films. A long time enthusiast of fantasy sports he is determined to win the $100,000 first prize at the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Will's first love is still Manchester United.
Enshrinee: Garrett Beck
Contest: GuruGolf 2008, February-September, 2008
Up close & personal: [No biographical information has been provided.]
Enshrinee: Steve Burch
Contest: 2008 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2008
Up close & personal: Steve repeats as winner of the RIFC. His Gurupie
handle is "Slackjawed Yokel."
“If I'm not mistaken, my repeat here was a first for the invitational leagues. With the level of the managers in all of these leagues, this is definitely an honor. As everyone knows, luck plays a large role in the fantasy football playoffs, and unlike my star receiver, I was able to make it through the year without shooting myself in the foot.”
Enshrinee: Mike Meek
Contest: 2008-09 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2008-Feb. 2009
Up close & personal: Mike (now 49) earns his second enshrinement in the same class, having already qualified as the 2008 Market Madness champion. “I got lucky enough to get all of the games right in week eight, which put me near the lead. After that I got just enough points to hold on for the year. It's been a good year for me on the Rotoguru site.”
Enshrinee: Rick Coughlin
Contest: 2009 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2009
Up close & personal: Rick is married and recently unemployed, having worked for GM. “I love basketball and have been playing march madness contests for years, although this is my first year in RotoGuru. It was fun.”
Enshrinee: Brandon Sokol
Contest: 2009 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest - excluding basket units, March-April 2009
Up close & personal: Brandon is married with no children currently. He recently graduated from Texas A&M University (2008) and works as a engineer in Houston. “I've played the Market Madness game for the past few years with no luck, but have always really enjoyed it. I played various other fantasy games in the past, but don't participate in them much anymore. Market Madness is really the only one I have consistently played over the years.”
Enshrinees: Florian Kirstein
Contest: 2008-09 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2008-April 2009
Up close & personal: Florian Kirstein is a family physician, who lives in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada with his beautiful wife and their three children. He was born in Luebeck, Germany, which is why his team name is the Luebeck Eagles. He started playing Smallworld Hoops in 2001 with several members of his wife's MBA class and found the RotoGuru website several years later.
"This was my second year in the RIHC and fortunately I had much more success this time around. I enjoyed the fantastic competition in this league and look forward to trying to defend my title next year."
Enshrinee: Jason CC Chen
Contest: 2009 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2009
Up close & personal: Jason CC Chen (aka “Bash Brothers”) is a 41-year-old hematologist from Taiwan. He has been a SmallWorld/TSN fantasy sports fan and an avid RotoGuru user since late 90s. In 2004, the first year RotoGuru HOF stopped enshrining the overall winner of TSN ultimate baseball, Jason won it all in the name of “ShortTandemRepeat”. His competitive nature brought him back to fantasy baseball in 2006, this time teamed up with his younger brother to join RIBC AA leagues and playing roto style baseball for the first time.
“I reached the top league in 2008 and thought that was a great accomplishment. But, wow, winning the whole thing this year is a real honor. I built my 2009 RIBC team on an extremely lucky and healthy draft. Like every winner here, I know I wouldn’t be successful without the invaluable tools and information provided by Guru and all members of RotoGuru community.”
Enshrinee: Dave Hall
Contest: GuruGolf 2009, February-September, 2009
Up close & personal: Dave, the producer of RotoGuru, makes his fifth appearance in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame, but the first in Golf. His team, “Double Entendre”, had an unusual premise: players were only allowed on the squad if their name had some “double” connotation. Examples included Tiger Woods (double-o in last name), J.J. Henry (double-Js, and goes by two initials), Charles Howell III (OK, so he is really a “third”, but I still treated this as acceptable), Ernie Els (initials are “E.E.”), and Fred Couples (“Couples”, get it?) While this provided an (obviously) ample supply of golfers, it did mean that players like Mickelson, Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, and Stewart Cink were excluded from consideration. Still won. Go figure.
I think this helps to demonstrate that while there is a skill to doing well in fantasy golf (as evidenced by the same manager names appearing near the top of the GuruGolf leaders each year), there is also an element of luck – perhaps moreso than in some other fantasy sports. Regardless, I’ll take it!
Enshrinee: Neil Crowell
Contest: 2009 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2009
Up close & personal: Neil, aka "Smith32", is 30 and lives in York, PA with his wife. He is a CPA and works as an auditor/consultant for a regional firm.
Neil earned this place in the HOF thanks mostly to the breakout season of Ray Rice, his 5th round pick. He enjoys the level of competition of the RIFC, particularly the helpfulness of the rationales in drafting for other leagues. He has participated in various RotoGuru contests since 1999, when he became addicted to the Market Madness contest. He is a die-hard Duke fan, but shorts Duke every year to hedge his rooting interests. No one was happier to do so poorly in Market Madness in 2010. He also enjoys GuruGolf (when he can remember to set his lineup).
Enshrinee: Will Tyrer
Contest: 2009-10 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2009-Feb. 2010
Up close & personal: Will Tyrer, known in the Gurupie community as “Coldwater Coyotes”, earns his second consecutive HOF berth, this time in Football Pickoff. After building up a sizable margin during the regular season, Will graciously treaded water during the playoffs, allowing several other teams to make it a fight to the finish. He eventually prevailed by correctly picking the Super Bowl winner, edging out two (less prescient) competitors by less than 30 points in what was probably the closest Pickoff competition to date.
Enshrinee: Aubrey Marbaugh
Contest: 2010 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2010
Up close & personal: Aubrey, (aka "Honeybunches") is a stay-at-home mom in Ohio with a Bachelors in Nursing and a home-based business with Lia Sophia Jewelry (www.liasophia.com/amarbaugh).
“Each year, my husband makes his March Madness bracket picks on multiple websites, and then he registers me to make my own picks. This is the third year in a row that I have won a prize on RotoGuru with my somewhat random picks, but we were both shocked (and he was a bit annoyed!) to see me in FIRST place this year! I love wearing my RotoGuru T-shirts just to rub it in a bit. He's so jealous! Thanks, Dave! Love you, hubby!”
Enshrinee: Anthony Costanza
Contest: 2010 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest - excluding basket units, March-April 2010
Up close & personal: Anthony is a student at the University of Virginia. Luckily a light course load this semester allowed him to focus heavily on growing a mustache, drinking, and of course, college basketball. As a long time participant in the Market Madness Contest, he is excited to finally win and earn a place in the hall of fame. He would like to thank his teammates, his coaches and God for his victory and enshrinement.
Enshrinee: John Holt
Contest: 2010 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2010
Up close & personal:
40 yrs old, Real Estate Appraiser and Property Manager, StL Cards fan, StL Rams fan, OU Sooners fan, and Oklahoma Thunder fan. His first taste of fantasy sports was playing APBA baseball with his dad in the early 80's. He repeats as a Hall of Famer, having also won the RIBC in 2006. He discovered the Rotoguru forums while playing TSN Ultimate (?) (Small World) around 2003 or so. His other interests are guitar, Magic the Gathering (have competed on the Magic Pro tour), and “blowing up watermelons with my friends and family using a wide assortment of firearms.”
“The RotoGuru Invitational leagues are a blast and I always seem to take them more seriously than money leagues that I play in. I obviously I want to win all of them, but I feel the invitational leagues are the most difficult. Winning an invitational is something you can hang your hat on.”
Enshrinee: Dan Girard
Contest: GuruGolf 2010, February-September, 2010
Up close & personal:
Dan Girard (aka gurudan) is a dry cleaner from southwestern Pennsylvania who chooses fantasy sports over Facebook. His “Moe Eagles” team won the 2010 best ball championship by 12 strokes. Interestingly, another of his teams finished second in the worst ball competition. This is Dan’s second listing in the RotoGuru Hall of Fame, having won Football Pickoff in the 2005-06 season.
“Moe Eagles promised a championship after a 2005 runnerup.” Five years later, he delivered.
Enshrinee: Erik Urban
Contest: 2010 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2010
Up close & personal:
Erik identifies himself as the patriarch of a small clan of somewhat avid sports fans. He is a repeat Hall of Famer, having also won the RIFC in 2004.
“Repeating as champion of RIFC is an accomplishment I’m extremely proud of. The level of competition in the RotoGuru Invitational leagues is really intense. As always, Lady Luck was there for me when it mattered most this season. Props to all participants and special gratitude to Dave Hall for continuing to run these leagues. I know it’s a lot of work and Guru is a fair and sensible commissioner through it all. ”
Enshrinee: Terence Wilson
Contest: 2010-11 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2010-Feb. 2011
Up close & personal:
Terry, 25, is a financial data analyst residing in Hoboken, NJ. He goes by the handle twilson in the forums. Outside of sports, he enjoys watching and reading television criticism. His team “GS: A Family Co.” came back strong in the playoffs after a midseason swoon to take home a second Football Pickoff title.
"It is an honor to join Sludge in the two-timers club. I've been playing this game for more than 10 years, and I can't imagine the football season without it."
Enshrinee: Rufus Hall
Contest: 2011 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2011
Up close & personal: Rufus Hall is a 9 year old black lab owned by the Guru. He really isn’t that interested in basketball, but since he spends most of his life in RotoGuru World Headquarters, he tolerates it all. This year, his strategy was solely based on team mascots, favoring dogs first, then humans, and finally anything else – with a particular distaste for cats. When the tournament finals came down to a battle between the Huskies and Bulldogs, his hunches were confirmed. Of course, the grand prize was awarded to the second place finisher, but Rufus is still happy to bask in the glow of the Hall of Fame. As is the case with most labs, attention is the ultimate reward!
Enshrinees: Florian Kirstein
Contest: 2010-11 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2010-April 2011
Up close & personal: Florian, a physician who was born in Germany but lives and practices in Ontario, Canada, completes a Hall of Fame class in which all human enshrinees were repeat winners, as Florian also won the RIHC in the 2008-09 season.
Enshrinee: Francis Rodriguez
Contest: 2011 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2011
Up close & personal: Francis (Uptown Bombers on the message board) lives in upstate New York where he teaches history. As a diehard Mets fan, vying for fantasy baseball championships has become the most interesting part of his summer. He has competed in the RIBC format since 2005 and believes it to be the most competitive and rewarding of all fantasy formats.
"Winning this league, after working my way up from AA & AAA and coming in 2nd in 2008, is an honor second to none. Thanks to all the other managers and Guru for giving us the forum to come together and play. "
Enshrinee: Martin Lee
Contest: GuruGolf 2011, February-September, 2011
Up close & personal: Martin Lee is a retired accountant and now a two time entrant into the
Hall (won Football Pickoff 2006-07). "Now my focus goes entirely to
the third jewel in the Triple Crown - the Market Madness contest".
Enshrinee: Neal Flexer
Contest: 2011 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2011
Up close & personal: Neal has been playing fantasy sports since the Small World days. Over the years he has dropped baseball and basketball and now 'only' plays in upwards of double digit football leagues, always looking forward to the RIFC. He was thrilled to be lucky enough to finally take the title home after playing the format for years, including a few dismal seasons to start.
Enshrinee: Martin Lee
Contest: 2011-12 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2011-Feb. 2012
Up close & personal:
Martin Lee, of Richmond BC is a retired
accountant, recently becoming a grandfather and already training his
granddaughter, Chloe, to cheer for the appropriate teams. The
contrarian picking strategy worked again, but was bittersweet as the
primary factor in this year's win was doubling the hated New York
Giants through the playoffs, even against my beloved Packers. Thanks
again to Dave Hall for setting up these unique and mind-bending games
for us fantasy players.
Enshrinee: David Greenstone
Contest: 2012 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2012
Up close & personal:
David Greenstone (dgreds) is a 37 year old father of 5 living in Israel. He was first introduced to Rotoguru about 13 years ago when he was an active player of Smallworld Baseball. The site helped propel him to a top 10 finish. For a couple years he was an active participant on the message boards but doesn't play much fantasy sports (or real sports) anymore so he hasn't posted in a long time. He's dreamed for many years of making the RotoGuru Hall of Fame but thought he'd eventually make it through Football Pickoff where he's finished in the top 5 three times. He was shocked but thrilled to win the Market Madness contest since he knows little about college basketball.
Enshrinee: Neil Crowell
Contest: 2012 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest - excluding basket units, March-April 2012
Up close & personal: Neil is a repeat enshrinee in the Hall of Fame, having previously won the 2009 RIFC Championship.
Enshrinees: Florian Kirstein
Contest: 2011-12 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2011-April 2012
Up close & personal: Florian has been a avid player of fantasy basketball since he was introduced to Smallworld Hoops many years ago. He has now to progressed to playing roto hoops, and has now won the RIHC title three times in four years.
"I had a great time playing in the RIHC again this year. Thanks to Guru for doing such a great job running the league every year."
Enshrinee: Mike Melton
Contest: 2012 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2012
Up close & personal: Mike Melton, aka Tilt23, is a 31 year old practicing dentist in Dallas, Texas. He has been playing competitive fantasy sports for 15 years and RIBC for 4 years. He is a University of Texas, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks and Cowboys supporter. As a lifelong Texas Rangers fan, he has endured baseball pain and only now knows the feeling of reaching the ultimate goal of baseball champion. He has worked his way up from the lower ranks winning AA and AAA to now taking home the RIBC championship.
“This is the most rewarding championship I have ever won. My big money leagues are no comparison to RIBC and I consider this one of my greatest accomplishments in fantasy. Thanks to Guru as always for organizing the leagues.”
Enshrinee: Bill Miller
Contest: GuruGolf 2012, February-September, 2012
Up close & personal: This is Bill’s third GuruGolf title, having also won in 2006 and 2007. He is now 62, retired, and working part time in the pro shop of a local golf course - while still managing to hold onto a single digit handicap (although it is getting a little tougher to do.)
“I usually play with Ted Derol, (Liters) , winner of the worst ball competition. Still enjoy playing both the real game and the fantasy game. Thanks to Dave for running GuruGolf, which I feel is still the most competitive one available. Hoping for number 4 next year.”
Enshrinee: John Holt
Contest: 2012 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2012
Up close & personal: John (42) is a real estate appraiser and a fan of the Cardinals, Rams, Thunder, and Sooners. Other hobbies (past and present) include playing guitar, disc golf, magic the gathering, role playing games, and mexican train dominoes.
“I first got interested in sports statistics when my dad introduced me to APBA baseball when I was about 11 yrs old or so. I first started using the Rotoguru forums when playing TSN Ultimate Baseball somewhere around 2002 or so. The Rotoguru community makes fantasy sports immeasurably more fun. Hope we keep it going for a very long time!”
Enshrinee: Rob Thayer
Contest: 2012-13 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2012-Feb. 2013
Up close & personal: Rob lives in Southern California where he work as an accountant. He has been playing fantasy sports since 2004.
“This was definitely my year for Pickoff with 3 teams in the top 17. I normally finish at the bottom of the pack in this game or the other Guru games. The 3 best games on the net are Pickoff, GuruGolf, and Market Madness. I feel honored that my blind squirrel finally found its nut.”
Enshrinee: Jason Hall
Contest: 2013 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2013
Up close & personal: Jason (31) is a Manager of Database Sales Engineering for a large software firm, and lives in the greater Boston area. As the oldest son of the Guru, he has participated in most of the RotoGuru Contests and many of the Invitational Leagues since they were first introduced.
“I take great pride in being the first non-canine (see Rufus Hall) member of RotoGuru's immediate family to be enshrined in the Hall. As an avid college basketball fan, I wish I could attribute my victory this year to shrewd analysis and an immense knowledge of the game, but being honest with myself, I completely phoned in my bracket. My team (Go UCONN Huskies) was ineligible for tournament, so I had little motivation to pay attention and just picked a bracket solely based on loving the Big East (Louisville and Syracuse making the final 4 as longs), knowing that tournament games are typically won by the best player on the floor (Trey Burke's Michigan making the final 4 as a long), and correctly longing two of the 12-5 upsets (Harvard because I live in Boston, and Oregon because their uniforms are cool).
“Actually, scratch all of that, I'm just a basketball genius!”
Enshrinee: Ryan Bowling
Contest: 2013 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest - excluding basket units, March-April 2013
Up close & personal: Ryan is the head of operations at an educational publisher in Texas. With three kids, he doesn't watch sports often, but still enjoys it as a source of data for testing predictive algorithms. Finishing well in Market Madness over the prior two years, this was his first win.
Enshrinees: Florian Kirstein
Contest: 2012-13 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2012-April 2013
Up close & personal: Florian, a family physician from Bracebridge, Ontario, has been dedicated player of Fantasy Hoops since the Smallworld days. He managed to win his third RIHC in a row and 4th in 5 years.
"I was very happy and somewhat surprised to that I was able to pull out a victory this year. Swish City and Dave R had a great teams. Dave R's team got destroyed by injuries. Swish had the lead for most of the season. I was very fortunate to be able to just squeeze ahead of Swish City at the end of the season."
Enshrinee: Michael Wehmer
Contest: 2013 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge, March-October, 2013
Up close & personal: Mike Wehner (aka “beastiemiked” or “bmd”) first landed in the RotoGuru Hall of fame in 2001, winning the Swirve baseball championship. Since then, he has been a frequent participant in RotoGuru Invitational leagues, as well as other leagues organized through the RotoGuru Forum. While he has triumphed in some of those other leagues, this was his first title in the Invitational Challenge format. He also now has the honor of the longest gap between Hall of Fame entries - 12 years!
Enshrinee: Martin Lee
Contest: GuruGolf 2013, February-September, 2013
Up close & personal: Martin (aka “blondiescookies”) earns his fourth entry in the RotoGuru HOF, having twice won Football Pickoff and also previously winning GuruGolf (2011).
“This one is dedicated to my 5 month old granddaughter, April. I love all the games on Dave's RotoGuru site because you need completely different criteria and strategy to compete in these pools. The golf pool gives me the opportunity to follow golfers that I wouldn't normally watch - erratic, fire at the pin, birdie/bogey guys who play often and look ready to make the next step. It's too easy picking Tiger Woods and Adam Scott like you would in regular pools. Latching on to guys like Billy Horschel, Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama early and often is what it takes to win one of Dave's pools. Thanks again RotoGuru!”
Enshrinee: John Holt
Contest: 2013 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge, September-December, 2013
Up close & personal: John is a real estate appraiser, whose favorite sports teams are the StL Cardinals, Rams, OKC Thunder, OU Sooners. He plays guitar and has a nice collection of guitars and recording equipment. He is a big fan of progressive rock, such as Yes, Jethro Tull, Rush, King Crimson. Some of his favorite directors are: Coen Brothers, Farrelly Brothers, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson. He loves great sketch comedy, especially Monty Python, Hartman era SNL, Mr. Show, Kids in the Hall. John was introduced to APBA baseball about 30 years ago by his father which eventually lead him to online fantasy sports. He played 2B & 3B in high school. "Not well, but I went out there and played."
John is a two time winner of the RIBC (baseball - 2006 & 2010) and this was a repeat winning of the RIFC crown. He'll return in 2014 looking for the rare three-peat.
Enshrinee: Nadim Mahassen
Contest: 2013-14 RotoGuru Football Pickoff, Sep. 2013-Feb. 2014
Up close & personal: Nadim is the founder and director of the Center for World University Rankings (cwur.org). He is 39-years old with a PhD in physics, married with two kids, and currently residing in Saudi Arabia.
"I have really enjoyed playing Football Pickoff this year. My team, ISLAM, slowly but steadily moved up the ranking and clinched the title by doubling Seattle for the Superbowl."
Enshrinee: Jason Hall
Contest: 2014 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest, March-April 2014
Up close & personal: Jason (aka “Jaydog”), repeats as winner of the Market Madness Contest.
”Back to Back! Last season, I paid very little attention to the NCAA basketball season, but was able to win Market Madness using a few core strategies. This season, I was all in from the beginning of the season and felt I had a pretty good grasp on some target teams coming in to the tourney. From the beginning of the season, I felt that if UConn could make tournament, they would be a tough out, due to an underresearched theory that guard-play and free throw shooting are the two most important assets in the tournament. Watching UConn all year, I felt strongly that with Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright, UConn had one of the best and most experienced backcourts in the country. Secondly, in almost every big game that I saw UConn win, the game was tight coming into the final few minutes, and the Huskies were able to put the game away by seemingly hitting EVERY free throw down the stretch. These facts, coupled with blinding UConn fandom, led me to long UConn and all associated baskets (as a 7 seed). My second key pick involved seeing a Kentucky team stacked with talent, facing an unproven Witchita St. team in the 2nd round. As an 8 seed that under performed during the regular season, but was playing very good basketball late, I longed the Wildcats, along with the 8 seed bucket (didn't long the SEC because I didn't like Florida as a one seed, which was a mistake). UConn and Kentucky carried my selection however I made a few other strong selections (shorting the #3 seeds and the, it still hurts to say it, Big East), and only had 3 longs (and no shorts) that netted me negative points.”
Alright... enough with the back patting, to quote Lebron James... "Not one... Not two..." on to next season!
Enshrinee: Larry Fritschel
Contest: 2014 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest - excluding basket units, March-April 2014
Up close & personal: Larry, also AKA Cyberwahoo, has played RotoGuru for many years. At 69 years old and having been a retired engineer from Bridgestone Tire for 7 years, one would think the extra free time would provide more insight into pick selection. No such luck - many of my picks have come from my 11 year grandson.
”I love this game. Thanks to Dave for continuing to put up the best fantasy game site on the Internet. Become a GuruPatron!!”
Enshrinees: Will Tyrer
Contest: 2013-14 RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge, Nov. 2013-April 2014
Up close & personal: Will (aka “Coldwater Coyotes”) earns his third entry into the RotoGuru Hall of Fame, each in a different sport. He won the RIBC (Baseball) title in 2008, and followed that with a championship in 2009-10 Football Pickoff.
RotoGuru is produced by Dave Hall (a.k.a. the Guru), an avid fantasy sports player. He is not employed by any of the fantasy sports games discussed within this site, and all opinions expressed are solely his own. Questions or comments are welcome, and should be emailed to