By- Roys Mansur (Introduction by Mike Wallace)
Hmm..... well, I met JV at work. I needed some extra income and he needed a
place to live for a few months, so I moved him into my house. He claims a
mouse bit him while he lived there, but there's no evidence of that
happening. He also ate platesful of pickles for dinner quite often, and
loves those nasty Vinegar and Salt flavored potato chips. He also helped care
for Bill and Tow the dogs.
We spent a few interesting days at the Sports Spectrum (OTB), but I was
usually the one causing the trouble. I was also in his wedding, and rubbed
cake in the ear of the maid-of-honor (she did have it coming...) Overall,
he's a really reserved guy. He's one of the few guys I'd trust to put
SimulatedSports.com on a game. (M. Wallace)
SRF: What is your real name and age?
P6K: Jeremy Vessels, 24
SRF: And will you tell us where you live and if you are you married?
P6K: Louisville, KY. I have been married for 2.5 years. I have one child, Chloe, 6 months
SRF: No wonder people ask if you ever sleep. How about a real job? Do you work, and if so, what do you do and will you describe it?
P6K: I am an Actuary. An actuary is best described as a "risk manager," and is most often employed
by an insurance company. Particularly, in my job, I help to manage mortality risk, interest rate risk, re-investment risk, and expense risk. An actuary is a mathematician, usually with a degree in mathematics or something math-intensive like physics. Actuaries must pass a series of tests administered by the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society.
SRF: I have to laugh, until I did an interview with Mike I had never even heard of an Actuary. Have you other interests or hobbies?
P6K: Currently, the BB game + work take almost all of my time. Horseracing is still an interest. What free time I do find is spent with the family or playing softball/volleyball with my wife at local recreational league.
SRF: I am going to ask some horseracing questions first as this is the Sim Racing Form, and then we will move on to Basketball. OK? When did you get interested in horseracing?
P6K: Mike Wallace introduced me to horseracing some 4-5 years ago. After much arm-twisting, I accompanied him to the local OTB parlor and watched a couple of hours of races. I believe we went there specifically to see Tow race, but I ended up falling in love with some real dogs like Aswillow at Garden State, and Amy's Revival at Turfway. Since then, my wife and I have attended Churchill's meets 4-6 times each fall and spring.
SRF: How did you become involved in SimulatedSports and do you help Mike at all?
P6K: I saw this game develop from an idea into what it is today. If Mike needs anything special, I could get involved, however, I am generally more of a "sounding board" than anything. Mike and I have been friends since 1994 and it's always a good idea to have someone to bounce ideas off of. For example, when I think of a certain game modification, I have an opinion of it from (1) the developer's standpoint, and (2) a player's standpoint. However, bouncing ideas off of Mike provides a 2nd opinion in both areas, which can be especially important when (1) your modification will affect 100s - 1000s of persons, and (2) it is generally a bad idea to change constantly - thus we want to make the right decision the first time. Same idea in the other direction, (Mike bouncing off of me). Plus, based on our friendship and understanding of each other's ideas, we tend to value and trust each other's opinions more than we may some others.
SRF: What do you think of the game?
P6K: I think it's the best thing going. I know of nothing quite like it, and find it enjoyable to the point that I had to quit because I was spending too much time playing. I've recently re-started, however.
SRF: How many stables do you race and do you do well with them? Any good Sim horses?
P6K: I've owned my pick6king stable since the first week of the game. However, back then, I was billnaskra. We changed my name to avoid confusion, as Mike and I both were using a firstname.lastname@example.org email address. I believe I ended 1998 ranked in the Top-3 in points, and somewhere high in money earned. It remains to be seen how I will do in 2000. Kangaroo AP is a BC-quality mare who is probably on the decline. Ninth Con, at one time the single largest auction purchase, may still have some good races in her.
SRF: How about the people? Have you met any of the other gamers? Do you find them helpful?
P6K: I think the community that has developed here is amazing. Although everyone is in competition with one another to some degree, there is never a problem with the new players finding help. I haven't met any gamers that I did not know before they were gamers.
SRF: There are almost 5000 stables in the Horseracing Game. What do you think of that?
P6K: I think it's a strong indication of how good a product Mike has put together.
SRF: Have you ever owned a horse and if so was it a riding or a racehorse? If not would you like to?
P6K: I've never owned a horse. I may someday own a racehorse, likely will never own a riding horse.
SRF: Ha! You say that now, just wait until Chloe grows up. Do you gamble or are you just a fan?
P6K: I am a very casual gambler.
SRF: What is your favorite track and why? How about a favorite horse?
P6K: I love Churchill. It gets a good mix of good and bad horses, and tends to run close to form. I also like being able to sit on the fence (track on other side) near the finish line for general admission prices. As you may have guessed, I am a huge Bill Naskra fan. Aswillow too, although I haven't seen her in 1-2 years. Out of the horses anyone would know, I was a big Editor's Note and Event of the Year fan. I can't really explain why I like the awful horses that I do, just a spontaneous attachment. Bill Naskra just exudes "cool' somehow, he just can't run a lick (being 13 doesn't help).
SRF: OK, Jeremy, enough about the horseracing game. Let's move on to your part of SimulatedSports - Basketball. Lets start at the beginning. Is the BB your game or is Mike involved?
P6K: Mike did a little bit of early developmental work, but generally is not involved other than as a player. I spend about 15-25 hours/week running it, responding to questions, and making additions/improvements. I developed the game while working full-time, taking a night class, and studying for Actuarial exams, and experiencing our family's first pregnancy/birth, so it took a good while (about 10 months I think). About 1-2 months of that was
testing some testing was performed during development, so it is not an easy number to report.
SRF: Does that mean that SimulatedSports is a joint venture? Are there any plans to quit your job?
P6K: Mike started SimulatedSports himself, but I guess it would be safe to call it a "joint venture" at this point. I would love to be able to do this full-time, but the finances would have to be comparable. Depending on daily results, I am just now threatening to cover expenses, so that is not in the immediate future.
SRF: Are there any others involved in SimulatedSports? When another game is added, will someone new run it or will you or Mike be doing double duty?
P6K: Much thanks goes out to those that are involved in other capacities, as listed on the "who we are" link on the SimulatedSports.com main page. I can't really speak to the future and the possibility of new games.
SRF: Darn, you sidestepped that nicely, and I was hoping for a scoop. LOL! OK, Why did you choose BB as the next game? Did You play BB and why did you choose college?
P6K: I've played a little organized basketball (but just recreational leagues). I am however a big college basketball (University of Louisville) fan. If you are familiar with this area, college basketball is king, so it
was a natural choice.
SRF: Oh, those OTHER Wildcats. How do you feel the game is going? Are you seeing a lot of growth, and what about plans for the future?
P6K: The game has grown as hoped. We currently have about 1,000 human-coached teams, although there are a few multiple accounts. I have many plans for the future, but I find it hard to put in any more hours to get through the "to-do" list. They will get implemented at some point, however. Yes, a chat room is one of them, although we may need a little more mass to make that a valuable addition.
SRF: You are very accessible to the players. Are you going to try and stay that way?
P6K: I like being accessible, and I think that is an important feature of the site. I would like to remain in that position.
SRF: How often do you take other player's suggestions?
P6K: I log every single feasible suggestion, as well as some that aren't. Many have already been implemented. Many are already on my list, but the suggestions helps me know how players prioritize and value certain additions.
SRF: I love the interaction on the message board among the coaches - do you encourage this?
P6K: I think the good-natured interaction is wonderful. I find myself reading posts that I don't really have time to read. But, it keeps it fun for me too, which can be important at 3AM when I sometimes think I'm crazy.
SRF: And are you happy with the way the game is going?The Sim Racing Form Archive
P6K: I'm very pleased. I look for continued growth, and the players can look for continued improvement from my end.
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