Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tourney Time

Its the most wonderful time of year. NCAA tourney time. As I've said before, I'm not much of a basketball fan. I really only follow the Illini, and maybe the Big 10 conference. I know next to nothing about college basketball. Never the less, I can't wait for the tourney to start. I will sit and watch as much basketball in the next four days as my wife will allow obsessively checking and rechecking my brackets to see if I have a chance of winning. Which I don't.

I'm not going to actually post my brackets. Not that I'm afraid of sharing my picks. I've had no problem doing that in the past. This year I filled out many different brackets at a number of different sites, and I don't really have one bracket that I consider "The" bracket.

For the most part I went with chalk this year. My typical final four consists of UNC, Louisville, Uconn and Pitt, with an occasional Memphis instead of Uconn. UNC beats Louisville in almost all my brackets.

My beloved Illini drew the dreaded 5-12 pairing, and are the perfect team to get upset given their injuries and tendency to go 5-10 minutes at a time without a scoring a single point, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and picked Wisconsin as my 12 team moving on. And Arizona most of the time.

I have very few upsets this year compared to previous years. I thought about it from a "Wanting to win the pool" angle rather than a "Wanting to fill out a perfect bracket" angle this time.

There are two different strategies for filling out your bracket. If you are in a relatively small pool, as mine are, then chances are the people in the money are going to be the ones who pick the winner, and the final four correctly, especially if later rounds are weighted heavier. Picking that 3-14 upset in round one is great, but its a long shot, and not only do you probably get the round one pick wrong, you also probably eliminated a sweet sixteen team. The costs of missing an upset pick are much greater than just missing the round one matchup. Thus picking mostly chalk, is the safer path to victory. On the other hand, if you are in a huge pool, like one of the national online pools, to win you are going to have to get almost every game right. Unless another George Mason happens, there are going to be thousands of people picking perfect elite eight through championship brackets, so not only do you have to do that, but you have to get a number of early round upsets correct.

Only a few hour till game time. I really should have taken some vacation days this week. I think spending all day at a sports bar would have been a good plan.

Go Illini

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