So each year I send a guy I have never met $30 and a list of 10 players whose total earnings were less than $30 million. The gentleman who runs the pool is a friend, or at least acquaintance, of my father in law in Montreal. He has run the pool for the past 15+ seasons and attracts around a 100 participants each year. He does it all (registration and results) without any online website, just an excel sheet and some help from “the techies” as he calls them, I assume they are family members who have been voluntold to help out. I have been entering the pool the past 5 years or so, and it is by far the best sports pool I have ever been in, not because it is so well run (it is, but mistakes happen when you calculate everything by hand), but because there is a certain human element to it that is missing from a lot of the yahoo and the like fantasy leagues I have been involved in before.
What I also like about the pool is its format. Very simple, pick your players at the start of the year and you keep them all year. The total value of the 10 players has to be under $30 million, with $500,000 being minimum buy in (so if you pick a rookie they automatically count for $500,000). I really got frustrated with pools that I had to pick my players each week because you miss one week and your screwed.
My $30 gives me a chance at a monthly prize pf $100 for 1st, $80 for 2nd and $50 for 3rd and a yearly prize of $500 for 1st, $300 for 2nd and $200 for 3rd. Every year except last year I made at least a little money and last year I was in the top 3 overall heading into the final month. I finished in 10th and went home empty handed.
Over the years I have developed elaborate methods of picking my players, normally focusing on a few top tier players and then on players who play a lot of events and make a lot of cuts, since made cuts equal money. This year, I kind of just picked on gut feeling and came up with this list:
- Rickie Fowler
- Zach Johnson
- Rory McIlroy
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Matt Kuchar
- Sergio Garcia
- Phil Mickelson
- Adam Scott
- Graham DeLaet
- Graeme McDowell
In a couple of cases I am going with guys who didn’t have great years last year, but who I think will bounce back this year and could be good for a win or two. My goal for every player I select is that they make more money this year than they did last year.
The Sony Open was the first event to count for the season, and it went ok with top 10s for DeLaet (T7) and Johnson (T9).
Are you in a golf pool this year? Who are your horses? Whats your favorite golf pool format?
See you at the turn,