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  • Issue # 25.6 “25 Years: The Prizes”

    Posted on April 23rd, 2020 - 1:12 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Wednesday, April 22, 2020  **HAPPY 50th EARTH DAY**
    [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams  | 3-Confs  | 4-Charities  | 5-Payments ]

    25 YEARS:  $23,650 HAVE BEEN WON BY  88 PEOPLE
    Bob G is all-time earner with $1,120  but Robinson C and Darryn B are only two-time champs

    The Winners

    SAFER-AT-HOME W/REQUIRED FACE COVERING, CA (smt)- While a lot of American citizens will receive up to $1200 from the Federal government (and the rich getting some as well), a good number of us middle class folks won’t, and so we hope to win in the pool (not this year though).  While our largest pot was $1780, what was the largest prize an individual could win?  So here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on the various HWCI NCAA prizes.

    Prize Distribution

    As stated in the last issue, 100% of each entry fee (including ours) goes into prizes.  Always has, always will.  So if there are 100 entries, then there will be $1,000 doled out.  I started doing an update on prizes but started getting into how intricate the payments worked and when I was done, wrote more than 1,900 words, so this was split up (Payments and Prizes).  So we’ve had 2,365 total entries over 25 years which means we have doled out $23,650 ($940.60 avg). 

    While we started off with just 3 prizes in ’95 (1st/2nd/3rd) we have expanded over the years to as many as 8 prizes in ’17 (1st-7th, Bonus).  We added a 4th place prize in ’98 if we got 25 or more entries and Scott H (1 year/1 entry, 1 prize/$20 total winnings) won the first 4th place prize ($20).  We added a $40 Bonus Prize in ’03 and Scott T (25/42, 5/$630) won the first Bonus.  We added a 5th place prize in ’08 if we got 100 or more entries and Jeff H (16/16, 3/$340) won the first 5th place prize ($60).  We added a 6th place prize in ’11 if we got 125 or more entries and Charles D (1 0/28, 1/$60) won the first 4th place prize ($60) with his 2nd entry.   We added a 7th place prize in ’17 if we got 165 or more but have only hit that once (’17).  Alex K (3/4, 1/$60) won the first 7th place prize ($60).

    We never thought the pool would be as big as it today which is why the 5th place prize never really crossed our minds until we hit the magic 100 entry milestone.  So while there were 75 entries in between 4th and 5th (25:100), we quickly added another prize 25 entries later (100:125).  When we jumped 29 entries from 149 to 178, it was so big that another prize seemed warranted, though we were hesitant.  But we decided to add the 7th place prize to get the top 7 prizes back up to over 4% of the total entries (7/165 4.2%).  We may not add an 8th until we hit 200 (8/200 4%) but we shall see.  We have dipped below that 165 entry mark for the last two years.  That “4%” has been keeping an average of 75% of the entries still alive after the first weekend which is good.  We don’t want too few top prize spots that too many entries are eliminated and skip the Sweet 16 but we want some stress and mortality.  We do have outliers such as the upset-heavy ’18 pool where 51.9% of the 156 entries were eliminated (’cause a lot of favorites lost including #1 Virginia losing to #16 UMBC) and the mostly chalk ’09 pool where just 7.0% of the 114 entries were eliminated.

    There have been 136 total prizes won by 96 different entries (88 people).  A quite healthy 24.1% (88/365) of all people have won something which I’m quite proud of because I like spreading the wealth and no one person has dominated.  Each person is allowed to enter up to 3 times.  Scott T has won the most times with 5 prizes ($630) including winning the pool in ’02.  He has submitted 42 total entries over 25 years.  His first entry has won 4 times (25 yrs, 4/$540), tying David F (25/26, 4/$490) for the most wins for an entry.  Including Scott T, a total of 7 people have won on at least two different entries.  Eric F is the only person to win on 3 different entries (1st entry in ’14, 2nd in ’17, and 3rd in ’19; 9/15, 3/$620).  Blakely H (10/28, 2/$315) is the only person to win on his/her 3rd entry twice.  Mike W (4/12, 1/$170) and Ron E (12/28, 1/$320) are the only others to win on his/her 3rd entry.  Dual and triple entries are quite common but no one has won a prize twice in the same year.  Yet.

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  • Issue # 25.5 “25 Years: The Payments”

    Posted on April 18th, 2020 - 10:03 pm Scott No comments

    Archive

    Saturday, April 18, 2020 
    [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams  | 3-Confs  | 4-Charities ]

    25 YEARS:  ONLINE PAYMENTS RULE TODAY
    Cash, check, and even money orders were how we got our money in the beginning

    1995 to 2020 Inflation

    SAFER-AT-HOME W/FACE COVERING, CA (smt)- With unemployment claims at record levels due to the effects of COVID-19, ten dollars is something to save now rather than spend on a really, cool betting pool.   While $10 in 1995 is now worth almost $17 ($16.97) in today’s dollars, our entry fee has never gone up.  Or think of it this way, the entry fee back in 1995 would be less than $6 ($5.90) today.  So you are getting more bang for you buck with each passing year.  What has been going up is the number of entries, and thus, the challenge of collecting all that money.  I the beginning there was just cash which would be handed to Andy F or David F and we had just 12 people to worry about in ’95.  But with 111 people like last year?  How do we do that?  So here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on the various HWCI NCAA payments.

    Unlike a lot of other paid tournament pools out there, there is no administrative fee, free entry by the admins, or kickbacks taken by David or I, despite the vast number of hours working on the pool (and David funding to run the server our pool is run on).  100% of each entry fee (including ours) goes into prizes.  Always has, always will.  Like I said in the previous issue, any tips or “extra” people try to sneak in as “thanks”, I put right into the First Four for Charity donation.

    So if there are 100 entries, then there will be $1,000 doled out.  Now, every year, there are always stragglers and regulars that pay late or sometimes miss (when I get too lazy to remind again), but I always cover so there will be $1,000 to give out regardless if I’ve collected it all by the end of the tournament.  Most of these are my dear longtime friends who I think I’ll see soon to collect but family and work get in the way.  A lot have given up and gone the online payment or check way but there are a few I’ll have to remind at the next BBQ. 

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  • Issue # 25.4 “25 Years: The Charities”

    Posted on April 17th, 2020 - 11:48 am Scott No comments

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    Thursday, April 16, 2020  ***HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON!!!***
    [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams  | 3-Confs ]

    25 YEARS:  10 DIVERSE CHARITIES
    A total of $325 this year donated to Direct Relief – COVID-19 Fund

    SAFER-AT-HOME, CA (smt)- Well, they cancelled the tournament.  But they can’t cancel our good will.  For the 10th straight year, the HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity asked pool friends to reply back with quick answers to enter this free contest where I would donate $2 per entry to a worthy charity or cause.  This year, due to the extreme times we live in, was coronavirus-related and picked Direct Relief since they had a dedicated COVID-19 fund to donate directly to.  Direct Relief is coordinating with public health authorities, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the U.S. and globally to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus.

    1st First Four for Charity Email

    Because there was no tournament, this year the question was “Who would you have picked to win the tournament?” instead of the usual First Four winners and margin of victory.  We did get 20 responses back and although we didn’t hit my stated target goal of 25 entries, I still will add in $25 for a total of $65.  Michael W and a very kind-hearted friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) will separately donate (since there is no pool, no sense for me to be the middle-man to collect funds) and add a combined $260 for a grand total of $325, our second highest donation-ever, after last year’s $460 to the Boys and Girls Club of America.  How did we get here?  Here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on our HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity contest.

    Curse the NCAA and their greed!  In ’11, there were going to be 68 teams (instead of 65) but instead of the worst 8 conferences playing for the four games, it would be just four, and the other four would be the last four at-large berths.  This meant that we went from a “don’t care” for Tuesday (didn’t matter who won #64/#65 Opening Round, every sane person would pick them to lose) to how do we deal with the 2 games featuring at-large teams on Tuesday/Wednesday?  Surely, #11-#13 teams have won before and people could pick them depending which team won.  Do we make them pick these First Four games by Tuesday?  No, not feasible.  We would just allow people to change their picks if they wanted after the First Four games.  Luckily, not many people did so it wasn’t a big logistical nightmare we thought (100 people suddenly changing their picks Wed night/Thu morning).

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  • Issue # 25.3 “25 Years: The Conferences”

    Posted on April 16th, 2020 - 10:49 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Tuesday, April 7, 2020 [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams ]

    25 YEARS:  38 CONFERENCES HAVE EXISTED IN OUR POOLS
    30-32 automatic bids each year, 9 conf never getting more than 1 bid

    Teams and Titles by Conference

    EL SEGUNDO/HOME, CA (smt)- Would the Big Ten (B10) have gotten a record 12 (of 14) teams into the tournament?  More likely 10 which would’ve been the second-highest ever (Big East (BE) 11 in ’11).  Would the Big Ten top the record 19 wins by the Atlantic Coast (ACC) in ’16?  But we’ll never know.  So without a tournament, here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time focusing on the conferences who have made the tournament (the proper 64 that is).

    What we do know is that for the past 25 years, 38 conferences have existed with only the American West (AW) (’95-’96) and Great West (GW) (’10-’13) not putting any teams in (no automatic bid due to not enough teams in conference those years).  Currently, all 32 Division I conferences get an automatic bid (though again, four of the worst conference tournament winners will vie in First Four).  Nine conferences have never gotten an at-large bid.  From ’01-’10 the two lowest auto bid tournament champions (team #64 and #65) played in the Opening Round game.  From ’11 to present, the four lowest auto bid champions play in the First Four.  13 conferences have put their auto bid team in the Opening Round/First Four with the Southwestern Athletic (SWA) doing it 11 of 19 years.  Because they have lost 9 of those Opening Round/First Four games, the SWA have only placed a team in the proper 64 bracket 16 of 25 years.

    The Atlantic 10 (A10) is a perfect 3-0 in the First Four with five others 2-0 (America East (AE) – keeping a streak of all 25 years with just one team in proper 64, Big West (BW), Colonial Athletic (CAA), Ohio Valley (OVC), and Summit (SUM)).  The Pac-12 (P12) is 3-4 (including losing both in ’18, the only conference to ever have 2 teams in First Four) while the Big 12 (B12) has appeared just once (won in ’17).  The Northeast (NEC) has appeared in 7 straight First Four games (’13 to present) going 3-4 (4-5 overall).  The Mid-Eastern Athletic (MEA) has lost 3 straight First Four games (’17 to present) (3-6 overall).  Despite this, the MEA actually has 3 wins in the tournament (#15 Coppin St ’97, #15 Hampton ’01, and #15 Norfolk St in ’12).

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