I want to thank those of you who have already signed up for the L-cubed challenge with the $2000 added prize pool from PokerStars!
The best news is that the vast majority of teams entered thus far are horribly flawed. Team Up For Poker is ideally suited to run away with the $1500 top prize. The rest of you are still eligible to win the $500 consolation prize.
Before I list the teams currently entered, I'll remind you how to get your team in the challenge. Team entries can be left in the comments of Up For Poker on THIS POST, sent to cusephenom -@- yahoo DOT com, or done in person in Las Vegas between noon and 12:45pm during tournament registration.
Without further ado, the teams as currently entered:More in this Poker Blog! -->
Team Up For Poker: CJ, Otis, G-Rob
Team Gambling Tales: Falstaff, Special K, Mrs. Falstaff
Unnamed Team: Bayne, RecessRampage, smizmiatch
Team Fluffy Unicorns: lj, chad, augie
Team Waffles: Dr. Chako, Waffles, Jordan
Team Canada: Fuel, Schaubs, Bam-Bam
Team "I Kissed One of These Girls": F-Train, CK, The Wife
Team LA D-Bags: shane, Speaker, Troublecat
Team D-Listers: lightning36, OhCaptain, pokerpeaker
Team Wheelchair: Drizz, AlCantHang, StB
Team Procedure: BadBlood, TheMark, Moutray
Team Name Forthcoming: iggy, Obie VIP, the rooster
Team Tao of Pot: Pauly, Derek, Change100
Another Unnamed Team: Astin and a couple of buddies
Team-To-Be-Named-Later: Katitude, Maigrey, Maudie
So far, those are the 15 teams entered for The Luckbox Last Longer Challenge. I'll update this as we go.
Also, when you talk about this on Twitter, Facebook and your own blog, don't forget to give PokerStars some love. After all, we don't want this to be the last time Stars throws a little money our way!<-- Hide More
Let's start with the breaking news:
PokerStars will be adding $2000 to the Luckbox Last Longer Challenge prize pool.
Let me say that again.
The awesome folks at PokerStars are once again showing their support for the WPBT by adding $2000 to the prize pool for the Luckbox Last Longer Challenge at the Winter Classic (and find it on Facebook).
Let's just say this little contest of pride and wills just grew into something awesome. Now let's get to the details. With this much money now at stake, we're putting down some rules. Read carefully!More in this Poker Blog! -->
We want to make sure that the great people at PokerStars know how much we appreciate this so when you talk about the Luckbox Last Longer Challenge (we're going to call it the L-cubed), please give PokerStars some love (your blog, twitter, facebook, etc.).
If you have any questions about this, leave them in the comments or email me at the email address listed above!<-- Hide More
I can't believe there's even a discussion about this. Everyone knows that Belichick was wrong. He made an arrogant decision that cost his team a victory. Yet rocket scientists and amateur poker players everywhere are breaking out their protractors to justify this game-losing decision.
Well, I spent about 10 minutes doing my own research. I present: Other numbers.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Over the last 6 weeks of the 2009 NFL football season, teams have attempted to go for it on 4th and 2 on 14 different occasions (including Belichick's dumb decision). Any idea how many times those 14 attempts have been successful? I'll give you a minute to guess.
Yep, it's zero. That's right. A big 0%. Eight incomplete passes, two failed runs, two interceptions, one sack and Belichick's pass that came up inches short. I wonder if Belichick knew how difficult it is to convert 4th and 2 when he made his bone-headed decision?
Anyone who understands football understands the difficulty in converting 4th and 2. It's a little too far to run meaning teams can play for the pass. In fact, Belichick made it even easier on the Colts by emptying the backfield eliminating any threat of a run at all.
Of course, many argue that had New England punted that Manning (because he's so super-awesome) would have lead a TD drive anyway. I wonder what the numbers say?
Over the last 6 weeks of the season, Indianapolis has had 37 drives starting from the 30 or behind and they've converted TDs in 10 of them. That's 27%.
Over the last 6 weeks of the season, New England's opponents have had 44 drives starting from the 30 or behind and they've convered TDs in 5 of them. That's 11%.
What about when New England and Indianapolis play each other? Here are some more numbers.
In this year's game, Indianapolis had 12 drives starting from the 30 or behind and they converted TDs in 3 of them. That's 25%.
Since 2006 against New England, Indianapolis had 29 drives starting from the 30 or behind and they converted TDs in 6 of them. That's 21%.
Of course, Indianapolis got the ball from the 40 yard line or closer twice against New England since 2006 and, predictably, both resulted in TDs, including the game-winner a week ago.
So what do the numbers tell me?
4th and 2 conversion rate last 6 weeks: 0%
Indianapolis' TD rate from 70+ yards vs. NFL last 6 weeks: 27%
New England's opponents' TD rate from 70+ yards last 6 weeks: 11%
Indianapolis' TD rate from 70+ yards vs. NE last week: 25%
Indianapolis' TD rate from 70+ yards vs. NE since 2006: 21%
I don't know about you... but those numbers certainly don't support going for it on 4th and 2. Looks like NE had a chance somewhere between 75% and 85% of stopping Indianapolis on a long TD drive but very little chance of either converting the 4th down or stopping the Colts if they failed on the 4th down conversion. And that doesn't even include the fact that the Colts would have been attempting this drive with just 1 timeout and just 2 minutes left in the game which likely lowers the Colts' percentages.
Of course, lots of people will say I'm cherry-picking. Guess what? That's what statisticians do. They cherry-pick numbers to support their case.
This was a bad decision by Belichick. It's clear that the decision was last-second which only compounded the mistake. Had New England really intended to go for it on 4th down no matter what, there's little chance they throw the ball on 3rd down. Not only would a run have been a surprise on 3rd (giving it a better chance of succeeding) it also would have forced the Colts to burn their final timeout and it would likely have gotten them closer for their 4th down attempt (which, given the spot, would have made all the difference).
When New England failed on 3rd down, most of the offense was running off the field and New England was then forced to burn their last timeout which prevented them from challenging the spot on 4th down (although I'm not sure a challenge would have worked). If the plan was to go for it on 4th all along, wouldn't the offense have known that? After all, they had already burned a timeout in that same drive!
Not to mention, going for it in this situation brings all kinds of factors into play, including crowd noise and the potential of the home crowd to influence any close spot in favor of the Colts.
Of course, context doesn't matter to the people with their fancy equations. Context is irrelevant, right?<-- Hide More
On December 1st, 2005, I wrote this:
I haven't discussed this with Otis or G-Rob, but that's okay. They're just going to have to deal with my bravado whether they like it or not.
Up For Poker is issuing a challenge to any other threesome in a last-longer for the WPBT Winter Classic. Here's how I figure it will work:
1) Final results of the three entrants will be added together, lowest total wins.
2) Each member of each team will throw in $5 and the winning team will split the last-longer prize pool. (All teams are playing against all teams and the winning team will win the total prize pool.)
So find your team, and leave it in the comments. I'll bring a list to Vegas and you all can hand over your money. After all, you think anyone can beat the combination of Otis' skill, G-Rob's agression and my luck?
Well, guess what? I still haven't discussed this with Otis or G-Rob, but it's on again. The Up For Poker crew is challenging you. Same rules. Same prizes.
(FYI: Comments currently require approval while I work out some spam issues, so you won't see your comment right away.)
I'm not sure how it's happened, but it has.
Otis, G-Rob and The Luckbox (that's me) are all above .500 ten weeks into the fantasy football season and all have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs.
Doesn't sound like a big deal? Well, let's take a look back at history. In the past 5 seasons, our three teams have a collective 4 playoff appearances and no Super Bowl crowns. We have a collective record of 89-104-3. We have a total of 5 winning seasons among us.
Of course, Otis does a lot to bring that total down. All I'll say about his career fantasy football record is that his only winning season is the year we played XFL Fantasy Football. I'm serious. He won the Super Bowl.
But this year, the three of us are bunched at the top of the Carolina Division. I'm at 8-2 and Otis and G-Rob are both at 6-4. If the playoffs started this week, G-Rob and I would both be in the playoffs. Otis trails G-Rob by just two points for the final playoff spot and both of them trail the 3rd place team by a game.
Of course, there's still 4 regular season weeks left for something to go wrong. The only thing guaranteed is that at least one of us will be in the playoffs this year. Which sure beats last year when we were a combined 15-26-1!
My shoulder hurts.
It's probably the number one reason why I find Wii Sports Resort to be one of the more realistic sports games I've ever played. The pain I feel in my shoulder is similar to the pain I experience after a round of frolf. Is that sad?More in this Poker Blog! -->
Disc golf is just one of the two dozen plus games offered on Wii Sports Resort. There's bowling, golf, ping pong, archery, canoeing, water skiing, and more. And most of the games offer multiple variations.
The key to the game is the Wii Motion plus. It's a piece of hardware that connects to the bottom of the traditional remote. It's probably what the Wii was supposed to be when it was initially released, but the technology wasn't there yet. Now, instead of just tracking motion up and down and left and right, the game can sense when you turn your wrist. This makes games like frolf and bowling and ping pong just about as realistic as they get.
If you've got a Wii, I'd suggest you get this game. But if you do, be sure to the get the new version of the game that comes with the second Wii Motion Plus. For someone reason, the first release of the game included just one, which didn't make much sense. You can order the new version on Amazon for about 70 bucks. It's worth it.
And my next Wii purchase? I'd expect it to be the New Super Mario Bros. I'll let you know how that game plays as soon as I get my hands on it!<-- Hide More
It's clear it's been too long since I've attened a "proper" WPBT event. It's been so long I can't even remember when it happened. I seem to remember Otis, G-Rob and I each brought along Up For Poker t-shirts as a prize to the players who busted us.
That's all about to change in a month.
It's the 2009 WPBT Winter Classic and I plan to bring all of my luckbox skills to bear on all of you. I've been saving it up. It's been months since I've pulled a three-outer on the river and I'm thinking I'm well over-due.
As an added bonus, many of you will likely get to meet Lady Luck. As part of my unbelievable string of good fortune, it turns out that Lady Luck thinks Vegas is amazing. This will be my fourth trip to Sin City this year and my third with her along. We'll be arriving on Wednesday night and I'll be spending the first two days with her. Starting Friday, it'll be a whole lot of poker, some championship Pai Gow action and a Sunday morning in the sports book.
Will I see you there?