End Game Strategy

How to play round 22 (added 26 Aug 2010)

Most of what you need to know was written several weeks ago and you can find it if you scroll down to

The Workplace Footy Tipping Comp – End Game Strategy

on this page.

But now you are at the last hurdle. What do you do? Here are some final hints:

1. Know where you stand and what the prize money is

I am in a comp with a few friends and it is only for glory – no cash involved at all. Your interest may be cash, glory; or both. Know what you want and set your goals accordingly

2. Be realisitc

While it may be mathematically possible to win if you are 7 off the lead, you will need the Eagles to win at Geelong to get you over the line – plus many other upsets. Forget it! If you are 4 or more off the lead, you should look at getting a weekly prize, sneaking into third or finishing as high as you can.

3. What IS realisitic

The fewer people ahead of you, the better your chance. Let’s look at a few possibilities and what you should do (we will assume that there are prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the purposes of the exercise here)

A. You are outright or equal leader. Go for the clear favourites and spend some time focussing on the Freo / Blues, Tigers / Port and Dees / Roos games.

B. You are 1 off the lead in clear second. Pretty much same as above. Given that the leader may go all three favourites, your strategy may be to go for one of the outsiders in the tough games to pick (Blues, Port, Dees) to draw level; or even 2 of them to give C. You are narrowly hanging on in third place with several people one behind you in equal 4th, but you are 1 place of second and 2 places off 1st. This scenario is tricky because you could walk away with nothing – even if you go conservative. It all depends on your risk factor as a tipster. If you want to go for first, you may consider any three of the outsiders mentioned above and also the Hawks. Otherwise, option C may apply to you and you can hope to hold on to third, or even go higher.

D. You are one place off prize money. You will probably need to correctly pick at least one of Blues, Dees or Port – and Hawks is a possibility for you as well.

E. You are two places off prize money. Same as option 4, but you may need to correctly pick 2 and possibly 3 of these four slight outsiders correctly. Pick just ONE outsider incorrectly and you are almost certainly GONE!

F. You are three places off the prize money. You are one step better than “mathematical” here. The first thing is to correctly pick the 4 slightest outsiders (Dees, Port, Blues, Hawks). If you go for all four of these and they all win, things are looking possible. If you cannot convince yourself to go for any more than 2 of these, then you may need to go for ONE ONLY of these teams Crows, Lions or Bombers. These three have very little chance but still some chance.

4. If possible, find out AFTER closing time for tips who the others tipped (not always possible, but you can follow your progress throughout the weekend).

5. Enjoy the weekend and treat any prize as a bonus.

Finally a word to those who want to pick the Eagles this week – don’t be silly!!




The Workplace Footy Tipping Comp – End Game Strategy (added after round 16)

Okay, you’ve tipped pretty well all year. There are six rounds to go and now its time to reap the rewards of your year’s work. But there are a few hurdles to clear before the glory and fame is yours. Here are a few tips on how to handle the pressure.

1. Work out what is important to you. It may be the money. It may be the glory. If it’s the money, then second or third place may be sufficient for you to be happy. So you will tend to be more conservative in your tipping. But if the glory is it, then you may be inclined to take some risks to have a chance at the number one spot.

2. Know the prize allocation. Find out how much each position gets. Is there first prize only? Second and third as well? How many dollars (or perhaps, what gift or trophy) do you get for each position. Does your name go on a plaque at the workplace?

3. Assess your position in the tipping comp. And you should re-assess as each week passes. This will affect your strategy. And it also gives you an idea of your chances of winning. Not only is your position important; you should also take into account how many people are within striking distance. For example, if you are 2 off the lead and there is a gap of 4 to third, you are in a very strong position to collect. But if you are second and the gap to third is only 1; and there are 8 people all equal third, life will be much tougher for you. Just one bad week could put you out of the prize money. As a general rule, it is difficult to make up 1 winner per week on a leader. So if you are 6 wins off the pace now, you are in trouble. If you are 6 wins off first, but only 2 off third, then third place is where you should aim. In the last two weeks, you may make up 3 if things go your way. Another game plan for round 22 will be posted after round 21. It is worth noting that, at this stage, round 22 looks like having about 3 or 4 games where no clear winner is evident. That is good for those who need to make up ground at the last.

4. Be realistic. If you are going for an outsider, make sure that they have some chance of winning. EG in round 22, don’t go for the Eagles to beat Geelong at Geelong. If they could play this day a hundred times over, the Eagles may win maybe 2 or 3 times. The Crows to beat the Saints would be a far better outsider (based on current knowledge six weeks out from the game). Make sure EVERY pick has some realistic chances of winning.

5. Trust your judgment. Your skill (assuming it WAS skill) got you this far and so you should trust yourself in your decisions. If there is a game which is 50/50 or there is a slight favourite where most people (newspaper columnists or those at your work) seem to be going the other way to you, don’t panic. Tip the team you want to tip. You will find that it will work out best for you in more than 50% of occasions.

6. Don’t be afraid of tipping favourites. Sometimes those nearby you in the tipping comp will do amazing things – picking outsiders or making strange decisions – usually to their detriment. If the 8 favourites look obvious, then go that way. You don’t need to be the hero who picks the big upset. “Let someone else try and fail” is often a good strategy. You will be amazed at how often those around you will make a “tipping error”. If you have a weekly prize and you are selecting the 8 obvious choices, you may consider selecting a high winning margin in game 1 to separate yourself from the “pack” who are likely to tip a margin in the 1 – 30 points range.

7. Expect form fluctuations and trust the ladder. The later we get into the season, the more trustworthy the ladder will be in tipping winners. The higher team on the ladder will be the best form guide you have as a “one rule only” guide. Also, at present, every match can alter positions 1 – 10 (unlike last year where the Saints and Cats had a huge break on the field). And teams that are battling for those positions will tend to build themselves up for some matches more than others. Consequently, these teams may incur unexpected losses against lower teams. These two statements seem contradictory, but you need to balance them when reviewing your tips. So you should expect the higher team on the ladder to win more often, but not be surprised when a top 10 team loses a game that the experts have pencilled in as a victory. As an example from last season, the Dogs lost a home match to the Eagles in round 19.

8. Hold your nerve. Don’t let one bad week ruin your confidence (10 bad weeks, as longggey has had in the weighted tipping is a different thing!). It may have been a week for outsiders a la Round 16 this year where 5 outsiders saluted. And then others will be suffering too! If you really think an outsider will win, my advice is the following:
A: If you desperately need to catch up some, go for it

B: If you are leading or trying to go conservatively to protect 2nd or 3rd, then –

i) tip the team if they are odds of $3.00 or less (meaning that the “line” or expected winning margin to the other team is ~ 3 goals or less)

ii) Don’t tip them if they are > $3.00 or more than a 3 goal outsider

Longggey’s longest price successful outright tip to win this year was the Crows at $2.90 or 17 point outsiders to beat Freo in round 11. Longggey did happen to pick the Blues in round 5 at $5.00 to beat the Cats but ONLY in the weighted tipping. So these long shots do win at times, but it is not the right play for the comp leader. If you are in a weighted or points in comp, then pick your outsider in that but the favourite for the standard tip.

9. Enjoy the ride. Don’t get overstressed! If it all goes pear-shaped, then you can go again next year!