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The Leak: NCAA Brackets

It's been a while since we've delved into one of the Leaks, those things I do that just leak bankroll on something usually outside of my control and beyond my abilities. This time, we turn our attention to the time suck that is NCAA Basketball brackets.

This Sunday, I joined wifey Kim and a bunch of her friends to visit the NJ home of one of her friends that just recently had her second baby. While the girls were off cooing about how cute the baby was, the guys were left to their own devices. Naturally, NCAA basketball became a topic of conversation.

It's safe to say that in many social groups, I'm known as the gambler. People hear that I play poker and that starts the ball rolling. Then, once we get chatting, AC and Vegas comes up and my depth of knowledge builds the gamblers' image. When the group eventually learns that I have a poker blog, it's the tipping point, and from then on, I become the gambler of the group. Of course, the prop bets with civilians don't help.

With this group, I'm the gambler, naturally, so when NCAA bracket talk started up, everyone was surprised when I announced, "This is the last year for NCAA brackets for me."

Most civilians don't understand the distinction between being a poker player and a gambler. When they hear that you play poker, they will discuss their blackjack play or their one big slot machine payoff. I'm no snob, and I usually don't argue about the difference between poker and gambling, but when the conversation does occur, most people are confused.

"I thought you liked gambling?" one of the guys asked. "I do," I responded, "but not this type of gambling. I gamble for two reasons, to make money and have fun. With poker, I have both. I can win money consistently and I enjoy the game. Sometimes, I'll play table games with wifey Kim, but only for entertainment. I know I can't win in the longrun, so I play rarely but never with the expectation that I might win. But NCAA brackets are just no fun. I know nothing about the teams, I choose them like it's a lotto, and then I don't even care enough to watch the games. There is no fun and no expectation to win money."

And that's it in a nutshell. I don't begrudge others who enjoy NCAA pools. Hell, I encourage it, because the more people gamble, the more it becomes a socially-accepted norm. Plus, if you are successful generally at it, or if it helps you enjoy the tournament more, then you are getting the benefit of entertainment. But me, not so much. It's just a money leak, with no entertainment value whatsoever.

So, add that to my (now) list of three things Jordan will not do in the future to address leaks:

1. NCAA Basketball brackets
2. NFL Superbowl Boxes (what is fun about hoping that one team scores a touchdown, then the other team kicks a field goal and then a safety just so I can win the quarter; its a bastardization of the game...and I usually end up with 2/5 or 5/2)
3. Girl Scout Cookies (the cookies get worse and worse, and the prices and social pressures keep going up and up)

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:13 PM,


At 6:59 PM, Blogger BLAARGH! said...

You're missing the real joy.... you eat the GIRL SCOUTS, not the cookies! (their little screams of terror are soooooo adorable!)

At 11:54 AM, Blogger NewinNov said...

Like how you use the term "civilians." I hate all the social pressure regarding GS cookies.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...


I couldn't agree more and I couldn't have said it better. Best post ever.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i made $1400 on the NCAA tourney pool this year, so I don't mind so much. i agree with you about the Girl Scout cookie scam..often times its the parents who sell the tickets for their children. what is learned by doing this?

At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cookies, not tickets..


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