Survivor pools are very easy to play. All you have to do is pick one winning team each week to stay alive. That is where easy ends and the playing gets tough. Once you choose a team, you can’t pick them again. The obvious choices are often the games that turn into upsets, and knock out a large percentage of the players.
Don and I have entered a Survivor pool every year since we have been together. He usually loses the first week, buys back in, and then gets knocked out a week or two later. We call his entry fee a donation to my winnings. I have won a few times, almost won a few times, and had a turn or two of losing early in the season.
Today was almost a repeat of Don losing the first game! He chose Seattle over Miami which should have been a no-brainer. The point-spread was 10 1/2 points, every expert picked Seattle to win, and it didn’t seem possible that the Dolphins could go out to the West Coast and give the Seahawks that much trouble. Oh, was it close! Seattle pulled through at the end but I think about half the people in our pool were thinking they were done.
I chose Kansas City after reading the experts opinions and listening to my own feelings. All of the ESPN experts picked the Chiefs, so I thought it was a relatively safe choice. My conclusion after today is that there is no such thing as “safe” in Week One! Kansas City was so far behind that it didn’t seem possible for them to catch up, let alone win. Thankfully they rallied and tied the game to go on and win in overtime.
The Survivor Pool that we are in has 69 people in it; 3 are out so far. One guy really took a chance Thursday night and picked Carolina on the road against last year’s Super Bowl champions. He must have had his reasons for choosing the Panthers first game of the year, but it was a very risky pick and one that cost him a chance at playing another week. Two took the Colts and that didn’t work out well for them either.
My theory of how to win an Eliminator Pool is simple. I play every week without looking ahead to any future games. My opinion is that it doesn’t matter if you save good teams for later in the season, if you lose in the first week or two. This year, I came up with a new theory- there is a fairly good chance that the Browns are going to lose most of their games, so an easy way to stay alive would be to pick whatever team is going against them. Don pointed out that they play Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati twice, so my theory has a few holes in it. It has always been a rule of mine not to take Cleveland games, but this might be the year to break the rules!