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An Easy Way to Gamble on the Super Bowl—the Idiot Pool
I just spent the last two hours combing through a 35-page Super Bowl prop bet booklet. I've weighed the pros and cons of heads or tails. I've timed out the length of the national anthem. I've tried to figure out how the New England Patriots defensive front won't get to New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at least three times considering he might drop back 50-60 times on Super Bowl Sunday. I've weighed betting with my gut and riding the Giant's hot hand getting three points against an angry Tom Brady looking for revenge. I have a lot of decisions to make, which is why on Sunday afternoon at The Ale House in Lafayette Hill, PA, my most stress free and enjoyable moments will be at the beginning of both halves of football as our "Idiot Pool" plays out in Indianapolis.
What is an Idiot Pool you might ask? We'll get to the simplicity of that in a moment. As billions of dollars are wagered throughout the world on the big game Sunday, there are many who will celebrate our newest national holiday by enjoying the company of friends, eating more than Kevin James at a Country Buffet and following the creedo that says all Americans need is an excuse to party. Often, these casual fans want to get in on the action, they look for something to cheer on, a stake in the game that won't have them sleeping on the couch if their better half finds out about it.
Many bars and restaurants and Super Bowl parties will feature "block pools." A grid of 100 blocks are sold, the cost of which vary. Most blocks will cost from $5 to $10 a block. Out of the total pool of money, most block pools pay out based on the scores at the end of each quarter. Numbers are randomly drawn from 0 through 9 to run the top and side of the grid. The teams are then randomly assigned the top or side of the grid. Once the numbers are drawn, you find your block and look at the numbers that correspond. If you have Patriots 3, Giants 4 and the score of any quarter ends with those numbers for those teams you win the block.
Block pools usually take a while to fill out, so what if you want to put a couple bucks on the line Super Bowl Sunday at the spur of the moment? The Idiot Pool is a great way to go, and all you need is 10 people or the willingness to double ante. The Idiot Pool is so named because it takes absolutely zero football acumen to participate. All it takes is a willingness for someone out of the 10 participants to pay attention to the game up until the first score. Here is a hypothetical Idiot Pool:
* $10 per man
* Each entrant draws a number at random from 0 through 9
* When the first score of the game occurs, find out who actually scored the points. If it's a touchdown, who scored it? If it's a field goal, what's the kicker's number? If it's the rare safety, what defensive player got credit for the tackle?
* If the last number in the jersey number of the player that scored matches your number, you win $100. Plain and simple. No consolation prize. Winner take all.
* Second half? Lather, rinse, repeat.
So, now that you're armed with a simple way to get in on the Super Bowl action without breaking the bank, here's a breakdown of likely scorers for each team for each number. No defenders are included.
New York Giants and New England Patriots
9 - Lawrence Tynes - (NY-9),
Looking at the board, if you decide to run an idiot pool, it looks like you want to avoid getting the numbers 5 or 6. Even though Tynes is the only 9, you always have a great chance with a kicker. Enjoy the game!
Pete LIeber is a freelance writer and a Philadelphia sports enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter at @Lieber14.
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