# Suggestions for a World Cup pool

My guild mates from Guild Wars want to start World Cup pool for the round of 16. What is the best way to go about it?

We are going to wager in games items but are not quite sure how best to organize this… Should it be a random draw with an entry fee, say 5 gold? Should people be allowed to bet on each game for one gold, with a pot building to the final game?

We hope to have 16 people involved but may have to deal with either more or less people as well.

Here’s something that we tried in the NCAA basketball tournament about 13 years ago. It was quite successful: Once the Sweet 16 teams were determined (after the 1st weekend), we had an auction for the remaining 16 teams. We had about 30 bidders, so a few of them paired up or formed groups. In order to set a price base, we started out with a mid-level team. The team (can’t remember) sold for \$60 or so. That year Kansas and NC were favored. They sold for about \$150 or so. We agreed beforehand that the owner of the team that won the championship would get 50% of the pot, with 25% to 2nd and 12.5% each to the semi-final losers.

If you tried this for the World Cup, you would reward 3rd place more than 4th (since there is a consolation game). The problem is that you only have one night (this Friday night), since the round-of-16 begins in Saturday.

Anyway, I was a poor 1st-year grad student and waited until the end and snatched up Arizona…for \$30 and walked away with \$700. One of my proudest moments!

That is a good idea. But like you say the window to work in is short, and we have members in Greece, Holland, England, Australia and North America…however we often do get on at the same time.

Bumping to see if there are anymore suggestions…

The pool I’m running tests how well you predict scores of World Cup games and contains a knockout component. Each player selects a team in the tournament, then picks the outcome of its game (winner and score). This pick is scored against the actual outcome of the game. This score is then compared to the score of the pick of the player who has the opponent’s team. Whichever player’s pick scores the most points moves on to the next round and picks for the winning team.

The benefit of this is that not everyone has to be present at once to set up the pool and it builds on some of the structure of the tournament itself. The drawback is that devising a scoring system that can resolve all knockout stage games without a tie can be really difficult. I can give you the very long-winded details of my system if you’re interested.

You could do it similar to the way I did it for the US Open Golf pool. A online bookie (William Hill, Bodog, Ladbrokes) will have odds on the teams and you have \$100 to risk.

You must pick at least three teams, and you get 100% payback, if the team wins.

75% payback if the team is a finalist

50% payback if the team comes in third (do they have a consolation game?)

25% payback if the teams comes in fourth.

10% payback if your team is a quarterfinalist.

Thanks for the suggestions…I’ll let you know what we ended up doing.