With the first week of pre-season games this weekend, folks are already preparing for their drafts for many fantasy football leagues. I never became an avid follower of any sport other than professional basketball when I was a kid but after going to school in Pittsburgh, I couldn’t help but become a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and a football fan after five years there. Every year, a bunch of friends and I have had a 100% for fun, fantasy football league (well, absolute loser bought absolute winner a case of decent beer, but everyone else did it for kicks) and this year we’re graduating to straight up $20 buy-in, first place takes 80%, second takes 20%. What we found was that after week 2, the only person who cared about the league was that jerk in first who had Peyton Manning and he couldn’t stop talking about it despite no one else really caring. When you don’t have a horse in the race, you don’t really care about the race. You really don’t care if you don’t even have money on your horse.
Despite what some of my friends might say, I’m not that big on gambling. I like putting small wagers, like $20 for a fantasy football league, playing some poker for $20 buy-in, or throwing $20 into a slot machine; but I honestly don’t really like gambling all that much. I wouldn’t ever do something like put a thousand (or even a hundred) dollars on red because the thought of losing a grand sucks so much more compared to the thought of winning a thousand dollars, to be perfectly honest with you. And it’s not that $20 isn’t that much money, it certainly is, but I’d like to get a little bit more than a spin of the roulette wheel… $20 gets me, hopefully, 17+ weeks of entertainment.
Oh, by the way, for those folks out there who are loathe to put money in a fantasy football or other sports league because you don’t “understand” it, I think you’re more of a degenerate gambler when you put money on when a baby is born. You can’t tell me you “understand” that better.
How about you? Do you participate in office gambling pools? What kinds and for how much? I’m really curious what other types of pools are out there and what people’s thoughts are about them and micro-stakes grassroots gambling in general.