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Monday, 13 April 2015

The 2015 HBIC Playoff Pool

The biggest annual contest on this site is back for yet another year of insanity as the 2015 HBIC Playoff Pool starts on Wednesday! Seedings have been decided, match-ups have been set, and the battles will start both on the ice and in the pool as the 2014 HBIC Playoff Pool gets underway! If you've participated before, you know this pool gets intense. If you've played before, you know there are some decent prizes to be had for those who qualify. And if you've entered before, you know that the annual HBIC Playoff Pool is 100% free of charge for any and all participants! Ready to have fun? Then let's cannonball into the pool!

Every year since the founding of HBIC, I have offered an absolutely-free hockey pool for my readers. There are prizes for those who perform well, and I am happy to do this for those of you who stop by here when you can. This year will be no exception as the pool will be free again, and there will be some great prizing available for those that rise above the rest. Prizes are currently being acquired and sorted out, and I will post a prize list as we make our way deeper into the playoffs. In other words, you have a shot at prizes right now, and there will be more coming based on availability.


  • Entrants will be required to pick the winner of each game for each series. In doing so, one will also choose the number of games played by the two teams in each series.
  • Entrants will be required to pick the game-winning goal scorer for each game.
Sounds pretty easy, right? No real strategy as to which team will go further, who is playing whom, and all that jazz. Points will be based upon your predictions in each game and series.
  • For each correctly-predicted team that wins the game, one point will be awarded.
  • For correctly predicting the series length, two points will be awarded.
  • For correctly predicting the series length AND winning team, five points will be awarded. If one correctly predicts the series length and winning team, the two-point option is overridden by the higher-scoring option.
  • For predicting the player who scores the game-winning goal per game, that entrant will receive an additional two points per game per correctly-chosen player.
The following example should help you weed through the rules:
For the Pittsburgh-NY Rangers series, I predict that Pittsburgh will win Games 1 and 4. The Rangers will win Games 2, 3, 5, and 6. I also predict that Chris Kunitz will score the game-winner in Game 1 and Sidney Crosby in Game 4. Rick Nash will score New York's winner in Game 2; Martin St. Louis in Game 3; Dan Girardi in Game 5; and Carl Hagelin in Game 6.
If I correctly predicted the entire series (highly improbable with my record of prognostications) of New York winning in six games with all my game-winner scoring choices being right, I would earn 23 points (6 for each correct game + 5 for correctly predicting length and series winner + 12 for each game-winning goal scorer).

The catch to this whole thing is that no one will be eliminated until the Stanley Cup is handed out. With each new round beginning, each entrant will be required to send in their picks just as they did in the previous round. This way, everyone has a chance at some free shwag. And everyone loves free shwag.


I would hazard a guess at there possibly being a tie between two or more people, so your tie-breaker, required at the start of the first round, is to name the team who will accumulate THE MOST PENALTY MINUTES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PLAYOFFS. Those who are tied will have their answers reviewed, and the entrant who picked the team with the closest PIM total to the team's actual total for the playoffs will be crowned as the winner.


One of the complaints I hear from entrants is that if they have a bad first-round of predictions, they're basically out of the running so they stop playing. I completely understand this, and this is why this new twist is being put on the books for those that are the gambling types.

After the first round is over, everyone has points. Even if it's just ten points, you still have points. And now, those points can be risked for a big payoff if you're able to correctly predict a series of your choosing. You'll see a new column on the spreadsheet that will read "RISK IT". You will place a point total behind a series of your choosing if you wish to risk your points on calling a perfect series. You can only bet on one series. You can only bet to the maximum number of points you have currently. You will not receive any points in that series if you are wrong!

Read that last line again as this is an all-or-nothing bet. If you bet 40 points on a series and don't call every game right, you're down 40 points. With a big risk comes a big reward, though. If you do call every game correctly (minus the goal scorers as that's bonus points), you'll double the points risked!

As an example, if I risk 20 points on the potential second-round series of Tampa Bay and Montreal, and I correctly predict Montreal winning in Games 1, 3, 5, and 6 while Tampa Bay wins Games 2 and 4, I'd double my risked points to 40. That's an immediate 20-point swing for people who may have fallen behind plus you still get the point totals from all the other series and goal scorers. However, any mistake will net me a loss of 20 points!

Predict well, win big. Predict poorly, and you'll fall further behind. If you're out of the prizes by double-digits in points, though, this could be the way to win yourself back into the prizes!


The best part of the HBIC Playoff Pool? It's FREE! Always has been, always will be. You guys support me all year, so I feel I should give back when I can, and this pool allows me to do so.

You can enter at no cost, and the shwag is up for grabs. The only thing I ask, to be fair, is that you only enter once, please. Also, if you happen to miss a round, that's fine. Things happen, people get busy, no big deal. Just remember that you may find yourself in a very difficult spot if you miss any of the rounds because the point totals available in each round decrease with the lower total number of series being played. I won't be babysitting, so it's your job to enter as the Playoff Pool continues.


I will continue to use the email account specifically for the HBIC Playoff Pool simply because my normal email is ridiculously cluttered and I need some time to go through it. That being said, you MUST send all picks to this new email address: hbicplayoffpool-at-gmail-dot-com. Entries sent to any other email address that you have for me will be categorically deleted so that I can keep all of the HBIC Playoff Pool entries in one place. Clear? Nod your head. You don't want your Poolie Picks to go missing in my disorganized mailbox, do you?

Now to expedite the marking, I have created a pretty little Excel document that can be opened in both Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc. Fill this out and send it back to me WITH YOUR NAME AS THE NAME OF THE EXCEL DOCUMENT (ie. Teebz.xls).

I want to be clear about something: I have an iPad and I use it regularly. I understand that some people want to use .numbers format from the Apple world, but it's a pain in the rear for me when scoring and updating. If you are going to use the .numbers format, please see if you can save the document in .pdf or some sort of common format between the Apple and Windows platforms. That's my only request from all participants!

Click here to download if you missed the link above.

And I think that about does it. If you have any questions, fire me an email here. DO NOT SEND YOUR PICKS TO THAT EMAIL! Follow the directions above to do so. Get your picks in by the puck drop in Game One of the first series on Wednesday to enter the pool! If you have some sort of issue with this deadline, please email ASAP so we can make arrangements!

May the best prognosticator win, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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