Sunday, 7 April 2019

It Has Returned

It may not be summer yet, but the annual contest has returned and the bracket is now open! The 2019 HBIC Playoff Pool gets underway today with the brackets set, the schedule planned, and the prizes awaiting to be claimed! If you've played before, you know there are some decent prizes to be had for those who qualify, and this year will be no different. 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 make some waves!

After taking last year off in discovering that virtually every site now offers a variation of a bracket challenge, I am back to offer an absolutely-free bracket challenge-type 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 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.


These are pretty straight-forward and cut-and-dry.
  • 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 Washington-Carolina series, I predict that Washington will win Games 1, 3, 4, and 6. The Rangers will win Games 2 and 5. I predict Tom Wilson will score the winner in Game 1, Alex Ovechkin in Game 3, Lars Eller in Game 5, and Ovechkin again in Game 6. Andrei Svechnikov will score Carolina's game-winner in Game 1 while Justin Williams will notch the winner in Game 4.
If I correctly predicted the entire series (highly improbable with my record of prognostications) of Washinton 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.


So I used an all-or-nothing gamble in previous pools, but it seems that there was very little chance of anyone ever getting winning the gamble. I had suggested that calling a perfect series was likely the toughest thing that one can do, and that generally held true as zero people successfully won a "Risk It" option. In order to up the gamesmanship, I'm removing this option and adding another.

You will be asked to choose one player per division, and those four players will add their individual point totals to your overall score throughout the playoffs! You will be asked for these four players at the start, and those four players will continue to earn you points as long as they keep playing. If a player's team is eliminated, that player cannot be replaced. Like a traditional fantasy points playoff pool, once you submit your players, those are your players for the playoffs. Choose wisely, and you could find yourself overtaking entrants very quickly!


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! 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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