This year, I have discovered two things about myself: 1) Despite never really playing before, I am actually quite good at playing poker, and 2) I am also pretty good at picking football games.
Now, I've played poker before 2010, obviously, but it's only ever been with my friends at 2 a.m. once everybody's schmammered, and I'd never actually been in a tournament. But then, in May – while on a golf weekend trip out in Chilliwack – I played in a 12-man tournament, and after slow-playing everyone to death (I'm rather conservative, it turns out) I ended up finishing second, and won $60. I also received a handful of compliments about how well I had played.
Then, last weekend at Davy and Colleen's, I lasted five hours and ended up sixth out of about 16 or 18, which is pretty not bad. And though I collected no monetary winnings, I did score myself a sweet consolation prize – a large bottle of Baby Duck wine.
Which brings me to my next thing: picking football games.
I'd been in a million football pools prior to this year – although I've never done very well – but I'd never been in a pool like the one Chris, Me, Davy and a few others were in this year. In addition to the typical fantasy league, we also had to pick who we thought would win each game every week, and whoever picks the most correct games – no point spreads – by the end of Week 17, gets $60 or so.
And while I was knocked out of the fantasy league in the first round of playoffs – losing to Davy on the last play of Monday Night Football, no less – I am doing quite well at this pick 'em business.
I'm kicking ass, as a matter of fact.
Now, I know a decent amount about football, and I can predict the odd game or two, but this was the first time where I was forced – if I wanted to win – to pick a winner in each and every game for 17 weeks.
Turns out, I'm pretty good. My success rate through Week 15 (not including tonight's Monday night game) is 99.1 percent.
I am, in this part of my life at least, less than 1% away from being perfect.
Davy's in second place at 92%, but I've got a seven-game lead on him.
So yeah, 2010 has been a pretty good gamblin' year for me. And what do I have to show for it?
$60 – with that number jumping to a potential $120 – and a big bottle of $9 champagne*. Yep, I'd say I'm putting my newfound talents to good use.
*I would also like take this opportunity to point out that, in my 167-person hockey pool run through my dad's work (it's a pick-a-player-from-each-box style pool) I am currently in first place. I'm only three up on second place, and a week ago had a 14-point lead, so these things change quickly, but still, I am in first place. Winner gets about $1,300. This is the same pool I won two years ago, collecting a cool, cool $1,600.