Now here’s an intriguing online game designed especially for the Euroleague 2009 tournament. Known as “La Porra” (“The Baton”?), this competition organized by our friends over at Solobasket.com combines elements of tournament bracket games, American football pools, and straight-up gambling at the bookmakers to create a challenging mix for the international basketball hardcore. And it’s free!
At the heart of La Porra is a pick ‘em game. For the first round games running September 7-9, simply choose which team you think will win the match. Naturally, each win earns points for those predicting correctly.
But here’s the kick: The popularity of your pick in a given game reflects the point total awarded. The more popular your choice in a match, i.e. the more La Porra players choose your team, the fewer points will be rewarded on a win.
So for example, let’s say you’re considering Monday night’s Spain v. Serbia game. La Porra players currently favor Spain at a rate of 629-17. If you go with Team Spain and this favorite prevails, you earn 10.25 points. However, if you’re prescient enough (like yours truly, heh heh) to go with Serbia and the upset happens, that’s a whopping 380 points earned – not to mention a fat early jump of lots of players.
You may change your selection in any or all games at any point before tipoff.
La Porra will continue through each round with players accumulating points along the way. As the rounds progress, the points rewarded are multiplied: Second-round wins are worth twice the points, quarterfinals are 3x, all the way up the a 5x multiplier for the final game.
A scoreboard is provided at Solobasket.com, so that the trash talkers will have public justification for their braggado.
Incidentally, if you’re a citizen of Spain, important note: The top finisher among you will receive the chance to spend a day with the Spanish national team, courtesy of the FEB.
To start playing La Porra, first register at Solobasket by clicking here. You’ll have to do the whole username-registration-activate-email yadda yadda process, but it’s quick.
See you at the top of the La Porra board, mates.