Back from Vegas / Kaggle

I got back from Vegas a few hours ago.  If you’ve never been to Vegas during the NCAA tournament, you’re going to want to do that.  There is nothing in the world like a room full of people watching a 15 point game with 90 seconds left screaming at the giant screen for the team that is winning to heave up some threes.  Absolutely incredible.  And watching an upset is even better.  The first two games I saw were Dayton and Harvard winning.  People were going crazy.  I won a few bucks, but nothing incredible.  I did cash twice in two tournaments, hit 8 out of 9 (for $0) on a parlay card, and watched my wife hit 200-1 on Sigma Derby.

But the really exciting news from the last few days is that my kaggle team (me and @statsbylopez) is in the top 10 out of 254 teams.  The complete standings are here.

Yesterday, William Cukierski posted the distributions of the predictions for the first rounds games.  I’ve highlighted in red where our first round predictions fall.  The most important ones so far are the Duke game, which we were very confident in (.93) and lost, which is a big penalty, and the Dayton game, where we had Dayton at .66 to win their game over Ohio State, which is notably different than many of the other teams.  Hopefully the Duke game doesn’t hurt us too much, and we can stay in the top ten.




Posted on March 21, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Congratulations on your position in Kaggle. Hopefully you’ll be able to maintain that through the later rounds! I’m mired in the middle part of the pack, but statistically I’m about where I expected to be, so not too bothered. I hope there’s some post-mortem on the Kaggle competition, because I’m very curious to see how/why the top teams scored well. If the current top scores of ~0.43 are really sustainable, that’s significantly better than the Vegas line.

    • If we’re significantly better than the Vegas line, I’m not telling anyone what we did and moving to Vegas to make millions of dollars. I don’t think .43 is sustainable. I also don’t think we will beat Vegas.

  2. I hope you continue to do well in Kaggle! I’m also hoping there’s a post-mortem, because if the top scores hold up, I think they represent a considerable improvement over the Vegas line.

  1. Pingback: Kaggle Round of 32 | Stats in the Wild

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