Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Breaking Bad Game: When Titles Become Reality

When I entitled the Draft for the Breaking Bad game Drafting Bad(ly) playing on Breaking Bad, I had no clue I was forecasting.  Three things seemed to go wrong for me and the players. 
  • For me, the combination of players who were twitter peers and facebook friends meant I had to watch three streams simultaenously: twitter, facebook and the blog.  As it turns out, the twitter folks tended to miss their turns and had to draft out of turn.  They apparently have more lively lives than my facebook friends. 
  • The second thing that went wrong was that some of the players did not do well on the Reading Comprehension tests, as they thought any character in the show could earn points by not dying in the last eight, whereas I had stated earlier than only those depicted in the final eight episodes would count.  I did give people a chance to suggest revisions to the rules, but no one took me up on that.  Oh well, the world of Breaking Bad often means stumbling upon rules and codes that were not so obvious.
  • The third thing that went wrong is that the drafters seem to be wildly optimistic.  I mean, Jesse as a number one pick?  Hank in the first round? Walt was not the last pick? 
Ok, who was the drafted:

Players 1st pick 2nd pick
Noah Jesse
Brandon Saul Bogdan
Rob Kaylee Steve Gomez
Rodger Gretchen Lawson
Chip Holly Walt
Kristy Todd Ted
Caitlin Skyler Group leader
Will Badger Declan
Kelsey  Huell Brock
Wendy Hank Skinny Pete
Sara Marie Walt Jr.  
Matt Old Joe Lydia
Blue means likely to live and be relevant, red means likely to be dead (using Nate Silver's prediction machine). 

My analyses and Vegas's odds below:

  • Noah, as the first and last to pick, still needs to pick from the remaining few characters not yet picked.  His choice of Jesse is brave, especially since the character was not supposed to last through the end of the first season.  Given how tragic a character Walt is, it would seem to me that there is a real good chance he kills Jesse or someone else does at the very end.  A very interesting gamble.  
  • Brandon went with Saul mostly based on the knowledge that Saul's character may be turned into a spinoff.  Of course, he was not paying attention to the new SHIELD show on ABC that will have a formerly dead character (Agent Coulson) star.  So, spinoff potential is no guarantee.  Still, pretty clever.  I doubt we will see Bogdan again, but not a bad choice from the scraps left.
  • Rob went with Kaylee, which might have been a mistake.  Will we see Mike's granddaughter again?  Probably not.  Steve Gomez was a sneaky smart choice, as he will be seen and he has a good chance to make it to the end.  Still, Steve may buy it, pushing Hank to take down his brother in law even more aggressively.
  • Rodger had problems getting his picks to me, so he picked out of order.  Will we see Gretchen again?  Lawson is an interesting choice as we will certainly see some more gun buying, but that is a dangerous occupation.
  • Chip took the easy way and the hard way: will they kill Walt's baby?  Probably not.  Will Walt live?  Probably not.  An interesting go long or go home strategy.
  • Kristy faced internet challenges and being on the wrong best side of the world but got her picks in just in time with Todd (the new Walt apprentice) and Ted, Skyler's former lover.  I think Todd has a short lifespan.  He killed a kid, which means he is doomed, plus those close to Walt are likely to be in danger.  Ted is a very sneaky good bet, as he might show up, and he is already fairly injured so he is unlikely to be killed.
  • Caitlin was also late to the festivities, choosing Skyler and Group Leader (Jere Burns).  I think the first choice is a good one--Skyler may get hurt, but she is a survivor.  Group leader--will he show up at all?  I hope so because Jere Burns is great in everything he does (Justified!).
  • Will was too busy creating new terrorist threats to show up on time but got in Badger and Declan.  Badger is a fun character, but he is a drug dealer, so a very risky choice.  Declan is the new drug dealer.  Walt tends to kill his competition--from the very beginning of the show to Gus, so I think Will should stick to the terrorism industry.
  • Kelsey chose Saul's bodyguard Huell and Brock.  Given that Brock has already faced near death, he is unlikely to get attacked a second time, right?  Huell is big and resilient, but if Saul lives, it might just be due to Huell's heroic efforts to sacrifice his life for his client.  Oh, that's right, he is not quite the Secret Service kind of guy.  Kelsey had an excellent draft.
  • Wendy chose Hank and Skinny Pete.  Wendy is known for her risk-taking (I knew who she dated in high school), and choosing Skinny Pete was a very big gamble.  Again, drug dealers in a drug war end up drug dead.  Hank is an interesting choice because the series could easily have Hank take down Walt, but, of course, the show would really be breaking bad if the cop gets killed along the way.
  • Sara went with Marie and Walt, Jr, hoping that innocent bystanders get to stand by innocently.  However, one can easily imagine Walt or Hank being targeted and killing both Marie and Walt Jr at the same time--as in car bomb.  So, this is an all or nothing kind of approach, typical of Sara given how she plays tennis.
  • Matt went with Old Joe, which made a heap of sense.  That kind of comic relief does not get killed easily, but Lydia?  She is dead woman walking.  She is so unreliable and untrusted that she will die.
So, the early Vegas take on the winner of this competition is:
Rob is the favorite at 3-2
Sara at 4-1
Brandon is also 4-1, mostly on the basis of the spinoff possibility (which could be a feint by the BB producers)
Chip and Caitlin are 7-1
Kristy is at 10-1 as are Mark, Kelsey.
Rodger is 20-1 (screwed by a strange email twist of fate--I got the email he sent at 6pm last night this morning at 10:20)

Wendy is at 15-1 as Vegas does not like Hank's chances.
Will is the longest of long shots at 40-1.

Noah is off the board with no info on the second choice
And don't blame me--I am just reporting the the Las Vegas Hilton's sports book's numbers.

Thanks for an entertaining evening.  If folks want to draft rules for the BB drinking game, use the comment section below.


Brandon Valeriano said...

When they announced the spin off they did say it could be a prequel, so I am aware of that. Just makes the whole thing more interesting. As for the car wash guy, I did not pick up on the whole issue of someone having to appear, guess that pick was wasted.

Sara said...

Here's hoping Kaylee makes no appearance. Steve Gomez was my other pick but in the end, I went with Walt Jr instead :-)

Rodger A. Payne said...

Looking at the draft thread, I'm pretty sure I should have received Brock in the first round. Even though I was late, I posted my pics before Kelsey selected him. I guess it's too late to complain, but the email delay was only one part of the problem.

Steve Saideman said...

Rodger, you are right, I messed up. Let me think about how to fix this.

I still don't know why your email took 16 hours to get to me....

Rodger A. Payne said...

Don't worry about it. I will just have to root for Gretchen to reappear (perhaps with the cancer back, she will). They promise to resolve loose ends.

I'm gambling Lawson will be alive after he sells another gun -- and then we never see him again.