Paddy Power’s Last Man Standing is the ultimate football survival game. It’s back for what promises to be the most exciting Premier League season since… last season.
Last Man Standing is exclusive for Paddy Power customers and the rules are simple, so even Jermaine Pennant could understand.
It starts with you picking the winner of one Premier League match each week. If your selection wins you progress to the next week. Lose or draw and you’re out. A key point is that you may not pick the same team to win more than once during the tournament (unless the tournament progresses past 20 weeks). More on the rules here.
To kick things off for the 2012/2013 season here’s some essentials you need to know:
- We’re offering Free Entry this week
- There’s a whopping £/€10k prize fund
- Our ‘free entry special’ gives you free entry to the next tournament if you’re knocked out in week one
- Last Man Standing paid out £75k last season to winners
- There are private tournaments for friends to compete directly against each other
Tips from the Paddy Power Blog ‘How To Stay Standing’
Whether it be in a nuclear apocalypse situation or in a friendly contest of your footballing judgment abilities, being the Last Man Standing is hard. Sadly our only knowledge of battling zombies in atomic Armageddon is limited to Shaun of the Dead, but we may be able to shed some light on how to prosper in everybody’s favourite football survival game.
The first thing to mention regarding tactics is the free entry special, which gives you free entry to the following tournament if you are knocked out in week one. This sounds like yet more blatant self-promotion from your favourite trumpet-blowing bookmaker, but essentially this gives you the opportunity to have a bit of a punt and use one of the weaker teams you have to without a huge amount of risk.
As you’re only allowed to pick each team once over the course of a tournament it’s natural for people to go for the better teams in the earlier rounds. It’s understandable. They’re the safer bets. Why ignore them in favour of doing something as risky as saying you’re married at a Giggs family dinner?
Safe choices are fine, but what it means is when results go to form, you get large numbers of people progressing to the next round. That could happen for a few weeks and then you’re forced to start taking a few risks. Make the most of the free entry special and get one of those unreliable teams out of the way early. If they lose then you get another shot at it next week. If there a couple of big shocks in any given week, you could be quids in for taking more of a risk.
We have already paid out over €75k to winners so maybe having a quick look at how these guys did it will help you come up with your own plan of attack.
Going with the top sides early on is a standard approach, with the big five all being used within the first 10 weeks. Sprinkled amongst these in the early weeks are the Europa Leaguers, Spurs, Villa and Everton. Nothing unusual there.
Nor is there anything particularly surprising in the teams being opposed. The table below shows the combined stats from three recent winners of tournaments which began in the 2011-12 season, lasted either 14 or 15 weeks and finished last season. These were the teams those people identified as the ‘weakest links’ in particular fixtures.
- Aston Villa 6 times
- Stoke 4
- Liverpool 3
- Norwich 3
The tactic of siding with the big teams to win and the small teams to lose seems to be garnering the greatest success. So how do you stand out and get yourself a better chance of winning?
Before you enter a tournament you should have a good look ahead at the fixtures to see if you can spot any potential advantages. Sides like Reading, Southampton and Wigan may not be jam-packed with star names, but they won’t roll over and have their bellies tickled, especially in front of their own fans, even against some of the league’s so-called bigger sides. On the flipside however, they may struggle to pick up points on the road.
You’ll have to pick weaker teams eventually
Keeping an eye on injuries could also help. Teams who are struggling this week due to missing stars may be back to full strength in three or four weeks’ time and instead of taking a risk on them now maybe you can wait until they’re a more sure-fire bet. If you’re thinking of winning then you have to be looking at a minimum of 10 weeks ahead and more likely around the 15 week mark. This means that you’re going to have to start picking teams from the bottom half of the table eventually, so if you see an opportunity to get them out of the way early on then take it.
There’s no definitive tactical plan for this game but a little forethought, an awareness of team’s form, some clever planning and a dollop of luck could keep you on your feet long enough to take the jackpot.