Squares King for The Masters

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The Masters Meets Squares King

Ah, baseball is back, and it’s good to have it, but this weekend is a golfing event that takes a backseat to nothing. The Masters. Whether it’s Jack making that historic charge on the back nine in ’86, Larry Mize’s miracle in ’87, Tiger willing in the chip on the 16th, or Lefty barely clearing a sheet of paper on his victory jump, this tournament has it all. A beautiful course, all the stars, all the drama. How could it possibly get better? By getting together with a few friends and setting up a square, of course.

The Setup of the Square


The first step in this process is to gather a bit of information. Lucky for you, I already looked up everything we need. The first piece of information we need is the current odds from Vegas. The next thing we need is the historical scoring for the tournament.  Having both pieces of information, we can move on to creating the teams, necessary to define the across and down of the square, or boxpool, and then move on to creating a scoring table.

The Teams

Wait, this isn’t the Ryder Cup, there aren’t any teams in The Masters. True, but we are going to take a classic betting line (The Favorite vs. The Field) and use it to create our grid.

From the link above, and in the table below, we see that Dustin Johnson is the favorite, at 5/1 odds. Jordan Spieth is right behind him at 13/2.

Odds for the 2017 Masters

What does this mean? Simply put if you bet $1 on DJ and he won, you would win $5 and if you bet $1 on Jordan, and he won, you would win $6.50. But what does this have to do with setting up the grid? By themselves, nothing, but if you were to make it the favorite (Dustin Johnson) vs. everybody else (The Field) then we would have something. So that’s what we are going to do. We will pit “The Favorite” Dustin Johnson vs. “The Field” everybody else. Which leads us to the scoring.

Setting Up the Scoring Table

Because Squares King already randomizes the numbers for your chosen grid size, either a 5×5 or 10×10, all we have to do is develop an alias table, or as I like to call it a “this equals that” table. I have found the best way to set up a table like this is to do a little research, find the data, and then do a quick analysis and let the data decide how to best group the results. The process is simple. For a 5×5 table we need to create groupings for likely groups of scores for both The Favorite and The Field. For The Favorite we will use the historical winning scores to help us select the groupings and for The Field we will use the historical runner up scores. In the table below, you will see the frequencies of both sets of scores.

Frequencies of scores, The Masters (1934-2016)

Using this data, creating the “This equals That” table is easy. For those of you that are not visual learners by nature. The process is this. We are going to create rational groupings of outcomes for both The Favorite and The Field. For a 10×10 grid, we have to determine ten groupings of scores that are likely to occur and for each grouping we will assign a number (0-9). For example, using the winner’s scores as a guide I would set up the table for a 10×10 grid to look like this:

10×10 Masters Favorite Alias Table

And for the field:

10×10 Masters Field  Alias Table

Before we move on to the 5×5 grid, let’s look at a quick scenario to demonstrate how this would work. In 2016, Jordan Spieth was “the favorite” coming off his great run in 2015 in which he tied Tiger’s Masters scoring record at 18 under par. Danny Willet was a fine, upstanding member of “the field”. It looked like Spieth was cruising toward another green jacket until the quadruple bogey on the 12th hole. When the dust settled Danny Willet or “the field” won with a score of 5 under and Jordan Spieth “the favorite” finished at 2 under. On the Squares King App, it would’ve looked like this:

2016 Masters Example 10×10

It’s important to note, it really doesn’t matter who wins, just the final score for each group.

For 5×5 set up, it’s simply setting up 5 sets of numbers for each instead of 10. For the favorite, it would look like this:

5×5 Masters Favorite

And for the field:

5×5 Masters Field

Game Setup on the App

Now that we have the tables set up, it is simply a matter of setting up the game on the app, inviting some friends to play, play for entertainment purposes only, of course, and then sit back and watch the final round on Sunday. Once the match is over, reference your handy tables and input the score. Simple, I know, but just in case here’s a screen shot of the game set up:

Game Setup Masters 2016

and here’s a screenshot of the score input:

Score Input

You can see that using the 5×5 tables above, I input the scores accordingly and by doing so the winning grid would look like this:

Parting Thoughts

Squares or Boxpools are fun and they are an easy way to add a little excitement to any sporting event. I have always liked them because they keep everyone involved in the game. With all the information provided setting up a squares game for your group of friends should be easy and we hope you now have another way to enjoy The Masters with friends and family.

sources: Masters Website, Vegas Insider

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