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Virtual Fantasy or Semi-Virtual Game? You Choose

English: Logo for Diamond Kings fantasy baseba...

Poker strategy comes into play in semi-virtual leagues. . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What makes fantasy baseball more real than unreal? By competing in leagues consisting of people that you know and actually interact with in person as well as online.

Typically, we’re talking friends, friends of friends who become new friends, and coworkers. You draft together in one room, where you can keep an eye on one another. This makes the game more engaging. Poker and chess strategies come into play, especially if it’s an auction draft.

There’s almost always a tell with most of the guys and gals in your league. And there’s always smack talk. Sometimes guys go too far, which can be attributed to the long, intense hours together. Even the most mellow dude can lose it in this type of pressure cooker.

Turning to the strictly online game

…There are some advantages. The completely virtual game is less emotional and requires considerably less investment of ego. Plus most all-online games allows you and your competitors to remain anonymous.

These factors free you to make bolder trades and more frequent free agent moves simply because you usually don’t have as much ego involved. On the other hand, if you play high stakes fantasy online, that’s a far different story, and a tale for telling another time.

Back to the subject at hand…

…Sure, you may talk smack via the online game’s message board or chat room, but it just doesn’t carry the same satisfaction as one-upping a guy/gal in person, perhaps over beers while watching a baseball game on the tube or at a ballpark.

In my case, I’m competing in both virtual and semi-virtual leagues this season. And the 100 percent online game just doesn’t carry the same level of excitement. That’s okay. I spend considerably less time on the online league.

Another plus:  the online competition helps me sharpen my fantasy skills, across the board. Should also strengthen your game. Theoretically, this should assist me with the in-person, buddies league. Not the case this year. My draft was less-than-stellar. And my free agent pickups have been mostly mediocre.

Alas, it’s just not my year in the semi-virtual league. Way too much reality to contend with. At the same time, my all-online league performance has been promising.

The only other time I played in two leagues was about 16, 17 years ago, and both leagues were up close and personal. Drafting was exhausting. One league drafted on a Saturday and the other drafted the very next day. Both were auction leagues. Never do that again.

However, I plan to again compete in an online league next season into addition to the buddy league. There will be one huge difference: I will draft in the online league BEFORE the semi-reality league draft. In theory, this should help contend for that ever-elusive championship in the all-too-real buddy league.


Check out my new novel, High Stakes Fantasy—An Alternative Reality Sports Thriller:  www.createspace.com/3825436