The Moneyshot: Its Suntory Time!

    Want to skip the chatter and get right to the Moneyshot game? Click here and scroll down to the bottom. No? Glad to hear it – read on.

Cheers to the New Faces of Sumo & Stogies

Last basho, something wonderful happened in Sumo & Stogies.  Somebody I don’t know hosted and gave me hope that Sumo & Stogies will continue on with new mugs staring sans smile through the cigar smoke, a whiskey in hand and the sounds of sumo in the background.

Over the past month, with Sumo off the air and little else to occupy my spare thoughts, I have been thinking about what gives someone that Je Ne Sais Quoility necessary to thrive in Sumo & Stogies.  With a few exceptions, all the fellows I have known through Sumo & Stogies came to their first basho knowing almost nothing of Sumo, many came feeling distrustful of this stuff called whiskey, and at least a few smoked their first cigar in our company.  Many times, the first Sumo & Stogies basho has been a bit of a mess, this is especially true for some of our most illustrious current members.

That Je Ne Sai Quoility

So what is that Je Ne Sais Quoility that defines a Sumo & Stogies Gentleman?  Well, I’ve thought on this and the answer is simple: persistence.  Those Gentleman who have shown staying power simply kept coming time and time again.  They also showed up at the bashos and eventually hosted a basho.

I bring this up to make my point clear and drive it home.  Sumo & Stogies is not about expert sumo analysis (though you will find some damn fine expert analysis on this site).  Sumo & Stogies is about deciding to love sumo in whatever way you choose (so long as that way includes cigars and hopefully whiskey) and then being unashamedly persistent about it.

This post is addressed to all the new members of Sumo & Stogies.  Its a flat out challenge, and the challenge to you is this: follow this basho like you’ve never followed a basho before, and make your debut with comments on the site here.  This is both a challenge to the newer members of Sumo & Stogies and an invitation to our wider audience as well.  Towards this end, we are introducing the Moneyshot this basho: a game befitting the quality of sumo we have been seeing recently.

The Suntory Time of Sumo

As anyone who has watched sumo for long enough to remember Asashoryu will know, and as the rest of you will soon find out, it is a tough time in the history of sumo to learn to love it.  The current era of sumo is to sumo as Suntory is to whiskey – but I’ll tell you what, the first bottle of whiskey I ever drank was a bottle of Suntory Special Reserve that I thought had been left to me as a present, but which had in fact been left to me because Valentine didn’t want to touch the bottle.  I drank that bottle – spit half of it out, to tell the truth – and I love whiskey these days: so it must be possible to learn to love sumo even if it is the Suntory time of sumo.

Now, it would seem that the current path to promotion is to suck less (or appear to suck less) than everyone else.  Well, if that is the path, we had best embrace it.  I’d like to introduce the Moneyshot Bet: a game where we predict who is going to suck less this basho.

The Moneyshot

The rules are simple: choose a makuuchi rikishi who got a makekoshi (won 7 or less bouts last basho) and predict publicly, in a comment following this post, that that rikishi will kachikoshi (win 8 or more bouts this basho).  In order to have a chance at winning, your rikishi must get a kachikoshi this basho.

How to get points towards winning:  On each day of the basho, your rikishi will fight another rikishi.  You need to look up the last five bouts these two have fought together.  For each loss your rikishi got against the other rikishi in the last five bouts they fought, your rikishi gets a point.  The maximum number of points your rikishi can get on a given day is 5.  The reason your rikishi get points for losing is because this is a measure of difficulty of schedule.  Keep track of your rikishi’s difficulty of schedule points over the course of the basho.

How to win:  There are two types of victory in this game.  If you are too lazy to keep track of difficulty of schedule points – you can call yourself a winner if your rikishi gets a kachikoshi.  Pat yourself on the back if this is the case, because no one else will care.  The other way of winning is to choose the rikishi who 1) gets a kachikoshi and 2) has the most difficulty of schedule points.

Nitpicker’s guide:  1) If two rikishi both get kachikoshis and have the same number of difficulty-of-schedule points, the rikishi who won more bouts wins.  2) Yes, you can pick a rikishi someone else picked – I mean… how are we going to stop you?

The list of rikishi you can choose from (and if you are new to Sumo, I suggest choosing at random):

Toyonoshima – covered by Screeching Owl

Miyabiyama – covered by Hida


Takekaze – covered by Chris

Okinoumi – covered by de Gama

Goeido – covered by Tobermory

Kitataiki – covered by McCarthy

Takayasu – covered by Nigel

Homasho – covered by Briton-Meyer

Toyohibiki ー covered by Connolly

Aoiyama – covered by Daily

Daido – somewhat covered by Inoko

Fujiazuma – covered by Xenwall

Takanoyama – Covered by Montana

So, if you dare, let us know who you think will get their kachikoshi. (If you don’t know how to figure out difficulty of schedule points – tell us who you think will get their kachikoshi anyhow – better to be half way in than not in at all). Also, check out the banzuke for the coming basho to help you make your pick.

18 responses to “The Moneyshot: Its Suntory Time!

  1. And let me just throw my hat in: who else would I choose? Of course, I’ve got Homasho.

  2. Toyonoshima. He’s the best of this lot by a lot and he’s just out of range of the sanyaku, barring injury (and exluding Kotooshu and Kotoshogiku). Elevator up!

  3. Lurker coming out of the woodwork here……

    I`ll take Takayasu. He make-koshi`d with 6-9 during the Hatso basho, BUT, that was because he was in the Maegashira-Jin band (“meat-grinder”) of the banzuke. This time he is Maegashira 7 and I think he`ll kachi-koshi.

  4. I can’t play until after the fantasy draft this weekend! It would tip my hand too much.
    But I CAN say that my stable held over THREE from this list on the expectation that they all get their 8 (or better please) this time around …

  5. Another woodwork-lurker and relative novice here:
    I’ll take Goeido. He had some good wins at Hatsu, and I think that he’ll perform well at M6.

    By the way, can I still play if I’m a Lady and not a Gentleman? (Okay, I’m not much of a Lady either, but anyway…)

  6. What matters is that Je Ne Sais Quiolity – if you have it, you’ll play; if you don’t, you won’t: permission doesn’t figure in. Goeido, is it? Good luck to you!

  7. I think I’ll take Okinoumi. Maybe he can make my flacid spirit nice and erect for this basho.

  8. I was hoping to take Takayasu but it is all gravy. Literally all gravy because I am taking a rather large side of Aoiyama. Kid is going to put it back together this basho.

  9. For people who are entirely new to Sumo, pick a name at random, and then find out what happens. You’ll learn a lot about Sumo.

    For people who are fairly new to Sumo, I wouldn’t worry too much about the DoS score. Just pick a rikishi you think will get 8 wins in the next basho and then feel the exhilaration as you get to know that rikishi better over the coming tournament.

    For people who are looking to win the Moneyshot flat out, here is something to think about as you choose your rikishi: if a rikishi dropped in rank a lot from the previous basho (say from M1 to M10), their DoS score is going to be low, but they will probably kachikoshi. On the other hand, if a rikishi dropped in rank just one (say from M1 to M2), Their DoS score is going to be high, but they will have difficulty getting their kachikoshi.

    The key to winning Moneyshot flat out is to find the balance: if the DoS is too high, the rikishi will makekoshi and you will lose. if the DoS is too low, the rikishi may kachikoshi, but someone else who backed a rikishi with a higher DoS will win.

    So, if you know your sumo well, don’t just pick the rikishi you think is best. Pick the rikishi you think is placed on the banzuke at the perfect rank: the rank that is just low enough to allow the rikishi to kachikoshi, but the rank that is high enough that will pit that rikishi against opponents who are difficult to beat.

  10. Put me down for Hibby so!

  11. Throw me down for Takanoyama while you’re at it.

  12. This is what I get for waiting too long to post. I was going to pick up Takanoyama, but what’ll ya do. Turns out what you’ll do is throw your money behind the hard bet of Fujiazuma. He’s going to have a long road ahead of him this basho but I think he showed enough spunk last time to where if he gets his head in the game he could pull it off. Here’s hoping!

  13. Kitataiki for me.

  14. I’d like to play even though I won’t be able to watch this time–off to Europe for the grand tour to celebrate 25 years of marriage–yep I’m that old. I’ll take Daido–he seems like a good guy with plenty of potential, busted down to M12 he should kachikoshi pretty easily.

    Are you making point adjustments for yaocho bouts?

  15. Put me down for Miyabiyama. If he’s going to fall from komusubi to M9, he BETTER make his eight this month.

  16. I’m too late to play my card, I had to wait until my brother and I had our fantasy draft last weekend. But I will say this about my predictions for these guys and how they sculpted my stable …

    I held Homasho and Aoiyama over from my January stable. I knew they would rank down and I knew they would come back. I see Homasho at 10 and Aoiyama at 9 or 10.

    My first draft pick was Goeido, and my second pick was Okinoumi. They cost me $12 of my $100 salary cap and I expect 19 wins from them for it.

    I also drafted Takekaze and Daido to be “alternates” – they might get 8 – they might get 5.

  17. Hajinochikara

    We do still need eyes on Takekaze, if you’re interested, Chris… also, it really is ok to root for a rikishi who is already covered by someone else. The main goal for Moneyshot is not so much to claim a victory over everyone else as it is to root for a rikishi you might otherwise have forgotten about (hence our focus on rikishi who got a makekoshi last basho). The fun in Moneyshot is the commentary that I hope will unfold on each of our daily update pages. So, if you want, put your name next to a rikishi, even if that rikishi is already covered by someone else.

    • I can go with Takekaze – to keep things singular. If this is a basho where he turns into the “Frustrating Little Toad-Man” I think he might even bust out 9.

      Takekaze always makes me think of the movie “Little Mad Guy” – a badly dubbed 80s kung-fu flick with quite a humorous main character who at some point grabs someone’s “little eggs.”

      Clip I could find – – but you really need to find the VHS to get the full story …

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