I participated in my first live auction draft last night so I wanted to share some things that I learned since this will be a first time for some of you. The draft was for 14 teams, 13 players like ours and lasted nearly 2 hr 45 min, which was getting long. The time limits used were 30 seconds for nomination, and 30 seconds for bid. These are the default settings. The 30 second nomination time is the minimum, so I'll keep that. I'm changing the bid time from 30 to 20 seconds, which will still be plenty of time as any bids in the last 10 seconds resets the clock to 10 seconds, so no one can jus steal a player at the last second. This should reduce the time of the draft my about 30 minutes, so expect the draft to run a little over two hours.
Also, set your player values in advance if you're not going to make it. And at the least check out and change some of the default values at Yahoo! For example, Grant Hill has a value of $33 (under current budget of $200) and Rasual Butler has a value of $20. You don't want to get caught with the wrong player for the wrong amount.
Speaking of that, pay attention. In the draft last night, the first manager nominating decided to throw out Grant Hill since we had some managers on autopck and he wanted to mess around. Our budget was $260 per team, so Hill's Yahoo value was in the 40's. One of the other managers had just logged on and assumed it was Kevin Durant up for bid and ended up with Grant Hill for $55. That pretty much messed him up for the rest of the night. I will say that there were a couple of teams that audopicked for the whole night and they turned out all right for the most part, with a few glitches such as nominating and getting Vlad Rad for $1.
Overall, it was a lot of fun. There is a lot of room for strategy, and getting into bidding wars can be fun but dangerours. I am thinkng about changing our budgets from the default $200 to $260 since I think it's easier to think of the average value being $20. Let me know if you have any opinion on this. I would recommend doing some mock drafts so you get a feel for the system.
Yes, Warriors sold at last!