Best ever contestants

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Gavin Chipper
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:30 am

Graeme Cole wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:14 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:15 pm
It can take years of studying CSW in order to win the WSC.
I studied the ODE for ages. Where's my Duke of Edinburgh award?
That's really good. I was considering making some stupid comment but I'm glad I didn't now.

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Marc Meakin
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:08 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:14 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:15 pm
It can take years of studying CSW in order to win the WSC.
I studied the ODE for ages. Where's my Duke of Edinburgh award?
Presumably, it must take some skill to unlearn words from one dictionary before studying a new one
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

Owen Carroll
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Owen Carroll » Sat May 26, 2018 11:31 am

1: Dylan Taylor
2: Zarte Siempre
3: Conor Travers
4:Kirk Bevins
5: Chris Davies
6: Julian Fell
7: Craig Beevers
8: Jack Hurst
9: Giles hutchings
10: Jen Steadmen

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Elliott Mellor » Sat May 26, 2018 11:59 am

Owen Carroll wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 11:31 am
1: Dylan Taylor
2: Zarte Siempre
3: Conor Travers
4:Kirk Bevins
5: Chris Davies
6: Julian Fell
7: Craig Beevers
8: Jack Hurst
9: Giles hutchings
10: Jen Steadmen
I think the list of players is more or less similar to mine, but I wouldn't put them in that order. Be interesting to hear your logic for this order (if they indeed were in order here). :)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Owen Carroll » Sat May 26, 2018 12:47 pm

I wasn't going in order completely. That was an accident. And I didn't see your list

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Elliott Mellor » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:49 pm

Zarte surely has to be considered amongst the all the time greatest now...

Gavin Chipper
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:18 pm

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:49 pm
Zarte surely has to be considered amongst the all the time greatest now...
Yes, but with a CoC coming up fairly soon, it's not worth coming up with a new list until then.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Owen Carroll » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:23 pm

Zarte and Philip definitely make it in my opinion!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tom S » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:25 pm

Owen Carroll wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:23 pm
Zarte and Philip definitely make it in my opinion!
With all due respect to Philip, and whilst he is a great player and one who is of a much better ability than myself, I would not personally count him as one of the best of all time.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Elliott Mellor » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:45 pm

Tom S wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:25 pm
Owen Carroll wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:23 pm
Zarte and Philip definitely make it in my opinion!
With all due respect to Philip, and whilst he is a great player and one who is of a much better ability than myself, I would not personally count him as one of the best of all time.
If he wins COC, then I'd possibly be willing to consider him up there - but largely yeah I agree with this sentiment. His 2 losses in his series are sort of going to hinder him in this field, even if they were to Zarte.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tom S » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:33 pm

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:45 pm
Tom S wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:25 pm
Owen Carroll wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:23 pm
Zarte and Philip definitely make it in my opinion!
With all due respect to Philip, and whilst he is a great player and one who is of a much better ability than myself, I would not personally count him as one of the best of all time.
If he wins COC, then I'd possibly be willing to consider him up there - but largely yeah I agree with this sentiment. His 2 losses in his series are sort of going to hinder him in this field, even if they were to Zarte.
Agreed- and he definitely deserves to be at CoC

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:39 pm

It's a real shame Scott Mearns was never invited back for the 30BC.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Owen Carroll » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:47 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:39 pm
It's a real shame Scott Mearns was never invited back for the 30BC.
Maybe he was and rejected his invitation. Julian fell did

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:57 am

Owen Carroll wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:47 pm
Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:39 pm
It's a real shame Scott Mearns was never invited back for the 30BC.
Maybe he was and rejected his invitation. Julian fell did
I don't think people were invited as such. I think they had to put their names forward. This ended up largely being people from the online Countdown community and the Scrabble community because they were the easiest groups to reach in the short amount of time available. I think it would have been nice if the production team had made an effort to try and contact a few people in particular even if they weren't doing the whole thing with invitations - people like Scott Mearns, Harvey Freeman and Allan Saldanha would be people they might have wanted to hunt down.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Owen Carroll » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:21 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:57 am
Owen Carroll wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:47 pm
Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:39 pm
It's a real shame Scott Mearns was never invited back for the 30BC.
Maybe he was and rejected his invitation. Julian fell did
I don't think people were invited as such. I think they had to put their names forward. This ended up largely being people from the online Countdown community and the Scrabble community because they were the easiest groups to reach in the short amount of time available. I think it would have been nice if the production team had made an effort to try and contact a few people in particular even if they weren't doing the whole thing with invitations - people like Scott Mearns, Harvey Freeman and Allan Saldanha would be people they might have wanted to hunt down.
Good theory

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Countdown Team » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:22 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:57 am
I don't think people were invited as such. I think they had to put their names forward. This ended up largely being people from the online Countdown community and the Scrabble community because they were the easiest groups to reach in the short amount of time available. I think it would have been nice if the production team had made an effort to try and contact a few people in particular even if they weren't doing the whole thing with invitations - people like Scott Mearns, Harvey Freeman and Allan Saldanha would be people they might have wanted to hunt down.
We invited people to put their names forward. We had no idea who was still keen on playing Countdown after all those years, and due to the data laws, we didn't have the details of many ex-contestants any longer.
Some cited the clash with OSW and the ODO as an obstacle, and others had simply moved on and found a different path in life. As for the 'effort' from the production team, you post as though you're aware of exactly what we did do and who we contacted, when in reality, you're clueless.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:07 pm

Countdown Team wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:22 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:57 am
I don't think people were invited as such. I think they had to put their names forward. This ended up largely being people from the online Countdown community and the Scrabble community because they were the easiest groups to reach in the short amount of time available. I think it would have been nice if the production team had made an effort to try and contact a few people in particular even if they weren't doing the whole thing with invitations - people like Scott Mearns, Harvey Freeman and Allan Saldanha would be people they might have wanted to hunt down.
We invited people to put their names forward. We had no idea who was still keen on playing Countdown after all those years, and due to the data laws, we didn't have the details of many ex-contestants any longer.
Some cited the clash with OSW and the ODO as an obstacle, and others had simply moved on and found a different path in life. As for the 'effort' from the production team, you post as though you're aware of exactly what we did do and who we contacted, when in reality, you're clueless.
Well, sorry if I've misrepresented what you did, but I seemed to remember you saying previously that you didn't contact people individually.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Countdown Team » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:12 am

Not having email addresses and mobile numbers for contestants who last appeared in the mid-90s doesn't constitute a lack of effort from the production team. Most of our data was obsolete, but we contacted whoever we were able to get hold of at the time. Believe it or not, people moved house in that 30-year timespan, phone numbers changed and email and mobile weren't invented. :roll:

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Rhys Benjamin
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:40 pm

To be honest, I can see both points of view here. Not that that helps.
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Gavin Chipper
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:24 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:12 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:I'll go for this ten contestants thing, even if it hasn't proven popular so far. In chronological order of first appearance:

Mark Nyman
Harvey Freeman
Allan Saldanha
Don Reid
Graham Nash
Julian Fell
Paul Gallen
Conor Travers
Jack Hurst
Edward McCullagh

Some quite tough choices here. Mark Nyman is included because although he didn't win his series, he did win the CofC, and then the CofCofC against Clive Freedman before following it all up by beating Harvey Freeman in that legendary Masters game. His scores and max rate weren't that high compared to today's players, but judging by the standards of the day, he's certainly worthy of inclusion. Allan Saldanha didn't win a tournament but reaching the final of the Supreme championship with arguably the best form anyone had ever shown up to that point was probably the main factor for me. Edward McCullagh's inclusion is primarily based on his series, where he achieved more maxes than anyone else (in his octorun and the whole series), but he did also then beat Graeme Cole in the champions special, making him a mini CofC winner. Although he lost his first game in the 30th birthday tournament, it was on a tiebreak conundrum.

Nic Brown and Scott Mearns were both octochamps, series winners and CofC winners, so it might seem tough not to include them, especially when you could argue that Don Reid and Graham Nash achieved largely the same and are included. I put Graham Nash in because he was in what was probably the best CofC up to that point, and had to beat Tom Hargreaves, Julian Fell and Chris Wills to win it. Nic Brown didn't feature in the Supremes (I've heard rumours it was to protect his unbeaten record), and his scores weren't as high as some of the others anyway. According to Graeme's stats, Scott and Don both had the same number of maxes in the octoruns (although I don't think he's done the stats for xicount 9-rounders) and it's very tough to split them, but I'm actually going to give it to Don based on the tiebreak that his only defeat was on a tiebreak. So he never lost in a "full game" (like Edward McCullagh).
This was my last top ten greatest player list. Looking at it now, some of those players are in a far more fragile position than others. Edward McCullagh was on the list because he had the highest maxes of any xicount at the time (which might actually still be the case), but he was only marginally ahead of Julian Fell anyway, and others have had higher max rates and not won a series, or done it in a champions' tournament. Now that he's longer ago, I don't feel the need to include him so much. Also, Don Reid and Graham Nash are likely to fall away with other new great players. The ones likely to stay are those who took the game to new levels or won more than anyone else.

Also, I'm actually inclined to include Helen Grayson now. She didn't win anything (but neither did Allan Saldanha), but it was really her rather than Harvery Freeman who upped the game in terms of max rates. She arguably took it to a new level and was perhaps unlucky not to win her series or be invited (or did she decline?) to a CoC.

And what of the players since the 30th birthday championship? Well, I think I probably would include Dylan Taylor now after that performance, but I don't think any of the others have done enough for inclusion in the top 10 ever. So in chronological order:

1. Helen Grayson
2. Mark Nyman
3. Harvey Freeman
4. Allan Saldanha
5. Graham Nash
6. Julian Fell
7. Paul Gallen
8. Conor Travers
9. Jack Hurst
10. Dylan Taylor

I know I haven't put them in order of greatness, but it would be too arbitrary. But Conor would be top definitely and probably Harvey Freeman second.
I thought I'd wait a bit after the CoC finished before updating this, partly in case of spoilers, and also to let the dust settle and think about it. Basically from the recent CoC, only Zarte would make an all-time top ten list. Obviously there were loads of great players, but none of the others have achieved enough to make the list. Obviously I've now got to get rid of someone from the previous list. And it's quite tough.

Did Helen Grayson really do enough to warrant a place on this list? She didn't actually win a championship, but she did set the standard in terms of percentage of max in her run, which I believe wasn't beaten until Julian Fell came along.

Allan Saldanha also didn't win any tournaments. He was the "boy wonder" of course with his great octorun at the age of 10. He also made it to the final of the supreme championships, losing only to Harvey Freeman, despite actually being the more convincing player throughout the tournament.

Graham Nash won his series and the CoC unbeaten, but then so did Nic Brown, Don Reid and Scott Mearns, and they're not on the list. Graham did, however, beat arguably the three top players in the CoC on the way though - Julian Fell, Tom Hargreaves and Chris Wills. Graham's performances overall weren't as convincing as some other players', but his game against Julian was obviously the highlight.

Paul Gallen didn't win his series, but then did win his CoC, beating Conor Travers on the way and was generally very convincing throughout. He was only a good player during his series, but a great one when the CoC came.

Looking at this list, most of the players on there set new standards in some way, in terms of scoring or winning or just general playing standard, and I think the one who does that least on my current list is Graham Nash. So that's the tough decision right there. But of course I might change my mind in a later list and put Graham back on, like how Helen Grayson previously came out of the past to make my list. Anyway, in chronological order as before (I've counted Zarte as before Dylan):

1. Helen Grayson
2. Mark Nyman
3. Harvey Freeman
4. Allan Saldanha
5. Julian Fell
6. Paul Gallen
7. Conor Travers
8. Jack Hurst
9. Zarte Siempre
10. Dylan Taylor

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