Best ever contestants

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Phil Reynolds » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:24 am

David Barnard wrote:It's definitely a god thing
I thought we'd agreed to stop talking about Easter.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Charlie Reams » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:23 pm

David Barnard wrote:It's definitely a god thing we are calling each other by our full names, I want to seem like I have good manners so the formal approach definitely has worked on this occasion so I shall call you by your full name from now on, feel free to do the same back to me
Who is this post addressed to :?: :?: :?:

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jason Larsen » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:01 pm

I'm wondering the same thing Charlie!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by David Barnard » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:14 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:
David Barnard wrote:It's definitely a god thing we are calling each other by our full names, I want to seem like I have good manners so the formal approach definitely has worked on this occasion so I shall call you by your full name from now on, feel free to do the same back to me
Who is this post addressed to :?: :?: :?:
My good friend (who I have never met in person) Jason Larsen

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jason Larsen » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:22 pm

David

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:14 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:
David Barnard wrote:It's definitely a god thing we are calling each other by our full names, I want to seem like I have good manners so the formal approach definitely has worked on this occasion so I shall call you by your full name from now on, feel free to do the same back to me
Who is this post addressed to :?: :?: :?:
Jason Larsen wrote:I'm wondering the same thing Charlie!
You two obviously have very similar traits.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jason Larsen » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:47 pm

All right, I'll believe you Gavin!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by David Barnard » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:40 pm

Jason Larsen wrote:David
Hi Jason, I'll stop the full name nonsense now, thanks for the day of madness :D

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jason Larsen » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:06 am

You're welcome

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:39 am

Oh how we larfed. :)
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by David Barnard » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:15 pm

Ian Volante wrote:Oh how we larfed. :)
That's what it's all about :)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:56 pm

Jason Larsen wrote:I don't like to be called Jason William. If I ever applied to go on Countdown I would tell Nick Hewer my name is Jason Larsen and not Jason William
Seems like David Barnard bluffed that out of you. He didn't even know.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jason Larsen » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:34 pm

Yes Gavin

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by David Barnard » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:54 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jason Larsen wrote:I don't like to be called Jason William. If I ever applied to go on Countdown I would tell Nick Hewer my name is Jason Larsen and not Jason William
Seems like David Barnard bluffed that out of you. He didn't even know.
Oh ok I get the real reason why you are laughing now, but I usually call people by their user names haha

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:53 pm

Phil Reynolds wrote:
David Barnard wrote:It's definitely a god thing
I thought we'd agreed to stop talking about Easter.
Lol'd at this.


Wow, the tangent this thread has gone on is tedious. I'm starting to long for some arseholey comments from Corby to liven it up, to be honest.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:14 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Phil Reynolds wrote:
David Barnard wrote:It's definitely a god thing
I thought we'd agreed to stop talking about Easter.
Lol'd at this.


Wow, the tangent this thread has gone on is tedious. I'm starting to long for some arseholey comments from Corby to liven it up, to be honest.
Yeah, I was tempted and wussed out, as you see above.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by David Barnard » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:17 pm

If Andy Platt got on the show I would nominate him, he whooped me on apterous

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jason Larsen » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:31 pm

At one time, they did plug the application process frequently. I don't know about now

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:53 pm

I imagine that this thread will see renewed activity some time soon!

Edit - If either Jack Hurst or Edward McCullagh win, then I think it would be hard to see past the winner for all-time greatest.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:08 pm

Now obviously whoever wins the 30th Birthday tournament thing is going to have a reasonable claim on being the greatest, but obviously some are in better starting positions than others. When Graham Nash won his CofC, he still wasn't considered by everyone to be the greatest even out of that CofC, because other players had been consistently better, and his game against Julian Fell was really his one major highlight.

That was the sort of reasoning that made me say that if Jack Hurst or Ed McCullagh won, then it would be hard to see past the winner - they already have the unbeaten record and consistently high scores. However, if Jack or Ed were to win, people might still argue that players Conor and Innis are still better at the game, but I don't think we can really consider Apterous performances here.

There are some other players who aren't so highly thought of to begin with and might be considered a Graham Nash if they were to win. But even if they didn't have a massively brilliant record at the start of the tournament, then convincing games here could still work in their favour (Paul Gallen style).

So the GOAT argument could swing heavily towards one player or it could create even more debate depending on who wins and how convincingly they win it.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Anthony Endsor » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:20 pm

I think after today's performance, we may have a new name in the top 5 wouldn't you say? :)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:20 pm

You didn't put Kirk in top 5 anyway?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Andy Platt » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:18 pm

Kirk's always been in my top 5 ;)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Mark Deeks » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:31 pm

Where's the thread for most doable contestants?
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by James Robinson » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:36 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:Where's the thread for most doable contestants?
There's no reason why you can't create one yourself, Deeksy. ;) :idea:
WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE!!!
UP THE MIGHTY TERRIERS!!! ;) :) :D :mrgreen: 8-)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Mark Deeks » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:41 pm

It's cocky to start threads about yourself, though.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Matt Morrison » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:13 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:It's cocky to start threads about yourself, though.
Oh my god you think James is the most doable. Me too.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Kirk Bevins » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 am

Matt Morrison wrote:
Mark Deeks wrote:It's cocky to start threads about yourself, though.
Oh my god you think James is the most doable. Me too.
Anyone else see that as the most albedo?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Charlie Reams » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:05 am

Matt Morrison wrote:Oh my god you think James is the most doable. Me too.
Again, cocky. But I agree.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Matt Morrison » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:54 am

:( for Kirk. :) for Charlie

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:28 pm

PLEASE, if I've got anything wrong here, I'm sorry, and if anyone gets offended by not being in my elite top 16 or not being high enough, then I'm sorry!

Countdown All-time ranks

My elite 16...

96.295 Jack Hurst
95.645 Craig Beevers
94.095 Kirk Bevins
92.275 Stewart Holden
91.925 Oliver Garner
91.247 Coner Travers
91.099 Ed McCullagh
90.929 Julian Fell
89.985 Paul James
89.745 Jack Worsley
89.605 Harvey Freeman
89.437 David O'Donnell
89.182 Paul Gallen
89.125 Graham Nash
89.050 Eoin Monaghan
88.597 Johnathon Rawlinson

The score is a percentage of matches won (not including some older matches from before the contestant was 'world-class'), coupled with percentage of the total maximum points achieved - again, these percentages don't included older one-off matches like Kirk Bevins' early loss, and - for example - Conor Travers v. Chris Wills nonsense 'special'.
Other things to note: I've not included Nyman's controversial 'win' over Harvey Freeman, and Paul James' early loss.

Interesting things to note:
Jack Hurst, Craig Beevers, Stewart Holden, Oliver Garner, Jack Worsley and Graham Nash are all unbeaten (so far...), with 75 wins out of 75 between them!
For the sake of the ranks and for the reasons stated above, Kirk Bevins, Paul James and Harvey Freeman score 100% in the win category.
All of the top 16 - as you would expect - are Octochamps.
Only two have had 100% perfect games - six have had 99% games - five 98% games - and only Oliver Garner, Paul James and Graham Nash have not managed a 98%+ game
13 Series Champions, and three runners-up.
Six players who competed in Champion of Champions', three of them winners, and three losers!
...and only Graham Nash and Harvey Freeman have won the Series and Champion of Champions' 'double' - with Freeman obviously winning the unique 'treble'.

In total these elite 16 contestants have won an AMAZING 213 games from 220

The seven players who have beaten the group of players above are:
Paul Gallen (13th on the list)
Jonathon Rawlinson (16th)
Graham Nash (14th)
Steve Briers (36th)
Mark Tournoff (25th)
Jack Hurst (1st)
Jack Worsley (10th)
Last edited by Dave Preece on Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:29 pm

PS

This doesn't include today's televised game - which I've yet to watch!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:57 pm

Bevin!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:35 pm

Ooops!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Ryan Taylor » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:45 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Ooops!
I'll just elaborate on the post above Dave in case you start to think that this forum is full of pedants who scrutinise every move. It is a recurring joke that people get Kirk's name wrong all of the time. In newspapers, TV, online you name it, they get his name wrong. So you actually unwittingly just fitted right in on c4c by also typing "Bevin" and I know that Matt will have done a little chuckle to himself when he spotted this! :)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:46 pm

Unfortunately, 'chuckle' is another c4c euphemism.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:42 am

Any more typos or mistakes in my ranking list; or is someone actually going to make comments on its content?
Last edited by Dave Preece on Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:42 am

Sheesh... Tough crowd!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:21 am

In the harsh 'World-Class' Countdown world that is my 'elite top 16', as good as Jack Worsley was yesterday, his first round slip-up in his 30th Birthday Championship quarter-final game with Jon O'Neill and eventual loss, puts him out of my elite top 16 and moves Octochamp, series champion and champion of champion: Don Reid into the top 16...

FYI, Jon O'Neill is currently ranked 32nd... and rising, with 81.987 points!!!

96.2950 Jack Hurst
95.6450 Craig Beevers
94.0950 Kirk Bevins
92.2750 Stewart Holden
91.9250 Oliver Garner
91.2472 Coner Travers
91.0988 Ed McCullagh
90.9286 Julian Fell
89.9850 Paul James
89.6050 Harvey Freeman
89.4367 David O'Donnell
89.1817 Paul Gallen
89.1250 Graham Nash
89.0495 Eoin Monaghan
88.5967 Johnathon Rawlinson
87.5588 Don Reid

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:41 am

Where's Frank Mulvey?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:23 am

So your metric is percentage of games won * percentage of total maximum points achieved. The shortcomings of this metric are:

- It rewards players who pussied out of their Champion of Championses and never faced the highest level of competition (e.g. Holden, Beevers) and therefore never risked their 100% record.
- The percentage of total points available penalises a player too much for disallowed words or rounds where they were beaten by their opponent. Also it is too heavily weighted towards conundrums, where missing 10 points is as easy as missing 1 letters point. Something like % of rounds maxed is much better for this purpose.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:26 am

Dave Preece wrote:these percentages don't included older one-off matches like Kirk Bevins' early loss, and - for example - Conor Travers v. Chris Wills nonsense 'special'.
That seems quite subjective. Couldn't you write off Mark Deeks octorun or Jack Worsley or Jonathan Rawlinson's whole original series because when they came back they were massively better? This is another weakness of such a deterministic approach.

Anyway this conversation might as well wait until this time next week.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:58 am

If you're going to make three consecutive posts, can you at least refrain from posting your face in each and every one of them?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:02 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Dave Preece wrote:these percentages don't included older one-off matches like Kirk Bevins' early loss, and - for example - Conor Travers v. Chris Wills nonsense 'special'.
That seems quite subjective. Couldn't you write off Mark Deeks octorun or Jack Worsley or Jonathan Rawlinson's whole original series because when they came back they were massively better? This is another weakness of such a deterministic approach.

Anyway this conversation might as well wait until this time next week.
This is an interesting point. I was saying before that if Jack Hurst or Ed McCullagh won, they'd be in a better position than the others to be considered the greatest. But if the winner of this plays to a higher level than either of these players did in their original series, does that really matter? I think it's in some way aesthetically more pleasing to have an unbeaten all-time great, but if someone like Innis or Conor wins with their Apterous-level of play then why can't they be the greatest? Plus Conor won his series anyway - he just didn't win the CofC.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:58 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:Where's Frank Mulvey?
Frank only scored 69.64% + his 100% wins, this only just gets him inside top 30!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:03 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:So your metric is percentage of games won * percentage of total maximum points achieved. The shortcomings of this metric are:

- It rewards players who pussied out of their Champion of Championses and never faced the highest level of competition (e.g. Holden, Beevers) and therefore never risked their 100% record.
- The percentage of total points available penalises a player too much for disallowed words or rounds where they were beaten by their opponent. Also it is too heavily weighted towards conundrums, where missing 10 points is as easy as missing 1 letters point. Something like % of rounds maxed is much better for this purpose.
100% agree mate, but how would you do it, I was just messing with the stats, after being inspired by all these GREAT players play in this GREAT comp. What would be the BEST way of compiling a fairer ranking list Jon, in your opinion?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:09 pm

I suppose you could rank loads of KPIs (say the most effective 5 or 10, like wins, % wins, average points etc etc), then score points for 1st to nth in each list from the top to the bottom, then add up all points from all lists and this may be more accurate?

Come on your statos and number=bods - How would you compile the most accurate ALL-TIME contestants' ranking list?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:19 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:...players who pussied out of their Champion of Championses and never faced the highest level of competition (e.g. Holden, Beevers) and therefore never risked their 100% record.
LOL - both funny and controversial.

It's obvious there must be a few players like that, but do you reckon Beevers really pussied out? I'm obviously not 'in-the-know' but he isn’t a bad player - is he?

;-)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:40 pm

I don't think you would do a list purely on stats anyway. Greatness is more complex and subjective than that.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:19 am

Exactly, Gevin. There's also a distinction to be drawn between "best" and "greatest".
Dave Preece wrote:It's obvious there must be a few players like that, but do you reckon Beevers really pussied out? I'm obviously not 'in-the-know' but he isn’t a bad player - is he?
I was being 75% facetious - I think he and Holden are too focussed on Scrabble to compete at an elite level in Countdown. They were both great in their series, but neither of them ever actually beat anybody close to their own standard which, IMO, is one aspect of greatness.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:10 am

Fair play.

Maybe a list of all the so-called GREATEST or BEST players, then a percentage rank on games played against each other in the 'elite list'?

I think BEST and GREATEST is hugely subjective, but like most seeding and ranking systems (FIFA WORLD Football coefficients spring to my mind), there are VERY GOOD and bad ones.

How about trying to do some sort of apterous or 'chess grand-master' or even FIFA type system applied to REAL LIFE countdown games?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:32 pm

Best? Travers.

Greatest? Freeman. Fell. Travers.

Lock it up.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:59 am

I presume we're allowed spoilers in here.

For me, Conor is both the best and the greatest. The best certainly - there's no question really. As for greatest, I'll evaluate a few claims.

Harvey Freeman obviously achieved greatness in the earlier days, and pretty much was the greatest before the Fell era. You could argue that the lower standard shouldn't count against him because there was no Apterous etc. in those days and he was the best there was with what they had, so chances are he would have also been pretty great with Apterous. However, although he won the Supreme championship, I cannot help but think he somewhat fluked it. He was a good player and everything, but based on the tournament as a whole, Allan Saldanha was much better than him, and he scraped through on a lot of crucial conundrums. His performances weren't massively strong. However, that performance along with his series and CofC wins was enough to make him the greatest overall at that point and for many years after, but Conor won this tournament by being the best, and that's a better way to win.

Allan Saldanha himself achieved a very high standard but never won anything. But you could argue that his supreme championship form was the best before Julian Fell. I'd have to check maxes and stuff though.

When Graham Nash won the CofC with Julian Fell (and still remains unbeaten), I wouldn't have called him the greatest, because other than the match against Julian, there weren't particularly great performances from him.

Nic Brown was unbeaten too, but didn't participate in the supremes, and like Nash his wins probably weren't the best ever.

As for Julian himself, he is the player who really raised the standard to what we see today. And I was surprised to find that he still has the second most maxes from his octochamp run and his whole series, just one max behind Ed McCullagh in both. So yes, he was the first player to really challenge Harvey Freeman as the all-time great. But greatness is about achievement as well skill, and I think losing in the quarter finals of the CofC against Graham Nash counts against him, even though he was the best, especially since today's best (Conor) went the whole way in the 30th birthday tournament. Also, had he not retired, he could have competed in the 30th Birthday tournament and made his claim again. I'd say Conor is greater than Julian.

There are a few other players who looked like they could have become the all-time great at some point. Scott Mearns won his series and CofC unbeaten, and although at that point he hadn't done enough to really surpass Harvey Freeman, he was right up there, until he lost to Natascha Kearsey in a CofC winner special.

Mark Nyman was the only player to beat Harvey Freeman (in a Masters game) and he won his CofC and the CofCofC against Clive Freedman, but he didn't win his series, and his scores and max rate weren't that great, even compared to other early top players, including Freeman.

Even Chris Wills looked a possibility at one point. He won his series with an average of over 110, in arguably the most convincing series win at that time, but was surpassed by Julian Fell the very next series, and has since lost several games.

Paul Gallen was brilliantly impressive when he won his CofC, knocking out Conor along the way, and was unlucky not to achieve a max game in the final. But he didn't win his series, in which he was good but not great, and his retirement from the Countdown scene stopped him from doing enough (i.e. he wasn't in the 30th birthday thing). And let's not forget that when he beat Conor, it was on a crucial, and based on Conor's two tournament wins, Paul can't be considered the greater player.

Craig Beevers also had a brilliant series, but retired before the CofC that he would have been favourite for, and hasn't done enough especially considering now that we've had this recent tournament. Stewart Holden is similar, although I'd say his series performance was slightly less good than Craig's.

Ed McCullagh has the most maxes from his octorun and his series and was one of the few unbeaten players going into the 30th birthday tournament. But a surprise defeat in his first round game at the hands of Jonathan Rawlinson ended it for him.

And of course Jack Hurst. Also unbeaten at the start of the tournament with a very impressive series win, which included the record octochamp total. He then carried on his winning streak to make the final. You might have thought that he was in pole position to be the greatest of all time at that point, but because of the superiority of Conor's performances, a win from Jack would have actually left more question marks than a win from Conor. Jack would have been unbeaten, but considered the worse player. But when Conor actually did win, although he'd been defeated previously, Jack was obviously defeated by Conor in this game anyway, so there was no counter claim from Jack.

Anyone I've missed?

David Barnard
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by David Barnard » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:19 am

I think this thread is closed now, 85/90 maxes in that tournament from Conor, just staggeringly brilliant

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:45 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I presume we're allowed spoilers in here.

For me, Conor is both the best and the greatest. The best certainly - there's no question really. As for greatest, I'll evaluate a few claims.

Harvey Freeman obviously achieved greatness in the earlier days, and pretty much was the greatest before the Fell era. You could argue that the lower standard shouldn't count against him because there was no Apterous etc. in those days and he was the best there was with what they had, so chances are he would have also been pretty great with Apterous. However, although he won the Supreme championship, I cannot help but think he somewhat fluked it. He was a good player and everything, but based on the tournament as a whole, Allan Saldanha was much better than him, and he scraped through on a lot of crucial conundrums. His performances weren't massively strong. However, that performance along with his series and CofC wins was enough to make him the greatest overall at that point and for many years after, but Conor won this tournament by being the best, and that's a better way to win.

Allan Saldanha himself achieved a very high standard but never won anything. But you could argue that his supreme championship form was the best before Julian Fell. I'd have to check maxes and stuff though.

When Graham Nash won the CofC with Julian Fell (and still remains unbeaten), I wouldn't have called him the greatest, because other than the match against Julian, there weren't particularly great performances from him.

Nic Brown was unbeaten too, but didn't participate in the supremes, and like Nash his wins probably weren't the best ever.

As for Julian himself, he is the player who really raised the standard to what we see today. And I was surprised to find that he still has the second most maxes from his octochamp run and his whole series, just one max behind Ed McCullagh in both. So yes, he was the first player to really challenge Harvey Freeman as the all-time great. But greatness is about achievement as well skill, and I think losing in the quarter finals of the CofC against Graham Nash counts against him, even though he was the best, especially since today's best (Conor) went the whole way in the 30th birthday tournament. Also, had he not retired, he could have competed in the 30th Birthday tournament and made his claim again. I'd say Conor is greater than Julian.

There are a few other players who looked like they could have become the all-time great at some point. Scott Mearns won his series and CofC unbeaten, and although at that point he hadn't done enough to really surpass Harvey Freeman, he was right up there, until he lost to Natascha Kearsey in a CofC winner special.

Mark Nyman was the only player to beat Harvey Freeman (in a Masters game) and he won his CofC and the CofCofC against Clive Freedman, but he didn't win his series, and his scores and max rate weren't that great, even compared to other early top players, including Freeman.

Even Chris Wills looked a possibility at one point. He won his series with an average of over 110, in arguably the most convincing series win at that time, but was surpassed by Julian Fell the very next series, and has since lost several games.

Paul Gallen was brilliantly impressive when he won his CofC, knocking out Conor along the way, and was unlucky not to achieve a max game in the final. But he didn't win his series, in which he was good but not great, and his retirement from the Countdown scene stopped him from doing enough (i.e. he wasn't in the 30th birthday thing). And let's not forget that when he beat Conor, it was on a crucial, and based on Conor's two tournament wins, Paul can't be considered the greater player.

Craig Beevers also had a brilliant series, but retired before the CofC that he would have been favourite for, and hasn't done enough especially considering now that we've had this recent tournament. Stewart Holden is similar, although I'd say his series performance was slightly less good than Craig's.

Ed McCullagh has the most maxes from his octorun and his series and was one of the few unbeaten players going into the 30th birthday tournament. But a surprise defeat in his first round game at the hands of Jonathan Rawlinson ended it for him.

And of course Jack Hurst. Also unbeaten at the start of the tournament with a very impressive series win, which included the record octochamp total. He then carried on his winning streak to make the final. You might have thought that he was in pole position to be the greatest of all time at that point, but because of the superiority of Conor's performances, a win from Jack would have actually left more question marks than a win from Conor. Jack would have been unbeaten, but considered the worse player. But when Conor actually did win, although he'd been defeated previously, Jack was obviously defeated by Conor in this game anyway, so there was no counter claim from Jack.

Anyone I've missed?
A good read, well summed up and very accurate, I'm going to get this 'Hall of Fame' thing off and running from Monday!

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Adam Gillard
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Adam Gillard » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:26 pm

Jennifer Steadm - ZOMGSPOILERZ!
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

C1: SIGNATURE (18) ["9; not written down"]
C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

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Jennifer Steadman
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:36 pm

Adam Gillard wrote:Jennifer Steadm - ZOMGSPOILERZ!
BEST ever contestants, Gilly, not SEXIEST ever (future) contestants.
proud tiara owner and annoying publicity person who tells you to click links to the the FOCAL website.

(and also to my TRAVEL BLOG)

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Mark Deeks
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Mark Deeks » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:09 am

Conor is not only the best player there has ever been, but he's the best player there can ever be. You can't be better than that. fin.
Eoin Monaghan wrote:
He may not be liked on here, but you have to give some credit to Mark

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Matt Morrison
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Matt Morrison » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:15 am

If you're going by what they were like when they were on the show I fail to see on what basis you could place Conor as high as 2nd. I don't think you could point to a patch of games and say he was particularly exceptional there.

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Andy Platt
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Andy Platt » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:27 am

Depends what the question means really because in terms of the best standard Countdown has ever been played to, then we saw that in this tournament from Conor.

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