Best ever contestants

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Mark Deeks
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Mark Deeks » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:36 pm

Matt Morrison wrote: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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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tom » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:26 pm

I think if anyone was going to do a brilliant critique of this it was gonna be you Gevin, awesome post!

After the final, I would consider Conor to be the greatest player and I always considered him to be an ultimate champion; winning a series at 14 and then coming back to win this tournament. Although he did have one defeat in his C of C, I don’t think it stops him from being the greatest. Likewise if Jack had won, I would have said he was the greatest too in being a series winner, unbeaten throughout and statistically the greatest player ever.

Some great names mentioned there. Although in the 80’s and 90’s there was no Apterous and therefore I guess less resources to practice with, Harvey was a great player for the time and I personally think its a shame he wasn’t involved in the tournament as it would have been great for him to come back and have the opportunity to be both Supreme and 30th birthday champion. Comparing standards, I don’t think his skill level then was as great as the standard now and transferring his skill into the tournament I would say having looked at his games in the past would probably have reached around the 1st or 2nd round of the
30th Champs tournament.

As for Scott Mearns, I was a massive fan of his as I’d been watching regularly for about a year when he broadcast and he was the first player I remember which made you think “wow I wish I could play like him” To me he seemed like a player with a 100% natural aptitude at the game who just came in, sat down and did the business by pretty much destroying everything that came his way; I don’t believe he would have been on the same level as a lot of the players in this tournament and I would say his skill level would have been that of about an 840-860 scoring Octochamp.

Chris Wills is another great player with a 100% natural ability and was a fantastic all rounder. Not only that but he had an ability to come up with new words on the show that weren’t obscure either. When he beat me in his series final, from memory he’d averaged around 110 points a game which is great even now, but has probably been beaten several times since. I would say Scott and Chris in my mind would be contenders for the best players with an all round abilities and natural aptitudes.

With Julian Fell, Richard Whiteley said he was the best player ever at the time and I think had he won his C of C, there would have been no question about who had been the greatest and only now would the topic of greatest be brought up for discussion.

From what I’ve heard and read Craig and Paul were both extremely good and on their day maybe could have been contenders to win the 30th tournament had they been in it. I’ve heard they are both top scrabblers which might mean the reason they didn’t participate?

Once again, I believe Conor is the greatest and when you’re considering the best players of all time there’s lots of factors to take into account. Series winner at 14, coming back to the scene several years later possibly being out of practice at the time, scoring maxes in all bar a few rounds and winning the tournament when the standard has no doubt been at its best.

TH
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:28 pm

Matt Morrison wrote: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.
Is that a Beevers quote? Sounds very familiar without bothering to check.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Matt Morrison » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:03 pm

In 1!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:34 pm

Eating and words spring to my mind?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon Corby » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:37 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Eating and words spring to my mind?
and burgers and hotdogs and cakes and crisps and biscuits

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:19 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Dave Preece wrote:Eating and words spring to my mind?
and burgers and hotdogs and cakes and crisps and biscuits

:mrgreen:
OUCH!
:o :o :o

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Who would you put in your...

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:13 am

...Countdown Hall of Fame?

PLEASE help me do this, it wont take too long...

I realise we are going over old ground, but I'm new to this site, but have watched the show for ever! the 30th Birthday Series has inspired me to do this, but I've wanted to do something like this for the last decade or more...

OK, pick ten Countdown contestants who deserve a place in YOUR Hall of Fame, when enough of us have picked, I'll compile an unofficial COUNTDOWN HALL OF FAME. Your picks can be the best or the greatest in your eyes, the unbeaten contestants, the one's who have won the most, the one's who performed brilliantly, anything you like - providing that you GENUINELY think they deserve a place in the COUNTDOWN HALL OF FAME!!!

You can list yours in order of rank or in no order whatsoever, hope you can help me compile what could prove interesting?

Dave

;-)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:44 am

Kezra Shakir
Denise McHale
Anna Sarre
Louise Bambury
Sarah Duncan
Heather Badcock
Catherine Jackson
Marie Hayden
Anna Woodward
Kate Richardson

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Kirk Bevins » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:06 pm

Tom wrote: From what I’ve heard and read Craig and Paul were both extremely good and on their day maybe could have been contenders to win the 30th tournament had they been in it. I’ve heard they are both top scrabblers which might mean the reason they didn’t participate?
Not many people (including Craig and Paul) are going to beat someone who is maxing games by getting the conundrum in 0.5 second, or indeed 13/14 maxes (a la the final) then nailing the conundrum instantly. Virtually unbeatable that tournament.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:19 pm

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).

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Clive Brooker » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:36 pm

I'll have a go as well. I'm basing this to a large extent on subjectivity; people who in my judgment have had the most profound impact on the game and the way it's played nowadays:

Richard Whiteley
Mark Nyman
Harvey Freeman
Scott Mearns
David Williams
Julian Fell
Stewart Holden
Jon O'Neill
Conor Travers
Charlie Reams

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by David Williams » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:35 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:I'm basing this to a large extent on subjectivity; people who in my judgment have had the most profound impact on the game and the way it's played nowadays:
I wasn't going to bother with this one, but I really like that definition. So here's mine.

Mark Nyman
Harvey Freeman
Chris Wills
Julian Fell
Craig Beevers
Kirk Bevins
Conor Travers
Damian Eadie
Charlie Reams
Mike Brown

The first seven all took performance to a different level to anything seen before. The last three were all successful contestants, but that's not why they make my Hall of Fame.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:11 pm

Good work guys, can we have any more please???
Last edited by Dave Preece on Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:35 pm

David Williams wrote:
Clive Brooker wrote:I'm basing this to a large extent on subjectivity; people who in my judgment have had the most profound impact on the game and the way it's played nowadays:
I wasn't going to bother with this one, but I really like that definition. So here's mine.

Mark Nyman
Harvey Freeman
Chris Wills
Julian Fell
Craig Beevers
Kirk Bevins
Conor Travers
Damian Eadie
Charlie Reams
Mike Brown

The first seven all took performance to a different level to anything seen before. The last three were all successful contestants, but that's not why they make my Hall of Fame.
I'm not sure that Kirk or Craig actually did take performance to a different level, relative to Julian Fell and Paul Gallen in particular who went before them. And Chris Wills probably wasn't any better than Harvey Freeman or Allan Saldanha at their respective peaks - certainly not a different level anyway.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by David Williams » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:32 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
David Williams wrote:
Clive Brooker wrote:I'm basing this to a large extent on subjectivity; people who in my judgment have had the most profound impact on the game and the way it's played nowadays:
I wasn't going to bother with this one, but I really like that definition. So here's mine.

Mark Nyman
Harvey Freeman
Chris Wills
Julian Fell
Craig Beevers
Kirk Bevins
Conor Travers
Damian Eadie
Charlie Reams
Mike Brown

The first seven all took performance to a different level to anything seen before. The last three were all successful contestants, but that's not why they make my Hall of Fame.
I'm not sure that Kirk or Craig actually did take performance to a different level, relative to Julian Fell and Paul Gallen in particular who went before them. And Chris Wills probably wasn't any better than Harvey Freeman or Allan Saldanha at their respective peaks - certainly not a different level anyway.
It's subjective. I never saw Mark Nyman or Harvey Freeman, who seemed to me great but fallible. Chris Wills was a step up in that he got the same sort of words as I did, but never seemed to miss anything, and at the time had the highest scores ever. Julian Fell was a step up because he was just as consistent but also got words I'd never heard of, and gave the distinct impression that he'd memorised the dictionary. Craig Beevers was a step up because he was also just as impressive on the numbers, and could have scored even higher than he did if he hadn't played safe a good bit for tactical reasons. Kirk Bevins was a step up because he was the first to get to a level where a max game became a serious possibility, and Conor Travers was a step up because with him the max game is a probability. Others may have outscored my choices, but I'd still see them as operating at the same level rather than going to a different one. It's all opinion, but these are the ones who've had the biggest impact on me.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:43 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
I was thinking that when these "great" lists comes out, normally you'd base it on some combination of skill when they were on and success. If it was purely on success, I'd probably go for:

Mark Nyman
Harvey Freeman
Nic Brown
Wayne Summers
Don Reid
Natascha Kearsey
Scott Mearns
Graham Nash
Conor Travers
Jack Hurst

Mark Nyman and Natascha Kearsey were the last to be put in here. I picked Mark Nyman because although he didn't win his series, he won the CofC and then also the CofCofC against Clive Freedman. Natascha Kearsey, similarly, and she also avenged her only defeat (against Pete Cashmore) in the CofC. Other than Jack Hurst, the rest all won their series and CofC (or 30th Birthday Championship), but Jack did make the final of that after winning his series.

If it was purely on skill when they were on (at their peak), I don't think I'd go for anyone before Julian Fell. I'd go for:

Julian Fell
Paul Gallen
Jon O'Neill
Conor Travers
Craig Beevers
Chris Davies
Kirk Bevins
Jack Hurst
Edward McCullagh
Jonathan Rawlinson

This one was very tricky actually, because it's very hard to split people in the 30th Birthday Championship and it looks like I've ended up partially basing it on success anyway. For example, it's not as if Innis Carson was less skilful than most of these players, but I suppose he didn't get the chance to display it properly and I'm having to base it on that. It's interesting how Innis has been the man for years on Apterous, but has ended up a nearly man on the show.

Interestingly, only Conor Travers and Jack Hurst have made all three lists.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:45 pm

David Williams wrote:[Kirk Bevins was a step up because he was the first to get to a level where a max game became a serious possibility
I suppose this is the main bit I'd take issue with. He was certainly the first to make a max game an actuality (in the 15-round era), but I don't think he was playing any better than Craig Beevers or Paul Gallen at the time, and they certainly could have maxed a game, but just happened not to.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:50 am

I'm producing a three list-list like Gavin, just finishing mine off, and when we have a few more serious lists, I'll compile a list of potential 'Hall of Fame'-ers to the CountdownTeam and hopefully they can get this up and running???

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Andy Platt » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:05 am

I think you are too into this, why not just make an unofficial site like Dave's Countdown Hall of Fame or something and leave it at that

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Chris Philpot » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:45 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
David Williams wrote:[Kirk Bevins was a step up because he was the first to get to a level where a max game became a serious possibility
I suppose this is the main bit I'd take issue with. He was certainly the first to make a max game an actuality (in the 15-round era), but I don't think he was playing any better than Craig Beevers or Paul Gallen at the time, and they certainly could have maxed a game, but just happened not to.
Didn't Conor have a 14-max game during his initial run, only missing the very tricky PERSONAE+S?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Innis Carson » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:11 pm

Chris Philpot wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
David Williams wrote:[Kirk Bevins was a step up because he was the first to get to a level where a max game became a serious possibility
I suppose this is the main bit I'd take issue with. He was certainly the first to make a max game an actuality (in the 15-round era), but I don't think he was playing any better than Craig Beevers or Paul Gallen at the time, and they certainly could have maxed a game, but just happened not to.
Didn't Conor have a 14-max game during his initial run, only missing the very tricky PERSONAE+S?
Apparently he missed ARMHOLE and EARHOLE in another round that game, making it a mere 13 maxes.

Interestingly though, Grace Page got an often-overlooked 14-maxer in Series 48, and it would have been well within her capability to max the round she missed. So it's not like max games have ever been entirely out of the question, just pretty unlikely. Were there any other 14-maxers prior to CoCXII, Graeme?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:42 pm

Andy Platt wrote:I think you are too into this, why not just make an unofficial site like Dave's Countdown Hall of Fame or something and leave it at that
Hey you can't knock keenness mate?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Chris Philpot » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:16 pm

Andy's right, Dave, but in a good way. I miss the days when everyone had personal websites, before Facebook and Twitter made it so that any old dimwit could have a corner of the internet for themselves. Martin Gardner used to have an interesting site, Nebagram.co.uk was full of useful info (if you didn't mind having your retinas seared)…

Don't get me wrong: the centralised information about Countdown available on the wiki and database is awesome, but there's certainly a niche you could fill there Dave. :)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Matt Morrison » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:43 pm

I think Dave's only problem is that he's got a large overlap with ground that has already been covered, and with the special tournament just gone, a lot of it pretty recently. Bad timing mainly.
Of all the places I frequent on the Internet, C4C is probably the least appropriate location to deride someone for being "too into this"!!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:59 pm

Cheers Matt, it's obviously beyond some people to help though?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:17 pm

It's really difficult to compile a list though if you haven't been watching for a significant amount of time. You can look at the stats, sure, but without context in which to couch it in - or a general feel for what the average contestant would be achieving at the same time - I, and probably others too, would be reluctant to include contestants who were 'before their time'. If you're trying to compile an all-time list then clearly that's going to be a massive hindrance.

I think it would be more interesting to know who people's most memorable/inspirational contestants have been, anyway. I just don't really get the appeal of 'greatness'.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:54 am

My 10 nominees for the unofficial Countdown Hall of Fame:

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

(In alphabetical order)

Some greats, some high scorers and some of the best champions!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jojo Apollo » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:33 pm

Craig Beevers
Kirk Bevins
Innis Carson
Julian Fell
Harvey Freeman
Paul Gallen
Edward McCullagh
Mark Nyman
Allan Saldanha
Conor Travers

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:38 pm

Thanks Jojo!

;-)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Thomas Carey » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:45 am

I guess if everyone's doing it...

My top 13 (Probably skewed towards 30BC, but meh):

1 Conor Travers
2 Kirk Bevins
3 Jon O'Neill
4 Jonathan Rawlinson
5 Paul Gallen
6 Edward McCullagh
7 Craig Beevers/Jack Hurst
9 Grace Page
10 Chris Davies/Jack Worsley
12 Innis Carson/Julian Fell
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:22 am

Hey, good work Thomas!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:23 am

Come on boys and girls, how come no others have good opinions?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Adam Gillard » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:50 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Come on boys and girls, how come no others have good opinions?
All right, you've twisted my arm. Here are my top 5 (totally subjective):

1) Tanmay Dixit
2) Tanmay Dixit
3) Tanmay Dixit
4) Edward McCullagh
5) Conor Travers
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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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jojo Apollo » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:28 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Thanks Jojo!

;-)
No probs, Dave, keep up the good work. :) My list (alphabetical order) was based on a mix of the greats and who I most struggled to compete with during their runs/peaks, whilst playing along at home, no scientific analysis involved, just my inbuilt spidey sense of who are the best 10. ;)

It would be nice to see the personal top tens of some of those on most of the shortlists, no need for modesty here, name yourself if you want. ;)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:58 pm

Adam Gillard wrote:
Dave Preece wrote:Come on boys and girls, how come no others have good opinions?
All right, you've twisted my arm. Here are my top 5 (totally subjective):

1) Tanmay Dixit
2) Tanmay Dixit
3) Tanmay Dixit
4) Edward McCullagh
5) Conor Travers

Haha!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:01 pm

Jojo Apollo wrote:
Dave Preece wrote:Thanks Jojo!

;-)
No probs, Dave, keep up the good work. :) My list (alphabetical order) was based on a mix of the greats and who I most struggled to compete with during their runs/peaks, whilst playing along at home, no scientific analysis involved, just my inbuilt spidey sense of who are the best 10. ;)

It would be nice to see the personal top tens of some of those on most of the shortlists, no need for modesty here, name yourself if you want. ;)
This is half the problem, Some feel they are in their own top 10, but are too modest to say! Maybe? Maybe not?

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:12 pm

Would Giles now feature in anyone's lists?

Not mine... (yet)!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:05 pm

I was thinking I might do a top ten for players that have never won a championship. Anyone else can join in too!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Colin Northmore » Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:35 pm

Hi, newcomer on here, nice to meet you guys.

Just a couple of points - not all the names are familiar to me, but of those I have seen:
Scott Mearns was formidable (I recall back in the day, Richard W commenting that he got all the maxima in his audition)
In more recent years, Craig Beevers was outstanding, was Jeremy Handsford not the guy who pressed for the conundrum and used the few seconds to try to work it out; is this not gamesmanship? I believe was it des O'Connor at the time said sorry if you can't give me the answer straight away, i'll have to pass it on. It was from googling Craig that I got into on-line scrabble (6 years ago) and tournaments this last year.

The recent 30 years CoC was of an immense standard - Conor was amazing, as was Jack, Jon O'Neil and others. The speed of the conundrums was outstanding (and had continued with such as Andy Platt and Jen)

Finally, whether said in jest, or in seriousness about the scrabble players (Mssrs Holden, Gallen, Beevers, Nyman)" couldn't be assed to compete", or "chickened out", or "shame on you", then shame on you! Scrabble is their main love, Mark was 1993 WORLD champion, the other guys of Grandmaster and expert status. The difference in the 2 source dictionaries doesn't make it worth competing - such as Darryl Francis and Barry Grossman (high ranking Scrabble players) were on the 30th CoC and a few times declared "better words" but they were scrabble, not countdown words and were therefore ineligible. The fact is they (the scrabblers) know too many words, and cannot simply "unlearn" those not eligible for Countdown.

Horses for courses - so many great wordies out there! :)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:32 am

OK, after several months of collating data and running all sorts of different ways of compiling an all-time ranking list of Countdown contestants (some were way-out and included names that very few regard as the best and some were quite accurate with the names you'd expect at - or near - the top, but with others unusually high or low...).

I have stumbled on my best way of ranking the all-time best contestants:

This all-time ranking list is compiled using the following data:

% of total max available, games played, % of games won, highest score and highest game max %.

As I've said above no other way I've tried ranking contestants has come anywhere near the accuracy (in my opinion - and I realise all opinions are subjective) of this ranking list.

Please feel free to suggest other ways of statistically ranking contestants, especially ones that produce such accuracy, based on the 6/7 pages above of people's suggestions as to who their best ever contestants are in their opinion!

The all-time top 5 in order:

Conor Travers
Jack Hurst
Julian Fell
Harvey Freeman
Craig Beevers

The rest of the top 10:

Stewart Holden
Dylan Taylor
Jen Steadman
Giles Hutchings
Chris Davies

...and the rest of the best, all in rank order:

Kirk Bevins
Glen Webb
Mark Tournoff
Paul Gallen
Ed McCullagh
Scott Mearns
David O'Donnell
Graham Nash
Jack Worsley
Don Reid
Nic Brown

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:47 pm

Well I'm glad that's settled.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:28 pm

Yeh, me too!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:36 pm

Lock it up mods.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Kirk Bevins » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:26 pm

11th. Ouch

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:03 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:Lock it up mods.
Yeah defo, wouldn't want any more accurate or more interesting ranking lists or views now would we?
Last edited by Dave Preece on Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:09 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:11th. Ouch
Yeah, defo should be above Chris (at least IMO), but no lists are 100%, this list doesn't take specials (as you obviously beat Chris in a special) into account AND it's scoring Chris's higher on his highest score - even though yours was a MAX, which did scored you more points!!!

As I say no list will be 100% accurate, but I'm pleased with my work, if Jon isn't!!!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Tom » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:29 pm

I think the top 3 is pretty much spot on and Harvey should also be in the top 10 no question about that but at his best would he have beaten people like Kirk or Innis? I wouldn't be overly confident. Kirk in my opinion was the second best player in the 30th tournament and has a supreme word knowledge and overall ability so I think he should definitely make top 10.

You've put players in the top 10 who whilst very good players haven't even played their series finals yet or in a major event like a C of C so I'm not sure you can fully justify their inclusion that high up. O'Donnell I think should be ranked slightly higher (not just because I lost to him!) but the fact he beat Chris Davies who on his day I thought could beat anyone. Mark Tournoff, also a great player with a natural ability but I don't think had the same levels of word power as the top top players and was one of quite a few players in the 30th BC who got defeated in games where the gulf in ability between very good and top Apterites showed and probably in my view ranked slightly too high.

By and large though it's a pretty good hall of fame you've compiled. Kudos! :)
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:29 pm

Thanks Tom, as I say, it is all about, the key performance indicators I listed above, if any other indicators will make it more accurate without losing the top players where they should be then or course they should be included, but I found whilst compiling, that if you add certain indicators in, it compromises the top 3 - which to be fair are probably the most accurate part...

The new players will only get higher if they (a) keep winning and (b) keep their 92% average up, which they probably wont (well, the next champion might)...

Any suggestions to make this more accurate are more than welcome...

Cheers again ;-)

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:39 am

Dave Preece wrote:Any suggestions to make this more accurate are more than welcome...
You can start by telling us how this one was compiled.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by James S Roper » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:13 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Dave Preece wrote:Any suggestions to make this more accurate are more than welcome...
You can start by telling us how this one was compiled.
Like

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:19 am

My scoring system used (which for the record was the 16th different system I have tried over the last few months):

Firstly all contestants must have been some sort of champion to qualify and all stats are taken only from championship games and not specials etc, etc.

Formula:

% of max + games played + % of games won + % of high score compared to 146 + best individual game % of max

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:38 pm

Dave Preece wrote:My scoring system used (which for the record was the 16th different system I have tried over the last few months):

Firstly all contestants must have been some sort of champion to qualify and all stats are taken only from championship games and not specials etc, etc.

Formula:

% of max + games played + % of games won + % of high score compared to 146 + best individual game % of max
When you say they must have been "some sort of champion", what exactly does that mean? You have people who haven't yet featured in a quarter final, so do you just mean a regular daily champion - someone that's won a teapot?

The main problem is that your system is completely arbitrary. It seems to me that you have your own idea of what the list should look like (you have a mental top ten or something), and then you've tried out lots of arbitrary formulas until you found one that sort of matched. So it's a complete fudge.

If that is what you've done, I'd be surprised if it turned out to be the "best" system once we have a few more greats.

It also seems rather pointless to do that. If you have a mental top ten anyway, why not just present them as your top ten, rather than try and make them fit into a formula? The problem with greatness is that it's quite an abstract and subjective concept. Do you base it on outright success? Someone's skill when they were on the show? Is that the highest level of skill they attained, or the average level of skill across their run? People can base it on all these things and more but how you weight the categories is just subjective judgement. Yeah, I suppose you can try and come up with a formula that fits quite well how you personally judge things, but categories such as "% of high score compared to 146" suggest a fudge. The test would be how well it worked for future data. Anyone can fudge a formula for a small amount of existing data.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:18 pm

Gratified as I am to be considered (by this ranking scale anyway) to be the 8th best player ever, I'm afraid I'm going to have to be ungrateful and quibble. But you did want feedback, so here it is:

1 - I do agree that myself and Dylan (and Glen?) should probably be omitted until the end of the series, partly on account of your 'champion of some kind' criterion.
2 - Not sure what purpose '% of highest score to all-time highest score' serves. While some of the top players have got 146, or neared it, it's more proof of a high-scoring available max in a game than anything else. After all, some players never have that sort of luck with letters (the venerable Mr McCullagh, for example, never in 13 games had an available max of more than 132, which would hugely affect his rating on your system; I think the same is true for Jack Worsley, who's been very unlucky with available 9s). So I don't really think that's a good factor.
3 - Personally I would include maxes/120 as well (or out of however many rounds they've played), as it's sufficiently different from overall max percentage and also in my opinion one of the best ways to determine the best players.
4 - Are you including in your '% of games won' stats players who have returned? If so - while I don't doubt Glen is a top player now, I'm not sure how he ranks above so many others when he's lost 1/6 of his games to date (I believe). I guess this would also affect Kirk's stats but he's played more games than Glen and still only lost twice (to my knowledge - would verify all this but am on my phone and tabs are cumbersome on it).

I accept that there's no way of making a perfect ranking system, though I'm still not really sold on the need for a definitive top 10 best players ever. But they're the changes I'd make personally.
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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:39 pm

Cheers, the max/120 is defo a better way.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:40 pm

Champs + top seeds still in the hunt for this current series, sorry!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:46 pm

What other key 'key performance indicators' should be used in all you opinions?

Number of maxs
% of max I feel is a must
Games played is also to ensure % of max isnt a fuke
% of games won surely should also be there

What else???

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Dave Preece » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:49 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Dave Preece wrote:My scoring system used (which for the record was the 16th different system I have tried over the last few months):

Firstly all contestants must have been some sort of champion to qualify and all stats are taken only from championship games and not specials etc, etc.

Formula:

% of max + games played + % of games won + % of high score compared to 146 + best individual game % of max
When you say they must have been "some sort of champion", what exactly does that mean? You have people who haven't yet featured in a quarter final, so do you just mean a regular daily champion - someone that's won a teapot?

The main problem is that your system is completely arbitrary. It seems to me that you have your own idea of what the list should look like (you have a mental top ten or something), and then you've tried out lots of arbitrary formulas until you found one that sort of matched. So it's a complete fudge.

If that is what you've done, I'd be surprised if it turned out to be the "best" system once we have a few more greats.

It also seems rather pointless to do that. If you have a mental top ten anyway, why not just present them as your top ten, rather than try and make them fit into a formula? The problem with greatness is that it's quite an abstract and subjective concept. Do you base it on outright success? Someone's skill when they were on the show? Is that the highest level of skill they attained, or the average level of skill across their run? People can base it on all these things and more but how you weight the categories is just subjective judgement. Yeah, I suppose you can try and come up with a formula that fits quite well how you personally judge things, but categories such as "% of high score compared to 146" suggest a fudge. The test would be how well it worked for future data. Anyone can fudge a formula for a small amount of existing data.
Yeh you're so of right, but I was only trying to 'engineer' Julian Fell in the top 5, which in a large percentage of Countdown fans' eyes is accurate, but getting Fell near the top of a stat driven ranking list is hard without having obvious lower ranks up there too!

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:26 pm

Dave Preece wrote:What other key 'key performance indicators' should be used in all you opinions?

Number of maxs
% of max I feel is a must
Games played is also to ensure % of max isnt a fuke
% of games won surely should also be there

What else???
You could just have one of % of max score and % of max rounds. They do measure slightly different things though. People seem to prefer rounds but according to this, scoring 0 is as good as one of the max. % of score may show consistency.

Whether or not they won tournaments is a big thing for me - extra points generally the further you reach in a tournament rather than just simply % of games won, although you can include that as well if you want. I wouldn't give someone extra points just for having played more games. I would only include people that had at least completed their series anyway, so there's enough data. You have to also consider the weighting of all of these things, and how best to combine them - e.g. adding or multiplying.

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Re: Best ever contestants

Post by Jon O'Neill » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:22 pm

I've got a good system. You get 1,000 points for being one of Conor Travers, Julian Fell, or Harvey Freeman. If you're anyone else you lose 10,000. I haven't done the calculations yet myself, but it'd be interesting to see how the leaderboard looks.

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