800 club

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Stuart Earl
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800 club

Post by Stuart Earl » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:27 am

I see there are now 25 of us in the 800 club - but how many should there be if we take into account the scores of the 9 round era on a pro rata basis? I know they haven't scored 800, but what I'm after is the number of people who won all their games before the finals and scored proportionately at the same level as those who in the 15 round era averaged over 100 per game.

Stuart

David O'Donnell
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Re: 800 club

Post by David O'Donnell » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:30 pm

Just using the brute force method of dividing 800/15*9 we get the number 480 which 12 players achieved in the nine round period.

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Jon O'Neill
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Re: 800 club

Post by Jon O'Neill » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:08 pm

I sense quite a long Gevin post is on the cards...

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Craig Beevers
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Re: 800 club

Post by Craig Beevers » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:29 pm

800, meh.

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Jon Corby
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Re: 800 club

Post by Jon Corby » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:34 pm

Craig Beevers wrote:800, meh.
Yeah, 850 is where it's at!

That's what you meant, right Craig? :roll:

Julian Fell
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Re: 800 club

Post by Julian Fell » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:32 pm

David O'Donnell wrote:Just using the brute force method of dividing 800/15*9 we get the number 480 which 12 players achieved in the nine round period.
Like Jono said (or implied anyway), this whole subject was done to death by Gevin and others on the old mailing list(s) shortly after the switch to 15 rounds... for my part I would say, rather than using any complicated mathematical algorithms, just look at the number of times players have exceeded a given score in each 'era' - that'll give you a much better idea of equivalence IMHO.

E.g. not to have a go at you David, but 480=800 can't be right because only twelve people got 480+ in 19 years of 9-round play, whereas twenty-five have already got 800+ over 15 rounds in a third of that time. I know the standard of play has increased recently but it hasn't increased that much!

I'm not sure what 800 or 850 would be equivalent to in old money, but I would say 900 is roughly equivalent to 500 over 9 rounds (6 players got 500+ in 19 years; 2 players on 900+ so far in 6 and a quarter years).

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Jason Larsen
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Re: 800 club

Post by Jason Larsen » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:55 pm

What is the 800 club?

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Stuart Earl
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Re: 800 club

Post by Stuart Earl » Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:28 pm

I perhaps mistakenly like to think that I invented the name. It refers to those who, in their eight games becoming an octochamp, scored 800+ points over the eight games. Not too difficult to guess, really...

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Ben Wilson
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Re: 800 club

Post by Ben Wilson » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:04 pm

http://www.countdownwiki.com/480_club

...Does exist, and contains the 500 club too, but I'm thinking maybe 480 was a bit of a vicious cut-off- I'm open to suggestions from anyone...

Worth noting from that page though is the level of talent on display in Series 41- and #s 4 and 5 seed were on 479 and 478 respectively!

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Stuart Earl
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Re: 800 club

Post by Stuart Earl » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:40 pm

I wonder if the reason that there were so few people achieving the equivalent of 800 in the nine-round era is that messing up one round could really mess up your hopes of winning, so maybe there was less opportunity for risking and more stress generally. And more chance of actually losing rather than continuing your run. Mess up one numbers round - which is fairly easy to do - and it could be curtains. Nowadays you can often survive a few rounds calamity - even if your opponent is pretty good. It gives you longer to redeem yourself! And the conundrum - which we all know is less predictable as to who will spot it first - was more important then overall as well. And you had less opportunity to get "settled" as champion so the challenger was less at a disadvantage than now.

So maybe the equivalent needs to be kept at the 480 mark because otherwise it becomes too arbitrary, but we should honour those who achieved it even more.

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Re: 800 club

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:05 pm

Ginger Jono wrote:I sense quite a long Gevin post is on the cards...
Yeah, why not?

A few of us did work out a round by round conversion for some players - 6:11 on the letters, 2:3 on the numbers and 1:1 on the conundrum, and while the overall ration for each player was different each time, it seemed to work out at about 11:18. So 800 would be about 489. But individually worked out, the top two, David Williams worked out at about 868 and Harvey Freeman 850.5. Going the other way, Julian Fell came out at about 564 and Chris Wills 535.

Obviously, there are various reasons why scores don't work out exactly. There has always been talk of letters distributions being harder at somes times than others, as well as individual bad luck. Looking at the wiki page, there would be only 8 members of the 489+ club, which is ridiculously less than 25 considering how long it ran under the old format. Personally, I would say that there have been more top-class players recently, but I'd be surprised if it accounted for all that difference.

But Julian, I think you're going too far by saying that 500 is worth about 900 nowadays. 900 is clearly worth more. Yes, you can make a case to say that scoring must be easier nowadays because of the numbers of people involved but nowhere near that much.

Stuart Earl's suggestion of settling in is an interesting one. It is also worth noting that Darren Shacklady was on for 500+ but got beaten (maybe wouldn't have done in a longer game), and Helen Grayson was on for about 500 but didn't play the final game. Also Mark Preston was on for over 500 when the series ended and he went into the quarters, but he'd only played three games so that doesn't really count.

I would say that while there have been more top players recently, your average player has probably been at about the same level since near the beginning. So it might be worth while if anyone (Mike Brown) has access to round scores in old games, to have a look at the average player ratio from one format to the other, and then one big assumption later, compare the top players that way.

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Re: 800 club

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:12 pm

Gevin-Gavin wrote:So it might be worth while if anyone (Mike Brown) has access to round scores in old games, to have a look at the average player ratio from one format to the other, and then one big assumption later, compare the top players that way.
This would be a waste of time actually. Just look at average scores over the various series and do a ratio with that. Maybe you could always look at the challengers' scores so multiple winners do not bias things too much, or just have the average score for each player.

Julian Fell
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Re: 800 club

Post by Julian Fell » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:07 pm

ben_wilson wrote:http://www.countdownwiki.com/480_club

...Does exist, and contains the 500 club too, but I'm thinking maybe 480 was a bit of a vicious cut-off- I'm open to suggestions from anyone...

Worth noting from that page though is the level of talent on display in Series 41- and #s 4 and 5 seed were on 479 and 478 respectively!
The "534 club"? :lol: That's a wind-up right?

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Re: 800 club

Post by David Williams » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:19 am

Only just noticed this.

I agree that a score of 100 is the equivalent of 60 in the old days. They are mathematically pretty much equivalent, they are both nice round numbers, and you need to score consistently to reach them. So why are there so many more 800s than 480s?

1. Luck. You can get away with a mistake in 15 rounds. In my series (43) look at Jonathan Storey. Outscored Graham Nash at his audition. Scores of 64, 70 and 54. Unfortunately he missed a nine letter word in the third game and lost. I bet he'd have got 800 now, and there must be many others.

2. The top contestants nowadays are just better. Maybe better prepared, but definitely better.

3. The average contestants, I believe, are worse. Six of my eight games were in the balance until the last couple of rounds. One of my opponents scored a maximum on the letters. Another led into the final letters round. On another day I could have lost any one of them.

David

Julian Fell
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Re: 800 club

Post by Julian Fell » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:29 pm

Excellent points there David. I agree 100% with 1. and 2. and I think 3. may be pretty close to the mark as well

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Jason Larsen
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Re: 800 club

Post by Jason Larsen » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:38 pm

If it happens to be worth talking about, can we refer to these people as, "in the club?"

Gavin Chipper
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Re: 800 club

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:25 pm

David Williams wrote:Only just noticed this.

I agree that a score of 100 is the equivalent of 60 in the old days. They are mathematically pretty much equivalent, they are both nice round numbers, and you need to score consistently to reach them. So why are there so many more 800s than 480s?

1. Luck. You can get away with a mistake in 15 rounds. In my series (43) look at Jonathan Storey. Outscored Graham Nash at his audition. Scores of 64, 70 and 54. Unfortunately he missed a nine letter word in the third game and lost. I bet he'd have got 800 now, and there must be many others.

2. The top contestants nowadays are just better. Maybe better prepared, but definitely better.

3. The average contestants, I believe, are worse. Six of my eight games were in the balance until the last couple of rounds. One of my opponents scored a maximum on the letters. Another led into the final letters round. On another day I could have lost any one of them.

David
It's interesting what you say about the best getting better and the average getting worse. That would throw a spanner in the works regarding my proposed method of looking at scores of average players, assuming them to be of constant skill. But then if this is the case, then surely there would still be a group of players (between the best and average) where the level of skill has not changed much.

But David it may have just been that you were unlucky to come across a run of good players in your games. I'm not convinced that the average player has got that much worse.

Gavin Chipper
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Re: 800 club

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:28 pm

David Williams wrote:I agree that a score of 100 is the equivalent of 60 in the old days. They are mathematically pretty much equivalent, they are both nice round numbers, and you need to score consistently to reach them.
Yeah, yeah, just because it would elevate you. :mrgreen:

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Re: 800 club

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:41 pm

David Williams wrote:2. The top contestants nowadays are just better. Maybe better prepared, but definitely better.

3. The average contestants, I believe, are worse.
I was thinking about this, and the average contestants getting worse could be down to having Countdown on all year. I don't know if the same numbers apply as did in the past, but by allowing twice as many on, that's bound to reduce standards. The best players getting better would, of course, be unrelated to this.

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Re: 800 club

Post by Martin Smith » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:02 pm

How many players got over 450 in the 9-round format? As that is only 3.75 points less per game, that might be a reasonable trade-off. Maybe we could calculate it based on a player's 4 highest scoring games, to give a better impression of how good some of the players who lost close 9-round games were?

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