Volunteer hours & player decisions @ BPSO 2018


I’ve never taken playing your best on every game you play as the point in that paragraph. That paragraph is 100% about collusion between two players, which typically involves one of those players not playing their best for the benefit of another player.

Players openly don’t try their best all the time. There was a KME vs. ZAC match at Expo a couple of years back where KME literally turned off Star Trek after two balls because he was down ~300mil and didn’t feel like putting in the effort to try and grind his way back into that game.

While it’s often hard to judge intent, it’s pretty clear going and powering off a game without playing your third ball that Keith was not - .“making the best possible competitive effort on each and every game played”.

Should Keith have been DQ’d because of that?

(Zach returned the favor on Game of Thrones in the same match after Keith put up some insane multi-billions score and Zach chose to save his energy for game #3)


Been there, done this argument and Josh has been pretty consistent: - it is not collusion, sandbagging, etc to purposefully lose a ball or game in order to enhance chances of winning later. That’s basically it. If you’re doing it to help YOURSELF there is no collusion. I don’t like sandbagging but I see the logic in some of these scenarios.

The only way I see around this is to eliminate 4 player groups entirely, which wouldn’t be as fun.

To be in a position to make such a decision is a reward of good play.


Why not add something to the rules that says a player whose finishing position does not affect the outcome of any other players has the option to not play out their game.


I think it can be quantified by saying are we trying to measure the best performance of a FORMAT vs simply rewarding play.

A way to easily visualize… the papa ticket format. Qualifying requires succeeding in that format, not necessarily “best game”. So voiding was well accepted… as the behavior is consistent with the idea of succeeding in the FORMAT.

Pingolf is another twist on the basic premise… you are trying to succeed in a format… which game play is just a portion of.

Not all formats reward play the same.

The premise for judging behavior should be is the behavior involving collusion and is it in the spirit of the rules in terms of what they intend to reward. Codifying that should be the goal… challenge is it depends on formats that change. So its about setting expectations.


Winning what though? There was quite the kerfuffle a while back about sandbagging to drop divisions in Pinburgh, ostensibly to improve one’s chances of winning money later.


Josh’s example attempting to match up with a perceived weaker player later.

Sandbagging Pinburgh for better chance at smaller prize is technically similar, hence the big kerfuffle. The addition of no-pay E to catch those who sandbag a bit too far seems to help remove the incentive.


I feel like the current thought is that intentionally losing for perceived gain later, whatever that is, is ok. From a purely competitive standpoint, I’m ok with this.


Exactly. Using your KME/ZAC example, a player in a 2-player match should be able to resign and say to their opponent ‘you win this game, let’s move on’ without being penalized or even criticized. Resigning in a 2-player match (as in a game of chess) or simply losing has no effect on the outcome or any other player in the event.

Now the dynamics of shutting off the game in the middle of a 4-player group is of course different ;).


Twice during the Pre BPSO Flip Frenzy tournament I let balls drain intentionally because I (thought I) was comfortably ahead and the match was taking too long.

Both times I did it when I thought my opponent wasn’t paying attention because I didn’t want to seem cocky.

Despite that, I still had the fewest games played…which in that format means you’re pretty much screwed.


In my experience, win% gives better results than total wins.


Sorry, I was bringing it up not to criticize the format, but to give an example where intentionally playing poorly can benefit a player.


It still brings up a good point about how the format may be improved. I’d love to see the metrics from that event, particularly the spread between the number of games played by the winner and games played by the loser. Was it chance that every time you were in the queue, everyone currently on matches were having longer games than usual? What do you think the cause was? I’m about to run my first one on 9/2, so i’m definitely interested in honing in on those kinds of issues. I’ll try to see if I can keep track of average wait time in the queue as well.


Here are the full preliminary results from the Pre BPSO event;

I won’t speak for Ryan, but I suspect the biggest factor was randomly being assigned to more longer playing games. All the players I talked to after the event said that the queue moved very quickly after the initial games had all been played.


Interesting format, and one I’ve not heard of before.

How do you handle the obvious abuse case where someone is player 1 and just above the cut line, playing someone just below the cut line, and just sitting there grinding out small points so the other player can’t get back in the queue to play again?


In this format, regardless of who you’re playing and where you are in the standings, you play slowly at your peril.


The queue times were very short. Probably 2-5 minutes.

Lots of factors: which game you were assigned to, your mix of Classics vs Moderns, how good your opponent was, and did you both play well.

IIRC, I think my path was:

Stingray (quick game)
Stingray (quick game)
POTC (12m to 2m)
POTC (don’t remember score…no one had more than 20m, I think)
WPT (both players in 40-50m range)
WPT (both players in 40-50m range…I gave up when ahead by 45m, but opponent came back and almost caught me)
Genie (short game)


Beat the Clock (opponent only played one ball before clock ran out)
Space Shuttle (2.5m to 800k, both playing MB all day)
Space Shuttle (1.8m to 1.4m, both playing MB all day)
POTC (20m to 5m?)
POTC (40m to 20m, I let ball 2 drain when ahead by ~35m, walk off on ball 3)
NBA Fastbreak (both players in 60s)
NBA Fastbreak (both players in 60s)
Transformers (20m to 2m)


6 Classics games and 9 Modern games.

WPT was really a killer. POTC games were kind of long. The Space Shuttle games were relatively long as well.

There was a rule about no colluding with your opponent. As I mentioned, I let balls drain intentionally twice when I was way ahead, but as far as I could tell, none of my opponents ever rolled over in an effort to keep things moving.

I guess in general, I had really solid ball times on pretty much everything except Transformers and Stingray. (Also, I could have shaved off two minutes if I had understood that my opponent was out of time on Beat the Clock and wouldn’t be getting another ball while I unknowingly ran up the score for no reason).

I ran this format once before, so I knew the deal. It’s fun. I would definitely play in it again, but you have to take the format with a grain of salt.

I know some people have done it where you subtract losses from wins to calculate your final score, and that’s what I would do if I ran it again.


Thanks for the explanation! I’m running one on 9/2 here in Morgantown, but it’s likely to be a substantially smaller field so I’m hoping there will be faster play.


Sorry to de-rail the thread. Back on topic:


One other piece of advice: make the queue a little longer than you think. First time I did it was with 14 players and a queue of 2. A queue of 4 would have been better.

At BPSO I think it was around 10 for 50 players and that seemed pretty good.


It was 12 at BPSO.