Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

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Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Cheynem » Sat May 02, 2015 3:33 pm

Player poll.

Vote for your top 25 of active players (active being defined as eligible for a national title, although they do not necessarily have to have played at either ICT or ACF Nationals). I am making the perhaps obvious caveat that they must have played at least one, non-open tournament this year though.

Ballots should be in by May 14, let's say.

For reference, last year's Top 25 and their lines from ICT/Nats (prelims).

#1 Matt Bollinger. Virginia. ICT: 32/27/3 (#1); Nats: 83/12 (#3).
#2 Eric Mukherjee, Penn. ICT: 23/35/9 (#3); Nats: 76/9 (#6).
#3 Matt Jackson. The award-winning Matt Jackson is retired for now.
#4 Will Nediger, Michigan. ICT: 14/36/5 (#7); Nats: 79/12 (#4).
#5 Matt Weiner. Matt is also inactive.
#6 John Lawrence, Chicago. ICT: 9/16/4 (#29); Nats: 60/3 (#12).
#7 Rob Carson. Rob prefers to dish out the pain instead of taking it.
#8 Stephen Liu, now at Stanford. ICT: 10/22/9 (#18), Nats: 48/13 (#24).
#9 Aaron Rosenberg. Aaron sits at home with his many awards.
#10 Chris Ray, now at Chicago. ICT: 14/29/4 (#9), Nats: 51/12 (#21).
#11 Tommy Casalaspi, Virginia. ICT: 14/17/1 (#15), Nats: 55/4 (#15).
#12 Adam Silverman, Georgia Tech. ICT: 14/46/9 (#5). Did not play Nats.
#13 Jordan Brownstein, Maryland. ICT: 17/23/5 (#11), Nats: 73/14 (8).
#14 Evan Adams, now at NYU. ICT: 4/38/16 (#16), Nats: 65/22 (#13).
#15 Neil Gurram, MIT. ICT: 4/42/6 (#12), Nats: 78/12 (#5).
#16 Trevor Davis, Alberta. Did not play ICT. Nats: 57/11 (#16).
#17 Richard Yu, WUSTL. ICT: 9/28/1 (#13), Nats: 61/4 (#10).
#18 Max Schindler, Chicago. ICT: 7/23/11 (#28), Nats: 34/9 (#41).
#19 Nick Jensen. Nick now works at Jurassic World.
#20 Marshall Steinbaum. Now married to Michelle Bachmann.
TIE #21 Sinan Ulusoy, Alberta. Did not play ICT. Nats: 55/15 (#19) AND Saajid Moyen, Penn. ICT: 6/23/4 (#23), Nats: 53/3 (#17).
#23 Dallas Simons. Inactive.
#24 Libo Zeng. Missing, presumed n00b.
#25 Charles Tian. Now a multi-millionaire in the carwash business.

Players who finished in the top 25 in ICT or Nats Prelims who were not ranked last year
Dylan Minarik (#2 at ICT and Nats)
Auroni Gupta (#4 at ICT, #1 at Nats)
Yogesh Raut (#6 at ICT)
Shan Kothari (#8 at ICT, #23 at Nats)
Andrew Wang (#10 at ICT, #7 at Nats)
Natan Holtzman (#14 at ICT)
Aayush Rajasekaran (#17 at ICT, #39 at Nats)
Duncan Morgan (#19 at ICT)
Jordan Palmer (#20 at ICT, #14 at Nats)
Dan Puma (#21 at ICT, #47 at Nats)
Derek So (#22 at ICT, #11 at Nats)
Sean Smiley (#24 at ICT, #18 at Nats)
Jacob Reed (#25 at ICT, #9 at Nats)
Austin Brownlow (#39 at ICT, #20 at Nats)
Hidehiro Anto (#1 at ICT DII, #22 at Nats)
Ankit Aggarwal (#45 at ICT, #25 at Nats)
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Sat May 02, 2015 4:40 pm

Jason Asher of Minnesota is definitely worth considering here.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Sat May 02, 2015 5:21 pm

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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Mewto55555 » Sat May 02, 2015 9:30 pm

While I appreciate the brief summaries of player accomplishments, and I know its hard to do anything better for such a brief rundown of so many possible people, I think they totally are emphasizing the wrong thing.*

For example, the reason Austin Brownlow is one terrifying motherfucker is not because he was the "20th scorer at ACF prelims with a 48/5 statline," it's because that statline came while playing next to Stephen Liu (AND GETTING MORE PPG THAN HIM), as well as being pretty damn good at his categories against good teams in the playoffs. That sort of nuance is lost when we just refer to him as "Austin Brownlow (#39 at ICT, #20 at Nats)", in a way that makes him look equal to Hidehiro Anto, who dropped 48/6 while playing with two people who combined for 10/7. This isn't a knock on him, but just an illustration of how one player can be overwhelmingly better than another while putting up similar numbers. And I think this a thing voters as a whole fail to correct for adequately in the player poll.

I know that one was obvious, but I'm sure there's a lot more subtle comparisons to consider (some that I'm surely totally forgetting about!). With that in mind, here are the people who were not on either above list, and were on a top bracket Nats/ICT team. You might scoff at some of these (like JR put up 8/1, but considering he was playing next to 70 ppg MattBo, and 63 more from Tommy and Daniel, I personally would consider that far far more impressive than a 40 ppg solo player -- sorry to keep shitting on you Hidehiro! You're just a good example of my point! <3), but I think they all deserve at least a moment of consideration, in many cases perhaps more consideration than some already suggested players:

Patrick Liao
Chris Chiego
James Lasker
Brian McPeak -- EDIT: Just assumed you had already been mentioned. Oops
Chris Manners
JR Roach
Daniel Hothem
Nikhil Desai
Benji Nguyen
Siddhant Dogra
Kenji Golimlim
Todd Maslyk
Rohit Mande
Jason Cheng
Ashok Kunda
Stephen Eltinge
Anderson Wang
James Rowan
Nathan Weiser -- EDIT: missed you somehow, sorry dude! You're good at quizbowl!
James Bradbury
Tabitha Walker
Alex Freed
Rafael Krichevsky
Ben Zhang
Aidan Mehigan
Jon Xu
Sam Levin
Peter Estall
Alex Fregeau
Chinmay Kansara
Tristan Willey

Hilariously none of Columbia had been even mentioned yet. Now, some of the above list very clearly are not top 25, but if you're going to submit a ballot, I think you should take the time and figure out which those are by actually pulling up stats, so I left them in.




*I'm sure many after me will post the sort of metrics they're using to rank the players, hopefully with examples! This sort of thing is a much richer exercise than the post-season poll, where you have very limited options when it comes to reasonable rankings -- with players there's so much more variance in the skills the bring to the table, and different ways to value each. I'd certainly like to hear as detailed as possible discussions of everyone's situation as much as possible (both positive and negative) before casting a ballot. I'll have my own contributions to make about Chicago's team/maybe some other players at some point, and will probably post my ballot with detailed reasons after I finish up midterms this week.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by vinteuil » Sat May 02, 2015 9:39 pm

Since people are commenting already, I'll throw in my biggest impression: this year, many, many teams were more balanced than I think has been seen before. The most obvious examples are Virginia and Penn: Matt and Eric are both spectacular, but Tommy and Saajid played just incredibly well this year (and last year); it would be really silly to see a repeat of last year where people didn't rank either of them because they'd ranked the "dominant players" on those teams.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sat May 02, 2015 9:43 pm

If Saajid Moyen doesn't make top 10, I'm coming to your house, Mike Cheyne.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Kouign Amann » Sat May 02, 2015 10:09 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:Hilariously none of Columbia had been even mentioned yet.
Yeah, just a little heads-up: if you don't vote for Rafael in this poll you have garbage quizbowl opinions and should feel bad. He's obviously subject to the "doesn't post and therefore is underrated" effect, but let's try not to completely flub this one, ok?
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat May 02, 2015 10:17 pm

my teammate is really good and you should vote for them or else you are literally damned to two million years of purgatory at minimum
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Kouign Amann » Sat May 02, 2015 10:18 pm

Matthew J wrote:my teammate is really good and you should vote for them or else you are literally damned to two million years of purgatory at minimum
This is actually what I meant to say.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sat May 02, 2015 10:20 pm

Kouign Amann wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:Hilariously none of Columbia had been even mentioned yet.
Yeah, just a little heads-up: if you don't vote for Rafael in this poll you have garbage quizbowl opinions and should feel bad. He's obviously subject to the "doesn't post and therefore is underrated" effect, but let's try not to completely flub this one, ok?
make sure not to vote him above marnold though
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Mewto55555 » Sat May 02, 2015 10:24 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:If Saajid Moyen doesn't make top 10, I'm coming to your house, Mike Cheyne.
Kouign Amann wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:Hilariously none of Columbia had been even mentioned yet.
Yeah, just a little heads-up: if you don't vote for Rafael in this poll you have garbage quizbowl opinions and should feel bad. He's obviously subject to the "doesn't post and therefore is underrated" effect, but let's try not to completely flub this one, ok?
I'm going to be real, I really dislike this kind of post. I know we all love our teammates, and want to see them recognized, but (speaking as an individual, not as board staff), you're not really contributing anything at all to this thread! Why are you doing that?! Maybe the marginal idiot voter has forgotten that Saajid or Rafael exists (yo, if you're that disconnected, why the fuck are you voting?), but someone who is reading this thread and thinking about their ballot hopefully hasn't. Baselessly making a claim and treating it as self-evident is a stupid form of argumentation that is rightly ridiculed everywhere else it happens on this board.

What I'd really like to see from you guys is some context! I can tell you Saajid's exact statline in every recorded game he played this year, if I really cared to look, but I know very little more than the numbers -- but you do, Eric. What fraction of buzzes are in "his" subjects? What fraction of his buzzes are fantastic, good/"where one buzzes", or late but are against a team who knows less? How many tossups does he vulch? Does he contribute on bonuses often? Is he pulling hard parts out of his ass or cleaning up on canon?

Aidan, I played Columbia like, twice this year? I have very little information on y'all -- I know Rafael is a physics monster, what else does he know/buzz early on? Is your team a bunch of people buzzing in every category, or just a bunch of specialists jumbled together each getting their own things? Is Rafael the glue that holds you all together?

You guys know your teammates better than anyone, please write some posts that give me new information that's useful when I go to rank people! There's only so much even the most well-meaning voter can do with just numbers.

EDIT: lol mj beat me
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by gyre and gimble » Sat May 02, 2015 10:31 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:"where one buzzes"
Okay people keep saying this--does it actually mean something????

I agree with Eric though, Saajid is probably top 10 and top ~12 at minimum. And everyone should have Tommy in their top 10.

Max, you should add Nathan Weiser to your list. Anyone voting for Stanford B players should have him first.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by vinteuil » Sat May 02, 2015 10:33 pm

I like Max's idea of "talk about your teammates that people might not know about" (Raphael is also fantastic at music, and I've seen him get great buzzes on "thought").

Maybe not for this year, but Isaac Kirk-Davidoff's ability to have 5/0/0, 3/7/0, and two 1/5/0 rounds at his first ICT is probably worthy of people's attention—and this is with NAQT's small amount of "art" film, which he absolutely annihilates.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Windows ME » Sat May 02, 2015 10:43 pm

Sure seems like there are 95 players for 25 spots.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Mewto55555 » Sat May 02, 2015 10:48 pm

gyre and gimble wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:"where one buzzes"
Okay people keep saying this--does it actually mean something????
It's pretty subjective, and I don't think "this dude had a sick one-line buzz against me in my category he must be the best" is too meaningful, but I think it helps add context to stats. One thing I've found very interesting is the differences in how people drop off in performance playoff rounds (which is basically a proxy for how they do against better teams) -- if you drop off less, then that means your buzzes are probably more independent of opponent quality, and are thus better. If someone both drops off a ton in playoffs, and people report that their buzzes are not that impressive when they play them, then all of a sudden we have a very good idea of why that drop-off happens!

I personally (perhaps coming from what most of my personal stat-crunching has been for the purpose of maximizing) think that a Top 25 player's worth is determined almost solely on how they do against the top 10ish teams in the country (or would do, I guess -- very small sample size at ICT/Nats means this isn't always easy). I don't care if you're a "science specialist" who sweeps the category against a 6-seed half the time -- if you're not poaching at least the occasional question off the teams you're actually competing with, I don't consider that particularly worthy of consideration at all, unless you've got some other categories going for you.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by ryanrosenberg » Sat May 02, 2015 10:53 pm

Along with Rafael, Natan Holtzman is someone who doesn't get a ton of recognition because he doesn't post on the forums, but I think his record (leading scorer on a second-bracket ICT team) and lockdown music knowledge speak for themselves.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Kouign Amann » Sat May 02, 2015 11:16 pm

Aw, Max, lighten up. Rob got that my post wasn't really an attempt at substantive argument, but just a taking up of the Marnoldian burden of loudly, grouchily, resignedly advocating for Rafael in the face of the near-certainty that he'll be underrated. Sorry if that was a little obtuse; I lack Marnold's charm. I hardly think that good-natured fake vitriol is "ridiculed everywhere else it happens on this board," but perhaps I haven't been paying much attention recently.

Anyway, ask and it shall be given you: Essentially every game that Columbia plays is effectively played on eighteen tossups, with us being spotted a two-TU lead before it even starts. Except once in a while against against very top people, Rafael gets the physics and music every time, period. He may not advertise himself as sartorially as Patrick Liao, but he brings the added benefit of being able to nail Canadiana of all categories when it comes up, which is so so useful, especially in NAQT. As Jacob Reed pointed out, Rafael started really learning some thought stuff this year after Alex Gerten sorta disappeared. Playing with Rafael means that questions in traditionally tricky categories are actually opportunities to take a breather and rest assured that a bonus will be coming your way shortly. Over the course of the day, this rest adds up.

He also basically doesn't neg (12 at ACF Nats struck me as a total outlier; the 5 from ICT is more like it), which is extraordinarily useful for getting our team to just chill out. There are two reasons he doesn't neg: (1) his knowledge is way realer than a lot of quizbowlers', and (2) he's by far the calmest person I've ever played with. He's completely unflappable, a total machine. As people who came into college thinking we were hot shit generalists who could do it all, Rafael is extremely good at getting me and Ben to just slow our rolls a little bit. In the 15 Saturday rounds at Nats, I negged exactly one; Jacob Wasserman would be happy to tell you just how staggeringly incomprehensible that number would have been a few years ago. It took me a little while to learn how to play with someone like Rafael, but once I did, my life improved immensely.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Guile Island » Sat May 02, 2015 11:43 pm

Maybe I'm just being over-dramatic here but I think I'm a rather curious case for this list. Please don't overrate me due to my high ppg. I could certainly pick 25 active players this year I would consider more valuable to a team trying to pursue a national title, but that's just my own criteria.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun May 03, 2015 1:04 am

Mewto55555 wrote:What I'd really like to see from you guys is some context! I can tell you Saajid's exact statline in every recorded game he played this year, if I really cared to look, but I know very little more than the numbers -- but you do, Eric. What fraction of buzzes are in "his" subjects? What fraction of his buzzes are fantastic, good/"where one buzzes", or late but are against a team who knows less? How many tossups does he vulch? Does he contribute on bonuses often? Is he pulling hard parts out of his ass or cleaning up on canon?
Very well. Let "his" subjects be art, literature, computer science, and econ (which is where almost all his buzzes are, with the occasional once-a-tournament history buzz from art or music clues). Saajid's exhibited a remarkable rate of improvement this year, going from scoring around 20-30 ppg next to me to outscoring me at several important games at ACF Nationals this year (where we had something like a 56/42 split). As mentioned in the microhistory I wrote, he studied to a ridiculous degree, at least 10s of hours every week - if he had more time in quizbowl, I guarantee that binge would be remembered next to Subash's legendary explosion back in the day.

He's grown into someone who regularly beats John Lawrence and Rafael Krichevsky to music questions (including in the ACF Nationals final and at ICT, in the former case). Most of this knowledge is very real, and comes from his significant background in music theory and actually listening to pieces to understand them. In fact, in the past I've had to cover his ass on some of the more "out-there" modern crap that shows up in quizbowl because he's kind of a purist, but this year he's even picked that stuff up (notably getting a good early buzz on "tone clusters" at Oppen). In visual art, his buzzes tend towards the earlier side, though he's probably epsilon below Stephen Liu. In literature a larger proportion of his buzzes are nearer the end or on the clues you "need to buzz on" (this is evidence by Neil Gurram beating him to some buzzer races with regularity), though this is partly a function of lit tossups being answered later even by good lit players. He also brings a good deal of real knowledge on that side, having read a great deal of poetry and other works over his time here. In all of these subjects, he can both pull hard parts and clean up on canon, though he's slightly better at the former, since sometimes (rarely) I have to back him on canon things that I've heard of by virtue of accretion.

He doesn't vulch unless they're "his" categories (which we sorted out well before nationals), and he's very useful on bonuses, repeatedly reminding me of things I should have forgotten (Somluchowski, for instance) or covering gaps in RMP or social science that the team inevitably has. Almost lights out on econ and computer science, when it's well-written (I'm told that Solow tossup was like a 2007 science question in quality) and definitely patching gaps in the rest of RMP and SS when it suits him.

On top of that, Saajid was instrumental in making sure the rest of us were playing with good strategy, the right amount of aggression, the right mindset, etc, etc, in addition to keeping us motivated during the year. He actually helped me get more science questions against teams that I irrationally neg against (like Maryland), which helped us to several victories. I can easily say we would not have won ACF nationals, or even made top 3, without the Saajid Moyen evolution that happened this year.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun May 03, 2015 1:56 am

I'm going to second the substantial upthread praise of Rafael, and say that Will Holub-Moorman also bears consideration as a player who doesn't stand out strongly on regular questions, but scales up extremely well.

I'm also going to pretend I'm good. I probably don't deserve any votes since I didn't play important things.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Muriel Axon » Sun May 03, 2015 2:07 am

Craise Finton Kirk Royal Academy of Arts wrote:Maybe I'm just being over-dramatic here but I think I'm a rather curious case for this list. Please don't overrate me due to my high ppg. I could certainly pick 25 active players this year I would consider more valuable to a team trying to pursue a national title, but that's just my own criteria.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Ike » Sun May 03, 2015 6:32 am

Guys, I'm going to be honest -

I really don't want to vote in the player poll this year. I think coming on here and jokingly threatening people is immature and just reveals your future sour grapes. In case it isn't clear, I'm calling you, Eric Mukherjee and Aidan Mehigan, out specifically. Seriously, grow up. Every great team has players who are overshadowed, and many team captains are always frustrated when their teammates don't get due credit. This happened with Billy Busse in 2013, and it certainly happened with Evan and Tommy on Mattbo's 2014 run; it's also been around forever - Selene probably was subject to shadowing the most for who knows how long. The player poll is mostly subjective - hell one could make the case that players should be partially ranked by how much captaining they do to inspire their team to study. Demanding that the player poll be rigged* to satisfy your bullshit data, instead of collecting people's data is counterproductive. To be honest, I feel threatened by voting in this player poll - I know that these ballots don't remain secret forever, and I think that this set of posts does demonstrate that Eric and Aidan are sore enough to hold it against me if they ever found out that I might not want to rank Saajid in the top 10 or Rafael in the top 25.

This is my own opinion here and I'm speaking as someone who was once good at the game: But neither Eric's nor Aidan's post on Rafael or Saajid is even remotely close of my conception of either player. Before I go on, I want to stress I have high opinions of Rafael and Saajid, but to be told how good either one of those players are is pedantic at the best. To be honest, I think Eric and Aidan should take a step back and look at how ridiculous their posts are. Telling me that Saajid has entirely real knowledge is honestly complete bullshit, and in very bad faith, - Saajid even admitted to me at nationals that he doesn't read the poems by Leopardi, he just quizbowl studied him to learn about it.** Aidan, do you realize how contradictory it is to say Rafael doesn't neg then claim ACF Nationals is an exception? Do you also realize how inane it is to claim that one of your teammates has more real knowledge than most quizbowlers? - like at this point, people make that kind of claim every day, and I'm just more and more disinclined to not listen to it because most people in quizbowl have real knowledge about something.

To be honest, I'm also deeply saddened and angered by this thread. I read Max Schindler's great post and started thinking about players I may have not considered - and he's right people should be more careful in thinking about players. Then all this happened. As a member who talks with people in the "cabal" and is a very good friend with Eric, I feel very alienated by those posts in this thread; I can't begin to imagine how discomforting and off-putting it feels to read these posts if you're not in the inner circle of quizbowl. Eric and Aidan, I know you're better than this, and I hope you realize how petty you come across by making posts that, while joking, reveal just how passive-aggressive you are about your teammates rankings, and just super ridiculous posts about why they are so good.

Ike

* There is no quotes around my use of the word rigged this time. I'm completely fucking serious about the usage of this term. While I don't think any of you would burn houses down, you are instigating some amount of fear by expressing petty frustration at our own opinions on how we want to vote for this thread.

** To be fair, I would have done the same thing if I were in Saajid's spot. In fact, he, in my mind, would no doubt have made the top 15 on my ballot, possibly higher.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Auroni » Sun May 03, 2015 7:00 am

I'll take Ike's post a step further. Voting in this poll or posting in this thread (or the collegiate team player and poll) is a waste of your time. Write questions for HSNCT, NSC, or NASAT instead.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun May 03, 2015 7:35 am

this thread got real dumb real fast
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by bmcke » Sun May 03, 2015 8:37 am

Player poll is cool because great quizbowl play is good and cool, and it's nice to recognize the people who are good at playing quizbowl -- they've all done work to build up their quizbowl game, and they all have a really impressive level of cultural literacy. I enjoy seeing any kind of awards for that, including if it takes the form of a vote on who ranks the highest, and including if that vote is "tarnished" by people campaigning for their friends who are great players.

Another cool thing would be to acknowledge good buzzes or good 30s in discussion after a tournament happens. I've been meaning to do this, and so should other people. Eric's finals diary is kind of a step in this direction.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun May 03, 2015 10:07 am

I like the player poll. I like it because it can lead to spirited discussion of what it means to be a great player. And I like it because its a nice informal way to give recognize individual players as great, in ways that the individual awards at national tournament cannot, because PPG is a really poor reflection of these things.

I understand where Eric and Aidan are coming from, to a certain degree. If you've been playing long enough on a good team, you too have surely had a teammate whom you thought was severely underrated. Maybe the poll voters weren't accounting for subject-specific shadow effect, or maybe he's the second or third scorer on a team and loses out to first-scorer prejudice, or maybe it's just that he doesn't post enough to have garnered buzz.

Leaving aside the language of intimidation in Eric's post, there are a couple of problems with it that are worth commenting on, because I think they are revealing of traps that many of us fall into. I'll try to talk about some of this in abstract terms, so that this whole thread doesn't end up being more about Saajid than it should be.

The first thing is that Eric is treating Top 10 as if it were an absolute metric rather than a comparative metric, that is, as if one becomes "Top 10 material" based on how much one knows. In fact, though, you're only in the Top 10 if there are nine of fewer players who are better than you are! Good enough to be "Top 10 material" one year is not the same as good enough next year. Strength level can cluster at different places on the Top 25.

But let us say that Eric's post is meant to be more comparative than it sounds. Then, what it would mean is that Eric thinks that other players don't realize how good Saajid is, but Eric thinks he himself knows how good the other players are. But assuming our knowledge of Saajid is as fallible as he says, where the heck is Eric's supposedly better knowledge of others coming from?

It has become much harder for me to vote well in player polls since I moved to the Midwest, because most of the other great players are outside of my region. When I was in the Northeast, we played cross-regional tournaments against the Mid-Atlantic teams often enough that it was easier to get a larger sample size of matches. But even when I was regularly playing most of the other good players, it was still very hard to judge them because of what, to me, is the central paradox of my attempt to judge other players: If they are good at my categories, I don't get to see this when I play them, because I'm beating them to those questions most of the time, and don't know where they would have buzzed; if they are good at other categories, I can't really tell whether their buzzes are good or not.

This is another reason I'm going to be naturally extremely distrustful of someone telling me that their teammate gets "good buzzes" in Category X. Does the person reporting this know enough about Category X to know whether the buzz was good, the question was good, etc.? Were they paying enough attention to see whether this was an uncontested buzz or a buzzer race (I don't always notice these, myself)? I find most of these claims as useless as my claims about Max being a good science player would be: I would have to judge based on numbers and just my sense of how early in the question is "good".

So, to return to the question of Saajid. If I had only the four (official) matches I played against him as evidence (we played two more exhibition matches after tournaments), I would have no idea how good a music player he is. We got two tossups each, but all four of those music tossups were gotten on "where you're supposed to buzz" (and at least half were buzzer races); there were no good buzzes from either of us to provide me any sort of diagnostic information. To the extent that I have any useful knowledge of his current status as a music player, it is thanks to recorded matches in which I get to hear where he buzzed on other questions, thus providing me with more data.

In general, it is primarily through moderating matches and listening to recordings that I can best judge the quality of other players in my categories. The scarcer these are, in any given year, the less I know about other players. I think Max has plans to return to this thread with some numbers to guide people in their rankings--that is, assuming that this thread hasn't entirely collapsed by then. But I have to admit that I'm very pessimistic about what numbers can do. They don't show shadow effect, where the player buzzed, whether the tossup was a vulch, or whether the tossup was any good. They don't show you who contributed what on a bonus. Numbers can favor a mediocre player whose categories are uncontested on his team, and it can shaft a good player who overlaps with his teammates. As far as I can see, recording more matches is really the only way I can think of to make the debates over "who is better" productive (and even then, things like shadow effect will still be difficult to detect). But of course, this doesn't mean that the abstract discussions about what sort of player is better cannot still bear fruit.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Sun May 03, 2015 11:03 am

Auroni wrote:I'll take Ike's post a step further. Voting in this poll or posting in this thread (or the collegiate team player and poll) is a waste of your time. Write questions for HSNCT, NSC, or NASAT instead.
Why are you posting on the forums at all, when you could be writing questions? Playing video games? That's a waste of time when you could be writing questions! Frankly, spending your free time on anything but question writing is pretty selfish.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Cheynem » Sun May 03, 2015 11:15 am

Folks:

This is not like some sacrosanct vote. I'm sure, like most years, some people will not get the recognition they deserve in a player poll thread. You can vote for whomever you like, you can try to post about whomever you like to make a pitch for them, but I think a lot of the posts in this thread take this thing way too seriously.

Also, I hope Auroni's post is not a serious one.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Nabonidus » Sun May 03, 2015 11:47 am

[Whoops, I didn't see that power/neg ratios were already included in the OP. Please delete this post.]
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Lightinfa » Sun May 03, 2015 1:00 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:While I appreciate the brief summaries of player accomplishments, and I know its hard to do anything better for such a brief rundown of so many possible people, I think they totally are emphasizing the wrong thing.*

For example, the reason Austin Brownlow is one terrifying motherfucker is not because he was the "20th scorer at ACF prelims with a 48/5 statline," it's because that statline came while playing next to Stephen Liu (AND GETTING MORE PPG THAN HIM), as well as being pretty damn good at his categories against good teams in the playoffs. That sort of nuance is lost when we just refer to him as "Austin Brownlow (#39 at ICT, #20 at Nats)", in a way that makes him look equal to Hidehiro Anto, who dropped 48/6 while playing with two people who combined for 10/7. This isn't a knock on him, but just an illustration of how one player can be overwhelmingly better than another while putting up similar numbers. And I think this a thing voters as a whole fail to correct for adequately in the player poll.

I know that one was obvious, but I'm sure there's a lot more subtle comparisons to consider (some that I'm surely totally forgetting about!). With that in mind, here are the people who were not on either above list, and were on a top bracket Nats/ICT team. You might scoff at some of these (like JR put up 8/1, but considering he was playing next to 70 ppg MattBo, and 63 more from Tommy and Daniel, I personally would consider that far far more impressive than a 40 ppg solo player -- sorry to keep shitting on you Hidehiro! You're just a good example of my point! <3), but I think they all deserve at least a moment of consideration, in many cases perhaps more consideration than some already suggested players:

Patrick Liao
Chris Chiego
James Lasker
Chris Manners
JR Roach
Daniel Hothem
Nikhil Desai
Benji Nguyen
Siddhant Dogra
Kenji Golimlim
Todd Maslyk
Rohit Mande
Jason Cheng
Ashok Kunda
Stephen Eltinge
Anderson Wang
James Rowan
Nathan Weiser -- EDIT: missed you somehow, sorry dude! You're good at quizbowl!
James Bradbury
Tabitha Walker
Alex Freed
Rafael Krichevsky
Ben Zhang
Aidan Mehigan
Jon Xu
Sam Levin
Peter Estall
Alex Fregeau
Chinmay Kansara
Tristan Willey

Hilariously none of Columbia had been even mentioned yet. Now, some of the above list very clearly are not top 25, but if you're going to submit a ballot, I think you should take the time and figure out which those are by actually pulling up stats, so I left them in.




*I'm sure many after me will post the sort of metrics they're using to rank the players, hopefully with examples! This sort of thing is a much richer exercise than the post-season poll, where you have very limited options when it comes to reasonable rankings -- with players there's so much more variance in the skills the bring to the table, and different ways to value each. I'd certainly like to hear as detailed as possible discussions of everyone's situation as much as possible (both positive and negative) before casting a ballot. I'll have my own contributions to make about Chicago's team/maybe some other players at some point, and will probably post my ballot with detailed reasons after I finish up midterms this week.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun May 03, 2015 1:31 pm

Cheynem wrote:I think a lot of the posts in this thread take this thing way too seriously.
This is my opinion. We've been through this, I thought, in thread after thread of player poll results. The player poll is by nature a silly thing with vagaries that will inevitably leave everyone unsatisfied. As John Lawrence points out, the proper data for this sort of poll just doesn't exist and never has. I thought this was the conventional wisdom.

I must admit, Ike, that I'm puzzled by several parts of what you have to say, but I will certainly start my response with an apology to you and anyone else out there who felt "threatened" by my post. That was certainly not the intention behind by baseless, sarcastic grandstanding, and I definitely don't want to be considered some monster who threatens people over something as inconsequential as the player poll. I'm also not sure how I was rigging the vote, given that I'm just a kid in a dorm room half a country away from the person actually tallying the votes. You (and the general "you" as well) have my personal guarantee that I will never hold how you vote in this or any player poll against you in any context; I base my opinions of people off far more worthwhile things.
Ike wrote:But neither Eric's nor Aidan's post on Rafael or Saajid is even remotely close of my conception of either player.
Is this actually a problem? Perhaps the posts are working. Max asked us to provide information about our teammates that others might not realize since we get to play with them on a week-to-week basis. But I guess when you prefix your assessment with "I'm speaking as someone who was once good at the game" that means that your opinion is automatically more correct than mine. Sorry for speaking out of turn as a bad player; I'll be sure to defer to you in the future.
Ike wrote:Aidan, do you realize how contradictory it is to say Rafael doesn't neg then claim ACF Nationals is an exception?
This is a misreading. I don't know in what world "Rafael basically doesn't neg" could be translated to mean "Rafael has negged literally zero times ever in his life." I just meant "he negs a lot less than team-leading players often do." I claimed his ACF Nats performance was an "outlier," and then provided a recent data point that is more in line with how I would assess his general abilities. If you've never had a bad tournament, then congratulations, but surely you can understand that the rest of us do once in a while. This is, I thought, the kind of context Max was asking for.
Ike wrote:Do you also realize how inane it is to claim that one of your teammates has more real knowledge than most quizbowlers?
Perhaps it is inane, but I genuinely believe that, in the categories where he does the most damage, Rafael is operating off knowledge that is realer than most. This does not, as you suggest, preclude the idea that "most people in quizbowl have real knowledge about something." I just think he has more, and I stand by this point. It's entirely subjective, sure, but so is almost every other argument here.
Ike wrote:To be honest, I'm also deeply saddened and angered by this thread.
I'm sorry you feel this way. I really am. I just don't know if the player poll thread is the right thread to get all worked up over.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Sun May 03, 2015 1:39 pm

So are all of these because we don't think our peers in the community can recognize cX player is good at quizbowl or does everyone just really suddenly care that Peter Cordero submits a perfect ballot
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun May 03, 2015 4:02 pm

Temperance enjoying a Frugal Meal wrote:
Auroni wrote:I'll take Ike's post a step further. Voting in this poll or posting in this thread (or the collegiate team player and poll) is a waste of your time. Write questions for HSNCT, NSC, or NASAT instead.
Why are you posting on the forums at all, when you could be writing questions? Playing video games? That's a waste of time when you could be writing questions! Frankly, spending your free time on anything but question writing is pretty selfish.
Drop out of school, write questions! Stop talking with your friends and family, write questions. Stop writing questions, write questions!
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Mewto55555 » Sun May 03, 2015 4:07 pm

Lightinfa wrote: Also Michael Coates
Yeah, I meant to get to ICT and just realized I forgot, thanks! (But I definitely didn't forget Coates, he gets a big section in my Chicago discussion!) I personally think the only additional people on top-12ish ICT teams plausibly worth considering are:

Michael Coates
Grace Liu
Isaac (mentioned above)
Charles Hang
Alex Gerten

though if you think I missed someone, that'd be great to know.

Some of these posts are really funny!
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by vinteuil » Sun May 03, 2015 4:13 pm

Black Miao wrote:So are all of these because we don't think our peers in the community can recognize cX player is good at quizbowl or does everyone just really suddenly care that Peter Cordero submits a perfect ballot
I really like the idea of this thread being a positive thing where we talk about precisely how someone might be good in ways that the stats/playing against them a few times might not show. That probably doesn't go along with the goal of providing completely unbiased information that would help people produce a perfect ballot, but oh well—as people have pointed out, this is by default a kind of silly thread anyways. (Then when results come out....)

I posted about Isaac upthread because people are a lot more likely to not know about him, but I think there's a good case for putting Grace up there (awesome arts/lit/myth player, lots of real science knowledge that converts well into bonus parts after collaboration, and often good buzzes too).
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun May 03, 2015 8:29 pm

Part of the reason we have a poll is to combine all the various ways of player evaluation. The dude who copy/pastes the high scores from ACF Nats submits a ballot, the guy who votes for dudes who had impressive buzzes against him submits a ballot, the guy who spends two hours researching each player by interviewing their teammates submits a ballot, and in the end all their biases cancel out and average into something theoretically approximating the truth.

Obviously people will claim thei teammates are underrated. Seth Samelson hasn't been my teammate for almost a decade and I still tell people about how underrated he is, as recently as the Sunday of ACF nats.

If you can't handle this, then yeah go write hsnct instead.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Sun May 03, 2015 8:38 pm

We should be more inclusive and make this a top 50 player poll. No one gets left out!
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun May 03, 2015 9:04 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:I understand where Eric and Aidan are coming from, to a certain degree. If you've been playing long enough on a good team, you too have surely had a teammate whom you thought was severely underrated. Maybe the poll voters weren't accounting for subject-specific shadow effect, or maybe he's the second or third scorer on a team and loses out to first-scorer prejudice, or maybe it's just that he doesn't post enough to have garnered buzz.
I agree. I'll add that the lack of good individual player metrics makes this problem worse.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:language of intimidation
Do people really not understand hyperbole? I have no intention of intimidating anyone, and I apologize to anyone reading if I made you feel intimidated. You are obviously free to rank Saajid and anyone else as you see fit.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:The first thing is that Eric is treating Top 10 as if it were an absolute metric rather than a comparative metric, that is, as if one becomes "Top 10 material" based on how much one knows. In fact, though, you're only in the Top 10 if there are nine of fewer players who are better than you are! Good enough to be "Top 10 material" one year is not the same as good enough next year. Strength level can cluster at different places on the Top 25.
No I'm not. I'm legitimately stating that Saajid's in the top 10 this year, absolute or relative.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:But let us say that Eric's post is meant to be more comparative than it sounds. Then, what it would mean is that Eric thinks that other players don't realize how good Saajid is, but Eric thinks he himself knows how good the other players are. But assuming our knowledge of Saajid is as fallible as he says, where the heck is Eric's supposedly better knowledge of others coming from?


From...playing with and against them? I'm trying to offset the fact that Saajid doesn't make a [as big of a] habit of posting on these forums to show his knowledge, or to argue about questions, as other people; like it or not, that's one way that people evaluate how good a given player is.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:This is another reason I'm going to be naturally extremely distrustful of someone telling me that their teammate gets "good buzzes" in Category X. Does the person reporting this know enough about Category X to know whether the buzz was good, the question was good, etc.? Were they paying enough attention to see whether this was an uncontested buzz or a buzzer race (I don't always notice these, myself)? I find most of these claims as useless as my claims about Max being a good science player would be: I would have to judge based on numbers and just my sense of how early in the question is "good".


I would be happy to share my methodology here. I've had the benefit of playing with Aaron Rosenberg for three years (a music player who could challenge even the fabled Lawrence-Koai duo on music), so I have some sense of what good music buzzing looks like (like its very clear when Aaron was getting something based on a title vs actual music theory). I would admit that Saajid is a notch below both you and Aaron in this regard. However, what's clear is that he has quite respectable real knowledge, being able to buzz on piece descriptions and theory clues, which is something I've found to be rare.

And Ike, I didn't mean to say that Saajid buzzes "exclusively" on real knowledge. I meant to say a significant proportion of his buzzes in music specifically are real knowledge based. I apologize for the confusion.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:So, to return to the question of Saajid. If I had only the four (official) matches I played against him as evidence (we played two more exhibition matches after tournaments), I would have no idea how good a music player he is. We got two tossups each, but all four of those music tossups were gotten on "where you're supposed to buzz" (and at least half were buzzer races); there were no good buzzes from either of us to provide me any sort of diagnostic information. To the extent that I have any useful knowledge of his current status as a music player, it is thanks to recorded matches in which I get to hear where he buzzed on other questions, thus providing me with more data.
It's not clear to me that "where you're supposed to buzz" is a good criterion, because it's incredibly subjective and relative where the "buzzpoint" is. For example, when Max Schindler and I race on a (misheard) description of the von Mangoldt function or a 6N-dimensional phase space integral, because we've both got the background, that's "where you buzz" in a high-level situation, but that's not necessarily the flashpoint in other situations (for example you "have to buzz" on the kT ln Z = Helmholtz free energy clue for partition function in a mid-level situation). Furthermore, even I knew the Antarctic Symphony clue you were buzzing on in the first playoff game at ACF nats, but we'd already cleared it so we weren't buzzing (you really think I'd let Chris Ray get Silla unchallenged otherwise?).

I'd actually be happy to discuss "buzzpoints" more, because I think people have pretty subjective views on them that are interesting to get out.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:In general, it is primarily through moderating matches and listening to recordings that I can best judge the quality of other players in my categories. The scarcer these are, in any given year, the less I know about other players. I think Max has plans to return to this thread with some numbers to guide people in their rankings--that is, assuming that this thread hasn't entirely collapsed by then. But I have to admit that I'm very pessimistic about what numbers can do. They don't show shadow effect, where the player buzzed, whether the tossup was a vulch, or whether the tossup was any good. They don't show you who contributed what on a bonus. Numbers can favor a mediocre player whose categories are uncontested on his team, and it can shaft a good player who overlaps with his teammates. As far as I can see, recording more matches is really the only way I can think of to make the debates over "who is better" productive (and even then, things like shadow effect will still be difficult to detect). But of course, this doesn't mean that the abstract discussions about what sort of player is better cannot still bear fruit.
Have you considered using power percentage? I think that's helpful for depth at least
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Windows ME » Sun May 03, 2015 9:47 pm

Okay, I'm posting my data. Mainly because its frustrating that people are clamouring for such-and-such to be Top 25 when they haven't actually made their list yet. There are a LOT of decent-to-good players in quizbowl! As said above, being Top 25 requires there to be FEWER THAN 25 PLAYERS BETTER THAN YOU. Not some arbitrary benchmark. Its harder to be Top 25 this year than it was last, and so on.

I've calculated the PATH at this year's ACF Nationals for
a) The Top Bracket - ONLY in matches against the Top Bracket
b) The Second Bracket - ONLY in matches against the Second Bracket (these numbers are obviously not comparable to those in the Top Bracket but still against very good competition)
c) The Third Bracket, for comparison, as there are players worthy of Top 25 consideration here.

I have posted the Top 20 players in the Top Bracket, the Top 10 in the Second Bracket and the Top 5 in the Third Bracket. This gives 35 names that are worthy of considering for your list. Remember, these are only in matches that count for placement.

I've also highlighted players that may have slipped on by.
TOP BRACKET
Matt Bollinger 83.85 - STILL able to escape a muddy battlefield to finish #1
Will Nediger 81.43
Eric Mukherjee 75.18
Jordan Brownstein 74.66
John Lawrence 74.36
Auroni Gupta 73.27 - I'd like to point out that when you do these numbers for ACF Nats as a whole he is clear #1 PATH
Saajid Moyen 71.90 - are you seriously telling me he's not a Top 10 player? He basically equaled Eric's performance en route to a win
Chris Ray 70.40
Tommy Casalaspi 63.96 - note that his performance at ICT was MUCH better than this.
Neil Gurram 53.18
Stephen Liu 48.25
Shan Kothari 46.86 - Needs to be on your Top 25 list
Andrew Wang 45.83
Brian McPeak 44.55 - specialist who does his job very well
Austin Brownlow 38.21
Rafael Krichevsky 37.88
Sid Dogra 33.93
Dan Puma 33.33
Max Schindler 32.26 - I think Shadow Effect hit Max the most here he's an excellent generalist
Benji Nguyen 32.17
SECOND BRACKET
Richard Yu 69.91
Sinan Ulusoy 68.82
Trevor Davis 67.68
Will Holub-Moorman 60.44
Jacob Reed 56.57 - Outlier performance. He performed VERY well in prelims.
Sean Smiley 47.90
Dylan Minarik 47.10 - PATH actually slightly underrates those who are COMPLETELY solo. Prelim performance was better.
Aseem Keyal 41.94 - Really impressive for first time performance
Mark Arildsen 29.58
Vimal Konduri 29.49
[Grace Liu just missing out at 28.something]
THIRD BRACKET
Evan Adams 68.07
Derek So 57.50 - This is honestly the only plug I'm gonna do. Derek is probably Top 25 at this point and suffers from not having any exposure. Look at the Online STIMPY mirror results and you'll see his performance was very similar to both mine and Dylan Minarik's. Max lists all the Top Bracket players in his "voting consideration" and its a shame he'll miss out on someone like this because he really CAN help a good team win.
Sam Braunfeld 48.31
Ewan MacAulay 43.01
Julian Fuchs 41.18
[Note that there were no players within 10 PATH of Julian Fuchs so there is a pretty steep dropoff here]

PLAYERS WHO ARE VERY GOOD AND WERE NOT AT ACF NATS:
Adam Silverman [NEEDS to be on your list somewhere in the Top 15]
Yogesh Raut
Natan Holtzman
Last edited by Windows ME on Sun May 03, 2015 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by theMoMA » Sun May 03, 2015 9:49 pm

Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote:We should be more inclusive and make this a top 50 player poll. No one gets left out!
I realize that Patrick is being somewhat facetious here, but it might be nice in future years to expand the ballot modestly (to 30, perhaps) and to rank the top 50 players. (Ranking a full top 50 would be somewhat work-intensive for ballot submitters, but I'm guessing you could get there from ballots of 30 or 35.) There's no real reason that we're limited to 25, and with the game expanding and the distribution of talent becoming more pluralistic, expanding the poll would be a nice way to recognize even more people.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Sun May 03, 2015 10:02 pm

theMoMA wrote:
Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote:We should be more inclusive and make this a top 50 player poll. No one gets left out!
I realize that Patrick is being somewhat facetious here, but it might be nice in future years to expand the ballot modestly (to 30, perhaps) and to rank the top 50 players. (Ranking a full top 50 would be somewhat work-intensive for ballot submitters, but I'm guessing you could get there from ballots of 30 or 35.) There's no real reason that we're limited to 25, and with the game expanding and the distribution of talent becoming more pluralistic, expanding the poll would be a nice way to recognize even more people.
I was only being half-facetious. As far as I can see, the first player poll was in 2007 when that year's ACF Nationals had 27 teams. This year's ACF Nationals had nearly double that. There's no reason why we can't expand the ballot to allow for more players (or more teams in the team rankings) and this could provide better PR/funding opportunities for teams (i.e. Player X/Team X is ranked 33rd in the country).
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Sun May 03, 2015 10:08 pm

Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote:this could provide better PR/funding opportunities for teams (i.e. Player X/Team X is ranked 33rd in the country).
Is this actually a thing for collegiate clubs?
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Sun May 03, 2015 10:27 pm

Excelsior (smack) wrote:
Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote:this could provide better PR/funding opportunities for teams (i.e. Player X/Team X is ranked 33rd in the country).
Is this actually a thing for collegiate clubs?
It is, but I doubt it applies to the player poll. No school is giving their club funding for having the 33rd best individual player in a team-based competition, or whatever.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun May 03, 2015 10:33 pm

You'd be amazed at what school administrators care about or find impressive.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by theMoMA » Sun May 03, 2015 11:07 pm

Aside from potential PR or funding benefits, the polls are cool things that we do as a community that bring us together on these forums. Yeah, they're speculative and they often lead to spirited discussion about different philosophies of ranking skill, but in my book, that's the whole point!
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon May 04, 2015 8:58 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote: No I'm not. I'm legitimately stating that Saajid's in the top 10 this year, absolute or relative.
You can't possibly be stating this "legitimately" if you continue to insist that some non-relative, absolute form of this statement exists! That's not what Top 10 means!

The point that I'm trying to make here is that anyone simply listing the things that their teammate is good at is doing absolutely nothing to help establish rankings, because there are no absolute criteria that correlate with a particular spot in the Top 25. Top 5, Top 10, etc. are not useful a priori numerical categories. For example, I think last year's Top 3 was a genuine tier unto itself: you, Bollinger, and Matt Jackson are all super-generalists with best-in-the-game specialist abilities in certain categories. I don't think anyone new has stepped into that tier this year. But someone still has to be third best, even if they don't meet last year's Top 3 criteria.

Last year, only people capable of being team leaders / high-scorers on a top-bracket team made it into the Top 10. Implicitly, if we are arguing that people like Saajid are in this year's Top 10, we are arguing either that: (a) there are not enough of those types of players to fill out the Top 10, or (b) some of the contributions made by supporting cast types who couldn't be good team leaders if thrust into that role are more valuable than the contributions of the leading players in the top bracket. For this to actually be an interesting discussion rather than people arguing from bullshit math or from authority, it would be helpful to make criteria like that into explicit rather than implicit areas of discussion.

To me, a reasoned, genuinely relative (rather than absolutist) argument for this year's Top 10 would go: Tier One is MattBo and Eric, for the reasons I suggested; Tier Two is players A, B, C, etc. because they can do "___" and no one else can; and Tier Three is X, Y, Z, etc. who can all do "[blank]" and no one else can; and if Tier Three spans across the 10-mark, then arguments have to be made is to which players in Tier Three deserve those spots most. This is not about whether Saajid is good in the abstract (he's obviously very good). And to be clear, I'm not arguing that Saajid doesn't deserve to be in the Top 10! I'm just saying that rattling on about how good he is in non-comparative terms doesn't tell us how many other people might also be around that good too, which is what ranking is about!
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:But let us say that Eric's post is meant to be more comparative than it sounds. Then, what it would mean is that Eric thinks that other players don't realize how good Saajid is, but Eric thinks he himself knows how good the other players are. But assuming our knowledge of Saajid is as fallible as he says, where the heck is Eric's supposedly better knowledge of others coming from?


From...playing with and against them? I'm trying to offset the fact that Saajid doesn't make a [as big of a] habit of posting on these forums to show his knowledge, or to argue about questions, as other people; like it or not, that's one way that people evaluate how good a given player is.
So, I point out that you're basically saying that you know how good other players are from playing against them, but other players don't know how good Saajid is from playing against him, which is why you need to tell them. You respond by repeating that you know how good other players are from playing against them....
It's not clear to me that "where you're supposed to buzz" is a good criterion, because it's incredibly subjective and relative where the "buzzpoint" is. For example, when Max Schindler and I race on a (misheard) description of the von Mangoldt function or a 6N-dimensional phase space integral, because we've both got the background, that's "where you buzz" in a high-level situation, but that's not necessarily the flashpoint in other situations (for example you "have to buzz" on the kT ln Z = Helmholtz free energy clue for partition function in a mid-level situation).
I suppose that I was unclear about what "where you're supposed to buzz" means. I meant that the points at which we buzzed were on clues that any self-appointed "music player" should know if they've been keeping up with recent packets. They were either recycled early clues (like the Poulenc flute clue at ICT, ironically a clue I've discussed with Matt Jackson in the IRC two times, because Rafael's beating me on that clue in 2012 started a rumor that Rafael "regularly" beat Kevin and me to music, when that was the only time he did) or were late buzzes by us on a pretty basic middle clue (like the Capriccio Espagnol clue at Oppen). They were signs of basic-level competence from both of us, rather than any notable prowess; which, once again, is not to say that Saajid isn't a great music player, now! It's just that those tossups happened not to demonstrate that.
Furthermore, even I knew the Antarctic Symphony clue you were buzzing on in the first playoff game at ACF nats, but we'd already cleared it so we weren't buzzing (you really think I'd let Chris Ray get Silla unchallenged otherwise?).
I'm not clear to me whether you didn't read what I wrote, are just trying to be nasty, or both. If I say that I have no first-hand in-match data on Saajid's music prowess, because all four of the music buzzes in our games were unimpressive, pointing out that my music buzz on that clue was unimpressive enough that you could have made it supports rather than refutes my argument, while adding a needless level of dickishness. And yes, of course I know you gave Silla to Chris! I was in that match too! I didn't know if you were punting me the last tossup (you'd already won, and most teams continue to play the rest of the tossups live after they've won: see a certain Patrick Liao's On-to-Ottawa buzz); but even if you were, that doesn't change the fact that there were no "good" music buzzes in our matches to provide data, which is all that I said.

Also, as I make clear, my point was not challenging the idea that Saajid is a good player. It is challenging the idea that four matches against out-of-region opponents necessarily helps one gauge people's strength in categories. I was making the point that sometimes, the questions you happen to play people on create poor diagnostic conditions for the qualities you wish to test, and reading into that small sample size of matches skews perceptions.
Have you considered using power percentage? I think that's helpful for depth at least
Powers are somewhat useful, but I don't find it as helpful as people say. Subjects are rarely edited to similar levels of depth, and most editors conform to answer-relative depth-of-cluing rather than difficulty-relative depth-of-cluing. (I'm not going to recap what this means here. I've done it too many times. Find an old post of mine on this subject, if you don't know what I mean.) If we knew which tossups a player powered, that would help. But also, as I'll say yet again, ranking player skill is a relative exercise, and not an absolute one. If there's a category that basically no one has a high power-rate on, but Player X is still buzzing earlier than most players, that's more valuable in a ranking situation than Player Y's tendency to buzz in-power against weak players in a category that great players are getting on the first/second line.
theMoMA wrote:
Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote:We should be more inclusive and make this a top 50 player poll. No one gets left out!
I realize that Patrick is being somewhat facetious here, but it might be nice in future years to expand the ballot modestly (to 30, perhaps) and to rank the top 50 players. (Ranking a full top 50 would be somewhat work-intensive for ballot submitters, but I'm guessing you could get there from ballots of 30 or 35.) There's no real reason that we're limited to 25, and with the game expanding and the distribution of talent becoming more pluralistic, expanding the poll would be a nice way to recognize even more people.
I think Magin has said something like this before, but as is probably clear from my post, I think that discussing the tiers that good players fall into in each year is more valuable than the numerical ranking. I also wish that we discussed individual categories more (ranked Top 5 for each category, for example). It would give more recognition to specialists (science players being the obvious ones, but even specialists in particular humanities categories) who might be getting shut out of the poll, because they're not Top 25 overall.

EDIT: grammar
Last edited by ThisIsMyUsername on Mon May 04, 2015 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by theMoMA » Mon May 04, 2015 10:19 am

Perhaps other methods of comparison would be more useful to discussion, but aggregating everyone's opinions into a numerical ranking to smooth out differences between opinions about players specifically and how to rank them generally is what's useful about the poll. What's important to, say, John Lawrence might not be important to, say, Eric Mukherjee. And how do you rank someone who's a proven third or fourth contributor on a really good team, such as Michael Coates or Patrick Liao, compared to someone who's leading a team to solid wins and a decent placement, such as Sean Smiley or Jordan Palmer? (That question is especially interesting because the counterfactual--how Jordan or Sean might perform with very good teammates, or how Michael or Patrick might perform if asked to lead a team, is not entirely clear; the value of even thinking through that counterfactual isn't even clear.)

I suppose that John would say that these questions are why tiers are more useful than rankings; if you create a tier called "the best third and fourth players on top-bracket-caliber teams," and discuss Michael's and Patrick's relative merits among that group, you sidestep the problem of comparison to an extent. (I don't think you get around it all the way though, because you run into the problem of comparing very good one-or-two-subject players, like Patrick, against people like Evan Adams on recent UVa teams, who are very good generalists experiencing strong shadow effects.)

I agree with what Bruce said above: it's not really up to any one person how to decide the relative merits of specialists or generalists, or first scorers on good teams vs. second scorers on great teams, etc. Aggregating those opinions into a ranking (and generating discussion both before and after the fact) what the poll is good for. Other discussions might be good for other things, of course, and nothing is preventing someone like John from starting a discussion of tiers or any other method of comparative discussion about the best players.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by grapesmoker » Mon May 04, 2015 10:43 am

holy shit did this thread get serious in a hurry

also you should be very intimidated by eric mukherjee because i have it on good authority (MY OWN TWO EYES) that he is a fifty-foot-tall betentacled helldemon who eats babies
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by vinteuil » Mon May 04, 2015 10:54 am

grapesmoker wrote:also you should be very intimidated by eric mukherjee because i have it on good authority (MY OWN TWO EYES) that he is a fifty-foot-tall betentacled helldemon who eats babies
Yeah, but that gaping chest wound really dampens the intimidation factor.
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Re: Player Poll 2015: LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS DUFUSES

Post by The Time Keeper » Mon May 04, 2015 11:10 am

theMoMA wrote:Aside from potential PR or funding benefits, the polls are cool things that we do as a community that bring us together on these forums. Yeah, they're speculative and they often lead to spirited discussion about different philosophies of ranking skill, but in my book, that's the whole point!
In my many years of observation I've found that "spirited discussions" quickly turn into "pissy shitfits" every single time.

A bunch of people are going to expend energy inventing some interesting metrics both qualitative and quantitative and no one will agree on anything and people will feel slighted by one another. I'm not trying to squelch discussion or anything, but this shit plays out the same way over and over again.

Evaluating quizbowl talent should be done in the form of those long-forgotten essays that (I think and am probably misremembering) Zeke and Andrew Yaphe did. Those were at least enjoyable to read.
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