The Picks Game - Wrap Up

by: Peter Bodo | June 11, 2007

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TENNIS.com

Veni, vidi, vici.Picksgame_21

He came, he saw, he conquered.

He was perfect to this point.  And now the moment was here: would he shrink from it - or risk it all, that one, final roll of the dice - for glory or ignominy?

For patrick, there was only one answer: 

Men

Federer - Nadal 1

And on Steve Tignor's blog, patrick wrote: "The match is going to be very close but in the end, Nadal will win in 4 sets to 3-peat RG."

Dang.  Boys and girls, them's Wilanders.

And with that, patrick went 36/0 - with a Robin Hood-like final arrow splitting the arrow already in the target.  Good shooting, patrick.

But patrick wasn't the only person to cover himself (or herself) with glory.  patrick was our top sniper for the tournament, but he chose to squeeze the trigger on slightly under 60% (36/62) of the targets.  What of those who took 'em all on?

In the Men's tournament, here were some outstanding pickers:

Ali C (28/2):  Ginger (27/3):  Ray Stonada, the Original Frenchie and the Tribe (26/4).

For the Women, these were some standouts:

lilly potter (27/2): Zola, mmmm8 and the Tribe (25/6): gvgirl and fleaman(24/5) and Luke (24/7).

Overall, lilly potter picked most wins (52/7), closely followed by Ali C and the Tribe (51/10), mmmm8 (50/12) and Ray Stonada, fleaman and ginger (49/10), and Luke (49/13).

[Andrew note - updated and corrected at 9:00pm 06/11]

Now for the upset pick - the person who stood out from the herd, and made the contrarian call or calls at the right time.

Two picks stand out: Verdasco - Ferrer (Tribe confidence: 88%) and Bartoli - Dementieva (Tribe confidence: 85%).  Only two people made both these calls: Ali C and (the picker known as) P.  No-one successfully made a pick against 90% or more of the tribe.  When the Tribe expressed a confidence level of >90%, it picked correctly 29/29.

So just how good was the Tribe at picking?  Did it exercise genuine skill?  Well, a success rate of 84%, or 51/10, might lead one to think so.  But consider this: if one had just used the "naive" strategy of picking the higher ranked player over the lower, a poster might have gotten 51/11, or 82%.  So, I regret to say, the jury's still out on this one.

The Tribe made 4 "brave but wrong" picks: Ferrero(20) - Youzhny(15) (53%);  Bjorkman(39) - Hernandez (61) (70%);  Safarova(29) - Chakvetadze(9) (69%); Henin(1) - S Williams(8) (54%).

On the other hand, the Tribe made 5 good calls against the rankings: Mathieu(40) - Andreev(125) (63%);  Bammer(25) - Li(18) (52%); Baghdatis(19) - Andreev(125) (67%); Ivanovic(7) - Sharapova(2) (60%); and Federer(1) - Nadal(2) (52%)  (Sobs quietly)

So that's about it for the Picks Game for Roland Garros.  I'd like to put these pickers up for wee prizes, Pete and the Tennis.com budget allowing:

patrick, Ali C and Ginger, lilly potter and Zola, Ray Stonada, mmmm8, fleaman and P. 

If you are one of these people and we don't have your contact information, please eMail Pete.  If you think I've made a pig's ear of the arithmetic and you should be getting a winner's trophy, or at least a keepsake silver plate, please let me know (politely, TW site rules etc) in the comments.  Congratulations to our champions, and thanks to all for playing.

Let us know if you enjoyed the game, and have thoughts for how it might be improved.  Serious technological improvements (eg web based forms, .asp etc) may have to wait until someone here can figure out how to code them.

I leave you with one final thought: knowing the future is tough, when it appears a good percentage of us have difficulty grappling with the present.

-- Andrew

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