Ratings - Not Rewarding Good Play

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by Scizor, Apr 16, 2008.

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  1. Scizor

    Scizor New Member

    So, I went into Regionals hoping to defend my title and gain some rating points to put myself in a position to where I wouldn't have to crush U.S. Nationals to qualify via rating. After a 2-0 start, I unluckily get paired down with one of the best players in the room who happened to be 1-1. On top of this, it isn't an easy matchup and I lost a close game. It's cool, I'll just win out and make cut as this ruins my resistance. I end up winning out in swiss to finish 5-1 and make the T16 cut. At this point I figure it's been a pretty good day and I've gained some points for sure. I win my T16 match and am now feeling pretty good. In T8 I have some unfortuante things happen in Games 2&3 and I lose. Could have done better, but I had some uncontrollable things happen. Still, T8 with a 6-2 overall record is nothing to cry about.

    I look at the ratings just minutes ago and see that NorCal Regionals has been put in and I gained only 10 points. I thought ratings were supposed to award consistent play? I'm 27-5 on the season, which has to be one of the highest win % in North America. I'm almost punished because I made T8 at Regionals?

    Because my state of California doesn't have very many high ratings at all, I gained feeble amounts of points with each win. And I lost a ton for my two losses. It's not my fault that there aren't high ratings here. I can only control what I do and I like to think I've played pretty well this year and last year.

    Once all the Regionals have updated there will be 0 players from California in the T25 going into Spring Battle Roads. I pointed out after States that I was the only one in the T25 after them. This is the largest playing Region in the World. Home of several winners, great players, judges and just a lot of great people. But just look at how hard it is to get an invite here.

    This isn't just something like a different person wins every event here, either. Some people seem to think that, but it's not true. I won 4 of the 6 events I attended in California last year and got 2nd and went 3-0 drop in the other two. This year I got 2nd at the one City Championship I went to and dominated States going 10-0. This seems to show that one has to be absolutely perfect to gain an invite from here.

    Why is this?

    Other areas simply have more events in a closer proximity. This allows people to go to several events and build up their ratings across the board. If you take a look at the ratings right now, you'll see that there seems to be the most players from the NorthEast, MidWest and Pacific NorthWest in the T50 or so. These happen to be areas with many events in a concentrated area, as I pointed out. Places such as Washington recieve several Battle Roads and City Championships in a very small radius compared to other areas and are able to build up their ratings. This isn't a new thing. It's been going on for two years.

    It's great that there are many events ran in these places on different dates. But to say it doesn't give these places a distinct advantage is simply false and there is plenty of evidence by looking at the ratings to suggest this. Going to more events DOES give you a higher rating if you are doing well.

    So in the end, it looks as if I and California are in the same boat we were last year: I'm about in the T30 and will have to at least top cut Nationals to qualify and the rest of my state is going to have to at least T16 with a great record. All this for just an invite to Worlds. And here I thought Worlds was supposed to be a collection of the greatest players from each Region. I do my part in California.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. Robbgobb

    Robbgobb New Member

    That is what happens with a system that makes playing so important. The change in K-value doesn't stop the fact that playing more is important. Finding a place with little competion will still net good points over a period if enough events are played where playing fewer with tougher competition can mean gaining little as everyone keeps trading points.
  3. z-man

    z-man New Member

    I had the same problem... I went 5-1 in normal tournament, won in T8, and then lost in T4. I ended up going down by about 1.75 points. Overall... this season, I have won 44 games, and lost 5 this season. Now, every time I lose, its like a big slap in my face. I suppose there is nothing that can be done about this, but I hate having to worry about losing games because no one in my area is even close to my rating.

    For you. there are so many people that no one or two people can consistantly win tournaments, so they can build their points off of each other. For me, there are too few tournaments. What I mean by this is that we have 2 cities, and 4 battle roads each year in the state of Nevada. Because of this, I have no one to get that many points from tournaments that I haven't gone to. Because of this, I am forced to go undefeated, or lose a lot of points at each and every tournament that I go to.

    Personally, I think that to fix this solution, we should get a number of points that are equal to the number of games you've won minus the number of games that you have lost. This is a decent reward for playing consistantly, and it doesn't really skew the ratings too much.
  4. NoPoke

    NoPoke New Member


    Assuming I've thought this through properly, then your average opponent at the tournament was some 108 rating points lower than you. The rating system would expect you to go roughly 4-2 against these opponents. Since you managed a better record of 6-2 it rewarded you with a 10 point gain. I can't comment if 10 points is an appropriate reward for a T16 finish. But at least it was positive.

    If I'm way off on your average opponent please post the ratings changes for the 8 rounds.

    [I'm not disagreeing with anything that you wrote. Just throwing in some numbers]


    z-man, a pure reward system would be worse for those areas that have fewer opportunities to play. The non-linearity in the ELO equation that results in only a +10 gain is also keeping the areas with lots of games in check too.

    Where the ratings system has a problem is with the strong player who enters the season late with a nominal rating of 1600. Such players grinch a lot of points off everyone they beat. I have no idea if the west coast is afflicted with a lot of grinches.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008

    BANGINBOX New Member


    I see where you are coming from, but would this be an issue had you won the event? (no sarcasm, serious question)

    I personally think that PUI has made more than enough accomodation for you and others in your situation at other players expense. They have basically ruined the tournament structure (states and regs being limited) to try and make it more "FAIR" to all of you. How many more accomodations need to be made before we really mess things up?

    Frankly, this was not "FAIR" to the majority of the player base. I personally would like to see ranking disappear altogether. It hasnt proven itself as an effective way of determining who is the best in the country. Allow those who can play multiple times to actually play. Isnt that what we are here for anyhow. Some people can only make those types of events. Nationals and Worlds are NEVER an option for them. Why would we limit those people to ensure that others can POSSIBLY benefit?

    This year has been an utter disappointment for organized play as a whole. I completely understand that PUI is doing everything they can with the money they are given. Unfortunatly for them, they chose to spoil us first, then slowly dwindle away at a good thing.

    As a store owner I have seen many games come and go. I felt Pokemon and Magic are different from the rest cause the actually listen to their player base. I would not be surprised if organized play was completely gone in 2-3 years due to bugetary shortfalls. If you think about it, we are avery small portion of total revenue for Nintendo as a whole. It probably wouldnt even be missed, cept by us players.

    So if you and the other California players are still in the same boat as last year. Obviously the things they did to help (player rankings) did not work. Its been 2 years now. Experiment should be re-evaluated and dismissed. The old way of letting the top 2 at regionals and top 8 at nats go to worlds under an invite was perfect. Then I would agree to keep regionals to 1 day.

    Please dont take this the wrong way Chad. I have a great deal of respect for you and what you are trying to do for the West coast. But it is burning me that it is being done at everyone elses expense,

  6. I'll just save everyone's precious time and act out this thread's future

    I post a sour grapes picture
    Some people come in and whine about how the points system sucks and they should bring back gym challenges in lieu of the fact that they were the ones who complained about gym challenges in the first place
    Vince comes in and hypes Missouri and how he mentored 5 billion senior Worlds winners
    Some Floridans come in and agree with Chad
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2008
  7. Ho Megas Alexandros

    Ho Megas Alexandros New Member

    More sour grapes:

    At Florida Regionals, I lose to Zach Fisher round one. Won out to make it into top cut. Eric Craig knocks me out of Top4, wins the tournament and I get a 4th place trophy.
    8-2 @ Florida Regionals

    Total points Gained from 8 wins: +89.36
    Total points Lost due to 2 loss: (52.73)
    Net Points going 8-2: +36.63

    I was going to point out how weak the rating system is, but after doing that math.... I don't even know anymore.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  8. TheDarkTwins

    TheDarkTwins Active Member

    I went 6-2, and only gained 24 or so points. We had 7 rounds and I lost to 2 really hard matchups. However, at an event like Chad's that he had only 6 rounds, if you went 4-2 there was a realistic chance you could make the cut. I could go 7-3 getting 2nd, (which is really good) and actually stay the same as before the tournament. I can see where Chad is coming from, but I am not sure that it is something that can be fully solved.

  9. SlimeyGrimey

    SlimeyGrimey New Member

    This is the source of the problem. While one player can play just as well against equal competition as another player from a different region, one of them gains a lot more points than the other based on the ratings of their opponents.

    In one area you'll have a lot of events (br's and cc's) where several players get the opportunity to consistantly raise their rating, while in another area, the players do not have this opporunity to the same extent. When the big events roll around, the players who have had more opportunities to raise their rating gain consistantly more. Due to variability in winners of the earlier events, more players have a higher rating, so someone who wins several games against these people gains a lot of points. In an area with less small events only a few players are able to experience success, so there are only a few elevated ratings. Now when the large events roll around, the players with the high ratings must do very well to gain any reasonable number of points because they are forced to play against lower rated opponents, on average.

    As a result, someone in California can go 6-2 and gain only a few points, while someone in Washington can go 5-3 and break even, with a rating only 25 lower.
  10. GinoLombardi21

    GinoLombardi21 New Member

    Total points from 9 wins: 133.00Total points Lost due to 2 losses: 43.00Net Points going 9-2: +(90.33)Srry just thought i'd share my magnificent gain in premier rating points.
  11. meganium45

    meganium45 Active Member

    The number of seniors I have mentored is 6 million.

    To gain the points, you have to beat the best.

    If you (a) beat a bunch of low rated people and then (b) lose to the higher rated people, guess what??

    Your points will not raise as much.

    California did NOT have a huge number at either Regional this year.

    So you were now punished for playing in a small Regional that you did not beat competitive players at?

    To gain massive points you need to (a) beat the people you are supposed to beat, and (b) beat most of the people you should have trouble beating.

    Anyone rated 1780 or more that went x-2 without beating a highly rated player should feel LUCKY they did not lose points.

    Anytime you go x-2....each of your wins is what, about 10 points a piece, and your losses 30 a piece in a 40K event if you are 150+ points ahead of your competition?

    Seems to reflect the competition faced.

    Not agreeing with the current system, but this outcome seems OK.

  12. sgtdarryl

    sgtdarryl New Member

    I have this to say ,I guess better luck in the Nationals or next year if you're going to Nationals

    SLOW DECK New Member

    For everyone that thinks they belong in the top 64 players in the world, there is about 500 of you that are wrong.

    Not all of the truely best 64 players (or however number of spots at worlds), will make it to worlds.

    Life isn't fair.

    Does ELO, or ANY alternative ranking system solve this? -- NO

    Is the winner of any Tournament, truely the best player??, or just the winner of the Tournament. - The best player that day, is the truest statement that could be said.

    Is the player with the highest ELO score the best player or just the player that achieved the highest ELO during the season? Obviously just the player who achieved the highest ELO.

    If I ruled PUI for a day.
    Regional Winners All Get Into Worlds
    Nationals Top X All Get Into Worlds
    Then maybe a small minority get in because of rankings. (with pass downs)

    Far from perfect also, but at least you have less people jocking and scheming for ELO points, especially if Regionals are going to be all on the same day. No one complains about winners getting in, the ELO invites should be a small group of world players. There is the lottory effect for all the Pokemon Community to enjoy know if they do well at Regionals or Nationals, they can go to Worlds.
  14. ShadowGuard

    ShadowGuard <a href="http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=

    I never understood why they use ranking with b-o-1 games in swiss rounds. You get donked T2 and lose more points than you win in three other games.

    ELO rating originally was design for chess - a game without luck and without matchup adventages. Yes, it's used in Magic and other card games as well, but those games are played b-o-3 afaik.

    In addition to this problem, the invite system we got this year is maybe the worst ever. Result will be to see the richest players at Worlds and not the most skilled players. People who can manage to go to every tournament in the country, play net-deck meta and drop after 2-3 before the real competition starts and who can purchase a trip to Worlds with their own money will get to worlds. People who win three Cities, a State and a Regional Championship with a non-meta deck like Beedrill, Arithmetic or whatever maybe won't if they don't manage to win their Nationals.

    btw my finals opponent at one States lost points for getting 2nd.
  15. Diaz

    Diaz New Member

    I'm still kind of on the fence with this.

    I would contend that my season has been one of the best in the world this year. I won a couple of BRs, I won 6 CCs, came in second at 5, I won a States, and I came in second at Regionals. If we were in a pro-points system, I’d probably be pretty near the top of the list.

    The problem I have, is that one bad day can ruin a season. After the first weekend of states, I was ranked #1 in master NA. Then, at DE states, I went 2-3. It was a horrible day for me, I did very poorly, had tons of bad luck, and lost around 70-80 points. I went from 1st to around 25th. After that I came in 2nd at regionals, with an overall record of 8-3. I gained twenty something points and am currently in 27th place. Had I not had that one bad day, I would probably be in the top 5ish ranks.

    The rating system makes every event critical to getting an invite.

    This could be either a good or bad thing. It makes players take every event very seriously. One bad day can wreck a season.

    With a pro-points system, you only gain points. Going 2-3 at an event is like not going to the event at all.

    If I had just not gone to that one SC, I would have a much better rank.

    This is just my situation, take from it what you want, I’m not sure what system is the best.
  16. ShadowGuard

    ShadowGuard <a href="http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=

    And this is the point where I'm thinking...
    do they want to punish people for playing?
    Do they want to punish them for testing new decks in the case they don't work well?

    And looking on that system, my only conclusion is: "Yes, they really want to."
  17. dimension

    dimension New Member

    I can definately see your side of things. This year my son Robert G. Jr. , in the junoirs has won 22 tournaments in a row and finished 2nd at Regionals. His second at regionals lost him 40 points in ratings. He went 4-2, made the top 8, won the next 2 matches and lost in finals. Imagine a second place finish and you LOSE 40 points for the day. In States he had 1 loss and I believe he only gained 9 points for his win for the day. He went from the #1 player in the world to 17th in all ages. Been a crazy season, hard to explain to a kid that sometimes no matter what you do, it will hurt your rating. I totally undertand that when you lose to a lower ranked player it crushes your ratings, but it still kinda stinks. He doesn't have sour grapes, he is happy as can be that he grabbed 2nd at regionals, as we are and it kinda takes some pressure off of him honestly. He is really looking forward to playing Nats and Worlds. :thumb:

    On a side note: I emailed Pokemon asking if 22 wins in a row was a record, but they aren't able to get me that info. Anyone know anyone else that's ever won 22 consecutive tournaments?
  18. DarthPika

    DarthPika New Member

    I think that rankings are a joke for determining who is the best player. My bro in seniors did rly well at BR's winning several, did so/so at CC,s and won 2 States with an 16/2 record for both. At regs he gets donked 2 times by togikiss, and a t2 Gardy, so his rating went down by a good 60pts, putting him at n70 somthing in the country. Now just because he got donked in a way he could not control his rating is not good enough for worlds ATM. Considering that his record on the season is 34/7 his rating should be much higer, but its not due to donks by not so great players. How is this a fair way to determin who gets to worlds and who doesn't?
  19. Spirit Of Mew

    Spirit Of Mew New Member

    What is not fair right now is not the points it's the format I think that DP has failed us it is almost impossible to go rogue because there are no good cards to go rogue with.
  20. Prof Clay

    Prof Clay New Member

    Tournaments are NOT the place to test new decks if you are worried about rankings.

    The rankings system is not perfect...there may not be a perfect way to determine the best players.

    But...if you want to do well in the rankings and DESERVE a high ranking, then you need to win. You have to beat all those under you and also beat the ones above you. Great players will win most of their games.

    Will you have bad luck, sure in maybe in 1 or 2 matches...but when given the opportunity to beat equal or higher players , you HAVE to win most of them to move up the ranks...its not all about just winning games guys..its who you beat. If you are the tops of your area, well...you'd better keep winning.

    The masters division is a tough place because there are so many good players who beat up on each other, keeping the points down...but you will find that there are some truly GREAT players who will rise to the top every year.

    This is especially true in the senior division...there are many names in that top 25 who have been top 32 at Worlds more than 1 time either in Juniors or Seniors.

    Also guys...what are rankings really worth this year....An opportunity to NOT have to play on Friday in Orlando and grind in. I am sure that the players who feel they have been unfairly judged by the ranking system will rise to the top 4 at Nationals or take one of the Grinder spots.

    Keep winning guys.


    Back to back posts merged. The following information has been added:

    I beg to differ on it being impossible to go rogue right now...most people simply don't have the guts to do so.

    Jimmy has given the best explanation about rogue I can come up with.

    At St Louis Regionals 2 rogue decks won..played by 2 world's tested players. Jimmy's Arithmetic deck was played numerous places and did well...including 2nd in St Louis

    Do something new in the format yourself, don't complain about staleness...we create ourselves as a community. I recall rogue winning Nats a couple years ago..don't you?
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
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