Derby Dead Pool 2004: Final Analysis 1
By Statto

Due to popular demand, the end-of-game analysis will be less detailed than 2003's. When he printed last year's out in preparation for 2004's, Statto was amazed to find that it ran to 13 pages! Apologies to anyone who bothered to read it...

The game

This year was a busy one, with 38 celebs dying, ranging from Tom Hurndall on 14 January to Artie Shaw on 30 December. This was a record number for the Derby Dead Pool and continues the growing trend we noticed last year. The number of hits is even more striking when compared to the average for previous years' games. However, it should be realised that this is more a result of the growth in DDP itself than success by the players – in 2004 only 9% of choices died, compared with 12% in 2003 and 8% in 2002.

Monthly number of hits 2004 plotted against 1996–2003 average

Although total hit counts were higher in 2004, this was not reflected in the winning score.'s 37 points, though very respectable (and much higher than Statto's alter ego has ever reached), was still only the fourth highest in the seven years since records began – a sign that there wasn't so great a gap between the leaders and the rest of the field as in 2003's whitewash.

Winning scores 1996–2004

More exciting than the bare statistics was the down-to-the-line race between Otis, You Want A Treat? and – the latter snatching the prize away by the last-minute death of Artie Shaw. To many of us languishing further down the scoreboard, this was a much more interesting match than 2003, which had been a foregone conclusion from mid-year onwards.

The choices

As mentioned above, fewer of the choices score this year than last (9% compared to 12%). Overall, 529 points were scored by the 43 teams, an average of 12.30 points each – this is disappointing, considering that the average for 2003 was 18.46 (24 players scoring 443 points), and can't really be explained, especially given that some big scorers died last year.

I'm certainly not going to repeat last year's totally pointless exercise of calculating an Originality Quotient, but readers who are anal enough to waste as much time as I did then may like to read 2003's analysis and follow the methodology. That may prove or disprove the disappointing feeling that in 2004 we went for quantity over quality.

The winning team

Congratulations should go to for their selection. But what can we learn from it?

They were almost scuppered by our bonus system. All their choices attracted penalty points by being over 80 years old, and only two attracted bonuses by being original picks. Otis, as we saw in 2003, benefited from using the bonus and joker system well, and his six hits only scored four points less that's nine hits. But when it came down to it, chose more people who died – and that's what scores points in this game. It's close when six hits score almost as much as nine.

Read on for more of Statto's end-of-year analysis...

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