Saturday, April 19, 2008

Monte Carlo: Mad eats humble pie

Sometime, a long time ago (but which statistical analysis tells me was Barcelona Season 3), I decided that to augment my already outstanding service to the press, I would start producing pie charts which would show - in an easy-to-understand, graphical manner - the wide distribution of nationalities that take part in a European Poker Tour event.

My first ever pie chart was this:


Anyway, I got a taste for it (pie, geddit) and soon was on a pie roll (contradiction in terms) and producing pie charts for every event.

By mid-season 4, my pies were becoming the talk of the media room. Long before I had the data analysed and colour-coded, the journalists from far and wide (p.c. to follow) would be clamoring for the chart. It was hard to keep up.

Nevertheless, I was doing a sterling job until the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo when my pie chart became the source of huge controversy.

Firstly I had only selected the top ten or so countries to include in the pie and all the others were complaining. Also, I had accidentally made Scotland a separate country rather than part of the UK and this had apparently upset Wales and Northern Ireland - who traditionally get lumped in into the UK (and quite rightly, in my opinion. They're lucky they don't all just get called England!!!!)

Anyway, as a result of this controversy, I had to a do NEW pie chart which carefully included Scotland as part of the UK and created an "others" section for countries with crap poker players:

I e-mailed it round to the media with the subject heading "Revised Pie Chart".

Thrillingly, this was opened by no less than 156 journalists including Arthur Crowson from who was at home, in Canada, on a Sunday, but decided it was worth opening an email called "Revised pie chart" within about 3 seconds of me sending it.

This led me to create a third pie chart, just for Arthur, which I sent him with the subject heading: Important Pie Chart. True to form, Arthur had snapped open this packet virtually the minute I pressed send.

Special Arthur pie chart:

By this time, pies were becoming all-consuming. Blonde - controversy vultures to a man - started work on their own charts and Chris Chaundler, heading up the EPT vblog team, decided my "obsession" was worth an entire mini-documentary.

I had thought that my revised pie chart would end the debate once and for all. But it was still deemed controversial. George Danzer for example, who might be a good poker player but knows fuck all about pie charts, complained in the video: "That's not possible. 'Other countries' can't be a country". Well, maybe it can't be a country, but it can be a fucking slice of pie, George!!!!

Meanwhile, on Blonde, the debate continued. Pie chart frenzy. Jen (who secretly loves pie charts; she confessed she even has a web page bookmarked called "Funny pie charts") doodled up a few more for fun:

This one was called "DUTHIE PUTS YOU ON...." and was a reference to our visionary leader's performance at guessing hands on Terribly cruel, but statistically 100% accurate:

In the hours between actually working, Jen created some more classics and a Blonde forum member called taximan posted up an absolute gem.

Best of all though were the pie charts created by Pip and Bea - working hard in the player lounge and with no access to either laptop or Excel spreadsheet, they hand-crafted some wizard pie charts on napkins.

Player in-ability to open bottles:

Aside from creating a pie chart made out of an actual pie (I think Pip could knock that up; very good at cooking), I really think we might have munched through the whole pie subject so I've now gone into bar charts. I leave you with this hum-dinger: EPT Growth Seasons 1 - 4.

Awesome. More to follow in Season 5.