Out of the nearly 900 people who started the Words With Friends monthly tournament, 20 winners have navigated a cutthroat field to make it through to round 6. After this round is complete we will be left with our top 10 and I’m left with the unenviable task of paring this back to 8 players for the quarterfinals. It’s a rather vexing problem. Out of the top 1% of players how is it possible to differentiate between the 6th best player and the 8th best player?
The answer is that you can’t. The important thing is to have an agreed upon set of rules so that everybody understands the criteria before the matches are played. This set of rules is as follows:
From the final 10 players, the top 6 will automatically go through. The bottom 4 will play in a best of 3 match up, with the two winners going through to the quarterfinals.
- Anybody who wins 2-0 is automatically ranked above anybody who wins 2-1
- For players with the same win/loss record, ranking is determined by margin of victory. This is calculated as (total points scored – total points against) / number of games
Some illustrative examples:
Player X wins 437-385, 405-404. Player Y wins 596-392, 401-402, 605-334. Player X ranks higher by rule 1
Player X wins 437-385, 405-404. Player Y wins 596-392, 605-334. Player X MOV = (842 – 789) / 2 = 26.5. Player Y MOV = (1201 – 726) / 2 = 237.5. Player Y ranks higher by rule 2
I don’t think these rules have any strategic impact. The optimal strategy is still just to play your best game. Good luck to all.