Fargo Rate Question

Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
This is what I have a problem with. You dont play for 8 years. You come join a BCA league to go play singles. You are given a rating that puts pretty much smack in the middle of Gold division. You rating stays the same thru league. You enter with a 545. Then one day you look and you are 618. Now you are are more then likely platinum. This will be your vacation time. You have a chance at doing well in Gold. Not much chance and Platinum. Is it fair they changed it after you enter based on 30 or so league games?

Players aren't considered to to be rated (Fargo uses the term "established") until they have 200 games in the system. Two hundered games was chosen because this is the point when you can have confidence that your rating is reasonably accurate and pretty close to your true skill level. Incidentally, even after 200 games, the more games you have in the system, the more fine tuned and accurate your rating continues to become, and this always remains true as your number of games increases, but by 200 games it is almost always already pretty darn accurate/close.

So why then does Fargo allow you to see any preliminary rating at all prior to you being established with 200 games in the system? In a word, convenience. That way you don't have to wait until you have 200 games in the system before your rating can even be seen at all, and as a result, used. While this is a nice convenience for users, FargoRate has been clear that this absolutely has to come with the understanding that this ball park preliminary rating can move significantly as new games are added to the system, and that prior to 200 games it can be anywhere from reasonably accurate to fairly inaccurate.

What is the purpose of the starter rating that is assigned to new players? The starter rating is simply intended, during the first 200 games, primarily to keep a player's rating at least be in the same universe as their true skill, and to a lesser extent to also somewhat minimize how large the rating swings will be as new games are played and added to the system. The starter rating is averaged in with the rating from the actual games played.

If SVB only had 6 games in the system, and it turns out these 6 games came from a race against a decent league player where SVB had a really bad match and lost 5-1, then if no starter rating was used SVB's preliminary rating at that point might end up showing as say a 347 (because he actually performed like a 347 that match, and that match is the only info FargoRate has on him up to that point). Well as you can see 347 wouldn't even be in the same universe as his true skill level of 820ish. But if he was assigned a starter rating of say 800 based on an educated guess, when his 347 performance from those five games is averaged in with his 800 starter rating then his preliminary rating after those first 6 games might show as something like a 788 instead. Now neither of those ratings would be super accurate yet because they are still just a preliminary non-established rating with only 6 games in the system, but at least 788 is in the same universe as his true skill level as is certainly much closer to it than 347 would be and so it allows for the system to be used even with a preliminary rated as long as you keep in mind that the preliminary rating, especially with only a few games in the system, just has them in the same ball park universe and is not yet real accurate.

To elaborate further on how the starter rating affects the preliminary FargoRate rating, to simplify, essentially what happens is that at first the starter rating is given a lot of weight and the actual games played carry less weight, but the closer you get to 200 games the less weight the starter rating carries towards your preliminary rating, and at 200 games the starter rating no longer carries any weight and is not factored in at all.

For example, lets say you have a starter rating of 600, and 20 games in the system where you performed like a 500. Because you only have a few games in the system, the starter rating carries more weight when the two are averaged together and your preliminary rating would probably be something like a 590. If you had that same 600 starter rating, and 100 games in the system performing as a 500, then your preliminary rating would probably be something like a 550. Since you were exactly half way to being established, your starter rating and the ratings from your actual games are carrying a similar amount of weight. If you had that same 600 starter rating, and had 180 games in the system performing like a 500, then your preliminary rating would probably be around a 510 because by this time the rating from your actual games is carrying the most weight and the starter rating is carrying very little weight. And of course, if you had that same starter rating of 600, and 200 games in the system performing as a 500, then your rating would be 500 because your starter rating now carries zero weight and is no longer factored in at all.

Obviously the more accurate your starter rating is, the more accurate your preliminary rating will be prior to you having 200 games in the system and having a fully established rating. I wouldn't get too caught up on how accurate somebody's starter rating is though because again, it is only intended to get you in the same universe as your true rating. The starter rating is almost never going to be exactly what your real skill level is, and frankly, if there was a way of being able to precisely guess and give a perfectly accurate starter rating then FargoRate wouldn't be needed. That is precisely the whole need for and purpose of FargoRate though, to provide that accurate rating, but it is going to take 200 games in the system to get you there and you have to understand that until then your rating may be off to some extent. Be patient though, because once established your rating will be pretty accurate and miles better than any other rating system out there.

All that said, your friend is actually performing at a level ABOVE a 618 level and if it were not for the starter rating his rating, based on actual games played, would be even higher than 618. Again, the starter rating is there primarily to keep you in the same ball park universe as your true skill level. When it was seen by CSI or whoever that he was performing significantly over a 600 speed with 30 games in the system, they raised his starter rating from 500 to 600 to get his preliminary rating in the same universe as his actual skill. With the 500 starter rating his preliminary rating was not in the same universe as his actual skill but it is now. Again, your friend, to date, is performing ABOVE a 618 level and in his case his new 600 starter rating is still having the effect of actually lowering his preliminary rating from what it would be if his starter rating was not being factored in at all and they were only going by how he has so far performed in the actual games he has played.

If, after some more games, it turns out your friend was just on a hot streak and was performing way over his head, and/or his opponents were playing way under their norm, FargoRate will "see" it and it will be reflected in his rating. That's why it takes 200 games to be fully established, because you need a big enough sample size for those under and over performances of both you and your opponents to wash out.

As for what division you are supposed to be in at Nationals, we always tend to look at it from the perspective of which division we can be really strong in, or even have a chance or be favored to place high in or even win. This isn't the right or fair way to look at it though. Unless divisions were made to be incredibly small and with lots and lots of them (which means really tiny payouts which nobody wants), there is always going to be somebody at the bottom of any division, and they may have little or perhaps even no chance for winning that division or perhaps for even getting in the money. That doesn't mean they are in the wrong division though. There is always going to be somebody at the bottom of any division. The appropriate way to consider the question of if you are in the correct division or not is is to ask if you are about equal to or better than the worst guy in the division, and if you are about equal to or worse than the best guy in the division. If the answer to both those questions is yes, then you are without a doubt in the appropriate division.
 
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hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yep. But the other xxx matches we played during the season we had the same record against the same players and he’s rated a 647 and I’m about 550.

Were those handicapped races? In which case that sound correct. The reason there is handicapping is to make the weaker player win as much as the better player, if done properly. For win/loss rating that is, if you both beat the same players by the same score that would be odd. If you played a 500 and you won 5-4, then he should beat that same person with a 5-2 score, over time. A 550 is a B, a 647 is an A, you would know if you were a B and he was an A, there are pretty clear differences.
 
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DunnM1

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
FargoRate

This is one of the reasons why my team dropped from BCAPL. If I was really what FargoRate said I was I would be stealing in the OPEN division at VNEA National in Vegas, instead of just getting into the money each year. FargoRate has to many problems to believe!
 

sbpoolleague

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for all the responses. I will make one last point and then move on.

I agree his fargo rate well work itself out in time. Thats of course assuming this doesn't turn him off from BCA.

This is what I have a problem with. You dont play for 8 years. You come join a BCA league to go play singles. You are given a rating that puts pretty much smack in the middle of Gold division. You rating stays the same thru league. You enter with a 545. Then one day you look and you are 618. Now you are are more then likely platinum. This will be your vacation time. You have a chance at doing well in Gold. Not much chance and Platinum. Is it fair they changed it after you enter based on 30 or so league games?

Take care!

MarknTorrance

Hey Mark it's Chris. I can see CSI changing a newer player's (newer to Fargo that is) starting rating based on what they see in a Vegas tourney, but not based on league play. If you are using LMS, I think you can go in and change his starter rating back to where you think it should be. I might be wrong though.

Unfortunately, players that have few games in the Fargo system are subject to weird rating changes. Just because your player didn't have the top win pct doesn't mean much to Fargo. It's not just wins and losses...it's WHO you win and lose to. Knock off a lot of top players and your rating shoots up. Lose to a bunch of lower players and the opposite happens.

Good luck in Vegas this year. Unfortunately I might not be able to make it. First time in 15 years.
 

MarknTorrance

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Chris,

Yes I am supposed to be able to change it back. But since it was such a drastic differnce i decided to go thru proper channels. I did check after to see if i could and was unable to.

To bad you cant make it. This might be my last year.

MarknTorrance
 

sixpack

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Were those handicapped races? In which case that sound correct. The reason there is handicapping is to make the weaker player win as much as the better player, if done properly. For win/loss rating that is, if you both beat the same players by the same score that would be odd. If you played a 500 and you won 5-4, then he should beat that same person with a 5-2 score, over time. A 550 is a B, a 647 is an A, you would know if you were a B and he was an A, there are pretty clear differences.

Not handicapped.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Not handicapped.

Then in several matches you should notice a difference. I've beaten players ranked better than me often, even. Does not mean that in a year the matches will end up being even, but a tournament or two it can happen.

Simple way to tell if one of your rankings is off. 550 is a B, can you run out on the ghost with ball in hand 8 or 9 balls to beat the ghost? If not, then 550 is right for you. Can your 650 friend? If he can't, then 650 is too high for him. I circle the 550 ranking, been within 20 points of that pretty much since I got into the Fargo system. I can beat the 7 ball ghost but not sure if I can the 8 ball ghost. That is the right speed for a B+, which matches my Fargo pretty well. I've had a few 2 and 3 pack 9 and 8 ball runs, but very few. I can run out a rack of 8 or 9 ball a few times a night in a tournament. Again, in line with B, B+ play. If you can do better, say you run a 2 pack every night or run out every 3rd game, then you are too low in Fargo.
 

sixpack

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Then in several matches you should notice a difference. I've beaten players ranked better than me often, even. Does not mean that in a year the matches will end up being even, but a tournament or two it can happen.

Simple way to tell if one of your rankings is off. 550 is a B, can you run out on the ghost with ball in hand 8 or 9 balls to beat the ghost? If not, then 550 is right for you. Can your 650 friend? If he can't, then 650 is too high for him. I circle the 550 ranking, been within 20 points of that pretty much since I got into the Fargo system. I can beat the 7 ball ghost but not sure if I can the 8 ball ghost. That is the right speed for a B+, which matches my Fargo pretty well. I've had a few 2 and 3 pack 9 and 8 ball runs, but very few. I can run out a rack of 8 or 9 ball a few times a night in a tournament. Again, in line with B, B+ play. If you can do better, say you run a 2 pack every night or run out every 3rd game, then you are too low in


Thank you for the insight.

I took 10 years off and am working my way back into form but only playing 1 night a week. Lol. So on a bar table I can run out quite a bit and beat 7 ball ghost easily. When I quit I was beating the 9 ball ghost on medium tight 9’ table.

I win a lot of games with experience more than outright firepower. Our league is 1 game each (8b) against 4 players. You break two. I BNR once in a while but certainly not every week. Although I do get out on open tables a lot.

I don’t think I’m very far out of line on my Fargo rating as I’m playing now. I’m on the verge of getting ‘it’ back though and then my game is going to jump and then I’ll be underrated. Incidentally I just checked the other player and he has dropped to a 600. Maybe there is something to this Fargo rating after all?
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thank you for the insight.

I took 10 years off and am working my way back into form but only playing 1 night a week. Lol. So on a bar table I can run out quite a bit and beat 7 ball ghost easily. When I quit I was beating the 9 ball ghost on medium tight 9’ table.

I win a lot of games with experience more than outright firepower. Our league is 1 game each (8b) against 4 players. You break two. I BNR once in a while but certainly not every week. Although I do get out on open tables a lot.

I don’t think I’m very far out of line on my Fargo rating as I’m playing now. I’m on the verge of getting ‘it’ back though and then my game is going to jump and then I’ll be underrated. Incidentally I just checked the other player and he has dropped to a 600. Maybe there is something to this Fargo rating after all?

If you can beat the 9 ball ghost on a 9 footer that would make you an A. As long as players play their real game, and have a bunch of games in the system, the rating will even out. Especially when paying even against people. I think handicaps make Fargo take longer to get to a real rating since many game situations can come up that equal a win but won't tell you how you played. If you have point spots like in USAPL, you can loose to someone where they win one game to your 3 or 4 or even 5 due to making balls but not winning. My son's Fargo rating has not gone up playing league, but soon as we stopped and played in even race events, he went up 25 points.

So your old game is A level, this other player went to a 600, also A level (A-), means you and him are even, and the ratings will catch up.
 
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sixpack

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
If you can beat the 9 ball ghost on a 9 footer that would make you an A. As long as players play their real game, and have a bunch of games in the system, the rating will even out. Especially when paying even against people. I think handicaps make Fargo take longer to get to a real rating since many game situations can come up that equal a win but won't tell you how you played. If you have point spots like in USAPL, you can loose to someone where they win one game to your 3 or 4 or even 5 due to making balls but not winning. My son's Fargo rating has not gone up playing league, but soon as we stopped and played in even race events, he went up 25 points.

So your old game is A level, this other player went to a 600, also A level (A-), means you and him are even, and the ratings will catch up.

Makes sense.

I’m a big fan of Fargo ratings. I do question some situations though just because it is so new. My questions shouldn’t be interpreted as bashing or criticism. :)

I haven’t had any time to play rated tournaments because of some work and personal things the last year (which is also why I’m at one night a week usually) but I can’t wait to play some weekend events. Especially bar table stuff. Hopefully my schedule will loosen up in a couple of months.
 
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