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Author Topic: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?  (Read 22781 times)

Ransacked

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #60 on: September 03, 2009, 09:07:44 AM »
So I applaud you for having the discussion but I donít think it is a good idea, one because it is a sliding slope of impossible, what you are trying to do is regulate subjectivity. What you are saying is Ďsomeoneí will be able to decide what is Ďbestí poetry, and then teach the selected judges what to look for and how to score it. 

And two, well I donít really have a two, but if you have a one you have to have a two.

The current system is flawed, but slam is flawed, thatís why we love, and hate it, and every poet learns this the first time they deliver what they know is one of the best poems in a comp and donít even get out of the first round. You pick up your pride, you work harder, and you continue to dedicate yourself to this untamable beast.


That was some damn fine writing, Mike. Seriously.

The Mexican

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #61 on: September 03, 2009, 09:20:05 AM »
I think a point that's lost here is this (and this is not only true for you TS, but for all of us):

Just because you like a poem, still doesn't mean that it doesn't suck.

Also, who can honestly decide for a certainty what's good and what's not, regardless of their pedigree.  Even "people in the know" will tend to disagree.  I had a discussion with a poet after the Finals night that I truly respect who thought Khary's persona poem should have scored low.  I absolutely disagreed and thought that it was brilliant.

I think "Street Poet" is the best slam poem ever written, you probably disagree.

I don't think there's a slam poet in our scene who could go 10 rounds against Sherman Alexie, you probably disagree.

I like poetry written in low diction using words like kiss ass, you might prefer poems written in a higher level of diction using words like sycophant.

You see what I mean, all judges, even celebrities and professors will come to their task with different perspectives. There in lies the flaw.  There's is no such thing as a perfect judge because as many people have written earlier, it's a flawed system.  We all give in to that, or at least we should.

And as always remember that old saying about the points and the point.  I think it was Andrea Gibson who said to me years ago that there are really four winners every year at Nationals and that's the four teams on the Final stage.  Their prize for winning is the chance to share four more poems with the audience.

janmanzer411

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2009, 12:59:26 AM »
I agree with this sentiment, but I also know that NPS has evolved. And, with the scoring/ranking system currently in place, a team could win by five points and still be two points behind a fourth-place team

not true - you win your bouts you don't have to worry about scores. a team with a lower bout rank (1st, 2nd in the bout) always beats a team with a higher bout rank (3rd, 4th in the bout) regardless of the scores.

also - while it's often hard to find judges the randomness of who has the score cards is part of the point... and part of why the points don't matter. once you start using "qualified" judges you're putting more emphasis on the competition - that won't fly here. it's not that i don't agree with you (many do) but i recognize an unwinnable battle when i see one - this is one.

preselected / qualified judges is what they're doing in the pro league i believe. it's also what they do at bnv.


I totally agree. It is the bout victories not the scores.
Best Regards,
Jan Manzer
Jan Manzer

TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #63 on: September 12, 2009, 09:08:38 PM »
I agree with this sentiment, but I also know that NPS has evolved. And, with the scoring/ranking system currently in place, a team could win by five points and still be two points behind a fourth-place team

not true - you win your bouts you don't have to worry about scores. a team with a lower bout rank (1st, 2nd in the bout) always beats a team with a higher bout rank (3rd, 4th in the bout) regardless of the scores...

I totally agree. It is the bout victories not the scores.

True. I expressed it incorrectly. What I meant to say is: Team A wins a bout with a 105.5; Team B places third with a 104.9. The next night, Team A comes in third with a 108 and Team B, now in an entirely different bout, places first with a 115.9.

So, time to seed the semifinals. Team A has a 4 and a total score of 213.5. Team B has a 4 and a total score of 220.8. Team A, despite beating Team B heads-up, finishes 27th and Team B finishes 19th. Team B goes to semis and Team A is done.

If a little structure was established for the judging this tournament, perhaps it wouldn't be such a crapshoot. Perhaps people wouldn't feel they were getting a fair shake after spending months rehearsing and raising ~$5,000 for travel and lodging.

In the example above, all that work that went into preparing for NPS landed a team on the wrong side of the bubble due to randomly selected audience members. That's the only reason I made this suggestion. A lot of work goes into preparing for NPS, and a lot is at stake for many poets, so why make it so random for NPS?

Hope that was clearer. Not concise, but clearer.


randomcelestial

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2009, 12:14:42 PM »
Poker is very similar to slam. The top players come on top very consistently, but it's not a guarantee. Just as the same team or individuals make multiple finals at national slams, the same players make final tables at the world series of poker. There is a lot of preparation, but a lot of luck as well.

I'm a professional poker player. I pay for my travel, airfare, food, entertainment, and enter tournaments with up to $10,000 entry fees. I am, without ego, among the top 5-10% of all poker players in the world. My preparation and study is extremely intense and academic.
That being said, I do not come in the top 5-10% of every poker tournament I enter.

Should I be given some sort of advantage to help dampen luck, and ensure greater success? Of course not. I understand that, in the long run, if I am the "better" player, I'll win the money.  In fact, the element of luck is what makes poker exciting: if the best players always won, why would bad players come and play at all? In slam, if the same 10-20 people were guaranteed a victory, why would anyone else (who cared about winning) compete? That would be as boring for the winners as the losers.

Do people get robbed at poetry slams? Of course. That's part of the game. In the long run, the best competitors make finals and win trophies. Do not let your short-term, results-oriented examples contradict the fact that very often, very good writers and performers go very far in tournaments. The system isn't broken at all, and I say that as someone who would greatly benefit from pre-selected judges.

TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #65 on: September 13, 2009, 11:10:21 PM »
I play poker as well. Though I don't enter big-money tournaments, I have enjoyed a high degree of success over the past two decades.

A poker tournament and a poetry slam are not alike at all. While poker involves a bit of luck, it also requires a skill, position, leverage and patience to separate oneself from the also-rans. But still, an also-ran can suck out a flush or a set on the river after pushing with piss-poor odds.

Standardizing the judging enables all the bouts in all the venues to be on a level playing field. If a 7 is hard to come by at one venue and the lowest score in another is a 28.8, you're not exactly dealing with a level playing field. At least in a poker tournament, the other players are the variable - not randomly selected judges. Everything else is standard: 52 cards, 9-10 players a table, increasing blinds and chance.

For a competition of the magnitude of NPS, for which poets prepare for months, I believe that hard work shouldn't get railroaded by judges who haven't made any more of a commitment than showing up. Imagine if someone was allowed to step in from the rail and remove one of your hole cards right after you flopped a set and you were forced to continue the hand. Not fair, right?

And, unlike poets, top poker players have sponsors that pay for all expenses. If you were indeed "... among the top 5-10% of all poker players in the world" (how is that measured?), you'd know that maybe the top .1% are the ones who are fully comped.

Although, if you're willing to pay for travel, I'd be happy to empty your pockets for a day or two.

We'll pencil you in as "against preselected judges," as opposed to your declarative statement, "The system isn't broken at all..."

Also: What "short-term, results-oriented examples"?


Steve

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #66 on: September 14, 2009, 07:43:08 AM »
Pencil me in for "they system ain't broke" too.

Sucking out a flush, as you put it, is the only reason I can sometimes sit at a poker table. It is about luck as well as skill. Just like slam. Sometimes (back when I played in the sandbox) I'd hit 29s and 30s. In fact, I hit them pretty often because I have skills and I used to work hard at them. But at the same time, I remember the last time I competed at NPS in 1998 and I nailed a poem that always hit 29 or better as the first poem in the first round of the tournament. When the dust settled, I had to take my 21.4 and walk off stage with my tail between my legs. There we were, essentially out of it after one poem. It could have been devastating, and it was for about five minutes, until my beautiful, beautiful team informed me that meant that they could now do the poems they WANTED to do for these audiences instead of the ones we had all decided would win. It was a proud and fulfilling NPS for all of us.

If you are lucky, you win in front of any judges. If you are unlucky, you can still have the time of your life. On average, great performers win out. Why else would we have such enthusiastic familiarity with finalists in every event? And when a new poet is there, we are just as happy for them, win or lose? Remember that white moth in the spotlight while Danny Sherrod was winning the indy title? That was a magic experience and it had nothing to do with Danny's work ethic, his preparation, the judges selected, the competition or even with Poetry Slam. But you can't tell me that wasn't like hitting the inside straight on the finals stage.

Tom, you have argued valiantly, but look back over this list of posts. I think we have run this argument up and down the tree enough to determine that you are in a very small minority seeking to change one of the fundamental aspects of the gig. It has been around this way for 21 years in NPS and most Slammers know it isn't fair each time. But most of us believe it is the fairest way we can do it over the long haul.

randomcelestial

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #67 on: September 14, 2009, 11:53:43 AM »
"While poker involves a bit of luck,"

It involves a lot of luck.

"For a competition of the magnitude of NPS, for which poets prepare for months, I believe that hard work shouldn't get railroaded by judges who haven't made any more of a commitment than showing up. Imagine if someone was allowed to step in from the rail and remove one of your hole cards right after you flopped a set and you were forced to continue the hand. Not fair, right?"

This metaphor isn't remotely accurate. Also, there are hundreds of high-level money slams across the country, many with prize pools bigger than NPS or iWPS. They use the same system, and the same names win them over and over. Clearly, if randomly selected judges outside of PSI event are rewarding the same poets, there's a high degree of consistency there.

"And, unlike poets, top poker players have sponsors that pay for all expenses. If you were indeed "... among the top 5-10% of all poker players in the world" (how is that measured?), you'd know that maybe the top .1% are the ones who are fully comped."

This is outright wrong. Many of the world's top top top players, including arguably the best NLHE player in the world, do not have sponsors.

"Although, if you're willing to pay for travel, I'd be happy to empty your pockets for a day or two."

Sure. I'll play $1000 buy-in, heads-up matches on any poker site, if you want to dick swing.



TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #68 on: September 14, 2009, 11:54:35 AM »
Tom, you have argued valiantly, but look back over this list of posts. I think we have run this argument up and down the tree enough to determine that you are in a very small minority seeking to change one of the fundamental aspects of the gig. It has been around this way for 21 years in NPS and most Slammers know it isn't fair each time. But most of us believe it is the fairest way we can do it over the long haul.

Agreed. Again, it was just an idea - not something that would prevent me from competing at NPS. I think the idea has merit, but it's not worth discussing any further here. Not by me, anyway.