Sunday, 27 May 2012

Deal or No Deal - 21st-27th May

OK, well, it's certainly been an interesting week for DOND, so here goes...

21st May: Angelique
Angelique was certainly a lively player, but her game was anything but. The 1p dragged the game down all the way through, meaning the Banker was never going to give her really high offers. (Seriously, 1p isn't that much less than the other low blues, so does it really merit that much significance?) Her final two were 1p and £15,000. The obligatory low offer of £2,000 was rejected; the main thing Angelique was interested in was the swap, as she wanted the other box. The Banker initially said she wouldn't be allowed the swap, but he changed his mind at the last minute, so the swap was made, and, hilariously, Noel opened the new box to reveal £15,000! What an epic fail for the Banker! I feared he would be in a bad mood for the rest of the week after that, but he more than cheered up the next day...

22nd May: Colleen
After 26 shows, Colleen finally come out on her 27th show, making her one of the longest runners in ages (no-one seems to do any more than 28 shows, these days). Having admitted she was there to play the game, the Banker was worried. When she reached 8-box with the top FOUR in play, the Banker tried to stop her with an offer of £32,000. Low enough for most to gamble, and she declined it.
Unfortunately, the worst possible round saw £75,000, £100,000 and the £250,000 all disappear in a single round! Colleen is only the sixth person to take out the three biggest sums (i.e. £75,000, £100,000 and the £250,000) in a single three box round in live play (others have done it in the proveout, and some have done it alongside two others boxes in the five box first round).
The offer crashed to £8,000, before the Banker upped it a bit to £9,000. This was enough for Colleen to cut her losses. However, the luck turned again, and a 'perfect' final round saw her leave £10,000 and £50,000 to the end! £50,000 was in her box, to complete one of the weirdest and most unlucky games for a long time!

23rd May: Scott
Scott was certainly very lively, and I can see why some might have got annoyed with him after a while. At the top of the show, it was revealed that Scott was a huge Arnold Schwartzenegger fan. The Banker then announced a contest to see which of the wingers could do the best Schwartzenegger impression, the winner getting £250! All wingers partook, except Gary, who abstained as he was opening a crucial box. That crucial box wiped £20,000 out, leaving a 5-box of 10p, 50p, £100, £50,000 and £100,000. The Banker made a very decent offer of £17,101 (don't ask about the 101; some complicated Schwartzenegger reference that had been present throughout). Scott rightly took the some, and, pleasingly, the two big sums were wiped out, leaving an all-blue finish, and 10p in the box! Best game of the week by miles. The Schwartzenegger impression contest was won jointly by Jacob, Sarah, Mani and Oli, all of whom received £250.

24th May: Leila
Leila was a likable player, but her game was dogged by bad luck. She never made any truly bad decisions; the boxes just didn't work her way. Eventually, at 8-box, she resigned herself from the game, which ended with an all-blue finish, and a win of £50 from the box. Never nice to see a game like that, but Leila made it very pleasant and watchable for all concerned.

25th May: David
David came across as a good reader of boards whilst on the wings, and this was reflected in his game. A run of average luck early on saw him reach 8-box with £3,000, £10,000, £20,000 and £100,000 remaining, plus various blues. The Banker made him a decent offer of £9,000, which, after much deliberation, David accepted. The next round saw £10,000 and £20,000 go, which would've seen a narrow fall in the offer to £8,000; the £100,000 went in the next round, confirming the deal to have worked out. £3,000 was in the box. A sensible deal that paid off well. Good game.
Prior to Friday's show, there were rumours over on the forum of a 'first' occurring in David's game. Whenever a 'first' is mentioned, people instantly think of the first male £250,000 winner. It's become the standard hot-key response, even though various other notable firsts haven't happened yet (such as, says, a first or second offer deal). Needless to say, we've learnt from previous experience to take these 'rumours' with caution, as they are often misleading.

27th May: Sarah
Sarah's opening round was on the weirdest for a long time, with 1p and the £250,000 both going. The game recovered though to a board near identical to David (only with £15,000 and £50,000 rather than £3,000 and £20,000), and the same offer of £9,000. The wings were divided over what Sarah should do, but she eventually dealy. Unfortunately, the £100,000 stayed through to the end, and the offers would have been £12,000 and £26,000 (or the Governer, as it is referred to for reasons I'll explain another time). Luckily, only 50p was in the box, so a respectable result from another average show to finish the week.

Next week's summary may be a couple of days late. I'll have to wait and see. Next Sunday, McFly play the final Celebrity DOND, so I will also be putting up a summary of all seven shows (I hope). I also hope to post some other things on here next week. I'll see what I can do.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Deal or No Deal - 14th-19th May

OK, time for a weekly Deal update.

Monday 14th: Candice
First show back after the specials, and a bit of a disappointment. Candice was a very pleasant lady, but her game never really gave her a chance to take a deal. In the end, she was left at 5-box with £75,000 and 4 blues. She battled on, but lost the £75,000, leaving an all-blue finish. She won £5 from the box. But as it turned out, she needn't have worried...

Tuesday 15th: Lee
I've said enough about Lee's game, and how it split opinion on the forum. Here's what I wrote on Tuesday.

Wednesday 16th: Olga
Olga came across as rather quiet and nervous, and her game kind of relected that. The board slowly collapsed, and at 5-box, the 1p and the 10p remaining, along with £250, £5,000 and £10,000. After turning down a low offer that was dragged down by the bottom two, she pleasingly took both out in the final round. But £5,000 left a final two of £250 and £10,000. A low offer of £2,250 would've been easy for most to turn down, but she took it, and, pleasingly, it was the right thing to do, as £250 was in her box.

Thursday 17th: Rich
Another controversial game. Rich reached his third offer with all of the Power 5 bar the £100,000 in play. The Banker offered £16,000. After much calling back, he told Rich that, if he took out the 1p, 10p and 50p (best possible round) in the next round, the next offer would be £40,000. But Rich decided to deal at £16,000. Amazingly, he nearly did that perfect round, only with £10 instead of 1p, and the offer would've been £36,000. However, the game began to fall apart afterwards, though the £75,000 stayed, and his final two were 1p and £75,000. For the second time in under a week, the Banker's Gamble was bought out, but Rich sensibly turned it down. Alas, the £75,000 was in his box.

Friday 18th: Alhena
An odd game. Alhena was certainly bubbly and lively. Her game stayed neutral throughout, resulting in her first four offers all being £6,750 (the Banker has a strange fondness of multiples of 250). A recovery in the fifth round saw a 5-box board of 1p, 50p, £5,000, £10,000 and £100,000. The offer rose to £9,000, but, despite the wingers advising her to deal, Alhena went on. A balanced final round saw the 50p, the £100,000 and the 1p go (in that order). The offer collapsed back to £6,750, which Alhena turned down. In a final cruel twist, Alhena swapped her box, and ended up winning £5,000 from her box. Never nice when a player swaps their box, and ends up with the lower sum as a result, but the difference was so small, it didn't make that much difference (unlike, say, Orry from Christmas 2007).

Saturday 19th: Ron
A very rare all-red opening round saw Ron become a bit frustrated that his game wasn't going well. However, a good run of blues saw the offer rise to £9,000. The Banker later called back, and said that, if Ron dealt, he could sing the show out with a performance of 'My Way'. Ron accepted the offer. However, a good next round would've seen the offer rise to £19,000, but the game collapsed afterwards, and £500 was in his box. Ron concluded the show with a rather good performance of 'My Way'.

That's this week then. Tomorrow, Katie 'Jordan' Price plays the sixth edition of Celebrity Deal or No Deal. Wonder if she will do better than her ex-husband did last week!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Deal or No Deal: Lee's Game (15/0512) / Mind Games in DOND

Well, today's game of Deal or No Deal has certainly split opinion, so here goes...

Lee Oldfield was today's player; a very pleasant young man from South Wales. Now, the Banker hates South Wales, as females from that region have a tendency to do well (the first two £250,000 winners having come from the same town in South Wales).

Hints about today's game had been posted from the Banker, and from audience regular John, who said it showed how close the contestants were to each other. I have to agree with that.

Anyway, yesterday, Candice Cranstoon won £5, and Lee was visibly upset at the outcome of her game.

Lee reached 8-box with £100,000, £35,000 and £20,000 still in play, along with £10,000, £1,000 and various blue sums. The Banker initially offered him £9,250, but then called back and added on an extra £1,000 for Candice.

Many were not happy with this on the forum. Some in the studio looked displeased too. After Lee remarked that he'd dreamt he'd won £10,000, the Banker called and told him there were now two offers: the original £9,250 + £1,000 for Candice, or a straight offer of £10,000.

After an early break, Lee dealt the £9,250 + £1,000 for Candice, leading to much annoyance on the forums. Pleasingly, however, Lee went on to destroy the game, finding the £100,000 in the next round, and £20,000 and £35,000 went in the final round. £1,000 was in his box.

To conclude the game, Noel chatted to Lee, while Candice snuck into the studio and hid behind him. Lee was unaware until Noel alerted him (after deliberately chatting for a bit). A heartwarming end to a pleasant game.

But many were unhappy at the game, with some saying the Banker had reached a new low with the mind games. Some even said it was worse than Emma's swap and reswap last week.

This is not the first time a player has been offered extra money for a player who won a blue in the previous game. Back in 2007, contestant Richard Irons was offered £25,000 + £5,000 for fellow contestant Andrew James, who had won £10 the previous day. Mr Irons turned this down and went on to deal £30,000 later in the game.

Many have branded all the mind games over the years unfair.

A common mind game involves the player's relatives. The Banker tries to get some players, mainly men, to deal by impersonating their children being upset about not getting money.

The most famous example of this was with contestant Geoff Hughes. After his wife let slip that their son had instructed his father to deal as soon as he was offered £15,000, the Banker offered it three times in a row. The third time it was offered, at 8-box, the Banker threw in an X-Box (or some kind of games console) for Geoff's son! After yet more pressuring mind games from the Banker, Geoff dealt. There was much uproar online, which worsened when Noel revealed £250,000 in Geoff's box! Geoff's game still stands as one of the most controversial of all time. It was described on the forums last week as containing 'the most pressurised deal ever'.

On some occasions, the 'relatives' mind game has been exploited to the full, with the Banker secretly offering the player's relatives a chance to get the player extra money, should they be able to convince them to deal without letting on.

This happened with contestant Lucie Turner in early 2011, and again more recently with contestant Robbie McLennan in February this year. Lucie was persuaded to deal, and thus had her winnings increased to £25,000. But Robbie played on, only to crash; he did recover later on though to deal at £12,000.

Other indirect forms of mind games include the Banker making extra offers during the final round, either announcing them before hand, or surprising the player by making them on the dot. These have a mixed rate of working, and not working.

Mind games have, and always will, be a key part of DOND. Some have been popular, others have been derided. But then, the good thing about DOND is its randomness, and that, if anything, has been a key to it lasting as long as it has.

Keep checking back for a review of Peter Andre's game from Sunday, and an article comparing the support for gambling to that for dealing.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Deal or No Deal - 7th-13th May (Banker's Birthday specials)

OK, as I sit writing this, Peter Andre's celebrity game of DOND is just beginning. I will cover that in a seperate article later.

Right now, I will talk about the regular games of DOND we've seen this week. This week has been Banker's Birthday week, which calls for a themed week. After Cops and Robbers in 2010, and Cowboys and Indians last year, we've gone for Doctors and Nurses this year.

Naturally, with any twist week, there is a gameplay twist. This time, a simple buzzer game, where you guide a hoop along a metal bar. The players have two attempts to complete the first half, and should they manage, they get three attempts at the second half. Should they complete the first half in the two attempts, they win a holiday. Should they complete the second half in the three attempts, they get to play the final round one box at a time. However, if they fail all three, the Banker gets to look in their box, and all sorts of mind games can happen. The second half is optional.

Anyway, onto the games:

Monday 7th: Paul
I've said enough about this game, as I posted about it on Monday. Here's what I said in case you missed it.

Tuesday 8th: Jess
Jess didn't have much luck early on, with a shocking run seeing her wipe out the Power 5 sums in a space of six boxes! However, she did recover, and, after completing both halves of the operation, secured a holiday to Ibiza, and the opportunity to play one at a time. She eventually dealt a 3-box offer of £5,500, and, pleasingly, the only remaining hugher sum, £15,000 IIRC, went. She had £5,000, so an extra £500 then. A much lower key game than Paul's but much more enjoyable (no offence to Paul).

Wednesday 9th: Bill
Best game of a sorry week. Bill had a run of good luck early on, but the Banker didn't believe what he said about being there for the big money. However, he reached the five-box twist with the top two of £100,000 and £250,000, plus 10p, £5,000 and £10,000. Like Jess, he completed both halves of the operation, so he won a holiday to Greece, and was allowed to go on one at a time. He bravely turned down £50,000, but unfortunately found the £250,000 in the next box. After turning down £22,500, the 10p went, guaranteeing him £5,000. But he dealt the next offer of £30,000, and, luckily, the £100,000 went in the final box, securing victory. He had £5,000. A thrilling and exciting, with a brave no deal than didn't pay off, but a recovery and a win close enough to the peak to ensure there were no regrets.

Thursday 10th: Emma
With this one, I'll skip to 5-box, which Emma reached with £100, £5,000, £20,000, £50,000 and £250,000 remaining. She completed the first half, winning her a holiday to Tenerife, but failed the second half all three times, allowing the Banker to look in her box. The Banker claimed he saw £250,000, but offered her a pretty poor £17,023 (don't ask about the 23). She rightly turned it down, but the £250,000 went in the final box, leaving her with £100 and £50,000 as a final two. After turning down £10,000, she was offered the swap. She initially took it, but the Banker said she'd just given away £50,000, and allowed her a mind change, which she didn't take, and the box was swapped. But then, the Banker offered a REswap. She took the REswap, and Noel opened her original box to reveal £100! Many have been furious about this game, saying the Banker took the mind games a bit too far. I will tackle the theory of mind games in a seperate article some time.

Friday 11th: Lynn
A more low key game with Lynn. She dealt £17,000 at 8-box, so the operation was not performed. Things began well when £35,000 went in the first box after the deal. But, then, things turned again, and she was left with a final two of £20,000 and the £250,000. This would have lead to an offer of £77,000, the same as what Tegen Roberts was offered on the same final two; she turned it down and won the £250,000. Had Lynn done that as well, she's have joined here, as the £250,000 was in her box! Oh dear. But nowhere near as questionable a deal as Paul (no offence to Paul).

Sunday 13th: Mark
So, the final game of the week, and Mark came out. After a crash early on, when the top thee went in the first two rounds, he recovered to 5-box with £15,000 and £35,000 in play, plus three blues. He completed the first half of the operation, so he won a holiday to Fuerteventura. But he failed the second half three times, so the Banker got a look in his box. Saying he had seen £35,000, he offered £6,500, which Mark dealt. The £35,000 did come out, however, leaving a final two of £250 and £15,000. The Banker played the ultimate mind game: the BANKER'S GAMBLE. This allows a player who has dealt is allowed to take back their deal, and open their box. Mark declined this. He said he would have swapped his box, so Noel swapped his box, and £15,000 was revealed in his new one. Still, he sold £250, so that's what really matters, no matter what Noel says.

Phew, that was hard work. It shouldn't be this complex next week, when everything is back to normal.

Stay tuned for a couple more articles, about Gambling vs Caution, and also about Mind Games. Both should be coming up soon, I hope.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Mastermind Final

I've not been watching Mastermind much this series, but I made sure I watched it today, seeing as it was the series final.

Naturally, I was backing Gary Grant to win the title, seeing as he is a good friend of Dave Clark and a regular on LAM. But I recall Andy Tucker being a finalist in Brain of Britain last year, so I thought he may prove some competition.

I was very pleased to see one of the other finalists, David Love, select Tom Lehrer as his specialist subject. I'm sure some of you will know about The Elements Song; it became a favourite at school for a while, and people would request a performance of it from me a lot of times. Many were stunned by how quickly and proficiently I could do it!

Back to Mastermind, and Gary ran up the highest total of the Specialist round with 19 points, with Andy Tucker and Mark Wyatt both on 15. Mr Tucker returned to the chair, and set a pretty high score of thirty for Gary to beat.

As Gary returned to the chair, I was really nervous for him, and I let out a quiet cheer when he secured his 32nd point, which was enough for victory (I forgot Mr Tucker's score, and thought he'd scored 31 instead).

In the end, Gary won with 34 (I think) points. Many congratulations Gary; a thoroughly deserved win!

And well done to the other finalists as well: Mark Wyatt, Maya Davis, David Love, Nick Reed and Andy Tucker, all of whom put up a good final performance.

I may well consider throwing my hat into the ring for the next series of Mastermind, seeing as I'm old enough now. Though, if I did, I may have to rely on a good showing in the Specialist round, as GK may be a weak spot for me. Seems like good fun though, so why not?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Celebrity DOND 4 - Schadenfreude in DOND

Well before I get on with my views on schadenfreude, I ought to mention this evening's Celebrity Deal or No Deal, where Louis Walsh of X-Factor fame made some very brave decisions throughout, and was eventually left with a final two of £3,000, and the top prize of £250,000. The Banker offered him £70,000, and, despite several supporters urging him to go for it, he dealt.

And, it turned out to be the right decision, as £3,000 was in his box.

Therefore, Mr Walsh will not be receiving criticism from some for not gambling.

Compare this to regular DOND contestant Tony Pugh, who, two weeks ago tomorrow, dealt £2,000 more than Mr Walsh did on a final two of £500 and the £250,000 (so a weaker final pairing than Mr Walsh) and had the £250,000.

Naturally, the Internet community was up in arms about how Mr Pugh should have been brave and gone for it, yet nobody has complained about Mr Walsh taking £2,000 less on a STRONGER final two.

It's all very well to be criticise someone for not gambling when their decision has been proved to not be the right thing to do, but you often don't realise how risky a gamble it was before the decision has been made.

There is one word that crops up on the forum an awful lot: HINDSIGHT.

Hindsight is used by commentators of the show to decide what they think of a game, and whether the player has made a sensible decision or not. Most use it to say whether a player taking an offer was good or not, but some jokingly subvert this by using to say whether turning down an offer was good or not.

For example, flipping back to Mr Pugh. It's easy to say now, with the benefit of hindsight, that turning down £72,000 would have been the right thing to do. But, what if he had gone for it, and had had the £500 in his box instead? Then, the people calling him 'a coward' for not gambling may well be calling him 'greedy' for gambling and losing.

This is another thing I am opposed to; people being selective in their criticism of players. A wee while back, I read a comment on YouTube where someone remarked that people will call a player 'brave' if they gamble and win a big sum, 'greedy' if they go for it and win a small sum, and 'a coward' if they take an offer and miss out on more money.

Honestly, you just can't win sometimes.

At the end of the day, not every game of Deal or No Deal is going to be perfect; you just have to take something like this on the chin, and move on.

In my next post, I will be looking at the support for 'gambling' in favour of 'caution' that I have observed. Stay tuned for that in the near future.

Deal or No Deal: Paul's Game (07/05/12)

Well, I said yesterday that I'd be doing weekly Deal or No Deal updates, unless something notable happened, and, well, it did today, so here goes...

Some of you may already be farmiliar with me and my views of Deal or No Deal, as I regularly contribute to the Unofficial Deal or No Deal forum. You will know that I disapprove of all schaudenfraude that goes around whenever a player undersells their box. However, today, I cannot really help but agree with what has been said.

Paul Barnes took to the stage as the first player of the 'Banker's Birthday' themed week. This is an annual week of special shows that takes place in the week of the Banker's birthday (May 12th). Last year, Suzanne Mulholland won the top prize of £250,000 on the 13th May, so much would be expcected this year.

For those unfarmiliar with the concept of the game, there are twenty-two identical boxes filled with sums of money from 1p to £250,000. The idea is to remove the smaller sums from the game to increase your chances of winning a big sum. After five boxes, the 'Banker', who remains annonymous throughout the show, and speaks to host Noel Edmonds on the phone, makes the player an monetary offer. The player can accept this offer, or decline it, in which case they open another three boxes, and then recieve another offer.

Repeat until the player takes an offer, or there are two boxes left. If the player turns down an offer, Edmonds will open the box they have selected, and they win the contents.

Anyway, Paul had a terrific start, with the small sums vanishing quite quickly, leading to a first offer of £15,000, which he turned down.

At the third offer of £19,500, his wife, in the audience, said she would deal, but he declined it, and played on.

The fourth offer of £24,000 saw this happen again. Paul still had four higher value sums left, including the top prize of £250,000, but his wife said he should take the offer. Despite wanting to play on, Paul took the money.

At this point, the game is not over, but is carried hypothetically to see if the player could've had more money.

Alas, the next round saw him lose three insignificant sums, and the offer would have gone up to £40,000. The final round saw Paul leave a final two boxes of £50,000 and £250,000, which would've seen an offer of £140,000!

And, to make matters worse, Edmonds opened the box Paul had selected before the show, and it contained the top prize of £250,000.

So, that's today's show. Paul took an offer of £24,000, but could've become the first male to win the £250,000 top prize. Naturally, there is much schaudenfraude going around at the moment; a second post, discussing this schaudenfraude, and the background to it, will be up later this evening.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

What to expect on here

OK, time to lay down what I hope to post on here. You can expect:
  • Weekly reviews of Deal or No Deal, or, should something big happen on the show, an on-the-day review. These will contain brief synopsises of the games, plus some comment from me.
  • Weekly reviews of University Challenge, when it returns from it's spring break. Brief reviews complete with stats of the sort I contribute to Life After Mastermind (recommend you check this blog out).
  • Various reviews of other TV shows or radio shows that catch my attention.
  • Reviews of any public events I attend, and consider significant enough to post about.
  • Anything else I feel I can write about at length.
So, that's what I hope to write about on here. Stay tuned for some of the stuff to come.

Saturday, 5 May 2012


Hi everyone!

My name's Jack, and I'm a student from North East Scotland.

I have set up this blog so I will have somewhere to post my various writings. Writing about interests is one of those things I do best.

Keep checking back here for new articles when they arise!