New Draw Policy for Southern Classic Tournament

Greg Sullivan and Diamond Billiard Products, Inc. have announced a new policy for the round by round random draw used at the annual Derby City Classic and Southern Classic tournaments.  The new policy assures no player will draw the same player more than once in a tournament while assuring at the same time that every player is assigned an opponent at random from the pool of all participants.

Greg described the new draw policy this way.  “We have used a random draw since the beginning of the Derby City Classic back in 1998. And while the odds of drawing the same player in a subsequent round are very low, it does happen.  When it happens everybody is uneasy - not just the players who are re-matched but also everyone who wonders if the draw is ‘really all that random.’  With the new policy, we are eliminating that concern by reshuffling the random pairings in the draw until everyone has a new opponent.”
Ed Scott, who made the software changes to implement the new policy and also invented and implemented the Dynamic Derby Draw algorithm that, beginning in 2011, has converted the Derby City format from an ad hoc, unscheduled format into a tournament with scheduled rounds and matches, added “There has always been about a 39% probability that at least one match will re-pair the same players in the next round.  And it doesn’t really matter whether you have 10 or 400 players.  It’s like the old trick birthday question: how many people in a room does it take before it is good bet there are two people with the same birthday?  The answer is a surprisingly non-intuitive 23.  In other words it comes up a lot more than we might think.  This new policy was pretty easy to implement; we simply keep doing random draws until we get one that is a completely ‘clean’ shuffle.  I was surprised that it only takes on average 1 or 2 retries before we get a clean shuffle and the new algorithm adds zero time delay to the draw, which itself takes about 1 or 2 seconds to do using SQLServer’s random number generator.”
The new policy will only be in force until the remaining pool of players have all played each other before.  “Obviously, when you get down to the final players, depending on the buyback situation, you are going to have some re-matches” said Paul Smith, Tournament Director for both tournaments.
The new policy will become effective with the Southern Classic in Tunica, MS on June 21, 2013 and the Derby City Classic on January 24, 2014.  For questions or comments regarding this announcement please contact Ed Scott at or Paul Smith at