In Memoriam: 2012 Celebrity Death Pool

Our long-running celebrity death pool has concluded yet another year of being awful at picking celebrity deaths. (To prove my point, the year Amy Winehouse and Steve Jobs died, none of us picked either of them.)

George H.W. Bush’s passing, which did not happen despite the publishing of his obit, would have given Evan the 2012 win. But I ultimately get to claim victory on a technicality. Here’s a snapshot of the final scoresheet, which I’ll follow with an explanation:

cdp 2012 final point totals. click to enlarge.
CDP 2012 Final Point Totals. Click to enlarge.


Scoring is one point per death, then we subtract the age of death from 100 and put that number behind the decimal point. For example, a 25 year old celebrity death gets you 1.75 points, while a 80 year old celebrity death is 1.20 points.

Who counts as a celebrity? The group can veto a pick for obscurity during a draft, but we haven’t had a situation so far in which a questionably famous celebrity was drafted.

Lippy and Blake finished the year with 0 points. It’s the second shutout year in a row for Lippy, who didn’t correctly predict any celebrity deaths in 2011, either. Evan was prescient to pick Inouye, whose December passing took a lot of Washingtonians by surprise. Lindsay Lohan, who like Hosni Mubarak shows up on two lists, is somehow still alive.

The 2011 Holdover Rule of 2012, which has since been amended, is responsible for my second victory in a row. We don’t draft on the very last day of the previous year, which creates a death loophole for those who die between draft night and January 1 of the new year. In 2012’s draft, anyone who died in 2011’s gap period would count toward the 2012 total. That’s how I wound up with points for Christopher Hitchens.

No one benefited from the Two Deaths-Same Incident Rule, which doubles your points if two of your celebrity death picks die in the same incident.

2013’s contest introduced some major changes, notably the snake draft in which we can’t duplicate any picks, and the elimination of the holdover loophole. (Those who died in the gap weeks were replaced with fresh picks.)

The CDP Death Notification Rule remains. (The death of any CDP pick must be immediately tweeted and then shared or retweeted by other CDP members, sometimes with a standings update.)

Celebrity Death Pool Summer Update

My friends Blake, Reeve and I began a celebrity death pool last summer over some adult beverages at the Red House Lounge. At the time, 2009 was waning but some high profile people had yet to meet their maker. Blake picked Walter Cronkite, I picked Patrick Swayze, Reeve went with Robert Byrd, who cost him the contest last year but ended up winning him a point in 2010.

For the 2010 celebrity death pool, we let another pal join in and each picked ten celebs we thought might die within the year. So far Reeve is leading the pack. Let’s review our 2010 pool rules and picks:

STAKES: All you can drink on the losers during MLK holiday weekend, 2011.

RULES: One point per death, and in case of a tie, we will total the distance of the death ages from 100. Greater difference (younger deaths) breaks the tie. Every member of the death pool must tweet the point update after a celebrity dies.

OUR PICKS, in no particular order:

REEVE: Elizabeth Edwards, Dennis Hopper (74), Robert Byrd (92), Ronnie James Dio (67), Olivia DeHavilland, Nelson Mandela, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bryant Gumbel, Kirk Douglas, J.D. Salinger (91) (FOUR POINTS)

BLAKE: Harry Morgan, Ariel Sharon, Ronnie Biggs, Dick Clark, Zsa Zsa Gabor, The Lockheed Bomber, Chemical Ali (61), Mike Wallace, John Wooden (99), Billy Graham (TWO POINTS)

ELISE: Rue McClanahan (76), Billy Graham, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Pat Summerall, George H.W. Bush, Bob Lanier, Bum Phillips, Courtney Love, Fidel Castro (ONE POINT)

JUSTIN: Larry King, Shia LeBeouf, James Garner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Artie Lange, Rue McClanahan (76), Roman Polanski, Fidel Castro, Willie Nelson, Burt Reynolds (ONE POINT)