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Asashosakari last won the day on March 23

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  1. To expand on the coin-tossing comparison a bit more - one may think of it like this: heads = good predictions tails = bad predictions There may be 70 predictions to make in total, but a lot of them will simply cancel each other out, e.g. probably nearly everybody predicted correctly that Sokokurai would get very few wins, and probably almost nobody predicted correctly that Chiyootori would end up with just 3 wins due to injury. So you might think of it as every player starting out with a balance of something like 25 heads and 25 tails, and the "real" game occurs only in the 20 other picks. A small number of players are consistently finishing at the bottom of the Oracle standings because they make fundamental errors that don't actually allow them to gain this 25 / 25 starting balance, so they're starting out the game in a big hole right away, even before any of the rikishi have actually fought. Seki-Toto has the same thing going with its ~35 daily picks - a lot of bouts are simply so lopsided in expectation that they'll either provide a point for nearly everybody or for nearly nobody, and the actual daily scoring range will be much lower than the theoretically possible 0 to 35 points. The difference to Oracle is that it's much harder to sabotage yourself through fundamental errors in Toto.
  2. Yeah, it may look like a crapshoot, but I can't actually think of any other game in which the top-ranked-by-banzuke players are also so consistently the top-ranked-by-basho players. It's the reason why the win-loss scoring has to be done in three separate sections of about 20 players - without that, the ~20 players ranked between yokozuna and M5 would be getting about 18 to 20 kachikoshi records, and nearly everybody in juryo would be deep in makekoshi territory. And yes, the margins between players are very fine, especially at the top, but that's because Oracle allows players to get much closer to perfection than most other games do. I actually considered spreading out the scoring scale a bit more a few years ago (Randomitsuki may remember our discussion), with the most simple idea having been to give an extra point for bullseye predictions**, but the problem is this: Because the margins are so fine, Oracle already punishes bad rikishi predictions very harshly, which makes it a bad idea to try to chase bullseyes too aggressively. If you do, you might get a couple of extra points on the few that you get right, but you're likely to lose a lot more points on the many others that you get very wrong. It's counter-intuitive, but spreading out the scoring between good picks and bad picks even more would make it even less sensible to try to chase bullseye picks, and the result would be that the selections - especially by the top players - would get even more uniform than they already are. And that's not very desirable. The core problem is that the total Oracle results are essentially an averaging of 70 conceptually identical selections, and that has a natural tendency towards middle-of-the-road results, as long as a player has at least some clue what he's doing. Think of it in terms of tossing a coin: If you toss it 10 times, the average expected result is of course that it comes up head and tails 5 times each. But there's a very high likelihood that a specific series of 10 tosses could be something like 7 heads and 3 tails, or the other way around. But if you toss it 100 times, the likelihood of it coming up 70 / 30 is very, very low, even though that's the same thing in relative terms as 7 / 3. It's much more likely to be something like 54 / 46 - that's actually a bigger absolute difference (8) than there is in 7 / 3 (only 4), but obviously 8-in-100 looks a lot less impressive than 4-in-10. In any case, Rocks, you finished 48th out of 62 players and your converted record is a makekoshi in the lowest of three divisions. Notwithstanding the absolute point score differentials - do you really need even more of an indication that your picks weren't that great? I'm trying not to give too much information because it's more fun to figure out games on one's own, so I'll just say: Take a count of the KK records you predicted in your entry. ** You can simulate this pretty easily by simply adding each player's shukun-sho score to his points total. At the time, I also considered giving an extra point for predicting each rikishi's KK or MK correctly (which is easy, too: points total + kanto-sho), but I dismissed that as being against the core idea of Oracle of predicting win-loss records - it really doesn't make much sense why predicting 9-6 instead of a correct 8-7 should be worth more points than predicting 8-7 instead of a correct 7-8.
  3. Are you the same guy who's currently flooding r/sumo on Reddit with similarly inventive question threads?
  4. Latest rikishi to reach kachikoshi from... 0-7: Tochinishiki, Haru 1951, only one to achieve it 0-6: Tochinonada, Haru 2008, 13 cases altogether (including the one above), all 8-7's 0-5: Yoshikaze, Natsu 2012 (8-7), 53 cases altogether (including the 13 above), 43x 8-7 and 10x 9-6 (latest: Tokitenku, Kyushu 2006) Latest rikishi to go makekoshi from... 7-0: never 6-0: Dejima, Kyushu 2008 (6-9), 4 cases altogether, 2 of them via kyujo (fourth case: Oga, Nagoya 2006, also 6-9) 5-0: Takarafuji, Haru 2017 (7-8), 40 cases altogether (including the 4 above), 13 of them via kyujo, 17x 7-8, 5x 6-9 (latest: Dejima above), 5x 5-10 (latest: Aoiyama, Natsu 2013) 15-day tournaments only, but including those staged 1939-1944.
  5. If I'm not mistaken, Yamaguchi has become the first rikishi in over 50 years to get straight kachikoshi for two full years / 12 basho, without being a current or later ozeki/yokozuna (presumably) or a rookie. The most recent one to do it was later komusubi Haguroiwa (1964.11 to 1966.11, from Ms35e to his makuuchi debut).
  6. Shukun-sho: Takayasu (3rd shukun-sho, 8th sansho overall) Kanto-sho: Takakeisho, conditional on beating Chiyoshoma (1st kanto-sho, 1st sansho overall) Gino-sho: not awarded
  7. The yusho will come down to today's Terunofuji-Kisenosato bout, as Tsubame predicted 12 wins for the yokozuna and Achiyama went for 13, so exactly one of them will turn out to be correct and win the LKS championship outright. The only other still-open decision is Daiamami's KK or MK, which was a unanimous KK prediction by us and thus won't be affecting anything in the standings. The pursuers Profomisakari and ryafuji have the same + / - split in their Kisenosato predictions, so also just one of them will be moving up into jun-yusho contention. However, things are a bit more up in the air here due to tiebreaker considerations: Kise wins, Daiamami wins: shared between Tsubame and Profomisakari Kise wins, Daiamami loses: Profomisakari alone by tiebreaker over Tsubame Kise loses, Daiamami wins: Achiyama alone by tiebreaker over ryafuji Kise loses, Daiamami loses: shared between Achiyama and ryafuji Good luck!
  8. Day 13: Another day with only one new outcome, this time the continuation of shin-juryo Asanoyama's KK streak. No significant changes in the standings as everyone bar Holleshoryu predicted that correctly. Several 4-KK applicants were in action, though, all of them with negative results. Youngsters Kurahashi and Haruminato dropped to 3-4 in sandanme, as did highly regarded Mongolian prospect Asahiryu in mid-makushita, for his career-first makekoshi. Day 14: Now we're talking. No less than six results came in on the penultimate day, and in ballot order they were: MK for Hokutofuji, KK for Yamaguchi, MK for Goshi, KK for Takemasa, KK for Tamawashi, and MK for Ryuden. Whew. The biggest surprises among the lot were the makekoshi by Hokutofuji and Ryuden, each predicted by just three entrants. The scores for the day ranged from excellent 5 for Achiyama and 4 for Ryoshishokunin and Tsubame, all the way down to 1 for Pandaazuma. The other 10 players were split evently between 3 and 2 points. The backuppers have concluded their basho a day early, the final result was a kachikoshi for former prospect Kotokensei. It's the second time he'll appear on the ballot - previously he put together a 6-KK streak in 2013/14. The majorly revamped standings: Day 14: 14/16 Decisions, TB 12-13 Pos Player Pts TB 1 Achiyama 10 13 2 Tsubame 10 11 3 Profomisakari 9 12 4 ryafuji 9 14 5 chishafuwaku 8 10 5 Mmikasazuma 8 15 5 Ryoshishokunin 8 15 8 Pandaazuma 7 14 8 Sakura 7 14 10 Asashosakari 6 12 10 Tenshinhan 6 12 12 Holleshoryu 6 15 12 kuroimori 6 14 14 Jejima 5 14
  9. Thanks, fixed. In more error-fixing news, I've reconstructed the Day 12 tables for the post I accidentally killed yesterday. Not going to try to rewrite the commentary. Let me know if it's actually preferable this way, without all those words getting in the way of the data.
  10. A very small minority of distinctly anti-Asashoryu people did, maybe. The overwhelming majority of people in attendance just want to get their money's worth by getting to watch good sumo, 10 years ago same as today, simply because it will be their only time or one of very few times they're getting the opportunity. They don't give a damn about any backstory nonsense like who henkaed whom in the past, who "deserves" to be henkaed because of other perceived or real transgressions, and so on.
  11. I feel compelled to point out that WWE's writers would probably struggle to tell a coherent story over as many as two months...
  12. On the flipside, this is pretty much the opportunity to demonstrate why sumo "needs" Japanese yokozuna even if they're not the best but only one of the best, and even missing out on yusho as he probably will here. It's an expensive PR lesson given the yusho prize involved, but Kise has a lot to gain here from being a good sport and going through tomorrow's match in a dignified manner.
  13. Day 14 (results, text-only results): 2-3-9 Hakuho Y1 Kakuryu 9-5 10-4 Harumafuji Y2 Kisenosato 12-2 1-5-8 Goeido O Terunofuji 13-1 The hits keep on coming as the basho has turned from possibly monumental to somewhat farcical in the span of two days, at least as far as the yusho race goes. Kisenosato tried to tough things out but wasn't much of a match for Kakuryu in the last bout of the day. Terunofuji, meanwhile, moved into the sole lead with a well-timed henka win over Kotoshogiku, whose repromotion quest has ended on that sour note. His decision about his career continuation remains to be seen. Elsewhere in sanyaku we saw Takayasu improving to 11 wins to set up a credible ozeki run for May, Tamawashi clinching kachikoshi with an impressive performance against Harumafuji, and Mitakeumi also getting his 8th versus Chiyonokuni. The general makeup of the Natsu sanyaku ranks is settled with that, with Takayasu and Tamawashi (plus/minus Kotoshogiku) at sekiwake, and Mitakeumi + a promotee to be named at komusubi. Takarafuji, Endo and Tochiozan said goodbye to that particular opportunity with losses today, leaving only Yoshikaze, Chiyonokuni and Chiyoshoma in the race - and Yoshikaze may even have the upper hand here already, given that he's the only one to face significant sanyaku opposition. His position may be strong enough that he might even be picked if he finishes with a loss tomorrow and the Chiyos win. 8-6 Tamawashi S1 Takayasu 11-3 8-6 Kotoshogiku S2 8-6 Mitakeumi K Shodai 4-10 (x) M1 M2 M3 Takarafuji 6-8 (x) 8-6 Yoshikaze M4 (x) 7-7 Endo M5 8-6 Chiyonokuni M6 M7 Chiyoshoma 9-5 M8 M9 M10 Tochiozan 10-4 (x) The makuuchi yusho will be nominally decided in tomorrow's Kisenosato-Terunofuji bout, although it's hard to see past the ozeki given that Kisenosato would need to win twice in his injured state. Kakuryu and Harumafuji will then conclude the basho action in the competitively rather meaningless musubi no ichiban. Takayasu may have the biggest motivation of the day as a win over fellow sekiwake Tamawashi would give him his first 12-win record in the joi and improve his ozeki run even further. (And possibly give him a share of the jun-yusho if his stablemate Kise loses in the regulation bout.) Kotoshogiku may or may not have the final bout of his career against promotion hopeful Yoshikaze. Turning things around in the makuuchi<->juryo race, I'll start out with mentioning that today's wacky juryo results have brought about no less than three credible promotion candidates: Chiyotairyu, Onosho and Toyohibiki all sport sufficient W-L's now and will certainly be moving up to the top division. Oyanagi and Osunaarashi may still get there despite Day 14 losses, as can Chiyomaru who maintained his hope for a more lucky promotion. We already knew that Chiyoo and Nishikigi will be headed down no matter what, and Kyokushuho also made sure of his fate with another loss, so that's 3 up and 3 down accounted for. Kotoyuki saved himself today, sending higher-ranked Hokutofuji to his career-first makekoshi. Sadanoumi had a victory over Ichinojo that defied all rational explanation, and is hanging in there for a possible lucky stay (dare I mention his perennial good banzuke luck?), though he definitely needs another win on senshuraku for that. Kaisei and Myogiryu are placed exactly one win better - losses today have left them one win short of definite safety, and in position to be lucky-safe regardless. (1) 3-6-5 Kaisei M8 M9 Kotoyuki 5-9 (o) M10 M11 (~) 4-10 Sadanoumi M12 M13 (1) 6-8 Myogiryu M14 Kyokushuho 4-10 (x) (x) 3-8-3 Chiyoo M15 (x) 5-9 Nishikigi M16 --- J1 Chiyotairyu 8-6 (o) J2 Onosho 9-5 (o) (x) 6-8 Hidenoumi J3 Toyohibiki 9-5 (o) (~) 8-6 Chiyomaru J4 Oyanagi 9-5 (1) J5 J6 (~) 9-5 Osunaarashi J7 Chances are that at least one more maegashira will be sent down anyway as Oyanagi's rank/record combo is pretty decent even at 9-6. Chiyomaru could put himself into much the same position with a 9th win as well. Keep in mind that the banzuke makers tend to be pretty aggressive about dropping maegashira who are demotable by the numbers. So, still quite a bit to play for here (in addition to the juryo yusho race!). In any case, the key up/down bouts will be Osunaarashi-Satoyama, Aminishiki-Oyanagi and Chiyomaru-Kyokutaisei in juryo, and Sadanoumi-Okinoumi, Myogiryu-Aoiyama and Kaisei-Ikioi in makuuchi. The promotions to juryo were settled altogether one day early after Amuru failed to get his KK win against Kitataiki. The latter will now be staying in juryo, while Takagenji (despite losing today) and Meisei are moving up to replace Kitaharima and Fujiazuma. It'll be Takagenji's debut in the sekitori ranks - will he keep the shikona? (o) 6-8 Kitataiki J11 Kitaharima 3-11 (x) J12 J13 J14 Fujiazuma 5-9 (x) (x) 3-4 Amuru Ms1 Takagenji 4-3 (o) Ms2 Kizenryu 3-3 3-3 Iwasaki Ms3 Meisei 5-2 (o) Ms4 3-3 Wakanoshima Ms5 Goshi 3-4 (x) The unlikely possibility mentioned "yesterday" has materialized, as they're sending Iwasaki up into juryo tomorrow, against Asahisho (J13e 7-7). I can only speculate, but it may be because he's a bit further down than Kizenryu and so this matchup is less likely to be misconstrued as an actual exchange bout (which it isn't; they're not going to overdemote Asahisho). A possible wildcard here is provided by Kotoshogiku's decision to continue or not, which would of course open up an additional promotion slot if he decides to hang up the mawashi. Even Wakanoshima could get the ultra-lucky promotion in that scenario if he beats Kizenryu, and Iwasaki loses in juryo. (Or heck, why not yusho winner Abi at Ms16e?)
  14. I enjoy a well-executed henka quite a bit, too, but it strikes me as a bit myopic to simply go "well done, chap!" at every instance of them and ignore the context in which they happen. The kosho system was chugging along just fine despite complaints about its supposed abuse since (at least) the mid-1990s, but when said abuse began to involve - at least in perception - the top-rankers nearly a decade later, anti-kosho opinions quickly gained critical mass and the system was torn down in short order. Now, I hardly expect henka to be outlawed anytime soon, but if the perception becomes that "I don't give a crap what anyone thinks" henka have become too prevalent in high-profile bouts (and rightly or wrongly, Terunofuji is adding to an impression already created by Harumafuji and to a lesser degree Kakuryu and Hakuho here), I'd certainly expect some sort of reaction to that development. And given the likely inability to attack henka use directly, I'm afraid it could result in a more generalized anti-foreign rikishi backlash.
  15. I'd argue that the main purpose of any professionally promoted spectator sport is in fact to entertain the audience, even though many people who watch "for the sport" don't like to hear that. It's borne out by the fact that professional sports typically have very few qualms about adjusting the rules of the competition if the audience collectively considers something to be undesirable (or even just plain unentertaining). The only functional difference to theatrics like professional wrestling is that professional sports leave the realization of the entertainment potential entirely to the competitors. But the framework for that potential is constantly under public debate, at least implicitly. That's why the standard "henka is legal, that makes it perfectly okay" argument totally misses the mark.