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OP Premier Ratings FAQ
Information subject to change. Last updated: 9/16/2008.
The Premier Rating system is designed to reward players who consistently perform well at Premier Events over the course of the tournament season with an opportunity to participate in the 2008 Pokemon TCG World Championships. This document will provide you with an overview of the Premier Ratings system.
How do I get a Premier Rating?
Every player who participates in a Premier Event during the 2007-2008 tournament season has a Premier Rating. In order to check your rating, you’ll need a Pokémon Trainer Club account, which you can get for free. Your rating will be visible on your My Stats page.
Once you have a rating, you’ll probably want to see how you compare to other players. There are several options in the Web Preferences area of your Pokémon Trainer Club account that deal with participating in POP Player Rankings. Selecting any of the ones that start with "I want to participate..." will opt you in to the rankings portion of our site. After selecting one of these, you can view how your rating compares to other players all over the world.
How Do I Earn Premier Rating Points?
Each Premier Event series has a different "K Value." The K Value is part of the ratings equation that indicates the maximum number of rating points at stake for each match. For a more in-depth look at how ratings are actually calculated, please see the Ratings and Rankings FAQ on our Rules and Resources page.
The K Values for each of the following series are:
Battle Road Autumn/Spring Tournaments: 4K
City Championships: 16K
State/Province/Territory Championships: 32K
Regional Championships: 32K
National Championships: 32K
Special Premier Events (International only): TPCi Discretion; contact your local OP Provider for details
Though still referred to as "Premier Events," Prerelease Tournaments are not incorporated in the Premier Rating system.
How Does This Affect Me?
The ultimate goal of your Premier Rating is to determine your true play skill over the course of the entire tournament season. Each player starts with a Premier Rating of 1600.00. The higher your rating goes, the stronger your play skill is considered to be.
Every match that you play in a Premier Event is factored into your Premier Rating. The points that you can earn for playing in a match are based on two things:
- The K Value of the event
- Your Win Expectancy
The K Value determines the maximum rating points at stake in each match of the tournament. So, when playing in a State/Province/Territory Championship—a 32K event— the maximum number of points that your rating can be modified by after each match is 32.
The Win Expectancy is a percentage, based on the difference in each player’s rating at the start of the match. This percentage is applied to the K Value to determine how many points will actually be added to or subtracted from your rating after the match outcome is determined.
For example, Peter and David are playing each other in a State/Province/Territory Championship (a 32K event). Both have a rating of 1800.00, so they are considered evenly matched in play skill. This gives them each a 50% Win Expectancy. The player that wins the match will gain 16.00 rating points—50% of the K Value. The loser of the match will lose rating points equal to the number of rating points gained by the winner—16.00, in this case. If Peter wins the match, his new rating of 1816.00 is used to calculate his Win Expectancy against his next opponent’s rating. Similarly, David’s new rating of 1784.00 is used to calculate his Win Expectancy against his next opponent.
This calculation gets a little trickier as the difference in ratings increases. At the same State/Province/Territory Championship, Michael and Erik are playing each other. Michael has an 1800.00 rating and Erik has a 1600.00 rating. Michael is heavily favored to win because he is considered to be the better player, based on their difference in ratings. This difference gives Michael a 75.97% Win Expectancy. Because Michael is so heavily favored to win, he will only gain 24.03% of the K Value (7.69 points) for winning, and Erik will only lose 24.03% of the K Value. However, should Michael lose the match, his rating will drop 75.97% of the K Value (24.31 points), and Erik’s rating will go up by 75.97% of the K Value.
In tournaments where there are fewer than 6 players in one or more age division, Age Modified Swiss is used to pair players, resulting in a small number of cross age division matches each round. Rating points are only earned by playing against opponents in the same age division, so the results of a cross age division match are never calculated into a player’s Premier Rating, though they are still factored into a player’s total win percentage.
For a more in-depth look at how Win Expectancy is actually calculated, please see the Ratings and Rankings FAQ on our Rules and Resources page.
Premier Ratings and Worlds
The Pokémon Company International, and Pokémon Organized Play will award a small number of invitations to the Pokémon TCG World Championships. These invitations are based on "Rating Zones" encompassing several countries. These invites will be awarded after the last POP-Approved Premier Rated event has been run in each Zone.
Stay tuned for updated 2008/2009 Rating Zone information.
Premier Rating Invitational Tiebreakers
After the final Premier Event in a Rating Zone has been uploaded, Pokémon Organized Play will verify the validity of the ratings and will then award invitations to the 2008 Pokémon TCG World Championships to the top-ranked players in that Zone, as described in the table above.
In the event that two or more players are tied for a rating-based invite, Pokémon Organized Play will determine who receives the invite based on a series of tiebreakers. These tiebreakers will only be applied after the final Premier Event in a Rating Zone has been uploaded and after the validity of the ratings has been verified.
The tiebreakers will be applied in the following order:
- Premier Event Match Win Percentage
The win percentage of a player is an excellent indicator of overall performance over the course of the tournament season. Pokémon Organized Play will review the Premier Event match-win percentage (wins / total matches) of the tied players and rank them based on the result, with the higher win percentage ranked above the lower win percentage.
- Total Matches Played
Players who participate in more events and complete more matches have put their ratings on the line to a greater degree and have shown a high level of dedication to the Pokémon TCG and to Pokémon Organized Play. Tied players will be ranked in order of highest total matches played to lowest total matches played.
- Average Size of Premier Events Attended
Larger events have more rounds and tend to be much more challenging for players than smaller events. These large events also tend to draw more top-level players than the smaller events do, making it harder for players to do well in them. Tied players will be ranked in order of highest average Premier Event attendance for that player’s Age Division to lowest average Premier Event attendance for that player’s Age Division.
- Average Record at Common Tournaments
As the Championship Series progresses, Premier Events get larger and spaced further apart. This increases the likelihood that players with identical ratings have competed in one or more of the same events. Tied players will be ranked based on the average tournament record of each event that they have in common, with the highest average ranked above the lowest average.
- Coin Flip
While it’s unlikely that this tiebreak will be necessary, a deterministic tiebreaker as the final tiebreaker is important. The coin flip will be conducted at the Pokémon USA, Inc., offices with several key POP and administrative staff present to validate the result.
Invitation "Pass Down" Awards
When POP calculates the final ratings for a given Zone, that rating will be checked against the invited players list. If a player who has already earned an invitation is ranked highly enough to receive a Premier Ratings invite, that invitation will be "passed down" to the next unqualified player from that same Zone. This does not mean, for example, that if a Canadian player who is top ranked in North America already has an invitation, the next Canadian player would be selected. Rather, the next unqualified player from that Zone (from the U.S., Canada, or Mexico, in this case) would be selected.
MYTH: If I beat a player in the first round of a tournament, and then he or she does poorly for the rest of the tournament, that player will ruin my rating!
REALITY: The rating points that you gain or lose against a particular opponent are determined at the time of your match. Your opponent’s performance later in the tournament (or at events later in the season) has absolutely no impact on the rating points that you earned as a result of that match.
MYTH: If I do poorly at the beginning of the season, I have no chance of earning a Worlds invite through my Premier Rating.
REALITY: The number of points you earn per match is dependent upon the difference in your rating to your opponent’s. Starting the season poorly does not necessarily mean you won’t finish well. As illustrated in the example above, a low-rated player can gain a large number of rating points quickly by beating higher-rated players. By contrast, higher-rated players will have to work harder to keep their ratings high, as they have more to lose by being beaten and they gain fewer points by beating those same opponents.
In addition, because of the increased K Value at events later in the season, there is even more opportunity to turn around a slow start into a great ratings score. Of course, the key to increasing your rating is to win the matches you play.
MYTH: I can earn a higher rating by playing in a lot of events, regardless of whether I win or lose.
REALITY: Your rating is affected by both your wins and your losses. If you play in a lot of events and win, your rating will increase rapidly at first and then slow down as you continue to face opponents rated lower than yourself. The more matches you lose against those opponents, however, the more your rating will drop and the harder you will have to work to regain those points.
MYTH: The Premier Rating points that I earn are calculated based on the date that the Tournament Organizer reports the results of the tournament to POP.
REALITY: Premier Ratings are recalculated daily. Each player’s rating is determined based on the date that each tournament was run, not on the date that each tournament was reported. POP policy requires that the results of a tournament must be uploaded no later than 14 days after the date of the event. The flexibility of this reporting window can cause a bobbing effect in the rankings, as players’ ratings are recalculated based on previous events’ reports. POP will ensure that the results of all Premier Events are accounted for before issuing ratings-based invites to players in a Rating Zone.