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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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I've been tracking results by seating position for The Princes of Florence at the World Boardgaming Championships for eight years now. See the following thread for a broader explanation:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/335250

These results include only 5-player games in which no bidding was used (and they thus exclude the semi-final and final games, where I do use bidding.)

With 16 5-player games added this year, there are now 118 5-player games in the database. The results look like this:


Number of Results
-----------------------
Seat 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Avg
---- --- --- --- --- --- ---
1 22 15 25 25 31 3.2
2 33 28 18 19 20 2.7
3 25 25 21 27 20 2.9
4 20 25 28 17 28 3.1
5 18 25 26 30 19 3.1


This year saw excellent results for Seat 2, the seat that is generally thought to be best, after a drought of several years. The worst seat, based on these numbers alone, continues to be Seat 1, even though people tend to bid small amounts for it when we bid for seats.

Seat 2 had 6 wins and 6 seconds in 2013, to pile up an average finish of 2.1. The other seats were all about equal with averages close to 3.2.

An additional point of interest: the final (where bidding was used) was won by a wide margin by Seat 5, who got the seat for nothing after Seat 1 went for $200, Seat 2 for $300 and Seat 3 for $100 (Seat 4 also went for nothing.)
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United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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I'll think of something witty to put here...
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Interesting, I've not played the game much, maybe once or twice a year for several years.

Why do you think seat 2 does so well? Seat 3 looks pretty strong too.
 
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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If everyone buys a Profession whenever they can, Seat 2 gets one more than anyone else.
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David K
United States
Austin
Texas
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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Interesting, thanks for the numbers.

This hits the table a few times a year for us, we do tend to just give the 2nd spot to a newer player rather than bid on it.
 
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Christopher Hill
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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Awesome stats Eric! Thanks for posting.

Just played last night after a long hiatus and seat 1 was the winner.
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Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
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Did I miss the Final Table session report? I know I was at the table, but I am never able to follow everyone's actions and concentrate on my own position. I'd love to see a recap.
 
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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Hi, Alex,

Unfortunately, the notes I have don't reconcile, so I don't have a reportable session report for last year's final.
 
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Paul Oakes
United Kingdom
Liverpool
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The argument that seat 1 has performed worst is based on an equal differential for each position. Seat 1 has a slightly better than average 1st place outcome of seats 1, 3, 4 and 5, but is destroyed by a strong tendency to come last.

Most players would value a move from 2nd to 1st more than any other move, so there should be some subjective weighting of the value of places. What that weighting should be would need extensive research, but it wouldn't take anything extreme to make 1st seat have a better likely weighted outcome than 5th seat, whose characteristic is avoiding last place.

Certainly an interesting set of data, and starting position handicapping is a pet subject of mine. I don't play Princes of Florence often enough to know the start bias, but next time I'll propose auctions for player order.
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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Paul, I'd be happy to see you put a utility function that seems good to you on the data and show preferences based on that. I'm mostly providing the raw data.

The advantage of this data set is that it includes quite a few games and the player base is diverse.
 
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