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

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 12 5-player games added this year, there are now 89 5-player games in the database. The results look like this:

Number of Results
Seat 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Avg
---- --- --- --- --- --- ---
1 18 10 19 19 23 3.2
2 25 18 13 16 17 2.8
3 19 20 18 20 12 2.8
4 17 19 17 14 22 3.1
5 10 22 22 20 15 3.1

Seat 3 had the most wins in 2010, with 6, and it also had the best average finish at 2.5. Seat 4 had a terrible year, with no wins, 6 last-place finishes, and an average finish of 3.8.

As I said last year, I can't blame anyone who prefers the 2nd seat, partly because it has more wins than any other seat, and in a tournament, your goal is to win. On the other hand, this data suggests that the effect of seating order in the heats is relatively small.

As a bit of contrary evidence, however, this year's tournament winner, Randy Buehler, bid 400 florins to play the 2nd seat (with 1st and 3rd seat going for 100 florins each,) and he won the tournament, albeit on the second tie-breaker.
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