Celebrity Dead Pool - A Question On A Ruling

I’m running a small little pool with a group of my friends. The pool has a ‘playing window’ of 2008. If your celeb died this year, you get the points. One clever fellow picked Steve Fosset, and now I’m not sure how to rule…

Fosset’s plane ‘disappeared’ September 3, 2007. He was reported missing that same day.

On February 15, 2008, his family had him declared legally dead. At this time, I awarded points to the player, with the proviso that if new information came to light, we may have to re-visit the issue.

Then, earlier this week, the wreckage of the plane was discovered. Remains have been found at the crash site, but it is unclear if the remains are Fossett’s, or indeed even human. Testing may take weeks. The search for more definitive remains is ongoing.

So … what I’ve said to the players so far is that if Fossett’s remains are definitively identified, we’ll take his date of death as being in 2007, and therefor outside the scope of the game. No points to the player. If they aren’t discovered, we take his death as being the legal declaration of death in Feb 2008, and thus in the scope of the game, points are awarded.

What are your thoughts? What’s a fair ruling?

Allowing him to make the choice means you agreed there was some chance Fossett could “die” in 2008. You can’t now turn around and declare him dead in 2007.

If, at the end of the year, Fossett is still “dead”, give him the points as if he died in February.

Disagree entirely.
Allowing the player to list Fossett meant allowing the player to assert that Fossett hadn’t already died! If Fossett died in 2007, he couldn’t very well die again in 2008.

A Celebrity Death Pool is a game of chance predicting death- not a declaration of death. If the player believed Fossett died in 2007, but figured he could score some easy points since as of Dec.31 2007 Fossett was only declared missing not dead, then the player might as well disqualified the choice himself.

The listing of Fossett implies that Fossett was not already dead, on the part of the player making the choice. Allowing the choice implies no such agreement from the moderator.

It would be the same as putting Elvis on a Death Pool list. Elvis can’t possibly die in 2008 because he died in 1977. If I was monitoring a Celebrity Death Pool and a player said to me “I don’t believe Elvis died in 1977. I think his death was faked and he has been living a private life of obscurity. However, I do believe he will die this year and would like to put him on my pool list.” I would answer “Fine by me, sucker!”

The only three scenarios that would award points for Fossett would be:[ul]
[li]Fossett is found dead and the autopsy shows he died sometime since January 1st 2008.[/li][li]Fossett is found alive and dies sometime before December 31st 2008.[/li][li]Player included Fossett on his Celebrity Death Pool 2007 list, Fossett is found dead and declared to have died in 2007, Pool Moderator allows that points can retroactively be awarded to the previous year’s Pool (up to Pool Moderator’s discretion).[/li][/ul]

So, you don’t think the legal declaration of death on February 15th should count?

All signs point to shedding his mortal coil in September 2007.

Dead at Jam 1, pick void.

Fidel and Kim Jong Ill still up in the air…

All signs point to shedding his mortal coil in September 2007.

Dead at Jan 1, pick void.

Fidel and Kim Jong Ill still up in the air…

Whether he’s alive or dead, he did not die on February 15th 2008 (unless by coincidence).

It’s a Celebrity Death Pool: A Pool to predict the event of a celebrity’s death.
It’s not a “Declaration of Celebrity Death” Pool.

I maintain that the three scenarios I listed above are the only scenarios that would award points for Fossett.

I understand what you’re saying, and you make a good point. I guess my concern is the potential for a certain amount of arbitrary decision making. As both a player and the moderator for this pool (it’s small and informal, really, so the potential conflict is generally overlooked) I try whenever possible to look for an ‘official’ statement about a death. The last thing I want to do is say, “this is what probably happened”, because I feel that it could be too easy to make judgment calls that - even unintentionally - go in my favour. So I like the official declaration, even though it’s not likely the actual date of death.

Hmm… I’ll have to give this some thought. My hope right now is that they somehow prove things one way or the other, before the end of the year.

It would be awesome if they found him alive in the woods … just a great story. And no points for the player … :slight_smile:

Death in absentia.

He was not legally declared dead because it was supposed he might possibly have stepped in front of a bus in February of 2008. The “circumstantial evidence which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the individual is deceased” was that in September of 2007 he took off in a plane that had five hours worth of fuel then never came back.

“small and informal” my arctic*! If the guy didn’t die in 2008, no points awarded- otherwise we descend into anarchy! If your friend has a problem with it (and why are you running around with a knucklehead* like this anyway?) explain that the decision was passed down to you from a higher authority.

*apologies for the mildness of my swearing. I’ve never been in The Game Room before- thought I’d play it safe. But don’t worry: if thwartme awards points I’ll be sure to start a Pit Thread using all kinds of nasty words.

If someone were to die in their sleep the evening of December 31 but not be pronounced until the morning of the first, what year did they die? However you would rule this is how you should rule Fossett.

It would depend on what Ducky’s liver probe said the TOD was.

Heh. I don’t think I’ve ever been pitted … does it hurt? :slight_smile:

The thing about the legal declaration of death is that it gives us a hard date. Officially, he wasn’t dead on Feb 14, and was dead on Feb 15. As hinted at in Ichbin Dubist’s post, the exact date can matter.

It’s possible that his plane crashed, and he stumbled out and survived, injured, for a day… or two, or a week… who knows? (unlikely, given the nature of the wreckage, but we don’t know). But as Feb 15, 2008, we’ve got a definite date.

I guess my decision is this: As it is, the official date of death is Feb 15, 2008. If the investigation proves that the remains are Fossett’s, then we’ll amend that to Sep of 2007.

Thanks for all your input.

BTW, Vorlon … I have no idea what your post means.


I say give him the points as punishment to the host of the game for allowing the choice in the first place. In the future, don’t allow people who aren’t verifiably alive at the start of the game.

Having set up the rules for this board’s deathpool, my main intent was to prevent people from gaming the rules. In that light, I’d say Fossett shouldn’t be counted. He was obviously most likely dead at the time he was picked and all that was waiting was the legal announcement of this. If you allow this precedent, future players can just submit people who are missing but not officially declared dead yet.

Agree completely. You’re being overly generous for fear of appearing biased. No points, IMHO.

Full disclosure: When I was putting the pool together, there were a lot of people I’d never heard of before on the various player lists. Steve Fossett was one of them. I had no idea who he was, and I only gave his wiki entry a cursory glance - checked his birth date and that no date of death was listed - before including him. If I had taken the time to read every bio (which, granted, I probably should have done) I would have never been ready for January 1st.

So, while I maybe shouldn’t have allowed the pick in the first place, I did allow it. In fairness, if Fossett wasn’t eligible AT ALL, the player could have picked someone else. Not allowing him any chance to score now strikes me as piling one bad ruling on top of another.

This is really the fist time there’s ever been any kind of question about the Dead Pool. In the three previous years that I ran one, it was always fairly cut and dry: either they’re dead, or they’re not. I’m kind of enjoying the controversy.