A dead pool, or deathpool is a game of prediction which involves guessing when someone will die. Sometimes it is a bet where money is involved. The combination of dead or death and betting-pool, refers to such a gambling arrangement. A typical modern dead pool might have players pick out celebrities who they think will die within the year. There are several scoring variants. For example, a player might be rewarded few, if any, points for predicting the death of someone who is over 80 years old or is suffering from a terminal disease. Other pools require participants to form a list ranked on how sure they are that a person on the list will die, with points given based on how high a person on their list is ranked, and others award points based on how many other contestants selected the deceased celebrity. Another variant on the game has a single point awarded for each correct prediction, regardless of the celebrity’s age or medical condition. The advantage of this scoring method is that there is more scoring, and it rewards research (learning which celebrities are experiencing failing health) rather than luck.One example of the concept is a series of segments on the Howard Stern Radio Show, where show regulars would place bets into a celebrity death pool, each trying to predict the next celebrity to pass on. The practice has been expanded to include wagering on such abstract entities as businesses.
Definitions of celebrity vary from contest to contest. Smaller pools may rely on consensus of the players as to who is famous. Others require an obituary to appear in a recognized newswire such as the Associated Press or Reuters. The Lee Atwater Invitational employed a Fame Committee consisting of non-contestants who assess ahead of time the name-recognition of each celebrity. The Rotten.com Dead Pool, the largest in the world, uses NNDB as its source of qualified celebrities, and as arbiter of their life status.
The concept and success strategies are also detailed in an annual guide called “The Dead Pool”, written by KQRS radio personality Mike Gelfand and author Mike Wilkinson. KQRS also does an annual on air dead pool contest, similar to Stern’s, where show hosts and listners will attempt to pick which celebrity will die in that calendar year.
In most pools, killing the celebrity in question is considered cheating and results in the killer’s immediate disqualification from the pool. Such a dead pool was depicted in the aptly-titled Clint Eastwood movie, The Dead Pool.
Death List is unlike a traditional dead pool as there are no competitors involved and no points are awarded. The names on the list are chosen by a committee, members of Death List then track the well-being of the chosen celebrities over the course of the year. The Death List was first conceived in a student bar on November 29th 1986, the inspiration being the death of Cary Grant earlier the same day. The list’s aim is to predict which people in the public eye will die in the following year. Ever since 1987, a list has been drawn up, but starting in 1994 the Death List has consisted of 50 prominent people chosen annually by the committee, who might merit a prominent obituary in the UK media — ranging from politicans, religious figures and show business stars.
The Dead Pool is also an arena in the Mortal Kombat series only being featured in Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat: Deception. The stage itself is a pit surrounded with acid. On Mortal Kombat II, you had to wait for the “Finish Him/Her”” screen, then you could knock your opponent in the acid, and it would count as a Fatality. On Mortal Kombat Deception, you could just knock your opponent in the acid with a single powerful strike.
- Cash4Cadavers.com Dead Pool
- Rotten.com Dead Pool
- Stiffs.com Dead Pool
- The Derby Dead Pool
- The Game Gazette Dead Pool including history of dead pools since 1591
- A funny Deathpool Website
- Bolao Pe Na Cova (Cocadaboa`s Brazilian Deathpool)
- Stretch and Wilk’s official annual guide (ISBN 156980205X)
Video: CSI Miami – End of Death Pool