SPAPP18/19 – Game 01 Review

The 15th Game of Premier Predictions finished a lot closer than it looked like it might at one stage, with five points covering the top three at the end. This is quite an update – possibly the largest I’ve ever done, so please stick with it!

  • Game Overview
  • Tenth and Twentieth
  • One Round Wonder
  • Players of the Month
  • Mike Hodgson: It was all about the Stars
  • What’s Next
  • Thanks All
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Game Overview

Mike Hodgson secured an unprecedented fourth Premier Predictions title and his first since Game 01 of the 2013/14 season five years ago. That third win, secured in December 2013, was his third in-a-row, which is also an unprecedented feat.

In the run to his fourth title, Mike was in first or second place from Round 05 until the end of the season, eventually holding off the charge of his friend, Martin Gayton, in the run-in to the end of the Game. His main challenger had been Keith West, but Keith’s hopes faltered in the last few Rounds over Christmas.

“I would like to say how much I have enjoyed game one. My game was a bit like most Premier League matches these days – never over until the final whistle. I had a late run and even topped the table quite late on but was well beaten in the end. I was happy to have finished in third place though.

“The Mrs has thrown down the gauntlet again and I look forward to the challenge of Game Two. Cynth has been more successful than me at this prediction lark and I need to even things up. Good luck everybody and thanks Simon for running the game so very well. Cheers for now.”

Keith West, third place in Premier Predictions Game 01

Keith had also occupied one of the top two places since Round 12, right up to the point in the last Round where Martin Gayton overtook him… harsh! Seeing Martin finish Runner-up isn’t unusual – that’s the fifth time he’s been the bridesmaid, but not yet a champion!

“Delighted to have come second after a really sluggish start, hoping to go one better next time!”

Martin Gayton, five times Premier Predictions Runner-up

Defending Champion, Craig Ellis, had a torrid time defending his title. At the end of Round 07 he was 24th, wasn’t able to recover and eventually finished 31st. His enthusiasm clearly hasn’t been dampened though as he was one of the first to enter Game 02.

Tenth and Twentieth

This year we introduced a prize for finishing twentieth. The first winner of that prize, £22.28, is Jamie Sawyer. Jamie has previously won a number of Players-of-the-Month prizes and was crowned Game 01 champion in consecutive seasons – those being 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The lucky winner of the Tenth Place prize was Martin Hayman, who collects £44.55. Martin was overall runner-up in both of last season’s Games.

One Round Wonder

In Round 01 Alex Bridges set the One Round Wonder target at 15 points, which wasn’t a bad benchmark at all to start the season. Alex went on to finish in a creditable seventh place, having gone about his business in a quiet way.

Alex’s target only lasted four Rounds though, before both Mike Hodgson and Jamie Cox chipped in with 16 points in Round 05. In past Games that has been enough to secure the One Round Wonder prize, which this time round was worth £44.55.

Cynthia wasn’t having any of that though and took just two more Rounds (07) to increase the target to 17. At the time it was widely considered that might be good enough and sure enough, 13 Rounds later nobody had beaten it and Cynth had won her second One Round Wonder in-a-row.

Player of the Month

In their first Game of Premier Predictions Scott Symonds and Lloyd Hide both picked up a Player-of-the-Month award (£22.28). Lloyd’s came first in October with 28 points, averaging 0.903 per prediction.

Scott’s came right at the end of the Game in the super-busy month of December. He scored 60 points in 69 matches at an average of just 0.870 per prediction – Scott beat second placed Martin Gayton by just one point.

The other two Player of the Month awards were both collected by Mike on his way to the overall winner spot. In a sign of things to come, he took the first monthly award of the Game with an average of 1.086 points per match and then followed that up in November with 1.065.

Mike Hodgson: It was all about the Stars!

At the start of this season, we introduced stars after the names of former winners to indicate who they were and how many titles had been won. At the time it was introduced without much thought, as a kind of gimmick, but it seems they may have been more valuable then we could have imagined.

“It was a lot closer than I thought it was going to be in the end.

“I really thought I’d blown it mid-December after Keith’s big over haul. I would have been gutted if I’d not hung on having been up there so long.

“It probably sounds daft, but after you introduced the stars it became about getting that fourth one in the end rather than money or beating my friend [Martin Gayton]!

Mike Hodgson, Premier Predictions Winner 2018/19 Game 01

For what it’s worth Mike, I don’t think it sounds daft, I think it’s excellent news for the strength and draw of the game – I guess history and Premier Predictions eight years is a powerful draw to the game.

What’s Next

Game 02, which starts on Saturday 12th January, will be a sprint (17 Rounds) compared to Game 01 which had 20 Rounds. After the excitement of World Cup 2018 in Russia we saw a big increase in players of Premier Predictions – we’re hopeful that those players will stay for Game 02.

You can enter Game 02 by using the button below. The entry fee has been held at £15 and you can pay by PayPal, Bank Transfer or use any SPAGames credit you might have.

Thanks All

Finally, I’d like to tank you all for your ongoing support of Premier Predictions and the website. Without players and supporters it wouldn’t be worthwhile or even possible I guess!

Thanks to everyone who continues to play and those who have contributed to have their names on the Associate Sponsors page. Thanks everyone for paying when there are a number of free options that you could use instead.

Thanks also again to Mark Vincent for his continued sponsorship of the Game in the form of True Potential Wealth Management.

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