Virtual International Players Ladder

"We have the players if you have the balls!"

News

Last modified on Sunday, February 20, 2005

This page shows the latest news and events happening on the VIP Ladder.

Sunday, February 20, 2005 - VIP Ladder version 2.11.1
Modified the point system to put more weight on the current opponent's points. The new formula uses the average of your Difficulty Rating (prior to the current match) and the current opponent's points. This adds more emphasis on the current opponent's points and will give "win expectancy" more influence on the points awarded.

Monday, February 7, 2005 - VIP Ladder version 2.11.0
The new point system is based on "win expectancy", but differs from the old point system in that the points awarded are based on the AVERAGE POINTS OF ALL OPPONENTS PLAYED (not just the difference between the player's points). The reason for this new point system is that it discourages players from "bottom feeding". Players with a low average points per opponent (shown on the ladder as Difficulty Rating) will not earn as many points as players with a high average points per opponent. The USCF rating system was changed a couple of years ago to use this new formula. The VIP Ladder is basing this new point system on the existing USCF rating system.

Thursday, January 20, 2005 - VIP Ladder version 2.10.0
The new VIP Ladder version 2.10.0 fixes problems with the courtesy rating system. The primary change was to have the courtesy rating system use percentages to more accurately portray a player's courtesy rating. During the development of this version, several other courtesy rating related problems were found and fixed. Namely, tournament matches and "no comment" votes are excluded from the courtesy rating calculation. Courtesy rating percentages are shown in color as follows:

Ratings 95.00% or higher are shown in green
Ratings from 80.00% to 94.99% are shown in yellow
Ratings below 80.00% are shown in red
Players with no courtesy rating are shown in white (N/A)

Here's an explanation of how the courtesy rating percentage is calculated:

  • Only winning matches are included with the calculation (since the loser posts the courtesy rating).

  • "No comment" votes and tournament matches are excluded from the calculation

  • The percentage is the ratio of "good" votes to won matches

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
The ladder has been reset!

Thursday, January 6, 2005
As a cheat deterrent, I have built a new version of the VIP Ladder. Prior to this new version, a player whose account was deactivated, could simply reactivate their account and resume the same position on the ladder prior to deactivation. This allowed top players to periodically reactivate their account and remain at the top of the ladder without ever playing another match. One player in particular has been cheating like this since 2001!!!

The new version compares the player's reactivation date and the date of the last match they played. If the player has not played a match since the reactivation date, the player will not appear in the ladder rankings. Instead the player will appear in the unranked section at the bottom of the ladder. They will remain in the unranked section until they play a match. Once a match is played after reactivation, the ladder will calculate the player's new rank position and display them on the ladder in the proper position.

Friday, November 7, 2003
The VIP Ladder is back online!

Thursday, November 6, 2003
Our hosting service pulled the rug out from under us. So, we are moving the site to a new (much better) hosting service. It'll take a while to get everything running again and we're considering some modifications. More news will be posted soon...

Wednesday, November 5, 2003
We received several email messages about the ladder being down. Thanks to all for letting us know. We're looking into the problem.

Sunday, October 15, 2000
Added improved security measures, terms of service agreement and new buttons.

Wednesday, December 29, 1999
Added new ladders for the Virtual Pool Hall games. In addition to the standard games (8-Ball, 9-Ball etc.) the VIP Ladder now has ladders for the new games (15-Ball, Basic Pocket Billiards, 1 and 3 Cushion Billiards, Snooker, Cribbage, Cowboy, Honolulu and Bowlliards).

Thursday, July 29, 1999
Added courtesy rating system. Players may rate their opponent's sportsmanship when reporting a match. These rates are accumulated and shown on the player's record. Positive (green) numbers are a good rating. Negative (red) numbers are a bad rating. Also added IP address logging, IP address blocking, track email address changes and expanded structure to accommodate other future enhancements.

Saturday, July 10, 1999
Reset the ladders for the first time. After logging more than 40,000 matches we decided to reset the ladders and "Start a new season". Resetting the ladder will encourage players to play more matches and strive for higher levels. I will create a Hall of Fame page to show the top 10 players on the ladder before it was reset. I will also create a Hall of Shame page to show the bottom 10 players before it was reset. The point system has changed too. The maximum number of points transferred in a match has been changed from 50 to 100. Also, the Sharks division is more restrictive. Players must have a win ratio greater than 75% (in their last 20 matches) to be in the Shark division. Players must keep a win ratio of 60% or more (in their last 20 matches) to stay in the Shark division. I also added a purge process to remove players who have signed up and never played a match.

Wednesday, June 2, 1999
Created the Virtual Pool Online Club. This will allow another opportunity for Virtual Pool players to find each other. The club offers a messageboard, chatroom, photo album, event calendar and much more.

Saturday, April 3, 1999
Added a new table to track the nickname changes for players. Added a search page to find players on any VIP Ladder. The search page also has the option to enter the name of a second player to compare matches played between the two players.

Wednesday, March 31, 1999
Modified the signup process to require password activation before new players appear on the ladder.

Monday, March 22, 1999
Added a new index and multiple page support to the player matches webpage. This speeds up the player matches webpage considerably. Also added a report link to the player matches webpage as a shortcut to report a match for the existing player and ladder.

Saturday, February 13, 1999
Added charts to the player's matches screen. A first in online gaming competition!

Monday, October 26, 1998
Created an automated process that runs once a day. This automated process rebuilds all indexes, fixes any duplicate match ID problems (if found) and freshens the database (removes players who have not played in 30 days).

Tuesday, September 15, 1998
Made a minor modification to the VIP Ladder program to use POST (rather than GET) when players signup, edit player info, report matches, report tourney results and generate a random pick.

Thursday, September 10, 1998
Added a random break picker. This program randomly picks which player breaks the first game of a match.

Saturday, August 8, 1998
Players can now reactivate their own ladder accounts using the Join option. If the player was already a member of this ladder but is inactive, they will automatically be reactivated.

Friday, July 24, 1998
The VIP Ladder gets its own domain name!!! www.vipladder.com

Friday, February 20, 1998
I have received numerous reports of missing matches. I believe the cause of these missing matches is because my ISP upgraded their hardware. I was told about six months ago that they planned to upgrade their hardware and I made preparations for the upgrade. Unfortunately, they didn't give me any details of when the upgrade was going to take place. They upgraded Tuesday (Feb 17th) and didn't give me any warning.

Please report your losses that appear to be missing. If you have wins that are missing, contact your opponent and politely ask them to report again.

Sorry for the inconvenience...

Sunday, January 25, 1998
It's finally done!!! The new VIP Ladder has many new changes. Among these changes are:

  • A new name (slightly). VIP now stands for Virtual International Players. This allows the VIP Ladder to accommodate non-pool related game ladders.
  • Multiple ladders - Additional ladders can be created very quickly. Possible new ladders are: Virtual Pool 2, Virtual Snooker, 8-ball only, 9-ball only, Straight Pool only, Rotation only, Links, WarCraft II, Descent and Descent II.
  • Players can join any of the ladders on the VIP Ladder. Their profile (nickname, email address, password, etc) stays the same for all ladders.
  • New point system available - A ladder can be setup to use the current VIP Ladder point system or a point system based on the USCF (Chess) point system. This system is based upon statistics and calculates points transferred by a percentage of win expectancy. If an expert player plays a novice player, the expert is EXPECTED to win. So, if the expert wins, they will get few (if any) points. If the novice wins, they will get the maximum points allowed for a win (50). If two players are equally skilled, the winner gets half of the maximum points allowed for a win (25).

Sunday, September 14, 1997
The signup process is improved. When new players signup, the VIP Ladder automatically emails a randomly generated password to their primary email address. This should help validate email addresses.

Monday, August 18, 1997
The VIP Ladder gets a facelift! (finally)

Tuesday, August 5, 1997
The VIP Ladder reverted back to the old version for reporting matches. The ladder no longer checks to ensure the players are in the same division. The divisions are still in place. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone...

Friday, August 1, 1997
The division changes to the VIP Ladder are now in place. The changes create two divisions for the players. The Sharks division is for the skilled players. The Barracuda division is for the lesser skilled players. Thanks for the suggestion, Str8Shooter...

Sunday, June 1, 1997
The Player List page now has the player's points displayed. The list is sorted by the player's nickname. Thanks for the suggestion, Vandy...

The Player List page also has a link to each player's specific matches. Just click on the player's nickname and you will see their matches played to date.

Sunday, May 4, 1997
It's finally done! After 3,750 lines of C code, the VIP Ladder is finally automated. Players can now signup, edit their player information and report matches directly through the online automated forms. In order to use the automated forms, you will need to supply your password. I have emailed a randomly generated password to each of the active VIP Ladder players. If you encounter a problem, let me know. Thank you for your patience!

Saturday, March 29, 1997
My service provider has been having problems all this week. I was told that Internic mistakenly removed csj.net from the DNS because they hadn't received payment. Once csj faxed the cancelled check to Internic, we were brought back online. There are still some problems, though. I haven't been able to FTP to CSJ for a week. So, updating the ladder entails emailing myself and then extracting the web pages from the email messages. What a pain! But, we're keeping the ladder updated. Sorry for any inconvenience...

Friday, January 31, 1997
Since people should be more interested in the recent matches, I changed the sort order for the Matches web page. It now displays matches in descending chronological order. Thanks for the suggestion, 8Shooter...

Wednesday, January 29, 1997
While doing some random spot checks, I encountered a bug in the calculation used to transfer points from the losing player to the winning player. The bug was caused by a rounding problem. I fixed the error and recalculated all player's points based on the new calculation. This caused a slight change in some player's points. This new calculation also forces a player with only one point remaining to lose 5-0 before being eliminated from the ladder.

Tuesday, January 21, 1997
My service provider (csj.net) switched operating systems on Saturday, January 18, 1997. This operating system switch caused some problems with email and FTP transfers. Most of the problems were fixed by Sunday afternoon, but there are still a few intermittent problems. Unfortunately, since neither email or FTP were working, I was unable to inform the VIP ladder players of the problem. Hopefully, these problems will be resolved quickly... Please consider this potential problem if there are future delays. I apologize for any delay or inconvenience. Your patience is appreciated.

Saturday, January 11, 1997
The VIP Ladder was created!!!

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