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View Full Version : Bit by the dreaded "bad table" in West Virginia


ShencoSmoke
09-08-2013, 02:06 PM
1st place chicken, 1st place pork, 3rd place brisket......34th place ribs. Our ribs have done well all year. Table "1" had by far the lowest scores in all 4 categories. Even 25th in ribs would have earned us our first GC. In addition we missed out on a possible auto to the jack next year (wv)...and I missed awards because I was sleeping in my toy hauler and didnt get the message that awards were moved up an hour. 2 first place calls and I was sleeping (my first ever 1st place calls). I realize everyone takes it on the chin every once and awhile but DANG that was a stinger. Congrats to dizzy pig and others who walked, we will regroup and get um next time!

Help a brother out and give me some of your "bad table" stories so I know at least I'm not the only one!

Dan - 3eyzbbq
09-08-2013, 02:10 PM
Think of it in a positive light. At least you didn't sleep through your first GC!

Great job, big calls. Don't get caught up in the would have, could have, should have stuff. Just go out and do it again.

"Bone to Bark" BBQ
09-08-2013, 02:16 PM
Our brisket has landed on a bad table every contest this year! LOL
BTW, we slept through awards too, and missed our call for Smokin' sweets.

ShencoSmoke
09-08-2013, 02:41 PM
Think of it in a positive light. At least you didn't sleep through your first GC!

Great job, big calls. Don't get caught up in the would have, could have, should have stuff. Just go out and do it again.

Thanks dan, we always joke and say there should be a 5th category and trophy for beating 3 eyez! That would have been a first time for us as well! Good luck at the jack, I will be pulling for the MABA teams.

Kit R
09-08-2013, 02:51 PM
1st place chicken, 1st place pork, 3rd place brisket......34th place ribs. Our ribs have done well all year. Table "1" had by far the lowest scores in all 4 categories. Even 25th in ribs would have earned us our first GC. In addition we missed out on a possible auto to the jack next year (wv)...and I missed awards because I was sleeping in my toy hauler and didnt get the message that awards were moved up an hour. 2 first place calls and I was sleeping (my first ever 1st place calls). I realize everyone takes it on the chin every once and awhile but DANG that was a stinger. Congrats to dizzy pig and others who walked, we will regroup and get um next time!

Help a brother out and give me some of your "bad table" stories so I know at least I'm not the only one!

Did your other product(s) land on good tables? I really think the good/bad table karma evens itself over time, if there is such a thing as "good" and "bad" tables in the first place. I'm not convinced there is, despite KCBScore showing concentrations of bad scores as well as good ones at every cope I've been to since it was implemented. Sometimes good and bad entries get put together by luck. If it makes you feel any better, I took in the the shorts in brisket at Bluemont (26th) at a table that also had 25th, 27th and 32nd brisket. It also had the 6th place brisket, which belonged to Jay R of 4:20Q. I finished 3rd. He took GC. My takeaway? Cook better brisket.

Great finish at Hedgesville! Keep it up and the GC will come!

ShencoSmoke
09-08-2013, 03:43 PM
Did your other product(s) land on good tables? I really think the good/bad table karma evens itself over time, if there is such a thing as "good" and "bad" tables in the first place. I'm not convinced there is, despite KCBScore showing concentrations of bad scores as well as good ones at every cope I've been to since it was implemented. Sometimes good and bad entries get put together by luck. If it makes you feel any better, I took in the the shorts in brisket at Bluemont (26th) at a table that also had 25th, 27th and 32nd brisket. It also had the 6th place brisket, which belonged to Jay R of 4:20Q. I finished 3rd. He took GC. My takeaway? Cook better brisket.

Great finish at Hedgesville! Keep it up and the GC will come!

I agree with you. There were other teams that got hurt by this table but I saw the numbers and they looked obvious. Here are the table 1 results out of 37 teams:
Chicken: 17,23,25,35,36,37
Ribs: 6,20,21,22,34,36,37
Pork: 27,28,31,32,33,36
Brisket: 8,11,26,33,36,37

sdbbq1234
09-08-2013, 03:55 PM
Good table, bad table. Usually, all my entries land on a BAD table.

That table is MINE! :doh:

Like others have said, I need to be consistent; consistently better and better.

In your case, it does look like you were so dam close.

wallace

little bit of r & r
09-08-2013, 04:51 PM
The good/bad table was in full force at the SAMs regional in Chesapeake tables 4 and 5 were the highest scoring 5 on one table for chicken was on top 10 and we got third on our table in brisket and had a 3rd place brisket (it wasn't that good) but the other categories landed on table 1,2 and 3 which kept us from qualifying.

dhuffjr
09-08-2013, 04:59 PM
Our brisket has landed on a bad table every contest this year! LOL
BTW, we slept through awards too, and missed our call for Smokin' sweets.

Dang that happens to you too? :grin:

MikeJ65
09-08-2013, 05:33 PM
On the other hand, it sounds like you hit 3 pretty good tables.

Just Smokin' Around
09-08-2013, 06:51 PM
Yeah, I had an entry on "Table 1". They definitely dominated the bottom of each category. This is not new news. It's just the way it is. Now, KCBS lets you see it on paper.

Congrats on a great showing. Keep cooking and you'll get that GC.

ShencoSmoke
09-08-2013, 07:04 PM
Just made some killer Brunswick stew with the competition left-overs, don't worry table #1 judges, I left out the rib meat...

Theresa B
09-08-2013, 08:38 PM
I was at table 4 at Chesapeake...we had good food for the most part!

Coz
09-08-2013, 09:19 PM
After you win 2 categories and the third is high and bomb#4 about 3 times like we have they say it will get better...not that I believe it Best I have done when this happened is 3rd

CBQ
09-08-2013, 09:33 PM
The good/bad table was in full force at the SAMs regional in Chesapeake tables 4 and 5 were the highest scoring 5 on one table for chicken was on top 10 and we got third on our table in brisket and had a 3rd place brisket (it wasn't that good) but the other categories landed on table 1,2 and 3 which kept us from qualifying.

Uh, we had the same tables. (3, 5, 1, 2)

Nature Boy
09-08-2013, 09:44 PM
1st place chicken, 1st place pork, 3rd place brisket......34th place ribs. Our ribs have done well all year. Table "1" had by far the lowest scores in all 4 categories. Even 25th in ribs would have earned us our first GC. In addition we missed out on a possible auto to the jack next year (wv)...and I missed awards because I was sleeping in my toy hauler and didnt get the message that awards were moved up an hour. 2 first place calls and I was sleeping (my first ever 1st place calls). I realize everyone takes it on the chin every once and awhile but DANG that was a stinger. Congrats to dizzy pig and others who walked, we will regroup and get um next time!

Help a brother out and give me some of your "bad table" stories so I know at least I'm not the only one!

This was our 116th contest, and I really couldn't tell you how many contests we were "one category" from grand. You can kill yourself trying to figure out why. FWIW, our brisket also landed on Table 1. Great talking to you, and congrats on a fine cook!
Chris

ShencoSmoke
09-08-2013, 10:05 PM
This was our 116th contest, and I really couldn't tell you how many contests we were "one category" from grand. You can kill yourself trying to figure out why. FWIW, our brisket also landed on Table 1. Great talking to you, and congrats on a fine cook!
Chris

Thanks Chris. You guys had those eggs hummin! Congrats, well deserved. This was our 11th contest, so we will chalk it up to a learning experience and move on. We will get there one day, this isn't American idol, we all have to earn our way to the top (like you have)!

Nature Boy
09-09-2013, 10:02 AM
Think of it in a positive light. At least you didn't sleep through your first GC!

Great job, big calls. Don't get caught up in the would have, could have, should have stuff. Just go out and do it again.

That's funny. I don't care who ya are!!

DCFIREMANN
09-09-2013, 10:55 AM
I agree with you. There were other teams that got hurt by this table but I saw the numbers and they looked obvious. Here are the table 1 results out of 37 teams:
Chicken: 17,23,25,35,36,37
Ribs: 6,20,21,22,34,36,37
Pork: 27,28,31,32,33,36
Brisket: 8,11,26,33,36,37

We were number 1 on table 1!!!!!

SOOOOO you just regroup and try again next week!!!!!

We were wondering where you hanging out!!!

Be Safe

THE DAWG

FlavorSavor
09-09-2013, 02:03 PM
Everyone had the same odds of landing on any given table. Don't beat yourself up over a 3rd place finish, especially considering the teams who were there.

boogiesnap
09-09-2013, 04:25 PM
Uh, we had the same tables. (3, 5, 1, 2)

well there you have it.

kinda ends the good table/bad table debate completely IMHO.

but i digress, yeah, that is one right in the kisser, better luck next time!

Kit R
09-09-2013, 09:15 PM
This was our 116th contest, and I really couldn't tell you how many contests we were "one category" from grand. You can kill yourself trying to figure out why. FWIW, our brisket also landed on Table 1. Great talking to you, and congrats on a fine cook!
Chris

I can count four for us this year alone, including this Saturday. Every time we have one of those finishes I take a really hard look at the category that fell short, try to identify what went wrong and fix it. If I can't identify anything, I just chalk it up to variance and move on.

Balls Casten
09-09-2013, 10:04 PM
Did I read this right ... First place overall was on the same death table as you?
So the reason you didn't win wasn't the table you were on ... it was the fact that someone cooked better than you? And the death table had first AND third overall?

ShencoSmoke
09-09-2013, 10:25 PM
Did I read this right ... First place overall was on the same death table as you?
So the reason you didn't win wasn't the table you were on ... it was the fact that someone cooked better than you? And the death table had first AND third overall?

You are confused with someone else's post regarding another comp. go back and read post #6, that the table we are discussing.

Balls Casten
09-10-2013, 03:18 AM
I do get confused a lot, however ....
Dizzy Pig who won GC AND Pop Pop's who won 3rd place over all .. both had entries land on table one. Dizzy's brisket and your ribs.
So if hypothetically you give yourself a higger rib score. (as you did by saying you would have won GC if you would have gotten 25th in ribs) Do you not also have to hypothetically give Dizzy Pig a higher brisket score?
The "bad table" generated both 1st and 3rd place over all.

ShencoSmoke
09-10-2013, 07:56 AM
I will go back to dans post at at the beginning of this thread, the would have could have stuff isn't going to get us anywhere. This post has been helpful to make me realize that every team hits the bad table every once in a while, and sometimes its a stinger. We are a new team and this is the first time we have sniffed a gc a a big comp., so of course we were disappointed. to sum it all up there is only way to make sure it you don't get bit by a bad table, and that is to turn in great food.

CBQ
09-10-2013, 09:35 AM
I will go back to dans post at at the beginning of this thread, the would have could have stuff isn't going to get us anywhere. This post has been helpful to make me realize that every team hits the bad table every once in a while, and sometimes its a stinger. We are a new team and this is the first time we have sniffed a gc a a big comp., so of course we were disappointed. to sum it all up there is only way to make sure it you don't get bit by a bad table, and that is to turn in great food.

Exactly. Was the same thing for R&R that brought up the Chesapeake tables. We won the contest, and were at exactly the same tables they were. Our chicken got dinged at the table of death, but it wasn't enough to hurt our overall. Our pork was also at what was cited as a "bad" table, but it was a second place pork.

The way I see it is that there is an element of luck involved, but in order to take advantage of that luck you need to be consistently hitting in the top 5. If you are in the top 5 a lot, sometimes you will win, sometimes you will be fourth. If you aren't in the top 5 for most of your contests, you aren't quite there yet.

Shencosmoke, like you said it's the first time you sniffed a GC. That's a good sign that you did - and if you keep doing that on a regular basis you will hit it. It took us four years and 40 contests to get our first GC. Two years later we have 6.

INmitch
09-10-2013, 11:04 AM
Exactly. Was the same thing for R&R that brought up the Chesapeake tables. We won the contest, and were at exactly the same tables they were. Our chicken got dinged at the table of death, but it wasn't enough to hurt our overall. Our pork was also at what was cited as a "bad" table, but it was a second place pork.

The way I see it is that there is an element of luck involved, but in order to take advantage of that luck you need to be consistently hitting in the top 5. If you are in the top 5 a lot, sometimes you will win, sometimes you will be fourth. If you aren't in the top 5 for most of your contests, you aren't quite there yet.

Shencosmoke, like you said it's the first time you sniffed a GC. That's a good sign that you did - and if you keep doing that on a regular basis you will hit it. It took us four years and 40 contests to get our first GC. Two years later we have 6.
Well said! I couldn't agree more.

little bit of r & r
09-10-2013, 11:52 PM
Congrats zbq on the grand I guess the whole good table bad table argument depends on how you finish. I guess we just got out cooked. Just seems odd 5 out f top 10 in chicken came from same table and top 3 in brisket came from same table. Our other meats were alot better than where it scored but brisket was not top 3 it just happened to land on the high scoring table. I think the new scoring system opens up a whole new angle to complain :drama:
OP great showing at the contest. Too bad you just missed the grand. Didn't mean to hijack just thought the good table/bad table was in effect this weekend also.

CBQ
09-11-2013, 12:39 AM
I think the new scoring system opens up a whole new angle to complain :drama:

It sure does, but hopefully it will also give KCBS more insight into judging and over time eliminate the table of death.

bbq.tom
09-11-2013, 11:03 AM
hopefully it will also give KCBS more insight into judging and over time eliminate the table of death.

There will always be a "table of death" as long as humans are being used to judge. There may not be as much of a difference after KCBS begins "re-educating" the lower (or too high) judges, but one or two tables will have to be lower than others = table of death.

One idea, is to "handicap" judges based on their historic "average" at competitions. I beleive that Gordon Hubble (CMJ/CTC and writer for KCBS) is planning an article for the BullSheet on the handicap issue. Should be interesting, or at least humorous!

I was a TC at Chesapeake and had one newbie at my table who was scoring on average one point lower on everything than the table average. I pointed this out to the REPs (after chicken) and was told that only one point different didn't warrant them speaking to him. Granted, his scorecard was the one thrown out for the table, but it still brings down the table average. Seating the tables for this event is the fairest that can be done based on "experience" level, as they sat one Master, one Newbie, and then the rest at each table to ensure a broad range of experience at each table.
My observation is that "newbies", some "Masters", and most "Cooks" (50/50 cooking and judging) seem to judge more critically (lower) than the rest of the judging corps. Just saying...

ShencoSmoke
09-11-2013, 12:29 PM
One idea, is to "handicap" judges based on their historic "average" at competitions....

Thanks Tom. Question, as is currently stands is there any post competition discussion between the reps and "bad table" judges based on their performance? For instance, the average finish for the table we are discussing was 28th chicken, 25th ribs, 31st pork, and 25th brisket out of 37 teams. The reps surely noticed this.

Also- thank you for your advice earlier this year on my chicken box, I made some drastic changes since then but the endless practice paid off!

bbq.tom
09-11-2013, 12:44 PM
Thanks Tom. Question, as is currently stands is there any post competition discussion between the reps and "bad table" judges based on their performance? For instance, the average finish for the table we are discussing was 28th chicken, 25th ribs, 31st pork, and 25th brisket out of 37 teams. The reps surely noticed this.

Also- thank you for your advice earlier this year on my chicken box, I made some drastic changes since then but the endless practice paid off!

To my knowledge, KCBS is still accumulating data on judges and how they score and haven't begun to contact "out of line" judges yet (high or low). I'm quite sure that there will be LOTS of discussion at a BOD meeting before that happens! As far as the REPs talking with "bad table" judges, they don't compile the data on the event until AFTER the judging is over and most of the judges are gone; therefore, it would be difficult to catch when it is occurring.

Hey Craig, Glad I could help, but 28th in chicken doesn't sound like it truly was "help".
I was looking forward to meeting you at the SAMs Club Regional, but saw that you missed the cut by 3 places in Richmond.

GOOD LUCK!!!

ShencoSmoke
09-11-2013, 12:55 PM
Those numbers were the table averages, not my scores. We won chicken. We went to wv after missing the SAMs cut.

bbq.tom
09-11-2013, 01:23 PM
Thanks for clarifying!

I'll catch up with you some day.

I'm hoping to judge the Panhandle next year if I can get in.

CBQ
09-11-2013, 02:15 PM
There will always be a "table of death" as long as humans are being used to judge. There may not be as much of a difference after KCBS begins "re-educating" the lower (or too high) judges, but one or two tables will have to be lower than others = table of death.

One idea, is to "handicap" judges based on their historic "average" at competitions.

Maybe handicapping is a good idea :becky: Of course then everyone will complain about the adjusted scores vs. the real score. ("I had team X beat until they picked up 10 points from handicapping.")

I know it's subjective, and human nature, but when you see a judge score six entries exactly the same "7 7 7" as I saw recently (not at Sams), questions need to be asked. Were all the entries exactly the same, or was the judge more interested in filling their cooler?

Cue's Your Daddy
09-11-2013, 02:33 PM
ZBQ knows something about VA judges. 2 for 2. They won the regional last year as well.

Lake Dogs
09-11-2013, 02:45 PM
Rhetorically, if a judge scores all entries "6 6 6", does she get up from the table and ride her broom home?

ModelMaker
09-12-2013, 10:10 AM
There will always be a "table of death" as long as humans are being used to judge. There may not be as much of a difference after KCBS begins "re-educating" the lower (or too high) judges, but one or two tables will have to be lower than others = table of death.

One idea, is to "handicap" judges based on their historic "average" at competitions. I beleive that Gordon Hubble (CMJ/CTC and writer for KCBS) is planning an article for the BullSheet on the handicap issue. Should be interesting, or at least humorous!

I was a TC at Chesapeake and had one newbie at my table who was scoring on average one point lower on everything than the table average. I pointed this out to the REPs (after chicken) and was told that only one point different didn't warrant them speaking to him. Granted, his scorecard was the one thrown out for the table, but it still brings down the table average. Seating the tables for this event is the fairest that can be done based on "experience" level, as they sat one Master, one Newbie, and then the rest at each table to ensure a broad range of experience at each table.
My observation is that "newbies", some "Masters", and most "Cooks" (50/50 cooking and judging) seem to judge more critically (lower) than the rest of the judging corps. Just saying...

My last contest I TC'd and we had 2 MCBJ's and a 1st timer. The newbie was scoring about 2 points lower than the others but also parallel high and low with the more experienced judges. I mentioned this to the Rep after ribs and he acknowledged the info but also said he would not say anything to him mid judgeing as that might skew the scores from chicken and ribs.
The truth about rookie judges is that they will always score higher or lower or the same as everbody else at the table. Only through experience will they start to become the ideal judge.
Ed

PeppermonkeyBBQ
09-14-2013, 09:00 AM
Pop Pop's certainly did a kick a$$ job at WV, so hat's off to you for the calls you got. I always enjoy reading these TOD posts and learning what people's perspectives are. I'll chime in with our thoughts just for kicks. The new info on the scoresheets is helpful for us as long as we don't overanalyze anything. TOD or 'hot' table, it's always been there and always will. The alternative is ensuring that everyone just scores 'average' and where would that get us? We've hit the TOD ... even hit it twice one comp .. and have seen teams hit the 'hot' table twice in the same comp and take GC.

My view, how did I do on the table and must I be concerned. Our brisket hit table 1 and it was not our best brisket. Patent Pending (8th pl BR) and Dizzy Pig (11th pl BR) were also on the dreaded table 1. Had we cooked our best brisket maybe we would have been up with those guys, but instead we were 3rd on the table. Must cook better brisket.

If we get 1st on our table, but it's the TOD and we don't place highly, at least we know we cooked the best food they tasted in that category that day so we just keep on cooking at the next comp. This is info we never used to have. As long as we get 1st or 2nd on that table over time, we will not change anything.

In this case, your ribs were not 1st on the table, I think they were 5th. For some reason they liked four other teams ribs better than yours, so to me, that's not a TOD issue. If those were our scores and we felt they were our best ribs ever, and this happened for more than one comp, we may re-evaluate and see what we could do different.

By no means is this a jab at you, you obviously turned in some awesome food and outcooked us by a long shot, just using this as an example of how we evaluate things. We focus on our place at the table and who we were cooking against.

Just my $0.02 ..... CONGRATS to Dizzy Pig and Fowl Butt!

Outnumbered
09-14-2013, 10:14 AM
^^^That's exactly the way I look at these scores now.

You see where you stack up against, and who, as well. If you were at a table with 3 Eyz or Dizzy Pig and you were within a few points of them, I believe you can take a lot from that. Regardless of where you place, you now know that the judges are scoring your entries close to them, or not.

ShencoSmoke
09-14-2013, 10:17 AM
I hear you pepper monkey. I admittedly didnt examine the numbers enough prior to my post. My perspective is that last year ribs were our worst category, this year we turned it around and have been top ten including a 2nd in winchester. When we tasted our ribs we thought they were in line with what we have cooked all year, if not better. So getting trounced so bad was a head scratcher. But like I said earlier, time to move on. Are you all cooking shenandoah next week? If so, stop by and say hello.

PeppermonkeyBBQ
09-14-2013, 08:32 PM
Oh man ... the plot thickens knowing you were happy with the ribs ... we've all been there I guess ... Cards just didn't fall right for you. Well, regardless of your placement, we'd take a rib lesson from you any day. Seeing your scores/calls in WV, I expect you'll be a common face on the awards stage in the future. Wish we could be competing next weekend but we are cooking at a green egg event ... We cooked it last year though and it's a well run competition. Best of luck! We won't be competing again until Harrisburg, PA the first week of October.

ShencoSmoke
09-14-2013, 09:05 PM
Oh man ... the plot thickens knowing you were happy with the ribs ... we've all been there I guess ... Cards just didn't fall right for you. Well, regardless of your placement, we'd take a rib lesson from you any day. Seeing your scores/calls in WV, I expect you'll be a common face on the awards stage in the future. Wish we could be competing next weekend but we are cooking at a green egg event ... We cooked it last year though and it's a well run competition. Best of luck! We won't be competing again until Harrisburg, PA the first week of October.

Come on down to my hometown event in woodstock (oct 19), it's well run and I'm gonna throw 50 halves of chicken on the chicken pit for everyone for dinner after the cooks meeting. He!!, might even tap a keg.