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Survivor Pool Example

In my Survivor Strategy article, I outlined the main features of my approach. Now I will explain how I present the advice from my algorithm. You can better choose among the optimal paths recommended, if you also understand the logic of using this format.

Key Features of my 3 Survivor Pathways

The Survivor lists represent 3 non-losing Survivor paths.

  • The first-listed pathway is the one which started with the highest expected longevity. The assumption is that you were more likely to choose this pathway than the others, because it earlier came with higher recommendation.

  • This first-listed pathway is updated weekly to give the optimal pick.

  • The other 2 pathways are not allowed to select the same team listed in pathway 1. And the 3rd pathway is not allowed to select the weekly pick of pathway 1 or pathway 2.

  • By restricting the pathways this way, I ensure that you will be advised 3 unique picks each week. No duplicates.

There are additionally 3 “back-up” selections given for each pathway.

  • The back-up pathways provides you an alternative pick, for each pathway; in case you want to pivot from the optimal choice.

  • These back-up pathways do not usually carry over to the following week. Instead, the next week’s back-ups will be based on the primary pathways.

When a pathway fails— when the selected team loses— the pathway is removed the following week.

  • In place of the failed-and-removed pathway, it will be replaced by one of the “back-up” pathways.

  • Therefore the Survivor pathways displayed will usually correspond to one of the 6 that was listed continually since the start of the season.

  • It is generally expected that each pathway will fail 3-4 times during the season.

This strategy with back-ups is to ensure my algorithm always highlights 3 options that are tied to a successful pathway for the duration of the season. It turns out “3” is a good number for securing a 90% chance that I can continue the line of advice.

Example: Week 5 from 2022

To illustrate how this works, here were the recommendations from week 5.

While the selections for pathways 1 and 2 won, the Jaguars selection unfortunately lost.

Luckily, the back-up pathway (3b) remained valid, and in week 6 it would become the new “3a”.

You can also notice a couple other replacements that occurred in earlier weeks:

  • The Ravens appear as the week 1 selection in two pathways; the Colts lost as the the 3rd selection that week.

  • The Vikings appear as all 3 week 3 picks. That is because the Chargers (pathway 1) and Chiefs (pathway 2) both lost that week. It was necessary to substitute them with the closest backups.

The Challenge in Presenting Survivor Advice

You might be wondering why all the complexity.

The advice cannot be so simple as to show a single path, or single pick each week:

  • The team might lose, ending your season. Then my series of weekly recommendations would also end.

  • A suggested team might not be available to you, if you chosen that team already while following a different path.

  • You might just want to choose a different pick from “everyone else”, as a strategy to better your odds.

  • If you are playing multiple survivor pools, it is better to diversify— therefore preferable to have multiple paths.

So it’s better to show multiple picks each week.

However, presenting multiple picks also brings problems:

  • The multiple optimized paths will naturally overlap often, bringing back all the problems above.

  • There are millions of possible paths, but showing too many would appear chaotic and would not be true advice.

  • Even showing multiple paths, there is a very high certainty that any single one will fail before the season end.

My method aims at a compromise between simplicity and versatility.