Dead pool

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A dead pool, also known as a death pool, is a game of prediction which involves guessing when someone will die. Sometimes it is a bet where money is involved. [1]


Modern application

In the early 20th century, dead pools were popular in dangerous sports such as motorsport, for example the first edition of the Indianapolis 500. [2]

1911 Indianapolis 500 1st running of the Indianapolis 500 motor race

The 1911 International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 30, 1911. It was the inaugural running of the Indianapolis 500, which is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. Ray Harroun, an engineer with the Marmon Motor Car Company, came out of retirement to drive, and won the inaugural event before re-retiring for good in the winner's circle.

Indianapolis 500 Auto race held in Speedway, Indiana, United States

The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in Speedway, Indiana, United States, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend in late May. It is contested as part of the IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel open-cockpit formula colloquially known as "Indy Car Racing". The name of the race is often shortened to Indy 500, and the track itself is nicknamed "the Brickyard", as the racing surfacing was paved in brick in the fall of 1909.


A typical modern dead pool might have players pick out celebrities who they think will die within the year. Most games start on January 1 and run for 12 months, although there are some variations on game length and timing.[ citation needed ]

In 2000, website Fucked Company claimed to be a "dot-com dead pool" which invited users to predict the next Internet startups to fail during that era's dot com bust. [3] The site itself folded in 2007 after a long history as a target for strategic lawsuits against public participation by companies. [4]

Fucked Company was a website created by Philip J. "Pud" Kaplan after the dot-com bubble in 2000 as a "dot-com dead pool" that chronicled troubled and failing companies in a unique and abrasive manner. The website also sold rumor listings to subscribers. The site's name is a parody of Fast Company, a magazine that began covering technology companies during the Internet dot-com boom.

Dot-com bubble historic speculative bubble covering roughly 1997–2000

The dot-com bubble was a historic speculative bubble and period of excessive speculation mainly in the United States that occurred roughly from 1994 to 2000, a period of extreme growth in the use and adoption of the Internet.

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.

Because of the high body count in the previous seven seasons of the popular fantasy television series Game of Thrones , dead pools were launched for its final season. [5]

<i>Game of Thrones</i> American fantasy drama television series adapted from A Song of Ice and Fire

Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is A Game of Thrones. The show is filmed in Belfast and elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Scotland, Spain, and the United States. The series premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011, and will conclude with its eighth season, which will premiere on April 14, 2019.

Application in contemporary society

The Dead Pool, the largest in the world, [6] uses NNDB as its source of qualified celebrities, and as arbiter of their life status. was a shock site with the tag line "An archive of disturbing illustration," active from 1996 to 2012. It was devoted to morbid curiosities, pictures of violent acts, deformities, autopsy or forensic photographs, depictions of perverse sex acts, and disturbing or misanthropic historical curios. The site was founded in 1996, and its format changed little over the years. It was run by a developer who called himself Soylent, via the company Soylent Communications. The site's updating slowed in 2009, with the final update in February 2012. The site was down as of October 2014.

The Notable Names Database (NNDB) is an online database of biographical details of over 40,000 people of note. NNDB describes itself as an "intelligence aggregator" of those it determines to be noteworthy, but mainly to identify connections between people. It is run by Soylent Communications, a sole proprietorship that also ran the site

The concept and success strategies are also detailed in a (previously) annual guide called The Dead Pool, written by KQRS-FM radio personality Mike Gelfand and author Mike Wilkinson. KQRS-FM in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota also does an annual on air dead pool contest, where show hosts and listeners will attempt to pick which celebrity will die in that calendar year.

In his AP news article "Some say death pools are in poor taste" [7] (which brought national attention to The Old Blue Eyes Celebrity Death Watch), author Matt Sedensky writes, "Players scour newspapers and Web sites for news on celebrities' health; they rely on tips from insiders; and they consider a public figure's lifestyle, absence of recent appearances and rumors of illness."

A dead pool is a key plot element of the 1988 final installment of the Dirty Harry film series, The Dead Pool . Harry investigates the players, when several people listed in a game of dead pool die in suspicious circumstances.

The Marvel Comics character Deadpool (first appearing in 1991) takes his name after escaping from Ajax and Dr. Killebrew, who formed their own dead pool based on which of their experimental subjects would die first. [8] In the 2016 film Deadpool , the character takes his name from a dead pool of mercenaries, himself included, who are regular patrons at his favorite bar.

In the MTV show Teen Wolf , the main plotline of Season 4 (2014) revolves around a dead pool specifically targeting the supernaturals of Beacon Hills, which is set up by a mysterious character named The Benefactor.

See also

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A dead pool is a game in which the object is guessing when someone will die.

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  1. Matheson, Whitney (July 6, 2004). "Celebrity obsession extends beyond the grave". USA Today . Pop Candy (column). Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  2. "The Indy 500: Born Out Of 'Blood And Smoke'". National Public Radio. 28 May 2011. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. Festa, Paul (2002-08-26). "Dot-com dead pool brakes for Ford". CNet News. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  4. Rowan, David (17 September 2000). "The dead list". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  5. Julianelle, Mike. "Genius Boss Creates Game of Thrones Season 8 Death Pool Contest [SPOILERS]". Some Spider Studios. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  6. Kennedy, Kathleen (February 1, 2008), Who's in your celebrity dead pool?, Maclean, archived from the original on 12 January 2014
  7. Sedensky, Matt (December 29, 2006). "Some say death pools are in poor taste". Herald Tribune.
  8. Truffaut-Wong, Olivia. "How Did 'Deadpool' Get His Name? The Answer Is Way More Obvious Than You'd Think". Bustle. Retrieved 27 May 2016.