Kaufman`s Dead Pool

The End

On January 5, 1998, Sonny Bono died while skiing at Lake Tahoe. I don't remember what (obviously irreverent) site/forum I was on at the time, but there was an off-hand mention of a dead pool. Outside of the Dirty Harry movie, I'd never heard of a dead pool, but I was INSTANTLY hooked with the idea. It wasn't enough to join a dead pool - I wanted to run my own.

I quickly wrote up some rules and an invitation to announce it and sent it around to everybody in my (email) address book. The inaugural KDP would start on February 1, 1998. I was so convinced of the obvious appeal that I included a player cap in the invitation - only the first 100 players would be accepted, so sign up now! That first game had 6 players, including my then-wife, her sister and her mother. Grandpa Jones was the first of the four celebrities hit that year,

A few months later, I changed jobs and met Rich Place. Rich GOT the dead pool as quickly as I did, but was content to play in my game rather than start his own, and I'm very grateful for that, as he ended up being the biggest referrer to the KDP. He had a total of 15 referrals, but many of those, in turn, referred many people. Rich is ultimately responsible for 87 players, including Mike Spinney, who was responsible for 25 players. In the end, somewhere between 170 and 180 distinct humans played in the KDP at some point. (The ambiguity is due to the fuzziness of my recollection concerning those lists submitted on behalf of pets, dolls, children and alter egos)

There have been a couple of times throughout the years where I'd tired of running the KDP; some of those were voiced to the group and I'd always heard such positive feedback about the KDP that it re-energized and re-motivated me and reminded me that the KDP was always more than “just” a dead pool. The KDP had become a community, a family of sorts. We've all grown older together. We've seen many changes in our little family - kids born, raised and off to college. Divorces, marriages, job changes, and of course, deaths. We've lost a number of players over the years; some I knew about directly, others I only learned of much later. I miss all of them, no matter how close (or not) I was to them. Just like I'll miss all of you, whether we interact throughout the year or if we only touch base at list submission.

As we near the start of the Third Year of the Pandemic, I've made the tough decision that we're all dealing with enough death in our own lives and that this fun little diversion is maybe not as much fun as it used to be. The 2021 version of KDP will be it's last.

Thank you all so very much for being part of this community with me these past 24 years. I couldn't have done it without you.