ZX Computing1st December 1984
Published in ZX Computing #16
Poolster Treble Chance
Poolster Treble Chance is a football pools forecasting program for the ZX81.
It does not rely on 'team form' to make predictions, but operates on 'affinity between numbers', the theory being that some pairs of numbers are more compatible than others.
The program incorporates a database of score-draw results from 6.5 league seasons to 1983/84. Niagram claim that weekly updating of this data is not likely to influence the overall predictive ability of the program, therefore you do not have to enter any weekly pools results.
The program aims to produce the 18 most likely score-draws, using two sets of data; a priority table of numbers ranked in a certain order (which can either be random, or according to the program's built-in table, or your own, customised table); and the database of score-draw results.
In operation, the program scans the database for score-draw sequences and builds up an array of 'select', score draw numbers, with ties between numbers being resolved by the priority listing.
The program works well, and is straightforward to use, coming as it does with a well-written instruction sheet. It has the facility to make hard-copy printouts of the priority-table and the final forecast.
The analysis is time consuming, although there are two modes - fast and slow. In the slow mode, each of the eighteen score-draws forecast is displayed as it is calculated, but it takes almost an hour to complete. The fast mode operates at approximately four times this speed.
Whether ZX81 owners will consider Poolster a worthwhile investment is likely to depend largely upon their amenability to the 'affinity between numbers' theory. Niagram request 10% of any pools win arising through the use of this program, although this is not obligatory. The incentive to do this, is that the user will quality for the next two updates of Poolster free of charge if he sends them the 10%.
Poolster is available by mail order only. This is because the user's name has to be individually encoded into the program as a password before the package can be sold.