The Rules of the Big Game

Welcome to the Best Darn Free Celebrity Deathpool on the Internet. You can join in on the fun and be like these far-out chicks and wacky guys known as the Major Leaguers. Enter anytime; unlike other Pools, the Ghoul Pool is open 365 days a year!

First, The Game.

This is basically a game of prognostication. First we, the Major League Members of the Ghoul Pool, each choose 20 different celebrities that we believe will shed this mortal coil in a calendar year. After the Majors Draft picks are posted, each Minor Leaguer then gets to choose 10 unpicked celebs that are still open for choosing. First come, first serve! Yes, it's that easy.

Your entries of 10 PICKS plus ALTERNATES with their Claims to Fame will be accepted via our SPIFFY ELECTRONIC ENTRY FORM at the bottom of this page, WOWIE!!!

And, of course, there are The Rules:


In order to "Score" a Hit in the 2023 season, they'll need their own dedicated obituary article page (NOT part of a multiple Obit "Round-Up" page, etc) on at least ONE of the following sites:

BBC News
Rolling Stone
USA Today
(For 2023 we're removing Politico as an obit source as it was never cited the past few years.)

If the winner of the Major Leagues is a former Minor League Champ, then instead of staying in the Major Leagues the next year, they return the the Minors BUT with an extra 2 picks for their team that season. Sweet! Each Major Leaguer chooses 25 unique celebs each. As always, each season's Minor League Champ advances to the Majors but just for one season, as it used to be, and they become the fifth Major Leaguer that year. It's sort of like being the Fifth Beatle, except with less fanfare and better haircuts.

Celebrities can be from most any genre, as you can see from that list.

When you get a hit, you should send the Obit Link to E-Brake by email, or post it on the Ghoul Pool Forum. If not, you run the risk that your hit will be overlooked. With over 51,732 or so picks that populate the Master List, one hit might easily fly under the radar, so you need to notify us. Muchos grassy!

The main rule that separates this glorious deathpool from all the knock-offs is that WE CAN'T ALL SELECT THE SAME DARN CELEBRITIES. Sure, anyone can snap up 10 of the oldest, sickest celebrities that can be found in the pages of the National Enquirer. But with our pool, once a celeb is picked they're NOT up for grabs anymore. When Sydney Omarr was picked by E-Brake in 2003, no other player could take him.

Second Rule of Fight Club, er, The Ghoul Pool: Entries are taken all year 'round. You can enter on January First, or wait until October First. Just make sure your awesome pick hasn't been snapped up already!

You MUST submit your 10 picks AND all your Alternates all at once, no trickling or hemming & hawing. And if by some weird chance more Alternate Picks are required from you, they must be submitted within one week of my emailed request or else those slots will not be filled (that's what she said). All lists will be considered FINAL one week from requesting any needed alternates.

(Note, sarcasm alert): Please ensure that you submit all required forms and documentation in triplicate to the proper authorities as required by law (except in Iowa, Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles which are exempt) UNLESS the heretofore mentioned documentation has expired in which case please register with our third-party affiliate on sustainably-farmed locally-sourced organic parchment using the tears of turtle doves born in May (but not March) and sealed with the waxed stamp of "In Bob Hope We Trust, et al". Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Please submit any inquiries, legal or silly, to the Department of Upmost Haberdashery (DUH) at PO Box 867-5309, JennyJenny, CA.*

*(totes kidding, we're not THAT cray).

But hey really, for pete's sake check the Master List to make sure your picks aren't already PICKED - and it's on YOU to make sure they're still alive! You're stuck with any pre-stiffed picks. Yes this means YOU, Gerald Ford! (Helpful hint: Do not pick Gerald Ford even if he asks nicely. I'm giving him the side eye).

Be sure to spell your picks' names correctly please AND YOU MUST INCLUDE A "CLAIM TO FAME" FOR ALL PICKS INCLUDING ALTERNATES so we know which flippin' "Joe Smith" you're talking about - the amateur donkey wrestler or the albino televangelist? Don't make us choose which one (spoiler: the donkeys always win).

The Nos-Nos:
No Death Row hits
, unless they die from some other means than a scheduled execution (i.e., Dahmer'd with a broom handle).

No Fame By Association! If Bob Hope's cousin Eldred's only "claim-to-fame" is that he's, um, Bob's cousin well then he ain't famous. (Helpful hint: Do not pick Eldred Hope, he probably doesn't exist).

Oh and none of this "World's Oldest Person" crapola! People have to be famous because of what they DO, not because they eat right, don't smoke and live to be a gazillion years old. Big whoop, even I could do that. *COUGH*

No kids! We discourage the picking of children (under 18, for those so inclined to ask); as E-Brake has been quoted as saying in a major publication, "That's just kinda mean". So please don't bother.

And it should go without saying but...No animals! I'm glaring intently at YOU, Cheetah!

AS OF 2005: No War Hostages! They are victims, NOT "celebrities", and are only in the news because they might get de-noggined. Also, no war casualties who weren't already a celebrity before. Joe Soldier - no; Osama bin Laden, yes (aaaand done). If you have any questions, just send us an email.

Minor League entries start after the Majors' Draft has been held, while the previous season will be declared OVER at the stroke of midnight December 31st Pacific Time at year-end. No late-received obits will count as the old game MUST end at midnight so the new game can start on the First of the year with Declared Champeens. All winners and official hits known at that midnight Pacific time are declared final and the season will be officially ruled closed.

New Players: You must include a short Biography and a Picture of yourself (not your pet but you; dressing in a wacky costume is OK and encouraged even). The Entry Form requires this from all New Players, you'll see.

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER: It's simple, the Majors and Minors lists each with the highest number of Hits is a winner! In the case of a TIE in either the Majors or the Minors, the Leader will be determined by the lowest mean average age of the player's "Hits".

E-Brake is the keeper of the lists and will be the final arbiter as to who picked what name first. No arguments or you will be put on waivers. This is a fun and free pool, not life and death, really. Please don't take any decisions personally, we love all of you weirdos equally.

Remember - when those hits start rollin' in, post it on the spiffy Ghoul Pool Forum with the required obit link. If you don't see a Hit credited within a week, assume we somehow missed the Big News.

To make it easy-peasy to prepare your list, we have provided an alphabetical Master List:

Go to the current Master List

Just head on over to the ENTRY FORM right now and Join Up! The Pool is open ALL YEAR ROUND and we look forward to seeing you jump on in.

Yes, we know that 20 Alternates seems like a lot but it'll be dropped to 5 after not too long, pinkie-swear.

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