Think you’re a hardcore picklehead? Chances are, you’re no match for Michael Cobb who has played 1420 games in one year, averaging 27 games per week.
At 1400+ matches, you hold the record for most matches entered on DUPR, out of hundreds of thousands of users. When do you even sleep?
I have a special situation here in Kansas City, as I've been the regional director of iPickle Nation for three and a half years now. We run Round Robins five days a week using the DUPR system. It's the best thing out there, because it helps us put people in the right levels. It just seems to create really good competitive games. We probably run 15,000 matches through DUPR in a year.
Whenever the level is high enough, I play myself. That’s how I've been averaging 27 games a week, which is how I’ve gotten 1420 matches entered in DUPR since August of 2022 — so that's only little over a year’s worth. I don’t have a set goal I’m aiming for. As long as I can continue playing, I'll do it.
What got you hooked on pickleball?
About four and a half years ago, I was at a community center working out in Kansas City, and I went to go get a drink at the water fountain and it was down below where the gymnasium was. I looked in there and saw people playing a weird game. There was a guy at the fountain, I asked him: “what is that?” and he goes, “it’s pickleball, you ought to try that sometime.”
The next day I was playing, and I've been hooked ever since. There’s a competitiveness to it, but you can play recreationally if you want to. That's the great thing about pickleball — it’s an easy game for anybody to play, but to master it, there's a little more to it. And also the camaraderie. There's no discrimination on who can play this game. I also think it's going to keep elderly people living longer, honestly.
What was your favorite match you ever entered?
About two and a half years ago, we went to St Louis to qualify for the Nationals. My partner — his name is Raven Pier — does everything barefoot. It’s amazing. He walks out in the snow, barefoot. If it's 100 degrees out, it'll be barefoot. On the pickleball court, he’s barefoot. So the last match of the day, we had to win it to qualify, and it was an intense match. It probably lasted close to 40 minutes, with a lot of back and forth. I made some phenomenal plays, and so did he. We ended up winning 15-13, and we got to go to Nationals. That was definitely my best match that I can remember.
What about the worst one — the one you wish you could forget?
The worst match I remember goes hand in hand with the best: we went to nationals and got our butts smoked. It was in California, and they forced Raven to wear shoes. I told him the night before when we were practicing, “Hey, Raven, let me give you a pair of socks”, knowing that playing barefoot with shoes might be hard on his feet. He said he’d be okay and played without socks. During practice, I noticed he wasn't moving as well, and usually he's a phenomenal player, so I knew something wasn't right. Well, after the matches were done and we had lost, he took off his shoes and he had bloody heels.
How do you feel about the changes to the DUPR rating algorithm?
When they changed the algorithm, it seemed drastic. We went from like a chess type algorithm to strictly almost on wins and losses and it affected people. My community was asking me, “what’s going on?” and I had to explain you were just revamping the algorithm. But I do think it's a great system. Of course, there's going to be some tweaks to it that need to be done. If I'm not mistaken, there's wins and losses and the first type of algorithm being mixed together now, so it has definitely improved tremendously in the past months.
Which features would you want to see added to DUPR?
If there was a way to check in-depth stats for the last hundred games, or eventually, once you get enough data, you can bring up a player and get insight into your stats with that specific player.
What do you say to players who complain about their DUPR rating?
90% of players will think they're better than they are. I mean, that's just a given. And that’s ok, but it means they have trouble accepting their classification at first. I always tell them, you're just going to have to play and keep it going because the more games you get in, the more accurate it'll be.
Full interview on YouTube: HERE
Check out Michael Cobb’s Profile: HERE