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Oxford Professor Travels To Philadelphia To Compete In Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament

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Oxford professor Marcus Deotoy used a mathematical approach but he lost in the quarterfinals. (credit: KYW's Dennis Edward)

Oxford professor Marcus Deotoy used a mathematical approach but he lost in the quarterfinals. (credit: KYW’s Dennis Edward)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - An Oxford professor has traveled all the way to Philadelphia to play in a rock, paper, scissors tournament. And the BBC is filming it.

The Raven Lounge, at 17th and Samson Streets in center city Philadelphia, hosts “RPS” matchups every week. Some players come in gas masks and others have code names like Frankie Thirteen or Stevie One-der.

So how does the game work?

“It’s just like the rock-paper-scissors you know, that you played as a kid. You know, one, two, three shoot.”

Shawn Ring referees the matchups.  He says anyone can play, but it takes strategy to win.

“The only luck you have is who you are matched up against.”

Prof. Marcus du Sautoy traveled all the way from Oxford University to play. He uses a more mathematical approach.

“So I actually used the decimal expansion of pi to make my choices to make my decision on whether to use rock, paper, or scissor.”

Du Sautoy was eliminated before the semi-finals. The footage from the tournament will be used in an upcoming BBC television series titled “The Code.”

Reported by Cherri Gregg, KYW Newsradio 1060

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