To try to find the memorizing cards record I ran an online tournament during February 2017. It was called THE PURGE – CARDS and took place on the MEMORY LEAGUE software.
This is how it worked: Memory athletes were invited to produce a successful card attempt in 60 seconds or less, during a 48 hour period. They could have as many attempts as they liked but it had to happen during that time frame and they had to screen capture it as proof. It was an unofficial tournament but it allowed anyone and everyone to enter, without even having to leave their home. The response was good and at the end of the 48 hour period, 20 competitors had successfully posted a qualifying card run.
So now it was time to raise the bar: The new level was a full pack of cards in 45 seconds or less. We lost 5, but 15 were able to achieve the required level. It was clear that the standard was very high. Almost all of the best memory athletes were still in contention and some very fast times were being posted.
The next level was 35 seconds and once again, 48 hours to do it. We lost 3 but saw 2 new personal bests.
12 now attempted the once mythical 30 second level. 8 made it and we saw our 3rd personal best.
We also had 42 attempts in 48 hours by Melanie Hollein from Germany who came so close so many times.
Level 5 was 25 seconds and all 8 almost made it through! Boris Konrad (Germany) just missed it and finished 8th with a best time of 26.10 seconds.
The final level was 20 seconds. This is truly a remarkable feat and only a few people had ever managed it.
We lost 2 at this stage.
- 7th – 22.64 seconds – Shijir-Erdene-Bat-Enkh (Mongolia)
- 6th – 20.25 seconds – Marlo Knight (England)
Marlo had managed 17 seconds in training before but this time he just missed out by 0.25 of a second.
Incredibly, five athletes broke 20 seconds but two did it for the first time ever, setting life time personal bests.
- 19.98 PB – Ben Pridmore (England)
- 18.26 PB – Katie Kermode (England)
They were joined by Two German competitors, Johannes Mallow and Simon Reinhard.
All 4 though, had been led all the way by Alex Mullen from The United States.
Finals – Memorizing Cards Record
The final 5 now faced each other in a 72 hour shootout! As many attempts as you like, your best time counts. Things started to get a little crazy now.
Alex Mullen produced a time of 15.52 seconds. Simon Reinhard responded with a sub 18, followed by a personal best of 16.65 seconds! Meanwhile, Johannes Mallow had set his own personal best of 17.68 seconds!.
Alex then produced his own life time personal best of 14.09 seconds! Johannes Mallow was not able to improve, but Simon was not done. He smashed his personal best again, with a time of 15.55 seconds! This was where the time ran out for these 5 elite memory athletes.
Katie Kermode and Ben Pridmore had not been able to replicate their previous round speeds but all 5 of them had put on quite a show and amazingly, all 5 set life time personal bests, in fact, 8 athletes in total had set PBs during the tournament.
Once the dust had settled, Alex Mullen had proved that he still holds the memorizing cards record – for now.
Here is how the final places looked for the top 8 …
Gold – 14.09 PB! – Alex Mullen (USA)
Silver – 15.55 PB! – Simon Reinhard (Germany)
Bronze – 17.68 PB! – Johannes Mallow (Germany)
4th – 21.00 (Shootout time) – Ben Pridmore (England) – 19.98 PB! In a previous round
5th – 23.45 (Shootout time) – Katie Kermode (England) – 18.26 PB! in a previous round
6th – 20.25 – Marlo Knight (England)
7th – 22.64 – Shijir-Erdene-Bat-Enkh (Mongolia)
8th – 26.10 – Boris Konrad (Germany)
We are now halfway through THE PURGE – NAMES.
20 athletes remain and are currently attempting to memorise and recall the names of 30 random faces. The current level required is 26, this will rise to 28 and finally a perfect 30 out of 30! Whoever manages a perfect 30 will go into the 72 hour shootout, where just being perfect will not be good enough. You will need to do it in less than 60 seconds as once again, the fastest time wins.
Once names is complete, we will repeat the process for the remaining 3 Memory League disciplines Numbers – Images – Words.
But for now, Names. So, who is the best on the planet at memorizing names? Let’s find out…