February 18, 2017 Chouette Results

Turns out, it was zwikelmania on the 18th. As a result, Lucky Lab was very crowded. I showed up a bit before 1:00, and set up next to the front door. Before 1:00, a group of people started playing darts right behind that table. There was a lot of traffic, but not obviously anyone looking for backgammon. After a while, I went and walked through the bigger room, and found Dan, who had been sitting around waiting for someone else to show up too. We moved back to the front table and played a money game for an hour or so, took a break for Dan to deal with a little work, then settled in for a chouette with the arrival of Rob and Martin about 3:00.

Well, I was already way down due to Dan’s excellent dice throwing skills, and the arrival of backup just meant that someone else got to lose with me. Dan held the box for two full cycles at one point, making bank off us. Still, I had fun, and we even had a random stop-by pick up one of the postcards: Mel, who learned to play in Turkey, and who challenged me to a couple of just for fun games.

At one point, playing against Dan, I faced the following decision:

That’s the doubling cube being offered to me. Now here’s where psychology comes into the game. Mathematically, this is a no double and an easy take. But we were in the 5th game or so in a row where Dan had whipped me. 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s hit, 5’s and 6’s escape a back checker. And I hadn’t had a good roll, nor Dan a bad one, so far this game. In spite of his odds being only 0.567 (according to gnuBG), I passed.

Let me tell you, failure of confidence can get expensive.

We’ll be back next month – maybe a few more new people will show up to take some of my money off me. Hope to see you there!


February 12, 2017 Tournament Results

There wasn’t any snow or ice to keep us from the bar today! We had 11 people play in the tournament, a pretty decent turnout. An extra special thanks goes out to Demi, who was planning to just hang around while Bryan played, but who let me twist her arm into playing when it turned out that I had filled out the 11 person bracket with only 10 players. I am actually pending final results, because with such a large pool, play ran a little long – so I left the #1/#2 players to duke it out without me.

My best story of the tournament is newcomer Trish, who found out about the existence of the backgammon meetup group only last Wednesday – when I ran into her completely at random with a board on the table in front of her. Backgammon is out there more than you’d think – if you run into someone with a board, tell them about the group! We’re always wanting more players.

There was a good number of side games and conversation going the whole time through, I believe it was about the liveliest meetup in a year. Old-timer Reid was the walk-on beast to beat, although we tried to liquor him up enough to give the rest of us a chance. But the other one to watch was new-comer Tim, whose wife Emily also played. They must have some pretty fierce competitions going at home because they were both forces to be reckoned with. Tim won a couple of games, then dropped to the consolation bracket, only to fight his way back up to the final match. As a result, he definitely won for getting the most backgammon for his money, playing a total of 6 matches! By 6:30, it was down to these two to duke it out. I had promised to be home by 6:30, and so had to bail at that point. A good half-dozen people were still hanging around to share stories and watch the final battle. I will update this post once one of them tells me who won, to indicate the final rankings of everyone.

Thanks again to everyone for the great turnout, and hope to see some of you next week for the Chouette!

Update: Tim came back to win! Well done! Here’s the table of results with a whole lot of new people getting Elo scores…

Player Initial Elo Rating Matches Played Matches Won Final Elo Rating
Mark 1617.3 4 2 1600.73
Tim 1500.0 6 5 1553.18
Reid 1500.0 4 3 1531.87
Spencer 1500.0 4 2 1509.27
David 1500.0 4 2 1500.11
Emily 1500.0 4 2 1486.67
Bryan 1500.0 4 2 1486.16
Todd 1500.0 1 0 1486.14
Julie 1513.8 2 0 1484.99
Trish 1500.0 3 1 1476.62
Demi 1500.0 2 0 1472.29