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My own dmp thoughts

Posted By: Stick
Date: Wednesday, 17 August 2011, at 9:29 p.m.

In Response To: Why is dmp so important? (Stick)

Some of these points were mentioned by others but this was a pre-existing file and there's no reason to edit it. I think UBK pointed out a good one too, the clock issues that may occur because it's so late in the match. (go figure he was the one to think of being low on time and forced to play dmp)

  • Double match point is not only the pure score of 1 away 1 away but also a large subset of scores. These scores include 2 away 2 away where generally the cube will be turned by one player or the other at the first opportunity turning it into dmp. This is also true of any score where the value of the cube equals or exceeds the amount of points both players need to win the match.

  • There's a long list of Crawford scores that I refer to as virtual dmp. There is no cube involved in the Crawford game and the checker play is essentially that of dmp. The only minor difference that rarely comes up is the 1 away player doesn't want to lose a backgammon but gammon losses are unimportant to either player still. These Crawford scores can all be summed up as Crawford/-X away where X is an odd number. Examples: -1 -3 C, -1 -5 C, -1 -7 C, -1 -9 C, and on and on and on.

  • Dmp can occur after a long hard fought match by both players. We want to win every match of course but human nature as it is it somehow hurts most people more emotionally if they lose a grueling 3 hour battle of a 15 point match than if they had lost the same match in 45 minutes at some lopsided score. In the former example they feel they may have somehow let the match slip from beneath their grip (and they may be right!) whereas in the latter example they shrug their shoulders and acknowledge with such a lopsided score the dice gods were not shining on them this day. (also may be right!)

  • Hedging. If you don't know what hedging is you can check the definition of hedging at Tom Keith's web site and read this thread which explains it further. When people get to the later rounds of a tournament they're more apt to hedge. They don't want to have come all this way and not get anything back. This is even more true when you get to dmp of a money round. This is why I like being the best dmp player on the planet. I will hedge, but only at the right price. Going into a dmp game I like to know that I'm the favorite, that if we play it out with no hedge I can expect to win more than my opponent, so if they want to hedge they're going to have to offer me odds. If they don't want to give me odds that's fine, we'll just play, but a lot of people really do want to make sure they get something back and while I'm not trying to rip anyone off in the hedging process I'm also definitely not going to short change myself in the deal. Being the favorite I will tell them the line I want and they can take it or leave it.

  • Where can you blow the most equity in the form of match winning chances? At dmp. A simple example will illustrate this. In a 15 point match let's say you win the opening roll with a 31. Instead of making the 5pt you play 13/10 6/5. How much match equity does this insane play cost you at 15 away 15 away? It costs you around 1%. Pretty bad play, however, imagine you get to dmp and you win the opening roll with a 31 and decide to play it the same way, now how much match equity have you given up? Five and a half percent. Ouch.

  • My ideal backgammon student would have never played the game. They wouldn't know the cube existed, what gammons or backgammons were, and they would come to me as a blank slate and say "Teach me to be the best." I would start them off with double match point games until they understood how to win. This is a key component that will translate over into match or money play down the line. In any position if you're trying to decide which play is best essentially you are breaking down three questions and comparing them. Those questions are:

    • Which play wins the most single games?
    • Which play wins the most gammons?
    • Which plays loses the most gammons?

    If they have learned dmp they will know the answer to the first question and it is the most important question of the three to have the answer to. Why is that? When you get to money play or normal match length play a win will have twice the value of a gammon won so if you're deciding between two plays and you already know the play that wins the most the other play will have a big hurdle to overcome to be best. That's why I have coined the saying "When in doubt make the dmp play."

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