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North Carolina review - long - boring

Posted By: Stick
Date: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, at 10:49 a.m.

I left early Thursday morning to visit a friend Thursday night. The traffic on the way there wasn't terrible and I was able to 'coast' most of the way there going about 85. [the speed limit is 70 in most places from Ohio to NC]. I passed at least 6 Staties, and they didn't seem to even flinch when I went by. There was a fair amount of traffic but nothing terrible, enough to keep moving. The 7th Statie I passed seemed to care a bit more that I was cruising along doing 85. Saw the lights come on, threw my seatbelt on, closed my laptop, pulled over. He comes up to the car and leads with "I'm going to let you off with a warning this time..." WHO LEADS WITH THAT!? I was like sweeeeeeeeeeeeet. He asks for my license and registration and returns to his car. As I'm sitting there I remember I have two opened bottles of liquor in the back seat, I glance where I think they are to make sure they're covered, they are, my Beam & Kahlua are safe.

He comes back up to the car and starts in on his spiel. Allow me to paraphrase: "A ticket in this state gets you a minimum fine of around $200. I usually tell people speeding only saves you 10-15 minutes so if 10-15 minutes is worth that much to you go ahead but I'd suggest you slow down." At this point I kept my mouth shut and nodded, like a good boy. Inside though I'm thinking "Well, it saves me 15 minutes per hour and my trip is supposed to be 7-8 hours so if I only get on ticket on the way there than that's $200 for 1 1/2 hours saved so yea...that's worth my time lol.

Saw my friend that night ... continued to the hotel around 1am. The hotel, the Hilton, has free wireless internet which is nice. I passed most of my free time playing online, backgammon, poker, surfing, normal bs. Friday comes, I sign up for the Open, doubles with Neil, and the Queen City Cup. The Queen City ends up being my first match & my first loss. I already posted my bitch session about this match with Howard. I'm sure I'll have more positions to post this week.

My next match was with Neil. I figured if I was going to cash in anything it would be this event because...duh, I'm playing with Neil. We played well overall (I thought at least) and worked well as a doubles team. I'm pretty easy going and Neil knows a lot more about match cube decisions and play than I do. The matches for doubles were to 7 and before I knew it we were up 6-2 Crawford. It amazed me that the other team bit so many times on Neil's dialogue. It's true, they should listen to Neil if he's on their team but do they think he has their best interest in mind when talking aloud? He walked them right into taking wrong doubles and passing correct takes. I sat, nodded, kept my poker face on and added a little dialogue but felt like me saying too much would ruin a good thing he already had going. Needless to say we lost the match, after being up 6-2. Just amazing is all I have to say...I'm 0-2 in doubles, both times have a very strong partner, Mary & Neil, both times being @ Crawford +, both times outplaying our opponents by a country mile, both times losing.

Unfortunately I have a good partner for Pittsburgh too [if he can come] otherwise I'd like to have the worst player I can dig up. See how that works out... At this point in the tourney I'm not too happy, Entered two main events, lost immediately when I felt I/we outplayed our opponent(s) by quite a margin. I snuck my way into a chouette to highten my spirits (and my cash flow) for the rest of the night. I ended up being the only one winning in the chou and it alleviated some of the aggrivation of the tournament.

I got up after my solid 6am - 11am sleep schedule to make it on time. Skipped breakfast, no time, arrived just in time to buy myself back in the Open. [lucky me!] I got a bye in the first round, thinks were looking up! I played my 2nd round match immediately since the other person in my bracket also had a buy. My first match was against Ray Fogerland. I'd never played Ray before but had won a bet off him last year @ Pittsburgh I believe it was when I bet him, not knowing who he was, was the right play was in a position he was showing. $100 bet...Snowie loves me and wouldn't want me to lose my $$$ so I made a $100. I never saw Ray again until this tourney and he remembered. He asked "You gonna give me a chance to get my $100 back?" I agreed even though the way my matches were going it didn't seem the most equitous thing to do. I ended up winning the match so I'm scratching my $$ back from entry fees at this point, chouettes and side bets!

My next match was against Chuck Bower. Now this is one match I'm sure I was a favorite as Chuck is the biggest backgammon fish I've ever met in my life. [for those who don't know I will only say this once and then continue picking on Chuck, Chuck's a very good player and I know him from GoL and met him last year, since we get along I like to pick on him a little extra whenever possible, not quite as terrible as that Mary Hickey player, but the stories about her swimming in the pond date back to the 70s!] I won my match with Chuck too. It wasn't that my dice were hot or the people I was playing were playing poorly, but their dice up to this point were cold. It's not that I'd hit the shots when I needed to, it's they'd roll lame ducks all over the place. I don't know how many times Chuck had this one game won and danced on my 4 pt. crushed board until I could bring 3 checkers around and cube him out. He also rolled a nasty double that destroyed his board and completely annihilated his chances that game, and another game he had a double shot ++ (all sixes and ones hit) that basically decided the game and he missed it.

Next match was against Albert [forget his last name, sure Neil or Mary knows]. I'd never met or heard of him before. I was informed that he plays a solid game and he plays online & carries a good rating. No big deal, didn't figure he'd be any stronger than Chuck or Ray. Fired up the match and before you know it I'm up 7-0! This is just what I'm looking for in the money round. His dice were stone cold too. Maybe my opponent's dice had finally caught cold, I'm hoping to ride out the wave when I turn around and he ties it up 8-8! The last thing I want are match cube decisions but I get lucky in the -3 -3 game and end up winning the Crawford game easily. This takes me into the finals against Weaver.

I'd already spoke with Paul when he arrived. Unfortunately he didn't give a lecture Saturday morning, but this did allow me to sleep in. I only saw one of his lectures last year but I enjoyed it, esp. since it was about the opening moves, made me feel like I know what I'm doing. He also had given me a copy of the first edition of his 'tome' pending released. I figured this match would be the most perfect opening 3 moves ever seen. Walter Trice asked if he could record the match which was fine with me. I've never had anyone record any of my matches (thankfully less of my blunders floating around) but if I make it to the finals by all means, even if I play at a Snowie error rate of 21 I GOT PAID BABY! I didn't know how it worked luckily Paul told me he pays Trice a small fee for recording the match, then putting it in a bot and sending it to him. Completely worth it and Walter has already sent me the match. I'm anxious to look at it in full. I know my biggest errors/blunders were probably two cube decisions but I'd like to see on what scale and if my ideas at the time can be justified or were just me being a loon.

One game when I behind on the scoresheet, I believe it was -6 -4 I won the opening roll with a 4-1. I decided to play the slot and Weaver replied with a 5-1. The correct play is to slot of course but Weaver moves the split, 24/23, and looks at it for about 15 seconds. Then he plays the slot and picks up his dice. I know he knows which is right, I asked him at the time if he was pulling my leg but he didn't say much =P Later on in the match, either at -4 -4 or -4 -2 (him leading) I won the opening roll with a 6-4. I correctly made my 2 pt. and Paul said "What a beginner." RRRRRRRofl... I thought that was the funniest thing I'd heard all weekend, I don't know why. Everyone else was cracking up too. Lots of kibitzers. Never had anyone watching my matches either. They weren't really watching *my* match perse, I know, they were watching the finals & Paul, but I was there =)

This brings me to the heartbreak point of the story. Trailing -4 -2 I correctly send over a very aggressive double that's correct. Maybe my match play isn't so terrible. Anyway, after I double I get Weaver closed out and have the match in my grasps in the position below.

Match to 11, White leads 9 to 7
Board image courtesy of GO-Figure

I had rolled a 4-4, then another 4-4, then a lucky 3-2 (the only # that closed my board by making the 2 pt.) and was in this position. There was no time I should have broken off the anchor up to this point. So as it stands before I roll 6-1, 5-1, 4-1, 3-1, 4-2, 6-4, 4-4, 3-3, 2-2, 1-1 that force me to break my board. I remember my spare being on the 3 pt. so I didn't think as many rolls busted my board but I guess I was wrong. 16 rolls that bust my board, the other 20 are probably 75% to win me the match. I will bear off uberaggressively because I'd rather win the G now than play a DMP game w/Paul. I toss a 4-1 and break my 6 pt. Not the end of the world but maybe the end of my gammon hopes right? The parlay from 4-1 to the end of the game is sick. He enters with a 6-3 immediately slotting his five point. I then toss boxes and can't even get off my anchor! This gives him time to build his board (he rolls double 4s making two inner board points) and when I finally break off anchor next turn everything goes dowwwwwwwn hill. Oh well, was a good match and if you'd told me at the beginning I'd finish second to Paul I wouldn't have minded so much.

Now for anyone who wants to know the financial burden/expectancy of a backgammon tournament I have decided to actually keep track of this year and see how I do. With all the traveling, hotels, food, etc...I wondered last year if I could actually make money at the tourneys, esp. since they aren't 100% payout. I will figure in any chouette action, sidebets, etc... into my calcutions. I am going to post it for Pittsburgh and if I left out anything anyone thinks of remind me!

  • Gas there & back, 3 tanks, ~$30 a pop = $90 total
  • Hotel ~$90/night, I stayed 3 nights instead of 2, $270 total
  • Doubles entry $70/per person $30 sidepool, $100 total
  • Queen City Cup $400 entry + $100 sidepool, $500 total
  • Open $225 entry + $100 sidepool, $325 total
  • Calcutta = bought myself back is all, $112
  • Meals - I ate 2 meals a day @ about $15 a pop, so over 3 days that's $90 total
  • First night, chouette, I won $140 playing for 5s (28 pts)
  • Open Division, won $100 side bet w/Ray
  • Calcutta paid me $500 + some change
  • 2nd place was $1,750
  • Paul and I split the sidepool down the middle, $1,450 a piece
  • $90(gas) + $270(hotel) + $100(doubles) + $500 (QCC) + $325 (Open) + $112 (Calc) + $90 (Food) = $1487 spent
  • $140 (chou) + $100 (sidebet) + $500 (calc) + $1,450 (sidepool) + $1,750 (2nd pl) = $3,940
  • Unfortunately I hedged off $800 too in the previous rounds, so $3,940 - $800 - $1487 = $1653 profit

One final note for now at least since I'm tired of typing. The NC tournament was once again very well run. I've only been to it the past two years but it went even smoother this year than last year. There are still no clocks but it didn't affect this tournament as far as I could tell. Everything went along in a fairly quick paced manner. I'd recommend it to anyone who can make it.


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