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ERADICATE the Last Chance! (long)

Posted By: Matt Cohn-Geier
Date: Monday, 27 January 2014, at 3:12 a.m.

In Response To: Don't Abolish the Last Chance ! -- Modify the Last Chance (Bill Riles)

I don't get this argument about playing three matches minimum. In fact, I seriously have no concept of how to relate to it.

It has never once crossed my mind that I have only played two matches this weekend, but isn't it great that I get to play a third one, or I'd be really sad if I didn't play a third one. That thought had literally never occurred to me before reading this thread.

What has occurred to me is that I find myself on Saturday with nothing to do, but at least I still have the last chance to play. I would say that has happened about 5% of the time.

The other 95% of the time, it looks more like this. I have already played 7 matches. I lost in the first round of the main, but re-entered and lost again. Luckily for me, I won 5 rounds and got to the semis of the consolation. Unluckily for me, I lost a critical match at DMP, and walked away with nothing. To add insult to injury, now I have to play again in 8 hours in a $20 freeroll Blitz.

Also, I'm not sure how people come up with $50 or $100 in equity. Usually it is more like $10 or $20 (not counting byes and forfeits). Maybe only at Monte Carlo can it get up to $100.

If you took money out of the last chance you could redistribute it so that the winner actually got a big payday, or so that the semifinalists did more than just recover their entry fee, or you could pay the semifinalists in the consolation, or whatever; it is up to the TD's discretion.

People like playing backgammon, I get that. Guess what, I like playing backgammon too. Blitzes are great, I don't have anything against Blitzes. But is this really the correct format of the main event?

I also understand this: people donít like change. Change is scary. The status quo works, or at least it hasn't killed us (yet). But let's imagine for a moment that the way things are and have always been is single elimination with progressive consolation with interesting, attractive side events for those who are knocked out. An established tournament director has the idea, I'm thinking about holding a freeroll Blitz on Sunday morning where everyone who has been eliminated from the tournament gets a free entry.

I don't believe that the consensus response to that would be: wow, what a genius idea. I imagine the response would be more like: why is that necessary? What are you thinking? Have you lost your mind?

People actually don't like the last chance, as you can see from all the no shows and forfeits. Those no shows and forfeits keep happening because people donít like it. They are voting with their feet, even when it directly costs them money!

I like backgammon just as much as anyone out there. I like it so much, that I think it ought to be done properly. That means holding side events and things that actually have interest on Saturday and Sunday.

So, to the first tournament which I attend that abolishes the last chance, I will offer to give a free lecture on Sunday at 11:30 am. That will give everyone who would otherwise be playing in a $10 Blitz an opportunity to attend an interesting lecture about backgammon. Actually, pretty much everyone should be able to attend at 11:30 unless they are in multiple finals. And if lectures aren't your thing, you can still enter that Blitz! Or for those that don't like lectures or Blitzes, maybe there will also be a $250 Sunday Jackpot with 90+% return! (and hey, you can also hold one on Saturday for those eliminated from the main) Or you can just go home if you want. Everyone wins.

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