Hats off the Ray for his guts
Posted By: phil simborg In Response To: Why just eight participants in Texas dual-dual?! (__1ERROR1__)
Date: Monday, 3 February 2014, at 2:56 p.m.
In Response To: Why just eight participants in Texas dual-dual?! (__1ERROR1__)
We were all disappointed in the lack of participation in the dual-duel. There were many great players at the tournament who could surely have been competitive and had a reasonable chance to do well. I don't know if it is the $1000 entry fee that stopped them, or because they wanted to concentrate on the main event and masters, or because they felt they didn't have a great chance against the likes of Mochy and MCG and Petko who often play under 2.0 PR lately, or maybe, honestly, there is some fear that like any human being they might have a bad day or match and make a horrible blunder in front of the entire world and be torn apart by the jerks and nasty people (many of them on this forum by the way) who can't wait to take a shot at someone else but aren't willing to step up themselves.
We have all seen huge blunders from virtually all the Giants...even ones who post amazing PR's...that's part of the game. The people who play in these events are not afraid to show the world their skills.
Fogerlund openly admits he doesn't have a chance to win the PR battle against a filed like this, but he still plopped down his $1000 for all the world to see him play and he actually won the battle for winning matches and he had the guts to let everyone see his PR's. Yes, some of them were terrible, like the one in the final, exciting battle with Mochy...but it was an amazing 3-game match with a 16 cube exciting finish.
I would not criticize Neil, or Russell or Sax or Wachtel or any of the other great players there that chose not to compete in the Dual Duel (or Stick who didn't make it to the tournament) because asking for a $1000 entry fee and asking to play in a lot more matches to compete in a small field with nothing but other amazing players when the winning odds are low even if you are one of the best in the world, is a lot to ask.
With all the matches streamed, the entire world sees Giants making monster blunders which many players watching "laugh" at and say they would never make a huge mistake like that. I even had a student send me a cube blunder of Malcolm's that was horrible and he couldn't understand how such a great player could make such a mistake.
Until you have played 4 days in a row under pressure and looked at a few thousand positions and had the clock running, I wouldn't be so critical about a huge blunder here or there.
Most of us who were still in the tournment, including myself, started playing on Thursday and we played right through the Super Bowl and finished close to Midnight on Sunday night. That's a hell of a lot of backgammon. And I didn't finish my matches on Saturday night until close to midnight.
By the way, in consolation and last chance I played three of the greatest players in the world, and convinced them all to play on my computer instead of on a board so we could review our errors and see how we played. I am far beneath these three players in skill, but was not afraid to show my lack of skill and learn from it. I played Sax, Akiko and O'Laughlin and I won 2 out of three of those matches and outplayed 2 of them in PR. (I will not say who I outplayed or who I beat because that is nobody's business because these matches were not streamed, but I will tell you that all three of them played well and I simply played far better than usual in two of the match where I outplayed them, and in the third, the Giant I played posted a 2 PR so there was no chance I could outplay him/her.)
But it was fun to play on the computer, and even though our matches were consolation and last chance (7 and 5 point matches), at times there were more people watching us than there were people watching the semifinals of main events...because getting to see us on a computer screen and then seeing us review the match, seeing our PR's immediately, and seeing the mistakes and hearing the discussion about why the plays where wrong, is more interesting and entertaining than watching Mochy or Magriel or MCG or Kit or any of the legends playing over the board.
I believe this should be the future of backgammon. Yes, yes, I know all the people who claim we lose the aesthetics of shaking the dice and playing over a beautiful board, but we are in the electronic age and the game is simply more interesting and stimulating when you can instantly see PR ratings and errors and review them and discuss them. And making the game more interesting for both the players and spectators is important if we want to create interest, growth, sponsorship, and make every match a learning (and teaching) experience and not just a game to see who gets good dice and wins the match.
Sorry for rambling on, but in spite of a few jerks who like to tear people apart and criticize and attack people personally, there are still a lot of people on this forum that I respect greatly and I love to hear their opinions and I also hope, in some way, I can influence theirs in a way that will affect some change and improvement in the game.
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