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BMAB--I signed up but......

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Wednesday, 28 January 2015, at 10:42 a.m.

In Response To: San Antonio Matches - BMAB Individual Applications (Rick Janowski)

I have sent you the email as requested, and I stated that any match from any round that is recorded or streamed is fine to include.

I do have a problem in that if I happen to be lucky enough to be playing in a later round against a highly-ranked Giant and the match is streamed, I would love to exclude that match. Why?

Because I know I will intentionally play at a worse PR because I know I must gamble in order to beat Mochy, MCG or the like. I am not playing for the lowest PR, but to win.

I know that the BMAB does not allow for this type of variation, but you did state that I could say up front which matches will count. So how could I exclude such a match?

I will give you an example. In New York I played MCG two matches, and since they were not in the main, but in consolation and last chance, we bet on the match and we also bet on PR. No, I am not stupid enough to bet on PR with MCG without a spot, and he gave me 3 PR in our 7 point match and 2.5 PR in our 5 point match. (Instead of playing on a board we played on XG on my laptop.) He won one of those bets easily and the other by a hair. I won both matches but I was actually the loser overall because I ended up buying him dinner and I forgot how much he can eat.

To my point...in both of those matches, because we were also betting on PR, I played pretty well, and I could not afford to gamble on cubes and checker plays to win because of the PR bet. I have played Matt many other times both in major tournaments and in club and private games, and when we don't have a bet on PR I play about 3 PR worse...I am taking big games and trying to play the type of games I think I need to play to win.

I will not debate here whether or not my strategy is right, and I know many will say it is very wrong...but that is not the point of this post. The point is that if you really want to know how well I can play, let me play the computer or play when I know that the PR is important (like Dual-Duel), but not when I am playing in a match with a far better or far worse player or with someone who I know has cube flaws I can exploit. (My average PR when I play on the computer is about 2 PR better than against live players, even when I play them on the computer, and it is not because I cheat or don't post my really bad matches--it's for precisely this reason.)

While I understand and appreciate where BMAB is coming from, it is forcing people who join and are recorded to play every match against every opponent the same as they would play against XG, and that, to me, takes something away from the excitement and even the true skill of the competition.

So why did I sign up for BMAB knowing that I will appear to have a higher PR than I am capable of? Part of it is that even though I have some problems with this, I can see that it raises interest in the game and does help us see how the very best players rate, and part of it is to make a point. That people like me, who clearly are not as good as people like MCG and Mochy, can still win more than their PR suggests by knowing how to gamble and how to play the opponent. Head's up competition and tournament play needs to be more about winning and losing than just technical play, and the two don't necessarily go hand-in-hand.

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