Lucky Thirteen

by Steve Sax
14 August 2013


Steve Sax

Sometimes when you attend a tournament you play well but the dice are against you and then of course there are the other times when no matter what mistakes you make you can't go wrong.

When I attended the Michigan Summer Championships earlier this month I couldn't do anything the first two days of the tournament having been eliminated from the "Michigan Masters", the doubles, the main flight of the MSC and the second chance as well.

I had one win under my belt in five matches played and that was courtesy of a bad double I gave in the first round of the MSC.

Friday evening I was in the chouette room at the Novi Sheraton talking to Mike Senkiewicz about everything from poker to global warming when tournament staffer John Carrico announced there were two spots open in the last blitz sheet of the evening; I told Mike I was going to take one of those spots and he told me he was going to take the other.

I didn't know it at the time but I was about to begin of one of the most amazing and unexpected match winning streaks I have ever had. I proceeded to win thirteen matches in a row including eight in one day (Saturday, July 6th) on the way to the semi-finals of both the Charity Blitz and the Consolation bracket of the MSC.

The title of this article is "Lucky Thirteen" as we will review thirteen positions from some of my matches during the streak. I didn't title the article "Genius Thirteen" as I made some pretty bad decisions during that stretch, but we're here to learn so damn the mistakes and let's proceed.

In the first game of my five-point blitz match with Mike he doubled me with the score 0-0 in position "Lucky 1". I thought it could easily be a take but being down 17-pips and behind a four-prime I wasn't so optimistic and the truth is I really didn't think the game was that special and wanted to play more interesting games against the backgammon legend and backgammon Giant #26.

Position Lucky 1:

is Player 2

score: 0
pip: 102
5 point match
pip: 119
score: 0

is Player 1
XGID=--B--CBCBA-b-----bbcdBb---:0:0:-1:00:0:0:0:5:10
on roll, cube action?


Analyzed in Rollout
No Double
  Player Winning Chances: 77.52% (G: 2.72% B: 0.09%)
  Opponent Winning Chances: 22.48% (G: 1.19% B: 0.03%)
Double/Take
  Player Winning Chances: 77.98% (G: 2.35% B: 0.08%)
  Opponent Winning Chances: 22.02% (G: 1.03% B: 0.03%)
 
Cubeless Equities
No Double:+0.565
Double:+1.102
 
Cubeful Equities
No Double:+0.862 (-0.089)
Double/Take:+0.951
Double/Drop:+1.000 (+0.049)
 
Best Cube action: Double / Take
 
Rollout details
1296 Games rolled with Variance Reduction.
Moves: 3 ply, cube decisions: XG Roller
 
Confidence No Double: ± 0.005 (+0.858...+0.867)
Confidence Double: ± 0.008 (+0.943...+0.958)
 
Double Decision confidence: 100.0%
Take Decision confidence: 100.0%
 
Duration: 3 minutes 42 seconds

eXtreme Gammon Version: 1.21, MET: Rockwell-Kazaross



It is indeed a take however as my home board and prime are fairly formidable and only rate to improve as I wait on the 21-point anchor for a potential game winning fly shot.

This is a pretty good reference position as it's only a small take. If I was down a few more pips or if my home board and prime setup were a bit weaker, then undoubtedly it would be a pass.

Mike eventually built up a 4-1 Crawford lead before I won three games in a row to take the match 5-4 and advance to the second round of the blitz where I would play Paul Pavlides.
 
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