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Author: Subject: May 2010 Newsletter

Mood:  Bemused
posted on 6-4-2010 at 01:31 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
May 2010 Newsletter


Mac’s Moment

As I am attending a special German Second Language (GSL) school for the seriously inept students who must learn it quickly I present in my absence….


Being the 2 year anniversary of my joining the Cambridge Wizard Club, I thought it would be great to let everyone eavesdrop in on one of our club meetings, to get a sense who our members are and the love we have for the game. SSHHHH........lets listen in.

Abacus: Hear yee hear yee...meeting come to order. Everyone rise.
Ap sirius: Not again Abacus. We're just here to drink and play wizard.
Abacus: That’s President Abacus to you Ap.
Ap sirius: Pass the ketchup please Nightrunner.
Abacus: First order of business is our designer Cambridge Wizard Club shirts and hats.
Ap sirius: Are you ordering more?
Abacus: NO! I still have 200 left. So I need yous guys to get out there and sell,sell,sell.
Tishy: We have no more room left in our closets and we have to make room for the Cambridge Wizard Club track pants Abacus has ordered.
Ap sirius: ARE YOU SERIOUS!?
Abacus: No you are. HEHE I make joke.
Tishy: Please folks, you have to sell this stuff. I look terrible in track pants and he has me wearing the shirts as PJS till they’re gone.
Sungoddess: You must be quite the sight at bed time Tishy !
Tishy: It wouldn’t be so bad except he insists I call him Mr President.
Abacus: Does our club vice president Jeffzel have anything to add to the matter of shirt and cap sales?
Jeffzel: Yes , we have an end of season 15 % off sale at Zellers right now !
Ap sirius: Id like to bring up a point of order.
Abacus: Are you still here Ap ?
Ap sirius: I would like to know why we relocated the Cambridge Wizard Club from Milton to Cambridge?
Abacus: Is that a serious question ?? It is called the Cambridge Wizard Club ?
Ap sirius: Well in Milton I only lived 5 min. away and now I have to drive 40 min, and now its on Saturdays.
Nightrunner: We do all live do know that don’t you?
Ap sirius: So what!!
Abacus: complain a lot Ap, you sure you’re not related to Mac? I didn’t see your nomination when we were electing a president.
Ap sirius: What election??? You are the only one with 3 decks of Wizard Cards
Abacus: Isn’t that enough?
Ap sirius: Aren’t you going to stick up for me Jeffzel...
Jeffzel: 50% off snow shovels this Saturday at Zellers!
Sungoddess: Do you work there or what Jeffzel...oh right you do...Sorry.
Abacus: Next point of order... weekly dues.
Nightrunner: Wait,wait Abacus. I was wondering why, at the last club tourney we had 5 McCoys, you ,me, your brother and sister and wife at the final table and Ap sirius still managed to beat us. I thought we all agreed to stick together as a family...
Abacus: Enough nightrunner...we agreed to keep that on the down low.
Ap Sirius: Just call me AP Hatfield.... Hatfield and the McCoys...get it har har.
Abacus: Can you leave him at home next time Sungoddess!?
Sungoddess : I’m not driving 40 minutes alone, only if Jeffzel can pick me up.
Jeffzel: Did I mention Zellers whites sale is on next weekend!?
Fritz60: Did anyone come up with a plan since last meeting on how we were going to take down all the competition on-line, raise our profile and dominate the standings on the Wizard website?
Abacus: We first have to target who our main competition is.
Sungoddess: Why don’t we each take one player and hammer them in each game they play.
Ap sirius: I’m totally taking Cargobeep .... grrrr
Abacus: I promised Cargo we would not bring up her name in any more of our meetings.
Ap sirius: Ok...I’m taking ,you know who,...starts with a C and ends in Beep.
Tishy: we should draw straws to see who gets Silent Sam, mphenix and G Loumis.
Abacus: Does this mean I should create another 5 new alias's ?
Pinky baby: That will put you up to 20 alias's Abacus...that must be a record !
Abacus: No... Mactonight has 22...
Ap sirius: Which brings us to a good point...I think that the Toronto East Wizard Club needs to be taken down a notch. They’re getting too big for their britches and should be stomped on. Merlin, Karmakarma and Mactonight are like the unholy trinity ! BOO HISS...
KarmaKarma: You know we are sitting here???
Ap sirius: What the heck ? When did you sneak in?
Merlin: I knew they were just getting us here for our $2 entrance fee, Karma.
Abacus: Write in the minutes Tishy that we need more lighting in here. I can’t see the riff raff at the back of the room.
Jeffzel: Zellers lighting dept. is having a blowout sale as we speak!
Pinky Baby: Why don’t the Cambridge club and Toronto East club join together on-line and show the rest of the online players how it’s done?
Sungoddess: You mean, show them the spirit of fair play, camaraderie and to help promote and grow the Wizard cards on-line site ?
Ap sirius: NO ! How to stomp on, and destroy all the other players on-line...hahahahahahahahahahahaha cough cough...
Abacus: I second that motion...
Mactonight: I, 3rd , 4th, and 5th that motion (I’m using a webcam, GSL school is boring)
Abacus: Ok , motion carried.... Now nobody can tell Ken Fisher.
Ap sirius: My lips are sealed....Now can I get a beer and play some cards ?
Fritz60: Actually I’m getting hungry now.
Jeffzel: Zellers has a lunch special today...pirogues and ham, $4.99 including soft drink and dessert!
Abacus :mmmmmmmm..meeting is adjourned.... Lets go.
Ap sirius: Oh lord...did anyone come here to play Wizard ?
Ap sirius: hello...hello...
Hazardous: Sry Im late guys. Abacus made me mow the lawn before I could come play.....Hey , where did everyone go Ap ?
Ap sirius: just shut up and pull up a chair... Were going to figure out how to play 2 handed...


Bluffing in Wizard? (wizard)

If you’ve ever watched “Texas Hold’em Poker” you will know that bluffing is a major component of game play. Is there any bluffing in Wizard? The answer is no or very little if you apply a strict definition of bluffing. However if you define ‘bluffing’ as bidding more than your hand merits then it can be applied to Wizard.

Consider a six-handed game at hand six. (There are 6 tricks available). If you bid first or second and bid 3 it is clear that you have a strong hand. However if you bid last the bid is less clear. If 4 of the tricks have previously been bid then a final bid of 3 again indicates strength. But what if only 3 tricks (or even fewer) have been bid? The final bid of 3 may be considered a pseudo-bluff. You may be holding a card such as a singleton queen of hearts which normally would not win a trick but in an underbid the first lead of a heart is likely to be won by your singleton queen. You may hold other cards in the 10-jack-queen range which if not protected by lower ranking cards or Jesters are potential winners in an underbid situation. Consequently with a hand that would merit a bid of zero tricks if (a) the 6 tricks available were all bid or (b) you were first to bid, suddenly becomes a bid of three in last position with 3 tricks unbid.

I suggest you pay attention to final bids that appear strong and make the total bids even. The player may have very little strength and is simply counting on the other players to offer up the remaining tricks. Knowing this you will not find yourself taking an extra trick and asking, “What did you bid 3 on?”

Spoilers: (mactonight)

1 -The Spoiler - One of the more frustrating things about playing any card game is the spoiler. This creature could be anyone in any game and if the spoiler is really good at it you will never see it coming.

The spoiler is usually a player who is in last or in the bottom third of a game who has no chance at moving up and/or is someone that wants to seek revenge on another player or someone that uses the spoiler to maintain their position or simply uses it as a strategic ploy for their own benefit. If you are in first it's always a good idea to keep an eye out for the spoiler. Some signs of a spoiler are obvious, the player is in last and bids 0 in the final hand for example. This should immediately cause all your warning flags, bells or whatever spider-sense you have to go off. I personally hate bidding 0 on the 10th hand and if I'm in last I'd even risk another scratch by bidding one if I have any decent cards at all. Bidding 0 in the final hand is a sure sign that someone is going to attempt to spoil. Of course, a good spoiler will bid 2 or 3 and make no attempt to make their bids, but I'll talk about spoiler strategies later. The first place person or anyone in a game battling for a position should look for signs of spoilers. Bidding 0 in the 10th is one, watch chat, if someone is complaining about getting screwed over, or if there is obvious frustration be aware of it. If you have taken someone out of the game, either by taking their trick or by playing a suit that causes said person to take an extra, be aware of it. There is no real way to prevent a spoiler, but one of the things you can do is never (and I realize it's not always possible) but never let one player constantly take the extra or constantly not get their tricks. Don't target the last place player if possible and if the last place person is about to take an extra and your hand is good enough to save them, do it. It might just help you going forward.

2 - The Spoiler strategies. The art of being a spoiler is lost on some players. As mentioned above, being a spoiler is something that does happen and one can actually be quite good at it. One thing I would warn everyone reading this is, when in Tournament play, leave the spoiler at home. A tournament is supposed to be fair battle where everyone is supposed to play with honor. So don't be last and bid 0 in a tournament and then go and take 3 or 4 tricks. Having said that some of the better spoiler strategies I have seen have been quite creative and effective. One of the better ones is to not wait until round 10 (or the last round). Start your plan in the 8th or the 9th round. Bidding 0 in the 9th and taking 2 tricks will leave everyone surprised. Then in the 10th you can bid 0 or 3 or 4 and people will think your bluffing again, and then make your tricks or don't. At this point everyone is watching to see what you're going to do. It's powerful try it (not on me ok? If you are upset at a player for taking you out or targeting you, get over it, it's a game and sometimes in order to win someone has to take you out. However, if you can't get over it then hope for wizards and then use them. The best way to use them, is to not necessarily take out the player you are trying to "get". You might take out someone else, someone who bid 2 and wants this trick so badly, you take their tricks and hope that the extra will go to the person you need to take out or if that's not effective enough just wait and be patient and when your target plays an ace late in the round (and yes wait, don't take their first ace or their first trump. Usually the player in first is bidding 2 on a hand they should be 3 on but they think someone is going to take their tricks so they arm themselves with back-ups) so wait and make sure you're taking a trick they need. If you wait too long and they get their bids earlier, well then I'm sure their desperate to dump so hang back and see if they will take an extra. One of my favorite spoilers is Smurf, and I hope she's not too upset about me mentioning her, but what she does is actually quite hilarious. If someone takes her out or upsets her, she generally doesn't do anything in that game, but waits, mentally remembers the name of the player and the next game she plays with that player BANG out of no where, even if she's like in 2nd place and battling for first, she'll scratch and attack the player that got her in the game before. Evil, but hey the spoiler is the spoiler, so watch out for them.

3 - Lastly the good spoiler - The good spoiler, oxymoron I know, but sometimes there is a good strategy for being a spoiler. I was in a recent triad, I was first and I couldn't make the bids even. I knew that the chance of me getting the extra was really high. So I made a bid and then did everything in my power to make sure that the 2nd place person took the extra and not just the extra card but all my bids too. I simply throw off and tried to get none of my bids. The reason for this spoiler strategy was simple. I was ahead, if everyone scratches, I'm still ahead. I don't need to make my bids, Other effective spoilers, if you're battle for top 10 and you are playing with another player in the top 10 and you are losing. You might want to target that player get him/her to scratch. This way if you're losing points in the top 10, they too will lose points or not get as many. I know that the Online Tournament Rules forbid players from targeting, but the tournament is all but over, but the top 10 race continues so you have my permission to go ahead and take them out (Not me of course

Update on Amigo’s proposed “Wizard Extreme” card game. (cont. from April)

I have received a copy of the game which is currently called, “Die Sieben Siegel” (The Seven Seals). It consists of 75 cards valued 1-15 in Red, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet. 27 Seals (coins): 5 red, 3 green, 3 blue, 3 violet, 4 white, 6 black. Plus 1 ‘Saboteur figure. Basically it is a bidding game in which you must not only predicate how many tricks that you are going to take but also to indicate how many tricks of each color. (Red is always Trump) In addition one player can assume the role of Saboteur whose task it is to disrupt others from making their bids correctly.

I was not impressed by the game but when I checked out the rankings on I found a lot of favorable comments about “Die Sieben Siegel”. In fact it ranks 377th overall which is better than “Wizard” which ranks 400th overall.

It appears that “Amigo” plans to forge ahead and relaunch and rename the game “Wizard Extreme” in hopes of cashing in on the popularity of Wizard. We are in no position to sidetrack the plan and the best we can hope for is a small royalty (in the area of 2%) for being cooperative.
I have made a proposal to “U.S. Games Ltd” as to how we should respond and I hope to provide an update in the next Newsletter

Toronto Tournament 2010

Friday evening. There will be no formal Wizard tournament as there was in 2009 when Joe Andrews ran a demonstration event. Naturally pick-up games will be available for those interested. I also plan to bring along a prototype of my new word game that is called WOW (World of Words). It has already been licensed and will be available in time for Christmas 2010. Unlike most popular word games including “Scrabble” the game is designed to produce words longer than 5 or 6 letters. Longer words such as ‘wheelbarrow’ or ‘misunderstanding’ will score you extra points. Again this is informal and open to anyone interested in giving it a try. I may also bring along a prototype of my new game of questions and answers. It is not really a ‘game’ because there are no rules and the fun is simply the challenge of answering questions. It is a work in progress and I would be interested in receiving feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Fairness Beyond the Rules

A recent poll indicated overwhelmingly that players consider 3 completed rounds as the top limit for restarting a game, either because a player dropped or because a new player wants to participate. Any restart beyond 3 completed games should only be condoned if all players agree. In reality the host makes the decision but in fairness the 3 completed rounds limit should be conformed to in practice.

The 5-Month Tournament

After four months of play Mactonight nailed down a spot in the World Wizard Tournament in Germany on October 2, 2010. His scores for Jan-Feb-Mar-Apr were:

2.5 + 2 + 2 + 1.5 for a total of 8

At the end of April the 4 in contention for the 2nd trip to Germany were:

02. Mphenix..................04+9.5+1+07= 21.5…..(best 3 = 12)
03. wizard.....................05+08+8+1.5= 22.5…..(best 3=14.5)
04. Silent Sam...............06+3.5+6+10= 25.5…..(best 3=15.5)
05. ap sirius.................17+5.5+6+3.5= 31.5……(best 3 =15)

As in golf lowest total is best. Players can use the lowest 4 scores of the 5 played to compute their final score. A low score by any one of the 4 players above could clinch the final spot.

Had the tournament been structured differently G_LOUMIS might have taken the top spot as he ranked number 1 in both Jan and Feb…01+01..which is quite an accomplishment.

Marko’s Update May 28, 2010

4days left of the Five month long tourney.

(Results as of 8:30a.m,)

Top SR all Players:

1 TMLCUJO 1.75
2 TPB11731 1.2
3 Mactonight 1
4 Beaver 0.96
5 Cargobeep 0.84
6 Mphenix 0.76
7 tuokool 0.73
7 JMB5779 0.73
9 VJ 0.69
10 JUDJ 0.65
11 KBMCDEV 0.59
12 Wizpopper 0.53
13 BlCross_99 0.51
14 Ap Sirius 0.49
15 Alls Good 0.33
16 Orca 0.3
16 Wizard 0.3
18 Brian W 0.29
19 Silient Sam 0.27
20 Midget Turkey 0.14

Points All Players

1 Cargobeep 140
2 Mactonight 108
3 Brian W 102
4 TuoKool 75
5 TMLcujo 70
6 Mphenix 66
8. TpB11731 48
9 Beaver 46
10 Blcross_99 42
11 Ap Sirius 41
12 Silent Sam 38
13 Wizard 37
13 Judj 37
15 VJ 36
16 JmB5779 29
17 Wizpopper 24
18 Allsgood 23
19 Orca 19
20 Midget Turkey 15

Total scores ALL Players

1 Mactonight 5
2 Cargobeep 6
3 TMLCujo 6
4 TPB117311 10
5 TuoKool 11
6 Mphenix 12
7 Beaver 13
8 KbmcDev 18
9 Brian W 21
10 JUDJ 23
10 Blcross_99 23
10 JMB5779 23
13 VJ 24
14 AP Sirius 25
15 Wizpopper 29
15 Wizard 29
17 Silent Sam 31
18 Alls Good 33
19 Orca 35
20 Midget Turkey 40

Total Scores Tournament Players ONLY

1 Mactonight 5
2 TMLCujo 6
3 TPB117311 10
4 TuoKool 11
5 Mphenix 12
6 KbmcDev 18
7 Brian W 21
8 JUDJ 23
8 Blcross_99 23
8 JMB5779 23
11 VJ 24
12 AP Sirius 25
13 Wizard 29
14 Silent Sam 31
15 Orca 35
16 Midget Turkey 40

The Race for Germany currently looks like this if it ended today

Mactonight Best 4 would = 6.5
Mphenix best 4 would = 17
Wizard Best 4 would = 22.5
TPB117311 Best 4 would = 24
Toukool Best 4 would = 25
SIlent Sam Best 4 would = 25.5
AP Sirius Best 4 would = 27

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