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Author: Subject: July 2010 NEWSLETTER

Mood:  Bemused
posted on 7-22-2010 at 05:35 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote


It’s time for another Mac’s Moment
As my writer’s block continues, I’ve gone in search of interviews I conducted in the past and never had the opportunity to submit. Although this player hasn’t been online for some time, his accomplishments, and his history with site is worthy of the honor.. Here now is an interview I did, with a player who was quite, umm….well here is my interview with Elessar.

Mactonight – Hey There Elessar
Elessar – Surfs up Mactonight, Surfs up
Mactonight – Man, I hear you say that in chat all the time what does it even mean?
Elessar – There is a song that I listen to its called Coffin Father by Cradle of Filth.
Mactonight – NO no no. Don’t start on songs already; let me get through a couple of things first.
Elessar – The Alaskan malamute is a large breed of domestic dog originally bred for use as an Alaskan sled dog and is often mistaken for a Siberian husky
Mactonight – Why are you telling me this?
Elessar – According to the American Kennel Club, the primary criterion for judging the Malamute in a show is its ability to pull heavy freight. Did you enjoy Niagara?
Mactonight –I did. I had a blast at Wizfest 2008. Thank you once again for allowing me to room with you.
Elessar –The pleasure was all mine. Did you think about my idea?
Mactonight – The one about us toilet papering Cargobeep’s room?
Elessar – That would have been funny. I still use her picture on my facebook. But no the other idea.
Mactonight – The idea about us sitting down and writing a song about the event?
Elessar – Yes that one.
Mactonight –The one you wanted titled “2 boys sharing a room”?
Elessar – You remembered!
Mactonight –Yeah, I’m still not interested in that.
Elessar – Would you like something to eat?
Mactonight –I heard you were the self-proclaimed British chef extraordinaire
Elessar – The thing about food Mactonight…
Mactonight –Here we go
Elessar – Take for example Blackened Salmon, I don’t use butter, I use olive oil and after blackening in the pan I transfer the salmon to a baking sheet and finish it in the oven.
Mactonight –Whoopee doo.
Elessar – Did you know I organized the first officially recognized tournament when I lived State side?
Mactonight –I had no idea.
Elessar – Also played in and won the first ever 12 player game.
Mactonight –You played a game with 12 players?
Elessar – Yes, you only play 5 rounds.
Mactonight –You’re an administrator on the site and a share holder.
Elessar – That is true.
Mactonight – How did you get involved with Wizard?
Elessar – There was an ill wind blowing.
Mactonight - An ill wind?
Elessar – I met Ken Fisher and it went from there
Mactonight – What went from there?
Elessar – It’s exciting that Japan has expressed interest.
Mactonight – The whole country?
Elessar – No, I mean they have tournaments and such
Mactonight –Yes, and Germany too.
Elessar – Das Boot
Mactonight –That’s actually pretty funny.
Elessar – I made you laugh Mactonight?
Mactonight – Sure, if you could have five people on the final table who would they be?
Elessar – The classics – wizard, Merlin, Twit Meister, FizzwizzI and Denny Crane.
Mactonight –Denny Crane? Really
Elessar –
Mactonight –Are you there?
Elessar –
Mactonight –Elessar?
Elessar –
Mactonight – Here we go
Elessar – oh sorry I was basting a duck and had to quickly make a hollandaise sauce with ginger paste and flambé with a custard tart.
Mactonight –You have a reputation for disappearing in games.
Elessar – What do you mean?
Mactonight –Oh come on
Elessar – I disappear during games sometimes because my connection to the net gets lonely and goes wandering. Did you know I had the original idea for online Wizard back in 1997?
Mactonight – What?
Elessar – It’s true. I was very enthusiastic back then, Wizard even asked me to be the English Rep.
Mactonight – And you didn’t do it?
Elessar – No one plays here in England, it was more work then I was willing to take on.
Mactonight – You’ve kind of did a disappearing act for real. I haven’t seen you online in a long, long time.
Elessar – After 16 years I have decided to give it up as an addiction.
Mactonight – Going cold turkey?
Elessar – The thing about cooking a turkey….
Mactonight – no No NO! If you continue with food we will accomplish nothing.
Elessar – It’s like another Smurf type interview.
Mactonight –You actually read my interviews
Elessar – Nope, just that one, I like Smurf.
Mactonight –Well you should read the rest.
Elessar – Why, so I can boost up your already enlarged ego
Mactonight –Yeah, for that exact reason.
Elessar – Well you’re ego won’t get larger because of your wizard skill so I guess you got to get it from somewhere. I’ve been on the site since the beginning you have a long way to go.
Mactonight – Yes and my goal is to be like you LSR with all your Master Points.
Elessar – I have so pitifully few Master Points because I am too busy organizing in the shallow end of the pool, and then getting ravaged by sharks! Speaking of sharks, would you like some of the fish?
Mactonight – I don’t eat anything that swims.
Elessar – Some duck then?
Mactonight – I don’t eat anything that flies.
Elessar – Not even Chicken or Turkeys?
Mactonight – THEY DON’T FLY.
Elessar – Good point
Mactonight – I’m pretty smart you know.
Elessar – In all fairness I don’t think anyone could possible know that.
Mactonight – Shut up and eat your fish!

Join me next month, where I will sit down with the winners of Wizfest 2010 and the winners of the Online Tournament

WizFest 2010: July 30-31

It’s almost time for the annual tournament. For the second consecutive year it will be held at the “Delta Toronto East Hotel”. The maximum number of 60 entrants was fully booked 4 months in advance of the actual event. The format of a Friday evening reception followed by the tournament on Saturday will be repeated this year. The main difference this year is that there will be no cash prizes. Instead the top 2 will receive a trip to participate in the World Finals to be held in Germany on October 2 at the Burg Frankenstein which is located 40km from Frankfurt or about 15km south of Darmstadt.
The prize will consist of airfare plus accommodation for 2 nights and transfers from the airport to hotel and hotel to the tournament site and vice-versa. There will be entrants from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Finland, Greece, Sweden, Hungary, the USA and Canada. Following the German tournament there will be a "scary" tour around the castle, followed by a group dinner. It promises to be a wonderful experience and I wish the North American team the best of luck against the other national champions.

* As mentioned earlier there will be no formal Wizard games. Make-up games of Wizard are encouraged when and wherever you can find a space.
I’d appreciate 3 or 4 people to join me in testing the following:
(a) WOW (World of Words) My new word game scheduled to hit the market later this year.
(b) “Bar Exam” (Quizzes on Topics) A prototype question and answer activity that is not structured into a game format.
(c) Wizard Extreme: My adaption of the “Amigo” game, “Die Sieben Siegel”.(See below for more on this.) The main feature being one player per hand called the “Saboteur” whose task it is to prevent other players from making their bid.

Joe Andrews article in “GAMES” magazine.

Many of you know Joe Andrews. He was active in organizing the running of the Wizard Tournament held in Stamford, CT in 2006. He also organized the demonstration game held at last year’s welcoming reception. He is known by many more as the Founder and Director of “Grand Prix Card Tournaments”™ and “The World Series of Euchre”™. He is the author of numerous books, articles and columns on card game strategy, history and technique. In the latest issue of “Games” magazine he describes 4 commercial card games that are derived from familiar standard card games. “Wizard” is the lead-in story and I thank Joe for the kudos he provides. I hope to work more closely with Joe in the coming months and years. Pick up a copy of “Games” magazine for the complete article.


I entitle this tip, “The Key is to Know Before You lead it”. Far too often I see someone lead a card and they end up taking the extra one or winning a trick they didn’t want and most of the time it’s because they didn’t stop and think before they played it. You don’t always want to play a low card or a try to get rid of a trump without stopping for a second to make sure they aren’t all played out. For example, if there are 5 cards left and everyone but you needs a trick, leading trump isn’t necessarily the best thing to do. What happens if 4 of those cards are Wizards and one player plays a jester to protect their only trump card? You will end up getting the trick. Or far too often someone will play a low heart after hearts have been played for two rounds and they reflect afterwards, oh why did I play that one….it’s because the key is to know before you lead it, not after …mactonight

How about getting your 2 cents worth in? “Echo” was introduced to provide a forum for your feedback, suggestions, kudos, criticism, comments, advice, etc. So far Mactonight is the only one providing an “Echo”. C’mon, sound off!...wizard

Try It – You’ll Like It!

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating”
“One’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure”
“Advice is cheap”

The point is you have to experience something yourself to find out if it is “your cup of tea”.
Nevertheless if a great majority of people enjoy something it is more likely that you will enjoy it too.
With this thought in mind a number of popular card games have been ranked. It is important to know who has done the ranking. The data used has been culled from the site called, “”.
“BoardGameGeek” is a website that that reports on over 30,000 different games including card games and other tabletop games, as well as war games and video games. In addition to the game database, one of the key features is the statistical information obtained from player ratings. The site allows users to rate games on a 1–10 scale.
Ten games have been selected and their overall rankings are indicated. Only 4 of the 10 games are commercial games that require special decks. The 4 commercial games are marked with an asterisk *.

Game Rank

Bridge 129
Cribbage 271
*Wizard 408
Spades 528
Euchre 635
Pinochle 753
Hearts 806
*Skip-Bo 6094
*UNO 6096
*Phase 10 6154

As you can see Wizard is rated far higher than the other 3 commercial games although each of the other games outsell “Wizard” in the marketplace by a factor of at least 10 to 1. Go figure!
WIZARD…Try it! You’ll like it!

Wizard Extreme (Seven Seals)
As mentioned in earlier Newsletters “Amigo” is interested in rebranding its game, “Die Sieben Siegel” as “Wizard Extreme”. Both games are derived from “Oh Hell”. A description of “Die Sieben Siegel” follows:

* “Wizard” has agreed to permit “Amigo” to rebrand their game as “Wizard Extreme” for a small royalty fee.

Wizard Online

Question. “What happened to the much touted web-based (Beta) Wizard game? It was last updated on January 3, 2010. Has further development stopped?
Answer: Yes and No. Development has certainly taken a hiatus and future development is unclear. Nevertheless wheels are always in motion behind the scene. Currently there are discussions under way for the possible development of A.I. (artificial intelligence) which would at minimum allow an individual to play a game against a 3-person computer A.I. opponent. Ideally the A.I would also replace a player who left a game, allowing the game to be completed in a normal fashion. Once completed the web-based game could be ported to portable systems such as the i-pad and i-pod. The way forward is still unclear but keep posted for further developments.

Wizard Blog:

For more information than you really need to know about WOW (World of Wizard) visit the Wizard blog at:

Hope you are all enjoying the Summer,

Ken Fisher

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