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Author: Subject: September Newsletter 2010

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posted on 9-19-2010 at 08:59 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
September Newsletter 2010


Mac's Moments

It’s time for another Mac’s Moments. Before heading off to Germany I had a rare opportunity to talk to one of the greatest players in the wizard world. Here is Mac’s Moments with Cargobeep.

Mactonight – Well well well, if it’s isn’t the Cargobeep.
Cargobeep – Don’t start Mac.
Mactonight – What? I’m just here to do a friendly interview with the Number 1 ranked
player in the world.
Cargobeep – You’re the number 1 ranked player in the world.
Mactonight – Whatever, we are flip flopping like a fish out of water.
Cargobeep – What do you want Mac?
Mactonight – I figured out why we have such a love/hate relationship.
Cargobeep – There’s no love on this side let’s make that clear.
Mactonight – I think, you are like a hurricane and I’m like a tropical cyclone.
Cargobeep – What are you talking about?
Mactonight – We are both very much the same, but whenever we are together the
destructive force is overwhelming.
Cargobeep – You’re a nutjob.
Mactonight – Let’s play nice for a bit.
Cargobeep – You’re such a dork.
Mactonight –You’re a moron.
Cargobeep – That’s the best you got?
Mactonight – You came to Ontario in 2008 for Wizfest in Niagara.
Cargobeep – Biggest mistake of my life.
Mactonight –Oh.?
Cargobeep – Elessar treated me like a model taking pictures of me every chance he had,
Officer214 spent the whole time hitting on me and asking me if I wanted to
see his gun.
Mactonight –You lie. I was there. You sat in the corner getting drunk on Green tea bags.
Cargobeep – You’re a tool.
Mactonight –Captain hammer, corporate tool.
Cargobeep – What are you talking about?
Mactonight – Wizard has talked about live tournaments and how they are becoming
impractical. I honestly believe that this year might be one of the last ones.
Cargobeep – You promised you would bring a Wizard Cards Tournament to BC.
Mactonight – I never promised, I said I would try.
Cargobeep – And have you tried?
Mactonight –In 2009 we figured out that there were two groups of people in the BC area;
there is a group in the North and a group in the South. If you hold the
Tourney in the North then the people in the south or on the Island would
have to travel about 13 hours to get there, if you hold it in the south, then
you might be able to get people from USA to travel up into Canada, but then
the people in the North, including the likes of oh…you, would have to travel
about 13 hours to get to it.
Cargobeep – You’re thinking makes me wonder how you put your pants on in the
Mactonight –There you go always thinking about my pants.
Cargobeep – You wish.
Mactonight – There is no Genie in the world that would be so cruel as to grant that wish.
Cargobeep – If you build it, they will come Mac.
Mactonight – Build a wish? What am I a wish foundation?
Cargobeep – No, if you were to set up a tourney in BC people would come. I would be
willing to travel to Vancouver and I’m sure others would too. You know
Wert and Magicgirl would do everything they could to come. Mudd and
BlCross_99 would come for sure.
Mactonight – Well that’s 5 only 55 more to go
Cargobeep – Don’t be a negative bottom.
Mactonight –You’ve moved on to my bottom I see
Cargobeep – Here we go, can’t we have a serious conversation without making
everything about you?
Mactonight – Well there is some hope.
Cargobeep – Of everything not being about you?
Mactonight –Well no, I meant about BC and a tournament.
Cargobeep – Oh?
Mactonight –Wizard is thinking about adding the tournament to the Grand Prix
Tournament that travels throughout the States.
Cargobeep – How does that help us in BC?
Mactonight – Umm maybe one day the tournament will be in Seattle?
Cargobeep – That’s so fricken helpful. Do something about it would you?
Mactonight – I’m TRYING. But I’m not getting a lot of support.
Cargobeep – You’re totally useless.
Mactonight –Let’s go back in time, you found the site in 2007, how have things changed
since you started?
Cargobeep – Well Mac, it was more fun in the beginning, people chatted, they were
friendly. Did you know that I met someone online who thought I was
cheerleader and wanted me to post a picture on the wizard site?
Mactonight – Delusional idiot.
Cargobeep – You’re a twit.
Mactonight –You’re an undersized midget.
Cargobeep – I’m not that short.
Mactonight – You remember that time we created aliases and competed against each
other in a 10 game mini competition.
Cargobeep – Yeah, that was fun, back in the days when it was neat to do things like that.
Mactonight – Denny Crane is no longer around, so the alias issue is no longer an issue.
I want a rematch.
Cargobeep – No chance, at the end it was +32 for me and -2 for you. Just stay down.
Mactonight – You won 16 Top 10 wins and 10 in a row, then Wizard changed the way he
scored the top 10, and you haven’t won one since. No wonder you can’t
maintain number 1.
Cargobeep – You won the German online tournament, 5 straight months, where you
didn’t win the top 10 once. Since you’ve been number 1 you haven’t been
able to win 1 tournament, you bailed on Wizfest pretending to be Robin
Hood giving your spot to Wizard like some sort of charity, and even your
club nights, you haven’t won a single MP. I think it’s you that can’t handle
the pressure.
Mactonight -How does Robin Hood fit into this? You’re such a gumba-head
Cargobeep – A what?
Mactonight – It seemed so much easier back in the days.
Cargobeep – Maybe we should retire our names and create new ones.
Mactonight – Wouldn’t it be awesome to end a month tied and then both of us quit?
Cargobeep – If only there was a shooting star we could wish on….
Mactonight – Can we pretend that Airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?
Cargobeep – I can really use a wish right now, a wish right now a wish right now.
Mactonight – Somebody take us back to the days
Cargobeep – Before we were number 1
Mactonight – Before I got MP
Cargobeep – Before it ever mattered what alias I played
Mactonight – Yeah back when I was tryin' to learn the game
Cargobeep – And back when I was play'n for the hell of it
Mactonight – But now days we playin' to stay relevant
Cargobeep – I'm guessin' that if we can make some wishes out of airplanes
Mactonight - Then maybe oh maybe I'll go back to the days
Cargobeep- Before the politics that we call the Wiz game
Mactonight - And back when ain't nobody listened to anything we say
Cargobeep- And back before I tried to win it all
Mactonight - But this is for Cargobeep
Cargobeep- What's up Mactonight?
Mactonight - So can I get a wish to end the politics
Cargobeep- And get back to the game that started this…ah…crap
Mactonight - So here we stand
Cargobeep- And then again we say
Mactonight - I'm hopin' we can make some wishes outta airplanes
Cargobeep- Whatever!
Mactonight – Ha, got you to rap with me. I’m amazing.
Cargobeep – Yes Mac, you’re sooooooo number 1.
Mactonight – No you are, I’m just holding it for you.
Cargobeep – Since you’re totally useless in everything else can you do at least one thing
for me?
Mactonight – I’m not going you a good-bye hug.
Cargobeep – Don’t make me smack you!
Mactonight – Umm – no better not. This is a family newsletter.
Cargobeep – Here we go.
Mactonight – Ok what do you want?
Cargobeep – Make sure Mr. Wizard doesn’t win the German Tournament.
Mactonight – Now that’s a wish I am glad to grant.

Wizard Fest 2011 (All plans are tentative)
As reported in the last issue the current plan is to hold the event on Friday-Saturday, August 5-6, 2011 in Buffalo, NY. The venue is now being rethought and the Buffalo location is dubious. This is very much a work in progress.
Joe Andrews and Ken Fisher will act as co-hosts. The event will be limited to a maximum of 52 players
Friday: Welcoming Reception
Saturday: Tournament
Round 1: (3 games) Top 32 to stay in. Regular Bidding with CR
Rounds 2-5 Hidden Bid. No CR
Rnd 2 32 Eight tables: top 2 stay in
Rnd 3 16 Four tables: Winner stays in
Rnd 4 04 Final Four
All games are tables of 4 players.
Registration in 2 Phases
Phase 1: Jan.1 - May 31: For qualified players
Phase 2: June 1-July 31: Open to all
* Details in last month’s issue
Location, Entry Fee and Prizes not determined as yet.

Local Tournament Program
This program was outlined in the August issue.
The program is being initiated by “US Games Systems” and is not directed at online players although they are certainly welcome to participate. Many Wizard players have already indicated on a mail-in survey that they are interested in participating in a local Wizard tournament. “US Games Systems” will be following up the survey with an invitation to host a local tournament. The mail out will be restricted to those players who expressed an interest in a local tournament. The list is comprised of over 1300 who expressed an interest in a local tournament. Those players who accept the invitation to act as a host will receive a “Wizard Tournament Kit” that was described in last month’s Newsletter.

Medieval Wizard
Most of you should be familiar with the new Wizard Medieval deck. “US Games Systems” is no longer able to provide the “Wizard Gift Version” that was packaged in a leather case. To fill the vacated niche the Medieval Wizard deck will be packaged along with a set of “Wizard Bidding Coins” in a lidded box and should retail for approximately $24.95. Considering the coins alone are $16 plus shipping and the regular game is $8-$10 the Medieval deck should be popular. The themed cards round out the “Wizard and Jester” motif, the coins will finally be available in retail outlets and the two-piece packaging make it a great gift item for Wizard enthusiasts. Sorry to say it won’t be available in time for Christmas 2010.

Wizard signs Agreement for App
WIZARD has signed an agreement to produce an App limited to the i-Phone, i-Pod Touch, i-Pad and Droid. The App will be for a one player version where the player competes against the computer device. No multiplayer games in which one player competes with other players through online or interconnected devices will be permitted.
This is a small step to explore the App market and to test the waters for future developments.

Wizard Investors See some Blue Sky
Wizard investors received a pleasant surprise in late August when a small dividend was declared. This is the first dividend in several years. The decision to greatly reduce expenses by cutting the cost of the live tournaments and putting a hold on web-development made the dividend possible. The App mentioned in the previous article is being developed at no cost to Wizard although we will share in the profits.

Team North America
For a variety of reasons, including cost-cutting, I have decided not to join “Team North America” in their conquest of the Wizard World Championships in Germany on October 2, 2010. However “U.S. Games Systems” will have representation to cheer on our team. The players will all be provided with Wizard Caps to wear to signify that they are from “The New World”. The 4 players will get together for a pre-tournament dinner on the Friday evening. This will provide an opportunity to bond and plan team strategy. I hope that they are as confident as I am of their success.
* Perhaps you’d like to send each of them a personal e-mail wishing them well. mphenix:
abacus: mactonight:

Reminder of Top 10 Rankings System
The ranking of the Top 10 for each calendar month is based on the sum of 2 other rankings. Your ranking in POINTS is added to your ranking in SR (skill ratio) to determine your final monthly Top-10 rank.
If you rank 5th in points and 7th in SR your final score is 12. As in golf low score is best.
* SR is number Points divided by number of games played.
5 points in 10 games gives an SR of .5

To scratch or not to scratch. (mactonight)

Is there ever a time when scratching is actually the right play to make? Let’s ponder. I was in a game this month where my strategy was to actually scratch in order to help me improve my placement at the end of the game. Here is the scenario, it was a 6 player game and it was the 8th round. There was one player that was ahead of everyone else and 2-6 were separated by 40 points and I was in second. During this round, the leader had bid 0 everyone else bid 1 or 0 and one player bid 4 making it an even bid. The player that bid 4, also bid last. Whenever a player bids last, bids a lot and makes it even, guess what USUALLY it means they are trying to stretch their hand. Usually it means they are hoping to win with an off-suit ace or an off-suit king or sometimes with an even lesser card. I made my bid early and I watched as the cards were played. It came to a point where the person that needed four waited until the end to get their four bid. You ever see that, NORMALLY that means they want everyone else to get their tricks so that it’s much easier for them to get theirs. Much easier to win with an off-suit 10 if everyone is playing low or jestering because they don’t want any more tricks. So what I decide was that I was going to hold on to my trump and see if I could steal one of the tricks. Why you ask? Why would I scratch, go down -10 when I had a 30 bid made? Well here was my thinking. It’s a close game and the other player is making 60 points and will pass me into 2nd. By scratching I lose -10 and the other player loses -10 and everyone else makes 20 or 30 points…but so what. At the end of the round, I was 30 more points behind 1st and 2 other players got a little closer to me, but I remained in 2nd. If I had let the player make a 4 bid, then he gains 30 points and moves ahead of me, the leader is still ahead of me and the other 2 players are in the same position as they were before the round started. So, if everyone makes their bids, I’m actually in a worse position than the round before with one round less to play. Instead of trying to catch 1 person I’m now chasing 2. If I scratch and take the 4 bid person with me, I’m still in second, and yes it’s much closer and yes my chance of getting first is greatly impaired, but there’s only 2 rounds left in the game. There’s not much time to make up bids and letting someone get ahead of you means you have even less chance of catching 2 people than trying to catch 1. I know it doesn’t seem right, but let’s assume that you’re in a tournament, and it is top 2 that moves on, if you let that player make a 60 point bid and pass you into 2nd, well now you’re 3rd, now you’re in a situation where you might be eliminated from the rest of the tournament all because you wanted to get your bid and not scratch. To those that play for fun and don’t care about where they finish, then this strategy may not work for you, but for those that play to make the top 10 or for Master Points, you may find yourself in a situation where giving up 1st place to assure that you’re 2nd is the right play to make.

Milton: Wizard Card Game Variation: (mactonight)

It was brought to my attention that the Wizard Card Game Variation named “Milton” isn’t really listed anywhere on the site and that a lot of players have never heard of it. So I was challenged to write up a little something about this variation and try to get players to test it out. First, a little history on this variation. No, I didn’t invent it. It was actually created by Ken Mccoy (aka Abacus) who runs the Toronto West Club. They had originally met in Milton, Ontario Canada and the game was put together during their club events and so the game was called Milton in honor of that great town. So how is this game played? It’s designed for 4 handed play, but can be played with 3, 5 and 6 handed as well. In this game all hands are prebid ahead of time before the game starts.
Here is what it looks like for a 4 player game:

First two hands bid ''0''
Next four hands bid ''1''
Next four hands bid ''2''
Next four hands bid ''3''
Last hand bid ''4''

0|0|1|1|1|1|2|2|2| 2| 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 4

So regardless of what is in your hand you have to bid 0 in the first round. BUT BUT what happens if I have a wizard? Well bad luck, you’re -10 better luck in round 2. In round 5 you have to bid 1, BUT BUT I have 4 jesters and an off-suit 3. Well bad luck you’re -10 again. This game eliminates the use of individual biddings and instead requires that each player learn to STRETCH or DUMP cards. I have found this variation to be very helpful in learning to play with the cards you have. You want to learn how Cargobeep can make a 2 bid despite having 1 wizard 4 trump and 2 outside aces? Play a few games of Milton and and learn how to DUMP those high cards. Want to learn how to make a 3 bid with no trump in your hand, play Milton and see that under certain circumstances it’s very possible to do. Remember with Milton, everyone is in the same predicament. Some players will have too many cards and have to fight to not get more than 3 bids in the 11th round, while another player is throwing their hands up saying how am I supposed to get 3 with this crappy hand. Trust me, it’s a lot of fun.

How to play it online: This variation has been played on-line many times but the software for this variation isn’t available, so you have play manually each round by each player purposely bidding the exact number for each round that is suggested for the Milton score card. The host usually tells the rest of the players in the table chat area, when and what to bid in advance on each turn. It’s very difficult to play Milton online because if 1 player doesn’t bid the pre-set bid, well you have to start all over again.

Online Tourney Ranking (OTR)

What is the Online Tournament Ranking and why do we have Tournament Rankings anyway?

I noticed one day that there were a lot of players who ended up at the final tables of a lot of tournaments, but never seemed to get recognized as a “good” player because they either didn’t make the top 10 or don’t have time to play as many games during the month as other players did. I thought there should be a way to get these players noticed so with the help of Merlin and with the permission and approval of Wizard the Online Tournament Rankings was born.

Here is how the rankings are calculated:

If you show up and are out of the first round, we award you with a participation award which is 1 point.
For every round you advance you get an additional 5 points
So if you are out in the second round, you get 1 point for showing up and 5 points for advancing one round so your total is 6
This year we pretty much determined that all online tournaments would be 3 rounds. I haven’t seen a 4 round tourney in quite sometimes so all of this year’s scores are based on 3 rounds of play.
The final table has one change to it. If there are 24 players or less the 1-6 looks like this
If you come 1st you get 5 additional points
If you come 2nd you get 4 additional points
If you come 3rd you get 3 additional points
If you come 4th you get 2 additional points
If you come 5th you get 1 additional point
If you are 6th well you get no additional points.

If however there are 25 or more players, then everyone seated 1-6 gets an extra point
1=6 2=5, 3=4, 4=3, 5=2 and 6=1

So, the total number of points that can be earned by the top player in a 24 or less numbered tourney is 16 ( 1 + 5 + 5 + 5)and the total number earned by the top player in a 25+ tourney is 17.(1+5+5+6) (1 for showing up 5+5 for advancing 2 rounds and 6 for being 1st)
The reason we decided on this formula was to allow players who can’t play in every tournament to still have a chance to catch up. By keeping the numbers low everyone can still be in the running well into the year. Also this way coming in first doesn’t give you a HUGE advantage. Your ranking can be based on consistent play. You can be in the top 5 and have never won an online tournament.

A quick look at the rankings based on last year to this year.
Last years top 10: (As of Sept 15th 2009) (TP = Total points – GP= games played)

Ap Sirius............213.............21

This years top 10: (as of Sept 15th 2010)

Brian W...................146..................22

To see last years Final standing for the OTR go here:
To see this years OTR go here:


Life is not about waiting for the storm to’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Have a tremendous Fall (no pun intended)

Ken Fisher

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