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Author: Subject: July 2011 Newsletter

Mood:  Bemused
posted on 7-22-2011 at 11:07 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
July 2011 Newsletter


The Misery of a Fair Game Part 5…mactonight

Last time we talked a little bit about ranting. This time, we’re going to look at the differences between regular play and tournament play. Is there a difference? Should there be? I sometimes think so, and then I change my mind. Let’s discuss.

If one looks at the rule book that you get with your pack of wizard cards when you purchase a deck, you will notice a sheet of rules that you are supposed to adhere to. The rule book is actually pretty small, and from what I can see, the majority of it is an explanation of how the game is to be played. If you look at the Online Tournament rules and the Regular Tournament rules, you will see a much bigger list of dos and don’ts. In fact, most of the rules are in place to “protect” the leader or those who are doing well. Why are there so many more rules for the online tournaments than for the online regular game? Is there a greater importance placed on tournaments than on regular games? Some might say yes, but I’m here to challenge that… or am I? I’m confusing myself.

Tournaments are meant to be a competition between players for the end goal of being crowned champion. In fact, Wizard has changed the rules, and much like the Olympic games, if you’re not in the top 3, you won’t even be recognized. Most of the time, only the players in the top 3 are listed, with their Master Points displayed for all to see. Tournaments are not supposed to be just for fun, but for winning. There’s that profound statement again.

Far too often, players in Tournaments FORGET that they aren’t just playing a game. The rules in a tournament are a little different. Usually, you don’t have to be first or second in the earlier rounds of a tournament in order to advance, and sometimes you can be third or fourth. Players should be playing with this in mind. In a recent tournament, where the top three moved on, the 4th place player in the final round started the round off by wizzing the 6th place player. Now why would anyone do that? If he (or she) made her (or his) bid, she (or he) would still be 4th, and in a tournament where the top three move on, making your bid and coming in 4th makes no difference compared to not making your bid and coming in 5th. You have to adjust your thinking in tournaments. Save that wizard and attack third or second. Also, if you’re in the top 3, there’s no point in attacking the first place person. Better to attack the 4th or 5th place person and keep them down. Separate yourself from them.

“BUT, BUT, BUT, MAC, you said earlier that the goal is to win, something about it being a profound statement, now you’re saying it’s better to attack those below you if you’re 3rd or better. What’s up with that?” Thank you mysterious-talking-to-myself voice. In a tournament where the goal is top 3, you’re playing for top 3, and therefore, top 3 is a victory. In one tournament, I bid 2 and the player directly behind me bid 6. Well guess what? I didn’t make my bid. Instead, I decided that I would try to give that player my two tricks, because if they get 80 points to my 40 points, then they would get far to close to me, or ahead of me, and it’s a better strategy to do that than to make my bid. Making your bid is not always the best strategy…”but, but, but wait, Mac. Can’t one do that in a regular game too?”

Yes, of course you can, but I’m not there yet. I don’t want everyone to be as confused as I am, so hold on to that thought. The tournament game demands that players adjust, but it also calls for a higher level of fair play. If you’re 6th and you’re pretty much out of the game, you might bid 4 and get none if you’re playing a regular non-tournament game. In a tournament, that is just completely unacceptable. Argue that all you want, but anyone who bids 4 and gets none in tournament play should be banned forever. Poor sportsmanship or unfair play has no place in a tournament. I challenge anyone to tell me otherwise.

Likewise, if you’re sitting in first place and you HATE a player, you should not be attacking them and forcing them to lose. I understand and respect that a person in first might target a “BETTER PLAYER” with the hope of that “BETTER PLAYER” being eliminated so that you don’t have to face that player again. I get that. But to help your buddy or a family member or anyone else to advance because you’d rather that player be in than someone else is not fair play. I challenge anyone to tell me differently. Let me put it this way: would you play differently if everyone who played online got a number so that the host was number 1 and then from left to right it was 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and you had no idea who those numbers represented? Would you save number 2 to get number 5? The answer is no. You wouldn’t care about any of the numbers. You’d only care about where you stand at the end. That’s how a tournament should always be played.

Now, throughout this article, I’ve hinted that there is a connection between tournament play and regular play in that, hey, the idea of fair play in a tournament should not be any different from that in a regular game. Why is it more acceptable for someone to bid 4 and get 0 or to bid 0 and have 2 wizards in a regular game? Why is the object of a tournament (profound statement alert), which is to win, different from a regular game, where the idea is also to win? Why is it that you can have a tournament game with no ranting at all, very little chat, and then there’s a regular game where people are talking about anything and everything, including the most recent American Idol show? This has caused me to flip flop on this issue. Here’s my best take….

The difference is that one is a tournament and the other is a game. I understand that, to some of us, it’s more like one is a tournament and the other is a competition. I get this. I get that any kind of unfair play is disruptive. But I think it’s important to remember that the regular game is a game first and a competition second. Players are supposed to have fun, and if fun means that someone bids 4 and gets’ none or someone bids 0 and is holding 2 wizards, then they are having fun, and I say, oh well, enjoy…just don’t do it in a Tournament.

The final installment will appear next month (insert cheers here), as we continue the discussion called The Misery of a Fair Game.

BRING BACK THE FUN IN AUGUST. (written by mactonight with minor changes by wizard.)

The Poll has voted in favor of FUN!

During the month of August you are playing WIZARD solely for FUN!
There will be no top 10 and no MP awarded at the end of the month.

This is done in an attempt to bring “FUN” back to the Wizard card online game.

We hope that this will encourage players to try new strategies, try to take chances, maybe

play a 4 player game or even a new variation. The point of this month is to have fun.

Any tournaments that are played this month will also be for fun. Mactonight and Merlin

are planning to host various tournaments including a Maximus tournament and a

Sabatour. We’re going to try anyway.

Let’s make this August a fun and special time!

So important notes; The JULY Top 10 that would normally be played in August will

move to September. Hidden Bid and Mixed Bid tournaments will not be played and will

be replaced with Beta tournaments.

Also the Annual STATUS tournament will be played in September as well.

Any question or thoughts to make August more fun, please let us know.

Although points will continue to be calculated by the computer and show in the “GET ALL SCORES” box, in reality they are meaningless and should be ignored.


The September 23-24 event at the BOARDWALK INN in Disneyworld promises to be a unique event. Not only is the location special but the tournament will be the first not to use an elimination process to determine a winner. Players will play 5 separate games against different players and will be allowed to drop their lowest matrix score to arrive at their final score. Although many of you will not be able to experience the event I hope to provide video coverage for you to enjoy on the web at a later date.


There’s no echo in here. “Echo” is a space reserved in the monthly Newsletter for comments, feedback, contributions, etc.

We’d like to hear from YOU. Mactonight has written voluminously in the Newsletters but receives feedback that ranges from nil to an iota. You are not only invited to comment but also to CONTRIBUTE. Write an entire article of your own and send it along or simply provide a 2-3 word comment but do not remain completely silent. Get involved.

P.S. Don’t forget to visit the WIZARD blog site at

Please feel free to contribute Wizard-related pics. I’ll censure the naughty bits and post them on the blogsite.


As you may or may not know there is a section on the Wizard website known as the “Wizard Shoppe”. Currently only Wizard T-shirts are available and there has been limited interest in the ‘store’. The opportunity to purchase Wizard regalia may soon be greatly enhanced. “U.S. Games Systems” is considering adding a line of Wizard-related items to their next catalogue. Items that may be available for purchase would include T-shirts, Pins, Cards, and Hats. We’ll keep you updated and if there are additional items that you’d like to be able to purchase let me know and maybe the list can be enlarged.


“U.S. Games Systems” is in the process of producing a Wizard deck with large indices so that those of us with failing eyesight will have less difficulty in ‘reading’ the cards. Also under serious consideration is a Wizard deck in Braille so that the blind will be able to enjoy the magic of the Wizard cards.

Wizard Members Unite

It has been suggested that there may be some interest in members helping each other beyond the card game. The membership covers a vast spectrum of talents and occupations. Members may be able to support and assist each other in a variety of ways. For example at the recent “Pickering Wiz-Fest” the Champion Trophy was designed by a Wizard member who also provided unique Wizard mugs for purchase. Whether you’re in real estate, sales, electronics or pet supplies there may be Wizard members interested in your products or talents. Here’s another opportunity to provide input and feedback.

Do you have a product or service that you’d like to offer to Wizard members? Let me know and maybe we can initiate a co-op to everyone’s benefit.


Another idea floating around is the formation of a “National Wizard Organization”.

To get an idea of what services it would provide you can have a look at the “NPA” site. (National Pinochle Association) at />
There would be a small yearly fee to be a member. The 2 Wizard Clubs currently in operation provide a good jumping-off point. Joe Andrews who set up the “Grand Prix Tournaments of Cards” has offered to lend his expertise in getting this up and running.

Again rather than sit back and see what takes place we’d like to hear from you on this matter as well.

Hope to see you all having FUN on the Wizard site in August.

Ken Fisher

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