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June 2, 2012

Phil's facebook videos - Post 2

More notes from Phil's videos on the USBGF facebook page.  Once again, highly recommended!!


3/9/12. Reply Rolls. When is it right to hit two checkers?   54S-41, 21S-41 and 41S-41 and 51S-41, and 6XS-65, and 32Z-32.

Early game hitting.  Phil is showing the contrast between hitting once, on the 5 point – to the ONLY situations where you hit two checkers on the reply roll.

54S-41?  H or 13/9, 6/5*.  You must challenge on the 5 point.   Down is best to bring more covers / attackers for the five point.  Double hitting the ace point is silly.  You don’t want to blitz, and you don’t want the ace point either.

21S-41?  K or 6/2*/1*.  Mostly you are hitting two because the roll sucks and you got nothing better.  You can’t give your opponent a free hand to improve his position next roll.  Also note that leaving the 2 point slotted is silly since you don’t even want the deuce – and – you are unlikely to cover it since bring a man down from the midpoint fails to give a direct cover.

6XS-65?  K or 13/7*, 6/1*.  Hit off the ace mainly to “protect” the man on the bar.  This is a “steal the bar” play.  Note the extra outfield blot provides extra incentive to hit two checkers.  If the game turns into a blitz, you might pick up that checker.

32Z-32?  K or 6/3*/1*.  Similar logic to the 41 Kill plays.  You need to distract the opponent.  The 3 point isn’t too desirable to have so you might as well hit two – also playing down from the midpoint doesn’t give you a direct cover for the slotted point.

Other than these above cases, you never hit two checkers on the second roll (excepting doubles)

3/14/12. Example of doubling cube process. 

Doubling Cube Process:

1)      Woolsey’s Law.  Look at position from opponent’s POV.

a.       Is it a Drop?

                                                              i.      Yes àthen double (unless you are too good)

                                                            ii.      No àproceed to next step

b.      Is it a Take?

                                                              i.      No or unsure à Double (let your opponent sweat it out.  Give him a chance to error)

                                                            ii.      Yes à proceed to next step

2)      It may be right to Double even if opponent is taking.  Depends on how likely you are to lose your market.  How often after the next exchange of rolls will your opponent be dropping?

a.       O’Hagan’s Law of Market Losers.  Generally minimum 25% market losers for non-volatile position.

3)      Other factors – which can tweak the decision to cube or not cube.

a.       Gammons.  Need to cube in a money game to activate gammons.

                                                               i.      Lots of gammons –cube early, or can cube with lower win %

                                                             ii.      Few gammons – cube late, or need to cube with higher win %

b.      Match score. Gammon values and recube potential for opponent vary depending on match score.

                                                               i.      High GV – cube early, or with lower win %

                                                             ii.      Low GV – cube late, or with higher win %

                                                            iii.      Opponent has dead or crippled cube – cube earlier since opponent won’t be able to double you out.  Usually you are behind in match so opponent won’t want to see a 4 cube.

                                                           iv.      Opponent has early rerube – cube later.  Usually you are way ahead in match so want to make sure you don’t see a 4 cube.

c.       How difficult / easy is the position to play for you and opponent? Meaning how likely are you or the opponent to cough up equity via future checker  play errors or cube errors. 

                                                               i.      A tough position for the opponent to play might justify and early cube to capture his future errors (while a tough position for you to play might argue to hold the cube and wait)

                                                             ii.      An easy position for the opponent to play might argue for waiting to cube.

d.      Opponent Specific Weaknesses.

                                                               i.      Is he a dropper?  A taker?

                                                             ii.      Are you the much superior or weaker player?

Doubling cube Example:

Even ~80 pip race with little contact.  Doubler has free shot at blot to win the game.  A miss and the race is close.

1)      If you hit the 2 shot, you win ~100% of games.  So about 1/3 of the time you just win. 

2)      If you miss you are about 60-40 favorite in an even race.

3)      So double is clear…

4)      So is the take…

3/20/12.  Bear in Tip versus 2 point anchor.

You have 8 point thru 3 point. Scenario is you have 21 to play.  

·         Hold the prime? 

·         Clear 8 point? 

·         Clear 7 point?

Opponent nowhere near crashing in this example, so holding the prime is clearly wrong (though it could be correct in a different position)

Clearing the 8 point is usually wrong and clearing the 7 point I usually right.  Why?

The reason is 5’s.  Fives are your problem number so you want to clear the bar now.  Note the spare on the 6 point gives you an extra five to play should you need it.

3/23/12.  Example of a Take Process from Cleveland tournament.

Take Process

1)      Calculate Takepoint.

TP =Takepoint ATS + (Net Gammon Differential * GV)

2)      Then look at position and ask yourself if you think you can win that percent of the time or not.

If yes, Take

If no, Drop

Phil’s Example

Example was 3 away 3 away.  Generally double earlier and drop earlier at this score because your opponent has a higher take point.  Gammon value is moneyish at .5

Phil estimated Takepoint ATS as 25% and Net Gammons 20% so adjusted takepoint was 35%.  In the example position he had about 40% win chances so the take was clear.  The point of the video was the Take process and calculation.

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