Getting an edge or not
Apr 7th by Peter Hallberg
Backgammon has been kind of slow recently because I have spent all my time working on my poker game. I got involved in a poker project where I'm writing a poker blog a couple of times a week and doing a lot of hand analysis and strategy discussions.
Anyhow, I came by this fun proposition at a recent backgammon club night. We were having some fun playing DMPs for beer. Of course we what it to be fair so we handicap the games according to skill level.
I was to play a beginner and he wanted to get the opening roll no matter who rolled the highest die. I thought that I could give him a little more and offered him doubles too. After a couple of games it was clear that I could spot him a bit more equity by handing him the first two roll including doubles. I didn't do well after that. Another player came by and offered to spot my opponent the same advantage if he was allowed to take a checker from his 6-point and 13-point and make his 23-anchor.
I laughed at him for giving accepting an even worse position that I have had. A lot of debate went on regarding who benefitted from the strong players getting his 23-anchor. We never came to a conclusion.
Now, to further confuse everybody we ended up debating how to move 21 in the opening roll if you were the player getting spotted the first two rolls. Some argued slotting the 5- and 4-point was best especially because you also had the next roll to cover. Others argued that just slotting the 5-point and getting a builder to the 11-point was better because it was more safe and offered better distribution and more checkers in the zone for future prime building. Again, we never came to even the slightest state of consensus.
This coming Easter Nordic Open is held in Denmark as usual. I didn't have the money to attend this year but fortunately I became runner up in the TV2 Backgammon Cup receiving an entry to Nordic Open. During the last few weeks poker has been all over the calendar and I haven't been able to prepare for Nordic as I wanted to. I just hope luck and variance will make up for the missing long hours of training.