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My most interesting position from Hudson - Pete Z
My most interesting position from Hudson
The position, with full unseen pool and whatnot, is HERE.

, including 4 unknown tiles from current player's rackIt's a relatively straight-forward one at first blush.  There are exactly seven tiles left in the bag, with both blanks unseen, and I trail 299 to 323.  I strongly suspect, due to an obvious fish the previous play, that my opponent holds at least one, and possibly both blanks, and considering the unseen pool unseen tiles (AANNNOORRSUW??), a bingo, while not automatic, seemed probable. My rack is CEIKRSV.  This rack yields one eight, which I did find relatively easily.  It also plays at 14A. 

Pete: Turn 12

1 L1 A1 C3 E1     P3 U1 N1 T1          
2       F4 A1 Z10 E1     O1 N1        
3   Y4 E1 T1 I1     Q10   T1 I1   O1 E1  
4 V4 A1 T1       P3 I1 N1 A1 S1 T1 E1 R1 S1
5 I1     W4 A1 D2       L1 I1       L1
6 O1 H4     B3 I1 B3     E1         Y4
7 L1 I1       F4 A1 M3 E1 D2         E1
8 E1           M3 I1 X8           R1
9 T1             G2              
10           J8 A1 G2 E1 R1          
11       D2 U1 O1                  
12 H4 U1 G2 E1                      
13 O1                            
14 O1                            
15 D2                            
 Chris Sheppardunknown323

My logic went as follows:  If I bingo, and he has a bingo, I lose.  and with any small fishing play, I'm drawing at a sub-optimal leave for the necessary bingo.  An intermediate play that scores probably blocks lines I may need to respond, and would probably get outrun by an out in two or three unless I draw a blank.  I decided to exchange KV, figuring that CEIRS +2 had a lot of potential on the wide open board, and sticking him with the V and the K might provide the points I'd need.

I just don't know if my logic was totally on the mark.  Quackle, after 1019 iterations, gives the following:
F10 (JO)CK             17    48.87%
K10 SICK                 34    48.50%
exch KV                      0     47.12%
14A (O)VERSICK   88    46.97%

I don't know if Quackle is wrong because it doesn't infer that a blank seems less likely to come out of bag than pure probability would dictate, or am I wrong to overestimate the chances that my opponent holds that blank?  I think the timing of the plays leads me towards the exchange being better than JOCK, as you're giving your opponent seven tiles if he bingoes, and if he doesn't, throwing a couple of clunky ones for him to work with.  SICK seems way too easy to outrun...

I think I did the right thing, I'm just not sure I fully understand why... I open it to the floor for discussion and insults of the author.

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Current Location: home
Current Mood: confused confused

7 comments or Leave a comment
baxwest From: baxwest Date: February 1st, 2008 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)


No question, for me. I bingo now. This gives your opponent one chance to bingo. He can't fish. You can't keep blocking and hope to catch him at the same time, being behind as much as you are.
Just my opinion.
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: February 1st, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)


well, partly I was judging by my previous experience and play against the opponent, someone I have played many many times. He has something of a tell, and I was pretty sure he had a bingo (or at least a blank and a help) on his rack. Maybe it played, maybe it didn't, but with as open as the board was, I assumed it did.

Now, without that info... I don't know. I agree that the blocking isn't the right choice. On this board, it seemed impractical. I thought bingo and exchange were the only two plays worth considering. Quackle's results were a bit surprising in that regard. with no additional info, I think bingoing may be right, although at the time, it seemed like a losing play to me.

baxwest From: baxwest Date: February 1st, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)


Makes sense. So what actually happened?
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: February 1st, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)


I exchanged KV... he bingoes down the N column with AUROrAe (both blanks). I drew WN for a rack of CEINRSW, so I won by 11, despite in my excitement placing the word down in a sub-optimal location.

baxwest From: baxwest Date: February 1st, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)


Congrats. You obviously made the right play.
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: February 1st, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

The fact that it worked by no means guarantees the correctness of the play

I've made some awful plays that worked great, and some great ones that ended up costing me, whether at scrabble or poker, or any other game.

I think it's a real toss-up situation, and that a good argument can be made for either bingo or exchange. I still don't like quackle's top two plays, nor do I understand why they sim (slightly) better.
baxwest From: baxwest Date: February 1st, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The fact that it worked by no means guarantees the correctness of the play

Well, you read your opponent correctly, and in that sense you made the right play.

I believe Quackle likes a play like JOCK because it realizes it's behind and needs to score some points. There are probably some instances where even if your play works you can still lose. Like if he bingos with the W, and you get to bingo back with a 1-pointer in its place, maybe he wins in many of those cases. Note, if you would have played JOCK and picked the same two tiles (WN) you would have still had a bingo on your rack with WIVERNS.
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