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Topic: Tournament apathy
Replies: 17   Views: 93,461   Pages: 2   Last Post: Dec 20, 2004, 6:17 PM by: utratos

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Posts: 375
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Age: 40
Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 10, 2004, 6:34 PM

I am highly discouraged by the apathy the pente community has shown towards live tournaments. Some people have indicated no desire to play in these live tournaments because "they have no chance to win." While I certainly understand that reasoning, I should point out that playing in the tournament is not simply a waste of the entry fee even if you do not expect to win or place in the money.

Take the East coast tournament for example. So far three people have signed up: Myself, Dweebo, and Mark Mammel. Now, here is an opportunity to meet Dweebo himself, creator and owner of this great site, and Mark mammel, creator of a great pente computer program. Mark has also been involved in many other projects that promote the game. Additionally, I had hoped the opportunity to meet and play against the current United States Co-champion (myself) might interest people, but I guess that is not the case. I like discussing strategy with people, but I don't do it on the computer as much anymore because of my repetitive stress injuries. Here is an opportunity to analyze moves in person.

Anyhow, my point in all this is that the live tournaments should never be considered a waste of time or money, ESPECIALLY when compared with the many hours logged at DSG. While that may not cost any money, it certainly takes a lot of time, and if you subscribe to the philosophy that time is money, then it takes money as well. So I find it odd that anyone who spends significant time playing at DSG would consider a live tournament to be a waste of time or money.

As I mentioned, the live tournaments are generating a depressingly low amount of interest. Numerous people who actually live in or near Dallas failed to show at the Southwest regional tournament.

The Las vegas tournament in August should be a great event. I say SHOULD because dozens of people told me "Oh, yeah, I'll be there, I'm looking forward to it, Wouldn't miss it for the world," blah blah blah etc. etc. etc., yet there is a palty total of 14 people signed up.

LET ME MAKE SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY clear: If you have any INTEREST at all in the tournaments, you can sign up, WITHOUT any obligation! You do NOT need to pay an entry fee when you sign up. Signing up simply expresses an interest to play. The more people who do this, the more people will do it. Get it?? Simple enough, yet everyone is dragging their feet and delaying signing up. It takes about 5 minutes, so just DO IT ALREADY! When people go to the WPPF site and see a measly 14 people signed up, they will likely yawn and move on to something else. But if they see 30 or 40 names, well, that's a different story.

As for the East coast tournament, I would like to hold it at a time and date that enables everyone to play who wants to play. This is sort of difficult to plan if people do not sign up.

Now, if we CANNOT get a good sized tournament going in Balrtimore, a major hub near several major cities (philly, NYC, etc.) then we might as well declare this game dead.

So, what's it going to be??????????????? If people are serious about this, let's see some action.


Posts: 46
Registered: Feb 1, 2002
From: Little Elm
Age: 32
Home page
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 10, 2004, 7:02 PM

All very excellent points, Dmitri. But let me point something out that perhaps a lot of people don't realize.

Tournaments do not spring forth on the day of the tournament. Tournaments require preparation and time. Tournaments require a lot of effort. But tournaments are necessary and important. Even if you don't think you will win. If you do not play in them, they will go away and by the time you are good enough to place in money standings, no tournaments will be held.

One need only look at every other classic game to realize that tournaments are important for everyone who plays in that tournament. Do people not playin Chess tournaments because they can't beat Gary Kasparov? What a silly notion! Playing in a tournament is indeed for winning but playing in a tournament is the only way you ever get really good at a game. This is why DSG has tournaments, PBeM has tournaments, IYT has tournaments. Tournaments are instantaneous feedback on how well you play. Tournaments in short keep a game alive and vibrant.

Tournaments are important for you even if you never play in one, too. Tournaments create a yardstick by which everyone can gauge their skill. Every chess player can compare himself to the Grand Masters and know where they stand. We can do this somewhat in Pente. The truth is we have a very rough guide right now. Pente cannot establish itself without your participation in tournaments. I knwo there are a lot fo peopel who live in the DFW area and yet we only got 10 people to show up for about 6 hours on a Saturday afternoon. From my vantage point as the organizer and tournament director, it's discouraging.

Pente has already begun shipping to stores and pre-order consumers. Pente is making a comeback in a huge way. Will you be a person who can say that they supported Pente when Pente needed it or only that you supported Pente when it was convenient for you? If you have any inclination to see the game spread and become well established, go right now to http://www.playpente.com/tourneys.php?tourneyID=9 and sign up to show your interest but not your committment to the tournament. The enthusiasm of players is infectious and it often creates its own momentum.

Act and be satisfied. Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.

Tournaments benefit you even if you don't win and they for sure benefit all Pente players everywhere in thousands of obvious and subtle ways.

Greg Strange
Chair, World Pente Players' Federation


Posts: 12
Registered: Dec 5, 2002
Age: 41
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 10, 2004, 11:27 PM


I don't usually post messages, and as a matter of fact this is the first time that i have even attempted to do so. I'm letting you know this up front so that you will all know that i do not take this subject lightly and to impress upon you how important i think this matter is at hand.

Last year, i attended the OKLAHOMA CITY pente tournament, i went to have a good time meeting some of the people that i have played with online, to try to win as many games as possible and to actually see a real live pente board. Yes, that is correct, last year was the very first time that i had even seen a real board or touched a pente stone. I had no idea what to expect at a live tournament, but i was not disappointed in any way by any means. I knew going in that the odds were against me winning the thing, hell i was impressed with myself that i did not finish last. BUT, it would not really have mattered to me, because i did get to participate in making it a successful tounament, and i did meet some really good people from all over the place, and i did have a great time, as i think everyone else that participated did also. BY the way, pente players are really good party people and really know how to have a good time.

NOW, this year i attended the SOUTHWEST REGIONAL TOURNAMENT in DALLAS. THERE were 10 people that showed up for this tournament, Dallas mind you, where there are so many pente players in the surrounding areas, i know because i have played quite a few of you. I know things can come up, that's life, but i really feel that you guys could have made a better showing. I myself drove 150 miles to attend and due to the shift i work on my job, i had to burn 1 full week of vacation time in order to participate in the tournament. SO, i too had to make a few sacrifices, but i did not mind, because i feel that keeping these live tournaments going is only going to help the pente community.

I attended, even though i knew D'mitri was going to attend, (talking about making sacrifices, think how far he came to attend and the cost), and i figured he would probably take the win. And, yes i know how trying D'mitri can be on ones' nerves and he can argue with a freaking STOP SIGN, but he is pretty cool people, just as all the other pente players that bothered to show up. D'mitri is not as bad as he comes across when playing online, besides if he gets out of line i just whack him one and continue on and he settles down. IF nothing else, you guys should want to come out to see me WHACK HIM ONE

SO, NOW we have the WORLD PENTE PLAYERS TOURNAMENT coming up in VEGAS, this AUGUST. SO, i want you all to start thinking about your excuses for not attending, make it a good one, i hate lame excuses. Intimidated by D'Mitri, don't worry i'll keep him on a short leash and he will behave, i'll make sure he does not bite anyone With that said and with lame excuses not being accepted, and if you don't want me to WHACK you one, then i suspect you should all head on over to PLAYPENTE.COM and sign up to let everyone know that you are interested. With you and your interest we can make this VEGAS tournament something great and something that the entire pente community can be proud of.

SINCE, i'm finally writing something in here for a change, i would like to personally take the time to say thank you to GREG for putting on a wonderful tournament in DALLAS, PARTICA for her time and efforts, D'mitri for not hating on me because i sort of abused him in this message (all in fun DM and for the betterment of PENTE), thanks to the other 6 people that took the time out of their busy schedules to come out and play.

And last but not least, i would like to thank all of you for listening and getting the point of the importance of these live tournaments, and i really want to thank you all for getting your name on the list of being interested in the VEGAS tournament. GET THERE NOW AND SIGN UP!!!!!!!



Posts: 542
Registered: May 9, 2002
From: Northeast USA
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 11, 2004, 1:09 AM

I agree with you all 100%. In my view, mufasa has made the best points -- play in these live tourneys not because it's "important", but because it is FUN! I have missed out on them so far and I wish I had been part of the fun. But, I am planning to attend the east coast tourney and the fantastic Las Vegas event this year. I admit that I have been so lazy that I have not even signed up for these events yet but you will see my name on the list in short order. And don't do what I did by becoming so lazy about it! As has been mentioned several times now, there is absolutely no obligation or cost to sign up for the event. At most, your name will go on a private email list, which will never be sold or abused, and you may be contacted by email a few days before the event just to have a more accurate picture of how many will attend. Furthermore, although there isn't any rule that I know of at this time that you can't just show up and play at these tournaments, get used to signing up in advance because there will come a time in the near future when signing up is mandatory and you will not be allowed to play in such major events without invitation (acquired by signing up in advance). And if you are thinking about signing up -- get your buddies to sign up with you! Spread the word!

I also would like to thank Dweebo for all his continued efforts here, and Greg, for his practically single-handed push to get the WPPF site at www.playpente.com up and running and successful.

As a final note -- VEGAS ROCKS!!! If you've never been, you're really missing out on something special -- and it's not just for gamblers and shady characters. In fact, the strip is a very clean, upscale paradise that has been cited as "Disney World for adults". Heck, I for one (and I'm definitely not alone here) am planning to spend a week there for a vacation and take a day to do the pente tournament on the side You can bring your family or your buddies and have a blast, not to mention that this should be the greatest pente tournament so far this decade.

See you there!


Posts: 1,032
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
From: Powell, OH
Age: 37
Home page
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 15, 2004, 8:32 PM

I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be at both the East Coast Pente Tournament And the Las Vegas Tournament this year!

I was undecided about Vegas until recently because of money issues, but I have that all squared away now and am looking forward to another great tournament, can't wait to see you all there, go sign up now at PlayPente.com!


Pente Rocks!

Posts: 6
Registered: Jul 25, 2002
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 27, 2004, 11:34 PM

Tournament Apathy

Pretty translucent where that thought was aimed
Guess I’ll have to take the blame
Was I a snob cuz I didn’t show
Or was I just afraid to go?

Perhaps not quite sure just what reception
I’d get, or maybe cold rejection?
Feeling bad vibes sent my way
For stuff that went on back last May.

Ever enter a crowded room?
Then silence falls, impending gloom,
Not yet sure what I did wrong
But to make that clear did not take long.

Joe, you were trying to steer me away
From the heated debate over Saturday’s play;
Dumb as I was, I thought I’d stop in
And see who finally made the big win.

Ever feel your ears start to ring?
Angry thoughts cast your way beginning to sting?
Devious minds figuring I must have schemed
Up complex plots such as they might have dreamed.

After some pause let me lucidify
If things seemed unfair, well I didn’t try!
Had no idea y’all had seeded me eighth,
And then I didn’t even know where I’d placed.

Not fair y’all were saying, she had this all planned,
Well if that’s the case, then y’all gave me a hand.
I said long ago the ratings weren’t fair,
That hacks could score high even not playing square,

That there seemed to be way too much room left for cheating,
And for opening my mouth I took quite a beating,
So out came my foot and I started again,
Didn’t play rated, therefore could not win,

Took up a moniker no one would know,
Played the computer so my game would grow.
Shunned rated games, kept out of the fray,
(No, I didn’t just quit, since I love to play!)

Left my name provisional, figured you’d seed me last,
Never intended to pull something fast!
But some minds conceived intrigue when things all panned out,
Over my good name cast the shadow of doubt.

So frankly, is it really any great wonder,
I didn’t show up, after this phenomenal blunder?
Not too much mystery that I didn’t go;
Figured my name was Mud, couldn’t make myself show.



Posts: 375
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Age: 40
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 28, 2004, 12:25 AM

ok, call me dense or just not a careful reader, but what on earth are you talking about?

It sounds from the poem as if someone or osmeone's had slighted you at some point in some way but I am not clear on who or how.


Posts: 751
Registered: Mar 1, 2002
From: My Own Lil World Mostly
Age: 43
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 28, 2004, 11:01 PM

Hi Rerun,

Long time no type! So glad to see that you have not left! I am not aware of all that is going on, but you write very well. Wish you were around more often to grace us with your presence.

Hope you and Heni are doing great! Take Care!



Posts: 12
Registered: Dec 5, 2002
Age: 41
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 29, 2004, 5:22 AM

Hello RERUN,

It was good to hear from you and i hope that you and HENI have been doing well.

I'm not sure if your message was referring to the message i wrote or not, but just in case that it was in reference to my post, i just wanted you to know that my post was not meant to offend anyone and i wrote it with no one in particular on my mind, but with all pente players in general.

I hate to admit this, but i have to agree with Dmitri as to being clueless as to what happened last May, but from the sounds of it in your post i am sorry that whatever happened occurred. However, i would be lying if i said i did not miss you and your husband at the tournament in Dallas, because i was looking forward to seeing you both again.

SO, let me say to everyone, that my intentions were to only peak the interest of all pente players to attend the tournaments, not to offend anyone for any reason.

Now to everyone, did you sign up for the Vegas tournament yet? STOP procrastinating and get on over to Playpente.com and sign-up, it's painless and if you show up you might just have a whole lot of fun

Thanks for reading,


Posts: 375
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Age: 40
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Mar 29, 2004, 6:21 AM

Cindy, I wanted to echo Mufasa's sentiments. I thought you and henri and Joe and teefo were all really nice and I was glad you all came out to OKC. If I offended anyone I sure did not mean to and I hope to see everyone in future tournaments.


Posts: 94
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Jun 17, 2004, 10:46 AM

Hello pente people,

OK, so I know this thread hasn't been posted on in about three months, but as that's about as often as I check the forums at DSG, this is all news to me. I think I'll throw my two cents in.

When I heard about the Vegas tourney late last year, I planned on going. I was going to put up the several hundred dollars for plane fare (or gas money) plus hotel for my wife and I, and we were going to spend our summer vacation in Vegas. However, when my wife and I decided to spend that money on a trip elsewhere, it didn't break my heart. A few of the reasons it didn't break my heart are related to the game itself.

First and foremost, even though I have played pente my whole life, I know that I have no chance, repeat, NO CHANCE to finish in the money in Vegas. So if I go to Vegas, I have to think of it as vacation money I'm spending--I will never see any of it back. This is because there are several players in this country who simply don't lose as player 1 anymore. So if I train for a month and get to Vegas and play my absolute best, the best result I can hope for is to split with Dmitri (or Gary Barnes, or Scott Justice, etc.) indefinitely until all parties get tired. That's only not rewarding, it's (more importantly) not fun. It doesn't make me want to drive (or fly) several thousand miles.

Pente is a broken game, busted in favor of the first player. We can't compare ourselves to the best players in the world at this game because the current version of pente is beneath the skills of its best players. With all due respect to Dmitri, Richard, Alexander Nosovsky, and the other active top players, when was the last time anyone heard from Istvan Virag, Gary Barnes, or Dmitri Krasnonosov? The best players either don't play anymore or don't play very much because they always win as P1 and (against other top players) always lose as P2. Granted, over the board play reduces P1's advantage compared to turn-based internet play because P2 has a better chance to trick P1 into a mistake over 20 minutes than over 20 days, but turn-based internet play does not require the investment (in time and money) that over the board tournaments do.

In the '98 OKC tournament, the finals took forever because the top two players kept splitting games. In '03, Dmitri and Gary were declared "co-champions" because, best I can tell, they got tired of splitting games with each other. And the only reason Philip Scott (ilurath) didn't make it a three-way tie for first, if I remember, was that he split one more pair of games than Dmitri and Gary, who split both with each other and with Philip in prelims. So the top three players in that tournament never lost as P1, and they all played each other. Is there a pattern here?

I was at the OKC tournament last year, and I remember the enthusiasm for the game that led up to and followed that tournament. I also remember that in the post-tourney discussions there were several ideas on how to make the game more even, ideas that were never, to the best of my knowledge, extensively followed up on.

If what we want is a fun game to play every now and then, on the internet or in person with local friends, the current rules of pente are fine. However, if you expect people to put up serious money in airfare, hotels, and entry fees, build a prize fund, and play for money, which is to say, if you want to hold a real World Championship, you ought to be playing a game that both sides actually have a chance to win. Right now, you cannot win a serious pente tournament unless you play perfectly as P1 and are good at tricking people as P2.

So, if people aren't going to Vegas because they "can't beat Dmitri," I think that's lame. However, if people aren't going because they feel hopeless in the face of playing the top players at a game in which the best result you can get against the top players is a tie, I think maybe that's something the pente community should consider, and consider more seriously than they have to date.

I would disagree with the person (I forget who it was) who posted in this thread that a person not coming to Vegas because they can't beat Dmitri is equivalent to not playing chess because one can't beat Kasparov. The analogy doesn't hold for two reasons. First, there are so many more chess players in the world that the distance between the top and bottom in any given tournament is not as great in chess as in pente. While I would not attend a world-class chess event precisely because I cannot play on the level of a Kasparov, this would not preclude me from playing chess tournaments because I could always find players closer to my level. The other difference is that a perfectly played game of chess is a draw, while a perfectly played game of pente (on both sides) is a win for P1, period. The fact that P2 may play for a draw in the top levels of chess makes P1 take risks he/she would not otherwise have to take in order to try to get the win, risks that may lead to winning chances for P2 (any serious chess players in the crowd, stop me when I get something wrong). So, in chess, even at the top levels, both sides have something to play for. In pente, in its current version, this simply isn't so.

So, I would suggest that if pente is dying on the vine again, it is perhaps because it is not evolving as we promised to ourselves that it would. Ok, it's a quarter of four in the morning, so I guess I'm done.

Aaron Fortune


Posts: 375
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Age: 40
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Jun 18, 2004, 5:12 PM

aaron -- D pente eliminates the advantage of player one andd returns the game to actually "playing Pente" instead of just memorizing lines. Please ask others for details as I unable to go into details right now.


Posts: 94
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Jun 19, 2004, 12:23 AM

Ok, but is D pente what will be played in Vegas? I'm not saying there aren't variants out there--I'm saying that they aren't mainstream enough to make a difference. And by the way, any variation that only increases the complexity of the lines does not fix the problem in principle, though it may put off the inevitable.



Posts: 17
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
From: Coachella, CA
Age: 39
Home page
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Jun 20, 2004, 10:46 PM

Long time since I been here. I have been very busy at my new career. I thought I would give a suggestion about Player 1 always winning and about the tournament.

When I first started playing Pente several years ago, I played for points. My main opponents and I were new to the game and we were about at the same level of play. It brings on a different aspect of the game but if p1 always wins then out of 4 games you add up the points and you get a winner instead of playing until both players give up. A lot of my strategy has come from me playing for points which Dmitri King has pointed out to me in several of our games that I have lost because I was making 4 in a row out of habit from my early years of playing. Most games that I have played have always been for points. So I really have never understood the current system of winning in a tournament but I figured it must have been from past tournament play. When I first got the black tube game called Pente I read the rules and I started playing Pente by using the scoring system I found in the game rules.

Here they are directly from the rules:

When the game is over, the points are then counted and scored as follows:
* The player, if any , who achieved a 5-in-a-row receives 5 points as a bonus.
* Each player receives 1 point for each capture he made.
* Each player receives 1 point for each 4-in-a-row he has still remaining on the board.

This would end the long duration of playing tie after tie if some how a scoring system was added to the tournament play. And there would only be one champion.

The rules suggest playing to 21 or 50. But we could count the points out of 4 games as the tie breaker.

As for live tournament play I believe there is not a huge enough crowd to have big live tournaments. If you use the old sales theory of 80/20 rule. If there is 200 people interested in playing Pente, there would be about 40 people that would be interested in playing in a live tournament. Out of the 40 only 20 percent of those would be willing to sign up and go to a tournament. So you got 8 people out of 200. And of course you will have a few that are signed up and paid and for some excuse they will not be able to make it. LOL... That was me for OKC. Of course for the first tournament there was a bigger turnout, then it slowly fades which we are experiencing now. We hopefully have a stong fellowship of Pente players so our numbers will remain high.

Please don't get me wrong... I am not trying to change anything or upset people but I thought I would throw out a suggestion with adding points. And I am hoping that I am wrong about the old sales rule.

Now I am ready to upset some people off... If you are an avid Pente player and you are refusing to go to the live tournament due to not being able to become champion. That is disgraceful. Imagine the Detroit Piston bowed out of the NBA finals because they had to play the Lakers which they basically bought the championship. Most people I talked to knew that the Lakers would win except for the Laker haters and the one that like to go for the underdogs. The Detroit Piston I believe is a true champion. They came to beat the best and they did! I am not a big basketball fan but from what I understand they did not have the caliber of players compared to the Lakers.

If you are an avid Pente player you should be planning on going to the live tournament. The only thing that should stop you is family (death, illness, wife/husband) and job (money, time issues, boss) related issues.

wrhino23 (Harvey Mc)


Posts: 375
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Age: 40
Re: Tournament apathy
Posted: Jun 21, 2004, 3:50 AM

you make it sound as if points is the intended way of playing. it isn't. it's a variant, and a poor one in my opinion. to me, it seems akin to giving a baseball team one and a half wins if they leave a bunch of people on third base. giving "points" for pointless extensions seems asinine to me.

my harsh criticism of this variant aside, i thank you for your good analogy. if anything has been shown, it is that gary, myself, and anyone else are indeed beatable.

those who take a defeatist attitude, however, probably won't win, since they have ddefeated themselves already.

Message was edited by: dmitriking at Jun 20, 2004 9:55 PM

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