I ve won over 40 tournaments now in a span of 20 years.Many players have not won one in 20 years.Why its simple they were taught to play skat ,and to play it well .But never taught how to win.
you wouldn't believe how many people want to impress me with their good skat skills.But how they want to impress me is in their defence.Granted there is something to be said about good defence. I like a good defensive partner and I don't even mind being turned over with good defence,even though I don't show it.
I look at my hand and many times I wonder how to win this crappy hand, sure enough I lose it and they are all proud of how they turned me over and how good there defence is. My computer rating is that I play at a 54% win ratio, meaning that most of my games are about luck.there are players that are rated at 85% and the average player plays games that are rated to be won 75% of the time. No wonder they say Iam just lucky.Its ture most of the hands I play are a coin flip,so when I say you don't impress me much with defence its true. Of course I win a lot of games because of bad defence and I have noticed and learnt to take advantage of that over the years.the thing is even the best players in the world can play bad defensively. there are tricks and strategies to fool even the best of players as even they have to guess at times.
Now when someone gives up their potential winning hand to turn over 1 of my games over,deep inside I laugh as I know you were taught to play skat but not taught to win.
Your philosophy to the game is all wrong.see I know that bidding a game up to 46 and losing it, is still an advantage to me if you were to find a grand with 4. I know playing 15 and 5 is better than 8 and 0 the advantage goes to me again. I know playing games at a 54% ratio against someone who is playing at 85% is an advantage to me as 63% is considered to be optimal, Iam only 9% off and your22% off.I know there is a time and place to give up your hand and turn the other player over too.
The NEW saying is, Iam I playing this list to beat the 3 other players on the table or am I playing this list to beat all the players in the tournament.
So many believe they are playing against the 3 other players,If I give up my potential hand of winning to turn your game over I might beat the guys Iam playing against, but I just lost the tournament to someone that didn't give away their points to kill another player.
So the players that impress me are those that win un winnable games or those 50%er's or lower, I remember when I was younger I impressed a few world champions before and It was never with defence I got respect because of offence. It was the null overt with a blank jack, the hearts without 6 or 7, or winning hand making only 3 tricks, even playing an average of 18 games a list impressed the worlds best, they told me its crazy but still impressive.
The thing is we practice with our friends or in a small club, we play for money at x amount a point and we let our table emotions get to us , all of these habits and practices hurt us in learning how to win tournaments.I hear it all the time oh I have to play against Ron I have to be carefull completely wrong .We see a good player come to our table and we tighten up, ive done it too.its wrong the better the guys on the table the easier it is to bid your hands out completely because they don't want to pass either cause winners know that playing safe doesn't net you the points you need to win.
See when you play for money its kill or be killed ,if I turn you over and maurer you lose double great for making money on a list. But if Iam in a tournament you can have 1800pts so long as I got my 1300 and move on and climb to the top table and if we meet up again in round 5 and sitting against each other on table 1 then we might bring out the mighty defence, but again you have to be careful of table 2 passing you.
Iam a hard guy to beat on table 1 because of the way I think and my attitude only first matters.So iam going all out and if your the one who wants to stop me by mauring I have no problem taking you down with me. for me its the complete opposite of winning, now instead of us both getting a good score we both get a really bad score.
I remember about 10 years ago I played with 3 time Canadian champ George O andon table 1 at the NAM and he blatantly maurered a couple of times.just to show me how good he was,well payback buddy I got plus 1 and he got 400pts,we were both out but the next round I got a 2000 round and still finished 6th well ahead of Georgey who didn't make the prize money.
My favorite player and one who I think is the best in Canada right now is Frank H. I have always respected his play because he always try's to out play me not kill me to beat me. there is a big difference, even the most talented player in Canada Thomas L has to kill me to beat me and rarely shows me his true talents. I know he's a better player but I have never seen it.To get better skat is like golf push yourself, play the best you can, holding back and beating others with defence will weaken your skills.
Iam the easiest player to beat, just pass with 3 jacks,you probably won't win but you'll have beaten me if that counts. any player can be beaten in this game the rules allow for that and there are times that's fun too. A good killing list with your buddies for money is always fun.But when you get a chance to play with the best try to beat them by playing your best.when you do win that way it's more rewarding and that's when you'll get the respect.you might only win 1 in 10,but the time you do win that way you'll know you out played the best.Like I said everyone can beat the best but can you out play the best.