"What part soever you take upon you, play that as well as you can and make the best of it."
- Thomas More

This entry is an update of events since my previous post, and a brief mention of some of the things in the forum  regarding the Open Skill League. It is good new, bad news, lateral news story. First the bad news:

Standards have been raised. The month of April produced new all time high scores for the 80th and 500th place finishers. The higher performance at the upper ecelon of the league has raised the scoring benchmarks slightly. The 80th and 500th scores last month were 2484.91 and 2142.86 points respectively. This might be because there are more players exploiting time stalling play. There may also be regular players who have adjusted their play from month to month, and have found ways to finish deeper in tournaments. Or maybe it is just a new staticistical blip on the aggregate curve; the current format, after all, is still in its first year.

Forgive me for not calculating new benchmarks here, but for me they have already served their purpose. I am not into harvesting stats, but rather into consuming them for the following reason. Beyond promotion to the Premier League, what scores will add a couple dollars to a mirco sized bankroll? The primary goal is not to land on the benchmark, it is to be comfortably above it.

From reading about the league I realize now that the scoring system is set up to make it more difficult to accumulate points at the top of the leaderboard. Therefore, making up for an early exit is a significantly hard punishment, because it takes more games, and consistantly deep finishes. The monthly winner - on top of skill, dedication,  and everything else - essentially has to get lucky.

While playing in the league games I have been railing many of the leaders to see how they play. Many do time stall, but there are several competitors who do not. There are even a few players who, in my opinion, have a surprizingly wide opening range. At times they find spots to limp, and play a fit or fold style. There are other players so tight they would fold aces early in a game. If it works, then more power to you.

And now for the good news:

After playing 26 games I had acquired 2143.28 points. My pony has trotted past the marker, and is around the first turn. Now the next stage of the race is in progress. I am currently, as I type this, in 21st place with 2291.38 points.