How persistence might bend the Skill to Luck Ratio

Taliesin’s Last Apprentice comes out next November. Unobtanium Bazar has achieved a preliminary goal of becoming lucrative enough to pose a tax concern.  My Beloved Suns are bound for the playoffs.  I am actually on pace with external and internal deadlines for Go Action Fun Time.  It’s almost enough to make you believe in hard work and persistence. “Which way do we go to get to the Playoffs?”

Teams that consider themselves contenders do not worry about who they play in the first round.

If you follow the NBA, you already know the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers have had their two big stars benched most of the season due to injuries, and have barely qualified for the playoffs. In fact, they have to win a play-in game Wednesday against Golden State for the right to face the #2 seed – My Beloved Suns.

This has caused wailing among the partisans, for after 11 years out of the play-offs we had nearly forgotten how to hope. At the beginning of the season, the Lakers were figured to finish no worse than #2, and we were pencilled to possibly win a play-in game. In reality, those fortunes are reversed – but not our advantage, the reasoning goes, because now we face the full strength Lebron-era Lakers in round one. There might no be a round two.

Now, put aside the fact that if any lower seed can beat the Lakers in one high-stakes game, it’s Golden State. If the Lakers come through the door first, I am not worried about Lebron James or Anthony Davis dunking at will. The Suns are actually a match for them offensively.

The Lakers have one of the best defenses in the league, and rebound well, which is how they stayed in contention. The Suns defend well (5th-8th best in the NBA depending on what metric you use) and rebound decently. So if you need to worry about something, worry about D’Andre Ayton trying to box out Anthony Davis. If Ayton can at least hold his own, and he has the tools to do that, the Suns will be OK.

My Beloved Suns are one of the few teams enjoying a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense. Of course, so do the Jazz, Clippers, Sixers, Nets and Nuggets. Those are your contenders.

Among them, it will come down to who wants it the most, and who gets that little bit of luck at the right time.

Ball sports are compelling because that ratio of skill to luck is actually the exception in human endeavors.

Capitalism is like solitaire, in that there is a little bit of skill to it, but it is, in the sober daylight, mostly luck.

I play a lot of solitaire on my laptop[s] because it requires sufficient concentration to be distracting, but I can also end it abruptly without consequence when the firmware is updated, or the client finally calls me back with an answer.  The Random Salad version I run on my home machine has Vegas rules which is a cumulative score, but you can only go three times through the deck.

Now the math: there’s a $50 buy-in per hand. A full win pays like $250. My winning percentage stands at 11%. So if you need to win every five hands to break even, but you realistically only win once every 10 hands, this is a losing formula, right?

So I give myself $500 or about 10 hands if I fail to score with any of them.  (I can’t do this in the software, I just have to keep track). If I go below -$500, I lose and have to clear the stats and start over. If I clear over $1000 I declare that I am not going to go broke after that, and also clear the stats.

I lose about 30% of the time – which is the first year failure rate for small businesses. I’ve played easily a thousand games, and my win rate persists at 11%. I’ve maxed out the skill bonus. What makes the difference is the persistence to wait out the bad luck and pounce upon the good fortune.

Now, news:

Go Action Fun Time will resume at my house or by Discord next Tuesday, May 18, 2021 when we will Alpha Test “Dungeon of Darkest Doom”. Meaning I will at least dry run random Sample Cast characters through it, whether any of you show up or not.

I have completed the edits for Taliesin’s Last Apprentice, the sequel to Beanstalk and Beyond. It has a tentative November 2021 release date.

This is a big image because I am announcing a release date.
My version of a Sea Devil

UnObtanium Bazaar has some indoor appearances in August, and some outdoor appearances in September, which we will announce when everything is 100%.

Over on Fantastical History I muse about Sea Devils, or Sahaugin, or Makara, or… its murky.

Over on Are We Lost Yet? We hike up West Pinto Creek in the eastern Superstitions.

Bongo on West Pinto Trail

Now we know.

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