Finally got on top of the cold - fighting it involves handfuls of Codral tablets and sleep - just in time to head over to the ETC. Sure seasonal change will result in relapse when I return.
The ETC takes an enormous amount of time. I've been lucky in that I've been able to delegate out the various tasks to guys in the team. This means the load has been shared somewhat. As a result we have:
- Hotels booked
- NZ Dice
- Team shirts
- ETC registration and entry fees
- Lists collated (and lodged)
We've also had a dedicated forum and with team members in four countries and three time zones this has been invaluable. Thanks to Jack for setting this up for us - giant leap over the old single forum on TWF.
In recent weeks my main focus (in addition to getting in 4-5 games a week - thanks to locals especially Sam, Ryan and Joel) is working on the matchup process. I'm a great believer in the "Moneyball" concept, essentially using stats/maths rather than gut feel. To this end Jack has built me a software programme that lets me take the emotion out of the matchup process. We've used it at the last two NZTCs and it works beautifully - the key is that the info that goes in is correct and that performance matches prediction.
So the last three-four weeks (since release of lists) has been on getting the best possible info to put in the system. This has meant constantly questioning assessments that players have given me and asking them to "justify" certain predictions. Over the past two weeks I've run the software and it definitely improves the matchup over gut feel. I appreciate the time James Brown has given up to act as my "opponent".
This weekend I'm running three more "dummies" just to ensure I am happy with the operation.
I think we are travelling well to reach our target of Top Half and if we really perform we may push Top 10. That's the goal anyway.
So as you can see I've been busy. The lack of blog updates hasn't been laziness rather alternative focus. Looking forward to posting heaps of photos from the event to give readers a feel for the tourney.