I’ve just finished my 400th match on DailyGammon, which isn’t a huge number by some long-time member standards, but it’s a milestone for me.

The site’s been around since the early 1990s, and is one of the oldest websites on the World Wide Web (back when it was called that; now it’s just “The Internet”). There are players with tens of thousands of matches under their belts. I’m a babe in swaddling clothes by comparison.

I found DailyGammon during the second week of May this year (05/19) while “going into training” for playing during our trip to Italy. I started off slowly, playing only matches to one point (no doubling cube, which at the time was a mystery to me, and still largely is).

I maintained a FIBS rating in the low-to-mid 1,400s for a couple of weeks, until we landed in Italy. Then my play went to crap. Or, even deeper crap than before. Whatever.

I was playing in ten to fifteen tournaments at a time, and, while roaming around Rome doing Roman things, I’d glance at my phone, see I had moves available, and just quickly make my way through them without much thought.

I was playing distracted, and I watched my rating drop through the 1,400 floor as the trip continued until we returned in early July.

Then it continued to drop. Another trip, this one unexpected, caused more distracted play, until I found myself with a rating of 1,310 at the end of July. I was sweating falling through that floor, and decided to take my play a little more seriously.

I set a goal of getting my rating back up to 1,400 and also of beginning cube play once I did. I was hoping to reach the goal by September the 1st. I began reading up on cube play and fired up XG on my iPad Mini, playing four or five cube matches a day.

I hit goal on August 28.

So now I’m playing single-point matches and a smattering of cube matches. Mainly cube matches that are either devoted to beginners with FIBS scores below 1,501, and “stratified” tournaments that segregate players by rating. I’m also playing a few wide-open cube tournaments, mainly to occasionally rub up against players way out of my current league in hopes I can watch what they do and elevate my own game.

That’s led to an explosion of matches and on-going games. As of this writing, I’m entered in 66 tournaments and have 41 active matches.

This has led to some distracted play in its own right, as the shear volume of turns open to me at any moment in time is a little overwhelming, and my natural inclination is to rush through them.

So I’m teaching myself to pause and breathe a little for each one, and give each turn its own mental share. Sometimes I remember the lesson, sometimes I don’t.

I’ve also set a goal for 1,500 by the end of September. It might be a little aggressive, particularly with wading into live cube action for the first time, but we’ll see.

Anyway, time for me to get back to it. I’m sure I have moves waiting.

Rating: 1439.51 – Experience: 400

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