Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hearts 101 - mastering the Super Taint

Long known for coining the phrase "tainted victory", Mark had set his goals high for the win every trophy (or as many as he could ) this year to prove to the group who really is the force to be reckoned with when the group gets together each month. There is one simple rule to winning the actually have to make it past the qualifying round and be at the championship table in order to have a chance to win. That is until Mark somehow managed to figure out how to bypass this simple rule. You must be thinking: how is that possible? Here's how he pulled it off. Combining a lackluster performance of his own in the first round with a qualifying effort by his wife, he then made a suggestion that was so outrageous that before anyone could really figure out what was actually happening it was too late: Mark replaced Debbie at the winner's table.

As Mark steadily took the lead, he kept referring to his previous round score of 101 as some sort of a sign. After all, he shouldn't even be playing for the trophy since he had played so poorly in the first round. Yet, here he was schooling his so called "competitors" in the finer points of hearts. I believe he referred to himself as the "professor" and that he was teaching us "Hearts 101". Mark did win the game for the trophy fair and square but I find it ironic that the inventor of the term "tainted victory" could take it even a step further. Not only did he not win the first round to earn his spot at the championship table, he did not even qualify for a tainted victory, therefore earning the new title of SUPER TAINT. Next time you hear Rick James belting out his mega hit I suggest these new lyrics:
He's a super taint, super taint
He's super tainty, yow,
Super taint, super taint!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The drought is over, Cindy conquers all

Feeling the pressure of not winning the trophy in oh so long, Cindy could barely show her face, preferring to peek around other people's midsections so as not to be seen. Her last victory was the 3rd of the never before achieved 3 consecutive wins way back in 2007. Despite Lisa holding out at 98 points for 10 hands and Steve and Dan both thinking they had the prelim round won when they were tied at 15, Cindy quietly held on for the win to advance. There was some thought that her strategy involved getting up every 5 minutes and leaving the table. Dan observed that she never cut the cards for his deal once since she was never sitting down.

Andy held off a fierce twosome of Teri and Sue at the table of three to advance while Beth and John advanced to the finals to set up a match between Cindy, Andy. John and Beth. The battle raged as the 4 quality players tried to take advantage of Mark's absence knowing with his commitment to victory this year February may be the only chance to win. After 10 hands the scores were tight: Cindy and Beth at 63, Andy with 58 and John 47. Five hands later with Beth and Cindy in the 90's and John and Andy in the 70's the boys knew it would be one of them tasting the sweet nectar of victory. That was until the male ego driven "I'm not going to stop her from shooting, you do it" attitude let Cindy shoot the moon and seal the deal. Sometimes you get the cards and it is almost impossible to lose. This was not the case on this night as Cindy had to work hard in both games and finally could show her face again with pride. Congratulations.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mark wins!...I'm not making this up!

With a New Year's resolution firmly committed to, Mark went after his preliminary round opponents like a man on a mission, knowing the only way to fulfill his resolution of winning the trophy every month was to get to the finals table. If he had to read one more blog entry about DD (Doyle Domination) he was going to puke. I know in some people's world (Toni) DD stands for Double Dutch but that is not the case here. Giving Dan the queen every chance he could, Mark cruised through the first round with little resistance. Phase 1 of the goal was in place.

Having made the finals table, the question now was how would Mark handle the pressure (psychological, not water)? With Cindy, Steve K. and Beth as the others battling for the trophy he knew that on the surface it could be a challenge. As soon as Cindy started talking about the fact that the goal really is to get to the finals table but not necessarily winning the championship (i.e Buffalo Bills in the 1980's) he knew that in her mind she had already had a successful evening and he only needed to worry about BS (Beth and Steve). Much like the first round, Mark dominated the opposition and cruised to victory. One down and 11 to go Mark, congratulations.
Double click on photo for larger view (that is flooded Community Park, taken from the High School parking lot)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holiday Hearts, grab bag

The Dichter's hosted the annual December holiday evening filled with food, drink, cards and the annual gift exchange grab bag. The white elephant theme was retired (apparently Mary and Mike were tired of finding miscellaneous crap around the house for 2 weeks after the party) and replaced by a ornament / decoration themed grab bag. This new exchange was overwhelmingly chosen via the blog's poll last month. Wait...that wasn't even an option. Due to a poor showing at the polls (6 votes, about half by John), the hosts chose the theme and we all complied. Way to take charge.

As you can see from some of the photos, if the thought was to avoid crap being left behind, it was a failure. If the goal was to have a lot of laughs, crazy comments and a good time had by all, then it was a success. Not sure how much of the stuff stayed behind, but it was a small price to pay for the enjoyment the exchange appeared to bring to all. Nice job Mike and Mary.
As for the card playing.....we had 4 full tables. There would be no tainted trophy on this night. While two tables finished in a timely manner, there was some question whether the other tables were playing to 200 or perhaps 500 based on the time to completion. Everyone was assured that they were indeed only playing to 100 and they did actually get to that at some point after midnight (or so it felt like). The four mulit-win entrants of Mark, Cindy, Dan and Beth battled it out for bragging rights. Only somewhat distracted by Mark and Cindy arguing about who had not won the trophy in the longest period of time, Dan prevailed. This marks the 5th time of the 11 games played in 2009 that the trophy resided in the Doyle household (3 via Lisa victories).

p.s. to settle the Cindy and Mark argument...Mark 9/08 and Cindy 10/07 (the last of 3 consecutive victories)