This article originally appeared in the May 2001 issue of GammOnLine.
Thank you to Kit Woolsey for his kind permission to reproduce it here.

Why I Never Complain About the Dice

By Phil Simborg
Here is why I NEVER complain about the rolls, or luck:

1) It's rude. It suggests your opponent is just lucky and detracts from his skill. It's poor form.

2) Nobody cares. Everyone is tired of hearing it. Everyone only sees their own bad rolls and forgets their great ones.

3) It's NOT TRUE. Everyone rolls the same. If you think you are rolling more than your share of bad rolls, you're probably playing badly and not realizing it...because the worse you play, the more bad rolls there are and the more good rolls you give your opponent. This also applies to complaining about the on-line servers. No machine cares or knows who is rolling or what the position is. The dice are random, and every study done on every server so far has proven that. The dice are just plain goofey's the nature of statistics that sometimes you will get a bunch of doubles in a row, or dance 5 times on a 2 point board.

4) Complaining focuses your mind and energy on the wrong things. You start concentrating on how bad you are rolling, or how good your opponents roll, instead of what you really should be concentrating on: what is the right decision? And if you start thinking about your bad luck, you might start changing yours plays assuming you are going to roll bad, or that your opponent might roll a joker, instead of considering what really matters: the odds.

5) Complaining makes the game less enjoyable. For you. The more you make an issue of your bad luck, the more you will remember the bad luck and the less fun you will have playing.

Bottom line, I NEVER complain about a roll, or bad luck. Ever. And I am sure my opponents appreciate it, and I am sure I play better and am happier as a result. And when someone tells me how lucky I was, I give them my standard reply: "Yes, I was lucky I got you for an opponent!"

Backgammon Haikus

Watching the dice come up cocked/Very much like my first marriage.

Your disgustingly slow play will not disturb my inner tranquility/I recite this mantra as I plan his dismemberment.

Alone in the box/Watching the faces of my former friends.

Whether to make his 5 point or mine/Wishing I could flip a coin so no one could see.

Please tell me how lucky I am one more time/Let me show you what hot coffee feels like.

I gently offer you the cube with the utmost respect/Hoping you will choke on it and die.

Tell me again how the dice on line are fair/Tell me again where Santa Claus lives.

The joy of making the prime/A feeling not unlike a successful visit to the bathroom.

Watching him gammon me with that smirk on his face/Wishing I had a gun.

How hard can it be to keep the dice on the table?/Wondering how this man can drive a car.

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