I love this game!

Games for the family

I love this game is the famous slogan of the NBA. Though I am not really into basketball, I like games, all sorts of games, from sports to board games, and card games.

I have a friend from college days where we king of had a deal where I receive some products that her husband ordered from somewhere here in the United States that I consolidate and put together in a single box and send to the Philippines for them to save on shipping cost, where I had some space that I can put some stuff in to send to my family.

After going to the toy store… I bought Jamie more Lego. I know she already inherited a large part of my old Lego sets, she has enough parts to be so creative to make something with all those parts, but I still decided to buy her a small box of Lego parts. She has just turned 3 years old. This time, I made it a point; the one I buy is something that has instructions already. Lego instructions are very nice. No words, just pictures, with easy to follow instructions. It shows the blocks, how they go together step by step. This way I get Jamie working on how to follow diagrams early on. A few more years, I will give her more complex sets, where sometimes a lot of counting is required. Sometimes just centering a Lego piece on a large piece, requires you to count the circle studs on both ends of what you are centering. It helps early on a better understanding of more complex things when she grows up. Centering is all about symmetry, you use it a lot of times in school, from the simple number line, to geometry, to calculus. Soon she may learn about ratio and proportion when she decides to change the size of what she is building. I like Lego because the circle studs are actually units of measurement that kids use to compute at an early age. I myself grew up with Lego, and was thinking at an early age, joined a Lego competition, and started playing with technical sets in high school. Technical sets are already early physics applications even without learning physics right away. But that will all be up to Jamie if she enjoys it. All I can do is influence but not enforce. Since enforcing the games to play may give a negative effect. All I can do is show the beauty of this toy. It is game right there. Challenging yourself to do things out of blocks that are nothing but blocks when not together, but can form something beautiful with a creative mind when put together.

For Ate Dawn, I bought her one of my favorite board games, Clue by Parker Brothers. In the Philippines and many other Asian countries, it was sold as Cluedo for some reason I do not know. But my guess it could be due to a registered trademark thing in other countries where they did not get an international trademark for Clue. So in other countries, they change the name. But that is only my guess, it can also be a marketing reason related to branding.

Clue makes you think, it is more of a deductive process thinking game. At the start of the game you are clueless, but as the game progresses, clues get more and more and you start to make wise decisions using simple probabilities (even without statistics lessons) to get the right answer. The more clues come out, the more deductive processing you will do, the more probable answers you make, the more you get closer to winning. Although there is some element of luck that can make you win, but the best of luck is made when you make more probable decisions. In life this is like minimizing risk. Risk is always there, but if you know how to minimize it, the better and more successful you may be.

My influence, my Dad who liked playing games

While shopping for these games… just by looking at each one, it reminds me of many memories of me playing the games. From Sorry, Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, Mastermind, Boogle, Connect Four (In the Philippines and other Asian countries this was known as Bingo Chess) to games only found in the Philippines like the original Filipino game called “Games of the Generals” sometimes nicknamed Salpakan. Up to the many card games I played as a kid and even Mahjong.

While buying these made me realize that the reason I am buying them because I believe it is good for the family. It encourages us to think while having fun. It made me realize if I had these games when I was a kid, it was my dad who bought them. Which made me smile since I see the benefit of the games, I see what he was doing. Since that is what I am doing now. My dad loved to play games and he wins a lot of times whatever game we played. He just learns the rules and comes up with a strategy from there. He analyzes the game and thinks of the best ways to win. He also identifies his weaknesses and strengths as well as the weaknesses and strengths of the opponents and uses his strengths to overcome the opponent’s weaknesses. Sound like a lot of thinking, but it is not that confusing as you think. It sometimes happens in a few minutes while playing the game. My dad was also a good bluffer, he makes you think he is planning on some move and at the last minute, he has a different master plan. He also sees the big picture of game, not only concentrating on how to win, but he also sees what his opponents are trying to do win.

And I guess I inherited the same habit of liking to play games too and started playing how my dad plays. During my age was the start of the video game era. Atari 2600 was what I played on and Nintendo made simple handheld games that played only one game with lousy graphics. This is where I was doing eye-hand coordination, something my dad did not learn since these games did not exist during his time. Some of the games were reflex types and as my dad tried playing them, his reaction time was too slow for games like those. I was like 10 years old then. About 10 years later… before my dad past away, he was bed ridden for more than a year. We had a brick game them, the Philippine sidewalks got filled with brick games which are nothing but game consoles that can only play one game which is the famous Russian made game or Tetris. My dad was down but he was not out, and he still like playing and his eye-hand coordination, his reflex improved even during the last days of his life.

I remembered when I ask my wife Marcia what card games she plays, she said none, basically because card games had a negative impression on Marcia. And not only that, I noticed that in my mom-in-law too. In the Philippines, when you say card games, they always think of 3 games, Pusoy, Pusoy Dos and Tong-its. Three games often played with money as a betting game. So there is some negative impression with cards thinking it is all about gambling. I grew up with a lot of card games, Rummy, Gin Rummy, Crazy 8, Pequa, Trump, Bluff, Speed, Poker, 41, Blackjack, Lucky 9 to the very simple 123 pass and Monkey-Monkey. All these games promote thinking. Mahjong is a very good thinking game, but some people just see the gambling part of it.

Recent games I played

I like playing an online game, Yahoo Pool. Unlike other games today that consume a lot of time, and some you even have to pay, Yahoo Pool those not consume a lot of hours unless you play over and over again. I am not the best player of this game, but I know all the rules and play within these rules. And during the play of this simple game, a lot of decision making happens. Mainly the questions I ask myself are:

– What will I choose to be, solid or stripe?
– What will be the next best ball to shoot?
– Where will my cue ball go after this shot to shoot my next best ball to shoot?
– For sure I cannot get anything in, what is the best thing to do so the opponent can’t do anything or will have a harder time for his next shot?

While most people, I noticed they just shoot and shoot, the balls nearest to the cue ball and nearest to them not thinking where the cue ball goes or what is the next best shot to take, and not considering how strong they supposed to strike. There are a few good players that I know are good just based on they choice of balls they shoot and where they place the cue ball. These people I ask if I can add them to my Yahoo Messenger so when I see them online again playing pool, I go and challenge them again.

For every player, there is a rating system. Every new player gets a rating of 1,200. The more games you win, the rating goes up. The more you lose, the rating goes down. If you beat a high rated player, the more rating increase you get for that win, and the more your opponent loses. If you beat a low rated player, you still get an increase in rating, but is very low.

I find it funny when people get scared of your rating. They just see the numbers. Once you have a rating of 1,300 and higher, you get fewer people that want to play with you. When you get a rating of 1,400 to 1,500, the people that play with you either have a high rating too, or are not aware of the rating system and do not care about it. If you reach 1,600, you are like a superstar and a few people actually come to you to challenge you. Beyond that I do not know since I never reached a rating of 1,700 or higher.

I have encountered people with high ratings that do not want to play with other high rated people. They only play with low rated people. They are the people looking for beginners so their rating goes up. I used to play that way that is why I know. You try to get your rating up and you are afraid to lose it, so you only play with the beginners. Each win, you get like an additional 5 points per win. When my skill got better, I was more confident to play with higher rated players. When I see a higher rated player, the more I am attracted to play with them. Because when you win, you get about 30+ points in your rating. With just 3 games, you are like higher by another hundred. This is the fast lane.

Some people think that a higher rated player is better than them, that is all they look at. But the real numbers to look at is how many games this person has played and how many wins and losses does he have. The larger the number of the difference of wins versus losses, the better this player is, especially if the number of times the game has been played is large too.

Playing a new game

The day I set foot on US ground, I knew I would be playing a whole new game. Up to now I am still learning the rules of the game. So far I found out, most of the basic rules are the same as it was for my company in the Philippines. Same selling techniques, same marketing… the difference lies mainly in minor cultural differences and the law. And the only way to get into the game and win it big is to learn the difference in the rules of the game and play with a strategy based on these rules.

So far with this game I play, winning has been happening, but winning small. I haven’t been going for the big fishes yet since I still need some knowledge gathering on how this game is played. In the meantime, I have been catching the small easy fishes where each small fish that went for the bait give one small lesson at a time in preparation for my big fish catch.

Like in Yahoo Pool, I also loose, but I also win. It is not my rating I am looking at, but at the number of times I win, and the number of times I lose. I lose, but I do not make suicide moves. And I try to win big. While others try to win small, like playing with the small rated players, they win, but they win small too, afraid to lose their rating.

I do business by the numbers I make. I may lose some, but I do not lose big time. I make calculated risk, I may win, I may lose. But if I win, I will win it big time. If I lose, I learn from the even and make me wiser in the next events. People that are afraid to play the high rated people are like those that save money in the bank, since there is that small interest the bank gives. It increases, but very slow.

I know someone who is married. But does not want to have children yet, simply for him, children are expenses. For me children are happiness. We may be in the same company, earning the same, but I go for the big fish. I am not afraid to play with the high ranked Yahoo Pool players. I lose, I also win. But then I win, I will win big. The more knowledgeable you are, the more risk decreases in probability. The more people play it safe, avoiding losing everything, the slower they get better. And their fear is mainly because of the lack of knowledge.

My Concepts?

Nope, although the attitude is already my attitude, my game strategies are mainly from my dad. Applying these game principles in business is mainly Robert Kiyosaki’s principles. I have been reading his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad and I highly recommend it. It is a very good book.

The first time I heard about this book was from a former partner in business, Terence Teves. He idolized Robert kiyosaki and had nothing but good words about the book. But I never gave the time to read it.

After some time, I met Pepet Macachor and Ray Alcoseba. Businessmen I knew, they invited me to a gathering of people playing Cash Flow, a game by Robert Kiyosaki. They did this every Friday night to early morning. It always started with a talk, some sharing of a business person and shares how the game helps him/her in their business. When I attended the meeting with Marcia, when the talk was over, Marcia wanted to go home already, so I was not able to play the game.

While working at Informatics Computer Institute, the manager, the owner of the franchise, Danny Lim and Cecille Lim once talked to me about business and we talked about books. I remember telling them about the book The Millionaire Next Door and they told me about Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. But then again, I did not read the book right away.

While teaching at Informatics, one of my students in a computer crash course, George Arriola Pimentel who owned a franchise of SOS Save on Surplus also shared about the book when we were talking about business.

Recently, I had lunch with a co-worker, a writer, Matt Greene and a web support staff Mook Choi. As we were talking about business, we talked about books, The Millionaire Next Door, 101 Ways to Promote Yourself, The 30 Minute Manager, and the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. And he was actually reading the book that time and had it in his bag.

Realizing that the book is pretty cheaper here in the US that is was in the Philippines and there are used books that are even cheaper, I decided to buy one 2 weeks ago online. For the two weeks of reading it, all I can say is I highly recommend it. It is for anyone who wants to have a more secure financial future and it is like a must for any business owner.