Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Playoffs begin in the euchre universe

Last night was the first round of play-offs in our Monday night league. My partner and I were the 16th seed out of 32 teams. We were matched up against the 17th seed.

The first game didn't start out so good. We lost a heartbreaker. Barn to barn with their deal. They turn up the Jack of clubs and proceed to pummel us. You know if you are the dealer, you have about a 70% chance of getting a point. Probability was on their side.

In game two, we opened up a can of euchre whoop ass! They scored the first point then I scored a loner (a 5 trump, near lay-down). Next, we euchred them when my LHO picked up the Jack of spades with no help. Some truly adept play by my partner scored us that one. I knew there was a reason she was the valedictorian of our high school class.

We finished off the game with a weak loner. I had 2 clubs (A, 10) and 3 diamonds (J, K, Q). RHO was dealing and the Queen of clubs was up. I passed as did everyone else in that round. Since we were in the pasture (6 points) I opted to try and win it right there with a diamond loner. I led out the Right and drew 1 trump. Next I threw the King and no one else had trump left. The Ace of clubs drew out the King making the 10 of clubs a winner. We win 10-2.

The final game was a little more challenging. They took a 6-3 lead and it felt like we were done. But we hung in there and euchred them a couple of times. We finished the game and match with a 10-7 win.

Our second match was against the top seed. This guy/girl team was pretty good competition. We traded points the first two hands, but then the guy scored a loner. We rallied back to make it a 6-6 game. Unfortunately, our cards stalled and we ended up losing 7-10.

Game two was a little bit better. My partner made a loner to put us up 4-1. Then they rallied back until the score was tied at 5. But a euchre and a loner finished off the game to push it to a deciding third game.

This is where things got grim. Our opponents jumped to a 7-3 lead. According to the euchre calculator, we only had about a 20% chance of winning. But that's just what happened. A euchre, a sweep and we were right back in it. We won going away 10-7. We got to the barn from 5 points when I called up a loner on a weak 4 trump hand. A next call would've killed us but they didn't make it. Lucky for us.

So, we advance to next week undefeated. Things are looking up.

Euchre Strategy: If you can go alone, take a chance and do it.

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