Thursday, September 17, 2015

Prague #3

Pics courtesy of Ken McCoy
Italian Reps
Marina (Aniram)
View of street from hotel.
Wencelas Square
Keith & Elaine
Czek player & Czek host
Group Photo
Street musicians
N.A. Reps + Swiss reps (Erich & Nina)
Sight-seeing via Segway

Our German hosts: Katia (Katarina) & Cetin

Monday, September 14, 2015


Pics Courtesy of Mario Phenix

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Four Pics courtesy of Maria Navarrete (on the right in picture #1)

The pic showing scores is after the prelims in which Mario won all four of his games and topped the scoresheet going into the "round of FINAL 4".
I will post the results of the "Final Four" when I receive them.
 Mario made final table and came in third.  I played a 3 person Two 4 person tables and a 5 person table during the tourney.
The cruise and dinner were lovely.  I gave my wizard hat to a young girl, Tatjana.  Tatjana and her father were the Wizard representatives from Austria. Tatjana's mother was the 2010 world wiZard champion!!
Again, a spectacular wizard tourney in Prague had by all, thanks to you!!

Amigo paid for all our drinks at last night's dinner.
Keith tried to pay for the extra shots we enjoyed after our yummy 1 liter beers, but Amigo laughed and would not hear any of it!
Wonderful hosts !!  As always.  Amigo was just as generous and wonderful last year in Athens.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

National Post Article

National Post Article August 26, 2015
Click on link below.
Then click on Pic to enlarge.

National Post Article 26.08.2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

                                                  One of these things is not like the others.....
                                                     BRIAN W and his new Bride Beth!
                                MONTANA, MUMM01 and ARIESGIRL and someone's knee
                                         I know Mac's exhausting, but this is ridiculous

Here are a couple of pictures from the recent Wizard Tournament in Toronto Ontario.
 All players in awe of Wizards knowledge and skills?  Or desperately waiting for him to play?
 This years, Wizfest "CUP.  Thank you Mudd for supporting us!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wizard on Facebook


YES! The BETA is up for public use.  I can access the game on SAFARI and FIREFOX but not on "EXPLORER" .
The  URL is
Click on "Play Game" to load.
Because there is a paucity of players you can try playing against the A.I. (which is not good) by clicking on "USE A.I." The main purpose of the AI is not to play practice games but to replace dropped players and permit a game to finish properly.
Then click "host". "OK"  and  "play".
NOTE: The dealer is indicated by a gold Crown next to his name.
The person to play is indicated by a gold star next to his name.
There is a slight delay as you cannot play your card until the gold star appears on your name.
Bid by clicking the arrow to the right to go up and to the left to reduce the number.
To see the scorecard click the "score" box in the upper right.
CHAT box is in lower left.
 Shortly we hope to get Wizard available on "Explorer" . Then we need players to host games on Facebook to test what we have available so far.

FACEBOOK is the future so if you wish to continue to play WIZARD and participate in online Tournaments you need to join FACEBOOK.
Although the old site will be maintained for an indefinite period all gaming activity will move to Facebook.

Unanticipated Problems: * We will try to correct.
1. Facebook appears to use the player's real first name and automatically displays a picture if one was provided. This is not what we want.
2. Wert reports that two players on the same router apparently are dealt identical cards. However I hosted on Firefox then joined under a different ID on SAFARI and was able to play a game.
3. If a Host is UP and you click, "Join Random Game" the only message you get is, "The game will start when the Host clicks Play".
However you can confirm the connection with the host in CHAT.
4. Question: when you click "4 Player Game" are you committed or can you wait for 5 or 6 players before starting?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Wizard: Top Ranked Commercial Card Game

Try It – You’ll Like It!

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating”

“One’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure”
“Advice is cheap”
The point is you have to experience something yourself to find out if it is “your cup of tea”.

Nevertheless if a great majority of people enjoy something it is more likely that you will enjoy it too.

With this thought in mind a number of popular card games have been ranked. It is important to know who has done the ranking. The data used has been culled from the site called, “”.
BoardGameGeek” is a website that that reports on over 30,000 different games including card games and other tabletop games, as well as war games and video games. In addition to the game database, one of the key features is the statistical information obtained from player ratings. The site allows users to rate games on a 1–10 scale.

Ten games have been selected and their overall rankings are indicated. Only 4 of the 10 games are commercial games that require special decks. The 4 commercial games are marked with an asterisk *.

Game              Rank

Bridge             129
Cribbage         271
*Wizard          408
Spades             528
Euchre             635
Pinochle          753

Hearts             806
*Skip-Bo         6094
*UNO              6096

*Phase 10        6154

WIZARD…Try it! You’ll like it!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015.Wizard on Facebook

Programming has SLOWED!
Yes, it may seem impossible but things are moving more slowly.
Why! Because I gave up on using the new program for a tournament to decide the reps for Prague.
Consequently the pressure to meet a deadline is off.
However, I see some positive signs. The development of a workable (not strong) A.I. has been a major problem. Now I believe we are close to an acceptable A.I. and can move forward. Real live players is much easier than programming an A.I. Even with the old system we never had any kind of A.I. although I had wanted it. The programmer kept resisting my pressure to develop one and now I know why. It is a monumental challenge.
However there are other challenges, mostly related to analytics. i.e. Recording statistics and compiling them to produce the monthly ranking and running online tournaments.
I am still unable to provide any meaningful timelines but we continue to inch forward.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Live Tournaments: The advantages of live tournaments are obvious. Ideally there would be numerous local live tournaments, leading eventually to a final “Tournament of Champions”. This is the pattern followed in Europe where it has been quite successful. However attempts to generate similar events in Canada and the USA have not worked out as well. The problem largely hinges on the distances and costs involved. Most entrants to tournaments are from areas within 200 miles of the location. Even more challenging is the cost and logistics of local tournaments. It is not unusual for a single event to cost upwards of $10,000 and to involve hundreds of hours of preparation and planning.
* Regardless of how many live tournaments are held there will always be players who will not attend even though they are avid online players.

Online Tournaments: The disadvantages of online tournaments are equally obvious. However there are a number of positives. Unlike live tournaments costs and logistics are manageable once the programs are in place. The main advantage is that online tournaments can potentially draw players from distant locations. By offering attractive prizes large numbers of players can be attracted.
* Regardless of the convenience and prizes offered by online tournaments there will always be players who will only play in face-to-face situations.

The current “World Tournaments” hosted by “Amigo” are limited to the countries of central Europe.
The push to provide reliable online play on “Facebook-Games” is designed to provide access to areas such as Latin America and Asia. The ultimate goal is to have a truly “World-wide “Wizard Tournament” accessible to all.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wizard on Facebook: Updated June 13, 2015

The new Wizard on FACEBOOK continues to experience glitches.
It will not be ready in time for a Tournament to select reps for the PRAGUE finals.
"US GAMES" has decided to send 2 of its employees to represent the USA.
Consequently the proposed online tournament to select the 2 US reps is cancelled.
My apologies to those who registered.
I will provide an update on the selection of the 2 Canadian reps shortly.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wizard on Facebook.
Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

A new programming house is taking on the task of completing the programing.
(It is 90% done)
Although they estimate the work will take 3 weeks to complete, they will not be able to get started on it until a month from now. So even if they keep on schedule the beta version will not be available until late in May, 2015.

Monday, March 16, 2015

WOW Review (World of Words)

This review of WOW may have escaped your attention.

Have you experienced the WOW sensation yet?

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Old Wizard Site.
I am trying to keep this operational but it is bogging down.
I believe the site is overwhelmed by the over 1,000 new registrations daily.
I suspect that these are 99.9% phishing expeditions generated by a computer.
Trying to manually delete them is a full time job.
I am now attempting to insert a "Prove you are a real person" gateway into the 'registration' process in an attempt to stop the deluge and free up some much needed space.

Another setback as the lead programmer has once again dropped out due to personal problems.
Each time this happens it takes a while for a new programmer to get 'up to speed' on what is gong on.
I receive apologies for delays but there is not much that I can do except soldier on and keep my fingers crossed.

Your Dismay
I understand players' frustrations with the current site. I am sure that many of you have either cut back on play or given up altogether. I can only hope that at some point the sun will break through and we can get back to playing "Wizard" without all of the frustration

Thursday, February 19, 2015



Mid-February has come and gone,
We must await yet another dawn.
The developers say we are near.
But the truth is different I fear.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wizard Card Game on "Facebook" games.

1. Recording Scores and Master Points.
Nothing is definite. We may adhere to the current system, may try a "points only" scheme, perhaps a hybrid system or even something quite radical. The time required to compute and compile the figures is a factor in the decision. Consequently much will depend on what the programmers are able to build into the system. If they can automate much of the calculations that will impact the decision so it is still a 'wait-and-see' sort of question.

2. System Used
The system being used to build the new program is a cross-platform game creation system named "Unity". The game system is written in C++ and C#.

3. Timing
Although mid-February  has been given as the latest update I do not expect the BETA program to be up and running at that time. When it does finally appear I plan to keep both the current site and the Facebook site open for business. When the Facebook game does appear it will not contain all of the required features. Some features such as the ability to host tournaments may have to be added once the basic game is stabilized. Transitioning will be problematic as the current "usernames" will not necessarily be available on the Facebook page. This is yet another problem with which we are struggling to resolve. (And of course finances are always a limiting factor.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Facebook Program Update

Like the Toronto Maple Leaf fans I must ask you to be patient.
I received the following missive today:

"I had a regroup with the developer.  After taking a more prolonged look at the code, he has noted that there were some issues that are causing problems to recur as well as other bugs. He put forth this suggestion:"

"Rewrite a small part of the code that is causing a difficulty with the AI.  It will take two weeks and put the delivery around mid Feb. The rewrite should eliminate the trouble we are having with the AI "

So the new target date for a BETA game is mid-February but experience tells me that further extensions can be expected. Even if the target of mid-Feb is met the program will still lack the ability to host Tournaments. That feature will be added afterwards.
Place your bets on which will happen first:
(a) Toronto Maple Leafs will play for the Stanley Cup.
(b) Toronto's Scarborough subway will be completed. (Making a subway stop a short walk from my house.)
(c) The Facebook Wizard program will be completed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

TOP 10: Record Keeping

RE: Ranking the monthly Top 10.
This post continues the earlier discussion concerning the minimum number of games to be played in order to qualify for the monthly Top 10.
Currently we require a minimum of 40 games then use the formula :
Rank in Points + Rank in S.R to determine placement.
Upon further discussion, reflection and analysis I plan to simplify the entire process.
First allow me to explain my thought process.
1. The reason we introduced the formula using S.R. was based on the logic that the more games one plays, the more points one gains. For example if two people average 1 point per game then the person playing 80 games will score twice as many points as a player who only plays 40. This is contentious as there is little correlation between points won and games played. You may not see it in the results but many of the players who fail to make the cut have played more games than players in the Top 10.
2. I have culled all the months that I could find for the year 2014 Top 10 and shown them below:

01. SilentSam ……PTS: 72 (01)             The final ranking from 1-10 is shown on the left.
2-3. mphenix .…..PTS: 63 (02)              The Points are shown to the right and the rank based solely
2-3. wizard ……...PTS: 46  (03)              on points is shown in brackets.
04. ncenigma ……PTS: 30 (5.5)             Although if solely points were used some positions           
05. weiz …………….PTS: 31 (04)             would go either up or down but for the most part
06. blcross_99 ….PTS: 30 ( 5.5)            there are not giant shifts in position. Study the figures closely.
07. kek_in_TN ….PTS: 27 ( 07)              The conclusion is that using solely points for monthly ranking
08. Crystal9 ………PTS: 20  (08)              is a much simpler and faster system that produces much
09. XAriesGirlX ..PTS: 16   (10)              the same result.
10. kbmcdev …...PTS: 17   (09)              There is another major benefit in addition to simplicity.
                                                                    There is no need to require a set number of minimum
Nov. 2014                                                   games to be played. Regardless if whether you play 25
01. mphenix PTS: 58 (1)                           games or 125 games you are included in the competition.
02. SilentSam PTS: 55 (2)                          Consequently I am currently planning on moving to a
03. jake44 PTS: 48 (3)                               "Points Only" system with no minimum game requirement.
04. bneet PTS: 31 (6)                                  There is no perfect system but on balance I believe the
05. blcross_99 PTS: 44 (4)                         change will be a positive one.
06. ncenigma PTS: 20 (9)                         * If you believe playing more games gives you an edge, that's
07. wiggins PTS: 23 (8)                               great! Play more games.
08. wizard PTS: 18 (10)                             * Another big plus! New players on the Facebook site
09. kbmcdev PTS: 25 (7)                              will be stymied by the complex formula and use of the
10. The_Wiz PTS: 35 (5)                               term "Skill Ratio". The simpler system will be just that;
                                                                          clear and simple.
1. blcross_99 ……………PTS: 71 (1)
2. Rock Man …………….PTS: 42  (4
3/4. wiggins …………….PTS: 35  (5)
3/4. magicgirl ……..….PTS: 54   (2)
5. The_Wiz ………………PTS: 43  (3)
6. kalea ……………………PTS: 31 (6.5)
7. frostie ………………….PTS: 31 (6.5)
8. ncenigma …………….PTS: 10  (8)
9. kek_in_TN …………..PTS: 5    (9)
10. bneet …………………PTS: 4  (10)

May 2014
1. verona .................PTS: 52 (1)
2. ncenigma ............PTS: 44 (3)
3. The_Wiz .............PTS: 50 (2)
4. frostie .................PTS: 37 (4)
5. kbmcdev ............PTS: 22 (6.5) .
6. Mr. Farms .........PTS: 27 (5)
7. magicgirl ...........PTS: 22 (6.5)
8. Rock Man .........PTS: 17 (9)
9. tuokool ..............PTS: 21 (8)
10. bneet ...............PTS: 10 (10)

1. Rock Man………. PTS: 93 (1)
2. ap sirius ………….PTS: 43 (3)
3. cargobeep ………PTS: 50 (2)
4. XAriesGirlX ……..PTS: 33 (4)
5. SilentSam ……….PTS: 22 (5)
6. Mr. Farms ……….PTS: 19 (7)
7. The_Wiz ………….PTS: 20 (6)
8. bneet ………………PTS: 11 (9)
9. tuokool …………..PTS: 16 (8)
10. merlin …………..PTS: 6 (10)

SEPT 2014
01. Mactonight……PTS: 47 (1/2)
02. mphenix ………PTS: 47 (1/2)
03. Rock Man ……PTS: 44 ...(3)
4/5. tuokool ………PTS: 26 ..(5)
4/5. ncenigma ……PTS: 16 (..6)
06. weiz …………….PTS: 28 (..4)
07. merlin …………PTS: 13 ...(7
08. wry ………………PTS: 6 ...(8)
09. blcross_99 ……PTS: -8 ..(9)
10. The_Wiz ……….PTS: -18 (11)



There are over 850 million daily users of FACEBOOK so I do not think Wizard members need to be coached on how to get a membership.
Just go to and start an account.
All you need to provide is a username and a password
Once enrolled you can simply click on “Games” and do a search for any game you want to play. This can all be done well in advance of the actual Wizard launch.
i.e.  1. Join Facebook
       2. Click on “Games” in the sidebar.
      3. Do a search for a game of interest e.g. Hearts, Spades, Bridge, Euchre, etc.
      4. Practise playing the game a few times. (Some are better than others)

If you have done this in advance of the Wizard launch, you’ll be all set to play WIZARD when it appears on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jan. 2015 Update

Facebook Games Program
Progress is ongoing but ponderous. I hope to provide a more definitive update later this month. In any case the initial BETA launch will lack Tournament hosting ability.
This will be added, but for a while there may be a hybrid system with regular play on the BETA Facebook (not to count for points) and Tournaments on the current site. (points to count).
All players are encouraged to play the BETA Facebook program and provide feedback so that we can start regular play asap.

RE: Poll regarding minimum games to be played per month.I am sympathetic to the players who wish to reduce the required number of games from 40 to 30.
Many players lead full lives and simply cannot, in good conscience, devote that much family time to playing "Wizard" regardless of how much they would to like to play.
The conundrum is as follows:
A player's final monthly score is based on a combination of his TOTAL POINTS RANK + his SKILL RATIO RANK.
The former will normally accumulate with additional play giving the frequent player an edge.
e.g. Two players both averaging an increase of 1 point per game will gain differential points based on the number of games played. Playing 50 games yields 50 points while playing 30 games yields 30 points. To reduce this edge the SKILL RATIO RANK was introduced.
Skill Ration (S.R.) = Points divided by Number of games played. e.g. A player with 30 points in 20 games has an SR of 1.5
This system works pretty well considering Wizard can be played by 3-4-5 or 6 people.
The difficulty with reducing the required number of games from  40 to 30 is the concern that some players may take advantage of a strong early streak of luck and quit playing at 30 games with an S.R. of 1.5 or more assuring a No.1 S.R. ranking.

Suggestions for a solution are welcome. Caveat: A lot of extra calculations at month's end are to be avoided as it can be time consuming. Also I'd prefer to keep the M.P. winners limited to the current "TOP 10" + the 3 high W.P. (winning percentage scores at different levels of play)

Comments welcome at