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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

TPiRecap: 26 March 2014


But first, let me share with you an idea I posted to the GSP board earlier today (and if you did see it there earlier, I've since made an enhancement or two to my original proposal). Humor me for a moment...

It's a way in which Stack the Deck, the game that probably makes me groan more than any other in the current rotation, can potentially be salvaged into something of acceptable difficulty, rather than the unfair mess it presently is. And it entails more than simply giving the player one free number before the game begins, a commonly-cited rule change that would make Stacky more palatable to many.

Here's my idea. The actual object of the game is the same, to come up with the correct arrangement of five cards from a pool of seven to form the price of the car. However, the mechanics would change as follows: Rather than free numbers, each correctly-played grocery pair gives you one chance to change the car price if you don't get it right the first time. After a wrong guess at the car price, you're shown how many numbers you actually got correct, and how many are in the price but in the wrong position (think Lingo, or the old Mastermind board game). You can then make any changes to the price you deem appropriate. (To make up for the extra time this would undoubtedly take up, I would reduce the number of GP pairs to two from its current three, an alteration that has precedent in Pass the Buck. This would also rebalance the game so it isn't too much in favor of the contestant rather than the house, which is precisely the opposite of the way Stacky presently is -- and every bit as problematic from the perspective of S&P.)

I feel this would be, overall, a much fairer game than what Stack the Deck is right now. It would take it out of the realm of Temptation and Golden Road, where you have only one chance to get that car price right -- and I should point out that the odds of winning either of those games, if played strictly as games of chance, are much better than Stacky -- and more in line with Pathfinder and Cover Up, where you can earn additional chances based on your pricing ability. You still wouldn't see Stacky winners all the time, but it would elevate the game from the exercise in futility it is at present. It would also bring to the show a gameplay mechanic that Internet fans like myself have been fantasizing about for a long time, the Lingo/Mastermind logical-deduction format, which seems like a natural for a Pricing Game.

Bottom line, as much as I dislike some games in the rotation, I like the "retirement before rehabilitation" mentality even less. As a concept there is nothing wrong with Stack the Deck; it is only in the execution that it makes me want to take a chainsaw and a blowtorch to the prop every time it rears its head... and even there, there's nothing wrong with it that a rethink couldn't solve. (Just to throw it on the table, imagine what the fate of, say, Punch-a-Bunch or Penny Ante would have been had the Powers That Were decided to stick to their guns on their original, harder, less-fair-to-the-player formats rather than evolve them into what they became. And yes, Penny Ante is retired, but its life spanned well over twenty years above and beyond how long it lasted in its original "don't collect more than 100 pennies" format.) There's nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board, and scrapping a game is always going to be merely the easy way out... and that's something I personally don't believe in if there's an alternative available.

My proposal wouldn't even require building a new prop for Stacky. You could simply flash the borders of numbers that are in the wrong location, using the light frames that are already there, and of course just light up numbers that are where they're supposed to be. The GP display can also easily be altered to remove two of the six bays.

Feel free to comment on this idea, and how it would change your impression of what is, as it presently stands, one of the most inherently unfair games in Pricedom. Meanwhile, on with the festivities for today...

Episode #
6673K
Airdate
26 March 2014
VTR
29 January 2014
First Four
Hayley, Philip, Diane, Jahel
Lineup
L-R
Models
Amber Lancaster, Rachel Reynolds

1. Pair of Samsung Galaxy tablets (AL)
Hayley
Philip
Diane
Jahel
399
455
600
400


$500 Bonus


Freeze Frame:
Trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina (6n, Palermo Place, daily breakfast, round-trip airport transportation, dinner & tango show for 2; RR)

$8,241 seems the most likely to me, but...


82
41

25
$8241
17
60
WIN!
53

36
94


Wins have become so scarce in this game over the past few seasons that it's always nice to see an easy setup in it for a change! (I was half afraid this was a cheapo special that only cost $6,025 or something...)

2. Bradley barbecue smoker w/bisquettes & all the rubber meats you can eat (AL)
Hayley
Philip
Lisa
Jahel
785
786
550
750


$649


The Banana Podium's the place to be today, I guess.

One Wrong Price:
  1. Polaris Phoenix 200 ATV (AL)
  2. Apple iMac computer (8GB RAM, 1TB HD, Epson printer; RR)
  3. Inspire M2 multistaiton home gym (RR)

$2899
$1399
$2495
ATV
Computer
Home gym
$3599
$1399
$2495
WIN!

It was either that or the computer -- and I guessed wrong. ^^;

3. Party Tyme Karaoke machine w/music (RR)
Hayley
Philip
Wanda
Jahel
565♫
566
500
550

$810



Sorry, Hayley, singing your bid can't save you from being dollared. Nice try though. 8^)

How apropos -- today is Philip's 60th birthday, and we send him to the golf course for Hole in One (or Two):
2014 Ford Fiesta SE (1.6L, 5MT; $17,240; AL)

...Hey, it could've been worse, right? He could've gotten the game he jokingly referenced on his shirt -- That's Too Much! Now that would be just morbid.

  • Johnson's Kids watermelon-scented soap
  • Rolaids mint-flavored antacids (roll of 10)
  • Cree solft white LED bulb (replaces 40W incandescent)
  • Spic and Span multi-surface cleaner
  • Stu-Stu-Studio Line by L'oréal hair gel
  • Country Choice organic steel-cut oats

My arrangement: Antacid - oats - soap - hair gel - cleaner - light bulb.

Antacid
Light bulb
Soap
Oats
Cleaner
Hair gel
$2.49
$9.97
$1.29




...That's pricey for a roll of Rolaids. That's easily a buck more than I've ever paid for 'em at that size.

Fortunately, this game is based more on putting ability than pricing, so Philip's still got a good chance.

Drew's Inspiration Putt:
Good line, but off center just a touch, and the rebound is nobody's friend.

Philip's First Putt:
Textbook.
WIN!

The way that went in, he probably would've made it even from the first line. When you're that good at golf, or at least Putt-Putt, who needs those silly GPs anyway, right? Anyway, all's definitely well that ends well.

(CC1: CTT)
Showcase Showdown #1
Lisa
75
.75

$8,142
Diane
55
75
1.30

$9,341
Philip
50
45
.95
WIN


4. Thanks to the miracle of rearranged airdates, it's a second go-round for The Price is Right Look of the Week: Amber's sporting a modernized take or the "Fifties Teen Girl" look with a floral skirt, knit pullover, and print blouse, complete with Michael Kors handbag, Beats headphones, and a 32G iPod Touch
Hayley
Craig
Wanda
Jahel
456
1100
455
1500

$1208



Flip Flop:
Sea-Doo Spark personal watercraft w/trailer (RR)

75
48

The only realistic choice here, given jet-ski prices on this show, is $7,584. $5,7xx doesn't cut it from where I'm sitting.

Craig agrees with my assesment without knowing it, and Flops...

75
84
75
84
EASY!

We are hot today!

5. Frigidaire Professional dishwasher (RR)
Hayley
Neichelle
Wanda
Jahel
801
650
999
800

$799



Even the picture on the giant $25K bill can't bear to see what Punch-a-Bunch could do to our hot streak today...

(AL with the bill too ashamed to show its own face, RR with the SPs that don't mind at all showing theirs)
475W blender of uncertain lineage
Nostalgia Electrics retro-style microwave oven
Maverick Redi-Fork digital thermometer fork
Oregon digital pedometer
$70
$199
$22
$29
LOWER
$40
LOWER
$150
HIGHER
$35
LOWER
$10

$
$
$
1
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
2
$
$
$
$
$
3
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$

Punch #1
$250
Go on...
Punch #2
$2500
STOP
(Punch #3: $250)

Could've been worse, but also could've been a lot better... and naturally it screws up our shot at the perfecto.  

(Please, don't even bother commenting if you're going to say any variation of "it's rigged" or "there's no $25,000 slip."  All such comments are insta-deleted on the grounds of being willfully ignorant.)

Meanwhile, Hayley and Jahel are both on the verge of banishment to Leftover Island. Luckily, there's still room for one of them on stage (and Hayley has the advantage).

6. CarolinaChair.com microfiber chair w/ottoman (AL)
Hayley
Mary
Wanda
Jahel
601
999
780
600

$1515



As Hayley and Jahel pack their bags, Mary gets to try for this half's car in The Game We Could've Given Philip Earlier:
2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4×4 (3.6L, MT, AC; RR)

$15,690
$16,950
$18,156
$19,331
$20,575
$21,891
$$$
$$$
$$$
$$$

Went one further than I would've stopped at, myself...

$20,575
$21,891
$24,385
THAT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE

$15,690
$16,950
$18,156
$19,331
$20,575
$21,891
$23,274
$24,650
$$$
$$$

Jeeps are one of those makes where I can never seem to remember if they're cheaper or more expensive than they look. >_<

(CC2: FarmRich / Egg-Land's Best)
Showcase Showdown #2

Mary
75
.75

$1,515
P
Neichelle
10
20
.30

$3,524
Craig
85
.85
WIN


Showcases: Philip (true) top winner, Craig runner-up.

1. Larger Than Life
  • Trip to Asheville, NC (5n, aloft Asheville Downtown; AL)
    • 2 tickets to Biltmore Estate
    • Various tours
  • Sharp 70" LED Smart HDTV (AL)
  • Trip to Beijing, China (6n, Four Seasons Hotel Beijing; RR)
    • 1 food & beverage voucher
    • 60min spa treatment
    • Great Wall tour
Philip passes; Craig bids $18,500.
(My bid: $21,789)

2. George, Our Resident Psycho Psychic, Digs Out His Crystal Ball to Predict Your Prizes
  • "Something green": $1,000 cash
  • "Palm trees": Trip to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (5n, Sugar Bay Resort & Spa)
    • Kayaking & snorkeling eco-adventure
  • "The obvious": 2014 Kia Rio LX (1.6L, AT, rear bumper appliqué, paint/fabric prot, cargo mat, carpeted mats; AL)
Philip bids $20,500.
(My bid: $28,423)


Moment of Truth
1. Craig
Trips
2. Philip
Trip/Car
Bid
$18,500
$20,500
ARP
$21,772
$23,632
Result
$3,272
$3,132

$8,792
Philip wins by only $140!
$41,682 (Chyron)
My result
$17 WSD
$4,791


LEADER BOARD: Episode #6673K
Philip
$41,682
Diane

$9,341
Craig
$8,792
Lisa

$8,142
Neichelle
P

$3,524
Mary


$1,515
Offered
$141,163
Won
$72,996
Pct.
51.36%
Bonus
$500
Avg.
$12,166
Median
$8,467


4 comments:

  1. How about they add a second $25,000 slip to Punchboard?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have no issues with that at all. In fact, if they did I could probably retire the Fudge Rule altogether (as the odds of winning would be the same 1:25 they always were during the $10K era, and that change was the only reason I adopted a Fudge Rule at all for Punchy).

      Delete
    2. I have a lot of catchup to do, i have seen the punch a bunch game enough times to know the game has not been set up in s way for a person to lose.

      Delete
  2. If they keep the distribution at only one big money slip, it'd be kinda nice if they do what they did on the Mexican version and actually show where the big money is. Atinale's top Punchboard prize was MX$30,000 (about $3,000), but its location was revealed after the end of the game (one of the models punched out the money hole). And there was only one of those slips, too.

    ReplyDelete