The missed block, pro level game theory

Pro Level Game Theory: Missed Block

Here we go! More block game theory analysis by your local Cornhole Geek (patent pending) here at Cornhole Addicts! 

Today we look at the missed block where a block attempt by your opponent lands in their own lane. All examples have our Pros on the left side of the board with a bag to follow their opponent’s block. What would ACL Pros Isabella Suprenant, Kenzie Beach, Steven Bernacet, and Bret Guy do in these situations? Do you do something else? If so, let’s see if they can convince you switch something up in your game. 

How the pros handle the missed block

Game Theory: The Missed Block

Pretty much the same answer from all of them except Bella gives a counter block option we’ll look at afterwards. I know for myself, I salivate when I see this and attempt a bully bag to knock their bag completely out of the way. But as you can read for yourselves, these pros would just ignore it and go right in. To them, it’s more valuable to allow their opponent to risk the “2fer collect bag” and for them to choke big. With the angle of approach limited by the bag’s position, any attempt at pushing and collecting that bag has a small room for error. Consider the possible outcomes if you successfully bully the bag vs just leaving it untouched:

  1. You bully it out of play, you go in, their bag stays off the side of the board, they continue sliding with newfound bumper support. 
  2. You leave it where it is and slide in without moving theirs an inch, they attempt to collect and miss the limited board space they have and clank one off the side. 
  3. Same as number two but then they do the same thing with their third bag too! Oof. 
  4. They knock the missed block in but then end up ricocheting their push attempt, or even better, ruining two bag’s chances for the hole! All while your lane stays clear as 4AM roads on Christmas day. 
  5. They successfully collect. 

So it’s easy to see here, option number one assumes number five happens a vast majority of the time. But does it? Three of these pros would bet it doesn’t. 

Now let’s finish by analyzing Bella’s technique. She would opt to stuff the front of the hole area with a center dominated block, daring her opponent to either airmail or go for a very risky push and collect. The added weight on the left side of that missed block would make any push attempt more like a sacrifice knock in. Bella has confidence in her roll so that’s what she’s doing the next two bags and then closing with a relatively easy push for a four bagger since her block is dead center. 

Awesome stuff from our ACL Pros to think about! Tune in next time when we discuss a block in our own lanes. Head over to our huge selection of bags and grab a set of slick and stick so you can set your own blocker.  

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