2015 WBC Team Tournament—The Run for the Slivers
July 14, 2015

History | Commentary | Registered Teams/Odds | How Odds Calculated

The TEAM tournament is now OPEN for new submissions. The DEADLINE for Team Submissions is July 20, 2015.

TEAM TOURNAMENT: Teams are composed of any four players pre-registered as a team. Each team member must select a different event as his official game. Team members and games may change by July 20. No changes may take place on-site. In case of conflicting entries, the last version received was official. Teams consist of four pre-registered individuals. They must each select a different team game. Send the name of the team (up to 20 characters, including spaces), the name of each team member and his or her team game to the convention director at CD@boardgamers.org. (See also the Pre-Registration Flyer for details.)

All Team Points are awarded automatically when the GM turns in the Winner’s Claim for an event (see the Points Schedule). A bonus point will be awarded to everyone who earns team points in an event that they have previously not won. The team that gains the most points is the winner. The number of entrants in each team’s events is the tie-breaker.

Team Tournament Point Schedule
Entrants 1st 2nd 3rd-4th 5th-6th
128+ 10
5
4
3
64+ 9
4
3
2
32+ 8
3
2
1
16+ 7
2
1
0
8+ 6
1
0
0

Scoring: To improve the speed with which the standings are updated, Team Member, whether they score a point or not, should post their point totals on the Team Tournament kiosk Standings Board as soon as they are known. The Point Schedule will be listed in the printed program. Those who score points in an event they have never won will receive one bonus point. While the self-service scoring is unofficial and subject to verification, it allows attendees to gain a current sense of where they are in the standings as the week unfolds. Since the results of some events are not known until the very end (and later) of the convention, the official scoring will be done the following week and posted here. Each member of the winning team receives a Team plaque and is memorialized on the website and in the Yearbook. The winning team will receive a plaque at the 2016 convention.

BRACKET BUSING CONTEST: All pre-registrants will receive an email invitation to participate in the bracket busting contest with the final teams and odds shortly before WBC begins. Join the fun and win a free membership next year by picking the most Top Ten teams.

COMMENTARY:

Early Line Changes
By Stuart K. Tucker, the Happy Handicapper

Germantown, MD, July 10, 2015—With the first 32 entries received, we are happy to see old favorites and newcomers, plus a little lineup shuffling. Always a strong favorite, Band of Fools is back, strong as ever. Now Playing returns to defend their crown. With one member missing, Wood Bee Contenders remains a strong contender. The Siegelman has a tall order to live up to Harold’s name, but they are worthy bearers. MIT SGS may be fated titans this year. I’m glad to see that AREA is still ticking.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tu-Ng Klan checks in with a lot of potential, so take their 400-1 odds and run with them. Los Lobos Locosand  The Alham-Bros, on the other hand, appear to be too green to be tempted by their long odds.

Somewhere in the middle, we have Flush Stein with yet another lineup shift, and Roma Victor with plenty of talent to climb to the top.

I know that I’m weakest at handicapping all those Eurogamers, largely because you never can tell if early wins at new games are flukes or a sign of mastery. Maybe the Lords of K-Vegas deserve watching, but I’m sure I’m busy elsewhere during all their events. Truth is that my Eurogaming days have largely come to an end in the bliss of perfection that is Puerto Rico—for which I’m ever grateful to the late Harold Siegelman, may he R.I.P. Hard to believe it has been 12 years. With four more valued members of our community landing on our Memorial page this year, this ole Handicapper is beginning to feel his age. I’m looking forward to gaming with you folks in less than a month. Hurry up and get those team forms submitted. Let’s make this Lancaster “send off” year a great one!

Tucker’s Picks, 2014 Reprise and 2015 Morning Line
By Stuart K. Tucker

Germantown, MD, May 31, 2015—Summer is upon us and it is time to sharpen our pencils and study the Racing Form for the next run for the Slivers. If you haven’t registered your team yet, there is still time, but why wait? Get moving, so that I have more grist to grind in this column.

Before moving on to this year’s handicapping, let’s review how we did last year. As you may recall, my principles and instincts led me to drop at least half of the top ten favorite teams from my final ten in the Bracket Buster Challenge. The actual results show that only two of the top ten favorites finished in the top ten. Indeed, only five of the final top ten finishers had odds better than average. I also urged picking a few mid-ranked teams, and indeed two of the final ten finishers went into the race with odds very close to 80-1. Furthermore, I knew that the top ten would ultimately have a couple of long-shot winners. Indeed, three of the final top ten teams were formed with a mix of fresh players, some of whom never entered the team tournament. I also picked a team of women entrants on the theory that not only were they good players, but they entered multiplayer games where their gender would be an asset. As it turned out, the final top ten teams only entered a single female, and Sara failed to score for her team.

If you followed my advice last year, you’d have come close to winning the Bracket Buster Challenge, as I provided four of the top twelve (but only three of the top ten, in a year when it took four to win). For that, Band of Fools owes you an apology, with Dickson and Gregorio having off years (okay, maybe some ill-advised good sportsmanship was involved—may Karma pay you well in 2015, Tom). My bet on a team of youth paid off big, though. Congratulations to the Team Champions, Now Playing, for not only beating their 50-1 odds, but also scoring a record Team Tournament score. Nick Henning had a stunning year, making him hot property this year for your team recruiting strategy. Yet, as with any Wood-laden player, he must choose his entry well this year. He’ll be a natural diplomatic target in multiplayer games. Let’s see if he has the range (or smile) to contribute again this year to his team’s success. David Meyaard remains the man with the flicky finger, dominating Elchfest. And Jon Gemmel and Karl Henning are no slouches in a variety of events, making our returning champions a very solid favorite this year if they stick together. I’m giving Now Playing a morning line of 41-1 odds, placing them about fifth among the top favorite teams this year. Drop them from your Bracket at extreme risk.

My Bracket Buster Picks last year finished 1, 2, 4, and 12, leaving me a little shy of the prize. So, this year, I’m returning to the calculator for assistance. I’ll provide both the odds and my own intuitive assessments.

The Harry B’s seemed to have the winning combination last year, with the three Bruces anchored by Harry Flawd. With Flawd, Beard, and Monnin winning their events, it looked strong already at 24 points. In the end though, they needed Reiff to win at Football Strategy, despite a host of Baltimore League veterans showing up to challenge him. Joe Powell repeated as FBS champion (having won in three of the last four years). It may be time for the “weaker” Bruce to consider a different baton in this year’s team tournament. If The Harry B’s stick together, they’ll be the very top favorite, going off in the morning line at 22-1.

Despite their recent years of woe, I’m still a big fan of Nest of Spies (24-1) and Band of Fools (36-1). The Greenville Mafia’s best team always warrants a nod--War (33-1). Rounding out the morning line’s top six contenders is Wood Bee Contenders (31-1). Of course all these odds are subject to change once we see the team entries, but barring a major shakeup, these are the teams to beat this year.

This handicapping business gets harder every year given the influx of young talent. Take Cold Fusion for example. While their entrants have shown success, it has largely been in large, unpredictable eurogames, or in Titan where they succeeded as heavy underdogs against perennial event favorites. In 2014 they put together a team that scored in all four events, failing to win any of them. In economics, we call that a leading indicator. Bet on them doing even better in 2015. They are one of my mid-range teams, going off in the morning line at 72-1. Maybe this year, they won’t knock out their own teammate in the Innovation final, or threaten so in El Grande. They’ll still have to find a way around Nick Henning, who seems to play most of their events.

The way things have been going lately, I should be spending more time in the Juniors events scouting out my 2020 column. It is hazardous work—my introduction to Nick Henning came at the wrong end of a squirt gun in Gangsters many years ago. Nothing beats solid research, and one name stands out from 2014. Look for a new princess in the team tournament in future years.

As always, have a happy handicapping year.

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