el grande

Updated Nov. 16, 2015

2015 WBC Report

2016 Status: pending 2016 GM commitment

Rob Flowers, MD

2015 Champion

Event History

1999 Stu Hendrickson 47
2000 Anthony Burke 40
2001 Jason Levine 70
2002 Mark Guttag 41
2003 Rob Flowers 55
2004 Jay Fox 68
2005 Charlie Kersten 97
2006 Greg Thatcher 55
2007 Robb Effinger 68
2008 Geoff Pounder 61
2009 Rob Flowers 71
2010 Curt Collins II 69
2011 Curt Collins II 68
2012 Eric Freeman 61
2013 Robb Effinger 68
2014 Alex Bove 70
2015 Rob Flowers 65


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Rob Flowers        MD    15    139
  2.  Robb Effinger      on    14    108
  3.  Greg Thatcher      FL    14     95
  4.  Curt Collins II    PA    12     87
  5.  Geoff Pounder      on    14     73
  6.  Jason Levine       NY    05     62
  7.  Eric Freeman       PA    12     60
  8.  Jay Fox            NJ    12     55
  9.  Yoel Weiss         NJ    15     54
 10.  Charlie Kersten    OH    05     40
 11.  Mark Guttag        VA    02     40
 12.  David Buchholz     MI    14     38
 13.  Stu Hendrickson    VA    00     36
 14.  Alex Bove          PA    14     30
 15.  Anthony Burke      NJ    00     30
 16.  Marc Berenbach     MA    13     27
 17.  Mike Hazel         SC    07     24
 18.  Josh Campbell      NY    03     24
 19.  Pete Gathmann      NJ    15     21
 20.  Brad Sherwood      PA    13     18
 21.  Mike Kaltman       PA    09     18
 22.  Winton LeMoine     CA    07     18
 23.  Nick Benedict      CA    01     18
 24.  Rob Seulowitz      NY    00     18
 25.  Dan Hoffman        NC    99     18
 26.  Eric Brosius       MA    10     17
 27.  Barry Shutt        PA    04     16
 28.  Mario Lanza        PA    03     16
 29.  Barb Flaxington    NJ    09     15
 30.  Gary Presser       NY    02     13
 31.  Kevin Broh-Kahn    MD    15     12
 32.  Drew Duboff        NJ    11     12
 33.  Brian Kirchner     de    06     12
 34.  John Poniske       PA    04     12
 35.  Davyd Field        SC    03     12
 36.  Dennis Disney      TX    99     12
 37.  Jeff Meyer         MA    12      9
 38.  Rich Meyer         MA    07      9
 39.  David Gubbay       TX    06      9
 40.  James Pei          TX    00      9
 41.  Sean Vessey        VA    99      9
 42.  Stan Hilinski      MD    02      8
 43.  Rebecca Hebner     CO    15      6
 44.  Bruce DuBoff       NJ    12      6
 45.  Nick Henning       CT    09      6
 46.  Tim Mossman        MD    08      6
 47.  Mike Nickeloff     CA    07      6
 48.  Paul Murphy        UT    06      6
 49.  Peter Martin       NJ    01      6
 50.  Paul Hakken        NJ    99      6
 51.  Andrew Greene      VA    04      4
 52.  Gary Noe           FL    03      4
 53.  Scott Fenn         MD    15      3
 54.  Kolbe DiGiulio     PA    13      3
 55.  Brian Kowal        WI    07      3
 56.  Joe Pabis          VA    06      3
 57.  Andy Lewis         DE    01      3
 58.  Scott Buckwalter   MD    00      3
 59.  Scott Smith        GA    99      3
2015 Laurelists Returning Laurelists: 1

Yoel Weiss, NJ

Kevin Broh-Kahn, MD

Pete Gathman, NJ

Rebecca Hebner, CO

Scott Fenn, MD

Past Winners

Stu Hendrickson,VA

Anthony Burke, NJ

Jason Levine, NY

Mark Guttag, VA

Rob Flowers, MD
2003, 2009, 2015

Jay Fox, NJ

Charlie Kersten, OH

Greg Thatcher, FL

Robb Effinger, on
2007, 2013

Geoff Pounder, on

Curt Collins II, PA

Eric Freeman, PA

Alex Bove, PA

Kevin Broh-Kahn welcomes
Ashley Worley back from Bulgaria.

Rebecca Hebner gives
Dr Thatcher all he can handle.

One of our favorite Israelis
with Scott Fenn

Rebecca is outnumbered by
the Jay's Basement cheering section.

Lost Rule Discovered ...

This year's tournament was unique in that, for the first time that I can remember, we played all 5-player games throughout the heats and advanced rounds. As the GM, I had to bow out during one of the heats to make the numbers work, but otherwise we had exact multiples of five throughout. I prefer 5-player games, even though it can be chaotic, and sometimes one or more people can more easily find themselves out of the running. Some people have suggested I switch to 4-player games, but I remain unconvinced.

One of the downsides of having all 5-player games is that we had slightly fewer winners than usual, so a few more runners-up were eligible to advance but didn't know it. I'll have to make a point of explaining that better in the future.

One quirk this year was that, in the heat I did not play, I took to reading the rules over again, since I seldom read them during the year, this being a nearly 20-year old game. In the process, I found a rule of which I was unaware. Apparently, the action cards which allow you to choose a region to score can target the Castillo. Neither I, or any other players I mentioned it to, were aware of this, and yet it was clearly stated in several different versions of the rules I found. Might be useful for the future!

This year we had one triple winner in the heats (Chris McCurry) and one double winner (Greg Thatcher). Many other regulars managed to qualify for the semifinals, along with last year's champion, Alex Bove. The highest winning score was 118 points by Geoff Pounder, while the lowest was 74 by Bryan Berkenstock.

The beginning two turns of the Final were relatively quiet, points-wise. A couple of scoring cards came out that gave everyone a few points, except for Pete who was concentrating mainly in the Castillo and a couple of other territories.

Then the cards turned up for Turn 3, and there was one of the cards that can really change the course of the game, and it did. It was the Score the Firsts card, which can have a huge impact if your board position is temporarily off. After the bidding was complete, Rob was going first and Yoel was to go second. Rob managed to set up the board such that Yoel decided to score the firsts, giving Yoel 22 points, Rob 17, Kevin 6, and the rest zero. This set up a gap between Yoel/Rob and the rest that was never successfully closed.

During the first scoring Kevin went to support his Grande in Catalonia. Yoel went to Valencia and managed to claim first place with only two caballeros. The others went to empty Granada, which worked fine for Pete (with his lead in the Castillo), but much less so for Rebecca and Rob.

Nevertheless, after the first scoring round, Rob had a two-point lead on Yoel. During the later turns, it became a duel between them. During that time, Yoel even took a couple of moves which helped one or more of the others quite a bit, but managed to gain on Rob by one or two points. As a result of this, and some good moves on the board, Kevin was slowly gaining on the leaders, while Pete and Rebecca were still trailing.

During the second scoring around, all minds were once again thinking alike as four of the five contenders headed for Valencia, where Pete got first and Rob second. Rebecca took over first place in Granada.

After the second scoring round, Rob had a six-point lead on Yoel. Victory was still potentially in reach, but then the action cards and bidding went very favorably for Rob. He secured the Veto near the beginning of the eighth turn, and was able to prevent too much deterioration of his position. Then, on the last turn, Rob was able to play his 13 card (which he had taken back earlier with a special action), because no one else had a 13 left to play. This allowed him to defend his home territory and seal his third ELG shield.

GM Rob Flowers about to pull a Coussis on his fellow finalists.
GM Rob Flowers [13th Year] NA
rpf1@mindspring.com NA

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