Ladies First ...
Paul Van Bloem, 2011 champ Sue Lanham
and Trella Bromley
Chester Lanham and Dan Leader
2006 champ Inger Henning and
Walter Hnatiw and 2008 champ
Once again, I'm forced to examine the "battle-of-the-sexes"
aspect of our event. Although women were outnumbered 33 to 5
in 2013, it was again one of the ladies who went home with the
"Gold." Since 2006, five ladies (Inger Henning, Eve
Secunda, Sue Lanham, Donna Balkan, and now, Trella Bromley) have
demonstrated they have the "right stuff" as opposed
to only two men. My personal congratulations to Trella, who is
no stranger to train games (and runs her own Rail Baron
tournament, as does Donna).
year, there were three double winners in the peliminaies: Mike
Zorrer, Inger, and myself. Since one of our semifinal winners
chose not to advance further, we had an opening (as we did last
year) for an alternate. I was able to secure the alternate seat
for the Final by having a slightly higher total net worth in
the heats than Inger. Mike didn't need to be considered for the
alternate seat, as he won his semifinal game, as did Brian, Norm,
and Trella. Since I got to play for a change, Assistant GM Paul
Van Bloem officiated the Final.
As is pretty much always the case, one of the five players
struggles in the Final, usually early on, and, it doesn't get
any better. In this case, calamity stalked Norm. 14 of his 21
destinations were hostile, including all of his last 11. Norm
was forced to auction off two properties, the RF&P and the
N&W, which were grabbed by Trella. In contrast, Trella visited
five hostile destinations, and I, Brian, and Mike all visited
six or seven. As you can see from the cash holdings at the end
of the game, Mike and I were right behind Trella, who had just
enough to declare for Home. Sitting at her last destination,
St. Louis, with me in striking distance en route to that same
city, she needed to roll a "9" to reach her (hostile)
home, Buffalo, and rolled a "10!" Outnumbered 4 to
1 in the Final, the lady again emerged triumphant.
The Final end-of-game holdings of the five players were:
Trella: $340K: $204K cash, B&O, B&M, RF&P, GN, NP,
CRI&P, SAL, L&N, and N&W.
Mike: $315K: $195K cash, PA, ACL, CMSTP&P, AT&SF, SOU.
Ron: $306K: $193K cash, NYC, MP, UP, C&NW, T&P.
Brian: $256K: $145K cash, C&O, SP, SLSF, IC, GM&O, NYNH&H
Norm: $53.5K: $19.5K cash, CB&Q, WP, D&RGW.
On a personal note, I have to tell you, the Canadian contingent
is great. Last year, Norm donated a little brown bag of "Canadian
Wild Moose Droppings" (chocolate-covered almonds). So, this
year, I reciprocated with a little brown bag of "Adirondack
Moose Droppings." However, this year, Norm provided me with
a little brown bag of "Canadian Polar Bear Droppings"
(chocolate-covered pecans, I think... rather, I hope...), AND
a little brown bag of Canadian Beaver Droppings ("Maple-flavoured
Roasted Peanuts"). Where will this end?
My apologies to all, as this year I wasn't able to secure
the usual group photo - maybe I can arrange a remedial photo
session next year. I have a feeling all of us will be back next
year (some shooting for the grand prize, others for a second
bite at the apple).
Thanks to my assistants, Paul, Chester Lanham, and my wife
for their assistance.
Defending champ Donna Balkan and 2009
champ Mark McCandless
GM Ron Secunda and his fellow finalists.