108 players in the big parade ...
It was another stable year for an event demonstrating remarkable
consistency with its third straight attendance of exactly 108.
Our first heat in the familiar bright surroundings of Paradise
was our largest with 16 tables. Heats 2 and 3 were way off in
Connestoga - the airwall divided rooms off Lampeter. I'm not
sure if that affected attendance but it certainly made it a challenge
to find! Heat 2 found us actually sharing one of the already
small Connestoga rooms with an ongoing event, so it was lucky
we had brought multiple decks with different backs. GM Amy Rule
stayed in the 'official' space with a few tables from the 'red'
deck while Assistant GM Norman took the 'green deck' players
off to the overflow rounds at the end of Lampeter. Heat 3 again
found us overflowing Connestoga. The evening heat did however
give us a chance to catch the Sandmen parade.
This year we only had five double winners (two of which went
on to the Final table) in the Preliminaries and a whole slew
of 1-game winners. The standings were calculated out to the
5th tiebreaker and posted Friday night for an early Saturday
SF/F. Assistant GM Norman ran the semi as GM Amy was trying
to get into the Puerto Rico semi. Apparently I wasn't
the only one focused on other games as only eight of the first
16 players actually appeared for the semi. Every winner who
appeared was seated in the semi, and Norman actually had to seat
himself to make the last 3-player game. (Guess I should have
gone myself, I would have been the 4th in that game and I didn't
even make the PRO semi anyway). That was our only 3-player
game of the tournament. Folks, it pays to come to the semi's!
The scoresheets ask players to record who had Mistress and
Observatory cards as there has been a lot of discussion about
the 'unbalancing' effects of these cards. Norman did some analysis
of the data afterwards.
~ 21% of winners had one or more Mistress/Observatory
~ 20% of the winners had neither Mistress nor Observatory and
still beat opponents who did
~ There were two games where every player had a Mistress or an
~ In half the games, players with at least one of these cards
came in third or fourth
~ In three of four semi's, winners had both Mistress and Observatory
BUT Rob Kircher who won both his semi and the Final while
scoring his first SPG laurels WITHOUT either Mistress
or Observatory, while others did have them. So as powerful as
these cards seem to be, they are not the 'guaranteed win' that
some make them out to be!
Some other interesting numbers:
~ Lowest score: 25.
~ Highest score: 109 by Rob Kircher in Heat 1.
~ Highest 4th place score: 74.
~ Closest game: 4 point spread from 1st to 4th; This was also
our lowest scoring game, won with 38 points.
~ Biggest spread: 63.
~1 game won on tiebreaker; Anne Norton over Thomas Johnston in
the first heat.
I do want to thank Andy Latto for sharing his spreadsheet
app for checking in players as it made things run VERY smoothly
this year. I was also happy to submit Tom DeMarco's nomination
as Sportsman of the Year. Tom was nominated by two players for
helping a new player to better understand the game, even when
it hurt his position at the table. Tom (a former GM of this
event) is an excellent player and is always gracious in his victories
and his (all too infrequent!) defeats.
That wraps up this year. See you all again next summer!