Four & Counting ... maybe
Rick Miller and John Dextraze
Steven Squibb and Bill Peeck
2007 champ Steve Shambeda and Mark
2006 champ Fred Minard and Mike Stanley
Union Pacific ran once again as a non-stop Swiss tournament
held on Monday afternoon. This year the event added a semifinal
round instead of going three heats directly into a Final. The
thought being it was better to settle things on the field (or
on the board) than to let tiebreakers get in the way. Of course,
there is a price in player convenience to be paid for that line
of thinking. Attendance took a big hit and sank to an alltime
low as only 30 players took to the rails, but the games that
were played were spirited and well fought nonetheless.
Among all of the preliminary highlights, 2007 champion Steve
Shambeda set a mark for what could be described as the most unlikely
of events over the course of two games. During his two games,
Shambeda drew the dividend card EIGHT times - going 4 for 4
in each game. The semifinal round did what it was designed to
do - eliminate the total dependence on tie-breakers. Only one
was needed to fill the eighth spot in the semi's. Bobbi Warczak's
total points of 342 was just enough to edge Brandon Bernard's
Among the semifinalists, 2006 champ Fred Minard and Jason
Arvey took first and second place in the first semifinal, outlasting
Warczak and Frank Bragg. Defending champ Curt Collins II and
Jeff Senley outlasted eventual 5th and 6th place laurelists Jeff
Jackson and Brad Sherwood to take the other two spots.
All four opening investments in the Final were unique and
only one player built a track using his initial investment.
Track play and investment continued until Fred triggered the
first dividend payments. Minard would also trigger the third
dividend payout. The big railroad earner on the board was the
Billings Northern Light which, at the end, was worth $16 to Fred.
Collins was fortunate in the end that Fred did not pull the
fourth dividend right before Collins was able to invest one last
time in the Denver Midlands and Sioux Falls Royal Blue to secure
a Captainship in Denver and a tie in Sioux Falls. Denver being
worth $10 and Sioux Falls worth $8, coupled with Collins' overall
captainship in the UP Stock, enabled him to just barely pass
Arvey's $116 by all of $2. Minard finished third with $115 while
Senley brought up the rear with $105.
If the December votes are fothcoming, Union Pacific
will return to WBC in 2015 with a similar structure, but a new
schedule. It is my hope that this new schedule will bump attendance
upwards again. Curt Collins II has won this event five times
in the past six years. Will he get another chance in 2015? That's
up to you.
Max Jamelli in his ever lovin'
Yankees cap with his finalists.