Heats instead of Rounds ...
year's tournament was smoother and slightly more organized. The
major improvement was scheduling four heats instead of a three-round
preliminary session. Entrants could play in any three. This allowed
people to forego one (or more) heats(s) to play in a game they
just couldn't miss. There were 29 games played over those four
heats. 14 people played three, 19 played two games and the rest
played just once. Out of the 14 people playing three heats, eight
made it to the semi-finals. A first and a second would've put
a player into the semi's.
As in all games, there were some memorable plays but Cliff
Ackman confounded finalist Justin Thompson with one play in particular.
Justin (seat 1) started Luxor and bought three shares. Jason
Ley (seat 2) bought three Luxor. David Rhode (seat 3) bought
three Luxor. Rather than buy into something Cliff didn't think
he could compete in, he bought three American to secure his lead
in that chain. Justin then merged Luxor, garnering $3,000 and
providing Jason and David with just $800 each. All players kept
their stock. Justin bought three shares of another chain. Jason
recreated Luxor and bought three shares in addition to his free
one giving him a total of seven shares. David bought three, total
6. On Cliff's turn; he merged Luxor into a chain giving Jason
first and David second. Justin and Cliff are left out in the
cold. Why would anyone do this??!
Reasoning: Justin had $2200 more than any other player. He
could purchase stock to maintain his lead in Luxor and/or gain
the lead in any other chain he wanted. By putting money into
the other two players' accounts; Jason and David are able to
challenge Justin (and each other) for the payout positions in
the various chains. Cliff maintained the competition between
the three players rather than allowing Justin a liesurely time
to purchase a payout position in other chains. Justin won the
semi-final all the same,
but it wasn't easy.
The final was well played, but the three old-timers were no
match for Jon "Richie-Rich" Shambeda who had majority
interest in the first two mergers giving him $10,000 more than
either Chuck or Justin could garner with their runnerup payouts.
John had extraordinarily bad tiles in that he didn't participate
in any mergers during the final. If you want to read a play-by
play account of the final visit: http://home.ezonline.net/~thx1138/acquire2002.htm