Fine porcelain! Bolts and bolts
of fabric! Spices for sale!
maintained the same format that we have used for the past couple
of years with three heats and the winners of each game in each
heat advancing to the single elimination semi-final round. This
year, all were 5-player games, which is the GM's preference.
Disappointing for me was that I only played in one heat this
year in order to make all of the games 5-player contests.
Heat 1 on Wednesday afternoon had eight games. Winners included
Jim Fry, Mark Love, Jennifer Thomas, Scott Cornett, Tom Browne,
Jared Scarborough, Charles Hickok and Ben Foy.
Heat 2 on Thursday afternoon was the biggest heat in the years
I have run the event. There were 14 games with winners being
Scott Cornett (the only player to win two heat games), Ann Cornett,
Kevin Youells, Ken Gutermuth, Ken Rothstein, John Pack, Scott
Pfeiffer, Joe Jaskiewicz, Jeff Mullet, Tom Saal,
Carmen Petruzelli, Mario Lanza, Jeff Cornett and Bret Mingo.
In her game, Ann Cornett managed to deal herself the "10
gold" card, a 5-value commodity and a 4-value commodity
when no one else could bid on these cards so she got them for
a bid of one florin in the second round of the game.
Heat 3 on Friday evening saw seven more games. The winners
were Harald Henning, Robert Paul, Tom Agostino, Bob
Runnicles, John Wetherell, Su Hung and Jeri Freedman. In Jeri's
game, she ended up with the top spot in two of the commodities
and the second spot in two others.
We had exactly 25 heat winners appear for the semi-final.
This perfect configuration yielded five 5-player games with the
winners advancing to the final. The first game ended in a tie
between Jeff Cornett and Bret Mingo with Jeff advancing via the
tiebreaker. The second game saw Ann Cornett wipe out her table
with a 54-florin victory over Joe Jaskiewicz. Jeff Mullet won
the third game by 10 florins over Charles Hickok. Scott Cornett
beat Kevin Youells by 45 florins in the fourth. In the fifth
semi-final game, Harald Henning made a bid to force Ken Rothstein
to bid 13 florins for a 5-value dye card that gave Ken the 10-florin
bonus spot and third best boat in the second round. However,
Harald's two cards that he got for free as the next action at
the end of that round got him the top boat for the round and
gave him a 22-florin lead, which he retained.
I should have known how competitive the final was going to
be when we had three players make a random draw because they
all wanted to play the red pieces. In all three rounds, there
was at least one player who did not have a full ship of five
commodities. The order of seating around the table for the final
was Scott Cornett, Jeff Mullet, Jeff Cornett, Harald Henning
and Ann Cornett. In the first round, Jeff Cornett bought the
four cards offered in the first three auctions for a total of
24 florins (and later bought his fifth card for his remaining
six florins). Ann then bought the next five cards that were
auctioned for 21 florins. The other highlight of the first round
was that Jeff Mullet had no cards when all four of the other
players had filled their ships so he got a free draw of four
cards which turned into four spice commodity cards, which some
players felt was a very lucky draw. I felt that he would have
been luckier drawing three spice cards, which would have still
given him the lead in that commodity with one card of another
commodity to maybe get some second place points in that commodity
and also to give Jeff a second commodity to collect. After the
first round, Ann had a 14-florin lead over Jeff Mullet, with
the other three close behind.
Round 2 started with Jeff Cornett turning over three more
spice cards. Ann bid 24 florins to try to stop Jeff Mullet from
getting the 20-point bonus in the spice commodity that early.
However, Jeff bid 25 florins for the three spice commodities.
The second round also saw a 13 florin bid by Scott for a couple
of dye commodities and a porcelain, Harald bid 10 florins for
a 5-value cloth card and Scott bid 10 for 4-value metal card.
Jeff Cornett only got one bid this round, but it was a three-card
flip that included the "10 gold" card, a 5-value dye
and a 5-value porcelain when no one else could take the lot so
he got these cards for one florin. By the end of the round,
Scott Cornett managed to get to the 10-point bonus space in dyes
and Ann Cornett got to the 10-point bonus in metals in addition
to Jeff Mullet's 20-point bonus in spice. At the end of the second
round, Ann and Jeff Mullet were tied for the lead with Jeff Cornett
one florin behind. Harald and Scott trailed 20 florins back.
Round 3 saw very few high
bids with the highest being Jeff Mullet's 20 florins for the
"10 gold" card, a 5-value dye and a 2-value metal relatively
late in the round. Earlier, other high bids were Jeff Cornett
bidding nine florins for a 5-value cloth, 11 florins for a 5-value
metal, 5-value porcelain and 1-value cloth and eventually 10
florins for a 5-value porcelain. The first card of the third
round was the 0-value metal card dealt by Scott and won by Ann
for 1 florin to get her the 20-point bonus space in the metal
commodity. Scott paid seven florins for a 4-value dye, which
gave him the 20-point bonus in that commodity. And Harald ended
up getting to the 20-point bonus space in porcelain by bidding
a total of 10 florins for the 4-, 1- and 3-value porcelains offered
in three separate lots. The key bid was the penultimate auction
where Ann got a 0- and 1-value dye, and 5-value cloth for two
florins to give her the fourth best ship and a tie for second
in dyes. The 4-florin profit that Ann made on this bid was her
margin of victory over Jeff Mullet to give Ann the championship.
Harald wound up in third 27 florins behind Ann with Scott and
Jeff Cornett very close behind Harald.
I am seeking feedback on two questions before next year's
tournament. First, I am considering moving the third heat, semi-final
and final from Friday evening to Saturday afternoon. Would players
prefer I leave these games at the current time or would you prefer
the move? Second, the past two years I have had the potential
to have more than 25 semi-finalists. If I get over 25 heat winners
for the semi-final, should I have six 5-player semis with a 6-player
final, five 6-player semis with a 5-player final, or should I
just go up to 36 semi-finalists with six 6-player semis and a
6-player final? Please let me know your opinion by sending me
an e-mail or regular mail.