best two out of three ...
Welcome to a Single Elimination tournament that has been transformed
into a well-oiled machine. What was once a chaotic affair ending
after midnight, has become a triumph of planning with players
quickly playing their next matches, and a final round which began
at 9:30 PM. It must be time to retire!
tournament rules of the last few years were in effect. Rather
than using cumulative score, a best-of-three games format was
adopted for each round. Cumulative score was kept for tie-break
purposes, should one of the three games played end in a tie.
Once again, this helped the pace of the tournament since winning
two straight games ended the round.
A diverse group of 60 Lost Cities hopefuls made their
way to Salon CD. Husbands. Wives. Young. And the older than young.
Among the ranks were Jared Scarborough and Daniel Karp, the respective
champions from 2001 and 2002. Also in the group was 13 year old
Lisa Gutermuth, who won her opening round, over her "older
than young" opponent Steven Caler.
Lisa was bounced in Round 2, but Steven's wife Carol Caler
made it all the way to the semi-finals, defeating Jared Scarborough
in the quarterfinals. Fellow champion Daniel Karp met a similar
fate in the quarters, running into Charles Blahouse. Joining
Carol and Charles in the semi-finals were Jeff Gardner (who had
an incredible sense of humor and one of the best laughs I have
ever heard), and Doug Galullo, sporting his Florida tan and playing
faster than Seabiscuit racing War Admiral.
In the semis, Doug squared off against Jeff, momentarily driving
the laughter out of the poor man in two quick rounds - 52-34
and 64-39. But, that was merciful compared to the beating Charles
inflicted on Carol 94-57 and 111-23. Charles racked up
a 70+ point expedition in each game, despite playing five expeditions
in the second game.
The finals featured a clash in styles. First, there was Doug's
laid-back Okefenokee look, compared with Charles, who was dressed
in a suit (I think the first player dressed that way since Tom
Landry). Second, there was Doug's 186,000 miles/second playing
style (you could actually see the light bending in) versus Charles'
calculated approach, with Father Time resting his hand on Charles'
Patience prevailed in Game 1, with Charles again playing five
expeditions, and winning 45-17. Warp-speed Doug struck back in
Game 2, lasering a win 44-31. Then the unthinkable happened.
Charles speeded up his game a bit. Doug paused for thought, and
Game 3 ended in a 41-41 tie. Cumulative score broke the tie in
Charles's favor, and Mr. Blahouse was crowned the 2003 Lost Cities
champion, winning Mamma Mia, courtesy of Jay Tummelson and Rio
It was a fantastically bizarre ending, to a wonderful tournament.
Four years and four different champions. Lost Cities rocks!