merchant of venus [Updated October 2004]  

 2004 WBC Report  

 2005 Status: pending 2005 GM commitment

Eric Wrobel, VA

2004 Champion

2nd: Joe Abrams, CT

3rd: Rich Meyer, MA

4th: Vassili Kyrkos, NY

5th: Chuck Foster, TX

6th: Jim Fardette, AE

Event History
1991    Duane Wagner      24
1992    Kathy Stroh      21
1993    Michael Anchors      41
1994    David Thompson      43
1995    Greg Mayer      56
1996    Tom Stokes      48
1997    Mark Hunter      78
1998    Greg Mayer      80
1999    Steve Crenshaw     67
2000    Debbie Otto     68
2001     Bill Crenshaw     72
2002     Charley Hickok      60
2003     Luke Koleszar      64
2004     Eric Wrobel      64


Offsite links:

AREA Ratings

boardgamegeek

 Laurels
Rank Name

From

Last
Total
 1. Debbie Otto

MO

00
56
 2. Ed Wrobel

VA

03
52
 3.  Eric Wrobel

VA

04
48
 4. Bill Crenshaw

VA

01
48
 5. Luke Koleszar

VA

03
44
 6. Charles Hickok

PA

02
40
 7. Steve Dickson

CA

02
40
 8. Jeff Bakalchuck

NY

02
40
 9. Steve Crenshaw

VA

99
40
10. Greg Mayer

MO

99
36
11. Chuck Foster

TX

04
36
12. Joe Abrams

CT

04
24
13. Lance Ribeiro

NH

01
24
14. Rich Meyer

MA

04
16
15.   Vassili Kyrkos

NY

04
12
16. Eyal Mozes

NY

02
12
17. Abby Cocke

MD

02
12
18. James Hopkin

CA

00
12
19. Tom DeMarco

NJ

03
  8
20. Gary Dickson

CA

02
  8
21. Lauren Hickok

PA

00
  8
22.  Jim Fardette

AE

04
  4
19. Lynn Ribeiro

NH

01
  4

Past Winners

Duane Wagner - NJ
1991

Kathy Stroh - PA
1992

Michael Anchors - MD
1993

David Thompson - NE
1994

Greg Mayer - MO
1995, 1998

Tom Stokes - NJ
1996

Mark Hunter - MO
1997

Steve Crenshaw - MD
1999


Deb Otto - MO
2000


Bill Crenshaw - MD
2001


Charlie Hickok - PA
2002


Luke Koleszar - VA
2003
 
 


Lost in Space

The tournament retained the same format as in prior years: three preliminary heats with the players randomly (I repeat RANDOMLY) assigned to tables of four. Each winner of a heat game qualifies for the semi-finals, which were held on Saturday morning. The winners of the semi-final games advanced to the final held immediately thereafter.

Like last year, I asked the players to record the IOU's they collected and used throughout their games. 16 games had that information recorded. Combining it with last year's data (a total of 39 games from the last two years), the winner often had collected the most IOU's, but it was by no means a guarantee of victory:

Average number of IOU's Collected: Winners averaged 3.89 IOU's, 2nd placers 3.33, 3rd placers 2.97 and 4th placers 2.95

Times the Player who collected the most IOU's (and ties) finished: First: 20 times, Second: 12 times, Third: 11 times, Fourth: 8 times

Times the player who collected the fewest IOU's (and ties) finished: First: 7 times, Second: 14 times, Third: 21 times, Fourth: 16 times

Collecting IOU's is a useful strategy because for each one collected it can be used in that system for essentially free starting capital. But establishing a profitable route can be just as valuable. Balancing when to stop exploring (thus gaining more IOU's) and start trading is the key strategic decision in the game. Often, it pays to start to trade sooner than the other players.

The first heat, held on Wednesday at 1 PM, featured eight games and 32 players. The highlight table was Table 1 (a.k.a. THE TABLE OF DEATH!!!!) That featured three former champions: Tom Stokes, Bill Crenshaw, and last year's champ Luke Koleszar. (It really was a random draw to determine table assignments. Really! I didn't look really!) The amazing result is the fourth player at the table, Chuck Foster, blasted away with the easy victory. Chuck is no slouch either, being a finalist last year.

At Table 2, Roderick Lee had the game won; though he didn't realize it. After he completed his turn and the next player went, he realized he had passed the $2000 goal. Unfortunately, you can only declare victory on your own turn. Before the turn could get back to him, Vassili Kyrkos had reached $2000 in cash & deeds and claimed victory. At Table 8, the same thing happened, when Jeri Freedman claimed victory over the erstwhile Stephen Snyder who also had over $2000. (Strategy tip: Always check to see
if you won before passing the dice.) At least both Roderick & Stephen were the top two alternates for the semi-finals and they both advanced anyway.

The second heat was held Thursday at 3: PM with Bill Crenshaw filling in for me. 28 players formed seven boards for this heat. Only one game provided a written report and at Table 6, Andrew Bremer powered to victory with the Jump Start (almost inarguably, the best Relic in the game) even though only two Telegates were found.

Heat 3 was held Friday at 4 PM. After scrounging though the Maryland Room to find enough tables not being used by Puerto Ricans, six tables with 24 players played the round. At Table 4, Dave Foster wins the fictional "Water in the Gas Tank" Award for rolling 1,1,1 twice in his game. Jim Fardette, from Darmstadt, Germany, who obviously required a Clipper ship to get to Hunt Valley, made the semi-finals by winning at Table 2 and preventing Tom Stokes from making the Semis.

The Semi-finals were held at 9:00 AM on Saturday. 17 of the 20 winners (Chuck Foster won two heat games) arrived on time. That meant five games of four comprised Round 2 One change in the rules was implemented with games being played to $3,000 instead of $2,000. Unfortunately, no one wrote any reports of the action so I'll just report the winners: Rich Meyer, Joe Abrams, Chuck Foster, Vassili Kyrkos and Eric Wrobel.

The final was one of the best Merchant of Venus games I have seen. The game was played with the GM's set which included metal ships (pilfered from an old Parker Brother's game, Wide World) and poker chips for use as galactic credits. Early in the game, Joe cashed a Space Spice with quadruple demand turning a nifty $290 profit on an initial investment of $30. Everyone thought Joe would win easily. Eric, exploring the less fashionable portions of the Western Spiral arm of the Milky Way, found both the Jump Start and Mulligan Gear (The only other candidate for best Relic). And when Eric opened the port at Neutron Port and all the players visited soon after to use the facilities to speed loading & unloading. (Everyone Goes to Eric's ... that'd be a good name for a movie!) Eric quickly caught up and won the game with Joe only $17 short. Wow!

Actually all, five players were over $2,100 which really was a very close game.

Congratulations to Eric Wrobel, 2004 Champion. I had first played Eric at my first Avaloncon when he was 10 or 11 years old. Beat the pants off me then, too!

Final Results:
Top 5 based on position in the final game:
1) Eric Wrobel $ 3,101
2) Joe Abrams $ 2,983
3) Rich Meyer $ 2,567
4) Vassili Kyrkos $ 2,336
5) Chuck Foster $ 2,180

The next spots were award to semi-finalist based upon their finish in the semi-final game:
6) Jim Fardette $2,915
7) Craig Dudley $2,848
8) Tom Browne $ 2,765
9) Peter D. Rohn $ 2,269
10) Laurel Stokes $ 2,176
11) Andrew Bremer $ 1,820
12) Roy Pettis $ 1,695
13) Kathy Stroh $ 1,679
14) Lee Presser $ 1,664
15) Roderick Lee $ 1,642
16) Wendy DeMarco $1,608
17) Luke Koleszar $1,390
18) Stephen C. Snyder $ 1,244
19) Michael Musko $ 1,061
20) Jeri Freedman $ 798

The remaining players were awarded based on the best heat finish: (21-23 all won their heats, but could not play in the semis.)
21) Jonathan Squibb $ 2,231
22) Jeff August $ 2,093
23) Jason Levine $ 2,091
24) Tom Vickery $ 1,965
25) Tom Stokes $1,930
26) Bill Crenshaw $ 1,927
27) Mike Brophy $ 1,927 (tie)
28) Barry Barnes $ 1,919
29) Duane Wagner $ 1,907
30) Tom DeMarco $ 1,883
31) Bob Heinzman $ 1,778
32) Richard Irving $ 1,778 (tie)
33) Su Hung $ 1,777
34) Russell Harley $1,700
35) Malinda Barnes $ 1,692
36) David Frisch $ 1,628
37) Joe Delaney $1,587
38) Sean McCulloch $ 1,509
39) Ken Richards $ 1,460
40) Daniel Hoffman $ 1,453
41) William Duke $ 1,436
42) Bob Foster $1,430
43) Ewan McNay $1,400
44) Andrew Cummins $1,379
45) Greg Romero $ 1,344
46) Seth Fine $ 1,292
47) Randy Sands $ 1,288
48) Frank McNulty $ 1,278
49) Paul Gaberson $ 1,260
50) Phil Rennert $ 1,249
51) David Long $ 1,199
52) Dave Foster $ 1,197
53) Brittany Foster $ 1,090
54) Brandon Foster $ 1,130
55) Andrew Snyder $ 1,024
56) Andres Dunn $ 1,013
57) Debbie Gutermuth $ 993
58) Tim Buckler $ 980
59) Rod Davidson $ 970
60) Michael Holmquist $ 948
61) William D. Lentz $ 845
62) Patrick Havert $ 684
63) Dawn Amburgey $ 600
64) Debbie Davidson $ 582

P.S. Obscure movie trivia reference: "Everyone Goes to Rick's" was the working title for "Casablanca".

 GM      Richard Irving  [3rd Year]   NA
    rri1@aol.com   NA

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