Britannia Rules the Hotel Chains
Doug Mercer, Rich Atwater, defending
champ Dave Gantt, and Steve Shambeda in semi-final action.
We had 12 boards on Saturday and six more Sunday morning for
a total of 18 preliminary games. A full four boards comprised
the semi-finals with two past champions still in the mix. The
goal of being finished in time for Slapshot wasn't met,
but that's a goal for the next GM.
In the first Semi, Rich Atwater was able to score early as
he formed three chains and merged each of them. The bodies he
ran over included last year's champion, Dave Gantt who had to
settle for 5th this time, and the top seed from the prelimnaries,
Steve Shambeda, who'll have to wait another year to match his
son's 2002 title.
Matt Calkins survived a hotel miscount which caused an unfavorable
merger to rise above Rich Meyer, Francis Spencer, and Tom Wade
on board 2.
A miscue by his opponents allowed David Fristch to sneak American
by and allowed him to collect a double bonus when it merged.
David proceeded to cruise past Geoffrey Pounder, Bobbie Warczak
and Rod Davidson on board 3.
Ed Kendrick surged past Bill Alderman who placed 6th overall,
former champion Steve Packwood, and Eyal Moses on board 4.
No former champs survived to contest the final so a new champion
was in the offing. Matt earned an early bullseye as he formed
four chains with his first four plays. Unfortunately for Matt,
this diversity made it hard to maintain control of so many assets
and he was denied the first three merging bonuses. Rich Atwater
and Ed were well positioned with Rich collecting two seconds
and a first and Ed taking the other two firsts.
Without the merging bonuses, Matt ran out of money first and
went six rounds in mid-game without being able to purchase any
stock. David, too, ran into trouble shortly thereafter. It was
looking like Rich and Ed would determine the winner between them.
Rich's chances took a huge blow when Matt merged Tower into
Worldwide and caused Continental to merge into Worldwide instead
of the other way around. Ed was then in the driver's seat and
collected four of the last five premier bonuses.
In all, the British entrepreneur earned six of nine 1st place
merger bonuses and shared in the end with Worldwide - netting
$65,800. Rich collected four 2nds and one 1st in American, while
sharing with Ed in Worldwide to achieve a total of $48,200. Matt
managed two shared 1sts and two 2nds with a shared 2nd in American
at game's end for $33,700. David was only able to earn one 1st,,
one shared 1st, one 2nd and a shared 2nd in American for $23,400.
I want to thank all those who joined us and helped me as a
first-time GM. Although I made mistakes, your support and patience
were greatly appreciated and I look forward to GMing in the future
when next I'm able to voyage east for WBC. A special thanks to
those who accepted my invitation to be assistant GM's. Your willingness
to help was very much needed and appreciated. As I will be unable
to attend WBC in 2006, now is your chance to step up and run
this event yourself.