We Should All Decline so Gracefully
The slow but steady decline of the Medici tournament continued
this year as participation dropped below 100 for the first time
in four years. It is hard to know how much blame one can attribute
to the shift in venue and how much stems from decreasing interest
in the game itself. I am hoping that the numbers rebound next
year, but we will see what happens. While the object is to have
5-player games, that goal was again unobtainable this year.
The first heat had 36 players participating in six 5-player
and one 6-player game. Interesting occurrences in the first
heat included Scott Cornett reaching the top of the dye commodity
in the second round and then focusing on getting the biggest
boat in the third round to achieve his victory, while Pete Staab,
got the heaviest boat in the first round by getting one of each
of the five commodities and still managed to earn nine florins
from commodities in the round. However, Pete got almost no points
in the third round and lost to Kathy Stroh. The other five winners
were Lyman Moquin, Robert Drozd, Francis Spencer, Gary Noe and
The second heat had an ideal field of 45 players for nine
5-player games. In one contest, in two different rounds only
the dealer could purchase a 3-load order and each time the dealer
pulled the 10 card as the first card. In another game, Chris
Palermo was forced to make an overbid of 23 florins to get commodities
he wanted - giving the win to Eugene Lin in the process. This
heat also featured the closest game of the tournament as John
Tighe Jr. beat Brian Clark by one florin, 111 to 110. The other
winners in this heat were Eric Brosius, Marc Houde, Jean-Francois
Gagne, Eric Eshleman, Fred Minard, Chris Striker and James Pei.
The last heat on Saturday was the biggest with 57 players
in nine 5-player and two 6-player games. This heat featured
the two biggest routs as Rich Roberts and Charles Faella both
won with 25 point spreads. Other winners were Jennifer Thomas,
Jeri Freedman, Roger Whitney, Steve Scott, Ben Foy, Kevin Cachia,
Charlie Kerston, Mark Love and Alex Bove.
23 of the 27 Preliminary winners returned for the semifinal
round, so two alternates were added to make five 5-player games.
In the semifinals, Eric Brosius was the only player who could
take a 3-load order in the first round. The first time Eric
tried to pull a good hand for himself, he got three low value
cards in three different commodities and passed on the cards.
The next time he got the chance to deal, he turned over two
good metal cards with one low metal card to gain a decent advantage
that he used to build a lead and eventually win the game. The
other four winners were Gary Noe, James Pei, Charles Faella and
The order for the Final was Noe, Faella, Houde, Brosius and
Pei. In the first round, James jumped out to a 20 florin lead
over Marc followed by Gary, Charles and Eric. However, Gary
and Eric both had started establishing good holdings in two different
commodities with three of one commodity and two of the second.
In the second round, James didn't get much help and saw his
lead over Marc shrink to six florins while Gary remained in third.
Eric moved into fourth with a 10 florin bonus in metal and Charles
dropped to last. In the last round, Gary got the spice he needed
on the first draw to gain the 20-florin bonus for a payment of
three florins and then added the high boat (at a total value
of 17) to pull out the victory. Eric moved into second with
the 20-florin bonus in metal and a tie for second in the largest
boat for the round. James took third, Marc held on to fourth
while Charles closed the gap with the 20 point bonus although
he still finished last.
Despite qualifying as a Century event in 2006 by virtue
of attendance, this event has been penalized one level down to
Continuing Trial status for failure to submit its event report
on time. It will be eligible to be run in 2006 by a new GM only
as a Trial event and only if it receives sufficient votes in
the Annual membership survey to
return as one of the 25 Continuing Trials.