merchant of venus [Updated October 2005]  

 2005 WBC Report  

 2006 Status: pending 2006 GM commitment

John Koskl, NC

2005 Champion

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


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
2005      John Koskl      50


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bill Crenshaw      VA    05     72
  2.  Eric Wrobel        VA    05     60
  3.  Debbie Otto        MO    00     56
  4.  Luke Koleszar      VA    05     52
  5.  Ed Wrobel          VA    03     52
  6.  John Koskl         NC    05     40
  7.  Lance Ribeiro      NH    05     40
  8.  Charles Hickok     PA    02     40
  9.  Steve Dickson      CA    02     40
 10.  Jeff Bakalchuck    NY    02     40
 11.  Steve Crenshaw     VA    99     40
 12.  Chuck Foster       TX    04     36
 13.  Greg Mayer         MO    99     36
 14.  Joe Abrams         CT    04     24
 15.  Rich Meyer         MA    04     16
 16.  Vassili Kyrkos     NY    04     12
 17.  Eyal Mozes         NY    02     12
 18.  Abby Cocke         MD    02     12
 19.  James Hopkin       CA    00     12
 20.  Tom DeMarco        NJ    03      8
 21.  Gary Dickson       CA    02      8
 22.  Lauren Hickok      PA    00      8
 23.  Ray Stakenas Sr    NC    05      4
 24.  Jim Fardette       AE    04      4
 25.  Lynn Ribeiro       NH    01      4

2005 Laurelists

Bill Crenshaw, VA

Lance Ribeiro, NH

Eric Wrobel, VA

Luke Koleszar, VA

Ray Stakenas Sr

Past Winners

Duane Wagner, NJ

Kathy Stroh, PA

Michael Anchors, MD

David Thompson, NE

Greg Mayer, MO
1995, 1998

Tom Stokes, NJ

Mark Hunter, MO

Steve Crenshaw, MD

Deb Otto, MO

Bill Crenshaw, MD

Charlie Hickok, PA

Luke Koleszar, VA

Eric Wrobel, VA


Wandering through Space for Fun and Profit

The 2005 tournament had a bit of a down year from the previous year with 50 merchants plying the spaceways for profit (and FUN!) Although the total number of games played (25) was about the same, so more players were taking advantage of multiple rounds in order to get the necessary win to advance to the semifinals.

This year I asked the players to record the spaceports and factories purchased on a map of Merchant of Venus board. I thank the players who recorded 20 of the games played it is tough work (even yours truly made mistakes). This allowed me to get an idea on the geographical distribution of purchases.

As usual, I found the winning players did very well in the real estate market. Ports & factory deeds are useful and count directly for victory. The most popular places to buy land was the Multi Generation Ship system (18 factories & 15 Neutron Ports) and War Torn System (19 Factories, 10 Terror Station and eight Titan's Towers), but the Cloud Factory seemed the best chance for victory (13 times the winner of a game bought this factory out of the17 games in which it was purchased). The winners purchased no other factory or port more than eight times. I suspect this might be more a result of their victory than a cause of it. Next year I'll have to see if the pattern continues.

Otherwise the distribution of ports and factories seemed well balanced. Winners and runner-ups tended to buy more than others, but everyone bought all over the board. There does not seem an obvious place to buy.

The first heat was held on Wednesday morning with 36 players in nine games. Doug Gallulo was the easy winner of the fictional "Water in Dilithium Crystals Award" for rolling five rolls throughout the game with a total less than 8 on four dice. OUCH! On another table, the "western" (as if "west" is a legitimate direction in space) systems of the board were left unexplored for an entire game. I guess the trading was so good, there was no need to look anywhere else!

The second heat was held Thursday evening with 20 merchants in five games. The most memorable contest included Tom DeMarco exclaiming, "I'm a good player! I should be able to see these things!" when another player informed Tom he could win that turn by completing certain transactions. (I can confirm that other player was correct (he had to barter his equipment and relics into a port that was available in the system.) Not that it made any difference in the final result, Tom gave up finding the instant win and won on the next turn anyway by over $400. But certainly, the quote of the event!

The third heat was held Friday afternoon with six more games being logged. For some reason, I thought there were exactly 24 players (It ALWAYS ends up on a even multiple of 4! Always!) But one table was missing a player after I made the assignment. I simply told the three other players to go ahead and start. (Which is how I handle an odd table anyway.) Eventually, I figured out it was my fault one of the player score cards must have stuck to a returning player's when I culled the cards out to set the round. Oh well, what am I going to write about when no one writes any juicy stories from their games! (Please take this as a hint to add some notes on your game if you want to read about something besides sticky note cards).

The semifinals were held Saturday morning. 18 players won at least one game, two players won twice and 15 players showed up at the appointed time, so only one alternate was needed to fill four tables. Debbie Gutermuth made it with the lowest alternate score ever to make it in at $1908. Usually, it takes over $2000 to buy in as an alternate.

Bill Crenshaw, defending champ Eric Wrobel and Lance Ribeiro won their heats easily. The fourth finalist was John Koski, who won in a close race over another ex champ, Luke Koleszar and Ray Stakenas Sr who had to settle for fifth and sixth place laurels respectively.

The Final was a close affair decided by a key moment in mid-game: Eric and John were in a race to deliver Finest Dusts to a planet with triple demand. Eric needed only an 8 (on three dice) to make the delivery, but rolled only a 7! This allowed John to sell two Dusts first, giving him an extra $250 which propelled him to the win. In addition, John bought up all the goods in this system leaving Eric nothing to deliver in future turns, adding insult to injury. John then coasted to a comfortable $400 margin.

Most importantly, I hope everyone followed rule #1 for this event. Have Fun!

Full Results:

Finalists ranked by their result in the Final:
1) John Koski, $3048
2) Bill Crenshaw, $2629
3) Lance Ribeiro, $2323
4) Eric Wrobal, $1535

Semifalists, ranked by their score in their semifinal game:

5) Luke Koleszar, $2819
6) Ray Stakenas, Sr. , $2812
7) Eyal Mozes, $2307
8) Richard Irving, $2242
9) Debbie Gutermuth, $2232
10) Kathy Stroh, $1995
11) Tom DeMarco, $1984
12) Tom Browne, $1838
13) Vassili Kyrkos, $1774
14) Ken Gutermuth, $1601
15) Steve Dickson, $1540
16) Charles Davis, $1529

Players who won their heat game, but missed the semifinals

17) Harakd Henning, $2146
18) Roderick Lee, $2113
19) Ewan Mc Nay, $2102

Remaining players ranked by their best heat game:

20) Wendy DeMarco, $1797
21) Gary Dickson, $1775
22) Richard Meyer, $1736
23) Duane Wagner, $1727
24) Rod Davidson, $1711
25) Peter Staab, $1672
26) Debbie Davidson, $1586
27) Derek Landel, $1530
28) Roger Whitney, $1499
29) David Weinstein, $1497
30) Charles Hickok, $1448
31) Stephen C. Snyder, $1435
32) Alex Henning, $1430
33) Chris Striker, $1374
34) Malinda Barnes, $1373
35) Michael Holmquist, $1341
36) David Matheny, $1326
37) Craig Dudley, $1210
38) Steve Cameron, $1172
39) Norm Newton, $1129
40) Jason Wagner, $1140
41) Andrew Snyder, $1110
42) Nick Henning, $1108
43) Steven Westerholm, $1105
44) William Duke, $1089
45) Kenneth Pinder, $1017
46) Doug Galullo, $965
47) Jeri Freedman, $908
48) Patrick Shea, $890
49) Richard Jones, $733
50) Tom Vickery, $723

 GM      Richard Irving  [4th Year]   NA   NA

2005 Preview Page | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page