Mistress & Observatory
Saint Petersburg was one of only two new games that
were added to the 2005 WBC Century list, coming in fourth with
200 votes. The tournament format of three heats allowed more
people a chance to enter, and two games would be played in each
heat because Saint Petersburg is about a 1.25 hour game and two
games fit in a three-hour block better than one game fit in a
two-hour block. However, due to a schedule crunch, the third
heat was reduced to one game in a two-hour block. This turned
out to be very fortuitous when it came time to select the semifinalists.
In an effort to avoid quarterfinals, tiebreakers were set up
to advance 16 to the semifinals. The tiebreakers were: 1) most
wins, 2) most 2nds, 3) head-to-head, 4) best win (% of total
points of the game).
The first heat was held on Thursday at noon in the Paradise
room. 58 players entered and were matched into 15 games in relatively
short order. The two highest scores in the tournament were 169
points by Christian Moffa and 166 points by Eugene Lin in their
three-player game with Carolyn DeMarco. Both Christian and Eugene
had a Mistress of Ceremonies (M) and an Observatory (O). This
game also had the highest point total for all players at 438.
The highest score in the four-player games was 134 points achieved
by Brian Carr in the same game with the highest total score in
a four-player game of 390 points. On the other hand, Tom Wade(O)
and Bill Crenshaw(O) both won games with a score of 39 points.
The low score for both games was 30 points, so both ended with
only nine points between last and first. Bill's game had the
lowest total score of 137 points. Less than half (27) of the
players stayed and manned seven tables for the second game in
the heat. At the end of the first heat there were 16 winners
of one game while Valerie Staton, Michael Fox, and Daniel Eppolito
were the winners of both games.
The second heat began at 9 PM on Friday. 46 players from the
first heat returned and joined 24 new players for the largest
set of 18 games. Jeff Bowers(M) won his game by the largest margin,
finishing 59 points ahead of Matthew Beach(OO) in second place.
At this point (three games completed out of five possible) there
were nine two-game winners and 22 one-game victors. For the second
game in the heat, 43 of 70 players stayed and five players arrived
to play 12 full tables. Philip Shea(M) won his game with the
tightest bunching of all players, scoring 50 points to Al Mink's
49, Ilan Tadmor's 48, and Ed Beach's 46 points. And Ted Mullally
won his game over Paul Lipton, who had both Mistresses and both
Observatories(MMOO!). At the end of the second heat Eric Wrobel
and Tom Wade led with three wins each, followed by 13 two-game
and 20 one-game winners.
For the third heat at 2 PM, 31 players returned, and were
joined by16 new entrants to contest12 boards. Of the 12 winners,
Daniel and Ted increased their wins to three and six others increased
their wins to two, ending with 21 qualifiers for 16 positions.
As the GM hadn't figured out the winner's percentages for the
tiebreaker of the games of the first two heats, there was an
uncomfortable (at least for the GM) delay of nearly 45 minutes
while the GM crunched the numbers to figure out which 12 of the
17 two-game winning qualifiers would advance with the four three-game
winners to the semifinal.
In the first semifinal game, Alan Kaiser(MO) vanquished Ted(M),
Daniel, and Jim McDanold. David Fox overpowered Tom Wade, Mike
Hazel, and Eugene Lin at another board. Arthur Field cruised
past Rodney Bacigalupo(MOO), Ken Rothstein, and Anne Norton while
Tom DeMarco(MO) edged Eric Wrobel (M), Aaron Fuegi, and Michael
Fox at the fourth table.
The four finalists agreed to play the final later that evening
as Arthur needed to play in the Tikal final and Tom DeMarco
needed to play in the Adel Verpflichtet tournament, his
team game. So the finalists reconvened at about 11 Saturday night
to decide the championship. But there wasn't much to tell as
Arthur was able to parlay a first-turn Mistress of Ceremonies
acquisition into an early and steadily-increasing lead to a comfortable
win with 66 points to Tom's 40, David's 39, and Alan's 37 points
to take the initial Saint Petersburg "wood".
The player who started first in the Orange Phase on the first
turn won 36% of the time, while the player who started first
in the Blue Phase on the first turn won less than 20% of the
time. The player who won had a Mistress in 54% of the games,
an Observatory in 47%, and neither one in only 25% of the games.
The players who won ended with an average of 6.5 unique orange
cards for an average of 25.8 points, while the player who finished
4th averaged 4.7 orange cards for an average of 14 points.