No Sophomore Jinx ...
The 2005 WBC Ticket to Ride tournament was a smashing
success in its debut as a Century event as players took their
shots at building the best rail network to connect the destinations
on their tickets. Having qualifying heats on Tuesday evening,
Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning worked well for most player's
schedules. The format was simple: win and you are in the elimination
round. Two wins got you a bye if a quarterfinal was required.
23 one game winners faced off in the Quarterfinals for the
17 available berths in the semifinals. Eight players had two
wins in the qualifying heats to earn a bye to the semifinals:
Blair Morgen, Chris Johnson, Debbie Davidson, Katie McCorry,
Mary Ellen Powers, Patrick Mirk, Philip Shea, and Winton Lemoine.
After the semifinals were completed, five people qualified: Jim
Fishkin, Blair Morgen, Robert Cranshaw, Jean Francois Gagne,
and Bob Heinzmann. Bob unfortunately had to withdraw because
of travel plans so we had four players facing off for three plaques.
The final round found an even mix of building and drawing
train cards. Blair made the first build from LA to Phoenix enroute
to New York City in round 3.Two rounds later Jim took additional
tickets before having placed a single train! Bob meanwhile was
building a long North-Westerly route beginning in El Paso, through
Denver, Helena, Duluth, Sault St Marie, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver,
Seattle, and back to Helena. Blair started expanding his route
and managed to build a Boston to Miami connection. After 32 rounds,
Bob triggered the end game. The tickets favored Blair however
giving him the LA/NYC, BOS/MIA, and the LA/MIA routes and the
victory with 129 points. Blair also finished 4-0 for the tournament.
Bob claimed the longest route and 118 points, Jim finished with
117 points on the strength of his trains, and Jean got tangled
up in the Northeast with Blair and finished with 104.
A quick look at the tournament statistics: the highest score
belonged to Davyd Field playing Ticket to Ride Europe (TTR:E)
who had a total of 158 points. Dominic Hull had the high score
for regular TTR with 154 points. The lowest winning score belonged
to Blair Morgen with a 97 (25 for tickets, 72 for trains). The
game winner had the longest route only 58% of the time. The low
scores were -48 for tickets, 31 for trains placed, and 10 for
score. The average score was 103 and the average winning score