Palaces R Us
GM Debbie Gutermuth pulls a
"Reiff" by standing on a chair to get the crowd's attention
for signup. Somehow, she manages to get more attention and with
less stress on the furniture.
Clockwise from left: Chris Moffa,
Jeff Mullet, Matt Calkins, Mike Mullins and Nate Hoam eye the
construction possibilities during the Final.
This was the third year of Alhambra at WBC. We
had 24 tables during the two preliminary heats with every winner
advancing to the semi-final round. The winning scores in
the preliminaries ranged from 77 (Nick Henning) to 146 (Bill
Salvatore) which were higher than last year's range of 45 (Joe
Nearet) to 138 (David Buchholtz).
Heat 1 Results:
- David Gagne won his table which
had the largest score ranges between all players. David
ended with 126 points while Jason Arvey only accumulated 50 points.
- Matt Amitrano pulled out the closest
win with 82 points over Rob Winslow's 80.
- Nick Henning prevailed in the tightest
grouping of scores from top to bottom. Nick had only 77
points, but this was enough to beat Jeremy Spencer with 75, Aaron
Fuegi 73, David Metzger 72, and Laurel Stokes with 59.
- Bill Peeck and Robert Drozd both
won their tables by wide margins. Bill's 106 points provided
a 27-point spread over Eric Brosius. Robert Drozd's 118
points were 35 higher than the second place scores of Jeri Freedman
and Debbie Gutermuth at 83.
- Matt Calkins won his table to make
the semi-finals for the second straight year.
- Scott Smith won his table while
defeating defending champion, Nate Hoam.
- Chris Moffa, Kevin Brown, Joe Lux,
Rob Mitchell and John Lewis joined the winner's circle as the
last of the first heat winners.
Heat 2 Results:
- Brendan Tracey pulled out the closest
win with 92 points to edge Jeff Mullet by a single point. Jeff's
anguish was short-lived as his near loss was enough to advance
him to the Semi-Finals as an alternate.
- Defending Champ, Nate Hoam rebounded
to win his table to keep his title defense alive.
- Skip Maloney won his table while
beating the reigning Caesar, Arthur Field.
- Davyd Field avenged his father's
loss and kept the family honor intact by winning his table.
- Lisa Gutermuth won her table and
became the only hope for the Gutermuth family in the semi-finals
as both parents failed to advance.
- Chuck Foster, who had only played
the game once before about a year ago, decided to try playing
it at WBC. This proved a wise choice as he won his table
despite very tough competition from Tom Dunning (defending Laurelist)
and Bruce Reiff (the 2004 champion).
- Marilyn Koleszar won her table to
take the family honors as the only one to advance.
- Annemarie Dilworth won her table
and kept Steve Koleszar from advancing. The Koleszar family
was the closest to having two family members advance.
- John Fuella's 128 points provided
the largest margin of victory with a 42 point spread over, Katie
- Bill Salvatore, Michael Mullins,
and Alan Kaiser punched their tSemi-Final tickets as the last
of the second heat winners.
With both preliminary heats complete, we were now ready for
the Semi-Final round.
The first table featured Nate Hoam defending his title. Nate
got off to a bad start with only five points in the first scoring
round while Matt Amitrano and Davyd Field led with ten each.
After the next scoring round, Matt and Davyd remained neck-and-neck
with 31 and 30 points respectively; but, Nate had rallied with
38 to take the lead. He accomplished this with the most blue,
red and brown buildings. Matt had reached a sizeable advantage
in the green buildings, while Davyd tied the white with David
Gagne and Marilyn Koleszar and the purple with Marilyn. In
the third and final scoring round, Matt had built the longest
wall of 11 sides with David close behind with 10 sides, but this
was not enough to catch Nate who finished with103. Nate's title
defense remained alive and well.
At the second table, there were a lot of tied building colors
in the first scoring round with all players contesting the walls
bonus. Michael Mullins had a one-point lead of over John
Faella , 14-13. After the second scoring round, John Jacoby
had the most brown and red buildings, Mullins the most purple,
John Faella the most green, and Bendan Tracey in the rear managed
the lead in white buildings. This left the scores: Mullins
42, Jacoby 41, Faella 39, and Tracey 35. In the final scoring
round, the differential amongst the players was more prominent.
All the players must have liked the white buildings as
they all ended up with a tied lead. The purple buildings were
tied between Mullins and Tracey and the red buildings were tied
between Faella and Jacoby. However, Mullins had the most
blue buildings, Jacoby the most brown, and Faella the most green.
In the end, Mullins pulled out the win with Faella close
At the third table, Anne Marie Dilworth and Alan Kaiser enjoyed
a good start with nine points. Matt Calkins was close behind
followed by Lisa Gutermuth. Bill Salvatore failed to score
in the first scoring round so he had a lot of ground to make
up. In the second round, Calkins took a large lead by tying
Dilworth in purple buildings, tying Gutermuth and Salvatore in
green, and securing the most blue buildings for a score of 37
points. Salvatore showed his poor start could be overcome as
he went from last to second with 29 points. In the final
round, red proved to be the popular color as Kaiser, Gutermuth,
and Salvatore all tied for the lead. Calkins had lengthened
his lead with purple and red while Salvatore took the green lead.
This was not enough to overcome Calkin's eight-point lead.
At the fourth table, Skip Maloney took an early lead by securing
a good starting wall. After the second scoring round, Maloney
was tied with Rob Mitchell with 35 points, but Chris Moffa had
slipped ahead with 37 points. Moffa must have liked Maloney's
beginning strategy as he now built an exceptional wall which
was how he pulled ahead. By the last scoring round, Bill
Peeck had a strong round to pull ahead of Mitchell. Maloney
was able to add onto his wall and lead in some colors, but it
was not enough to overcome Moffa's momentum.
At the last table, the first scoring round came early and caught
them by surprise. Nick Henning and Jeff Mullet were the
only players to score for buildings. By the end of the
second round, everyone had a much better position in different
building colors, but Jeff and Nick still held the advantage from
the first round. In the last round, Rod Drozd had tied
Nick in the purple buildings which brought Henning back. Scott
Smith tried a different strategy to secure the lead in the red
and brown buildings; while Kevin Brown concentrated on white
buildings and a long wall. Mullet, on the other hand, stayed
away from the purple buildings, but led in green and red with
a long wall. With Mullet and Henning having built a good
lead, the group did a good job of reeling in Henning's lead,
but they were unable to slow Mullet.
Immediately following the Semi-Finals, the survivors gathered
for the Final. After the first scoring round, Michael Mullins
had a good lead with 14 points with only Matt Calkins close at
11 points. Nate again started slowly with only two points.
By the second round, Chris Moffa and Calkins had both built
a good wall of 8 while Mullins concentrated on leading in buildings
which still gave him the overall lead. In the last round,
Hoam had momentarily built the longest wall with13, but this
was too little too late and the defending champ settled for fifth
place. Jeff Mullet, who had the smallest wall every round, took
fourth. Moffa ended with the longest wall of 14 and the
lead in red but was not able to improve beyond third place. Calkins
and Mullins matched points in the last round so Mullins was able
to hold onto his lead and win to become the 2006 Alhambra