Fred Minard (right) on the way to
his first championship since 1998. After six years of being one
of the most consistent events at WBC with attendance always north
of 64, Union Pacific inexplicably suffered a 39% decline
to a record low and consequently dropped out of the Century for
the first time.
The winning numbers wound up being $126 and $127. The
average number of properties owned was seven. In
the first round, the average winning score was $126. Play moved
swiftly, with several very close matches in the opening games.
One table scored 131,129,128 in a long game coming down to almost
the very last card available. Steve Shambeda, last year's runner-up,
won his opening round game by earning $139 for the top
The semi-finals consisted of the Round 1 winners plus the
top six runner-ups. In one game Cliff Ackerman edge Jeff
Mullet, our defending champion, in a relatively low scoring $110
- $107 contest. While the other three games featured spirited
play, the winners, Arthur Field, Jim Carvin, and Fred Minard
won handily by an average of $16. The winning score:
$127. The winning players had seven properties.
The Final featured several unusual events. After a random
draw for seating, Jim drew the first paytrain. He also scored
the most by building the El Paso and Rio Grande (green). Play
continued, evenly and Jim again drew the second pay train.
Fred's concentration on UPac trains paid off as he stole the
lead. Arthur forced the Upac play but ended up with the
paytrain being pulled right in front of him, again.
As the third round began players jockeyed for position by
joining and switching several well built trains. Fred locked
up UPac, and had three small train monopolies. Cliff
stole both the Denver Midland (black) and the Miami Southern
(yellow) to shuffle the order. Arthur had six properties.
His principle train was the Billings Northern (red), which he
swiped from Fred. Jim, amazingly, drew the paytrain for
the third time. This to the delight of the table,
and much to the disgust of Arthur, sitting immediately to his
In the last round, Fred quickly took red back and later
made a nice steal of the Sioux Falls line (purple). He
was able to maintain his lead in his small roads and built
red for key points. In the end, it was enough for the win.
Fred finished with $127 for a great win and his first wood
since 1998. Arthur rode seconds in five companies (eight
properties overall) to $126, and one of the closest
point margins in Final history.
Once again the GM is indebted to Jake Jacoby for his books
and prints which we award to non plaque finishers and the Champion.