And Other Equally Unpronounceable
Rallying from a first ever fall into
the Trial ranks, Adel posted a 64% attendance gain to return
to the Century.
One of 11 tables in the opening preliminary
round ... the first of 36 games played in the tournament.
In the first round, every entrant can play up to four games,
scoring points based on finishing position (1st=5 points, 2nd=4,
3rd=3, 4th=2, 5th=1). The ten players with the highest total
points advance to the semi-final. Each semifinalist plays two
more games, with the four winners and the best second place finisher
advancing to a single winner-take-all Final.
The big news was this year's dramatic attendance increase
of 64%, mostly due to the change from its former semi-final-rich
(and Slapshot-overlapping) Saturday night timeslot to
Friday evening, and the change from a Class "A" to
a Class "C" (coached) tournament. These changes will
be carried forward into the 2008
tournament. Thanks to Frank Cunliffe, who ran the demo session,
and who, due to other commitments, did not get to play in the
The first round was all ready to begin and we were one player
short of having all 5-player games. Luke Koleszar was passing
by, and was recruited to fill out the tenth board. The ten winners
(with five points each) were ranked by the first tiebreaker (spaces
past the finish line), giving Tamara Houde (wife of 2004 champ
Marc) the lead at ten spaces past, followed by Anne Norton (4th
place finisher in 2002) at nine spaces past, four-time champ
Ray Pfeifer and Jeff Finkeldey at eight spaces past, Angela Collinson
at six spaces past, and Jessica Hardesty at five spaces past.
The second round consisted of nine games. Ray was the only
repeat winner, moving into the lead with ten points. Ray won
by having the largest set at game end and using the 8-space bonus
to advance from fifth place to first. Tied at nine points were
Paul Weintraub (12 spaces past), two-time and defending champ
Mark Geary (eight spaces), Jessica Hardesty (seven spaces with
20 cards in sets), Derek Landel (seven spaces with seven cards
in sets), and Rob Brode (four spaces). Rob's win was one of the
closest, with a tie at the finish broken by Rob's 14-card set
beating Mark's 5-card set. The 14-card set was also the largest
set at a finish in the tournament.
In the third round seven full games were played. Ray kept
up his winning ways, pulling away from the pack with15 points,
and virtually guaranteeing a semi-final berth. Rob grabbed his
second win in another tiebreaker win over 2006 runner-up Karl
Henning to keep pace with Ray at 14 points. At 13 points were
Paul and Derek, who won his game while finishing without a set.
At 12 points were Jeff, Luke, Andrew Sinigaglio, Jonathan Izar,
and Bruce Bernard. On the cusp of filling out the 10 semi-final
qualifiers slots were Jessica and Josh Weintraub with 11 points.
22 players comprised the seven games for the fourth and final
preliminary round. Paul and Derek were the top two finishers
with 18 points. Derek won his game with the largest lead, finishing
12 spaces ahead of Jim Vroom. Ray and Luke finished with 17 points.
Mark beat Bruce in another close tiebreaker in their game that
saw all four players crossing the finish and with Mark and Bruce
only one space ahead of Jeff and 1997 champ Thomas Stokes. But
Bruce ended with a total of 16 points, while Mark, along with
Rob, totaled 15 points. Four players tied at 14 points vied for
the last three semi-final slots. Spouses Anne Norton and Tom
DeMarco, along with Jim V had the best tiebreakers, just edging
out 2003 champ Thomas Browne. Tom D's win also saw all four players
crossing the finish on the last turn and ending within a span
of three spaces.
In the first semi-final round, Ray cruised to a win, finishing
at least eight spaces ahead of Mark, Anne, Bruce and Paul. All
four of Ray's wins were as the red player. Luke won the other
game, beating Derek, Rob, Tom and Jim. In the penultimate round,
Tom edged out Derek, Bruce, Jim and Ray, while Luke won again,
edging Anne in a tiebreaker and beating Rob, Mark and Paul. Since
Luke won in both semifinal rounds, the top two second place finishes
would advance. Anne's second was at three spaces past, while
both of Derek's seconds were at two spaces past. Mark was edged
out with a second place finish four spaces short of the finish,
but good enough for sixth place laurels.
In the Final, Ray triggered the end of the game by crossing
three spaces past the finish. But, in an unusual move for him,
Tom had the largest set at the finish (he is more prone to finish
with no set than the largest). The 8-space bonus allowed him
to advance from second (just short of the finish line) to eight
spaces past the line to win his second championship. Ray bettered
his third place 2006 finish, finishing second, followed by Luke
at two spaces past, Derek at one space short, and Anne in fifth,
ten spaces short of the finish.
PBeM Tournament 2008
"No one here for to see my pretty things." - Bob
Hamel [all alone at the castle]
At the end of five preliminary rounds where 34 players each
played five games against 18-20 different opponents, Thomas Browne
emerged as the leader with 23 of 25 possible points. Each game
was worth a maximum of 5 points. Alex Bove and Sharee Pack each
finished with 21. The final five was rounded out with two of
the players who scored 20 points, Greg Thatcher and Ken Gutermuth.
Naturally, one of them would "steal" the tournament
in the all important Final round. The sixth place player, GM
John Pack, also had 20 points but only finished with a total
of 9 spaces across the finish lines (vs. 25 and 19 for Greg and
The tournament was
lively -- with many players in three or four games simultaneously.
I've interspersed some of the lively dialogue throughout this
report. Needless to say, the players had a lot of fun!
"Oh, that was a great round. Bunch of thievin' varmints
around this place." - Anthony Daw
"That may be the first time I've seen a double thief-convention..."
- John Pack
"Looks like I have to play something other than a thief
now." - Greg Thatcher
"Come on folks, I need my thieves back!" - Greg Thatcher
"Thanks for that file in the cake guys!...I'm free!!"
- Bob Hamel
The Final played so quickly, taking just two weeks, that the
champion is already determined! Congratulations to Ken Gutermuth
who prevailed by a single space over Sharee Pack. Four of the
five players still had a chance to win on the last move. Sharee
was just two spaces from the finish and although she had five
cards, her set was the bare minimum of three. She elected to
exhibit and charge across. Darn the thieves, full speed ahead!
If no one beat her exhibit, she'd have a lock on victory. Alex
Bove and Ken Gutermuth played thieves to maximize their sets
for final advancement. Ken would have the biggest set (ten cards).
Eight spaces would put him ahead of Sharee if she got three or
fewer spaces for exhibiting. Ken needed someone else to beat
her exhibit. Greg Thatcher played a detective - sending the thieves
to jail and moving forward five spaces (a move which brought
him into the pack and which would have made him a contender if
the game had lasted another turn). Greg needed two people to
beat Sharee's exhibit and keep the game going. Unfortunately
for Greg and Thomas, only Thomas Browne exhibited against Sharee
- taking the five space reward. However, the thieves took his
set down from 7 to a mere three of his five remaining cards,
guaranteeing that Thomas would not advance again. Sharee finished
with no set whatsoever. Ken got the 8 space final reward to
finish three spaces across the line. Sharee finished two spaces
across. Thomas finished one space short. Alex, who got the four
space reward, finished three spaces shy, and Greg finished 5
spaces out for a very tight finish. Congratulations to Ken Gutermuth
for besting a fine field! Also taking laurels were Sharee Pack,
Tom Browne, Alex Bove, Greg Thatcher, and John Pack for finishing
2nd thru 6th respectively.
"It's the Secret Policeman's Ball!" - Rob Seulowitz
"Guess it was time for the annual detective's convention.
I went to the panel on proper use of the magnifying glass. It
was very educational!" - Greg Crowe
"Wow, THREE detectives...Guess I'm going to prison for a
LONG time...." - Bob Hamel
The next BPA Adel Verpflichtet PBeM competition on
SpielByWeb will get underway this October 1st. Check www.gameaholics.com/adv_tournament.htm
for details of all the tournament games and scoring!
"How much will you give me to Exhibit???? I take PayPal.
"JUST KIDDING...of course...we're in it 'TO THE DEATH.'"
- Bob Hamel