It's all Nate's Fault!
Steve Caler plays Megan Byrd while
Ron Fedin falls to Bill Banks in Pod #2.
Board members Reiff and Gutermuth
face Steve Razewski and Eric Kleitz in pod #3
The 2007 tournament had 40 participants which gave us an even
ten 4-player pods. The tournament uses a unique format where
you are put into a group of four and you play everyone in your
group. Everyone is guaranteed three games.
In group #1 Sean McCulloch went 3-0 over former champ Kevin
Youells, asst. convention director Kaarin Engelman and world
traveler Barrington Beavis.
Group #2 saw Bill Banks win all of his games via breakthrough
to advance over Ron Fedin, Steve Caler and Megan Byrd.
Your humble GM went 3-0 in group #3 to defeat Ken Gutermuth,
Steve Razewski and Eric Kleist. My win over former champ Ken
was a very satisfying breakthrough ... he he.
Lisa Kleist became the first of our six lady contestants to
advance by going 2-1 over Jim Garvey. Suzanne Tuch and Rick Byrens
were both 1-2.
Brad Raszewski swept his games by breakthrough in group #5.
His victims were Dan Henry, Stephen Buonocore and Steve Cuccaro.
Group #6 was won by Jeremy Billones with a 2-1 record over
Carol Caler, Andrew Fedin and Stephen Squibb.
Kate Taillon became the second female to advance and padded
her resume at the expense of group #7 with wins over Mathew Beach,
Austin Walzl and Andy Latto.
James Tyne, defending runner-up, cruised through group #8
without incident over Bram Walzl, Nick Paige and Marvin Birnbaum.
Former Caesar Marvin LOST all three of his games via breaktrhu
in what was generally a bad year for former Caesars. Hail Caesar!!!
Group #9 was taken by Greg Kulp's conquest of Henry Jones,
Charles Squibb, and Jay Roake.
And in our last group, Lyle Wenger won all three of his games
via breakthrough over Bert Shoose, Lin Sun and Matt Calkins.
Bert, who may have dreams of Caesar himself this year, pulled
The brackets were set and since there were no former champs
all byes went to the 3-0 winners. James Tyne and I were the two
3-0 players who didn't get a bye. In the play-in round James
defeated Lisa Kleist and I, shockingly beat Jeremy Billones.
Why shockingly? Every year since the format of this event was
changed to the pod system I've managed to win my pod. The downside
is I've always managed to lose in the single elim portion of
the event. Usually in the first round.
That set up the quarter-finals. The first game was James Tyne
vs Kate Taillon. With the win by James, South Carolina's chance
for a Battleline plaque were gone. Bill Banks continued his breakthrough
streak by taking #4 over the prostate Sean McCulloch. Greg Kulp
took out Lyle Wenger. I was facing Brad Raszewski who knocked
me out of the tournament two years ago. he had me on the ropes
again, but I managed to pull out a late win to make the semis.
I was sure to lose soon.
In the first semi-final Bill Banks continued his march to
the Final defeating 2006 runner-up James Tyne while I ended Greg
Kulp's dreams of glory. One step from the elusive first plaque
of 2007. I'd already finished second in San Juan, Medici
and Attika at this point, so my confidence was low. But
then something strange happened. Nate Hoam who had wandered in
wished me luck, rather than what Don Greenwood, Ken Gutermuth
and the rest of the Cabbies had been doing. It invigorated me.
So the Final started and I looked at my hand and my highest
card was a 5. I was in trouble. Bill proceeded to pound out three
quick flags and had me on the ropes. He had two more he was probably
going to win. It was ugly. So I went into desperation mode and
went for the breakthrough. With a combination of good luck and
good tactics cards I pulled out the breakthrough with Bill at
four flags for my first WBC Battleline plaque. That makes
36 in all - but whose counting? Oh yeah, me!