a titanic struggle ...
GM Greg Crowe gets into one
of the 26 preliminary games.
Jim Garvey wins a pot in the
Final ... err. no ... that's another game.
This year we had 89 participants, a significant improvement
over last year's totals. I feel this was mostly thanks to Eric
Freeman and his game scheduling initiative, and wanted to express
my thanks to him and all of the other GMs who contributed to
In the 26 games played in the three heats, we had exactly
26 winners, with no one achieving a double win for the first
time in recent memory. Since three of the heat winners opted
to move on to other pursuits, I included two runner-up alternates
to compose a semi-final round of five 5-player games.
The Final got ugly early; the Cyclops with one of Harry's
two four-point bets was taken out in the first round, even though
there was a betless Titan available. Since that left only one
player with two surviving first-round bets, it pretty much assured
that the Titan would survive for another round, and Jim's Troll
was soon in the graveyard. This meant Dennis also lost a chip
as he had bet on the Troll in the second round. The Titan finally
did buy the farm in the third round, costing Dennis his second
chip and Gerald his first who figured the Titan was leading a
charmed life. He was until Gerald caste his lot with him.
Even though Ewan had the most points showing with 12, the
others for some reason avoided killing any of the three creatures
with his exposed markers. Of course since Harry's three remaining
visible chips were on the same three creatures, a sort of unspoken
symbiotic alliance formed, and the Warlock fell quickly, removing
Dennis' already slim chance, and also taking Jim effectively
out of the game, as the Warlock was the latter's secret bet.
The last round went exceedingly quick. There was no chance
of alliance as everyone needed to kill different creatures to
have the best chance of winning. Ewan was in a bit of a bind,
as he had one more point than Harry on the Dragon, Ranger, and
Unicorn. Also the Hydra, which was Ewan's secret bet, had six
points of Gerald's that would be a problem for Ewan should that
creature survive. Gerald's mission was clear: Keep the Hydra
and the Dragon (his secret bet) both alive by killing one of
the other two. And Harry needed to keep his secret bet on the
Unicorn alive, and somehow kill Ewan's secret bet. In the end,
Harry decided that the obvious threat of Gerald's Hydra was sufficient,
and managed to end the round killing it, as well as Ewan's and
Dennis' secret bets, which allowed him to squeak out a win with
By the way, Harry was one of the two alternates for the semi-final,
making this the third consecutive year that a "wild card"
team to use Harry's parlance has won. It pays to check your alternate
status before the semis round.
The Arena Junior
In the Juniors event only twelve kids reported for mayhem
in the ring this year, but Rebecca Melton - the 2006 Juniors
champ - proved it was no fluke by winning again. The other finalists
2nd: Thomas Melton
3rd: Andrew Sherwood
4th: Brian Sherwood
5th: Thomas Melton
6th: Andrew Doughan