Palaces R Us
Legend Dan (center) takes down a couple
of prominent Cabbies.
Charles Drozd and Matt Calkins are
losing laurels to the ladies.
We had 25 tables during the two preliminary heats, a gain
of three over last year. Vassili Kyrkos, the reigning Champ,
did not attempt to defend his title, nor did more than one former
laurelist from the preceding four years regain those honors.
The results during the preliminary heats were as follows:
* Bruce Reiff, the 2004 Champion, coasted to a
win in the first heat.
* Haim Hochboim had great luck in the Preliminaries as
the only person to win games in both heats, but would his luck
* GM Debbie Gutermuth advanced in the 1st heat beating
Luke Koleszar, the runner-up last year, and in so doing advanced
to the semis for the first time.
* Craig Moffitt won his table in the 2nd heat, ending
Luke Koleszar's chance to return to the Final.
* The Koleszar clan retained hope as Steve avenged Luke by
winning his table in the first heat.
* Mike Shea won his table in the first heat and has the privilege
of saying he beat Matt Amitrano, a 2007 finalist. Matt came
back for the second heat and won. At his table, Ellen Hoam
has the dubious honor of claiming the lowest score of the tournament
with only 48 points.
* Dan Hoffman pulled out the closest game in the first heat
by besting Steve Cameron by a single point. Dan was living on
the edge and cut it to close in the second heat, losing to Scott
Palenshus by that same one-point margin. He who lives by the
* Robbie Mitchell was not to be outdone in the closest
game contest though. He won by one point over both Louis Gehring
and Patty Davis who tied for second.
* Nate Hoam, the 2005 Champion, had the lowest score out of
all the tables in the first heat, but did not get discouraged. He
came back for the second heat and won by one point over Nick
* Davyd Field got beat by Bruce Reiff, the 2004 Champion,
in the first heat, but wanted to keep his family's hopes alive
so he came back for the second heat. This time his strategy
provided better results as he won over Tedd Mullally.
* Kevin Shaud won his table with the smallest range in
scores amongst all players in the first heat. Kevin scored
109 points, followed by Lisa Gutermuth with 100 points, Romain
Jacques with 90, and Bob Wicks with 86.
* Primed by this close game, Lisa Gutermuth won her second
heat by building a 22-length wall, the longest of the tournament.
* Eric Lenhart won his table, which had the smallest
range in scores amongst all players in the second heat. Eric
scored 88 points followed by Kelly Czyryca with 85, Steve Lollis
with 83, Heather Spangenberg with 77 points, and Pam Gutermuth
* Jeff Mullet and Matt Calkins won their tables by the largest
gap in their respective heats with 68- and 54-point spreads between
first and last place.
* Long walls were the path to victory for both Keith
Schoose and Robert Drozd (16 length) in the first heat while
Heather Palenshus won her table in the second heat with a long
wall of 18 length. The long wall strategy did not work out as
well for Michael Wojtaszczyk as he too built an 18-length wall. Charles
Drozd showed Michael that he could win with a 13-length wall
and lots of leads in the buildings.
* Pete Stein showed the opposite strategy in the first
heat by winning with the least walls at his table.
* Rob Winslow in the first heat and Bronwen Heap in the
second had similar strategies of wall building and built a very
long wall early in the scoring rounds. Their wall building
did not grow quite as fast in later scoring rounds, but they
were both able to hold onto their leads and win their tables.
* Anne Murphy won her table in the second heat to complete
the preliminary winners.
With the preliminaries complete, we were now ready for the
** Heather Palenshus won the closest game. She scored
a 95 to edge Lisa Gutermuth by a single point who, in turn, topped
Matt Calkins by only one point with Keith Schoose and Charles
Drozd close behind. The narrow loss earned Lisa 6th place laurels
but no trip to the Final.
** Steve Koleszar won his table in another close game. Steve
ended only two points ahead of Ian Nowland, who had advanced
into the semi's as an alternate.
** Dan Hoffman won his semi by the largest gap with a
62 point spread over Jeff Mullet in last place The large
spread was surprising since his table also contained Bruce Reiff,
the 2004 Champion, and Matt Amitron, a previous finalist, who
were unable to prevent Dan from pulling away.
** Davyd Field won his table with the strategy of building
a very long wall early in the scoring rounds. His lead in
wall building along with capturing the purple building lead kept
him where his table could not stop him. There was a gap
between Davyd and his closest competition, which was shared by
Mike Shea and Debbie Gutermuth who tied for second.
** Nate Hoam, the 2005 Champion, won his table to be
the only returning laurelist to make the final round. His
strategy did not involve being the longest wall, but just having
the lead in lots of buildings. Following close behind Nate
was Eric Lenhart and Rob Winslow, who were separated by a single
Immediately following the semi-finals, the winners gathered
for the Final. The first scoring round was pulled right
before Davyd Field's turn. This left Davyd with no building,
while the others had from two to four buildings each by this
time. Heather Palenshus had built a nice starting wall of
six-length and had four buildings to take the lead with 14 pts.
Dan Hoffman had a wall length of 5 and two buildings, to
put him at 11 pts. From there it dropped to Nate Hoam with
four points, Steve Koleszar with two, and Davyd with none. By
this time, Davyd had collected an unusual number of money cards
tallying 31, but they were mainly all in orange so he started
monopolizing that color's buying options. Before the second
scoring round, Davyd and Heather had each been able to buy three
buildings all in one turn and place them in their palace. The
second scoring round was pulled again just before Davyd's turn
which did not bode well for him. At this time, Nate had
created the longest wall of eight-length and had the most buildings
with nine; however, three were Blue (the lowest point earner). This
still only left Nate tied for third with Steve. Dan and
Heather were still neck and neck in the lead. Davyd was
about half way back from the rest of the table. Before the
last scoring round, Dan was able to purchase three building in
one turn. However, Nate had the best opportunity and was
able to purchase four buildings exact and still pick up money. When
the end of the game was triggered, Davyd had re-couped to where
he had about the same number of buildings as the rest and had
tied Dan in the longest wall length of 11. However, this
was a little too late for Davyd as he finished last. Heather
had struggled to build a longer continuous wall length than the
first scoring round and ended with only 6 long. She had
lost her lead in many of the buildings, which did not help her
cause and left her in fourth place. The second and third
place finishes had only one point in separation for their final
scores. Dan had pulled ahead by 12 points to become the 2008
The finalists mug for their 15 minutes
And then the knives come out ....