Ladies Night ...
Once a train gamer, always a train
gamer. Chuck Foster and Evan Davis get one last fix before departure.
Ladies were well represented with
23 in the field and took four of the top six places.
As the packup crew broke down kiosks and others loaded games
into cars to start the long haul home, others decided to join
in the TransAmerica tournament, one of the last events
of the convention. Because it is often considered a disadvantage
to be first player in this game, each player is the first player
once per game -- no more, no less. In the case of ties, the player
who scored the fewest points when he went first would win. If
this score is tied, the scores in the second round are compared;
in the event they are still tied this process is continued until
there is a winner. This year we had six 6-player and four 5-player
games, with winners only advancing. Travel connections forced
one winner out before the semis, resulting in a 4-player and
5-player game in the semis; with winners and runner-ups
advanced to a 4-player Final.
At the 5-player tables:
David Burkey advanced as one of two people who earned zero
points twice -- able to advance by winning a tiebreaking score
of zero in the round where he went first. Laurel Stokes pulled
out a win and a pass to the semis even though she never went
out first (nicely done!). Janet Ottey advanced with the lowest
advancing score of all of the 5-player games. At the last table,
the victor seemed clear going into the final round; until the
leader was forced to gain 7 points, putting Mike Kaltman into
At the 6-player tables:
Daniel Ottey advanced to join his wife in the semis. Young
April Gardner proved the aplle doesn't fall far from the tree
and advanced by tiebreaker, again earning zero points in the
round where she went first. Eric Hymowitz advanced by scoring
zero points in one round and two points in each of the five other
rounds. Virginia Colin advanced by tiebreaker, but needed to
go to the second-player scores to do so. Matt Calkins, a 2007
laurelist, advanced, going out first in four of his six rounds!
Nicola Bradford advanced from the last table.
Odd fact: 10 was by far the most common advancing score, putting
six of 11 players into the second round.
Seating was again randomized at the semi-final level, with
the exception of again splitting the family unit of Janet and
Daniel Ottey. April Gardner won at her table, going out first
two times but still winning by but one point. Laurel Stokes and
Janet Ottey tied for second and the last chance to advance. While
Laurel won the tiebreaker, Janet's very close third resulted
in her 5th place overall. Matt Calkins advanced to the Final
for the second straight year, scoring less than half of any of
his opponents scores in the other game. This was the result of
forcing his opponents to take between 5 and 10 points in the
fourth round. Virigina Colin followed Matt into the Final. Daniel
Ottey's third earned him 6th place - just behind his wife - something
he is probably still hearing about.
With the lowest score in the semis and being the only returning
laurelist, Matt looked like a heavy favorite in the Final, but
three ladies had other ideas. In the first round of the Final,
Laurel went out first, forcing Virginia to score a devastating
8 points, April scoring 1 and Matt 3. Virginia made a comeback
though, in the second round, when she was the first to go out.
All of the other players were close behind, however, scoring
1, 2, and 2 points for Laurel, April, and Matt, respectively.
Matt went out in the third round, with Laurel, Virginia, and
April gaining 1, 2, and 1 point. Laurel was unstoppable though,
going out in the fourth and final round to finish with only two
points after four rounds!
The final standings were: Laurel 2, April 6 points, Matt 8,
and Virginia 13.
April and Laurel both advanced from
this semi-final table.
Finalists go after the last wood of
Trans America Junior
Tamara Houde lends a hand with the
These juniors even got a kiosk to
make it official.
There were 17 little train travellers this year. Jaclyn Sands
proved to be the most successful and she was followed by
2nd: Ben Gardner
3rd: Jack Doughan
4th: Thomas Melton
5th: Ian McGraw
6th: Cassidy Mullett