Not So Cutthroat Play
Brad Sherwood seems content with his
Jason Ley and Keith Levy ponder their
As an ex-winner and frequent player of Union Pacific, I got
caught in Don Greenwood's search for volunteers. He asked me
to GM Union Pacific at the 11th hour. Actually, it was
more like the 13th hour; the deadline for GM commitments had
passed and had I said no, there would not have been an event.
Hoping to play Union Pacific, of course I agreed.
Naturally, 33 players registered for the event - one more than
an even multiple of four. Not wishing to force anyone to play
an inferior five-player game, I sat out. So much for my incentive
to GM the event. However, this gave me the opportunity to watch
various games in play. What a skillful event it was! Eight of
the 11 highest AREA-rated UNP players attended including three
The only decision as GM that I made happened in a game I was
fortunate to observe. They were making the final payouts. One
player passed the banker two 1000s to get a $5,000 bill for a
$3,000 payout. The banker took the $2000, and passed $20,000.
The player asked what this was for. The banker said it was the
payout for UP stock.The player and I looked confused. The player
claimed he did not get the $5,000. The banker and another player
said he did. Since I was a witness, I had to rule that the player
got the $5,000. It determined the winner of the game.
Due to this experience, I decided to serve as banker in the
Final. What an amazingly played game.
I ruled that UNP could not be exchanged until after the initial
payout. My reasoning is that with more stock collected in the
hand, a player may decide that those stocks could yield a greater
return than just dividing UNP evenly four ways. These four finalists
did not strictly exchange stock routinely, nor did they lay UNP
stocks in unison. As it happened, the UNP payments were still
Paul Bolduc and ex-champ Fred Minard tied for first with $125,000
each. They both had the same number of UNP stock, so that could
not be used for a tie-breaker. Paul had seven other payouts at
the end; Fred had six. Fred graciously suggested that the number
of payouts be the final tie-breaker. So, I ruled accordingly.
It goes without saying that Fred Minard receives my nod for
the Sportsmanship Award. It should also go without saying that
someone needs to step up to GM this event next year or you'll