The Usual Suspects
The first tournament of WBC gets underway
with a bustling ballroom as San Juan makes a comeback.
Bruce Reiff falls in the semi-finals
to Tom Browne which instantly admits Tom to my personal Pantheon
The first official tournament of WBC proper started an hour
earlier than last year with a demo at 9 AM. Several players
had never played before and a few just needed a refresher. San Juan is a fairly simple game to pick up, especially
if you're familiar with Puerto Rico. And a
few of the newcomers did fairly well. But most of those
that advanced were familiar faces, proving it takes a bit of
time to master.
San Juan has had a steady, loyal following the last few
years with an average attendence of 43 players. We were pleasantly
surprised to have 74 players at the start.
There are four rounds played and you need to win three to
advance - pretty simple. The first round is random pairings and
thereafter people are paired with like records. After the
first three rounds, we called all the other 3-0's around and
explained they could only hurt themselves by playing again and
should go get lunch, which they did. The 2-1's (and several
players who were out of it, but still wanted to play some more)
finished off the fourth round.
That gave us 21 qualifiers. The 3-0 players (which included
Kirk Harris, Andy Latto, Jeff Mullet, Bruce Reiff,
Robert Cranshaw, Sean McCulloch, Tom Browne, Rich Irving, Geoffrey
Pounder and Rob Kircher) got a bye and most of the 3-1
players ( Daniel Eppolito, Nick Page, Corey Kim, Mike Shea, Rich
Meyer, Cliff Ackman, Rich Shay, Eric Freeman, Richard Shay and
Peggy Pfeifer) had to play to see who would be paired against
an undefeated player. George Young also qualified at 3-1,
The Final Four included Nick Page and three former champs (Reiff,
Browne and Mullet). San Juan was my team game and Bruce
Reiff was my teammate. But unlike most teams, we root against
each other in our team games. We don't want to concede
bragging rights to a teammate, after all. Bruce got his
wish and Nick played well and advanced to the Final. I
had to take solace in the fact that Bruce would also be an onlooker
rather than a Finalist.
In the Final, Nick ended with his starting Indigo and a
Silver Mine, Poor House, Statue, Tobacco, Hero, Triumphal
Arch, Market Stand, City Hall, Victory Column and another Indigo,
in that order. Nick had 36 points.
Tom Had his starting Indigo and a Library, Market Hall, Carpenter,
Chapel, Silver Mine, Archive, Tower, Palace, Hero, Triumphal
Arch and Statue. Tom got 42 points and the victory. And
so Tom became the first defending champion to repeat. Tom
has had a very impressive run the last two years and we call
upon the masses to help us put a stop to it next year.
GM Jeff Mullet falls to Nick Page
in the semi-finals,
thus ending Cabbie hopes for another year.
GM Mullet oversees his finalists
the second consecutive non-Cabbie Final.