The number of people who Can't
Stop is growing each year. The event is now firmly entrenched
as a late night staple at WBC.
These young ladies have been equipped
with one of the deluxe versions which appear to only see the
light of day at WBC.
In most WBC tournaments, kibitzing about a game in progress
is not only frowned upon, it will get you asked to leave. Can't
Stop isn't a member of that fraternity. Like Slapshot
and many of its other late night brethren, the peanut gallery
plays a big role in the festivities and the crowd can become
downright raucous in its exhortations to influence players to
dismiss their own judgement and keep challenging fate by continuing
their turn at the cost of ever increasing risks of position gained.
It's all meant in good fun and part of the charm of this otherwise
extremely simple game. So simple in fact, that it serves well
as a late night closer for hundreds of players not constrained
by the need to know any rules other than the basic laws of probability.
And as such, it is a common denominator shared by all the gamers
present, be they wargamers, Euro enthusiasts, rail or sports
fans. Its a way for everyone to let their hair down and bond
with a shared experience. As such, it may come as somewhat of
a shock to introverts used to more cerebral fare accustomed to
thinking about their moves in peace and quiet. If that describes
you, perhaps you should give it and the other 11 PM slots a wide
berth and opt for an early bedtime instead since not one laurelist
has ever repeated in this event. It's the WBC equivalent of the
lottery with enhanced sound effects.
In keeping with the "loose" atmosphere, we kept
it fast and simple, seating players "Slapshot style"
- which means everyone can sit with their friends or join a group
fewer than four players and just start addictively rolling the
dice. This year 178 "crazies" competed in the midnight
madness. Participants played four fast-paced raucous rounds before
the field was narrowed to three finalists. The contenders were
Mary Ellen Powers a.k.a. "Kitty", Marco DeLaurentis,
and Elaine Pearson. It took several rounds before each player
was ensconced on the board in safe positions. This trio truly
embraced what it means to play Can't Stop ... each wiping their
slate clean several times before surrendering the dice to the
next player - doubtlessly influenced in their foolhardy bravado
by the taunts of the crowd. Consequently, the Final game took
nearly 45 minutes. It was a round robin of closing columns. First
to score was Marco who closed out the 9's, followed by Kitty
taking the 7's, and Marco scoring again with the 5's. Elaine
was last to score but took both the 6's and 8's, before Kitty
got her second column and drew even with the 4's. The next column
closed would win the game. Elaine did it with 12's no less to
win the title.
Once again thanks to all of the assistant GM's your help
is very much appreciated, it always makes the event run smoother.
And a special shout out to all of you who brought copies of the
games (especially those who brought multiple copies)!
Wednesday must be Yellow day in the
Mafia but I still haven't figred out why they drive 600 miles
to hold their meetings in Lancaster.
Yes, it's true, my arch-nemesis Lisa
conned me into playing Can't Stop with the evil dookeys
but the Terrapins triumphed in the end.