Bruce prooves the Master can be beat
- as long as he's playing your game - and not his. Bob Wicks
and Fred Minard get a front row seat.
Rebecca Hebner, Jack Stalica, Ralph
Gleaton and Jon Anderson are among the early arrivals betting
on trains for fun.
One of the few perks of editing these reports is that I
get the last word in massaging the statements of my favorite
GMs. See if you can spot where I helped Bruce along in reporting
It was decided to switch San Juan and Union Pacific
on the Monday schedule this year. The result? Union Pacific
was down nearly a third and San Juan rocketed off the
chart. Next year it looks like San Juan will go back to
early morning and Union Pacific will return to the afternoon.
Your GM is getting smarter in his old age - but not any
better looking - and enlisted the help of whiz kid Rebecca
Hebner as an assistant GM. Rebecca came equipped with her laptop
and a handy dandy electronic scoring system. Man, what took me
so long? ... Naah .... too easy! Thanks Rebecca!
The participants were set up on 4-player boards (with a couple
of 3's) and the first round began. Highlights from the first
round included Lisa Gutermuth handling her board easily, Rich
Meyer with a comfortable win, along with James "For The
People" Pei who ventured forth from CDW land to record
a win over Rich's son Jefferson Meyer. Defending champ Curt Collins
put up the high score of the round - 158 (albeit in a 3-player
game) and yours truly with a comfortable victory over his board.
Second round matchups were based on first round results. Curt
Collins won again, defeating winners Bobbi Warczak, Cliff Ackman
and Rich Meyer. Rich Irving won his second as well. I beat James
Pei by six points in the battle of the round earning bragging
rights over "the Master" for the rest of the week.
So, when are you going to play For the People, Bruce?
Sam Packwood had the high score of the tournament with a 177
(again in a 3-player game).
Round 3 starts to separate the men from the boys. There were
three undefeated players at this point - defending champ Curt
Collins II, Rich Irving and moi. Jefferson Meyer won (or lost
as the case may be) the draw from the first and seconds to be
moved up to the all-winners board. He then proceeded to dominate
the hotshots to make the Final on his own merits. Bruce finished
second which was enough to advance. Curt was a distant fourth
and therein ended his title defense. Brandon Bernard beat Tom
Browne, James Pei and Steve Shambeda in Semi #2 to advance while
Rich Meyer took Semi #3 over Jack Stalica, Fred Minard and Alan
Stencius to advance on a tie breaker over Lisa Gutermuth and
Cliff Ackman who had to settle for fifth and sixth place laurels.
The latter was the only former laurelist to return to "Top
In the Final Brandon jumped out to a sizable early lead after
the first scoring round. Bruce was in last, but managed to get
control of the Union Pacific - which would be huge later - with
the Meyer clan completing the sandwich in the middle. So far
so good. The second scoring card saw much the same - Brandon
ahead, the Meyers and then Reiff - and all was right with
the world. The key to the end of this happy story was
Brandon building the Yellow trains and Jefferson the Black. Bruce
had one share of each and was quietly benefiting from their work
in the background. In the third scoring round some ownership
jockeying took place, but Bruce's solo second place shares of
the Yellow and Black were still good and things started going
horribly wrong. In the last round Bruce managed to take control
of both the Purple and Green which along with the Union Pacific
and the two second place shares was enough for a comfortable
victory with Bruce at 119, Jefferson 99, Brandon 99, and Rich
98. Jefferson took second on the tie breaker and Bruce made
a down payment on an extension to his trophy room.
Sean McCulloch, Rob Kircher, Russ
Irving and Steve Shambeda invest in Monday leisure time.
The finalists do their dirty work
but fail to keep the GM from winning more wood.