New Laurel Leader & a New Champ
Gordon Stewart and Gary Schaeffers
fill their hands.
Katie Breza plays Steve Packwood as
Lissa Rennert watches.
Lost Cities retained its mega-event status with another
near-record attendance. Once again, I had a full table at the
demo, and at least one copy was purchased from the vendors for
use in the tournament, continuing these streaks for the seventh
consecutive year. I find this remarkable for an old card game;
old in relation to the hundreds of games that have been released
during the past decade - some enduring, most fading.
The first heat drew 55 pairs, while the numbers recorded for
the remaining three heats remained strong at 49, 48 and 48 pairs,
respectively. 27 players attended all four heats and 45 participated
in three heats. The triple winners were Rob Brode, Sam Brosius,
David L. Anderson, Steven Raszewski, Steve Lollis, Timothy Keating,
Stephanie Welch, Shannon Keating, David Earls, Edward Roberts,
Norman Rule, Patrick Gorman, Paul Weintraub, Andy Latto, Meghan
Friedman, Alyssa Mills, Sean McCulloch. Eric Brosius, Bruce Bernard,
Shea Lawson, Vien Bouma, and Ashley Kilroy.
Rob Brode amassed 237 to best Brian Stone's 229, yielding
the highest cumulative score of 466 and closely topping Dennis
Nicholson (294) and Joe Chacon's (165) combined score of 459.
(Rob would score 206 in another win, joining Gordon Stewart 233/206
as the only players to break 200 more than once.) Andrew Emerick
posted the top individual score of 389, and the only score over
300, in part by crafting two expeditions with bonuses to score
228 in the second hand alone. 24 other players posted individual
scores of 200 or more. The closest contests were a pair of one-point
wins by Caitlin O'Rourke over James Gilmore 120-119, and Adina
Weiss over Natalie Beach 105-104. Unless you count ties. Beth
Doughan and David Earls finished regulation knotted at 124, and
Bill Burch and Deb Yaure each had 117 after three hands. Both
games were resolved with a fourth hand. There were three 2-point
wins as well. Defense was Angela Hoffman's forte with a 32 to
-26 win over Cally Perry in "one of those games."
Entering the elimination rounds, each of the 32 qualifiers
as well as six alternates had at least two wins. Obviously, the
triple winners listed above were among them. It's becoming harder
and harder to hold out hope for the return of a one-game winning
qualifier. One former champion, 2008's Andy Latto, and the reigning
champion, Sean McCulloch, were among the qualifiers.
As many of the qualifiers have also advanced in prior years,
I recalled the luck/skill debate regarding the game, and conducted
a review of the laurelists since the event began in 2000. In
this group, and in support of the skill side of the argument,
Sean McCulloch and Jared Scarborough have each finished in the
money four times, and Rebecca Hebner, Andy Latto and Eric Brosius
have each earned laurels three times. Eric is the only one of
this group without championship wood so far. Sean has won two
titles, and Jared accomplished his four appearances in four consecutive
years, 2001-04 and hasn't attended since. Just sayin'.
We needed two alternates to fill the bracket this year. After
the dust of three rounds had settled, Eric Hufford, Ewan McNay,
Steve Raszewski and Sean advanced to the semis. Sean was leading
after two hands, but lost to Eric and his bonus expedition in
the last hand, 164 to 73. Steve and Ewan went back and forth
in a low scoring game, ending in Ewan's favor 84 to 64. In the
Final, Eric took an early lead upon which he was able to build,
thwarting Ewan's attempt to come back and winning 122 to 59.
Ewan did have the distinction of drawing a memorable opening
hand. His eight cards were all number cards with nothing below
an eight! What do you lead? Of course, Ewan was rewarded for
the suit that he picked by promptly drawing two more cards of
the same suit which he now could not use. Eric Hufford is congratulated
for winning in his first year in the tournament. Like McArthur,
he says he'll return.
Unlike most events where such spoils fall automatically to
the champions penultimate opponent, Sean came by his third place
plaque the hard way, besting Steve in a consolation game during
the Final round. It was enough to put him atop the laurels list.
Hope to see you in 2012. Remember to pack your Lost Cities
in your suitcase next year, even if you only bring the cards,
because games are always in short supply.
Sean McCulloch wins the playoff battle
for third against Steve Raszewski.
Ewan McNay drops the title match to
as both register their first laurels in Lost