san juan   

Updated 11/17/2011

 2011 WBC Report  

 2012 Status: pending 2012 GM commitment

Greg Thatcher, CA

2011 Champion


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Event History
2004    Jeff Mullet     123
2005    Bill Salvatore       48
2006    Bruce Reiff       43
2007    Peter Stein       42
2008    Tom Browne      44
2009    Tom Browne       74
2010    Raphael Lehrer     102
2011    Greg Thatcher       99

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Bruce Reiff        OH    10     64
  2.  Tom Browne         PA    11     51
  3.  Jeff Mullet        OH    09     50
  4.  Raphael Lehrer     MD    10     46
  5.  Rob Kircher        RI    11     36
  6.  Greg Thatcher      CA    11     30
  7.  Bill Salvatore     MD    05     30
  8.  Nick Page          on    10     24
  9.  Eric Brosius       MA    11     23
 10.  Pete Stein         OH    07     20
 11.  Bill Murdock       NY    05     18
 12.  Tom McCorry        VA    04     18
 13.  Lexi Shea          CT    10     16
 14.  Jeremy Billones    VA    11     12
 15.  Eric Freeman       PA    08     12
 16.  Nate Hoam          OH    04     12
 17.  Eric Lenhart       PA    05      9
 18.  Alan Kaiser        OH    04      9
 19.  Jason Levine       NY    08      8
 20.  David Platnick     NY    07      8
 21.  Arthur Field       SC    06      8
 22.  Ken Schlosser      PA    11      6
 23.  Debbie Gutermuth   NC    08      6
 24.  Trevor Bender      WA    05      6
 25.  Bob Wicks Jr       CT    10      4
 26.  Peggy Pfeiffer     FL    09      4
 27.  Richard Irving     CA    09      4
 28.  Ken Richards       SC    06      4
 29.  Jennifer Scancella PA    05      3
 30.  Chris Kamm         NY    04      3
 31.  Suzanne Tuch       NY    06      2

2011 Laurelists                                               Repeating Laurelists:

Rob Kircher, RI

Jeremy Billones, VA

Eric Brosius, MA

Ken Schlosser, PA

Tom Browne, PA

Past Winners

Jeff Mullet, OH

Bill Salvatore, MD

Bruce Reiff, OH

Pete Stein, OH

Tom Browne, PA

Raphael Lehrer, CA

Greg Thatcher, CA

The Monday morning event just failed to break 100 entrants as WBC got underway.

Pete Gathman and George Young make do with a banquet table in the crowded ballroom.



 Jefferson Meyer and Eli Zlotowski head a long row of San Juan players.

 Nick Henning and the new Tasty Cakes spokesman, Bruce Reiff between cupcakes.

Breakfast of Champions

San Juan continues to prosper in it's Monday time slot despite flipping back and forth between an early morning and a late afternoon slot - just missing triple figure attendance again. Every year I consider doing away with the demo, so I'll have a little more time to myself. Surely, after seven years everyone knows how to play this game by now. But every year about 20 people appear to either learn or jog their memory. Speaking of the demo, some interesting Cabbie background: My roommate and trusty assistant GM, Bruce Reiff, was assigned to get Pop Tarts for my breakfast while getting himself a box of chocolate cupcakes. As I was about to grab my breakfast and head down to handle the demo at 9 a.m., I realized that Bruce left my Pop Tarts at the store. I yelled through the bathroom door that I was going to have to grab one of his cupcakes (he had two dozen) and head downstairs, since he screwed up my breakfast plans.

This drew a loud "STAY AWAY FROM MY CUPCAKES!!!" response. Now, anyone who knows Bruce, knows he doesn't want to have to do any extra work. So I smugly yell back that he'll have to do the demo then, because I need to go get some breakfast. I foolishly assume he'll give in, so I grab a cupcake and head down stairs to the demo. I totally under-estimated Bruce's love of cupcakes. "Fine! Just stay way from my cupcakes!!!", he bellowed. So after a nice relaxing hot breakfast, I headed down to the Ballroom to start the tournament. Who knew? Cupcakes ... the breakfast of champions.

The tournament consisted of four swiss rounds in which you had to get three wins to advance to single elimination play. If you won your first three games, you got to go have lunch and wait for the fourth round to finish. Since I had to play all four rounds, I was really glad I got to have that big breakfast! Thanks again, Bruce.

After the crumbs (and 71 players) were cleared away, there were 28 left who had won at least three games and advanced to the single-elimination round. The usual pool of sharks and a few newcomers battled it out until Rob Kircher and Greg Thatcher were the last two left standing.

Rob wanted to play Union Pacific, so Greg graciously agreed to play the Final at midnight.

During the single elimination portion, the scores were way down. In years past, it almost always took scores in the mid-40's to win. As I watched several games unfold, everyone got atrocious cards. People were winning games 31-26, 32-23, 31-29. It was very unusual. Every time I would look at someone's hand, I would think to myself: "That guy can't win". Then I'd look at his opponent's hand and think, "He can't win either!" The Final was no different. As the game unfolded, Rob and Greg would each grimace as they drew new cards. And I couldn't blame them. There were no carpenters, quarries, libraries or prefectures to be had in the early going. And neither player could find a "6" building to save their lives. Mercifully, the game ended and Greg, a shark in many environs, but relatively new to San Juan, came out ahead and grabbed his fifth overall title. Rob would collect what was to become his first of seven laurel finishes this year without a championship. With 12 titles on his resume, Rob has had his share of victories, but that still has got to hurt.

Once again, thanks to everyone who participated and especially those who brought a game. A two-player event with 100 entrants makes it critical that everyone who can, brings a copy of the game. And next year, if you want a favorable seeding, I suggest chocolate cupcakes as well.

Jeff Mullet faces 2006 Caesar Marvin Birnbaum.

John Wetherell and Lexi Shea run the gauntlet.
 GM      Jeff Mullet  [5th Year]   NA   NA

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