The Perfect Ending to a Perfect Week ...
The Mafia is resplendent in their
new pink duds.
As usual, Josh didn't get the memo.
Hey, Yoshi even gets to play ...
be a slow night in the penalty box.
Did the Junior's Room get out early
or is this
the semi-finals after all the old folks went to bed?
And then there are the rest of us
old geezers who need
our beauty sleep for the long ride home
or so it seemed to those who have kept track of Bruce Reiff's
infamous winning streak over the years. Saturday night, and at
the end of a long week of gaming, it's time to blow off steam
at the crazy party that is the WBC Slapshot tournament.
This year saw the new edition from Columbia games bring some
new players, allowing us to crack the 200-player barrier for
the second time and set a new attendance record. There are some
differences between the new Columbia rules and the "Classic"
Slapshot that has traditionally been played, so "translation
sheets" were handed out. These are also available on BoardgameGeek
for anyone who didn't get one.
During the traditional Reading of the Rules, we had a shock,
and a Slapshot first - the traditional Andy Lewis wussy
open-hand table was playing with closed hands! It took over a
decade to convince them to play the right way, but sometimes
slow progress is the best progress.
After the reading of the rules, the players got down to business.
Ray Stakenas Sr. won his table despite having to play "Tom
Cruise Style", whatever that means. Drew DuBoff (who we
will see again) won his table in a triple overtime final game.
At the Degenerate Loser Table, players such as Mark Mitchell,
Peter Stein, Dennis Nicholson, and Mark Yoshikawa somehow found
some chivalry as Laura Brown won the table, and the dubious distinction
of staying up for the next round. At the Beach family table,
the celebrations over Matthew's Facts in Five victory
must have been going strong, as Johan Vanhuyse won the game despite
having never played before. The Beach family table had a defector
as well, as Natalie ran off to a different table and won there.
The most impressive first round win was probably made by Keith
Boone, who won his championship game in style, using Tiny Tim
to score the deciding goal.
Once all of the losers went off to bed, the annual Massively
Unfair semi-final round commenced, generating our eight finalists
standing above the fray (and yawning):
Johan "I don't want to stay up this late" Vanhuyse,
who decided he valued sleep over a chance at wood, and ran off
Natalie "I'm glad I abandoned my family" Beach, playing
the Murder button.
Samantha "Holy Cow, I might get some laurels!" Berk,
Leonard "It's a shame someone has to win" Two-time
champion Omolecki (is that allowed?), playing a Coca-Cola bottlecap.
David "What am I doing around all of these crazy people?"
Metzger, playing the bottle opener. "It's for beer, make
sure you write that down", he told me.
Luke "Yes, dear" Paruda and his girlfriend playing
the deflated ball.
Drew "Tiny but mighty" DuBoff, playing the pin back
from Jay's Basement. He wanted me to be sure to mention Jay's
Basement in the writeup- I hope they're giving him sponsorship
Nicole "If I win this, my Dad will kill me!" Reiff
playing the boring playing piece out of fear that someone would
steal her dollar bill.
of these players are decidedly on the younger side. Whether this
is because they are gaining skill as players, or because the
old guard doesn't want to stay up till 2 AM for a Final is left
as an exercise for the reader.
The game started quietly, with five of the players choosing
to draft in their first turn. Leonard opened the action in a
quest to "find someone he could beat". His quest stalled
early though, as he ran into several tied games, then lost his
best player to Samantha's bruiser, and became the table patsy.
The real patsy at the table though, was Samantha, who didn't
score her first point until most of the rest of the group had
already scored five. David, who was also doing badly, then convinced
Samantha that they should try to play each other so that they
won't help one of the leaders. This brilliant plan was for naught,
as they proceeded to tie each other.
On the other side of the table, Nicole was using Drew as her
personal patsy, playing him just about every chance she got.
She won most of her games, putting her in good position for the
playoffs. As the game progressed, some of the players started
eyeing what might be called "Secondary victory conditions".
The fact that there were four plaques for this event, and that
only six of the seven finalists would gain laurels weighed heavily
on a lot of minds. This was especially true of Samantha, who
was looking for her first-ever laurels at WBC, and was willing
to miss the 4-person playoffs to guarantee it - Sandman be damned.
So, sitting in sixth, with David the current patsy in seventh,
she played Leonard in an effort to start the playoffs early.
This didn't work, as another tie resulted. Next Natalie, calling
David her "favorite guy", played him giving David an
extremely rare win, to the applause of the entire table.
It wasn't enough, though, as Luke challenged Samantha in the
next round, with a win putting him in the playoffs, and guaranteeing
Samantha sixth. Despite the chants wishing for another tie, Luke
pulled out the victory sending David home in the unfortunate
seventh position. Samantha then lost to Leonard in the 5/6 game.
The playoffs were then set. In the first matchup, Luke's mediocre
team with a bruiser was up against Natalie's mediocre team without
one. Luke's bruiser ripped through Natalie's players on the way
to a 3-0 win.
In the other playoff, the Nicole-Drew rivalry repeated itself
when Nicole's better team had to withstand Drew's bruiser. Nicole
won the first two games, but lost her best player in the second.
Drew took advantage of the injury to tie the series, leading
to a deciding fifth game. At this point the excitement in the
arena was palpable, with both players slamming their cards down
with extreme force, and the rest of the table slapping the table
in unison to add to the noise. Nicole managed to pull out the
fifth game win, but not before slamming a card down on the table
so hard that she injured her hand. Nicole went to rest her hand
while the consolation playoff round was played for the third
place plaque. Natalie and Drew faced off, and Natalie won in
the deciding game.
The preliminaries dispensed with, the Final was set - Luke's
bruiser versus Nicole's slightly superior players. Nicole's injured
hand was not an issue, as the table pounding resumed enthusiastically.
Nicole won the first game, losing a 4-strength player. Luke took
the second game, again bruising a 4-strength player from Nicole's
hand. The third game had Nicole lose her best player in a victory.
However, the Reiff luck must be genetic, as her replacement player
was the Superstar. Luke refused to give up, winning the fourth
game, leaving the series tied at 2 games apiece. Game 5 went
to overtime, and Luke decided to not think too hard about what
card to play for the sudden-death segment. This cost him the
game, and led to some loud coaching from his girlfriend. Game
6 also went to overtime, and this time Luke's girlfriend said:
"Focus!". Her instructions must have worked, as Luke
won that game, forcing a deciding game 7. Before the last game,
Nicole declared to the table "Second is fine with me".
Luke then offered "Why don't you concede then?". Nicole's
one word reply: "No" started the game off. The game
was close, and went down to the last card. Luke's best player
was up against Nicole's goalie. If he could just make the roll,
he would force overtime, where his focus could give him the win.
Alas, it has been my experience that the two luckiest things
in WBC are Reiffs and teenage girls. Nicole encompassed both
of these, and Luke was doomed from the start. Nicole went home
clutching the coveted Superstar plaque, and got to enjoy the
long ride home, plaque-checking her woodless father at every
other exit along the way.
The Tighe family breaks them in early.
Slapshot is more party than tournament - a rousing farewell
till next year - with Round 1 tables composed of friends and
Pam Gutermuth subbed for her AWOL
sister in tormenting moi. With bruiser in hand and under orders
from Lisa she snagged my Superstar in the first game. How do
they do that?
Mark Yoshikawa dropped the puck for 19 little hockey players
this year. Caitlin Jaeger proved to be the toughest little bruiser
in the rink. She was followed by Wes Lewis, Aidan Czyryca, Matthew
Roizin-Prior, Nick Evich and Serge Philip.
GM Mark Yoshikawa drops the puck and
runs for cover.
No WBC education is complete without an introduction
to the Saturday nite party.
Caitlin gets her plaque from the head
zebra - the always affable Mark Yoshikawa - recovering from assorted
kid-induced puck bruises and prepping for the Saturday night