To Infinity and Beyond!
Joel Tamburo seems more optimistic
than Roderick Lee.
Bill Crenshaw, John Sizemore, Patrick
Shea and Eric Monte
The Merchant of Venus tournament started on Monday
this year in an effort to boost attendance that had slipped under
50 last year. 23 players braved the unfashionable, Western spiral
arm of the galaxy to find their fortune and a spot in the semifinals.
A few players met a cruel fate in this round: Craig Reece opened
by rolling 1-1-1, but was able to find shelter on Space Station
Planet and later repeated the feat and topped it by using the
Mulligan Gear for another 1! Ouch! (But this incident earned
him the fictional "Water in the Gas Tank" Award.) Henry
Dove won the nonexistent "In for a Penny in for a Pound"
award, by paying to pass a 30 penalty oval he found and then
running into a 40 penalty for his trouble. On the other hand,
Debbie Gutermuth and Eric Monte found Relic Yellow Drives on
their first roll -- sometimes hunting taters works and sometimes
it doesn't. Eric, along with Vassili Kyrkos, Richard Meyer, Larry
Loiacono, Gero Niemeyer and Tom Browne were first to $2000 in
cash & deeds to win their games.
In Heat 2, 31 players blasted off from Galactic Base into
the open space of a vacuously empty Ballroom B. Keith Corbino
brought his impressive, homemade Merchant of Venus set to the
festivities. There were fragmentary reports that one of the players
finished with a score of $130 -- one of the lowest scores ever.
It is unknown what disasters befell this unfortunate soul, but
it is encouraged they try again. Similar fates have been recovered
from in the past. Much better fates befell Joel Tamburo, Eric
Wrobel, Bill Crenshaw, Rod Davidson, Luke Kolaszar, William Herbst,
Chris Gnech and Henry Dove, who won their ventures into the great
The last heat saw several semifinal regulars (including yours
truly) on the outside looking in. 24 players once more made their
way through the galaxy for fun and profit. One clever, though
ultimately not successful, ploy was made by Richard Irving: Short
only $10 from buying a factory good, he bartered away his shield
to get it and then used the commission to buy the shield back!
Last to join the qualifiers were Kevin Wojtaszczyk, Ken Gutermuth,
John Sizemore, Doug Faust, Frank McNally and Patrick Shea.
The number of entrants topped out at 59, up 11 from 2011.
The semifinals featured 14 of the 20 winners plus two alternates,
Joe Abrams and Tom DeMarco. Playing in the (slightly) closer
to absolute zero conditions of the Wheatland room, Eric Wrobel,
Eric Monte, Doug Faust and Chris Gnech advanced to the Final.
Joe Abrams & Tom Browne took the closest seconds to score
alsoran laurels. The 2nd ranked Wrobel was a two-time champion.
His three adversaries didn't have a MOV laurel between them.
The Final was a tight affair. Wrobel went out to an early
lead, but was quickly caught by Monte who found the Relic Yellow
Drive and Spy Eye and Chris who picked up a couple hitch hikers
and took them to the Base. All four players held about $1,000
in deeds when the milk run of Asteroid System(7b)-Inhabited Moon
via Telegate (9b)-Water World (10)-Jungle World via Telegate
(2)-Ice Planet (4a) started to dry up. Wrobel won a couple of
key races and varied up the routing to bring the engine home
in first with $3,056 to be the first to claim three MOV titles.
He was followed by Faust with $2,433, Monte $2384 and Gnech $2,251.
Next year, this tournament will take on a flight of fantasy.
There may be some adjustments, but I expect the Number 1 rule
to continue: Have fun!
Finalists (Ranking determined by score in Final.)
1) Eric Wrobel: $3,056
2) Doug Faust: $2,433
3) Eric Monte: $2,384
4) Chris Ghech: $2,251
Semifinalists (Ranking determined by score in semifinal
5) Joe Abrams: $2,637
6) Tom Browne: $2,619
7) Vassili Kyrkos: $2,548
8) Ken Gutermuth: $2,527
9) Rod Davidson: $2,323
10) Tom DeMarco: $2,198
11) Kevin Wojtaszczyk: $2,150
12) Frank McNally: $2,086
13) Bill Crenshaw: $2,038
14) John Sizemore: $1,619
15) Patrick Shea: $1,614
16) William Herbst: $1,380
Rest of field (Ranking determined by score of best heat
17) Henry Dove: $2,227
18) Joel Tamburo: $2,222
19) Richard Meyer: $2,158
20) Gero Niemayer: $2,136
21) Luke Koleszar: $2,085
22) Larry Loiacono: $2,042
23) Gary Dickson: $1,909
24) Eyal Mozes: $1,898
25) Tom McCorry: $1,885
26) Bob Woodson: $1,879
27) Paul Gaberson: $1,840
28) Anni Foasberg: $1,818
29) Keith Corbino: $1,804
30) Philip Shea: $1,795
31) Daniel Farrow IV: $1,785
32) Charles Hickok: $1,761
33) Roderick Lee: $1,761
34) Chris Entwistle: $1,760
35) Ray Stakenas: $1,728
36) Debbie Gutermuth: $1,712
37) Greg Romano: $1,703
38) Barb Roeper: $1,672
39) Richard Irving: $1,628
40) Jessica Shea: $1,455
41) York Dobyns: $1,448
42) Harald Henning: $1,435
43) Malinda Kyrkos: $1,404
44) Michael Holmquist: $1,338
45) Alan Stancius: $1,201
46) Alyssa Gumkowski: $1,177
47) Kyle Greenwood: $1,120
48) Kris Correira: $1,048
49) Keith Ferguson: $995
50) Stephane Dorais: $950
51) Geoffrey Entwistle: $910
52) Kevin Koch: $900
53) Wade Fowble: $853
54) Eugene Hourany: $764
55) Craig Reece: $757
56) Bob Mozzi $700
57) Kathy Stroh: $700
58) Fred Roeper: $620
59) Qroovr Naqrefba: $130
(name in alien transliteration to protect the extremely unlucky.)
Kevin Wojtaszczyk, top ranked Eric
Wrobel and Vassili Kyrkos
GM Richard Irving (right) shepherds