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Azul (AZL) WBC 2022 Event Report
Updated March 8, 2023
190 Players Debra LeWinter 2022 Status 2023 Status History/Laurels
  2022 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.

Azul Is A Big Hit In Its Inaugural Year!

Azul drew a big crowd in its inaugural year at WBC, with 190 unique players and 393 total player starts (333 in Heats and 60 in elimination rounds) in 99 total games (84 in Heats and 15 in elimination rounds).

Many thanks go to my Assistant GM’s Kirk Porteous and Rob Schneeberger, without whom the event would not have been possible. Thanks also to Ken for a favorable scheduling and room assignment.

Seat order was randomized in the Heats. Seat 1 had 40% of the winners in the Heats. However, the elimination rounds had a much more even distribution of winners.

Heat 1 - 116 players were divided into 29 4-player games. Two of the games went 6 rounds, and all others were 5 rounds. The high individual score was 110 by Steve Shambeda (5 rounds). There were several close seconds, with Bronwyn Woods falling by 1 point to Hank Griffin, and Fadi El-Riachi falling in a tiebreaker to Curt Collins.

Heat 2 - 126 players (56 new) were divided into 30 4-player games and 2 3-player games. Four of the games went 6 rounds, and all the others were 5 rounds. The high individual score was 101 by Sam Burdett (6 rounds). Rolinda Collinson and Paul Rubin both fell in tiebreakers to Enda Figueroa and Jeremy Billones, respectively.

Heat 3 - 91 players (18 new) were divided into 22 4-player games and 1 3-player game. One game went an unbelievable 7 rounds, two games went 6 rounds, and the rest were 5 rounds. The high individual score was 110 by Chris Meyer (7 rounds). Kirk Porteous fell in a tiebreaker to Rob Kircher.

Quarterfinals - 45 of the 67 winners showed up for the Quarter Finals. The top 5 players were given a bye to the Semi Finals [Joseph Birnbaum (3 wins), Rob Kircher (3), Chris Meyer (2), Andrew Menard (2) and Mandy Mossman (2)]. Ten tables of 4-player games were played with the winners and the one highest 2nd place finisher advancing to the Semi Finals. One game went 6 rounds, with all other going 5 rounds. The high individual score was 82 by Brandon Bernard (5 rounds). Jon Anderson was just one point behind 1st place and advanced to the Semi Finals.

Semifinals - The four Semi Final tables were seeded with players based on their ranking in the Heats. Three members of the LeWinter family made the Semi Finals (Steve, Debra and Sage). Sara Ward volunteered to trade tables with Steve LeWinter so that no family member had to play each other. All of the four Semi Final games went 5 rounds. The high individual score was 79 by Travis Griggs. Steve LeWinter and Joseph Birnbaum got the closest 2nd places to grab the 5th and 6th place laurels. Two players scored 2 vertical column bonuses. Seven of the sixteen players scored one color bonus.

Finals - The Final table included Rob, Travis, Debra, and Sara. Of these four finalists, Rob was the only one ranked in the top 32 players in the Heats. Rob led the table after the first round. Debra had a zero for the first round, but came back strong by achieving the high score in rounds 2-4. Sara took the high score in round 5, with a game high round score of 16. Rob scored 2 horizontal row bonuses, Debra 1, Sara 1, and Travis none. All players but Rob scored 1 vertical row. Travis had concentrated on the same color bonus and scored two of them, but this did not make up for his lower round scores. Debra and Sara both scored 1 color bonus, while Rob was shut out of that bonus. The final scores were Debra 74, Sara 62, Travis 60 and Rob 50. Debra’s high scoring in the rounds prevailed, and she became the first WBC Azul champion!

2022 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0

Sara Ward Travis Griggs Rob Kircher Steven LeWinter Joseph Birnbaum
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Chris Meyer waiting his turn in the heats.

Richard Meyer playing in the heats.

Rob Kircher playing his way to the Finals.

GM Paul Klayder with the Azul Finalists.
GM     Paul Klayder [1st Year]