Splendor (SPD) PBeM Reports Updated June 21, 2023

2023 PBeM Tournament

The 2023 Splendor PBEM tournament was once again the guinea pig for a new PBEM tournament format. In each of the three rounds, players completed three simultaneous three-player games and were ranked using the typical 1000-100-10 scoring system. Forty-five participants played a total of sixty-eight games over the course of the tournament.

Next year the tournament will revert to using four-player games, with the plan to alternate each year. Going forward we will aim to play four games per round, regardless of table size, to better separate the field.

In the first round, Michael Swinson, and Ray Wolff each won all three of their games, and an additional thirteen players achieved two wins. Six players earned records of 1 win and 2 second-place finishes. With only one spot in the semifinal available, Sara Ward had the best tiebreakers to advance from that group.

Randy Buehler earned the only perfect 3-0 record in the semifinal, while Rob Murray, Chris Wildes, and Cary Morris won two games each. They were joined in the final round by Michael Swinson, Francois de Bellefeuille, and Sara Ward, with the cut off again set at 1200 points.

Only four players won games during the seven-game final round. Michael and Cary each won once to finish 3rd and 4th respectively. Francois earned two victories but lost on a tiebreaker in his last game. Rob won that tiebreaker and all three of his games to claim the 2023 Splendor PBEM championship.

The top six finishers were:

  1. Rob Murray
  2. Francois de Bellefeuille
  3. Michael Swinson
  4. Cary Morris
  5. Chris Wildes
  6. Sara Ward

Over the course of the tournament, the highest winning score was 21 achieved by Haim Hochboim. Six players scored 16 points in losing efforts: Ken Gutermuth, Chad Martin, Andrew Martin, Rodney Davidson, Jon Senn, and Sara Ward.

Regarding turn order, Seat 2 once again had the most wins and earned half of the victories (33 from 68 games). Seat 3 (18 wins) and Seat 1 (17) posted similar win-rates. Given its overwhelming number of wins, Seat 2 also showed the best average finish at 1.74, and once again Seat 3 barely eclipsed Seat 1, 2.10 to 2.16.

Once again congratulations to Rob Murray and to all the laurelists and thank you to everyone who participated in the event.

2022 PBeM Tournament

The 2022 Splendor PBEM tournament was played using an experimental PBEM format similar to a typical WBC event: three sequential heats, followed by single-game semifinals and finals. Forty-eight participants played a total of forty-two games over the course of the tournament.

After the initial three heats, two players had achieved perfect 3-0 records: Brandon Buchanan and Cary Morris. Five other players won two games: Eric Freeman, Francois de Bellefeuille, Chris Wildes, Rodney Davidson, and Marcy Morelli. The top sixteen advanced to the semifinal and a point total of at least 1110 (one 1st, one 2nd, and one 3rd place finish) was required to advance. Russ Bielefeldt missed advancing by .04 on tiebreakers.

Tables for the semifinals were assigned based on seeding from the heats. In the first semifinal, 16-seed Haim Hochboim upset the top-seeded Brandon Buchanan to advance to the final. Two-seed Cary Morris survived the closest of the semifinals, winning 15-14-14-13. They were joined in the final by Jeff Wu and 2019 WBC Splendor champion Chris Wildes.

To determine the 5th and 6th place finishers, a “B” final was played between the runners-up from the semifinal. Michael Swinson finished with 17 points to win the table and earn 5th place over Philip Shea, Rich Meyer, and Robert St. Pierre.

Play in the “A” final was extremely tight, with players defensively denying gems from one another and hoarding the gold coins. The game featured multiple blind reserves off the top of both the Level 3 and Level 1 decks, as well as a reservation of a card with no accompanying gold coin. Three players hit 15 on the last turn, meaning the winner would be determined by tiebreaker. With six cards purchased, Chris Wildes claimed the victory over Jeff Wu (seven cards) and Cary Morris (eight cards).

The top 6 finishers were:

  1. Chris Wildes
  2. Jeff Wu
  3. Cary Morris
  4. Haim Hochboim
  5. Michael Swinson
  6. Philip Shea

Over the course of the tournament, three players achieved the highest winning score with 18 points: Bill Masek, Tim O’Flynn, and Rodney Davidson. Two players had the highest non-winning score at 16: Phil Watkins and Jeff Miller. Henry Rice managed to claim four nobles in a Heat 3 win, while Tim O’Flynn and Jeff Miller combined to take all five available nobles in one game.

Statistics were gathered related to the turn order at the start of the game. Seat 2 had the most wins (16), followed by Seat 3 (11), while Seat 1 and Seat 4 only managed 8 and 7 wins, respectively. Seat 2 also had the highest average finish at 2.23, but here Seat 1 took second place with a 2.5 average ahead of Seat 3 (2.60) and Seat 4 (2.68).

80.95% of game winners took no nobles. No nobles were taken in the semifinal or final rounds.

45.24% of game winners had the fewest cards, while only 11.90% had the most cards.

21.43% of game winners had no Level 1 cards. 2.38% had no Level 3 cards. Zero winners had no Level 2 cards.

Once again congratulations to all the laurelists and thank you to everyone who participated in the event.