Odds | History | Rules
I Beat Bill Crenshaw - South Carolina
Eric Wrobel 9
Kate Taillon 0
Arthur Field 9
Bill Crenshaw 0
96 teams entered the 20th "run for the slivers" at
the 2010 WBC and when the horses were led back to their stalls,
three were within one point of victory. Any bonus points awarded
to those who had not won their event previously would change the
outcome, but not only were none awarded, only one of the12 comptitors
was even eligible for bonus points. The other 11 slots were filled
by ex-champs of their chosen events. Thus it was that the fifth
ranked "I Beat Bill Crenshaw" team gained WBC
Team Tournament immortality by a single point over perennial favorite Nest of Spies and The Defectors. All three teams
were heavy favorites, ranked in the Happy Handicapper's Top Six.
Finishing 4th a scant two points off the lead were the19th
ranked We Ain't Dead Yet who will forever lament what could
have been had the non-scoring half of their team not walked away
from potential points in their team games by dropping out unbeaten.
We coulda been champs instead of chumps. But noooooooo ... Bruno
Sinigaglio was too busy to continue into the semis of his team
game and yours truly had to take his wife to dinner rather than
beat Reiff in overtime. That's my tale of woe and doubtless there
were many similar near misses as the teams grouped within striking
distance of the lead were more plentiful than ever. Scoring was
generally up for entry to the Top 25 although the winning total
was the lowest since 2007.
The year's biggest over-achievers were the 73rd-ranked Rebels
& Redcoats who overcame 210 -1 odds to finish 19th behind
eight points from John Keating's first Galaxy title and
three points from newcomer Matt Ellis's impressive debut in the Breakout Normandy shark pool. Also thumbing their noses
at the Happy Handicapper were the youngsters of the aptly named Next Gen whose average age was well shy of voting booth
territory who ignored 206-1 odds to improve from a 70th ranking
to finish 21st behind Joseph Belyeu's victory in Ace of Aces.
It was a down year for the Happy Handicapper with only 14 of his
top 25 picks (56%) making the Top 25 cut—bringing his four-year
average back to 56%.
But let's cut the Happy Handicapper some slack. Apparently
our "Pick the Top Ten" Team Tournament contest isn't
so easy after all. Despite a large increase in entries, the scores
of our prognisticators fell drastically. On average, contestants
correctly picked only 2.62 teams in ten guesses as making the Top
Ten. Mark Love's winning score of six correct guesses in our initial
contest in 2009 proved to be setting the bar too high as this
year's high score was a paltry four teams—selected by no less
than six contestants who finished in a tie for first. Mark again
was among the best handicappers though and he was joined by Bob
Hamel, Andy Lewis, Ben Knight, Dave Meyaard and Terry Coleman
who all correctly selected four of the Top Ten teams. To select
a winner we had to resort to tiebreakers. Hamel was the first
eliminated since he failed to select the winning team. Love was
the next to go for missing the #2 team. All six entries had the
#3 team—Nest of Spies—duh! but both Lewis and Meyaard
failed to select #4 We Ain't Dead Yet so out they went—and rightly so! That left it between Knight and Coleman and
both passed the fourth tie breaker by correctly naming the top
four teams. So, on we went to the fifth tie breaker—the highest
team selected outside the Top Ten. Coleman's next best choice
was #12—Reese's Pieces, but Knight's was #11—The
Corleone Family—so Ben Knight became the winner of our second
Bracket Busting contest by the slimmest of margins on the fifth
tie breaker. Congratulations to Ben Knight for winning a free
2011 BPA membership.
Despite a smaller field, shutouts increased to 32—comprising
a third of all entries—up nearly 6% over 2009. The highest ranked
squad to post nothing but goose eggs and thereby earn the 2010
title for Most Overrated was the defending champs Three Men
& a Canadian, whose 8th ranked team was shutout in their
comeback bid. Fame is indeed fleeting. However, the fourth-ranked Band of Fools squad was the highest ranked team to fall
out of the Top 25.
The Werewolf Bait team won the Misery Loves Company
title with 490 entrants for an average of 122.5 entrants per event.
On the opposite end of the scale, claiming the Big Fish in the
Small Pond title was Champagne Room Gamers whose 110 total
entrants averaged just 27.5 players per event. Perhaps proving
that scoring is easiest in the smaller events, the Champagne
Room Gamers and Reese's Pieces who were 1-2 in the
smallest events sweepstakes also showed the greatest depth by
being the only two teams to score with every team member.
All in all, our 384 players selected 125 different events.
The most frequently named choices for the Team Tournament was Dominion with 13 and Carcassonne with ten. Other
top choices were Ticket to Ride at nine, Atlantic Storm at eight and Circus Maximus, Race for the Galaxy and We The People at seven. Coming in at six
team entries apiece were Victory in the Pacific, Napoleonic
Wars, Merchant of Venus, Puerto Rico, Gangsters, Formula De and Battles of the American Revolution. In all, 32 Team participants
(8%) won their selected events—down from 38 (9%) in 2009.