saint petersburg

Updated Nov. 16, 2015

2015 WBC Report

2016 Status: pending 2016 GM commitment

Cary Morris, NC

2015 Champion

Event History

2005 Arthur Field 125
2006 Anne Norton 106
2007 Chris Robbins 114
2008 Norman Herrick 106
2009 Curt Collins II 115
2010 Arthur Field 80
2011 Charles Hickok 114
2012 Randy Buehler 108
2013 Lewis Lin 108
2014 Robert Kircher 108
2015 Cary Morris 142

Euro Quest BPA Event History
2005 Peter Staab 32
2006 Tom McCorry 44
2007 Thomas Browne 30
2008 Tom DeMarco 39
2009 Ted Bohaczuk 46
2010 Mike Turian 42
2011 Vien Bounma 47
2012 Andrew Emerick 45


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Randy Buehler      WA    15    134
  2.  Anne Norton        NJ    15    106
  3.  Arthur Field       SC    10    102
  4.  Tom DeMarco        NJ    10     87
  5.  Cary Morris        NC    15     74
  6.  Vien Bounma        NJ    14     71
  7.  Chris Robbins      UT    07     52
  8.  Robert Kircher     RI    14     40
  9.  Robert Cranshaw    RI    14     40
 10.  Lewis Lin          WA    13     40
 11.  Charles Hickok     PA    11     40
 12.  Curt Collins II    PA    09     40
 13.  Norman Herrick     NE    08     40
 14.  Tom Browne         PA    07     38
 15.  Peter Staab        PA    06     38
 16.  Perrianne Lurie    PA    12     36
 17.  Chris Senhouse     MA    15     30
 18.  Andrew Emerick     CT    12     30
 19.  Mike Turian        WA    10     30
 20.  Tom McCorry        VA    06     30
 21.  Cliff Ackman       PA    11     28
 22.  David Rohde        NC    12     24
 23.  Jason Levine       NY    11     24
 24.  Joe Harrison       KY    07     24
 25.  Michael Fox        IL    06     24
 26.  Blair Morgen       NJ    12     20
 27.  Norman Rule        MD    11     20
 28.  Ted Bohaczuk       PA    09     20
 29.  Christian Moffa    NJ    12     18
 30.  Steven Schroeder   CA    11     18
 31.  Steve Shambeda     PA    14     16
 32.  Andy Latto         MA    13     16
 33.  Gordon Rodgers     PA    07     16
 34.  Debbie Davidson    NE    06     16
 35.  David Fox          NY    05     16
 36.  Rob Murray         NJ    15     15
 37.  Eric Brosius       MA    10     14
 38.  Dan Mathias        MD    13     12
 39.  Lawrence Solomon   VA    11     12
 40.  Mark Globus        WA    11     12
 41.  Rob Flowers        MD    08     12
 42.  Michael Kaltman    PA    07     12
 43.  Mike Hazel         SC    07     12
 44.  Kathy Stroh        DE    06     12
 45.  Alan Kaiser        OH    05     12
 46.  Rodney Davidson    AZ    11      9
 47.  Chris Gnech        PA    10      9
 48.  Lauren Vessey      VA    12      8
 49.  Lee Mewshaw        MD    10      9
 50.  Richard Shay       MA    09      8
 51.  Michael Richey     VA    07      8
 52.  Jay Fox            NJ    06      8
 53.  Jeff Mullet        OH    05      8
 54.  Tom Wade           IN    05      8
 55.  Jason Ley          WA    12      6
 56.  Kerrin Addis       au    09      6
 57.  Greg Rogers        MD    07      6
 58.  Pete Stein         OH    05      6
 59.  Rick Miller        PA    15      5
 60.  Amy Rule           MD    09      4
 61.  Virginia Colin     VA    08      4
 62.  Kevin Brown        GA    08      4
 63.  Tom Dunning        NY    07      4
 64.  Daniel Eppolito    CA    07      4
 65.  Ted Mullally       NJ    05      4
 66.  Marcy Morelli      PA    12      3
 67.  Lori Miskoff       NJ    11      3
 68.  Sceadeau D'Tela    NC    10      3
 69.  J. J. Jaskiewicz   MD    07      2
 70.  Andrew Gerb        MD    05      2
2015 Laurelists Returning Laurelists: 2

Chris Senhouse, MA

Randy Buehler, WA

Rob Murray, NJ

Anne Norton, NJ

Rick Miller, PA

Past Winners

Arthur Field, SC
2005, 2010

Anne Norton, NJ

Chris Robbins, UT

Norman Herrick, NE

Curt Collins II, PA

Charles Hickok, PA

Randy Buehler, WA

Lewis Lin, WA

Robert Kircher, RI

Cary Morris, NC

Keith Levy and his distinctive chapeau keep Lauren company.

Robert St. Pierre and Chris Senhouse collecting orange cards.

Record Attendance ... and then some

Our last year in Lancaster was a banner year for SPG. When the tournament started in 2005 it pulled 125 players, which remained the highest count until this year. The past two years had held steady at 108. This year we blew past 125 after two heats! All in all, 142 people played this year! Starting the first heat on Monday when there wasn’t much competition didn’t hurt, but all heats were well attended.

The big topic of conversation was the ‘New Edition’ published in 2014. The GM’s decided to exclude the new edition because we felt the extra round introduced with this edition substantially changed the game. In addition, our tiebreakers for advancement to the semi’s is based on scores, and we don’t have enough data yet on whether the scores in the new edition are comparable to the old. We did allow new sets to be used with the old rules, and provided copies of a conversion chart showing the ‘old’ card values for the four ‘updated’ cards. For those wondering, we plan to do the same next year. We are waiting to see if the new edition ‘takes off’ with players or not, as well as getting more data as to whether they can be considered equivalent for tournament purposes.

As usual, Norman has compiled some interesting stats from the scoresheets:

  • 62 tables from heats, four in the semis and one Final for 268 player starts.
  • Ten multiple winners including two triple winners.
  • In one game, the winner had both mistresses and both observatories and only won by a point with a 4-point spread between first and last. High score in that game was 43!
  • Winning player had two special cards 22 times (32%). Had three special cards four times (6%) and ALL FOUR specials once (1.5%).
  • Winning player Had NO special cards 14 times. (20%).
  • LAST place had one or more specials 37 times ( 54%).
  • LAST place had two or more specials ten times (15%).
  • We had three games where NO special cards came out (or were not reported).
  • There were three ties with the winner determined by cash in hand.
  • Ten players ended having cards in hand. One player got stuck with two cards in hand.
  • Winner had both mistresses in two games. Last place had two mistresses in two games.
  • Winner had both observatories in four games. Last place had both observatories in two games.
  • Biggest winning score was 135 points, over double the last place score.

A big concern among players has always been whether or not a first round Mistress or Observatory would unbalance the game. This year, we tracked the starting position of the players and found that the start player position was the biggest factor in predicting the winner.
Of the 67 games played:

  • 14 won by Worker start player (21%)
  • 14 won by Upgrade start player (21%)
  • 12 won by Building start player (18%)
  • 27 won by Noble start player (40%)

When start position was noble (27 times), got a mistress 21 times during the game (NOT necessarily on first round). When start position was NOT noble (40 times), got mistress 24 times during the game.

In the semifinals, winner started with nobles three times.

Many thanks to Randy Buehler for the following play by play of the Final:

Saint Petersburg has a reputation as being all about trying to get a broken start—a first turn Mistress of Ceremonies or Observatory, for example. However, the consistency with which the same players advance to the Final table would seem to put the lie to that theory. Randy Buehler had a first, two seconds and a fifth in the previous five years and this year he made the Final once again. Cary Morris also returned to the Final for the first time since taking second in 2008. They were joined by a pair of relative newcomers to this game: Chris Senhouse and Rob Murray.

Rob was the beneficiary of a first turn Observatory, which he immediately used to pick up an extra green worker (though it was the fairly expensive Fur Trapper). He later used that Observatory to acquire not one, but two different copies of the Mistress—the only two in the entire orange deck. Unfortunately for Rob, he got himself stuck with a hand full of expensive cards in the mid-game, and was unable to deploy all those awesome cards in a timely manner. One brutal sequence in particular saw him pick up a blue in order to open up a spot for an orange that he could buy, but all the nobles exceeded his budget and he was forced to pass (and give an extra orange to Cary).

Cary played an extremely aggressive blue-based strategy. Most players shy away from the blue buildings, just acquiring them when they want to open spots for nobles (or when they need something to upgrade). Cary, however, focused on building a steady supply of blue victory point buildings as quickly as he could, and then played to end the game as quickly as possible - before anyone had time to build up an overwhelming number of nobles.

Randy accidentally enabled this strategy not just by taking an orange upgrade and letting a blue one float to Cary early, but also by buying a green worker for five rubles on what he assumed was the penultimate turn. Cary went deep into the tank after that and figured that he could actually gain two cards during the green phase and cause the last blue to get dealt, triggering the end of the game a turn before anyone was ready for it. It wasn’t clear whether this would give Cary the win, but what was clear is that giving everyone an extra turn would help other people more than Cary so he went for it.

When the dust finally settled from the surprise last turn of the game, things were extremely close, with only two points separating first from third. Cary’s gambit worked, as he ended with 51 points. Chris did a great job of accumulating a bunch of blue upgrades but ended one point behind Cary. Randy too third (and was kicking himself for enabling Cary to end the game early). Had the game gone another round, it’s not clear whether Randy or Chris would have won, but what was crystal clear is that Cary played an innovative strategy extremely well and fully deserved to win his fifth WBC title.

Congratulations to Cary and all of the finalists. See you all at Seven Springs next year!

GM Norman & Amy Rule [3rd Year] NA NA

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