empire builder [Updated October 2005]  

2005 WBC Report   

 2006 Status: pending 2006 GM commitment

Tom Dunning, NY

2005 Champion

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Event History
1999     Steve Okonski     64
2000     Bill Navolis      61
2001     Jim Yerkey      44
2002     Jim Yerkey      43
2003     Donna Balkan      57
2004     Tom Dunning      64
2005     Tom Dunning      49


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Jim Yerkey         MD    03    110
  2.  Tom Dunning        NY    05     92
  3.  Steve Okonski      MD    02     70
  4.  Donna Balkan       ON    04     61
  5.  Bill Navolis       PA    00     50
  6.  Paul Van Bloem     MD    03     40
  7.  Eyal Mozes         NY    02     36
  8.  Debbie Gutermuth   TX    05     35
  9.  Richard Meyer      MA    04     32
 10.  Harald Henning     CT    02     30
 11.  Greg Mayer         MO    00     30
 12.  Mark Kennel        DE    05     28
 13.  Ted Mullally       NJ    05     24
 14.  John Haas          DE    04     24
 15.  Olin Hentz         CT    03     22
 16.  Mark Franceschini  MD    00     20
 17.  Mike Backstrom     MN    05     16
 18.  Rich Shipley       MD    03     16
 19.  Ken Good           OH    05      9
 20.  Brian Smith        NY    02      6
 21.  Cliff Ackman       PA    99      6
 22.  Chuck Foster       TX    04      4
 23.  Debbie Otto        MO    99      3

2005 Laurelists

Ted Mullally, NJ

Mike Backstrom, MN

Mark Kennel, DE

Debbie Gutermuth, TX

Ken Good, OH

Past Winners

Steve Okonski, MD

Bill Navolis, PA

Jim Yerkey, MD

Donna Balkan, ON

Tom Dunning, NY

Lancaster Rails ...

For the first heat, we had 28 players with four tables of Empire Builder, one Euro Rails, one Lunar Rails, and the only game of British Rails played in the event. The scores ranges between 6 and 261. At the Empire Builder tables, Jim Fishkin, John Morris, Stephen Squibb, and Mark Kennel recorded victories. Mark Kennel's table had the largest gap between his final score and the next highest score of 88, which went to John Clarke. The lowest score of the day was also at this table with Rich Curtin ending with 6 and only connecting to five major cities. John Morris' table had the smallest gap between scores with his 261 (the highest of the day) and Rod Davidson's 128 consisting of the total range. For the Euro Rails game, Charlie Davis pulled out a win with 259. He had the closest competitor for the day with 244 Jen Thomas logging a 244. The designer Bob Stribula won the Lunar Rails table. For the British Rails game, Jeri Freedman won her table with a score of 257.

The second heat, had 23 players with three Empire Builder contests, one Lunar, one Euro Rails, and one Iron Dragon. The second heat scores ranged between 7 and 265. The Empire Builders were won by Jen Thomas, Debbie Gutermuth, and Tom Dunning. Jen had the highest score of the day with 265. Debbie Gutermuth had the closest game with her score of 262 topping Michael Zorrer with 255, Mark Giddings with 245, and 216 for Nick Smith. Bob Stibula won the Lunar Rails game again, but he had much closer competition this time with Barbara Flaxington close behind with 210. William Duke won the Euro Rails game. Olin Hentz won the Iron Dragon game. The lowest score of the day was at this table with Stephen Snyder ending with only 7.

28 players attended the third heat with three Empire Builders, one Euro Rails, one Iron Dragon, and the only games of Russia Rails and North America. The last heat scores ranged between a low of 46 and a high of 286. Ken Good, Wesley Kreger, and Mike Zorrer won the Empire Builders. Mike's table was the closest with his score of 252 besting the last place tally of 155 for Jen Thomas. Mike Backstom won the Euro Rails game and Greg Stripes the Iron Dragon game. Greg's table hung the lowest score of the day on Nick Smith. Dan Boyland won the North America game. The courageous table of four that played the very latest addition to the Rails series (Russian Rails) was Bill Peech, Ted Mullally, Inger Henning, and David Metheny. Ted won the table.

There were five tables of four-player Euro Rails for the semifinal round. At the first table, Tom Dunning won over John Morris At the second table, Debbie Gutermuth pulled out a win with Jim Fishkin close behind. Tedd Mullally won the third table with the closest set of semi scores; Olin Hentz, William Duke, and Dan Boyland were all closely grouped behind Tedd. Mark Kennel won the fourth table handily over Jeri Freedman. A very unusual ending occurred at the last table. On what they thought was the last round of play, Ken Good and Mike Backstrom both declared the win only to find they both had the same score (251). This meant the entire table had to play onto the first to score over 300. Jen Thomas and Mike Zorrer tried to keep up, but Good and Backstrom had too much of a lead. Backstrom pulled out the win with 315 while Ken Good finished with 296.

EuroRails was the game for the Final round. Since GM Debbie Gutermuth qualified for the Final game, Paul Van Bloem stpped in to moderate. Paul was also instrumental in allowing the players to concentrate on their game while he handled all the banking and transferring of the loads/goods. Mike Backstrom was the starting player. The tax card was drawn early and at that point,Ted Mullally led with $116M followed close behind by Tom Dunning with $112M. Mike Backstrom had $73M, Debbie Gutermuth $31M and Mark Kennel brought up the rear with $4M. From there, Tom drew some great cards that complimented his track. Cards were being flushed so much that the tax card soon came out again! This time Tom had taken a big lead with $224M. This also meant that he had to make more deliveries than he had planned. Well behind at this point was Ted with $139M, Mike with $98M, Mark with $88M, and Debbie with $81M. Tom was able to make his additional deliveries - a total of 18 - and won the game handily with $253M. Ted had made up some ground and ended with $186M on 16 deliveries. Mike had also made some big runs and was able to hold onto third with $175M from 21 deliveries. Fourth went to Mark who ended with $127M from 18 deliveries. Debbie took fifth with $111M on 16 deliveries.

Congratulations to Tom for successfully defending his championship. Good luck everyone next year.

 GM      Debbie Gutermuth  [1st Year]  NA 
    NA   NA

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