medici [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report  

2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Jeff Cornett, FL

2006 Champion

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Event History
1999    Kevin Wojtasczyk       86
2000    Harald Henning       84
2001    Doug Galullo       95
2002    Ann Cornett     115
2003    Thomas Stokes     118
2004     Peter Staab     109
2005     Gary Noe       98
2006     Jeff Cornett       87

Euro Quest Event History
2003    John Adams     26
2004    Thomas Browne     18
2005    Arthur Field     20


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Harald Henning     CT    02     52
  2.  Tom Stokes         NJ    03     43
  3.  Gary Noe           FL    05     42
  4.  Ann Cornett        FL    02     40
  5.  Jeff Cornett       FL    06     38
  6.  Peter Staab        PA    04     30
  7.  Doug Galullo       FL    01     30
  8.  Kevin Wojtaszczyk  NY    99     30
  9.  Ken Gutermuth      TX    06     29
 10.  John Kerr          VA    04     26
 11.  Bruce Reiff        OH    06     24
 12.  Jeff Mullet        OH    02     24
 13.  Fred Minard        PA    05     23
 14.  Arthur Field       SC    05     20
 15.  Thomas Browne      PA    04     20
 16.  John Adams         MD    03     20
 17.  Rich Roberts       PA    06     18
 18.  Kathy Stroh        MD    05     18
 19.  Eric Brosius       MA    05     18
 20.  Eugene Lin         WA    04     18
 21.  Daniel Broh-Kahn   MD    05     16
 22.  James Pei          VA    05     16
 23.  Lance Ribeiro      NH    03     16
 24.  Brett Mingo        MD    02     13
 25.  Kate Taillon       SC    06     12
 26.  Tom DeMarco        MD    05     12
 27.  Marty Hoff         TX    04     12
 28.  George Sauer       OH    03     12
 29.  Gary Carr          VA    03     12
 30.  Scott Cornett      FL    02     12
 31.  Roy Gibson         MD    01     12
 32.  Tom Dunning        NJ    05     10
 33.  Marc Houde         VA    05      9
 34.  Ben Foy            MD    04      9
 35.  Alfred Wong        IL    99      9
 36.  Ilan Woll          CT    06      9
 37.  Joe Jaskiewicz     MD    04      8
 38.  Charles Faella     RI    05      6
 39.  Gary Presser       NY    04      6
 40.  Jenn Thomas        NY    01      6
 41.  Virginia Colin     VA    05      4

2006 Laurelists

Rich Roberts, PA

Kate Taillon, SC

Ken Gutermuth, TX

Ilan Woll, CT

Bruce Reiff, OH

Past Winners

Kevin Wojtasczyk, NY

Harald Henning, CT

Doug Galullo, FL

Ann Cornett, FL

Tom Stokes, NJ

Peter Staab, PA

Gary Noe, FL

 Greg Thatcher stands to make a move as Keith Levy peers out from beneath his trademark magic hat in a preliminary game.

 GM Bruce Reiff (at left) oversees a game in the preliminary heats as Medici draws 80+ entrants for the eighth straight year.

Table Talk To the Fore for Four

It was with some trepidation that I approached this year's event. It's been a long time since I've run an event with multiple heats. But I managed to show up on time and over 80 people played a game of Medici (med ichy) so I couldn't have done too badly. Those looking to play (me dee chi) were sent to other rooms since we were playing the game the way both the History and Discovery Channel pronounce it! 
After three heats 14 winners appeared and it was determined that three games of 5, 5 and 4 would be played with the best second (as a % of the winners score ) advancing to contest a 4-player Final. Jeff Cornett suggested that the highest runner-up score should advance but with a 4-player game I stuck with %, which I would soon come to regret. Tables were randomly assigned and I ended up at the 4-player game with Ken Gutermuth, Jason Arvey and Eric Eshlemann. I got to the 20 bonus space in porcelain on the second turn but was unable to overcome Ken's spending less than 10 in all three rounds to get the boat twice and a second. I was second with a whopping 134 but my percentage was awful as Ken had 159. 
In the second semi, Kate Taillon won a more defensive game over Ilan Woll, David Gagne, Jeff "loser boy" Mullet and perennial Medici semi-finalist Fred Minard. Ilan was second 12 points behind with an 84 so I was out of the Final and he was on the bubble. 
The third semi was where the heavyweights were. Peter Staab, Rich Roberts, Scott Cornett, Jeff Cornett and Carmen Petruzzi all battled for the last spot (or two). Carmen had five spice on the first turn. This actually ended up hurting him in the end and he ended tied for second with Jeff who won the tie breaker due to the higher third round score. Rich Roberts was two points ahead and Scott Cornett was only five points off the lead. Pete Staab wasn't sure what hit him with a 76. So Jeff ended up with second place and had a better second than the other two and advanced to the Final. 

That set up a Final of Rich Roberts, Jeff Cornett, Kate Tallion and Ken Gutermuth. Could Ken get back in the winners circle and save the entire Gutermuth clan from the shame of an oh fer? (Little did Ken know but at the very same time 'Little Lisa' Gutermuth was saving the family from certain humiliation in Royal Turf - or maybe she was just rubbing salt in the wounds). At this point Jeff Cornett was gracious enough to provide his recollections of the Final.
"A four-player game is much different than a five-player game.  There are a lot of missing cards, and bidding on high boat should be easier because there are fewer competitors.  Also, some player will lead in two colors.  Everyone else should easily dominate their single color.
The short answer on how to win this game is adopt a game strategy (actually a round by round strategy) that is different than everyone else at the table is using.  In other words, if everyone else is going for boat, then go for color.  If everyone else is going for color, the boat should be easy and cheap to get.  If everyone else is bidding aggressively for both color and boat, then bid passively and adopt the middle of the road, balanced, cheap strategy.
Round 1:  The game started with players bidding aggressively for boat while staking their claims for color.  With aggressive boat bidding, I deviated from the typical Cornett family strategy of bid for boat like it was all that matters.  I established my color with three in yellow, but took last place in points because I got zero for boat.  Player 1 took the lead by inexpensive passive boat bidding, but gaining the lead in two colors.
Round 2:  Players continued to bid aggressively for boat.  The benefits of getting high boat were offset by the price to buy it, plus those bidding for boat are splitting their colors making it hard to reach their pyramid tops.  I was able to develop my yellow color one short of the top of the pyramid.  I had the highest color in my pyramid of any other colors, and was now only a few points out of first place. 
Round 3: The stage is now set perfectly for me for the final round.  Players 1 and 2 appear to have the weakest positions among my competitors, and have shown themselves to be generally passive bidders.  Player 3 is within reach of his pyramid top and could get high boat.  He also is an aggressive bidder, but fortunately for me, he is sitting on my right. Medici players own the person on their right!!! Players should never get into a bidding war with the player on their left!!!!
My strategy for the last round is to complete my pyramid as a side effect of bidding aggressively for boat.  I must also split the color (junk up the deals) for player 4, and make sure I beat him for boat.
The game has been unusually quiet with little talking, joking or trying to influence other bids.  I interpret this as due to the pressure of the Finals and the inexperience and general passive bidding personalities of players 1 and 2.  Things would heat up in the last round.  As I start to advise players 1 and 2 on their bid strategy, player 3 objects to my trying to influence their bids when everyone was politely silent the entire first two rounds.  My response: Up until now, there has not been anything worth discussing.  Never having played a game of Medici without lively discussion and attempts to logically influence each others bids, I dismiss player 3's protests that I should just keep quiet.  Player 3 on my right is at my mercy, and players 1 and 2 are passive, seem somewhat inexperienced, and therefore can be influenced through expressions of logic -- "you need that card, don't let him get it cheap.  It is worth at least 20 points to him."  etc.  Such talk is common in all of the Medici games I have ever played (until now).  How boring to play at a table of silent Medici players!
I top my pyramid, buy high boat (but not cheaply), and foil player 3's attempt to do the same.  Game over, a nice come-from-behind win.  I had to deviate from my normal always bid for high boat strategy, and went with a climb my color pyramid strategy for two rounds, followed by 60 points for high boat and pyramid top on the final round."

The degree of table talk tolerated in a game varies from group to group but it is indeed commonplace in multi-player games and is seen as a major skill factor in such games by many. In this case, it helped Jeff bag his fourth plaque of the week - three of them in multi-player games. From this we can assume that Jeff is a gifted commentator as well as player.

 GM      Bruce Reiff [1st year]   NA
    NA   NA

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