vegas showdown  

Updated 11/26/2008

2008 WBC Report  

   2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Andrew Gerb, MD

2008 Champion

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Event History
2008    Andrew Gerb     56

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Andrew Gerb        MD    08     30
  2.  Sceadeau D'Tela    NC    08     18
  3.  Kevin Brown        GA    08     12
  4.  Robb Effinger      ON    08      9
  5.  Chris Robbins      UT    08      6
  6.  Anne Murphy        MA    08      3
2008 Laurelists

Sceadeau D'Tela, NC

Kevin Brown, GA

Robb Effinger, ON

Chris Robbins, UT

Anne Murphy, MA

Beth Raphael, Tom Stokes, and Doug Smith were part of the surprising overflow crowd for the first heat.

Vegas Showdown has gotten good word of mouth but is no longer new. Attendance doubled our projections for it.

King of the Strip

With Vegas Showdown having barely made the list of games by just one vote in the December voting, there was a great deal of uncertainty about the possible turnout, particularly since the game was scheduled in one of the smaller side-rooms, Host A, that may have been difficult for some to locate. No worry, however, when 43 would-be hotel-casino tycoons showed up for the first round, which caused a momentary problem while we located enough games and table space so everyone could play. There were a total of nine games in the first heat, then a slight drop to just six games in the second heat. With 11 winners reporting for the scheduled semi-final round, that meant one alternate was needed to fill the field to four games of three, but it also meant that we had to turn away two other hopeful alternates.

One of the games in the initial heat finished in a three-way tie, and it came down to the odd dollar after cashing in the 10s for victory points; Brian Jones earned the win by just one dollar over Robb Effinger, who became top alternate by virtue of his close second-place finish and thereby advanced to the semi-final round. GM John Weber, Anne Murphy, Glenn Pearce, Chris Robbins, Dave Platnick, Max Jamelli, Keith Levy and Tom McCorry won the other games in the first heat. Glenn Pearce went on to become the only repeat winner in the second heat, where Beth Raphael, Kevin Brown, Sceadeau D'Tela, Andy Gerb and Ewan McNay also won.

Players used to four- and five-player games had to adjust to three-player games in the semi-final round. In one game, Sceadeau D'Tela (who had some considerable experience with the game based on some work helping introduce a computer iteration of the game) managed to best GM John Weber by four points, with Ewan McNay in third. John raced to an early lead but Sceadeau husbanded his resources, filling both his Hotel and Casino while doing well in other endgame scoring categories to win a relatively low scoring game. Andrew Gerb pulled out the closest game, 67-66, over Chris Robbins by having the most money and a filled Hotel and Casino while Chris scored high in the placement-rewarding diamond points category. Kevin Brown, who had competed in both heats, was rewarded with a fourth game by playing a solid game, scoring 70 points and also the largest margin of victory in any of the four semi-final games (seven points) over Brian Jones with Beth Raphael in third. The other semi-final ended in a win for Robb Effinger, who had actually called himself on having too much money earlier in the game. Sportsmanship award nominee Robb proved nice guys don't always finish last, winning the game by three, 70-67, over Anne Murphy while Glenn Pearce, the only two-game winner in the heats, fell to third. Diamond points (11 of them) were a big factor in Robb's reaching the Final. Chris, the closest runner-up in the semis, wound up fifth overall while Anne, the next closest, placed sixth.

In the Final, Kevin focused on the revenue-producing Slots machines, often paying a premium price for them as the bidding among the four finalists was intense. Robb grabbed an early Slots and then focused on the points-scoring Fancy Slots; however, as the game developed, he had a problem placing his room tiles, needing a couple of Renovate actions to smooth things out. Andy decided to work on the Hotel side first, getting blue-colored rooms like the Restaurant and Buffet without paying a huge premium while others fought over the Slots. Sceadeau pinched his pennies, taking a couple of early publicity actions, which enabled him to add a Nightclub for 18 when the other players were strapped for cash. This allowed Sceadeau to build an early points lead, although he trailed the others in income generation for most of the game.

A key moment came midway through the game when both Ad Campaign event cards came out. Andy and Sceadeau were the only two able to take advantage, each buying 5 VPs and then Andy spent $5 for two more VPs a turn later, moving him to second place behind Sceadeau. Kevin took advantage of some cheap prices on blue premium tiles, buying them before he had the basic pre-requisite, a Restaurant. A couple of Publicity actions enabled Kevin to get all his rooms placed, and Robb and Sceadeau also took advantage of the rule that allows one to place a different room than the one just bought. Sceadeau bought two Sports Books, a second Nightclub, then focused on Lounges, perhaps hoping for additional VP bonuses from the Lounge Lizard event card, which never came out. Andy, who had bought an early Table Games, won the bidding for both High Rollers Rooms, then late in the game took advantage of the opportunity to snag a Fancy Slots and then the Dragon Room. Robb, on the other hand, bought two Fancy Lounges and then had 52 bucks for the Theater when it came out late in the game. Kevin filled out his blue Hotel section and then added on a 5-Star Steak House. The Final was a long game, as all 30 premier tiles came out before the game finished. Prior to the endgame scoring, Sceadeau held a narrow three-point lead over Andy, but Andy had seven points in diamonds as well as first place in revenue and second in population for eight more points. Sceadeau had no diamond points but did manage to fill both his Hotel and Casino plus a connection for 13 more points. While Robb had more diamond points than anyone, he was unable to complete his Hotel section and thus finished a point behind Kevin in the race for third place. Final scores were Andy 69, Sceadeau 61, Kevin 56, Robb 55.

The GM wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Rob Flowers, Assistant GM, and also Keith Levy and Tom McCorry, who helped in the scramble to locate games so everyone would be able to play in the first heat.

 GM      John Weber (1st Year)  NA   NA

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