vegas showdown 

Updated 11/26/2010

2010 WBC Report  

   2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Randy Buehler, WA

2010 Champion

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Event History
2008    Andrew Gerb     56
2009    Eric Freeman     67
2010    Randy Buehler     67

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Eric Freeman       PA    10     48
  2.  Andrew Gerb        MD    09     33
  3.  Randy Buehler      WA    10     30
  4.  Nick Page          on    09     18
  5.  Sceadeau D'Tela    NC    08     18
  6.  Matt Peterson      MN    10     12
  7.  Scott Chupack      IL    09     12
  8.  Kevin Brown        GA    08     12
  9.  Lexi Shea          CT    10      9
 10.  Mike Kaltman       PA    09      9
 11.  Robb Effinger      on    08      9
 12.  Geoffrey Pounder   on    10      6
 13.  William Herbst     NY    09      6
 14.  Chris Robbins      UT    08      6
 15.  Mike Kaltman       PA    10      3
 16.  Anne Murphy        MA    08      3

2010 Laurelists                                              Repeating Laurelists 

Eric Freeman, PA

Matt Peterson, MN

Lexi Shea, CT

Geoffrey Pounder, on

Mike Kaltman, PA

Past Champions

Andrew Gerb, MD

Eric Freeman, PA

Randy Buehler, WA

Chad Weaver, Randy Buehler, and Kevin Wojtaszcyk have the attention of the pit boss.

Steve Cuccaro, Scott Nerney and Mike Kaltman are ready to expand their casinos.

King of the Strip

Vegas Showdown, named Games Magazine's Game of the Year for 2007, had a successful Junior year at WBC and shows no sign of waning player interest. Vegas Showdown players are challenged to bid for and place basic and specialty rooms, all in an effort to build the best Hotel/Casino on the Vegas strip. In the tournament, 4-player games were the preference, with 5-player games being used as necessary.

In the two preliminary rounds there were 19 games played with 67 different players. Unlike last year, none of the players who played in both heats, could do better than a first and a third.

The closest preliminary game featured four players who each won Century events in 2010. In this game Rob Flowers (Princes of Florence champion) tied Cary Morris (Agricola and Caylus champion) at 59 points and edged him on money 5 to 1. Arthur Field (Dominion, St. Pete, Manifest Destiny champion) and Aran Warszawski (Thurn & Taxis champion) trailed close behind at 56 and 54, respectively. The biggest win of the tournament was by defending champion, Eric Freeman, who won his preliminary game by 22 points.

For the second year running, the winning players were encouraged to record the rooms built in their casino, and the information was recorded on 22 total games, including three 5-player contests. Over the course of two years, there are 45 total recorded games (four 5- player). The raw numbers can be a little deceptive as there is no information about what the winner paid to get the tile, and a key theme in the game is getting good value for what you buy. In addition, some tiles in the B stacks will not be available to be purchased in any given game. Regardless, the numbers may indicate what tiles more frequently become good values. The number in parenthesis is the maximum total of that premier tile available in any given game. The number before the / is how many total rooms of that type were purchased across the games this year, while the total after the / is the cumulative total over two years

Lounge: 50/95 - Every winner over two years has bought at least one lounge. This year, Matt Peterson took this to the extreme, by purchasing five in his preliminary game. His winning board was even more unusual in that it only contained the three basic tiles (slots, lounge, restaurant) and the fancy versions of those tiles.
Fancy Lounge (4): 22/48
Nightclub (2): 10/19
Theater (1): 9/20 - Thought by many to be a key to winning. However, compared to last year, a lower percentage of winners had on their board this year. Still it is a high proportion when compared to the other unique premier tiles. In the four recorded SF/F games, only Randy Buehler's board contained a Theater.
Sports Book (3): 15/31
Space Age Sports (1): 5/8 - More popular this year than last. This, the Dragon Room, and the 5 Star Steakhouse have all been pretty much equally bought.
Slots: 72/163 - Definitely less popular this year among winners as compared to last year. In 2009, all the winning boards featured at least two slots, this year Matthew Fetzer, Randy Buehler, and Geoffrey Pounder all won preliminary games with only one slot. On the opposite side of the scale were winners with six slots on their boards. This included Rob Flowers in the game mentioned earlier, David Gagne, and exhibiting his versatility with regards to slots, Randy Buehler in the Final.
Fancy Slots (5): 20/46 - Still not as popular as Fancy Lounges considering the extra availability and lower starting price.
Dragon Room (1): 5/10
Table Games (3): 14/24 - Definitely much more popular a buy this year among the winners.
High Rollers Room (2): 6/13 - Winners this year were less successful in turning a Table Games buy into a High Rollers Room.
Restaurant : 26/53 - The trends for the Restaurant stayed static. For the second year in a row, all winners bought at least one, but only four bought more than one, and none bought three.
Fancy Restaurant (4): 24/50 - Almost as many Fancy Restaurants as normal Restaurants on winners' boards.
Buffet (3): 16/29 - Bit more popular this year.
Five-Star Steakhouse (1): 5/9

A detailed breakdown of the scoring was available for 24 games this year to add to 24 from 2009. In 30 (16 this year) of those games, the winners completed both the Casino and Hotel sections and connected between them. Alfred Smith won a 5-player game with only one side filled and no connection. While Alfred used six points in diamond scoring to compensate, that was a total in diamond points that was equaled or bettered by four other winners, with the title of "Diamond King" going to Steve LeWinter who scored ten diamond points in a 5- player game win. Three preliminary game winners (Matthew Fetzer, Raphael Lehrer, and Michael Kaltman) accomplished the "income daily double" to get ten points for having sole possession of highest revenue and highest population. It was noted that four other players accomplished this in the prelim rounds in losing efforts.

Of the 19 different heat winners, four did not show for the SF allowing 2008 Runner-Up, Sceadeu D'Tela into the field as an alternate.

The closest semi-final win was Lexi Shea over Geoffery Pounder, where they finished tied at 59 points and Lexi advanced due to 8 money left over to Geoffrey's 2. This outdistanced Raphael Lehrer at 53 and Kevin Wojtaszczyk at 36.

The closest semi-final from top to bottom found Eric Freeman topping fellow 2009 finalist, Mike Kaltman, 57 to 56, with Pat Richardson and Eric Monte both close behind at 53. Notable in this game was a turn where Mike and Eric mutually benefited from the Visionary event card when each overbid the other by the minimum on a Premier tile to score two fame apiece.

Randy Buehler advanced to the Final easily with a 12-point win over Rod Spade, with Matthew and David Gagne behind by 21 and 23, respectively.

Matt Petersen punched his Final ticket with a 4-point margin over Sceadau D'Tela and Chad Weaver, with Alfred Smith 21 points behind.

A full play by play of the Final will be posted on boardgamegeek. A big thank you goes out to the GM's father, James Freeman, for recording the Final game, as the GM was a participant.

Some of the highlights of the Final include:
Turn 5:
Matt with the only owned Table Games, gets a bargain High Rollers Room for 12, and setting himself up as the "Revenue King" for the game.
Turn 8: Vicious combo of events this turn with Slot Builders on Strike (no bids on slots) and PR Scandal (can't take Publicity) pulled. These caused higher bids than normal on a couple tiles.
Lexi bid 12 on a Fancy Restaurant, then was outbid to 15 by Eric, who was outbid to 18 by Randy
Matt goes for a minimum price Lounge and Lexi outbids at 12.
Eric takes a minimum price Restaurant and Matt does not have enough money to bid on anything and is forced to take Renovate and do nothing.
Turn 15: Eric gets a bargain Space Age Sports Book for 25.
Turn 16: Eric and Randy both get good bargains, with a Five-Star Steakhouse for 25 and a Buffet for 12, respectively.
Turn 17: Randy gets a Fancy Lounge for a bargain (especially for the late game) 15.
Turn 20: Probably the pivotal turn of the game. Eric had set himself up to have enough money to buy the Theater this turn, however Lexi has the button this turn and bids 33 to price Eric out of the tile. However, Lexi did not own the prerequisite tile, a Fancy Lounge, to be able to place the Theater. The last Fancy Lounge available was up for bid this turn and was not going to be available for Lexi to buy at a later time. Scrambling to put together a backup plan in response to Lexi's bid, Eric bids 25 for a Night Club to lock out Randy from the tile. Randy then bids 25 for the final Fancy Lounge. With no premier tiles left to bid on, Matt takes Publicity. Eric then realizes that he cannot place the Nightclub, so if the game ends after this turn, he will not get the 8 Fame it offers.
Turn 21: Eric breathes a sigh of relief that the game does not end this turn and Renovates to get his Nightclub on the board. However, in doing so, he loses the connection he had between the Casino and Hotel and what he spent his Renovate in Turn 19 to accomplish.
Turn 22: The game lasts for yet another turn.

Final Fame on the board at the end of the game: Eric 62, Randy 59, Matt 46, Lexi 36

Randy finishes with the highest Population (20) for 5 points, Lexi second (19) for 3 points, Eric third for 1 point. Matt finished with only 10 population.

Matt has the highest revenue (21) for 5 points, Lexi second (19) for 3 points, Eric third (17) for 1 point. Randy finished with 14 revenue.

Matt is the only player to fill both sides and connect for 13 points. Eric fills both sides for 10 points. Lexi and Randy complete one section and connect for 8 points total.

Randy scores big for diamonds with 7 points. Eric is the only other player with diamond points with 2.

Matt, Lexi and Eric get 2, 2, and 1 points for cash left-over.

Final scores: Randy 79, Eric 77, Matt 66, Lexi 52

On Randy's tableau at the end; a Lounge, three Fancy Lounges, a Nightclub, six Slots, a Restaurant, two Fancy Restaurants, and a Buffet.

A full play by play of the Final can be found at

... and the final score is ...? Nick Page seems to have Kyle Greenwood and the others hanging. For a game that was late being admitted to the club, Vegas Showdown has been remarkably consistent in holding a strong attendance.

James Freeman steps in to record the Final, enabling his son to attempt to defend his title. Eric finished second to Randy Buehler who made quite a splash at his first WBC with two titles and followed that up by winning the Siegelman Trophy at the recent Euro Quest.
 GM      Eric Freeman (2nd Year)  NA   NA

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