In, First Out ...
Zachary Frank is outnumbered by a
horde of Gutermuths - including one with a questionable taste
Ladies Tamara Houde, Alyssa Gumkowski
and Devon Miller conspire to keep Nick Henning from advancing.
Two-time champ Mark Geary can't
outbluff Marc Houde as the Roby Rally GM gets in some
If Ernest Czyryca and Eyal Mozes
believe that, John Pack has a bridge he'd like to sell them too.
A return to Friday night provided some bounce from last year's
dramatic drop. It wasn't enough for a return to the Century,
although there is always hope of being granted Legacy status.
The Demo (one hour before the tournament) was once again well
attended with seven players learning or relearning the game.
Six former champions and 16 Laurelists were in the field. To
advance to the semifinal, points are awarded based on the finish
position in each game played (1st=5, 2nd=4, 3rd=3, 4th=2, 5th=1).
The players with the highest totals after three games advance,
while the number of contestants who advance is determined by
the number of players who are still playing after the third set
There was a small gaffe during setup for the first set of
games as the GM assigned table numbers two through ten to players
who brought copies (thinking that he was reserving table number
one for his own copy of the game, but forgetting in the rush
that his lovely spouse had taken their copy to be set up as Table
9). But I then shuffled five each of cards numbered one through
nine for the players to choose from for their table assignments
(because there were only enough players for nine tables). I soon
figured out the misstep, and the players with card number 1 took
over the table formerly assigned as Table 10.
Jeff Cornett had the best finish among the winners of the
first games, finishing nine spaces past the finish line and thus
leading in the first advancement tie-breaker criteria, followed
by young first-timer Aiden Czyryca at eight spaces, and GM Tom
DeMarco at seven spaces. Also winning were Rebecca Hebner and
Eyal Moses at six spaces, Michael Deacon and Mark Geary at five
spaces, and John Pack and Philip Livingston at three spaces.
Three players dropped out before the second set, yielding
eight full boards. John and Tom both won again to lead with ten
points, with Tom edging John on the tie-breaker, 15 total spaces
past the finish to seven. Rebecca, Michael, and Mark each took
a second place to follow with nine points. Joining them at nine
points were Marc and Tamara Houde, Robert Voisin, and David Meyaard
who each won. David got the tournament "Leave-em-in-the-dust"
award, beating second-place finisher Jim Vroom by 11 spaces.
Tamara had the tie-breaker edge for third place in the race to
advance with nine spaces, followed by Robert and David at seven
spaces. Nick Henning and Seth Kirchner were the other two winners
this time, and joined Aiden at eight points.
Four more players left before the third round, which now consisted
of four 5-player and four 4-player games. (In 4-player games,
points awarded are: 1st=5, 2nd=4, 3rd=2, 4th=1.) Tom cruised
to his third victory, leading the pack with 15 points and 23
total spaces past the finish. Tamara, David, and Mark each won
to finish the qualifying rounds with 14 points, followed by Rebecca
and Michael at 13 points. Laurie Voisin got a third-time's-the-charm
win, and joined John and her spouse Robert at 12 points. Zachary
Frank and Marc finished at 11 points. Due to the number of players
left after three games, 15 would advance to the semifinal. That
left ten players with ten points vying for the last four spots
in the semifinal. The tiebreaker winners were Ray Stakenas II
and Jeff with 13 spaces, followed by Aiden with eight, and Eyal
with six. Nick just missed advancing with only five spaces. Pam
Gutermuth and Tim Packwood had third-game wins, but that only
got them to nine points. Tim's win was an almost-perfect 12 spaces
past the finish (13 is the maximum possible) but it was worthless
without a tie to break. The average score for the 15 semifinalists
was 12.07 points. Last year, with only ten advancing, the average
was 12. In 2010, with 20 advancing, the average was 11.5.
With 15 semifinalists, the three winners and the two best
runners-up would advance to the Final. John won his game over
Jeff, David, Laurie, and Marc. Ray surpassed Mark, Rebecca, Tamara,
and Zachary. And Robert vanquished Tom, Eyal, Aidan, and Michael.
Tom and Jeff had the two best seconds, relegating Mark to sixth-place
The Final got off to an unusual start, with everyone except
Tom going to the Castle on the first turn. Tom led for much of
the game, using the Run-run-run strategy usually championed by
John. And as is common, the runaway leader stalls near the finish
(getting cold feet from having had cards stolen when exhibiting).
Tom stumbled only two spaces from the finish as Ray caught him
and triggered the end of the game at one space past the line.
Jeff, who was seven spaces from the finish, had the best set,
albeit with only six cards, to get the end-of-game bonus of eight
spaces to finish at two spaces past the finish. But Ray, with
only a five-card set, had the second-best set and advanced four
spaces to win his first ADV title at five spaces past. Two games
earlier he had to win a tiebreaker to even advance to the semifinals.
Two points to consider if you'd like to give Adel Verpflichtet
a try next year:
1. The Adel Verpflichtet Demo was run right before the main event.
There have been players who have gone to the Demo, and then were
able to advance all the way to the Final table. Some people have
told me I am a good game explainer; but Adel Verpflichtet is
actually a very easy game to learn and one of the few at WBC
where a new player can be competitive from the start.
2. It is possible to advance to the semifinal even if you do
poorly in your first game. With a threshold for advancing to
the semifinal of ten (as it was this year) or even nine points
(as it was a couple of years ago), you can still advance to the
semifinal with a decent finish in the remaining two games. So
don't think if you don't win in the first set of games that you
won't be able to advance.
Dave Bohnenberger get advice from
two-time champ Tom DeMarco.
GM Tom DeMarco oversees his art thief