Champion at last by a turn of a
Bruce Young vs William Kendrick
About-to-be-champ Richard Irving vs
event started its usual Thursday run in the same old way with
many of the same participants -- although they had to show their
sterner side by trading in their usual arctic gear for tropical
kit in the Lampeter swamp. The quality of the field was demonstrated
by 16 shields distributed among seven former champs in attendance.
After the casualties were removed from the five qualifying
rounds, the always dangerous but never crowned Ray Stakenas stood
alone at the top with a perfect slate. Bruce Young, Kevin Emery,
and Ray Stakenas II followed at 4-1 and seven others were tied
at 3-2. Herbert Gratz, Ed Kendrick, and Will Kendrick were promoted
immediately due to their schedule strengths. Eighth ranked Ralph
Gleaton failed to make the cut due to the same schedule criteria.
That left prior champs John Emery and Bruce Wigdor along with
the 22nd ranked Richard Irving tied in both record and schedule
vying for the last slot. A random card draw resolved the impasse
and, in true POG rolloff fashion, a tense "can you
top this" cut and draw process breathed new life into Richard
Irving. It would not be the last time he would draw high.
The field was set with two father-son pairs; a third such
possible combination denied when John was left on the sidelines
for the first time in recent memory. Defending champ Bruce Wigdor's
fateful card draw also ended his title defense.
Four different scenarios were chosen for the quarterfinals
which would shed two more past champs. Richard Irving ended Ray
Stakenas' winning streak in Scenario T, son Ray beat Herbert
Gratz in B, and the Kendricks held serve with Ed defeating Kevin
Emery in F as son William schooled Bruce Young in L.
Family loyalty only goes so far as Ed was shown the door in
the semifinals by his son in scenario E. In the other bracket,
Richard ended Ray Jr's day in Scenario F while downing the last
remaining former title holder. The two losing ex-champs manfully
fought it out for third place with Ray's German attackers beating
Ed's British countrymen in Scenario G.
All that remained was to determine a brand new first time
champion as Richard took the Russians in City Fight against William's
Germans and carried the day for his first UPF title after
many years of regular participation in the event. In the father-son
competition, all the younger generation players surpassed their
fathers. This in and of itself bodes well for the strength of
this classic in the future.
Greg Courter vs Ken Whitesell with
a mug illegal in NYC
Our favorite Austrian, Herbert Gratz,
vs Ralph Gleaton