It was a very interesting start for the 2016 FMR event. I have a worksheet for the number of games needed based on the number of players. For example, if 45 people enter, a total of eight games are needed; five being 6-player games and three 5-player games. The increments of six people signed entered per heat are easy as that means I just need to prepare 6-player games. Given my long history of running FMR, the worksheet which can accommodate from six to 72 players had always been up to the task. The most I’ve ever had in one heat heretofore is 58. The first heat on Tuesday night in the beautiful Seven Springs Resort drew 81 people needing 14 games. Both were new records. It was an excellent start leaving me to wonder what would happen next.
To my relief, the subsequent heats were more typical. We had 27 preliminary races run in the three heats.
- The Minimum score for a win: 29 (same as in 2015)
- The Maximum score for win: 44 (increase of two from 2015)
- Average score for win: 34.8 (increase from 34.4 in 2015)
- Minimum score for second place: 27 (increase by two from 2015)
- Maximum score for second place: 40 (increase by two from 2015)
The stat for the Minimum score for second place was exactly the same for all three heats. Of the 27 races, only nine were five-player games. No one was kind to the ‘bank car’ (this is what we call the sixth racer who is run randomly). The best the bank car did was fourth place. In fact, in one race, the bank car got a total of zero points out of the six races.
The Crash Table is becoming a popular option so we had a crash table run in each heat. An invention of Harry Flawd’s several years ago. it has since taken on a life of its own. In the opening heat, Harry set up his crash table and it quickly filled with Carol and Steve Caler, Lisa Gutermuth, Chris Greenfield, and John Vogel. Carol was the unlucky one to have seven of her cars eliminated in the six races. But, she managed 29 points and second place with the five surviving cars. Her husband, Steve, only lost two cars, but only scored 27 points. Carol started the Crash table properly by playing the Crash card on her first play. She was lucky enough to roll a 1, to knock out the two lead cars in the race. In the sixth race, the crash card was the very first card played, knocking out one of the cars for the current leader in the game, Harry, who had 26 points after five races. Harry was still able to get his remaining car to finish fourth to give him the win with 30 points. Harry did make the semifinals and tried really hard to get his table to convert to a crash table but was outvoted by his more conservative opponents who started to smell laurels.
The Crash Table in the second heat had John Rinko, Bill Navolis, Shannon Keating, Chris Kizer, Matt Spencer, and Kathy Stroh. Shannon had seven of her cars toasted. Chris lost only three of his cars, won the last race and too the table with 33 points.
In Heat 3, the Crash Table was back with the usual suspects from the Geico dropped clients list. Harry again set up the table, with Chris Greenfield, John Vogel, Josh Coyle, Tony Gonzalez and John Faella joining him for increased mayhem. John Faella lost the most; five cars which was mild by Crash Table standards. Josh was the winner, going from 24 points after five races, to grab first and third in the sixth race to end with 40 points. Harry was lucky enough to draw “The Queen of Spades” to get the free game donated by GMT. Since he already had FMR, he took the Ivanhoe game as his door prize.
21 of the qualifying winners returned for the semifinals. That meant that three runners-up would also advance. Lisa Gutermuth, Yoel Weiss and Forest Speck were at the top of the alternates list who arrived to see if they made the semifinals. Since John Wobbeking was next on the list of runners-up to advance, Forest gave up his seat to allow John to advance.
There were subplots aplenty for the elimination rounds. Defending champion Brandon Bernard made the semifinals. Would he be the first to win back-to-back titles? Lisa was our all time leader and only two-time champion. Could she become the first three-time champion? We had three Weiss family members, Yoel, Shira, and Adina. A fourth member, Yoni, just barely missed making the semifinals as an alternate. Having a 24-player semifinal meant that we had four 6-player tables. The winner of each table, along with the top two runners-up would advance.
The four semifinal winners were: Sarah Vasilakos, Brad Raszewski, Kevin Youells and Sara Ward. The top two runners-up were Harry Flawd and Dan Boyle.
The Final starts with Harry still playing Crash Table with Spinout as his first play, taking out one of Brad’s cars. His second play is the Crash card which eliminates two more: one each of Sara and Kevin. Sarah had the lead for a while and is targeted by all three Engine Out cards by three different players, but all fail. Sara, for her last card play, uses Advance or go to Last. She makes three successful rolls, then on the fourth try, it fails and her one remaining car goes to last. Sarah wins the first race and takes sixth with the second, giving her 11 points. Dan finished in second for six points. Harry in third for four, and Brad in fifth for two points.
Race 2 has the Pit card showing its full effect with two plays with a 6 result. Harry continue to wreak havoc, playing Engine Out on Sarah’s lead car with success. But, the Crash card is played next and a 12 is rolled, which means no crash occurs as there is no car in the 12 spot. Brad wins this race and also scores his second car in fifth for 14 points. Harry claims a second for ten points. Dan takes third, Kevin both fourth and sixth for a total of seven points.
Race 3 starts with Sarah’s first play with the Spin Out, taking out one of Brad’s cars. Harry again plays the Crash card and rolls a 2. Since he has the car in the lead, he eliminates the two cars following him. Both of those cars are owned by Sara, knocking her out of this race, but, you have to continue to play cards even though you may not have a car in the race. We are halfway through the game and Brad leads with 20 points, followed by Sarah and Kevin at 17, Harry 13 and Dan 11. Poor Sara remains in the body shop.
Race 4 finds Brad with the leader target burning bright on his back. One car is knocked out by Crash and the second lost to Engine Out. Poor Sara remains an also ran with one car to Crash and the second lost to Spin Out.
Race 5 and the point total is prominent in the race decisions. Dan loses a car to Spin Out. The Crash card is the very last card played and it eliminates one each of Sarah’s and Kevin’s cars. Sarah did manage to win this race, placing her in the lead with 35 points. Dan is second with 30 points. Kevin has 25 points, Brad 21 points, Harry 17 points and Sara trails the pack with a paltry 2 points.
Kevin’s opens Race 6 with a Spin Out. His target is Sarah. His first roll is an 11, which would spin out one of Brad’s cars. He decides to reroll, which you can do once on a Spin Out. His second roll is a 5, taking out one of Sara’s cars. Close, but the wrong spelling and the wrong player. Poor Sara is the target of mistaken identity! Kevin’s second card play is Spin to Last. His first roll is a 3, which would affect one of his own cars. He rerolls and this time it is a 6 and drops his other car to last!. Kevin also plays the Crash card later and rolls a 12, missing everyone. Sarah takes both second and sixth for a total of 42 points, winning the 2016 title and tying her with Lisa Gutermuth as the only two-time champs. The ladies have a history of doing well in FMR and have won half of the last six titles. Dan won the last race to give him second with 40 points. Kevin followed with 25 points, Brad 24, Harry 23, and crutch-toting Sara with 2.
I have many to thank for making FMR so successful. First, to my assistant GMs, Lisa Guthermuth and Chris Kizer. They were able to give warm up sessions to people who needed refresher sessions and assist with running FMR while I got people entered. A big thanks go to the 81 players who entered the first heat, giving us our biggest turnout ever for one heat. And the biggest thanks to Don Greenwood for setting all the sessions in one location and putting WBC in beautiful Seven Springs.
|GM LeFevre gets in a bit of racing on his own too.
||Ralph Gleaton, James Fleckenstein, RJ Gleaton and Ben Collinson
GM Chris LeFevre oversees his six finalists for the big race.
James Parauda. with some family reinforcements, once again provided a junior racing circuit for pint-sized bumper car drivers on Thursday morning.. There were 20 little race drivers sans learning permits loosed on the streets of the Laurel highlands in Fox Den. The fastest of these was Alex Freeman who scored 13 points to follow his brother Andrew as the new Junior FMR champ. He was followed by:
- 2nd: Casey Moquin. just one point behind
- 3rd: Ethan Shipley-Tang, with 10 points and up from sixth place last year.
- 4th: Jay Spencer with 8 points
- 5th: Rita Polcen with 7 points
- 6th: Linsey Saccenti with 2 points
|The Parauda brothers keep the races rolling.
||GM James Parauda presents Alex Freeeman with the fruits of victory.