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Lost Cities (LST) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Oct. 30, 2016 Icon Key
164 Players John Conlon, OK 2016 Status 2017 Status Event History
  2016 Champion      

Last Service by a Great GM

2016 and WBC Hits New Heights. (strum) (a-hem) "When I got there, the hills were steep…'T would make a ten-der per-son weep…To hear me curse and grind my gears…To see my four wheels pull and slip…Te-me-rol, Te-me-rol, Te-me ri-de -o…Te-me ri-deee -ooooo! (bows) If you remember when that reworked folk song was relevant, then you've been dead over 100 years. Ah! Summer in the mountains of the Laurel Highlands; a perfect atmosphere in which to adventure and seek Lost Cities. WBC's new venue certainly met all advertised expectations and exceeded in some areas, especially in terms of spaciousness .. ness .. ness. Vertically as well as horizontally—if you gained weight at this con, then you were trying, and you were tapping your retirement fund. Seven Springs did have everything that was needed for an enjoyable gaming experience—lots of elbow room, well maintained hotel rooms (can't speak to condos, etc.), many & varied eateries, and interesting indoor/outdoor diversions to satisfy the non-gaming family members. If you played in the heats of Navegador, then you were even reminded of the Host. Now, that's everything! Also, this driver had no problems in finding the resort; although the sight of countless games that littered the roadside as gamers sought to lighten their load for the climb…(sniff) I can't go on…(No, it's true. Don told me I can't.) So, Lost Cities continued the tradition commenced in 2015—four heats advancing all double winners to SE rounds that were eventually adjusted to even out the odd number of participants. New demo area worked well; only had two attendees, but they enjoyed the game and did play in the tournament. BTW, in case you missed it, Kosmos has issued the newest edition, so the game is readily available again; although the box cover appears rather funereal. Our square room at the Host morphed into a long rectangular room at Seven Springs with plenty of room; no one had to sit on the floor, in the hallway, in the bar, etc. For the second consecutive year, the heats kicked off on Tuesday night, but, with the end of the pre-con and the subsequent healthy shift in attendance to the opening weekend of the con, I can see a heat moving forward in the schedule.

The first heat drew 45 pairs, while the numbers recorded for the remaining three heats were 57, 24 (9 am) and 34 pairs, respectively. Our overall total of 164 was the lowest of the past decade, representing a 17% decline from 2015, and a 23% decline from our best year. This will probably be attributed to the change in location, but I also know that individuals come and go and come back again. Just as a small unscientific sample, I missed Chris Entwistle and Eric Hufford this year, but I also noted that Rob Brode and Akihisa Tabei returned after absences, and Mark Parauda was a new player. There were no quadruple winners in the preliminaries, but Claire and Eric Brosius, Cathy and Eric Raymond, Dan Harthan, Angela Dittman, Haakon Monsen, Devin Beyma, and Holiday Saccenti all went above and beyond the prerequisites for advancement by winning three. Just as last year, no one achieved an individual score over 300, and no pair combined for a score over 500. 27 players scored 200 or more points, while eight players could not surpass 20 points. Dennis Gomer (276) and Shannon Keating (275) finished one-two for highest individual scores, while Holiday Saccenti and William Hoch shared third with matching scores of 248. Larry York (245) and Jeremy Billones (229) combined for the highest pair score of 474. Also breaking 400 combined points in their slugfests were Angela Dittman (239) and Anastasia Tircuit (205) as well as Shannon Keating (275) and Rachel LaDue (134).

There were no ties in the heats, but there were four contests decided by one point: Norman Rule (167) over Caiden Baralo, Tom DeMarco (162) edging Dagny Lytle, the GM (137) besting Yoni Weiss (136), and Dalton Versak (97) in a low scoring squeaker over Casey Moquin. Sean Duffy (105) and Sean McCulloch (103) had the only game with a two-point margin. Cathy Raymond (118) and Shannon Keating (115) (she's everywhere), Roni Breza (103) and Lynda Shea (100), and Haakon Monsen (90) and Ashley Zimmerman (87) were the only pairs fortunate enough to enjoy games with a three-point spread; Ashley apparently wanted to revisit this level of bliss as she also lost once by five points. A total of 19 games were decided by less than ten points, while six poor souls got trounced by more than 150. Defensive struggle honors belonged to Chris Kalmbacher (77) besting Brad Sherwood (60), and Nathan Wagner (65) defeating Rick Young (45).

A total of 49 players qualified for the elimination rounds with two or more wins, but only 40 were able to post at the designated time. Cody Zimmerman was the only qualifier among the former champions and he survived into the fourth round. Thereafter, the final four were Eric Raymond, Shea Lawson, John Conlon, and Carol Haney. John had a dismal -2 after the first hand, but he scored 91 in the second hand, primarily due to 80 points from an expedition with a bonus, and led Carol 89 to 70. He prevailed after an ordinary third hand 118 to 88. In a low scoring affair, Shea led Eric 49 to 47 after two hands, but could not overcome three negative expeditions in the third hand, as Eric hung on for a 61 to 47 win. In the Final, Eric and John posted successively higher scores over three, generally lackluster, hands, but John's scores started and stayed higher, especially as Eric endured four failed expeditions as he tried to pull ahead. John's overall steady play earned him the title, 108 to 68. Eric eventually consoled himself with having had a good run and the second place plaque. Carol and Shea traded the lead over the first two hands in their consolation game. An expedition scoring the bonus in the third hand gave Carol third place. Shea took laurels in her second final four finish of the past three years.

Thanks again to all who played and enjoyed this tournament. I have enjoyed helping to bring this simple filler game to those at WBC who love it and treasure the social downtime that it affords amidst a schedule loaded with heavier fare. Please provide the next Lost Cities GM with the same level of support through your attendance, enthusiasm, and cooperation that you have shown me. I hope to see you all again in 2017; but this time solely as a competitor! Oh, and for the last time that you will be hearing it from me: please remember to pack your copy of Lost Cities in your suitcase next year, even if you only bring the cards, because games are always needed. Sincere thanks to Laurie Wojtaszczyk who faithfully helped again with extra games from the Juniors room, and to Shea Lawson and Sam Brosius without whose assistance this tournament would not have been possible.

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0
Eric Raymond, PA Carol Haney, CA Shea Lawson, MD Yoni Weiss, NJ Yoel Weiss, NJ
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Thomas Tu and Yoni Weiss against unseen opponents. Devin Beyma seems pleaased to spend her honeymoon at WBC.
Adina Weiss vs Bruce Bernard as
the generation gap wilts across a game board.
GM Ivan Lawson in the 2007 GM of the Year's
farewell tour with his last four finalists.
Donte Saccenti gets a taste of international competition vs Japan's Akihisa Tabei.

Lost Cities Junior 2016

As if Ivan Lawson doesn't have eough probems dealing with 200-player fields as it is, Megan Byrd continued his training academy for budding explorers and introduced a new generation of competitors to the game. Tuesday morning found 17 of the bright and eager little explorers anxious to learn their craft all at once. The best of these intrepid explorers was Eric Freeman who won his fourth event of the week. The best of the other little explorers were:

  • 2nd: Linsey Saccenti
  • 3rd: Zachary Morris
  • 4th: Aaron Byrd
  • 5th: Ethan Shipley-Tang
  • 6th: Noah Heinz
Lots of little explorers get their first taste
of non-digital adventures in WBC's junior room..
GM Megan Byrd presents the Bruce Reiff of the juniors
world—Eric Freeman—with yet another plaque.
GM  Ivan Lawson [12th Year]  NA
 lawsonic@comcast.net  NA