We had another great showing this month – 16 players came to enjoy the afternoon over the board. 16, as you know, is a power of 2, which is super helpful for running a tournament, especially since I decided to try something different this month.
I posted a bit ago about the Bellingham tournament that Tim E and I went up for, and they used a double elimination bracket format. It struck me that this would probably be easier to keep track of than the Swiss format, and so we gave it a try. I was gradually reminded of why I moved to the Swiss format, however, as the double elimination bracket requires a LOT longer to determine a winner. Fortunately, I broke the group up into two groups of 8, it could have gone significantly longer.
In the “A” bracket were most of the more experienced players. This was also on purpose, I wanted to give out multiple 1st and 2nd places and give some of the less experienced players a good crack at the prize. That part worked, although again, way slower than I would have liked.
Anyway: “A” bracket featured Jeremy, fresh back from a trip to his first (I think) ABT tournament in San Antonio, where he won the Novice division! Well done, Jeremy. Jeremy ended our tournament undefeated, but conceded to take 2nd place because it was after 4:00, and there was a several match wait for his next opponent. Similarly, Bob conceded his second match because of time constraints. Late arrival Hu got slotted into the “A” bracket because that was where I had a bye, but I moved him to the “B” bracket to replace Kamron when he too had to leave early. And not that early. You get the point – the logistics were not as clean as I hoped for.
Jeremy having conceded, it came down to me, Chris, and Tim to duke it out through the second tier to determine the winner. Chris took me out in classic style – won the first game for a single, then a game with the cube at 4 to finish me off. His match against Tim was slightly different, in that he won the first game for a single, then a gammon with the cube at 2 to finish Tim off. So congrats Chris on winning that bracket!
In the “B” bracket, Judy marched her way through the top half of the bracket, taking out Terry (one of the two Terrys who showed up), Kamron, then Cece to get to the final. Max took a longer route, getting punted down to the bottom half of the bracket in his first, then defeating both Terrys back to back, Hu, and Cece to get to the final. That left them with Max needing to beat Judy twice to take first place – if Judy won the first match, Max would have his second elimination.
Well, Max proceeded to win the first match in a hard fought battle. Both players were showing signs of exhaustion by that point, but they gamely reset for the final showdown. And… Max took it again! Congrats to both Max and Judy for their first placements in one of our tournaments.
With two tournaments down, the “leaderboard” is pretty tight. Jeremy is ahead in winning percentage, Max in total matches played. We’ll see what March brings!
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