We had a good turnout for our first event of 2022, the Martin Memorial Board Tournament. Originally scheduled for our normal home base of the Lucky Lab, we moved it to Claudia’s at kind of the last minute, since the Lab is closed for a week. I am not saying that the ghost of Martin haunted the mind of the Lucky Lab owner to force me to move the event to a location he liked better, but I am not saying he didn’t either.
Seven players showed up to try their luck. Per Martin’s request, we had a brief interlude after the first roll of 1-1, which took place in the match between Bryan and Bodger. We gathered, and Bryan and I each made a short toast to Martin’s memory. It was a lovely moment.
Bryan told the story of how Martin told him, towards the end, that he would have someone contact him when he had passed with an important message. And so, one day in early July 2020, he got a phone call from an unknown number. “Is this Bryan?” the woman asked. “Yes” he replied. “I have a message for you from Martin. Stop taking bad cubes.”
My story was from the first match I played against Martin, back before I had really studied the game, and was really quite a weak player. However, I was having really good dice, which makes you feel like you’re a genius of the game, and at one point I whipped the doubling cube at him. It was either a great cube, or too good. Regardless, Martin gave me such a withering look that I briefly feared for me life.
Over the years, as we played more and I started to become half-decent at the game, I always appreciated Martin’s patient attitude and willingness to help me (and everyone) become better at the game he loved so well.
Anyway – on to the results. Round 1 as already mentioned had Bodger versus Bryan, which Bodger managed a win. I had Kyle in the first round, in a match that felt like it would never end – he started out up, I fought my way back, but it was a lot of single games, no gammons, to finally beat him. Tim had his first match against Jeremy, squeezing out a win there. And Paul had the easiest first round of any of us, with the bye.
Second round, Bodger took me out of the running in a 2 game match. Second game he doubled me early, and I redoubled him when I thought I had it turned around. To my surprise, Bodger took, and then turned the cube back to me at 8 to make it for the match. I was down again at that point, but far from a drop, but he managed to finish me off. Tim, warmed up from his first round, rolled over Paul, and so Tim and Bodger went into the final round for the prize.
Meanwhile, we got a good chouette running – Kyle just watched, but we all had a grand time. Bryan took the box initially and it took some doing to get him out; later Jeremy had a good run in the box as well.
In the final round, it turned into a longer slugfest kind of match. In the end, Tim pulled out the win! So congratulations to Tim, our currently undefeated 2022 Portland backgammon player. I will count this tournament towards 2022 results, so it’s a strong start for him. 🙂
Thanks everyone who came out, thanks everyone who read this and remembered our friend Martin.
See you all at the next one!