2013 Tournament Results|
updated 6 September 2013
Once again, I'm forced to mention the "battle-of-the-sexes" aspect of the outcome of our Rail Baron Final game. Although women were outnumbered 33 men to 5 women at this latest tournament, it was one of the ladies who again went home with the "Gold." Since 2006, five ladies (Inger Henning, Eve Secunda, Sue Lanham, Donna Balkan, and now, Trella Bromley) have demonstrated they have the "right stuff." My personal congratulations to Trella, who I have heard is no stranger to train games (and I believe runs a Rail Baron tournament, as does Donna).
This year, there were three players who won two first-round-heats: Mike Zorrer (2003 Champion), Inger, and myself. Since one of our Semi-final winners chose not to enter the Rail Baron Final, we had an opening (as we did last year) for an alternate. I was able to secure the alternate seat at the Final by having a slightly higher total net worth (of the two, first-round-heats) than Inger. Mike didn't need to be considered in the competition for the alternate seat, as he won his Semi-final game, as did Brian, Norm, and Trella. Since I was playing, Assistant GM Paul Van Bloem officiated the Final.
The Final game: As is pretty much always the case, one of the five players struggles, usually early on, and, it doesn't get any better. In this case, it was Norm. Out of his total of 21 destinations, 14 were hostile, including his last 11. Norm was forced to auction off two of his properties, the RF&P and the N&W, which were picked up by Trella. Trella visited five hostile destinations, and I, Brian, and Mike all visited six or seven hostiles. As you can see from the cash holdings at the end of the game, Mike and I were right behind Trella, who had just enough to declare for Home. Sitting at her last destination, St. Louis, with me in striking distance en route to that same city, she needed to roll a "9" to reach her (hostile) home, Buffalo, and rolled a "10!"
The Final end-of-game holdings of the five players were: Trella: $340K: $204K cash, B&O, B&M, RF&P, GN, NP, CRI&P, SAL, L&N, and N&W. Mike: $315K: $195K cash, PA, ACL, CMSTP&P, AT&SF, SOU. Ron: $306K: $193K cash, NYC, MP, UP, C&NW, T&P. Brian: $256K: $145K cash, C&O, SP, SLSF, IC, GM&O, NYNH&H Norm: $53.5K: $19.5K cash, CB&Q, WP, D&RGW.
On kind of a personal note, I have to tell you, the Canadian contingent is great. Last year, Norm donated a little brown bag of "Canadian Wild Moose Droppings" (chocolate-covered almonds). So, this year, I reciprocated with a little brown bag of "Adirondack Moose Droppings." However, this year, Norm provided me with a little brown bag of "Canadian Polar Bear Droppings" (chocolate-covered pecans, I think...I hope...), AND a little brown bag of Canadian Beaver Droppings ("Maple-flavoured Roasted Peanuts"). Where will this end?
My apologies to all, as this year I wasn't able to secure the usual group photo - maybe I can arrange a remedial photo session next year. I have a feeling all of us will be back next year (some shooting for the grand prize, some for a 2nd win).
Thanks to my assistants, Paul, Chester Lanham, and my wife for their assistance. See you all next year. Ron Secunda
2012 Donna Balkan, 2012 tournament info
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