|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Rating||Games||Rating|
This was a good year for the tournament. We had an above average attendance of 15 (avg. is 13.5) players, who had an average experience level of 3.2 tournaments (a new high). More than half of the participants had played in fewer than five tournaments, and we had one one absolute newbie, who (of course) made it into the finals.
The first thing that delayed the tournament was waiting for Liam. We waited a half hour to begin, and had people searching the convention center, but (we later found out) he was blocks away at the Columbus Community Festival and having such a good time he forgot to come back.
Anyway, we started to play the Ice-Offs with the fifteen people who showed up. Things went very smoothly, and about as quickly as possible. We played five rounds, with three people sitting out each round. Nobody had to play any extra games in order to even out the schedule. The Ice-Offs took a little more than two hours.
There was some dissatisfaction with the schedule this year. It might have been an oddity of having 15 players, but there were a few people I played against twice, and other people I never played against. This was a common experience.
There was even some suspense at the end of the Ice-Offs. Jake was running first in ratings, as is often the case, Eric had two wins to secure his slot, and Mike had 1.83 wins (1 full win, 1 2-way win, and 1 3-way win) to grab his slot. There was a dead heat for fourth place, with both Julia and Pace having 1.5 wins. Pace managed to edge it out with 91 points to Julia's 90 points, but Julia received the most votes for Cooler Than Ice, so neither of them had to be disappointed!
After the Ice-Offs, the finalists and the head Referee all realized that they'd never had dinner, and needed dinner before they could play the final three games. This delayed the start of the finals by more than an hour, but it's been the policy of the tournament to run the finals as quickly or as slowly as the finalists desire.
The finals were action-packed with surprises all around. It was certainly a nail-biter since going into the third game there was nobody with an overpowering lead, and anybody who took the last game could win the tournament. In the end, it was all about Eric, though.
Thanks again to Craig Forbes who took over the record keeping tasks for this tournament. His help enabled us to save time by starting the next game as soon as the referees were finished scoring the previous game, instead of having to wait for me to enter the data.
Thanks also to John Cooper and Andrew "Zarf" Plotkin for their continued support of this tournament through their excellent and helpful refereeing.
I can't offer a full play by play because I was with the hordes hanging out near the doorway when Nathan buzzed through letting everyone know "Pace just iced Jake!" Shortly after, half the room swarmed the finals. Andy Looney got some great photos of the mob scene watching the games after that.