There was another record turnout for this year’s event. 67 flickers would test their mettle in the waters of Lancaster. A plethora of faces both new and old surrounded the sign in table as the excitement built waiting for the contest for the most coveted plaque at WBC and the only one that requires actual skill.
Last year’s winner and three time champion Dave Meyaard was there as was Brandon Bernard another past champion. The finalist from last year Rebecca Hebner was also looking to claim top honors after missing out by the closest of margins last year. It was going to be a stellar field of flickers.
A special shout out goes to fellow TEAM X member Greg Shmitgens for making buttons for every competitor. The button said it all, “ There will be flicking.”
The first round took awhile as usual due to a shortage of games (please bring one next year . You know you want to buy a copy so why wait?) But once the backup was past the action was nonstop. The first several rounds tend to see the newer players dropping from contention and the level of play increased as the numbers decreased.
Some of the big names were moving into position for a run at the title. Last years Champion Dave Meyaard and previous winners Brandon Bernard and yours truly were looking to reclaim the title. Last year’s finalist Rebecca Hebner was waltzing easily through the early rounds with a look of determination that didn’t bode well for her opponents. Asst GM Josh Githens was also looking very good early on as he quickly dispatched his early round opponents and was feeling good about his chances.
Newcomers to the top 16 included Claire Pfeifer, Scott Smith, Eric Brosius and John Roizin. It was here that I managed to knock Dave Meyaard out ensuring there would be a new champion this year and the remaining players suddenly sensed this could be their year.
When Brandon Bernard beat John Roizin, this set up another match between two ex-champions. He and I had never played but I knew from watching him he was a very good player capable of making spectacular shots.
Also in this round Scott Smith knocked out Claire Pfeifer and Josh Githens and Rebecca Hebner also advanced.
I managed to narrowly beat Brandon on a 3rd game miracle shot to advance to the semi finals and had to face last year’s finalist Rebecca Hebner to advance to the final vs Josh Githens.
Rebecca and I always seem to meet in this event. Last year she knocked me out in the first round so I knew I had my work cut out for me. After winning the first game I made one mistake and Rebecca stormed back to take the second setting up a third game to advance to the finals. It was a nail biter that was decided when Rebecca knocked her moose down allowing me to get an advantage that held up.
The finals saw Josh Githens looking to rise to the top of the flicking world and for me a chance for my third Coussis.
I took the first game in a squeaker and Josh blew me away in the second game with a just about perfect series of shots to even things up.
Game three saw both of us moving across the table at good pace and the action in the center of the table when both moose were near the other was some of the most dynamic I’ve ever seen. Josh had a significant advantage and looked to be cruising to his first title when disaster struck. An errant flick knocked his moose into the tepid Lancaster waters.
I realized that this was my chance and made the most of my three penalty shots to even things up. We were both about 5 inches from winning and it would be anybody’s game. Josh closed in on the island and I made a shot I had no business making to get to the point where I needed to make a last shot for the win.
Once again … the only plaque at WBC that requires skill belongs to me. My third Coussis*!
I’d like to thank everyone who attended and hope to see them all again next year when they try to pry the title from my hands.
* A “Coussis” is the GM winning his own tournament