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Subject: Choner Crokinole Championship 2012 rss

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Joe Gola
United States
Redding
Connecticut
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For the curious, last year's session report can be found here.



On October 20, 2012, my buddy hseldon and I drove down to Astoria, NY for the thrilling & delightful second annual Choner Crokinole Championship, hosted by America's darlings, Erik and Eggie. This time around the event was held in a meeting room of the Bohemian Beer Hall, and the attendance had been upped from ten to almost thirty. In addition, the amount of prizes and swag had also increased significantly; there were official Choner beer steins, official Choner shot glasses, official Choner shirts and baseball caps, and official Choner battery-powered keychains/bottle openers. Sweet!


Our fearless leader explains the rules: "don't be a dick."

Erik explained the tournament format to the assembled crowd, and in the time-honored tradition of Choner it was somewhat involved. Initial groups of four would compete in a round robin amongst themselves, after which the players would be ranked into four tiers. All contestants falling into the four newly-made tiers would then compete against each other in bracket fashion, with the top tier participating in quarterfinals, semifinals, hemidemifinals, and then finalfinals. After that would be the lightning round and the dance contest, and scores would be tallied with bonus points for deportment and fluency in foreign language. It was serious business.


Josh vs. Roseanne

I faced off against my first opponent, the charming and upbeat Roseanne. She had never played Crokinole before and maybe had never even flicked at a thing in anger. Regardless, I knew I had to defeat her—defeat her at all costs. But do you know what was defeated in the end? My heart. I got more pucks in the center of the board, though, so I had that as a consolation.



My next match was against the sagely & avuncular Joe McDonough, who has many fine and excellent qualities and who also plays crokinole. We had a spirited match which featured many examples of skill and daring, but in the end I was proven the better man. Joe offered to carry me about the beer hall on his shoulders to honor my achievement but modesty forced me to decline.


Joe offers a traditional Irish salute of respect and friendship

My last group match was with a pleasant young man named Josh. A raw youth, one might say, just making his way in the world, as so many have done before him. The end of our first round saw me score thirty points, and I advised him not to take it too hard; he was a mere lad, and I was a man of the world with many expensive shirts and a rewards card at Sears. In the next round he summoned all his mettle and pluck and scored five points. Ha! I liked his moxie! He was like a younger me, except taller, better-looking and polite. Then in the next round he scored ninety-five points, bringing his total to one hundred and winning him the game. The impudent egg!


Towards the end of my final round against Josh. That's a lot of pucks on the board!

Thus was I relegated to second tier.

While all this was going on, beer was being served. I was lucky enough to score a glass stein as opposed to a cheap plastic frat-boy cup, but the busboys were aggressive about taking away all the empty glasses, so I made sure to keep refilling mine with refreshing beverages. In time the sting of my loss against Josh was eased somewhat.

Some time after that I was pitted against an extremely pleasant fellow named Dan in competition for the title of best of the second tier. I very much enjoyed my game against him, as he was good company and clearly a person of many fine qualities. He was the kind of guy that always gets invited on camping trips because he never does anything annoying and probably knows how to build a lean-to out of sticks and leaves. Also it turns out he's pretty good at crokinole, because he kicked my ass.


In this photo: sweethearts of the rodeo Shilpa & Nehal, David Molnar, the McDonough brothers, former champion Avri Klemer, and the extremely nice Dan. I love that guy!

Having been cruelly & completely ousted from the tournament I now had time to pursue other interests, such as drinking beer and heckling. Eventually fellow abstract-lover John McDonough produced a copy of one of my favorite board games, DVONN, and so we snuck off to a corner table and played a couple of matches.



Meanwhile the tournament raged on. I spotted Josh facing Erik in the quarterfinals, and so I started rooting hard for him; I knew that Erik was a very strong player, so I figured if Josh beat him, then I could feel less bad about Josh beating me. Apparently my partisanship was a little too vocal because Erik eventually requested that I "shut up you dumb fucking polack."


Josh vs. Erik


The big board

Surprisigly enough, the two semifinalists from last year's contest were ousted in the quarterfinals, Erik by my groupmate Josh and last year's champion Avri Klemer by the wily veteran Nehal. In the final match Nehal beat Josh in an epic game that reportedly took four hours and two sets of pucks because the first set had been worn down to chiclets.

Meanwhile, Johanna Pinzler had challenged me to an extratournamental game of crokinole for late-evening bragging rights, which was a decision that she no doubt quickly came to regret. There was much smack talk and general braggadocio, and I belittled all the points she did earn by putting the numbers in quotation marks on the score pad. It is possible that the many steins of fermented barley malt I had drunk played a hand in this. In celebration of the rare occasions when I sunk a puck into the center hole I rubbed the puck on the score pad in an immodest manner to further accentuate my glory. And all this after she gave me a bite of her apple strudel! What a jerk.


I am not proud of this.

In the end I was ineligible for any prizes besides the traditional "LOSER" ribbon, but I did not go home empty-handed; just for laughs my old friend Warren dM presented me with a nicely made glass beer stein with the Polish flag emblazoned on it, which he had found in a flea market in Iceland. Thanks, man!

In the end I had an excellent time, as did all of the other participants, I think. The tournament was well-organized, there was lots of food and drink to be had, and who doesn't like crokinole? Most notable, though, was the fact that all of the participants that I met were genuinely nice people who were fun to hang around with. I'm already looking forward to next year's event. Viva Choner!
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Avri Klemer
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Gola wrote:
Surprisigly enough, the two semifinalists from last year's contest were ousted in the quarterfinals, Erik by my groupmate Josh and last year's champion Avri Klemer by the wily veteran Nehal.


Nope, sorry. That's the beer talking, Gola . . .

Erik and I were last years Finalists. This year I (somehow) beat Sunil in the Quarters, got my behind handed to me by Josh in the Semis.

Johanna is sorry that she didn't scat this year - she was only a day removed from full vocal rest. Maybe ConnCon in March . . .

She did however win the 4th Division title. And it's a little creepy how well you describe / understand Dan after just a few hours. Stalker?
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Joe Gola
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nycavri wrote:
Erik and I were last years Finalists. This year I (somehow) beat Sunil in the Quarters, got my behind handed to me by Josh in the Semis.

D'oh! That's what I meant, actually. I just got discombobulated on the terminology.
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Erik D
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Gola wrote:
Apparently my partisanship was a little too vocal because Erik eventually requested that I "shut up you dumb fucking polack."


I apologize for my mouth. I didn't mean it. You're not really a polack.
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Jeff Wiles
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Not enough emasculating fish.
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Matt Loter
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My consolation prize is that my kids did pretty awesome at the climbing comp and on the ride home I was told a great many jokes, many of which centered around math. I still would have liked to stumble around the beer hall and pretend I knew how to properly score the game ( I don't!), but so it goes. I'll just have to drink double at ConnCon...
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David Molnar
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Matt Loter wrote:
I'll just have to drink double at ConnCon...


Is that even possible? I guess there's only one way for me to find out...
would love to hear those math jokes...
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Avri Klemer
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jeffwiles wrote:
Not enough emasculating fish.


For those not in on the joke . . .

The reason for the lack of fish-bonking? Baby Boo would rather play Crokinloe than abuse Gola. (Though I believe it was a near thing . . .)

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Gary Heidenreich
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Awesome write up!

I had held my first tournament at the end of September. It was inspired by last years write up. First year, we had 8 of us participating. We did a round robin type of thing for seeding, as well. It was a great success! We had prize money, beer, food. A good time had by all and loved reading the second year write up.

I won my tournment so I consider myself the Milwaukee champion!!! LOL
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Mayday Games
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Layton
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With boards from 4 companies there and over 30 people we'd love to hear your objective thoughts on the boards represented. It looks like the Mayday board is from our 2010 line by the look of it? Please post your thoughts on the different boards too!
 
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