Can’t Stop 2021 Event Report

The 2021 Can’t Stop PBEM tournament featured 52 players completing a total of 106 games over 9 rounds.  The event was played using a single-game double elimination format with rounds continuing until only one player remained with fewer than two losses.

Heading into Round 6, ten players remained in contention.  The last two undefeated players, Dominic Blais and Dan Leader, were guaranteed a spot in the Top 6 and faced one another.  Dominic capped the 6 column on the first turn of the game and completed a 6-7-8 victory before Dan could catch up.  In the other Round 6 games, Chris Wildes, Alex Bove, Chad Martin, and Eric Brosius all advanced and secured Top 6 finishes.

In Round 7, Chad finished the 4 on his first turn against Dominic, but Dominic immediately answered with the 9.  The game was tied 2-2 in turn 5 when a bust on Chad’s turn opened the door for Dominic to win via the 8.  Eric got off to a strong start against Chris, but two untimely busts coupled with Chris’s hot run up the 7 column in a single turn led to Eric’s elimination.  Alex made steady progress up the 6-7-8 columns in a close game to eliminate Dan after his 5-0 run to start the tournament.

Three players remained for Round 8, with Dominic facing Chris and Alex battling Eric, who was serving as an eliminator.  In a messy, 9-turn game in which both players started the game with two busts, Chris ended Dominic’s undefeated run.  Eliminator Eric’s unlucky streak continued with three busted turns while Alex continued his steady play en route to victory.

As a result, the same three players remained alive for Round 9, but with swapped pairings.  Alex played against Chris while Dominic faced Eric, again serving as an eliminator due to the preference for avoiding repeat matchups.  Alex continued his disciplined play and quickly worked to a 2-0 lead.  Chris, feeling the need to catch up, risked an extra roll after capping the 5 and was punished for his hubris with a failed roll.  On his next turn Alex pushed his 8 to within three spots of victory and passed.  Chris was able to finish both the 6 and 10 on his next turn to make the game interesting, but Alex quickly completed the 8 and awaited the results of the other game.

Meanwhile, Eric made the most of going first to get off to a fast start against Dominic, capping the 7 on his second turn while Dominic began with single bumps on 2-8-12.  At the end of the fourth turn, Eric had the 6 and 7 under his control and was two away on the 8 while Dominic was still on the bottom rung of the 2, 9, and 12, with five bumps up the 8.  Dominic was able to make a run up the 8 to negate the most urgent danger and a few turns later capped the 5 to even the score.  However after three straight busted turns, Eric was able to finish the 3 column to eliminate Dominic.

Congratulations to Alex Bove on winning the 2021 Can’t Stop PBEM tournament.  Alex’s only loss came in Round 2 (to Dominic) and he finished the tournament with seven straight wins to claim the victory.

Top six finishers were:

  1. Alex Bove
  2. Dominic Blais
  3. Chris Wildes
  4. Dan Leader
  5. Eric Brosius
  6. Chad Martin

Of the 106 games played in the tournament, 50 of them (47%) were won by the player taking the first turn of the game.  The average game length fell just under 7 turns (6.73), ranging from a minimum of 4 turns (seven games), to a maximum of 10 turns (eight games).  Players averaged roughly 33 dice rolls per game and 5 rolls per turn.  Tina Del Carpio achieved the win with the fewest dice rolls, needing only 19 to earn a first round victory.

Peter Stein achieved the only 4-column victory, simultaneously capping the 2 and the 7 on the final turn of his Round 5 matchup.

Below is the data for completed columns of winning players, with comparisons to the most recent WBC tournament (2019):

  • 2 was used by 22% of winners (-11% over last WBC)
  • 3 was used by 13% of winners (+5% over last WBC)
  • 4 was used by 13% of winners (-13% over last WBC)
  • 5 was used by 26% of winners (-3% over last WBC)
  • 6 was used by 53% of winners (+14% over last WBC)
  • 7 was used by 61% of winners (+21% over last WBC)
  • 8 was used by 47% of winners (+8% over last WBC)
  • 9 was used by 18% of winners (-1% over last WBC)
  • 10 was used by 15% of winners (-11% over last WBC)
  • 11 was used by 4% of winners (-9% over last WBC)
  • 12 was used by 27% of winners (+1% over last WBC)

Unsurprisingly, 6, 7, and 8 are the most likely to appear on a winner’s scorecard.  The large increase in the frequency of those numbers over the previous WBC event (and corresponding decrease for most other numbers) is likely attributable to the differences between the 2-player and 4-player game.  One trend that does hold from Andrew Drummond’s previous event report is the unpopularity of 11, by far the least likely number to be capped by winners, and the only number to appear more often on the loser’s scorecard (4% vs 6%).

Once again congratulations to all of the laurelists, and thank you to everyone who participated in the event.