Hello out there in the Euchre Universe.
Today, we have a special treat. One of our faithful affiliates, Harvy Lapp of the excellent site EuchreLinks.com was able to attend the World Series of Euchre and has filed a report. I’ve never actually been to the WSOE ,so I was keenly interested in hearing about what goes on. As soon as I find out the details of the event next year, I’m in.
The WSOE took place over the weekend of September 15 – 17, 2006 in Lansing, MI. This 4 part report chronicles the adventure of two ex-New Yorkers transplanted in Las Vegas who invade the Midwest hoping for Euchre Glory. What they got were euchre heartbreak, dashed hopes and White Castle “sliders”. Enjoy.
From the perspective of Harvey "the Rabbit" Lapp
Thursday, Sept. 14th:
My partner and I arrived a day early. The flight from Vegas to Lansing was occasionally speckled with further strategy discussion. I had brought my best friend, Michael, on this mission. Although he is a decent card player in general, he is originally from Long Island, NY, and not from the euchre heartland. He only learned euchre a few years ago, and only plays once or twice a month at our bar tournament back home. My partner had been harder to meet up with to prepare our game plan back in Las Vegas than I had anticipated. He works a different shift at the casino than I do, so the plane trip became the bulk of the strategy discussion we've had going into the tournament.
My belief has been, that the best way to prepare for a partnership euchre tournament like the World Series, you have to go over conventions with your partner, such as; (if, and) when to donate, to (or not to) order a bower up to each other (unless going alone) and (whether or not) to always pick up a bower as dealer, etc., so that your partnership is always working cohesively. When you begin with the 50/50 expectation that you have in euchre, you can alter the odds in your favor by consistently making good plays with your partner.
When we checked into the hotel room, I must have bombarded my partner with 30 years worth of euchre strategy. He had no clue that my favorite game could be so complicated. He also was having trouble understanding and accepting the idea of donating at the bridge (or any other form of donation for that matter). Euchre and strategy didn't jive well at first with Michael.
My partner can play some serious eight-ball however, and they happened to have a pool table in the hotel bar, so we got on it right away and began beating up on the local hustler. Michael and I were on an APA team in Las Vegas that came in first place during the last spring session. If this had been a partner's pool tournament we were at, I would have been more optimistic about us taking home the prize.
Later that night at the same bar, Joe Andrews was holding some small, single-elimination euchre tournaments, so we entered one. Michael and I did well, advancing deep, almost winning the whole thing. We did it by "winging it" too. There were no pre-planned tactics employed.
After the tourney, my partner was tired, so he went up to the room and went to sleep. I stayed at the bar, playing small-stakes euchre games until closing time with Tom ("lovin' it") as my partner. Tom and I played very much the same way, making it tough to beat us. We had met last year and played a small tournament together once on Pogo.
Note: I've been in Las Vegas long enough to be rather surprised when a full bar wants to close down. It seems bad for business.