The first round consisted of about 18 tables of four or five players each. As is always the case with gaming events like this, half the fun is meeting new people and sharing their enjoyment of a boardgame, whether it is casual or serious. I played with Robin, Crystal, and Mig, and we had a volunteer banker Stephanie at the table as well. Mig and Crystal had played in the tournament before, but Robin and I were new the tournament, and neither of us had played Monopoly in some time.
In the early stages, it seemed no one was getting two of any kind of property. Crystal, Robin, and I each had one property from each of the light blue, orange, and green color groups. Mig had, I think, three railroads but likewise was no closer to a monopoly than any of the rest of us. Finally, I worked a multi-stage deal where I ended up with the green monopoly, Crystal with the light blue, and Robin with the orange. I was the most aggressive in putting up houses, though. It was slow going, since the houses are most expensive on the green properties, but the dice were good to me, and people kept hitting those houses and giving me money. I kept putting up houses, one or two at a time, and before long I started to pull away from the pack. Mig, then Crystal, and finally Robin went bankrupt to give me the win.
|Mikal (l.) and two other opponents in the second round.|
Mig (a first-round opponent) stands in the background.
Shannon had sufficient cash to put hotels up on all three light blues right away, whereas I only had $400 to
|Volunteer banker Emmanuel (l.) counts cash early in the |
second round. Shannon (r.) would later crush us all.
For days afterward, I kept going back in my mind to the deal I made with Shannon - two light blues for States Avenue - to revisit how I should have modified that deal to make it more reasonable. I finally realized that the issue was giving her a position with a much higher ROI opportunity than the one I gave myself. For $750 (the cost of hotels on the light blues), she could gain $1700 in rent collection, about 2.3 times her investment. (To measure the return on the investment in hotels, I'm not deducting the rent she would have collected without the hotels, which is negligible.) My ROI opportunity was much lower. Hotels would have cost me twice as much ($1500), but rent on the violet hotels would only have added up to $2400, or 1.6 times my investment.
So the obvious arithmetic question is, how much money should I have demanded from Shannon to accompany States Avenue so that our respective ROI would be the same, i.e. to make the deal "fair" (at least by that measure)? If my algebra is any good, the answer is about $180, a lot lower than I would have expected. In that case, her investment increases to $930, and her ROI falls to 1700/930 = 1.8. For my part, my investment is offset down to $1320, and my ROI improves to 2400/1320 = 1.8. Less than $200 doesn't sound like a lot, and I don't know whether it would have made the difference in the game, but that's what the numbers tell me (assuming I'm looking at them the right way).
I didn't stick around to find out who won, but I did take pictures of the beautiful $500 Monopoly set that Ron Kowalski provided for the final round.
|The deluxe Monopoly set that would host the final round|
|Close-up of one of the gold-plated player tokens. Even a house on Baltic Avenue looks posh.|