Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Dispatches from SMOFCon, Day 3

The Probability & Statistics Seminar on Saturday night of SMOFCon went pretty well, with 23 of the 29 entrants actually showing up to play. We got going about 10:45 (roughly 20 minutes after the Fannish Inquisition ended). As is our usual practice, we played Level 1 as "once around" (that is, every player gets one chance to be dealer before the "blinds" increase) and thereafter levels were twenty minutes long.

We started with three tables. I managed to just barely make it to the two-table point, but I never could get the cards to go my way. I survived being forced all-in on the big blind, and one more all-in, but the third one was my undoing.

The final four and eventual winners were:

First Place ($150): Gareth Kavanagh
Second Place ($46): Bill Laubenheimer
Third Place ($23): Richard Atha-Nicholls
Fourth Place ($11): Seth Breidbart

Dave Cantor once again provided invaluable support as Assistant Tournament Director, roving emergency dealer, keeper of the funds, vendor of the chips, and general factotum. My thanks go out to everyone who played. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. Assuming next year's SMOFCon in Fort Worth wants us to organize it, we hope to do so again next year.

Because the P&S Tournament didn't end until after 2 AM and I didn't get to bed until around 3 AM, I slept in a bit and had no chance for breakfast of any sort. I made do with a mug of coffee and a cracker with cream cheese and elk picked up in the Con Suite, breakfast in which was being jointly sponsored by the Montreal, Helsinki, and Japan Worldcon bids.

During breakfast, I was tracked down by the Montreal bid. I long ago signed up as Bon Ami (Friend) of the Bid — I'm a director of the parent corporation and nominally a bid committee member — but the charge got mislaid before being rung up, so we dealt with it before I ran off to my first program item at 10 AM.

Sunday morning was the meeting of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee, where we discussed the ongoing funding needs of the MPC. The general consensus (subject to further discussion with the other members who weren't present, so this is not a done deal by any means) is that we're generally happier with the idea of asking Worldcons to fund the MPC by a levy on each WSFS member rather than just those who voted on that convention's site selection rate. The amount per WSFS member is debatable, though. I suggested 50 cents because it would increase the MPC funding back up to roughly the same purchasing power as it was when it was first established in 1984; however, we can't really make a firm recommendation until we do a 10-year budget showing our expected average ongoing expenses. MPC expenses tend to come in clumps as various service marks and domain names come up for renewal. Once we've done that analysis, which I expect we'll do in the new year, we can calculate what it would take (including a reasonable contingency amount) to fund the year-to-year routine business of the MPC. Expect something in the way of a firm proposal to come to this year's WSFS Business Meeting as a recommendation to future Worldcons (not as a WSFS Constitutional amendment, as funding the MPC isn't currently legislated by the Constitution).

After that was a general meeting of the 2015 Worldcon staff, which was for general discussion. I was not completely awake then, having had to force myself through the earlier meeting mostly on coffee and no food. Lisa and I went off and had lunch with lindadee after that.

I had a "real" panel at 2:30 (as opposed to the round-table type MPC discussion) about firing volunteers from conventions. It's a thorny issue, but one committees have to sometimes come to grips with.

The final panel was a discussion of the 2014 Worldcon in London. While the convention was certainly successful, it's frightening to read the financial figures that currently show a projected surplus of less than £1,000 on a gross of more than £900,000. Basically, Loncon 3 needed every one of those members to hold a once-in-a-generation Worldcon in an incredibly expensive city, and we shouldn't expect a quick return.

There was no closing plenary session of which I was aware. After the last item ended, I took lindadee and Suzle to LAX, which is a short drive from the hotel, but not one that I'd ever done before, and after dropping them at the Alaska terminal for their flight to Seattle, I managed to get myself turned the wrong way and heading up CA-1 North instead of South, going some miles out of my way before I found a way to turn around and return to the hotel. On the bright side, when I got back, there was an even closer-to-ideal parking space in the garage than the one I got when we arrived, and this will help when we pack out on Monday morning.

Lisa and I got dinner from the Bristol Farms grocery store around the corner. We've had their deli sandwiches every evening on this trip rather than going out to dinner.

After dinner, we hung around the Con Suite until around 9:30 before deciding that it was time to wind it down and get some sleep. We have a drive to Bishop tomorrow and we hope to get on the road with plenty of time to make it there before sundown on account of the headlights on the Astro are still stuck in high. We bade everyone goodnight.

This was an enjoyable convention. SMOFCon is small enough that you can generally find anyone you're trying to find, and you can spend time talking things over in depth. Unlike Worldcon, most people aren't run off their feet. And sometimes you can just relax and enjoy yourself, like at the P&S Tournament.

Next year it's Fort Worth. Lisa is trying to figure out the logistics of us getting there. Driving is a long trip. Lisa doesn't want to fly there because she hates airports. Taking the train is a problem as the only feasible route is through Chicago. (She can't go through LA and the Sunset Limited route because San Antonio through which the train passes makes her physically ill, we've discovered, probably due to allergies.) We have a year to figure this out, I guess. For now, I've held on to both boxes of gaming chips so I don't have to worry about them going missing before we need them next December.
Tags: lisa, poker, smofcon, travel

  • Twitch (And Not the Streaming Service)

    Smoke is a little less bad today, but still not good. I'm using eye-drops to try and moderate the effects of smoke and dust, but I'm still having to…

  • Meeting Weekend

    Last weekend I was at a series of in-person meetings and related events for Westercon 74. This weekend, I have four separate (online) meetings: two…

  • Too Darn Hot

    It's too hot to think of anything, so I'm not going to do so. Maybe if I can get the fans running sufficiently in a dark room I can cool down enough…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.