Apparently, October 18 was a big day for crokinole players across the continent. At the top of the list the NCA sanctioned Ontario Doubles Crokinole Championship has held in Brucefield, ON. A couple other fun events were being held: #Crokchella in Calgary and of course, the 4th annual Choner Crokinole Championship in Astoria, Queens, NY.
It's quite impressive the event that Erik and Lisa put on year after year. And each year, they bring it to another level. An fun and slightly irreverent event attended by over 30 people, Erik likes to say the event is more about the giveaways than crokinole. This year's mascot was the Choner Chicken, and everyone walked away with their very own stuffed chicken complete with Choner t-shirt.
True to tradition, Erik's brother, Matthew, wore the "First Loser" sash on account of his runner-up status from 2013 throughout the event. Erik's introductory address also described the tournament format. Each participant would be placed into a group of 4 which would compete in a round robin. The group ranking establishes the single elimination bracket by tier (4 tiers). From the Championship Chalice to the "Bottle of Barrel" jar, Erik awards bracket winner and cool engraved momento from the event.
As I drew my group number, Erik apologized to Avri K (the inaugural Choner Champion) for my placement into his group. Erik also highlighted my past competitive crokinole experience at the World Championships. Though he didn't mention how outclassed I was in Tavistock. Through a bit of embarrassment, I ventured on, helping a few crokinole new comers with the rules and gameplay.
Choner games are played 12 discs-a-player and first-to-100 with exception of the championship final which is played first to 200. During the group stage, I played with familiar faces from 2013 and found my last group match with fellow former champion Avri. Our head to head match up would decide 1st and 2nd place. "Which board do you want to play on?" "Not yours." "No problem, not yours either."
Avri and I found one of Erik's Hilinski boards and started our round. Its always interesting to play on different boards even at the same event. With some defensive play, I was able to edge out Avri to enter the championship bracket.
There were only 28 players in the group stage, so each bracket had 7 players. Erik cleverly devised a scheme for each tier to establish a player with a first-round-bye: One shot each, buy goes to the player with the closest-to-the-center shot, eyes closed for 3 seconds. Not really the test of skill I was going for, but I was pleased to secure a buy ("Shocker!" exclaimed Erik) with a hanger.
Chicken wings, salads, nachos, and more than a few pints were had as the brackets began play, taking turns on the approximately 9 boards that were brought out. It really was a fun location and great to meet so many interesting people. I was also excited to witness one of the strangest shots I think that has ever been seen in crokinole. As Mike's disc was not laying "flat" in the center hole, it was ruled a "15."
In the second round of the championship bracket, I faced my friend and coworker, Mark in his first appearance in a "competitive" crokinole event. I vanquished him handily (love you, man) and earned my right to deliver him his participation ribbon (irreverently labeled "Loser"). I then got an opportunity to watch the other semifinal match. It was a long match, each round rather delivering more than 10 points. Until Josh Z finished his opponent witha 35 point round.
We began the championship round winning our respective "hammer games." Fortunately I was able to hold Josh to 5-10 point games and score 20-30 point games to get to an early lead. With Josh under pressure, I was able to adjust conservatively and secure a successful title defense. I've heard rumors that Erik has "special rules" and plans for me next year, so I'm sure the target on my back has only become bigger.
If you find yourself in the New York City area in mid October, I highly recommend you join us at an upcoming Choner Crokinole event. Erik puts on a great time, and is especially great at designing t-shirts.
Erik and his wife, Lisa, have started the Choner Crokinole Championship 3 years ago in their Queens County, NY home. T-Shirts, participant giveaways and even an engraved chalice belied the fact that this event started with 10 friends and friendly games.
In 2012, the event graduated to the meeting room ...
Yesterday, I started my day a few minutes before 4am. Fortunately I awoke on my own since I mistakenly set my alarm for 3:50pm. Without wanting to wake my wife, I got dressed, grabbed my bag and set off to pick up my brother, Morgan. We were on our ...
This past June, I found a reason to repeat what might have been a once-just-to-do-it trip to Tavistock, ON for the World Crokinole Championships: I was able to convince my brother and my father to join Kieran and I. What a great time.
Dave and Norm Lagasse of Sante Fe, New Mexico:
~ Like so many other families of Canadian descent, among our most
valued family heirlooms is a "pichenotte" board (shown at left).
Ours was made by our grandfather, Lucien Rajotte, back in 1926 out
of a wooden starch crate (you can still ...
While playing cards with my family this morning, I saw the mailman pull
up out front for an apparent second delivery. With my birthday coming up
soon, I wondered what may have arrived from Amazon.com or similar online
However, when I watched him pull out a large square ...
During my research on Crokinole craftsman, I had come across a few
photographs of boards made by "Allinent." One of the side effects of
ordering a handcrafted item, is waiting for it to be handcrafted and
Occasionally, you'll find the
Hilinski's maintaining small inventory.
Today, I noticed ...
The NCA (National Crokinole Association) Tour begins the first Saturday
of each June with the World Crokinole Championships in Tavistock, ON.
Today is the tour finale with the St. Jacob's tournament as previously
mentioned on this blog.
As a Canadian-American [ :D ] fan of the game, its one of those ...
The world crokinole championships are held
annually the first Saturday of June. Players from all over the world
(mostly Canada) converge on the small town to test their chops with the
best. I'd love to attend, but I'm not sure if there's a decent
alternative to the ...
Nathan Walsh, a ranked Crokinole player, just started a new blog called
CrokinoleCentre with a post
recapping the results of the 2012 London Crokinole tournament. Nathan is
also a prolific poster of crokinole videos on youtube, you should check
out his channel.
Shortly after receiving my Puzzler board, I wrote about the process and
results of waxing. I performed my second waxing today and went out of my
way to be more generous with the wax as well as letting it dry for 20
minutes before wiping it off. I basically let ...
I haven't got my hands on a copy yet, but in 2006, a movie was made.
Directed by Joshua &Jonathan Steckley, the film reportedly introduces us
to characters such as Mr. Crokinole (Wayne Kelly), Willard Martin and
"the Wayne Gretzky of Crokinole", Joe Fulop, in a light ...
A friend and I ordered a pair of 20 holders from Crokinole
Depot. I was excited to order
this for a number of reasons. First, Crokinole Depot is run by Ray and
Jason Beierling who are active in the Crokinole community and ranked
players. Their website and participation in online ...
While hosting a birthday party for my 9 year old and 7 of his friends,no
had to opportunity to teach several of them crokinole. By first
demonstrating the flicking dynamic and showing the goal of hitting the
center of the board, they quickly understood what was required to take ...
initially looks like a compelling and inexpensive portable table for a
Crokinole board. Unfornately, it didn't live up to my expectations.
Fortunately I found an inexpensive version on eBay. The image available
widely online shows a thin rectangular surface. This is NOT included
with or attached ...
Setup my new crokinole board on a 32" inch table in the family room for
the long weekend. 2 person games, 4 person games, adult games, and kid
games. While I wouldn't call it an obsession, it got plenty of play from
both my family and our hosts.
Over president's day weekend, here in the United States, my family is
traveling north to Vermont to stay and ski with friends. Our friends
have a nice home close to a ski area and enjoy getting away from the
hustle and bustle of the city. I've decided to ...
Having found some inconsistencies with my first set of discs and
significant impact on the speed of the board. I ventured out of my house
to find some pure carnuba paste wax. Boardgamegreek and other crokinole
forum's highly recommend "Mothers pure carnuba wax."
Amongst my searches for everything online about crokinole, I discovered
some player profiles at Ray and Jason Beierling's Crokinole
Depot. Interestingly Ray interviewed a
few top tier players and asked them who made their favorite
boards. The answer's
didn't surprise me, except for one ...
I know I've gone mental, while I await the work of art I
from Muzzies, I began to imagine sharing the
game with others. Bring the board to the office to show to friends and
colleagues, bring the board to VT to play with friends and family,
After quite a bit of research and a gentle nudge from a friend or two, I
decided to purchase a board from Murray & Sue Skaling. I had strongly considered a newly
Hilinski board which had a gorgeous surface, but I had some personal
concerns about the rail seams and ...
Between Christmas 2011 and New Year's Day 2012, I happened to
(re)discover Crokinole while browsing the
internet. After quickly finding
myself perusing the forum's at BoardGameGeek.com, I was bewitched
by this game and the boards on which it was played.