I played in my first International Icehouse Tournament at my first Origins, in 1998. In my second game I had a game-destroying crash that shook me badly enough that I ended up icehoused in games two through four. (I do have the distinction of being one of the players in the "four in the icehouse" game, wherein Jacob called Icehouse on himself.) I skipped the tournament in 1999, but played in the next six. I took fifth place in 2001 and 2005, and sixth (behind Cthulhia) in 2004. I then skipped 2006 to play in a vicious and unsatisfying LARP, and judged rather than play in 2007 (stupid Lyme). This year I went into the tournament this year feeling pretty good about it. Mad props to Ryan M for sweeping the ice-offs and whomping me in the game he played against me, and I'm quite pleased to have come in second behind him with 2.5 wins (and to have gotten the green medallion out of it, too!). Due to the quirks of the schedule I didn't face Eeyore or Josh in the Ice-offs, so I was fairly nervous going into the finals. Eeyore won the first game. At the end of the second, Ryan was left with a large prisoner of Josh's, and mediums belonging to both me and Eeyore that he could kill with it. If he'd killed mine, Eeyore would have won the game and (essentially) the tournament; if he'd killed neither, I think Eeyore and I would have shared the victory (giving Eeyore a strong edge to win overall). Ryan chose, wisely, to kill Eeyore's piece, giving me the win and himself a decent chance at the scepter. All he needed to do was win the third game and beat Eeyore by six points. (I didn't calculate Josh's required margin, but he was still a contender as well.) (Looking at the rankings, I seem to have miscalculated; Ryan actually needed to beat me by two points.) Much of the last game is a blur. I remember scrambling for a fortress, and I remember being impressed that I wasn't getting as many of my larges killed this time. I'm not even sure how the game ended, other than that I'd played out my pieces shortly before everyone else and was very quietly counting and recounting the scores. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Eric called "Time!" Ryan and I had tied for the win. >From a tournament score of sixteen to the scepter, in just ten years. Wow. -- It is in the nature of poets to misuse their sources. --John M. Ford, "The Lost Dialogue"