At 9 A.M. on the morning of December 30, we gathered at Ben's. The foursome was Ben, Rick, Kelly (her second time joining us) and myself.
'twas an unusual game day, because for once none of us had to be anywhere immediately after, and none of us were especially bleary-eyed from long hours of office work. I was taking the holiday week off, Kelly had been given the day off, and both Ben and Rick were on a break from teaching. So it was an unusually relaxed game day, each of us playing with the luxury of knowing that we could enjoy ourselves pretty much as long as we wanted.
Kelly was delayed a bit by traffic, so Rick made his selection while we waited. Rick selected Modern Art with the deliberate purpose of selecting something we had all played before. Suited me because I was dying to play it again.
The first round was a strange one, with 5 of Krypto's paintings going very fast. Good for me -- I'd invested aggressively in Krypto. The only other paintings to sell were 1 by Yoko and 1 by Christin P.
In the second round, I began to get a vague sense that Ben was my main competition, as he seemed to be employing similar selling strategies to mine. But this proved to be a miscalculation. His situation looked superficially similar, but he was getting himself into trouble.
In this round, Christin P's 5 paintings nosed out Yoko's 4 and Krypto's 4. Again, the same three artists placed, although in reverse order; thus, each artist's paintings were worth $40 K.
In round 3, Karl Gitter made his first and only appearance, but he didn't place, leaving both Ben and Kelly holding worthless paintings. My memory told me that Rick had been left holding worthless paintings also, but that wasn't true. Had I remembered that, I might have better realized the developing situation.
Once again Yoko and Christin P sold well in the third round (5 paintings and 4, respectively), with Lite Metal also selling 4. Krypto sold but 2 -- come to think of it, I think it was Krypto's paintings that Rick held that turned out to be valueless.
That presented a weird situation in the last round. Christin P was pretty well depleted, as was Yoko. I was holding a ton of Karl Gitter cards, as Karl hadn't turned a profit the entire game. But Yoko came out of the gate with a double, which Ben bought. He then offered a third Yoko -- she wasn't going to amount to much, but I got her dirt cheap and hoped the round could end before the other artists passed her up (I don't believe there was a single Yoko left to sell.) Fortunately it worked out OK.
Lite Metal was the leading seller in the final round, though Yoko's brought the biggest price -- $80 K per painting.
As we counted up our winnings, the consensus was that I had kicked butt. I agreed with that consensus -- until the numbers were in. Turned out Rick had won!
Not entirely clear to me how Rick did it; I believe he was stuck with a few valueless paintings, which I had not. And, each round, I had invested very well, accurately predicting and seemingly controlling whose paintings proved most valuable.
What may have happened was that Rick held the more lucrative auctions. I occasionally sold some very cheap paintings, trying to throw others off. I don't think Rick did that; every painting he sold went for a bundle.
Well played by Rick. For me, my third second-place finish in four games.