Wednesday 23rd September, 2009
Venue: London Apprentice, Isleworth
A full complement of 8 made this a fantastic way to round off the evening. It's amazing how the group psychology can be so intense in this game. When the '13' is turned over as the second card in a mine, leaving 5 gems available for the first person to run, you can almost hear the cogwheels turning - "If I run now, I'll get 6 gems total - not a bad return. But what if anyone else chooses to leave - I might only end up with 2 or 3 gems. But I'm sure that nobody else will be that chicken so early on..."
So what happens? 6 players all decide to cut and run at the same time, netting a measly single gem each and leaving the mine wide open to exploitation from the 2 remaining brave adventurers (in this case, Ian and Russ). Of course, next time that situation occurs, everybody is wondering if anyone is going to be so stupid as to make the same mistake again, resulting in no-one leaving to pick up the ample booty (hereafter known as "the Jennifer Lopez") on the way out.
No-one could catch Ian after his early jackpot. After picking up 6 gems in 1 mine, Daniel uttered the fateful words - "At least I won't be last now" - an anti-prophecy which only failed to be fulfilled due to Philip omitting to count his gems before returning them to the pile.
Ian 34; Russ 30; Gareth 18; James 13; Jon 11; Barrie 11;
Daniel 10; Philip ??
It was during the second game that Philip decided to adopt the somewhat unorthodox method of indicating his decision to stay or go by extending alternating hands in quick succession, in a surreal emulation of the lightning hands of the Karate Kid. This strange decision-making process appeared to confuse Philip himself more than anyone else, although it may have bemused James to the extent that he somehow failed to secure a single gem.
This time, however, there was a much closer result, and Gareth won back some pride by chickening out early in nearly every mine and ending 2 gems ahead of the 2 Daniels (Daniel the newcomer, and Philip "Daniel-San" Thomas) for the win.
Gareth 18; Daniel 16; Philip 16; Barrie 14; Ian 14; Russ 14;
Jon 7; James 0