Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bigger and Better ! - Did I Mention Bigger?!

United States - So far 30 players from all across the country have registered for The National Nertz Association's biggest online Nertz tournament yet. The MEGA-Nertz Open(NNA005) is the fifth tournament that the NNA has hosted this year and not only is it bigger, but it is offering more rewards to the tournament players as well. There are 32 spots in this MEGA event which is twice as many spots than the last 3 tournaments have had. In this tournament, the NNA is offering 2nd and 3rd place prizes, a "Rookie of the Tournament" prize, and a prize for the player that receives the best hand score of the tournament.

13 online tournament veterans have returned for this grand online event. 2 of those 13 are champions. 12 of the 30 registrants are males. So far online Nertz tournament championships have been owned by females. However, half of the top ten ranked NNA players are males.

The rookies out number the veterans in this tournament, but that doesn't seem to bother the vets. They are hoping to improve their stats by taking on the less experienced rookies in the early rounds. But as history has taught us, the veterans should not take the rookies too lightly. After all, it was a rookie who knocked the 2-Time Champion, Sara Paseka, out of the last tournament in the first round.

On a more surprising note, one of the past tournament champions has yet to register for this tournament. Jill Younker-Sny won the Summer Classic Online but so far has opted not to play in the biggest online tournament to date. Although, she still has a chance to register being that there are two spots still available.

MEGA-Nertz Open Tournament Bracket

The NNA has recently finished the Tournament Stat and Rankings Page. There you can check more in-depth player stats and see player rankings.

All twenty veterans received personalized invites to this tournament, but only 13 of them are attending as of now.

Meg Holko the last NNA members to win a championship is included in the list of veterans attending. Her sister Mallory is back again as well, hoping to start a family dynasty with a championship of her own.

Veterans Nate Nelson and Christmas Wishart, each having made two final table appearances a piece, are always within striking distance.

With a broader field, it is more difficult to predict a final table match-up. However, if you have a prediction just post it in a comment below. We would love to see who you think will be at the final table.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Most Thrilling Final Table Yet!

United States - The fourth NNA online Nertz tournament this year attracted a wide array of Nertz talent to the tables. The final table was particularly talented having withstood the better part of the tournament field of players thus far. It was said going into tonight's final table that the players were pretty evenly matched, but we didn't realize how tight of a match it was going to be.

Final Table Box Score>>>
Tournament Bracket and Stat Tracker>>>

Christmas Wishart, Aaron Whitcomb, Meg Holko, and the Summer Classic Champion Jill Younker-Sny were all primed and ready just before the start of the match. Nertz is a crazy game. And sometimes you can't explain everything that leads up to one's victory. But I will attempt to give you the best details I can to describe this incredible game.

The first hand was quick and Meg called Nertz and received 16 points. She then led the others by at least 10 points. The champ, Jill, called Nertz in hand #2 but did not end up winning the hand as Meg scored 1 point more than her. Christmas also tied Jill's hand score receiving 18 points for that hand. Aaron had drifted quietly to the bottom of the leader board but quickly pulled himself out with a quick 17-point Nertz in the 3rd. Everyone was back within at least 11 points of one another as Meg still had the lead. Jill then made a quick 14-point Nertz to take the lead in the 4th hand. Aaron also had moved up into second as both Meg and Christmas were set.

Christmas made a charge in the 5th calling Nertz and moving up a spot to 3rd place. She also had set the leader, which was still Jill at the moment. Christmas went right back down to last place despite receiving 19 points in hand #6. Aaron had moved into first place but it was Meg that called Nertz and won that hand moving her into second place. The scores at the end of 6 hands were as follows: Aaron with 56, Meg with 54, Jill with 50, and Christmas with 48. It appeared that we were going to have to get a camera out for a photo finish if this game got any tighter.

In hand #7 Aaron went from first place to last place while Christmas went from last to first. Christmas had called a 20-point Nertz and set Aaron back 10 points. Aaron returned the favor in the 8th setting Christmas 11 points. Meg had indirectly taken the lead when Aaron called Nertz. Christmas took the lead right back in the 9th with a 19-point Nertz. Aaron gained some ground and moved into second place with a Nertz call in the 10th. He was the only 6 points from the leader, Christmas who had 88 points.

Christmas was 12 points away from a championship. But at 76 points, Meg wasn't going to let Christmas walk away with it. Meg made a huge 23 point Nertz ending up at 99 points at the end of 11 hands. But neither Christmas or Aaron scored enough to close it out either. Meg had 99, Aaron had 97, and Christmas had 95. Jill had slipped too far from the pack to catch up. However, it would be Jill that would decide who would win the championship in the 12th hand.

Jill was furiously trying to make a full table set, to possibly put her back in this game but when she Nerted, only one other player had a positive hand score. It was the player that needed only one point for the victory. Meg had scored 4 which was just enough due to the fact that Jill had set both Christmas and Aaron to end the game.

It was a fantastic game to watch. Every player had the lead at one point during the match. Meg had the least amount of Nertz calls (which was 2) of any player in this match but still ended up winning. Christmas had the most Nertz calls with 4 and finished in 2nd place. There were no full table sets, further indicating that the level of competition was extremely even.

The NNA would like to congratulate Meg Holko on her well-deserved victory. Everyone is looking forward to seeing all of these Nertz players in The Mega-Nertz Open starting in the near future. So far the tradition of beating a champion in the finals to become a champion has yet to be broken. Thus, if you are looking to become a champion, you should be looking for Meg in the finals of the next tournament.

Meg receives the title of "Online Nertz Champion", a "Nertz Champion" Hoodie, a copy of Nerts High Speed Card Game compliments of Ronnander Games, and an invitation to the Tournament of Champions at the year's end. Do you want what she has? Just register for the next online Nertz tournament and follow this blog to stay updated.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nertz Elite On Display, Final Table is Set!

United States - Both NNA004 Nertz semifinal matches were played tonight. The BD bracket match began at 7:30 and the AC bracket started the late game at 9:30 p.m. With the 2-time champ already eliminated from the tournament, Jill was the only other online champion that still remained in the tournament coming into tonight's match. Jill may have breathed a sigh of relief after the news that her arch rival had been knocked out last week. Though, she still could not overlook her opponents in her semifinal match.

Jill Younker-Sny, Aaron Bartholomew, and Christmas Wishart, went at it for 14 hard-fought hands. Natasha Rene Stafford, who did confirm her match time, ended up not making it. Aaron started the game off with a Nertz call only to tie with Christmas for the lead. Jill followed in the second with a Nertz call to set Christmas big and put herself in second place and 2 points behind Aaron.

BD Bracket Box Score>>>
Tournament Bracket and Stat Tracker>>>

Christmas was set again in the 3rd when Nate called Nertz again. This put Christmas at -6 and 36 points behind the leader, Aaron. Apparently, this is right where Christmas wanted to be. She made back-to-back full table sets with Nertz calls in the 4th and 5th to take the lead by 11 points.

Christmas was not done yet, she called another one in the 6th hand to further pull away from the pack. Aaron had a 19-point Nertz in hand #7 to jump from third to second place. After another Nertz call from Christmas, the scores at the end of hand #8 were Christmas with 65, Aaron with 38, and Jill with 33.

Jill made a full table set in the ninth to put herself back in second and only 18 points behind Christmas. Christmas then made back-to-back Nertz call again to give her 92 points at the end of the 11th. She was well in front of both Jill and Aaron at that point. But for Jill and Aaron it was now a fight for second place and a seat in the Finals. Knowing this motivated both players to exchange Nertz calls in hands numbers 12 and 13. Aaron was still in third but only trailed Jill by 6 points at the start of the 14th hand. Christmas scored 20 points in the 14th to secure the victory but it was Jill won the hand by calling the Nertz beating out Aaron B. for the second spot in the finals.

The Late Game Summary

Jill should now be more worried about the players that advanced over Sara in the AC bracket than if Sara were still in it. These Nertz players are "no joke". Tough, determined, fast, and alert and they certainly showed it tonight. Nate Nelson, Lacey Donaho, Meg Holko, and Aaron Whitcomb all made it to play this semifinal match.

Aaron, running a little late, arrived at the end of the first hand but managed to stay with the pack. Meg, however was determined to leave the pack, Nerting 4 of the first 5 hands, and ending up with 83 points before the 6th. At that moment, the closest person to her was Nate in second with 25 points. Aaron then went back-to-back to pull himself into 2nd place by the start of the 8th. In the 8th Lacey made a full table set with a quick 11-point Nertz, but it wasn't enough for her to advance after a Nert by Aaron in the 9th, and Meg's full table set in the 10th. With that Nertz call in the 10th, Meg secured her victory advancing to the Finals. The second place finisher, despite his late start, was Aaron W.. Meg's combined margin of victory was 270 points. It was a truly dominate performance.

AC Bracket Box Score>>>

A Look at the Finals

Aaron and Meg join Jill and Christmas at the Final Table. The NNA will announce the Final Table Game Time later this week. Aaron is the only newcomer to advance to the final table in this tournament. Jill is the only online champion at the final table. However, Christmas has already shown that she can beat Jill, but moreover, Aaron has shown that he can beat a 2-time champ. Lastly, Meg has just proven that she can beat a 2-time champ slayer. So the field looks pretty evenly matched. All of these players average over 8.00 PPH. Christmas is emerging as the favorite leading in PPG at 97.60. But how can one say she is the favorite with an online champion still in the mix. The champ, Jill has the most experience in NNA online Nertz tournament history with 80 hands played. She has play in every round that the NNA tournament system has every had. However, there is another stat to factor in here. Aaron and Jill are the only ones to ever beat the 2-time champ Sara who still averages over 100 PPG. To counterpoint, Meg leads the finalists in the Nertz Calls/Hands Played ratio with 3.6. Christmas is the only finalist with a winning game record at 3-2.
Jill beat both Meg and Christmas in the semis of the Summer Classic.

It seems anyway you slice it, a case can be made for each of these finalists. The Nertz world looks forward to the Final match and the players look forward to their chance to obtain the title of "Online Nertz Champion". There are also additional spoils for the victor as if these players need extra incentive. The winner of this match will receive a "Nertz Champion" Hoodie from The Nertz Store and a copy of Nerts High Speed Card Game, compliments of Ronnander Games.

Get ready Nertz fans.... it is about to be ON.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Amazing 1st Round Stunner; 2 -Time Champ Eliminated!

United States - The speed of tonight's NNA first round tournament was truly a site to be witnessed. A bracket players Sara Paseka, Meg Holko, Aaron Whitcomb, and Shanan Westover Osinski all arrived on time and quickly got down to business. A crowd of NNA members followed them as they took a seat at the Nertz table. Among the crowd was the two players that were to play the winners of tonight's match, Nate Nelson and Lacey Donaho. Also, in attendance was Meg's sister, Mallory Holko, who was there to cheer Meg on. Mallory had also played in the first round D bracket match in this tournament.

A Bracket Box Score>>>
Tournament Bracket and Stat Tracker>>>

The game didn't disappoint the crowd either. The 2-time champ started the game off with a 20 point Nertz but was followed by Aaron who received 12. Meg and Shanan were set and started out in the negatives.

In Hand #2, it was Aaron who called Nertz taking the lead but it was Meg who actually won the hand with 21 points. Sara had been set this hand and drop back down 10 points. Fighting from the bottom spot, Shanan made a full table set with a Nertz call in hand #3, totally leveling the playing field. Hand #4 solely belonged to Sara when she called a 22 point Nertz. This put her back in 2nd place for the moment.

Aaron started making a move in the 5th hand with a Nertz giving him 51 points total. He had separated himself from the pack, leading all players by at least 26 points. He did more of the same in hand #6 with a Nertz call and then led by 43.

It seemed that Aaron had this game locked up, but 2-time champ, Sara, had been in situation before and knew that the game was not over until it is over. After gaining very little ground in the seventh due to a big 20-point Nertz from Meg, Sara then struck back with a 25-point Nertz of her own in hand #8. Sara was still in second place with 61. Aaron had endured a couple of opponent Nertz calls and made it to 91. Sara was now focused on simply advancing, being 30 points away. If Sara did advance with a second place finish she could try for revenge in the next round.

The problem with that was that Meg, also, at this point, was looking to advance and with a 18 point hand in the 9th, she narrowly surpassed the 2-time champ by a three point margin to secure her spot in the semifinals. Aaron called Nertz in the 9th and his 19 points secured his victory while impressing the spectators.

Aaron is the first newcomer to upset a champion. Furthermore, he is the first to eliminate the 2-time champion in any round of a tournament, excluding the finals.
His play was truly impressive, while Meg also was well deserving of her advancement.

This was another fantastic game to watch and if we an of these players in future tournaments it will be a treat. We hope that they all play in another one.

Sara Paseka's amazing run was stopped in the last tournament final by Jill. Despite that loss, Sara still managed 100 points in that match and has never scored below 100 in any of her online tournament matches until tonight. Though, now she is on a 2 game skid, her dominance may not be lost. We have seen what she is capable of and wouldn't doubt if she snagged another tournament victory in the near future. Sara did mention that she had just got off of work and ran straight to the game, so fatigue may have been a factor in her loss.

However, give credit where credit is due, Aaron and Meg played a great game. As for now, we will see Aaron Whitcomb and Meg Holko go on the face Nate Nelson and Lacey Donaho in the AC semifinal.

A Look at the Semis

6 tournament veterans have made it to the Semis. Out of the 2 newcomers, only one has beaten, not just one, but two veterans in the first round. 3 of the eight semifinalists are males and no male to date has won an online Nertz tournament. Incidentally, two of the 3 males are named "Aaron"..Go figure.

As of now, here is a look at the current semi final game times:

AC Bracket Match: Monday, August 10th at 7:30 p.m. CST
BD Bracket Match: Tuesday, August 11th at 7:30 .p.m. CST

Get ready for some quality Nertz action!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2 Tough 10-Hand Matches, Destination: Semi's

United States - Tournament veterans Nate and Lacey and newcomer Kara Leigh Bartkus went 10 rounds in tonight's first NNA match. Kara was a last minute replacement for Cylan Shaffer who was not able to make the 6:30 game time. Kara fought hard against the vets but ran into some minor computer problems throughout the match. She did manage to call Nertz twice but fell short of advancing, placing 3rd. The fourth designated player Carlos Adam Miner Jr. had confirmed his game time but failed to arrive, so a computer played in his sted.

C Bracket Box Score>>>
Tournament Bracket and Stat Tracker>>>

Lacey led the number of Nertz calls this game with 5. But Nate showed his resilience and came away with the victory finishing with 110 points. Lacey was not far behind with 96. She led for the first 5 hands of the match and Nerted 3 of those first 5. Nate had a big full table set in the 5th and then immediately followed it with a 21 point Nertz in the 6th to take the lead. Lacey took the lead right back in the 7th, but Nate's large 28-point Nertz call in the 8th all but sealed the deal. Nate was only set once the entire game. It was in the 1st hand and only for -5 points. Lacey was set only twice but for only -1 point each time.

Nate and Lacey advance to the AC Semifinals match. They await the winners of the A bracket which will be played Wednesday the 5th at 7:30 p.m. CST. The 2-time champ Sara Paseka is in the A bracket group, along with veteran Meg Holko, and newcomers Aaron Whitcomb and Shanan Westover Osinski. They all have confirmed this match so it should be a full table.

Match #2 of the Night All four players in this 1st round match were chompin' at the bit to start playing. They had all confirmed this match quickly as it was the first of the four brackets to do so collectively. Christmas Wishart, Natasha Rene Stafford, Mallory Holko, and Ben Bowman fought it out for 10 hands like the players in the first match of the night.

D Bracket Box Score>>>

This game started rather oddly. The first hand was almost an Idled game. This is where all four players have no plays to make. Usually in live games you would "burn a card"(change the order of your stream) so that the order of cards becomes different which would spawn new plays. Well in Solitaire Race, when there is an Idled Game, a short timer is displayed and when it runs out, the game ends even if nobody has Nerted. If you make a play when the timer is displayed, then it goes away. So, in the very first hand of this match, the timer appeared when the hand was almost at a stand still. Mallory saved the hand from ending without a Nertz call by making a play thus making the timer disappear. She also called Nertz a few moments later, though she did not win the hand. Christmas won it with a 27-point non-Nertz.

If that weren't weird enough, the very next hand actually did end without anyone calling a Nertz. Natasha won the hand with a -4 hand score when the entire table was set. Christmas received a -24 point hand score erasing her big first hand, but still maintained the lead after 2 hands. It gets weirder, so bare with me because it is hard to explain.

Natasha took the lead in the 3rd with a 17 point Nertz. Then in the 4th, Natasha again called Nertz but Christmas actually won the hand with 18 points. This happened again in the 5th, with Natasha calling Nertz, and Christmas scoring more points than her. Only this time the top hand score was shared by both Ben and Christmas at 18 points.

Mallory surprised her competition with a 19-point Nertz in the 6th. It may not have been a large Nertz but the differential was substantial. The combined difference between her hand score and her opponent's hand scores was 49 points.

The next hand, Christmas separated herself from the pack calling Nertz and obtaining a game score of 72. At that moment, the closest player to her was Natasha with 41. Natasha then called Nertz in the 8th hand scoring 27 points, but Christmas scored 26 points that hand. This brought Christmas's game total to 98. The only thing that could stop her was a set. The set did come in the 9th hand when Mallory called her third Nertz. Though this only set Christmas back 3 points, and in the 10th she closed it out with a 23-point Nertz. Christmas finished with 118 points and advanced to the BD semifinal match. Natasha also advanced finishing in second place with 68.

So far the all of the tournament veterans have advanced. Only one semifinalist so far is a newcomer. It seems experience breeds excellence and the current field of semifinalist has 217 hands played between them. The BD semifinal looks almost the same as the last BD semi, only replacing Meg with Natasha. However, Meg is still in the tournament and is awaiting her 1st round match in the A bracket.

The NNA wanted to send out a special thanks to everyone who has contributed to this year's NNA online tournament system...especially the participants. It would benefit the Nertz playing community if we continue to see these players in these NNA online Nertz tournaments.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cakewalk for the Summer Classic Champ

United States - After postponing the A Bracket 1st Round Monday night, the NNA had held its B Bracket 1st round match-up as scheduled. Veterans Jill Younker-Sny and Aaron Bartholomew both advanced easily as they were the only human players to sit at the table. The two other computer opponents did not go out without a fight though. One of them managed to call a Nertz against the humans. Jamie Deibel and Sue Daugherty were supposed to play in this match but did not make it. They also were the only two out of 16 players not to reply to their game time messages.

B Bracket Box Score>>>
Tournament Bracket and Stat Tracker>>>

It is a shame that they didn't, because they had a shot at the champ in the first round. Though, who is to say that the scores would have been different? Jill finished with 106 points as she closed out her 7-handed first round match with a victory. Aaron wasn't far behind with 73 points.

With this victory Jill raised her PPG average. She has continued to raise it over the last 3 to 4 matches.

More Flexibility?

To help with game time confirmations, the NNA has put a chat room at the bottom of the "Online Tournament" page. They would like players to use it to inform their opponents if they can or can't make a match time. It is also a good place to meet before a the case that a different room destination will be given.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Something New...

At almost 1500 NNA associates, stories of Nertz players and epic Nertz games are presented to the NNA board from time to time. To show appreciation to our members, fans, and followers, we thought it might be fun to post some of your stories or special player acknowledgments in our NNA News blog.

We are thinking that every month or so, we could write an article about a Nertz event or Nertz player with the information you submit to us. You can write an article and send it in for consideration as well. However, if you don't feel you would be able to write a Nertz article but still would like to submit some information, we would be happy to write about it for you and post it here.

A "Nertz Game of the Month" or "Nertz Player of the Month" article would be written featuring information on specific Nertz event or player. All one would have to do to submit an article idea would be to email and tell us a little about the event or player that you would like to see get recognition.

We love hearing all kinds of Nertz stories. Even if you don't think you have a Nertz story with enough content for an article, send it anyway. We love feedback.