The 2017 Australian Open was held over the weekend of the 11th and 12th of November at the Persian Rose Restaurant, sponsored by the Australian Backgammon Federation(ABF).
The format was a Double Elimination with 27 players competing. Competitors travelled from Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and New Zealand making it a truly representative Australian Open. The 2015 & 2016 defending champ Grant Hoffman from New Zealand travelled in the hope of being the only person to have won three years in a row.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Double Elimination format, a player has to lose twice before they are knocked out of the tournament. The first loss sends them to the losers bracket where they cannot lose another match in order to stay alive. The winner of the losers bracket plays the winner of the undefeated bracket and has to beat that player twice in order to win the whole thing. (Because the winner of the undefeated bracket has not lost his first match at that point).
In the first round of the competition Ian Dunstan lost to Gerhardt Macor, and as fate would dictate these two would meet up again in the finals. Ian won his way through to the finals in the defeated bracket while Gerhardt went through undefeated to the finals in the top bracket. The matches were 11 pointers. Ian eventually won both of these and claimed his third Australian Open title. I watched both these matches and both players gave it their all. Just getting to the finals is a feat in itself. I congratulate both Ian and Gerhardt for putting on a fine and exciting fight in the Quest to become the 2017 Aussie champ.
Special thanks are in order to those that worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event a success. Taeed Athari, an ongoing supporter of Australian Backgammon, generously offered his restaurant free of charge for the competition and donated 10% of all food and drink sales to be added to the prize money.
Thanks to Sharne Roxby and Greg Ash who ran the front desk and ensured the Open ran smoothly. And lastly a very big thanks to the ABF. This organisation is run by volunteers who devote their time and effort to provide an environment where the game may grow and bring joy to those who love it. The ABF donated $100 to the Tournament in the form of two $50 lucky door prizes. Finally, thanks to Zvi Bendavid for donating the trophies for the tournament.
Lastly a big thank you to all participants who supported this event, all the feedback from players was very positive. Everyone had a great time (regardless of the dice gods) and this makes the Tournament a great success. Look forward to seeing you all next year.
The Australian Backgammon Federations’s Australian Open Results
The prize money breakdown is as follows:
27 entrants, $120 entry fee.
Champion: Ian Dunstan
2nd place: Gerhardt Macor
3rd place: Simon Ustich
4th place: Hossein Haydari Ahwazi
1st prize: $1600
2nd prize: $800
3rd/4th prize: $400 each
Additional bonus prize of $75 donated by Persian Rose Restaurant
Trophies for 1st and 2nd place donated by Zvi Bendavid
Tournament Director: Mick Dyett