A sickness here, a cross country business trip there, and the end result was a small (but interesting) group of 6. The question: "how will we accommodate playing with just 6?", was quickly solved as Debbie and Toni were voted out, reality TV-style and banished to being food and beverage servers for the final 4.
Who were the final 4 and how would they decide the champion?, was the next mountain to climb. (Note: I am pretty sure that is not the correct sentence structure above but it is a stupid blog, not a college entrance essay, right?). Former champs Cindy, Beth, Mark and Dan argued relentlessly on what combo of games and or mathematical formulas would be used to determine hearts supremacy. Mark, using his home court advantage, as well as his mastery of math, tossed out so many complicated formulas the 3 remaining competitors finally gave in. I think one suggestion involved the Pythagorean theorem as well as Pi. The final verdict?....play 2 games, total the scores and the lowest cumulative score wins.
Dan used the Chicago Cubs strategy.....dominate the regular season (the 1st game) and fade badly in the playoffs (game 2). Mark, knowing the odds makers give home court advantage at least 20 points, calmly approached the night much like last year's Super Bowl champs Giants. Plod along in game one giving no one any reason to suspect you are a contender, then turn it on at the right time and take home the trophy. Congratulations Mark on win number 11.