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World RPS Championships 2003

October 15th, 2003, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Woof. Well, we said we were going to go again and we did! The World Rock-Paper-Scissors Championships in Toronto organized by the World RPS Society They were giving away over $7500 (Canadian) in prizes!

Last year, Ben and Ton made the trip themselves, so this year it was Kennyb's turn to make the trip.

While we were still representing Team All Too Flat, we decided to also show some solidarity with the USA. Figured that would be a great way to attract some media as well.

The whole ordeal was set up nicer than last year. Last year the tournament was in a large bar. This year they got a huge venue with 3 bars. Go Canada! There were like 20 Arena set up with referees and everything.

Check it! I got number 23 yup yup yup Michael! How can you go wrong? 23 and rock - nothing beats that!

There were lots of teams this year. The teams created a nice environment. Most of them were in costume and has some sort of theme. This is a picture of the boisterous Team Slut.

The Legion of the Red Fist had the whole facist thing going, which turned out to work pretty well for them (hint, hint).

But clearly there is no better team than All Too Flat, shown here with a whole mess of hot women. As they say, RPS is half about the money, half about the glory, and half about the girls!

Oh yeah- it's also about the media. There was a HUGE media presence. CBC, Rolling Stone, Today Show, an independent documentary, etc. A nice girl studying journalism at Columbia followed kennyb and I throughout the evening. This is kennyb telling her all sorts of juicy lies.

Here's Ben after his first round victory. That thing on his neck means he's movin' on!

Here's Kennyb after his first round defeat. That thing that's not on his neck means he's not going anywhere. It's a bummer man! For real though: This RPS stuff is really hard. Most people don't take it too seriously, but when you get up there to compete at this level, some of these cats are really stinkin' good!

Well, now that the our first round was done, we had some time to take some more pictures. Here's a couple of other first round competitions.

And hey, let's be honest. What kind of ATF adventure would be complete without the requisite GGW photo op! These ladies were from team Beaurocrat. More on that later.

Another funny thing they had going was the Miss RPS 2003 tournament in which lovely ladies would RPS on stage competing for the illustrious title and tiara. Rock smashes paper!

Here's a picture of the UK Team that stole quite a bit of our international thunder. I mean, they were from the UK and they did have full body jump suits on... Anyway, we took a moment for a nice photo op showing the US-UK solidarity. Say what you will about the current state of our nation, but Bush would paper Blair's rock 2 times out of 3! Slam!

How's this for sweet? There was a dude giving hand massages for the athletes. This is Ben in between his first and second rounds getting loosened up.

Kennyb spent that time giving the finger to the bastard who cut his paper.

This is Ben on stage getting interviewed by the MC. He was a Shakespearean actor of sorts with the most amazing booming voice. Anyway, he asked a bunch of questions and I gave a bunch of dumb answers.

Actually, this would be a good time to explain Team ATF's strategy this year. See, it goes like this:

Almost everyone who plays Rock-Paper-Scissors immediately goes on the offensive. They always try to beat their opponent as quickly as possible. Herein lies a major flaw: There is only one throw you can make to beat your opponent. If she throws paper, the only way to win is with scissors.

But think of this: defense! If you are playing defensively, you have two throws you can make to successfully defend yourself. If your opponent throw rock, you can throw rock or paper and still defend yourself! You double your chances this way! So the trick is to simply throw very conservatively. Play defense and let your opponent make a mistake. Brilliant!

Now this is cool. Throughout the evening there were huge projector screen showing RPS propaganda as well as pictures from last year's tournament. We looked up and lo and behold! There was Team ATF 2002 on the big screen. Sweet.

Anyway, back to the Rock-Paper-Scissors. This is Ben at the beginning of the next round. What a bad ass! Look at that intensity! Ben took the first round pretty easily, but then the other guy took the second. It came down to the last round.

At this point he tried to get the crown going in a clapping cheer. It kind of worked. If we're going to be playing in their home court, we might as well try and garner a little support. Unfortunately he took it a little too far, calling his shot like Babe Ruth. Evidently that doesn't work so well in RPS. Ben showed the crowd scissors right before the play. The other guy threw rock. It sucked.

Thus ended our chances of bringing the Cup back to NYC. What a shame. There's actually a nice write-up of what went wrong on the Associated Press Wire (USA Today (PDF)).

Here's a colsolation picture with Luke Frasier. Glad to give him a presence on the internet.

This hilarious team called themselves The Beaurocrats, named after the gambit which constists of 3 stright papers. It's the perfect defense to stop an avalanche.
So these guys all dressed up in business attire with nerd glasses and preached about the power of paper. "Paper is the new rock." Ha!

Check out the media presence here. Look at all those boom mikes! This is Master Roshambola in an early round match.

Sorry to be so self-referential, but this picture rocks (no pun intended). Mom, if you right-click on it, you can make this your wallpaper :)

An attempt at being artsy - I left the shutter open for a while to capture the throwing motion. People actually watch slow motion videos of things like this. At the late rounds, it's crucial to know how your opponent throws. For example, does their prime give away anything about the throw? Do they release early when they're nervous? These things can give the adept player a HUGE edge.

This is an awful picture of Graham and Doug, the brothers who brought RPS to the mainstream on the Internet and were responsible for putting this event together. A big ATF shout out to these guys!

The following collection of pictures is pretty cool. I tried to get pictures of as many original RPS shirts as I could. While WorldRPS sells some pretty amazing designs, it's cool to see grassroots t-shirt designs. Check 'em out.





Here is a picture from the final match, with a dude from Legion of the Red Fist throwing paper, which covers rock every time!

And here's the true face of victory! HUGE!

On the other hand, what kind of trip from Toronto to NYC would be complete without a stop in Rochester for visit to Wegmans!!

Now this is the true face of victory!

While we might have embarrassed ourselves, our website, and possibly our country, and we didn't win $7500 Canadian, and we didn't score any Canadian chicks (who I hear like it from behind so both partners can watch hockey), and Yahoo news might have taken down the article about us, I defintely consider the 2 good looking guys with Wegman's Subs the big winners here!

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