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Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter - Pitcher in Logo

Vol. IV, Issue #1 - January 2016

** The Strat Tournament Players Club's
Worlds Tournament, Pittsburgh, PA
Interview with Champ, Pete Nelson

(The Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter Interviews the 2016 Champion of
the Strat Tournament Players Club World Champion, Pete Nelson)

Comments from the Wolfman:  As our readers know, we also cover when we can the different type of Strat-o-matic Baseball Tournaments that are held, including both face-to-face tournaments and on-line tournaments.  The longest standing tournaments are held by a group called the Strat Tournament Players Club {STPC}, formerly known as the Star Tournaments.  They hold various face-to-face and on-line tournaments throughout the year,  broken down into various geographic regions and two version of on-line play.  In January of each year, they conduct what is known as their Grand Finale tournament known as the "Worlds", where their members meet to crown a yearly champion.  We have been fortunate to be able to interview the Worlds' champion since 2013, and for their 2016 championship, our good friend Pete Nelson was the champion again, this is his fourth time, the first player to do so in the 20 years of these tournaments.  We have a good relationship with various members of this club and they also have us listed on their website.  The past two years, the Worlds were held in Las Vegas, but this year they decided to hold this tournament in Pittsburgh.  So please find below our interview with Mr. Pete Nelson)

Interview with Pete Nelson
(2016 STPC Worlds Champion)

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, Logo for the Strat Tournament Players Club

As our readers will remember, from time to time we cover the Strat Tournament Players Club (formerly known as the Star Tournaments) which is one of the most intense and challenging tournaments for the SOM Baseball game which exists. Since we have started our newsletter in 2013, we have been able to interview the gamer who has won their supreme tournament which they call the "Worlds".

We once again have the privilege to interview their new Champion at the Worlds Tournament which was held in Pittsburgh the weekend of January 15-17.  It turns out we will have another conversation with a former champ. We interviewed Mr. Pete Nelson, from Renton, WA., after he won the Worlds in 2014.

Pete, congratulations again for being the 2016 Worlds Champion - you must have magic at these tournaments. Welcome back to the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter.

Pete: Thanks, Wolfman. Itís always a pleasure to talk with you. We have to get you to come down with me to the Portland Tournament this year.

Wolfman:  So Pete, tell us about the Worlds this year - how many contestants were there and who were some of the well known players who came to this year's worlds?

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, Photo of Pete Nelson, 2016 STPC Worlds Champaign, Advisor to the STPC CouncilPete:  We had 55 players this year from all over the US and Canada. That included last yearís champion (Sean Riley), two-time champion Stan Suderman (known as The Legend), two-time champion Mark Giddings, National Points Champion Jim Gary, former champion Willy Dominguez and other great players who have played more than 1000 tournament games over the years with lifetime win percentages above 54% like Ben Swoboda, Mick VanValkenburg, Errol Dennis and Mike Meszaros.

Wolfman:  What was the format of the Worlds this year?

a) tell us what card set was used and how the draft was done.

Pete: We always use the current card set. The Worlds caps the 2015 season so itís the last time weíll use the 2014 set. We do a serpentine draft where we each draft 25 players and a ballpark.

b) how many divisions were there?  Pete: Six divisions.

c) how many games did you play to qualify for the playoffs? Pete: 32

d) how many rounds to the playoffs were there, how many qualified and how did they qualify?

Pete: Each of the six divisions played a full round robin schedule where they played everyone in their division (4-game series). The draft took place on Friday morning followed by four 4-game series. On Saturday, the Round Robin concluded with five 4-game series. Everyone had a bye in there somewhere because of the odd number of teams in the division. The top two teams from each division were seeded into the round of 16 play-offs that happened on Sunday. The six third-place teams played a series of one-game play-offs to determine the four 3rd-place teams that advanced to the play-offs. Anyone who didnít make the play-offs could play in an optional consolation tournament on Sunday. The first two rounds of the play-offs were 5-game series and the last two rounds of the play-offs were 7-game series.

Wolfman:  What about the rules that were used? Does STPC use any different rules than in the game itself?

Pete:  We play with SOM Super Advanced rules with some modifications for tournament play. All of our rules are documented on our website.

Wolfman:  What type of team did you draft? Who were your key players?

Pete:  I drafted a pitcherís park team (odd for me as about 90% of the time I go hitterís park). My first three picks were Stanton, Harrison and Sale and all came up big. I had a good pen (Miller, Chapman, Betances were key) and solid defense (Freeman, Kinsler, Alexi Ramirez, Harrison, Gordon, Lagares, Stanton).

Wolfman:  Was this team similar to the team you had as the champ of the Worlds two years ago?

Pete:  No, I had a hitterís park team in 2014, better starting pitching and an average pen. The only similarity was good defense.

Wolfman:  Pete could you share which ballpark you selected and the full roster of your team?

Pete:  My park was San Francisco where homers are 1 (both left and right) and singles are 10 & 4 (left and right).

Here's my team:

CA - Jaso,  Norris

1B - Freeman, Ortiz, Morse
2B - Kinsler, Espinosa
3B - Harrison, D. Wright
SS - Alexi Ramirez

LF - Gordon, R.Davis
CF - Lagares, Pagan
RF - Stanton

Rotation was: Sale, Iwakuma, Teheran, Roark

Pen was: A. Miller, Betances, Chapman, Broxton, Shaw, Gregerson

(Wolfman's comments - so we can clearly see other than Stanton this team was built as Pete said for small ball, with defense and a super strong bullpen ... )

Wolfman:  Was there at any moment during the tournament when your chance to make the playoffs was threatened? What was your record before the playoffs and during the playoffs. What about in the playoffs did you breeze through or was there a tough series?

Pete:  Well, I got off to a terrible start winning only one of my first 5 games and scoring only 1 run in my first three games. After that, I got hot and stayed hot. I won my division with a 24-12 record and my good fortune continued through the play-offs winning series 3-0, 3-1, 4-2 and 4-1.

(Note: we thank Dave Hegg, one of the participants of the 2016 Worlds for sharing
sharing this video with us and giving us permission to place it on our Youtube Channel!!)


  What was the keys to your success this year? Which of the players of your team were the keys to your success?

Pete:  One success key was that the players in my division were excellent players but they tended to win with different players than the players that I like. So, I was able to get the guys I wanted during the draft. Stanton was my MVP hitting 18 homers in 50 games. I went with a Pitcherís Park (San Francisco, homers are 1 left and right).

Wolfman:  What is your official role with STPC Now?

Pete:  I am an advisor to the STPC Council. I also keep the website updated. The Council also appointed me and Gene Abood to be co-tournament directors for the Worlds. Thereís a tremendous amount of work associated with planning and running an event like this.

Wolfman:  Can you tell briefly what type of tournaments will be offered for 2016? I saw on your website from 2015, almost 100 players listed who participated in at least one tournament? How many people normally participate in your tournaments during a year.

When you include the NetPlay Region and people who only played one tournament (not necessarily listed on the website), we had 125 different people play in our tournaments last season. And thatís about what weíve been getting the last several years. We had one guy play in the Worlds in Pittsburgh who had never played in a tournament before. However, he was an experienced player and, as it turns out, a very good player. He made the play-offs! I say this because there are a lot of players out there who are very good but are a little bit intimidated by tournaments but find out that they can compete once they give it a try.

Wolfman:  You have both face-to-face tournaments and on-line tournaments is this correct?

Pete:  Yes, FTF tournaments are held in cities within four regions (EAST, South, West and Jasper [MidWest]). These are weekend events and some have Friday-night drafts or online drafts beforehand while others do a live draft on Saturday morning. In these events, you play 20-28 regular season games followed by the play-offs. We also have two forms of online tournaments. The PureStrat Region has monthly tournaments where you draft your team over Skype and play full round-robin within your division followed by the play-offs. The games are played using the SOM cards, a web dice roller and Skype for communication. The other online option is with our NetPlay region. Here, the SOM Computer game is used with the NetPlay option. As with PureStrat, they have monthly tournaments with full round-robin schedules and people are expected to schedule and play 2-3 series per week.

Wolfman:  Where can people find out more about STPC?

Pete:  Our website is http://www.strattpc.com/

Weíre in the process of updating the website for the coming season but thatís the best place to start. The schedule for the upcoming season will be posted soon. Also, look for our Flyer when it comes with your cards or computer game.

Wolfman:  What advice do you have for our members if they should decide to join one of your tournaments this year?

Pete:  Just relax and enjoy yourself. Itís easy to be overwhelmed by the rules but 99% of it is just playing Strat with other SOM fanatics who will help you learn the ropes.

Wolfman:  Thank you Pete for sharing with us once again, it is always a pleasure to hear from you - one of the key individuals who has kept this tournament going for nearly 20 years, yes?

Pete:  Thank You, Wolfman. Yes, I was talking with Stan Suderman before the Worlds and we realized that the Pittsburgh Worlds was going to be our 20th anniversary.

NOTES from the Wolfman: I asked Pete if we could add to our newsletter for this year a special section which gives an update and news about what is happening in the world of STPC and he has agreed so look in our future issues for such.  Also I strongly recommend if you have never played in a STPC tournament, whether face-to-face or on-line to try it.  You learn alot about the game from the skilled players these tournaments attract.  Hopefully, depending on my free time I hope to partake of another one of the tournaments later this year - they will be resuming soon as the new 2015-based cards are released.  If you have any questions about STPC either go to their website or Pete can be contacted at: petenelson31@comcast.net


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Contained inside this exciting issue of Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter:
(to view the various interviews, articles, columns and special sections click on the links {underlined}
and this will take you to the appropriate webpage)


  ARTICLE by MARC PELLETIER, another well known and successful strat baseball gamer in the on-line version of the baseball game shares with us his system to evaluate positional players for the 20XX leagues on the newly renamed Baseball 365.

  STRAT WISE with MARC WASSERMAN -- commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) continues his column sharing various perspectives on the new and exciting new service SOM has announced called Baseball Daily (fully described in the SOM Baseball World News Page). Also speaks about the draft feature within the windows computer game version and about the USBN Youtube video channel.

  INTERVIEW with MATT EDDY, writer and editor at Baseball America, specializing in MLB Prospects plus discusses the league he plays in as well.

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, the "Wolfman" puts out a call to commissioners of various Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he has discovered on the internet and shares the stories and experiences from another baseball league (one he was investigating to possibly join). This is a continuation of a new section of our newsletter that will continue for the rest of this year, so if you would like to share about your baseball league in our newsletter, send Wolfman a private email.

INTERVIEW with ROB STRICKER, BIGS, P-V (Two Leagues, one is Netplay, one is Computer)


  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO , editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" shares with the complete details of all the new announcement Strat-o-matic made in January about the new products and services they are releasing ranging from the new Baseball Ratings Book (printed or digital) to the renaming and updating of the on-line game now called Baseball 365 to the new service called Baseball Daily to play the 2016 MLB Season to the new features in the 2016 version of the Windows Computer Game.

  ARTICLE by CHRIS McMURRY, What if you would like to change the ballpark images shown on
the three panels of the main screen of the windows game -- well Chris gives you the exact procedure how to do it.

  RECOMMEND ON-LINE SOM RESOURCES -- On-line Strat-o-matic and Baseball related websites
that offer amazing information, special tools and products to improve your game play that we strongly recommend. In most cases, we have had personal contact with these sources who agree with the principle to work together and help promote each other.

  BOOKS TO DIE FOR and Become a BASEBALL GURU -- This page is specifically about special books we are finding that either will expand your insights about the game of Baseball, help you in the creation of your current league teams or with your replays and learn more about the Strat-o-matic Baseball Game and Game Company's history.  We have a special arrangement with Acta Sports, who is a publisher of a number of great baseball books (including Bill James Handbooks) to offer for our members a 10% discount. We will continue to add more books to this page in the future as we uncover other gems our members should know about.


Contact Us for Questions or Submissions:

Wolfman Shapiro
Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

twitter: @StratBaseball4U

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