For the past few years, the month of December has been “trivia tournament month.”
In 2016, my team qualified for two different trivia tournaments ON THE SAME DAY!
So what did I do? Skip one of the tournaments? Heavens, no! I found a group of players to serve as “stunt doubles” for my team in one league (Sporcle Live), and we played normally as ourselves in the other league (My Trivia Live). The “stunt doubles” did pretty well (way better than we would’ve done)! Playing under our name, they wound up finishing with a $750 prize, and we kept $150 of that for us. To this day, I still maintain pretty good relations with the players who played “as” us! Two of them have since become new parents, one of them has gotten a job with Yale University, and one of those players helped us qualify in a summer tournament in 2017 after I had a player bail at the last minute.
I know there are recaps out there of that game, but we didn’t play that game (I managed to stop by to congratulate our “stunt doubles” for winning a cash prize after our MTL semifinal game). And also (ahem) to make sure they didn’t take ALL of the money and run off with it! 🙂 They’re super good people and I’m certain they wouldn’t have done that…but I was still too insanely curious to have NOT shown up at this game even if only to hear the winners!
While we played as ourselves at Maplewood Lanes in a MTL semifinal game, we didn’t do TOO badly either! We managed to advance out of the MTL semifinals at the same time our stunt doubles were playing for us. You can read more about the semifinal game here: https://wordpress.com/post/hebontheweb.blog/1654
We finished in the top 10 (sixth place to be exact) at our first MTL tournament for which we’d qualified on our own at the ROC Bar in Plymouth (I’m not counting that MTL finals we got to play a few months earlier because someone had a spot they didn’t need to use and they very kindly gave the spot to me). A snowstorm started churning right around when the tournament ended, so we had to drive home in some crap. You can read more about that game here: https://hebontheweb.blog/2017/01/05/trivia-recap-dec-10-2016-my-trivia-live-finals-tournament/
The following December (2017), we would play in a Sporcle Live finals in East Lansing, MI, you can read more about that game here: https://hebontheweb.blog/2017/12/03/trivia-recap-dec-2-2017-sporcle-live-league-championship-the-riv-east-lansing/
That was NOT a fun drive! It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get there (thankfully no inclement weather). Once we got there, the automated parking structure didn’t want to let us park, the bar we played in was so crowded I was worried what would happen if a fire broke out…as for the game, we finished in the top 20 overall, so (bummer) no prizes again. They didn’t even have enough staff to do table service when we first arrived, so I ordered two shots of vodka at the bar. Later, we would have table service.
On December 1, 2018, I managed to assemble a team to play in a tournament we barely even tried to qualify for (we played the bare minimum number of games at a new trivia spot so voila, we got to go to a tournament)! We played at Ashley’s in Westland, which one of my teammates’ GPS mistook for the Ashley’s Home Store (which is also in Westland). Thankfully, I got him on the phone and we straightened it all out in time for him to arrive on time!
We finished in the top 10 and got the final question right about streaming music! Hey, that’s pretty exciting for a team like ours…You can read more about that game here: https://wordpress.com/post/hebontheweb.blog/14041
In December, 2018, my team didn’t qualify to play in any MTL tournaments. So just for “fun,” I played by myself in a semifinal game at Bobby McShane’s in Sumpter Township, though…I didn’t exactly end up playing by myself! Turns out another trivia player of my acquaintance SHOWED UP TO DO THE SAME THING! So, we wound up kind of “huddling” on the questions. You can read more about that game here: https://wordpress.com/post/hebontheweb.blog/14188
How did we do? Pretty good! We missed the final, but did pretty well on the other questions! This player and I had only played together in a game once before, so this was an interesting way to see how we matched up “head to head!” We filled in each other’s knowledge gaps quite well, as I recall. Though he was a bit aghast that I didn’t know the Detroit Tigers question! Some dude who embezzled money and wound up working at a meat packing plant or something? Danny? Was it Denny McClain? I honestly don’t remember… (I’ll bet HE remembers)!
A week later, I would play in the finals, thanks to a friend of mine finding a two-person team who “auto qualified” for a tournament through barhop (they played enough times to finish in the top 10 so they bypassed semifinals). She asked if we’d join them, and we said “Of course!” So it was like a trivia “blind date!” My husband and I hooked up with them at their finals game, but nope, no prizes, except a “consolation” prize. Only one team wound up getting the final question correct, so we got some M&M candies as a prize. I won’t complain about that! You can read more about that game here: https://wordpress.com/post/hebontheweb.blog/14385
Last year, in 2019, my team qualified for a semifinals game with the MTL league after having only played a few games in a new spot. Funny, we did the same thing the year before with the same trivia spot (Tower Inn, Ypsilanti), only the trivia leagues switched from Sporcle Live to My Trivia Live. So, this was a huge “deja vu” feeling, for sure! I don’t feel a bit bad about it considering how hard my trivia team worked to qualify for tournaments over the past several years! All of that said… We “borrowed” a player from a rival team, and he helped us not only advance to finals, but also helped us win money in the finals! We don’t win money in too many MTL finals (this was the only second time we managed to do that). We wound up in a tiebreaker that I didn’t even know was important, and then we found out we finished in third (ooh the money zone)! My husband was SO sure we wouldn’t place that he went out to warm up the car! So I had to go fetch him from the car and tell him we won money! You can read more about that game here: https://wordpress.com/post/hebontheweb.blog/26156
The tiebreaker question was about Harley Davidson motorcycles, and for reasons I still can’t explain, I managed to pull the closest dollar amount to the correct dollar amount from MY ASS! I am not knowledgeable AT ALL about motorcycles! My only thinking was “It probably costs about as much as a decent used car.” They wanted to know the base price of a Harley “street rod” or something to that effect.
I chalked all of that up to a deceased friend of ours (Archie) giving me a “lifeline” from beyond the grave. I kind of felt like he was there in spirit (interestingly enough, he actually played at a tournament in that same trivia spot – the Library Bar in Novi – the year before). I honestly have no other explanation for how I could’ve come up with that dollar amount and so many other teams went too high. It felt like we really put his soul to rest with all of this!
And alas, that was the last trivia tournament we played before the world went kaboom with COVID. As of now, I have no idea if we’ll ever get back to playing trivia games in bars again. Though I’m not going to say it won’t happen!