Boerum Hill/ Gowanus

Connect Four tourney, Round 3: Bittersweet, one week ’til a champ is born

The author two weeks ago. How far she's fallen.  Photo by Eric Reichbaum
The author two weeks ago. How far she's fallen. Photo by Eric Reichbaum

Listen, I lost. I lost pretty bad. Not only did I lose in the competition, but also in the practice round and in the “fun” rounds after. But… Amber won!  Remember her from rounds one and two? Amber won, and my partner, Rob—he was a sweetie.

I arrived at Bell House and went up to the podium to pay my $3 and get placed with my randomly-selected defeater opponent. This week, though, the registration chick kind of just said, “play whoever you want.” I took out my wallet, and the bartender, Mitch, said “you shouldn’t even waste your money.” “Why? Are there no more singles?” I asked. “No,” Mitch replied. “I just remember you. You keep losing, right?” The evening was starting out just great.

Amber won, ever-humbly beating her husband, Robert.
Amber won, ever-humbly beating her husband, Robert.

So I paid, and I waited. Then I spotted Amber. She and her husband Robert had just played each other. Back in week one, they had decided this was a bad idea, but this week, I think they just shrugged to each other and said, “let’s go.” Amber won. She had dealt with her defeats, worked to better her game (thank you, online Connect Four), and it paid off.

Two friendly ladies, Chelsea Goodnight (Manhattan) and Amy Stetzel (Queens) showed up together, but they debated if they should play each other—for that would mean only ONE would make it to the championship next week. They played, on the condition that the victor, should she go on to win it all, would buy a nice dinner for the two. Chelsea won, but friendly definitely was the word of the night.

Chelsea and Amy.  Post-game, still besties.
Chelsea and Amy. Post-game, still besties.

And friendly too was my eventual partner, Rob Schultz, of Manhattan, and of this web site (the NY version launches Thursday). Rob and his raspberry wheat beer were as sweet as they come. I knew I was doomed. Rob and I RPS‘ed to determine first-move, and I WON. I won, with a clean scissors slicing the shit out of his paper. And then he beat me in three quick games of C4. But it was like playing with a Disney movie grandpa; all about lessons and warmth. Before the last move of each game, Rob would kind of point with his eyes at the board and silently say “are you sure you don’t see it, Beth?” And I wouldn’t! Turns out I’m. Not. Good. At. This. Game.

My opponent, Rob, trying to act as though he's not sure who's going to win.
My opponent, Rob, trying to act like he's not sure who's going to win.

But Rob did pass along a trick or two, which I can’t reveal, because he’s playing for the big one next week. I’m rooting for him, right after Amber. The competition will be fierce, though, with all the bigwigs (winners from rounds one, two and three) there, and without little old me providing the easy win. I’ll be there, of course—to witness, cheer and distract—things I know I can win at.

After Mitch the bartender saw that I lost, again, he gave me a beer on the house. A pity drink? Out of principle, I declined was forced to accept—Brokelyn rules of conduct, you know. ‘Til next week, then, for the crowning of Brooklyn’s Connect Four king.


  1. There has not been, in the history of the world, a worse photo taken of me. Victory was sweet, even if I had to beat my sweetie to get it.

    Rob is an excellent player, and I hope I get to semi-final with him next week. After you left we talked the bartender into letting us break out the big board and play a few rounds in teams of two.

    I am SO ready for Tuesday.

    Bring. It. On.

Leave a Reply