Top Ten Invitational Bracket

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Format: Round-Robin. Every player plays every other player. Players are responsible to pace their play to finish all nine of their matches within the tournament period. Players may optionally play a pair of games against an opponent (one as each side). Ties are scored as such (half of a win).

Tournament Period: Two Years (Beginning September 15th of odd-numbered years)
Current Tournament Period:  September 15th, 2023 - September 12th, 2025
Next Tournament Period: September 15th, 2025 - September 12th, 2027

Participants: Invitations will be extended to the Top 10. Ten invitations will be extended initially; additional invitations will be extended to bring the field to ten participants if any original invitee is unable to participate. All participants will have their names engraved on the traveling World Championship trophy. Participants may not simultaneously play in the BPA Single-Elimination Bracket but may also play in the King-of-the-Hill Ladder Bracket.

Next Top 10 (from 2017 onward): Guaranteed invitations will be extended as follows:

1) Top three finishers from the previous Top Ten Invitational Bracket

2) Champion of the Open King-of-the-Hill Ladder Bracket

3) Champion of the BPA Open Single Elimination Bracket

4) Reigning and prior World Champions from the World Boardgaming Championships

5) Reigning and prior Midwest Open Champions

6) Top AREA ranked player (as of Sept. 1st)

Considering the possibility of overlap between the categories, additional invitations are likely.  Additional invitations will be extended in the following order:

  1. King of the Hill -- the player in the Ladder bracket with the most wins (of those with at least two such wins) on the top board during the tournament period*
  2. Next highest AREA ranking (as of Sept. 1st) and so on (however, no invitation will be given to anyone ranked 16th or lower if accepted invitations is at least eight).

* In the event of a tie, this will be the player who last won a game on the top board of the ladder.

Seeding: Players are seeded by their initial AREA ratings.  While the seeding determines the order of matches, it really doesn't make any difference in the end since every player will face every other player.

Drop Outs: A player may drop out at the completion of any on-going matches. The player will be credited with an AREA loss for each incomplete or unstarted game while their current and future opponents will be credited with an AREA win. The results of games against a player who drops out will not be included in the final win-loss record unless the player completed every game with any opponent who finishes tied for third or better.

Pairings: Players will be given a complete list of pairings at the beginning of the round robin. Players may play as many matches simultaneously as they wish but should attempt to begin games in the order listed on the pairings. Players should copy the GM when offering to begin any game with any player (and the Allied player should notify the GM of the sides, bidding, and adjustments as soon as Turn One begins).

Schedule: At the start of the tournament, each round will be assigned start, clock, and end dates.  Round lengths are set with more time than is allocated for other tournament brackets to accommodate multiple games at once and/or participation in the ladder bracket.  Players are free to begin games before the scheduled dates but should begin no later than the scheduled date.  Players should report the results of their games by 6 pm Eastern on the end date.

Incomplete Games: No games will be adjudicated.  Once a player has used more than half of the final four months (starting on the Clock Date), the game will be awarded to his/her opponent (e.g., a player uses 61 days out of 121 in the clock period).  No one should expect any grace from his opponent that hasn't been freely stated in advance.  In the unlikely circumstance where each player has used exactly half of the clock period and failed to finish the game, both players will be credited with a tournament loss and an AREA draw.

Clock Time:  Time is measured in days beginning at midnight at the start of the Clock Date (using the earliest home time zone of the players).  At midnight every day thereafter (and at 6 pm Eastern on the End Date), the clock ticks once.  The used day is recorded as follows:  1) If only one player made a move, his/her opponent is counted as using the day.  2) If both players made one or more moves, each player uses one half-day.  3) If no player moved, the day is used by the player whose turn it is.  Record days when making a move if one or more midnights have occurred since the prior move, counting one total day per midnight.  A move is defined as any action that accomplishes one or more complete steps in the PBEM Sequence of Play.

For example, if Mike sends a move at 10 pm Eastern and John responds at 11 pm Mountain (1 am Eastern), then John is credited with using one day.  Mike responds later that day.  At midnight Eastern, both are credited with using a half-day.  The next day John moves, Mike moves, and John moves again.  Both are credited with using a half-day.  The next day, no one moves.  Mike is credited with using the day.

Please re-mail your move (with a copy to the GM) with a reminder if an opponent does not respond within 48 hours.  Lost email will count as a half-day for each player during the delay. After the GM receives a copy of a reminder, the reminded player uses the full clock until s/he moves. Please check your junk/spam folders every day.

Reporting: All players are requested to provide maps or complete text detail after the entire game is completed, together with a brief synopsis of results and the total score. This information will be published and made available to all VITP enthusiasts!

Ranking: The winner will be determined by the win-loss record.  The top three finishers automatically qualify to enter the next Top 10 Invitational!


  • Head-to-Head result
  • Combined Record of Defeated Opponents
  • Total Initial AREA rating of Defeated Opponents

Note: In a multi-way tie, as soon as one tie is broken, those remaining in the tie once again apply the tie-breakers in order.  For example, Daniel, Jim, and Ed are tied, each with a win and a loss against the other two.  The combined win record of defeated opponents is 17, 19, and 16 respectively.  Jim wins the tie.  Daniel and Ed's tie is then broken by their head-to-head result.

Trophy: The World Email Victory in the Pacific Champion will receive the "Top 10 PBEM VITP Invitational" Championship Plaque. In addition, the champion will retain the traveling trophy engraved with the names of all champions for two years. The sides and rear faces of the trophy will also contain the names of all of the invitational players as well as the champions of the BPA Open Single Elimination and King-of-the Hill Ladder Brackets.

Top 10 History

Initial Top 10 (in 1999): The five top finishers at the World Boardgaming Championships plus the five highest AREA ranked players (as of Sept. 1st). Additional invitations were based on AREA rankings and limited to bring the field up to a minimum of eight participants.  Nine of the original invitees accepted, leaving the field with total of nine players.

Second Top 10 (in 2001): Top three finishers from the prior Top Ten Invitational Bracket, Top three positions of the Open King-of-the-Hill Ladder Bracket, Top finisher from the BPA Open Single Elimination Bracket, Reigning WBC Champion, Reigning Midwest Open Champion, and the Top AREA ranked player.

Top 10 (from 2003 through 2015):  Top three finishers from the prior Top Ten Invitational, Top two positions of the Open King-of-the-Hill Ladder Bracket, Top finisher from the BPA Open Single Elimination Bracket, Reigning and Prior WBC Champions, Reigning Midwest Open Champion, and the Top AREA ranked player.

2021 Changes: Additional invitations are only issued to the AREA Top 15 or whatever is required to bring participation to a minimum of eight.

Other Brackets
BPA Open Single Elimination
King-of-the-Hill Ladder

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