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The Quarter has once again successfully obtained the services of Ser Severin to produce, for the benefit of the populace, a little something to make Crown that much more entertaining. Enjoy it responsibly!

Ser Severin and the Sinister Gambling Emporium present:

The Handicapper's Guide to the Spring
Crown Tournament AS XXXVI

This season's guide was the hardest yet to handicap. With a field of 17 that includes six knights, it seems anything can happen. I feel like an eight-legged man in an ass-kicking contest — too many choices. It seems over the last few years the Crown Tournaments with a given winner wire-to-wire has become extinct, and here at the Emporium, we like that; it's good for gambling. Just don't forget to give your 10% to the Crown for taxes.

The Best of the Field

The temptation to cop out and make 4 or 5 guys have the same odds is strong, but you know we have stronger opinions than that here at the Emporium.

I. Sir Yoan Moon Yang — Odds: 5 to 1

Now you can be sure that I'll take a risk. It would be easy to pick the Duke in the crowd, but I think he'll come up short (no pun intended) trying to catch the Eastern wind I like to call Chow Yun-Thin. He may be small, but he doesn't have muscles, he has elevator cables in his arms. I would actually feel better about this pick in a larger list, because he doesn't get tired, but I'm going with the little man to be King.

II. Duke Mittion von Weald — Odds: 7 to 1

He's big, strong, fast and he's been there. But does he have the motivation? He owes a debt to Adelhaid so I think he really wants it. He even has the mystic motivation from Captain Teutonic. Do I think he'll catch up to Yoan? Not today. Maybe it's the smoking. He will, however, show very strongly on the way to the finals.

III. Sir Martin Lochner — Odds: 8 to 1

He's a great seneschal, he's a great knight — he even has his own dance. Is that enough to take the big prize? I wouldn't be surprised at all, but I still think Yoan's got his mojo working (or his Ki, or whatever Jackie Chan stuff he does before he kicks our asses.) Whose house? Well, not Martin's yet — but don't call the moving trucks, either. He's got stuff that's staying. Look for a strong show into the semis.

IV. Sir Roland de Carre — Odds: 10 to 1

Can the ancient Frenchman summon his mummy powers (with anti-aging oxidants) and bring it home? What Quintana wants she usually gets, but this time she may be disappointed in the result but not in his effort. He may be taken out in the semis, but I'll give even money someone goes home with a bruise on their ass.

V. Jarl Syr Stromek Bo Comotan — Odds: 12 to 1

Size and more size. Yoan may win, but he better hope he doesn't get hit on the way there. The biggest tree in the Red Oak tribe will be swinging some lumber, but today's the day the chopping machine beats Paul Bunyan, but he sure won't go easy into that good night.

VI. Sir Kurn O'Farrell &
VII. HL Cryn of Dunhaven (tie) — Odds: 17 to 1

Isn't this ironic? I had these guys tied in the last betting guide so, since plagiarism is the finest form of flattery, I'll steal from myself. Speed and movement is the keys to both of these guys' game plans, although Kurn goes forward a lot more than Cryn. So often we get guff here in Trimaris about small Crown lists, but I think these guys show we have some serious depth. And your women will call them cute, as well.

A is for Asne, that's good enough for me!

The Challengers

VIII. HL Wylfred of Morganvayle — Odds: 25 to 1

Aren't guys with totally gray beards supposed to be old and slow? Not here. Betting on Wylfred in Crown is like taking a date on the Teacups ride; it's moving too fast and too hectic to grab the prize. Maybe he should try the ferris wheel for a while.

IX. HL Tatheg O'Brien (tie) — Odds: 25 to 1

Just like his knight, Ian of Behn Dubh, he's huge, swings a big heavy club, and you really don't want to be on the other end. He also has the same trade-off as his knight, speed, and on this track, speed kills. Picture Ben Hur's chariot at the Kentucky Derby; it probably won't win, but it will crush anything in its path.

X. HL Cedric of Dorchester — Odds: 30 to 1

Here's a nice test for the top Lion; fight in Crown with the world watching, and hope not to fight his wife again. We here at the Emporium love watching the big green one (OK, the other big green one, after Odo and Bytor) and would love to see the fight we know is in him.

XI. Lord Judah bin Issachar (tie) — Odds: 30 to 1

Everyone's got their dark horse, and here's mine. Make a note that you read it here first; Syr Terrell's big lieutenant will pull off an upset somewhere in this list, and take down someone in the top 4 and maybe 2 of the top 8. His final standing may depend on how freaky he gets Friday night.

The Rest of the Field

XII. Lord Seamus MacDughail — Odds: 40 to 1

Another product of the teamwork factory that is the Oldenfeld Lions. You almost feel bad splitting these guys up and making them fight. Almost. As a professional handicapper I see it as another good chance to clean up on the underrated and the overconfident alike. Seamus is certainly in the former category. However he finishes, his fights will be clean. If we could only shake him of that fencing stuff...

XIII. Duchess Judith Marsye — Odds: 60 to 1

She may not have the testicular fortitude to be King, but she certainly has the rack to be Queen. Judith has been putting some serious time into working the wood, and I don't mean in a euphemistic way (well, not completely.) The training time should start to pay off, but this group's just a little too rough to run with.

XIV. HL Genevieve de Mullet Trois — Odds: 75 to 1

Genevieve sure puts some energy into that slapstick vaudeville show she puts on with Sir Elizabeth, usually with the bad influence of Sir Ardion. Let's if she can put some of that insane vigor to work on the field at Crown.

XV. Lord Golomt Baavgai — Odds: 100 to 1

XVI. Lord Janos Levente — Odds: 100 to 1

XVII. Lord Ian MacKee — Odds: 100 to 1

All odds given by Ser Severin and the Sinister Gambling Emporium are for entertainment purposes only. These are not to be used for gambling purposes. Seriously. Don't gamble, I mean it. Well, maybe gamble a little, but don't get carried away. At least don't gamble the gas money home. Oh, the hell with it, if you follow our guide, you can't lose — bet it all! Should you wish to be reimbursed, Johnny the Neck and Three-Time Tommy are the refund dept. And as always, if you gamble, gamble responsibly.

Don't lose your head over gambling!

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