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Ser Severin and the Sinister Gambling Emporium present:

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

See what happens when I do a top 10 list? Nine people enter Crown. I am so powerful. Though a small list, it's a tough one to call. Out of nine, there are four knights, and Azrec is a former finalist. I predict a quick tournament as well, as we have some free swingers out there. When Kurn is considered one of the 'smaller' guys in the list, you know you're working with some size.

The Finalists

I.   Sir Roland de Carre   Odds: 5 to 2

Roland, have they been paying attention? I don't think they have. I predict the old man will have a new crown to go with the case full of Chivalric Virtues he keeps polished. Oh, and boys, it's not because he's left-handed that he's whuppin' you; it's because he's that good. He's also the only contestant fighting for his wife, and that's counts for a great deal, at least in my book.

II.   Count Odo Fitzhugh   Odds: 3 to 1

That man Odo's a bad mutha' 'Shut yo' mouth' But I'm only talking 'bout Odo! Odo's political adeptness in his first reign surprised me; the way he demolished the field to get there did not. He's big, strong, experienced, and knows what he's in for. The worst part is, while he's hitting you, he's grinning his ass off. Look for him to give Roland the fight of his life in the finals. Damn right.

Off with their heads!

The Semi-Finalists

III.   Sir Kurn O'Farrell   Odds: 7 to 1

Ah, Kurn. It's too late for you to try to lull people into not taking you seriously; you've done too well for too long. A finalist previously, he has maintained his remarkable speed and balance; mostly through prancing and mincing. Whether he wins or loses in the first round, one thing is for sure: he'll have a lovely area set up.

IV.   Jarl Stromek Bo Comatan   Odds: 10 to 1

Stromek's fight can fool you; you think he's just going to "smash puny human", Hulk-style, when he slips in a quick cross-body shot you had no chance of seeing. He too has been there before, but I don't think the dynamics of today's list are right for him. Look for the mullet-man (no, not you Mittion) in the semis.

The Quarter-Finalists

Is that a spike on your shield, or are you just happy to see me?

V.   Honorable Lord Azrec del Aragon   Odds: 15 to 1

Which Azrec will we see today? Will it be the finalist who was Rochambeau'd for the Crown of Trimaris? Or will it be the second round upset victim? Will the shorter list favor him, or will he have 'too much booty in the pants'? The list, though small, is deep, and I believe he will have several very tough fights in a row. The margin of error will be too tight for the big Spaniard.

VI.   Honorable Lord Tatheg O'Brien   Odds: 20 to 1

Ah the great philosophical questions: If Tatheg falls in the woods with nobody around, would he make a sound? Will Tatheg's other weapon styles be as effective as his greatsword? Isn't that the real question? He's like a great oak tree out there, but he's going to need to move well out there to keep pace with this field. In a field of big boys, Tatheg should hold his own, however, Quarterfinalist should be his finish.

VII.   Lord Chedai Negai   Odds: 25 to 1

Onion Head!

And the contestant chooses to challenge... Iron Chef Mongolia! Will he be up to the challenge, or will he wilt in Kitchen Stadium, er, I mean Crown Tournament?

"Fukui-san, we have a report from the field."

"Go, Ota!"

"Well, he seems to have mixed some new moves into his favored style and worked on his alternates. This should give some difficulty to the challenger."

I know I've used the Iron Chef joke before, but it slays me. Chedai should be a force to be reckoned with, and hits shots are memorable. He should round out the quarterfinals.

VIII.   Lord Bokalo Churis   Odds: 30 to 1

Bokalo has built up some serious arm strength making all that armor, and that equates into power and speed. He needs to take his planishing hammer to his game, and give it the finishing touch that smoothes out the rough edges. In a larger list, he still probably wouldn't rate much lower than this slot.

IX.   Ian MacKee   Odds: 50 to 1

Ian has a bunch of experience, and has been in Crown a few times before, but this is not the crowd that will fall for any surprises. This list is too compact to expect anything crazy, and despite giving it his all, Ian probably won't bring anything new to the table.


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.

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