2015 USA Memory Championship Recap Continued

Memory Tournament 2015

This is the continued recap of the 2015 memory tournament in the USA. If you haven’t read the first part of this blog/post click here to go to the start.


The recap of the memory tournament continues…

So I said that I think Nelson for the first time at this moment knew how I felt in 2010. What I mean by that is in 2009 I didn’t just win I dominated. I set 2 USA records (167 digits in 5 minutes and memorized a deck of cards in 1 minute 27 seconds) and I knew I would win. Even Tony Dottino they USA Memory Championship organizer came to me at lunch and said, ‘Good Morning America is going to want you on their show tomorrow.’ I replied, ‘They want me or the winner?’ He said, ‘Well, the winner but I figure you are going to win.’ It was obvious and clear I was head and shoulders above everyone else. That is how it was for me that year but in 2010 it was obvious after the first few rounds Nelson was a beast emerging on the horizon in the memory tournament community. I still ended up winning in 2010 but his scores were off the charts and I had a good idea of what the future would hold for him.

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 for Nelson he was at the top of the mountain. He cruised to victory and had no one near his scores. He did lose the title in 2013 to Ram Kolli but he still dominated the overall memory tournament. But for the first time (2015) he had reason to be nervous (who knows if he was). It’s how I felt in 2010 looking at him. It’s an odd feeling. You are the champ, the guy to beat and these new guys are beating your scores. A little nerve racking, at least for me it was.

The top 8 were then announced and Nelson was still holding the #1 seed because of his great scores in poetry and names. The top 8 looked like this

1st:  Nelson Dellis
2nd: Johnny Briones
3rd:  Aaron Mirman
4th:  Alex Mullen
5th:  Lance Tschirhart
6th:  John Graham
7th:  Everett Chew
8th:   Erica Wang

Memory Tournament 2015
The top 8 on stage

The first playoff round of the memory tournament is ‘Word to Remember’. The contestants are giving a list of words and 15 minutes to study them. They then return to the stage where they will recite the words. Sitting in a row the 1st person will say the 1st word, the second person the 2nd word, the third person the 3rd word and so on until 3 people are eliminated.

Erica, Everett and John were eliminated in the words event. 77 words was final word where the 3rd person (John) was eliminated on the word ‘thumb’ he couldn’t remember. They didn’t have to keep going at that point because the 3 had been eliminated but for fun they did and Johnny memorized the most with 141 words and Nelson was second (although inconsequential at this point.)

The next round in the memory tournament is the Tea Party. 5 people come before the mental athletes and say their name, birthday, phone number, city, state, zip code, pet name, pet type, pet color, 3 favorite foods and 3 favorite hobbies and then the mental athlete’s are quizzed on what they said. It sounds daunting and it used to be considered one of the toughest events in the memory sports community. But a few years ago the mental athletes figured out a system for it and now the way it stands it’s not a tough event.

I even commented before this years Tea Party to Chester (2008 Champ) that I didn’t think anyone would be eliminated (everyone gets 3 errors or strikes before they are eliminated). And sure enough no one was eliminated. The remaining final round of Double Deck of Cards would see 5 contestants.

The Tea Party event needs to be made tougher (and I hear it will be). Either by reducing the errors/strikes a person can get to 1-2, decreasing the amount of time allotted for mental athletes to study the info, have more people give their info or a combination of these factors.

The USA Memory Championship also gives their accounting of the final rounds in the 2015 memory tournament.

This was without question one of the best USA Memory Championships ever! There is no memory tournament in the world that draws a bigger audience than this one and it didn’t disappoint this year. Almost every record was broken, new stars emerging and 5 making it to the final round. Just as we were all absorbing this a kick in the gut came….

A huge error had been made that would alter the course of the contest…

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