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UA student places 8th in rock, paper, scissors tournament


Photo
MATT ROBLES/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Regional development and economics junior Zach Washut represented the UA in the National Collegiate Rock, Paper, Scissors Invitational Tournament in South Beach, Fla.
By Kris Cabulong
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
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Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!

Zach Washut, a regional development and economics junior, fought his way into the Elite Eight of the first ever National Collegiate Rock Paper Scissors Invitational Tournament in South Beach, Fla., Friday and Saturday.

Washut represented the UA in the event, which was officially sanctioned by the World Rock, Paper, Scissors Society.

Washut said he competed with 100 athletes from colleges across the nation for a $5,000 grand prize and a guaranteed slot in the 2005 World Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship.

"He swept through his bracket and made it into the Sweet 16, then won that easily," said Matt Vogelei, a political science junior and Washut's trainer in the event.

Washut said he was randomly selected to compete from a drawing sponsored by GotUsed Bookstores, which supplied Washut and Vogelei with an all-expenses paid trip to South Beach and $300 spending money.

Washut said he didn't prepare much for the tournament.

"I drank a lot for it," he said. "That's about it."

Still, Washut progressed steadily through the ranks using primarily what he and his trainer calls, the "Paper Strategy."

"I threw paper a lot," Washut said.

According to a press release from GotUsed Bookstores, players at these contests "can intimidate the competition, bluff, even try to influence their opponent's throw through cunning mental tactics."

Washut was ready for them all.

"There were a few people that just tried to stare me down, but I was wearing sunglasses, so it didn't affect me," he said.

The final part of the competition was played out in a boxing ring on a windy, sunny day at South Beach, Washut said, complete with "ring girls."

"They had two chicks behind (the players) holding up cards for whatever they threw so the people in the back could see," Vogelei said.

Vogelei said Douglas Walker, one of the leaders of the World RPS Society and co-author of "The Official RPS Strategy Guide," was the main judge in the ring.

Vogelei said while most of the players were normal, "there were definitely a few kids dressed up in superhero outfits to play rock, paper, scissors."

One player from Washington State University would wear different costumes for every showing, Washut said.

"His face was just blank," he said. "He never cracked a smile, nothing."

Vogelei said a "real nice girl with big sunglasses" from the University of Texas, San Antonio won the championship, and the mysterious dark-skinned brunette is who brought Washut down, he said.

"I don't know what happened," Washut said. "I guess she beat me on scissors or something."

Despite his relative success in the tournament, Washut said that he would not seek out a professional career on the rock, paper, scissors circuit.

"Maybe if I won," he said. "But no."

Still, Washut and Vogelei aren't sour about winning an all-expenses-paid trip to Miami.

"Definitely sign up for random stuff on the Mall," Vogelei said, right before stating that he is in no way affiliated with any credit card companies or other corporate entity. "You might win a free trip to somewhere."



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