Fists of fury: Competing in Rock Paper Scissors

Locals take trip to Rock Paper Scissors national championships

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Rock Paper Scissors

Eli Campbell of Steamboat TV18 reports on the regional Rock Paper Scissors championship in Steamboat Springs.

Eli Campbell of Steamboat TV18 reports on the regional Rock Paper Scissors championship in Steamboat Springs.

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Aaron Simmers, left, and Peter Hall compete in a Rock Paper Scissors contest at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area on Thursday afternoon. Simmers won the match, advancing to the second round in hopes of winning a shot at a trip to the national championships in Las Vegas. For story, see page 12.

— Whether by dumb luck or deep thought, participants had one tough, split-second choice to make at Thursday's single-elimination tournament: rock, paper or scissors.

KFMU organized the local tournament - a qualifier for the $50,000 grand prize Bud Light "United States of America Rock Paper Scissors" Tournament Championship, May 12 to 13 in Las Vegas - as part of its live, weekly Thirsty Thursday broadcast Thursday afternoon at the Bear River Bar and Grill.

The tournament of two 16-person brackets drew a diverse crowd of varying ages, skills and "RPS" savvy.

"This is a gentleman's fisticuffs - an even playing field," said Peter Hall, who - along with the winners of the previous two local tournaments - qualified for the regional championship April 5 at the Steamboat Smokehouse. The regional winner receives a free trip with a guest to the second annual national tournament.

Hall was not the only one touting the democratizing power of the seemingly simple game.

"All you have to do is win six matches in a row for a trip to Vegas for something that's totally luck," said KFMU director of promotions Eli Campbell, who acted as tournament referee, officiating participants in a game-set-match format - or in the language of RPS, engagement-bout-match. "Well, actually, I talked to a guy last time who went online and got a bunch of strategies, telling me you could look in someone's eyes, or how they wiggle their toes, to know what they're gonna throw."

Participants took tournament nicknames and donned fingerless RPS gloves and sunglasses for their matches.

"I throw half an avalanche (three consecutive rocks) and then I look to see how you respond, I think what you think that I might think : and then I throw the opposite," said Hall, also known as 'Cloaker,' who plays in a local band appropriately named Paper Covers Rock.

The final local tournament will be from 4 to 6 p.m. March 29 at Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill.

For more information, call KFMU at 879-5368 or visit the official tournament Web site at www.usarps.com.

- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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