Days of Wonder, a the makers of Ticket to Ride, a popular railway-themed board game with board game nerds, was forced to dethrone the 2014 World Champion after allegations of cheating. Erwin Pauelsen, the National Champion from the Netherlands and seen in the above photo of the right, admitted to cheating during the final match, played September 27th near Paris, France. Evidently people watching the game at home over the Internet spotted the cheating and reported it to the tournament officials. He returned his giant golden train trophy and the championship was then awarded to Kenneth Heilfron, one of two National Champions from the United States.
USA! USA! USA!
I don’t understand what motivates someone like Pauelsen to cheat at a board game that he obviously loves. Is cheating just something he always does, no matter the situation or the setting? Whatever fake-pride he had from his fake-win has now forever been replaced with embarrassment and shame. According to the Internet, Pauelsen works in the board game industry and he plays in quite a few tournaments in Europe. Board games are a big thing in Europe. Now that Pauelsen is a known cheater, who would want to play even a casual, just-for-fun game with him? I know I wouldn’t.
I kind of almost feel sorry for Erwin Pauelsen.