MONOPOLY Championship History Wiki

The fourteenth MONOPOLY World Championship took place September 8, 2015, at The Venetian resort in Macau. Norwegian Bjørn Halvard Knappskog, who won the championship the last time it was held in 2009, got an automatic entrance to defend his title against 27 other country champions and representatives. Bjørn made it to the final table, but he was defeated by Nicolò Falcone, who became the 2015 MONOPOLY World Champion.

The grand prize was $20,580 USD, which is also the amount of money included in a set of MONOPOLY (after the 2008 graphic and set update).[1] This was the same prize as 2009. All players also received a Worlds 2015 polo, one of the tournament sets with specially-marked bills, a Monopoly Macau World Championship 2015 special edition in Portuguese and Cantonese (official languages of in Macau), a Monopoly Deal and other goodies (token and speed die box).

They played with the Speed Die and $1500 starting cash. Phil Orbanes once again served as Head Judge for the tournament.

There were three preliminary rounds lasting 60 minutes each, with seating randomly assigned. The 16 players with the highest cumulative score then played in a seeded 75 minute semi-final. Winning a preliminary match or accumulating enough cumulative points as a full victory would garner was what ended up being needed in order to advance.

The four finalists, defending world champion Bjørn Halvard Knappskog, Italy's Nicolò FalconeTsutomu Doita of Japan, and Brian Valentine of USA were the winners of each of the semi-final matches.[2] The final was a 2-hour timed match, but was completed in about 47 minutes. Nicoló used the Racecar token, Bjørn used the Thimble, Brian used the Battleship, and Tsutomu the Top Hat.[3]

Gameplay began at 9:45A in Macau (GMT +8:00) and concluded by 6:30P the same day.

Competitors and their guests also got to attend a welcome party on September 7th, were given hotel accommodation, and a tour of the area on September 9th.

Preliminary Round Points[]

A table was used to determine how many points would earn after the end of each preliminary round. Your points decreased based on the number of players still in the game at the end of the timed round.

Players remaining at the end of the game Points granted to 1st place Points granted to 2nd place Points granted to 3rd place Points granted to 4th place Points granted to 5th place
1 28
2 25 14
3 22 12 6
4 19 10 5 3
5 16 8 4 2 1

Additional Match & Scoring Details[]

2015 WC - Preliminary Round 1

2015 WC - Preliminary Round 2

2015 WC - Preliminary Round 3

2015 WC - Semi-Finals

Competing Players[]

There were 28 players competing at the 2015 World Championship, with winners or representatives from 27 different countries.[4] The final place listed for places 5-16 reflects the rankings provided by Hasbro going into the Semi-Finals. For places 17-28, the final place reflects the point total earned in the preliminary rounds; asset totals were not released, so players with the same point totals are listed as sharing a place, with the exception of Russia, who had more assets than the other players with 22 points and made the Semi-Finals.

Final Place Country Name Age Prelim Rounds Point Total Semi-Finalist
2 2009 World Champion Bjørn Halvard Knappskog 25 33 = 0 + 5 + 28 Y - 9th
5 Australia Tony Shaw 26 53 = 25 + 28 + 0 Y - 1st
23 Austria Bernhard Krenn 38 10 = 0 + 10 + 0 N
14 Belgium Minh Tran 34 28 = 14 + 0 + 14 Y - 14th
22 Canada Andrea Cameron 35 12 = 0 + 12 + 0 N
7 Chile Ángel Niccodemi Diaz 27 47 = 22 + 19 + 6 Y - 4th
25 Colombia Guio Encinosa 27 6 = 6 + 0 + 0 N
11 France Philippe Pinoli 44 31 = 12 + 19 + 0 Y - 10th
28 Germany Ita Hoffmann 26 0 = Withdrew b/c illness N
15 Greece Dimitrios Botsios 28 25 = 0 + 0 + 25 Y - 15th
9 Hong Kong Hon Tsz San 33 40 = 12 + 28 + 0 Y - 6th
1 Italy Nicolò Falcone 31 28 = 22 + 6 + 0 Y - 12th
4 Japan Tsutomu Doita 28 37 = 6 + 3 + 28 Y - 7th
17 Macau Sin Chi Kuok 30 22 = 12 + 10 + 0 N
25 Mexico Mariano Naoto Kairiku González 32 6 = 6 + 0 + 0 N
17 The Netherlands Bram van Orten 28 22 = 0 + 0 + 22 N
17 New Zealand Daven Yu 26 22 = 22 + 0 + 0 N
12 Nordic Champion Morten Svensen 29 30 = 25 + 5 + 0 Y - 11th
27 Peru Luis Castillo Castro 36 5 = 0 + 5 + 0 N
13 Poland Marek Flis 26 28 = 14 + 0 + 14 Y - 13th
21 Portugal João David Ribeiro Pais Ferreira 25 19 = 19 + 0 + 0 N
16 Russia Aleksander Kovalev 26 22 = 3 + 19 + 0 Y - 16th
8 South Korea Kim Hyan-Soo 23 41 = 10 + 3 + 28 Y - 5th
24 Spain María Neus Alonso Gil 29 8 = 5 + 3 + 0 N
10 Switzerland Beat Jost 41 37 = 25 + 0 + 12 Y - 8th
17 Ukraine Oleksandr Kovalenko 27 22 = 0 + 22 + 0 N
6 United Kingdom and Ireland Natalie Fitzsimons 24 53 = 0 + 28 + 25 Y - 2nd
3 USA Brian Valentine 30 52 = 14 + 10 + 28 Y - 3rd

Report from the France Champion[]

The 2015 French champion, Philippe Pinoli, wrote up this report on his experiences at the 2015 World Championship, edited for clarity:

My first game included the Chile, Columbia and Germany champs. Ita Hoffman of Germany, one of five women in the tournament, dominated early and I was off to a bad start. Suddenly, she started to show some health problems and asked for a pause. She came back but soon forfeited!!! Thank you to Chinese food or the time difference or whatever! The three of us left all started bidding for her former properties. Still far behind, I only hoped to survive and get a few points. The Chilean, noisily supported by his crazy supporting fans with flags like all the South American champions, was well ahead in first place as the last die roll is announced. I invested all my remaining money into one house on each of my yellow properties. Guio Encinosa, the Columbia champion, hit me and now forever will rembmer the rent… as after these $110 is paid to me, the final asset total ranks me in second, $10 ahead of him! I get 12 unexpected points from an almost desperate game. 

My second game was an all-star game -- reigning Norwegian world champion Bjorn Halvard Knappskog, South Korea’s Kim Hyan-Soo and USA’s Brian Valentine all played against me. I had played great games the previous evening with Brian and his lovely girlfriend Juli Doshan. He became my favorite adversary as I ended up beating him in every game we played during the trip, notably in a game with the 1st ever world champion Lee Bayrd (who is still very good for being well over 80 years old) and Zachary Danz, a young Texan who was studying Mandarin in Shanghai. Zach came to watch his favorite game's world championship and became a Cinderella story as he spent the whole event with us, parties, tours etc…even becoming a banker in the semis…and winning his collector t-shirt. He even came with me around Hong Kong for a tour arranged by Elodie Druhen-Charneaux (in charge of Monopoly in France), who came with me and had a friend of hers there. As far as the game was concerned, I quickly got a natural light blue monopoly and managed to block everything else. Everybody else tried to just survive and finish in 2nd at the table. Logically, I won this odd game but couldn’t bankrupt anybody as no property got mortgaged by the other players, cancelling most of Mr. Monopoly’s effect. I nevertheless got my 19 points, thus already earning a total of 31 points over two games, apparently enough to reach the semis!!!  Bjorn is second at the table.

My 3rd game, after another great buffet, introduced me to my future arch-rival, Tsutomu Doita, the Japanese champion. He was the best player of the tournament in my opinion, and he beat me in our 4 games in China. He came with the former Japanese World Champ, and former three-time national champion of the only country with an annual national championship (until now in France). Tsutomu Doita was always elegant, always wearing a jacket, even over his Monopoly polo. He was polite, very kind, had a tremendous dice roll move and knew every rent. He has a specific deal technique as he always asks “what do you want for this?” Lovely Andi Cameron, from Canada, a true Monopoly collector, owning more than 100 different sets, and Nordic Champ Morten Svensen, the second Norwegian of the tournament were this table’s other contenders. Tsutomu bankrupted us all with his yellow monopoly set and gots his semi final slot as my browns promised me no bright outcome.

The semifinalists were ranked by cumulative points, which was then used for the semifinals tables seating:

Tony Shaw, the spectacular, muscled and bald Australian, extremely fun, all-yellow dressed who had such a party after the tournament that he wouldn’t manage to get out of bed for the day after’s tour of Macau, had 53 points with 2 victories and a bankruptcy.

The winner on assets tie-breaker was Natalie Fitzsimmons, a young and pretty English woman, who unfortunately came with Andrew, her Northern Ireland husband -- he owes me a rematch for the Hard Rock Cafe pool game -- she had the same total as Tony.

Brian Valentine, USA, oddly qualified as the US Representative via a Multiple Choice Quiz and a 100-word essay, A very good player though. He had 52 points, with an outright victory and no 0.

Angel Niccodemi Diaz, representing Chile, ("Chi-chi-chi-Le-le-le" as his supporters with flags would shout) had 47 points with 2 victories, a very solid player.

Kim Hyan-Soo, from South Korea, got his needed victory in the last round. He had 41 points.

Hon Tsz San from Hong-Kong, with an outright victory and one bankruptcy had 40 points.

Tsutomu Doita of Japan, had 37 points thanks to his last round outright victory.

Beat Jost, the Swiss champ, was one of the 3 french-speaking players, alongside my other Belgian neighbour. All games were played in English by the way. We'd later have a mythic night game in the streets of Macau, with Zach Danz and Macau’s champ, in front of their most famous monument, before throwing all banknotes for a money shower to the winner and spreading of all our tokens, houses and hotel around the city (video available on Facebook). Beat had 37 points.

Bjorn, the reigning world champ, was there with his beautiful girlfriend, who I couldn’t help but meeting everywhere in Macau and Hong-Kong! He was still in the running to be the first repeat world champion, and was saved by his last round victory too. He had a total of 33 points.

In 10th, was yours truly, and my 31 points.

Morten Svensen arranged a 2-Viking presence in the semis with his 1st round victory. He had 30 points.

Nicolo Falcone of Italy with 28 points.

Likewise Marek Flis of Poland.

Minh Tran is the third French speaker in the semis for Belgium. He had 28 points, with two 2nd place finishes with 2 players left in each of the games.

Dimitrios Botsios, Greece, got his semi-final slot with his last round victory following two bankruptcies. He had 25 points.

And Aleksander Kovalev of Russia, is "Mr. Irrelevant" in 16th place with 22 points and the asset tie-breaker with 4 other players!

It was Game Over for Sin Chin Kuok, lovely Macau’s champ, who also had 22 points. As did Bram Van Orten from Netherlands, son of a former world champ. Daven Yu, the kiwi cook from New-Zealand, didn’t miss any restaurant or party with his lovely girlfriend Lyndall Jacobs (he had 22 points). Oleksander Kovalenko of Ukraine had 22 points. Joao David Ribeiro Pais Ferreira of Portugal, whose 1st round victory with 4 players left was unfortunately followed by 2 zeros, thus ended up with only 19 points. Andrea Cameron of Canada ended up with 12 points; her smile wouldn’t lighten the semis but would be part of the next afternoon’s poolside swimsuit games. Bernhard Krenn of Austria, who by the way is also the Settlers of Catan national champ, had 10 points. Gorgeous Maria Neus Alonso Gil of Spain ended up with 8 points. Note, the Spanish Nationals were played without the Speed Die! Neus will be the star of an incredible, old-school, 6-player, day-after poolside game in which she managed to get only one property! Guio Encinosa got two 0s after his initial 3rd rank game… ending with 6 points, which was as many as Mariano Naoto Kairiku Gonzalez of Mexico. Mariano was so kind but might have finished his excellent tequila that he gave us a taste of the night before, alongside a typical glass to every player as a gift! 5 points was all that Luis Castillo Castro from Peru had, as well as the unfortunate Ita Hoffman of Germany, who had her 1st round forfeit. 

My semi-final gathered #2 Natalie from the United Kingdom, Japan (#7), France (#10), and Greece (#15). It was an incredible game as Dimitrios Botsios started by rolling multiple doubles then Mr.  Monopolys to accumulate more than half the properties, but fortunately without any natural monopoly. Natalie and I refused any of his deals that would have condemned us and offered him the slot for the final. The key moment was when I said to Natalie that if any of us could buy the last red property, the final would be for one of us. Tsutomu Doita of Japan, with no chance left to win or to be part of any profitable deal, then made Natalie an offer to purchase her Park Place. Dimitrios and I respected the tournament rule by not saying anything on this horrible deal, but incredibly and unfortunately for us she accepted. Tsutomu started to mortgage everything to build on the terrific dark blue monopoly …and bankrupted us all very quickly. Japan (#7) won this table. Dimitrios, Tsutomu and his friends all later confirmed they couldn't believe this happened. Natalie told me she made the mistake. Well, c'est la vie!

The 3 others semifinals were :

- Numbers 1, 8, 9, and 16. Bjorn Knappskog (#9) once again made it to the world championship’s final match, one game away from back-to-back championships.

- Numbers 3, 6, 11, and 14. Brian Valentine of USA (#3) reached the final.

- Numbers 4, 5, 12, and 13. Nicolo Falcone of Italy (#12) also made it to the last table  

The final was very closely fought as no deal seemed reachable …very complicated deals ended with the Orange monopoly going to Nicolo, the Green one to Bjorn, the Light Blue to Brian. And statistics don’t lie -- Bjorn managed to grab 2nd place but Nicolo Falcone still became the 2015 World Champion.

Thank you to Hasbro, all the players, the people that came with them, and the organization for these extraordinary moments.