T.O. woman named Rock Paper Scissors world champ
Published Monday, October 27, 2008 1:14PM EDT
A Toronto woman walked away with thousands of dollars in prize money and "bragging rights" after being crowned the 2008 Yahoo! Rock Paper Scissors World Champion over the weekend.
Monica Martinez's sharp instincts told her to throw scissors in the final match of the international event in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
The blades were enough to beat out paper in the second round of a best-of-three matchup.
More than 700 competitors -- including national champions from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Argentina -- battled it out at Toronto's Steam Whistle brewery for a chance to win the coveted title.
The competition began at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and continued well after 2 a.m. the next morning.
"It's been a long 48 hours," the 31-year-old told CTV.ca on Monday in a telephone interview from New York after a short television appearance on a CBS morning show.
"My feet hurt. I didn't anticipate playing standing up for five hours," she said.
Martinez, a Toronto jewelry store owner, entered the competition for fun and with no intention of winning. She had played the game as a child, but never considered herself a particularly talented competitor.
But after unexpectedly making through the first round, Martinez put her game face on and "got pretty serious."
"I realized at the beginning that I could read my challengers' faces," Martinez said. "I'm not psychic or anything, I just knew what they would play next," she said.
Martinez's unique ability to outsmart the competition wasn't merely luck, suggested the event's coordinator.
"A determined and focused competitor, Monica showed the stamina and discipline it takes to win this title. Now she is a World Champion," said Graham Walker of the World RPS Society in a press release.
The World RPS Society promotes Rock Paper Scissors as a fun and safe way to resolve disputes through events such as the Yahoo! World Championships.
The hometown crowd may have given the finalists an edge over their opponents. For the first time ever, two Toronto women went head-to-head in the final matchup.
"The crowd was great," Martinez said. Enthusiastic supporters sported team jerseys and face paint while Martinez's husband Charles cheered her on throughout the night.
The prize for first place was $10,000, second place won $1,500 and third prize won $500.
But Martinez has no extravagant plans for her cut of the prize money. In fact, she made a pact with six of the top competitors to split the cash.
"I left with bragging rights," she boasted.
"I'm just happy a Canadian won the trophy," Martinez said. Last year, an American woman won the title.
Martinez "definitely" plans on defending her title at next year's competition.
Another Ontario native, Sarah Harris of Burlington, won the local Street Rock Paper Scissor competition and took home $1,000.