T&T wins All Fours World Cup champs

The victorious All Fours Trinidad & Tobago Team.
Photo by Glenda Cadogan

Not even “obeah” could have stopped the Trinidad & Tobago Team on their valiant journey to becoming All Fours World Cup Champions 2011.

At the All Fours World Cup Finals, which took place in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Trinidad & Tobago Card Games Association (TTCGA) Touring Team captured the top prize from a field of 38 competing teams from several North American cities, Canada and the Caribbean.

All eyes centered on the Trinidad & Tobago Touring Team, which played undefeated in the two-day competition at Brooklyn’s Cultural Performing Arts Center (C-PAC).

At the quarter finals mark, a vocal supporter of an opposing team signalled her intention to “get some obeah” to stop the Touring Team’s surge to the finals. But by the end of the night, the skills and tenacity of the Trinidad and Tobago players proved to be the more potent magic formula. They soundly defeated the formidable Predators teams 15-7 in an exciting final match.

After finishing on the top of the division at the end of the first day’s round robin competition, Varma Maharaj who heads the 13-member Touring Team had predicted the team’s ultimate victory. “The team is playing with a kind of love and unity that will take us straight to the finals,” he said. “And I already know the outcome – first place for the Trinidad & Tobago Card Games Association Touring Team. We are taking the championship trophy back to Trinidad.” And so they did with an impressive history making win in the competition, which is now in its 11th year.

This marked only the second year that the Touring Team has participated in the competition, which is organized by the All Fours Alliance USA Inc., the governing body of the popular card game in North America. This coupled with the fact that no other team scored more than 10 bullseye against them, made the Touring Team’s victory even more significant and memorable.

Earl Alleyne, president of the All Fours Alliance, called it “a glorious victory.” “This was truly an impressive win,” Alleyne said after presenting the winning trophy. “As president of the Alliance USA, I am a bit green-eyed by the Trinidad & Tobago Team’s victory over our member teams. But at the same time, I am extremely happy for what this means for the future of All Fours in Trinidad & Tobago,” he said.

“The team’s victory has now positioned All Fours to move away from the rum shop and back yard kind of image that people looking in from the outside still associate the sport. With the team wearing the title as All Fours World Champions for an entire year, it will undoubtedly help move All Fours to another level of being recognized as a bona-fide sporting event in Trinidad & Tobago,” said Alleyene.

According to Alleyne, he considers All Fours the “new pan movement.” “What is happening now with All Fours is similar to what occurred with the steelpan and its development which took place over all over the world a couple years ago,” he said.

The 38 teams competed for the top prize of $6,000.00, the World Cup Challenge Trophy and bragging rights for a full year. And from all accounts, this year proved to be one of the most successful in the competition, which first started in 2000. Alleyne called it the “biggest and best ever” in the competition’s history and said he was “extremely pleased with this year’s outcome.”

Even though the curtains have come down on this year’s All Fours World Cup, the bullseye chant of the Trinidad & Tobago Touring heard over and over again during the competition, still seems to be echoing across the Brooklyn Bridge:

Big bad Touring Team from Trinidad

We really bad

TnT Touring Team, boss of Trinidad

Make them sad when they hear this cry

Big bad Touring Team

Bullseye, bullseye, bulleyes!

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