The usually quiet town of Hexham, Northumberland, will soon be host to the most vicious conflict of them all - a Monopoly battle royale.
The tournament is the brainchild of Monopoly mega-fan Andrew Pert and is held every February, raising money for a different charity every year. The event is now in its fourth year, and on Saturday February 16 some 60+ people will be attending to sit down and duke it out property mogul-style during three 45-minute rounds.
Those who have been eliminated will be able to try and soothe their rent-induced rage by playing the wide range of other board games that will be available. The winner will receive an impressively shiny trophy, a copy of Monopoly: The Mega Edition, and eternal bragging rights - until next year's tournament, that is.
The idea for the tournament came to Andrew after a distressing burglary caused the loss of a large amount of his gaming equipment and valuable collectables. Afterwards, a friend gave him two Monopoly sets that she was no longer using and this sparked the concept of using the games to raise money for others.
Andrew currently has an outstanding 196 sets of Monopoly. I asked him which one was his favourite and, very understandably, it wasn't an easy question to answer. His answer changes frequently, but at this moment in time his favourites include the custom edition, a very limited edition created by the American food company General Mills, and Disney Pixar.
Without giving away too many spoilers, sets that will make an appearance at the tournament range wildly from Coronation Street to WWE, from Roald Dahl to London Underground, so there will be something for everyone!
Previous tournaments have raised amazing totals of more than £1000 for local organisations. This year's charity is Wag & Co, a North East-based charity that brings dogs to visit older people in their homes or care establishments to combat the growing problem of loneliness in the elderly. Their volunteers (excellently called 'Wag Teams') aim to bring the joy of a dog's company to those who need it most.
To raise even more money for Wag & Co, alongside the tournament there will be a 'Guess the number of Monopoly tokens in the jar' competition to win a copy of Star Wars: Solo Monopoly, and a raffle with a fantastic number of grand prizes kindly donated by local businesses.
The fourth annual charity Monopoly tournament takes place on Saturday February 16, at the Tyndale Golf Club in Hexham, Northumberland. The event will begin at 6pm. If you'd like to learn more about the event, please contact Andrew via email - [email protected].
Watch this space for a full review of the tournament later this month. Monopoly money and ruthless tactics at the ready…