Wow, picking 3 tournaments out of all the ones that ran in 09 was tricky. But I managed to settle down on my favourite 3:
In no particular order:
Tournament: 2008 College Basketball Season
Reasoning: Flex is one of the best organizers for keeping the tournament fun outside of the games. He writes weekly newsletters, calculates game scores, runs RPIs, you name it, he's got it. Just click on that link and look at the graphics he puts up for us. Not to mention that there were a total of 118 players in that tournament, and he kept everyone involved all the way to the playoffs. Easily my favourite "annual" tournament.
Dates Run: 12OCT2008-01MAY2009
Tournament: Map Quester 1
Reasoning: After effectively running 4 (I think) successful Map Blasters in which players played 8-man escalating games on all the maps at the same time (quite a feat just creating the games), brandon stepped it up and gave us total control over the tournament. Every player had guidelines and rules to follow, and a scorecard to complete, but it was ultimately up to each individual to play the tournament how they wanted. Made it very enjoyable strategically and gave every player the same advantage: to always play on their home turf. I've waited for MQ2 ever since, but alas, no such luck.
Dates Run: 02MAY2009-23JUN2009
Tournament: GameZZone: Starcraft
Reasoning: Another great tournament that had players involved outside of the games. Players really committed to the strategy of the tournament made it far, while those who weren't got easily weeded out early on. All of us in the finals had fun with the freestyle games, and trying to figure out who was in the lead and guess at each other's purchases. Even in the final set of games, the winner wasn't clear, and altogether an enjoyable tournament to be a part of.
Dates Run: 20JAN2009-11DEC2009
Altogether, I thought it was a great year for tournaments that ran. I had difficulty narrowing it down to my 3 favourites as there were probably 10 that I could have nominated. I do think that there is going to be a bias towards tournaments that ended later in the year as some people may not remember a tournament that ran back in May as they do one that just ended.