Tom volunteered to be the chief organizer for the world’s tether ball championships. There were 657 contestants from around the world. The tournament was set up whereby the winner would advance and the loser would be eliminated. Since there was an odd number of participants, the initial pairing leaves one player out. That player gets a bye and automatically advances to the next round. How many matches will Tom have to schedule to determine the tether ball champion?
Answer: 656 matches will be needed.