Extended Tournament Wrap-Up
at Mile High Comics Thornton
January 4, 2003

With the extended season coming down to the wire, and the last PTQ one week away, everyone was ready for a $400 cash prize tune-up. I arrived early only to find about 50 people waiting at the doors. Looking through the crowd I noticed that around 50% of the crowd was pre-registered, and that meant that the waiting list was already going to be around 10 people (we had 51 pre-registered). And the crowds continued from there, all told I think we had just under 100 people either registered or waiting to get into the tournament.

After we got our 64 a quick look around the field showed some interesting decks. Here is the total deck breakdown:

Tog - 6
The Rock - 7
Sligh (all variants) - 7
White Weenie (all variants) - 5
UG Madness - 5
Oath - 3
Sui-Black - 2
MBC - 2
Reanimator - 2
Opposition - 2
Others - 23

Right from the get-go things were a bit wild. Some of the favorites got paired against strong players and faltered early. Dark Horse decks took off fast with Trevor Clark jumping out quick with a White Weenie Cleric deck and Martin Montoya playing a different version of Sligh. After 4 rounds the favorites began to regain form and move to the top of the field. Early loses and draws, however, kept the field tight. Going into round 6, 15 players still had a chance to get into the finals. Tables 1 and 2 decided to draw into the finals, leaving many players guessing if a draw would suffice. At table 5, Patrick Miller and Russell Yakupov decided that a draw would be risky but most likely help both players. Unfortunately Robert O'Leary, needing a win to have a chance at the finals, played and eventually defeated Chris Langlois to secure the final spot in the finals. Ultimately, if any other player would have won, Patrick Miller would have been in the finals, but Robert's tiebreakers ended up just 2% better than Patrick's.

Here are the final standings

With cutting to the top 8, we were left with the following players playing these decks

Martin Montoya vs. Robert O'Leary

Not a lot to report here as Martin's run on Rogue Sligh just ran out. 2-0

William Grimes vs. Josh Knapper

Tog vs. The Rock. A match-up that is becoming more and more common as the season wears on. It's also a match up that I feel will determine a great bit at the PTQ. Josh got off to a quick start with early and frequent hand destruction and won game one. After that, it was Tog all the way to the Top 4.

Sam Lieberman vs. Russel Yakupov

One of two mirror matches in the finals. UG Madness is definitely a late season bloomer. It's also a deck that I think will dominate the upcoming PTQ. If our tournament is even partial evidence of this decks potency (3 in the Top 8 out of 4 total decks), then I think you can expect at least 2 in the Top 8 at the PTQ. Oh yeah, the match ... Sam won 2-1. I unfortunately didn't see this match because I was watching the following match.

Todd Brewick vs. Robb Cole

The other mirror match of the Top 8. Robb got off to a quick start by getting a quick Genesis and Baloth down for beats, and finishing Todd of with edict removing any blockers Todd could get down. The second game is a whole different story. Todd got out quick and yet Robb stabilized quickly and took control. One turn Robb claimed that the whole game hinged on that turn. He promptly claimed the same thing on the next 2 turns. Robb systematically won the game in just 40 mins (that's a joke btw, everyone except Robb thought the game was over at 20 mins into the game).

Well that's it for this report. I haven't planned the next tournament yet, but the tentative date is 03/22/03. If you have any suggestions on which type of tournament you'd like to see, make sure you let me know.

Aaron Tucker
Mile High Comics

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