Day 1 of Grand Prix Tampa

Posted in Event Coverage on February 23, 2002

By Randy Buehler

Six people were undefeated when the dust settled one day 1 and Mike Emmert sat on top of heap. Emmert did not run black in his sealed deck. Instead he built a 2-color green-blue deck with Breakthrough and four madness cards among his tricks. Joining him at 7-0 were Bob Stead (whose brother Bill won grand Prix New Orleans), amateur Chris Greene, Antonino De Rosa, Trevor Blackwell, and Brian Kibler. Stead also turned the trick without playing black. Local stars Koby Kennison and Laurie Dunning are lurking just behind the leaders at 6-0-1. 2000 US National team member Frank Hernandez, also a local, is 6-1 and in 23rd.

14 Amateurs made it to Day 2 and all of them are guaranteed to win money. The guys in 65th and 66th didn't walk away too heartbroken either, since each was an amateur and each took home $250.

Black was, of course, the most popular color as players built their sealed decks with 85% of the field running swamps. Black-green-red and black-green-blue were the most popular deck designs with 65% of the field sporting forests and 58% playing islands. Red was usually just a splash color and appeared in 43% of decks while white was a distant fifth at 28%.

The much heralded Magic Colony sent 5 of their 8 players through to day 2, along with outside contributors Ben Rubin and Brian Kibler. Interestingly, all three Canadian colonizers put up at least 6 wins, but only 2 of the 5 Americans managed even 5-1-1. Team CMU continued its Limited hot streak, placing both Mike Turian and Eugene Harvey into the final 64, along with long-time collaborator Eric Taylor. Meanwhile Alex Shvartsman looks to continue his roll, quietly putting up six wins on day one.

On Sunday we find out who can draft in this wacky black world.

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