The best players find a way to win, and several of them needed to do just that at the end of Day 1 at Pro Tour - San Diego. With the 4-2-1 cutoff looming, many of the big names had to pull out wins in the last round in order to play on. A glance at the bottom of those advancing reveals:
105th Jon Finkel
109th Tom van de Logt
111th Kai Budde
112th Ryan Fuller (the last to make Day 2)
That should make for one interesting draft tomorrow; each of those players needs at least 6 wins in 7 rounds to have a shot at the Top 8.
Others had an easier time. Sweden's Jens Thoren and the Netherlands' Kamiel "The Glacier" Cornelissen swept through the field and are perched on top of the standings at 7-0. Joining them at the top table will be Invitational finalist Dan Clegg, Pro Tour - New York winner Dirk Baberowski, Pro Tour - New York finalist Gabriel Nassif, and Latin American champion Scott Richards. Salud!
The hot deck to draft appears to be red/green - cards like Reckless Charge and Ember Beast are showing up in winning decks all over the room. Beatdown is definitely "in."
One of the interesting stories to come out of Day 1 is 14-year-old Mitchell Tamblyn. The youngster has posted an impressive 5-2 record, with one of his losses coming at the hands of Cornelissen. Will he be the next Murray "the Mauler" Evans?
Can Kai and Finkel climb up the standings?
Check back tomorrow - same time, same place, same format.