Iwan Tan is a German player who travels to a lot of the Grand Prix tournaments but only has one Top 8 (from Grand Prix-Moscow) to his credit. Zdenek Lysák is a Czech player having another good tournament after picking up $650 in Vienna, mostly out of the Amateur prize funds.
This match is a straight knockout. The winner advances to the Top 8, the loser goes home. Not much pressure then.
Tan has a quick red-green deck while Lysák has also drafted aggro, pairing red with black instead of green.
Tan chose to go first and thought a long time about whether to keep his hand as the cheapest monster it contained cost four mana. Not the best for a quick deck. He kept it and it paid off as a Blightcutter came out on turn 3. Lysák dropped a Grim Lavamancer on turn 1 and then a Longhorn Firebeast. This creature is not thought to be very strong as a player will nearly always take the five damage. This time was no exception.
Lysák was suffering under a horrific colour screw though as he hadn't found any Swamps. He used two Acceptable Losses to kill first the Blightcutter and then a Pardic Firecat but he could only play with half his deck and died with a bunch of black cards in hand and no Swamps on the table.
Tan 1-0 Lysák
Lysák had an equally awful draw in game 2, drawing only four spells and a lot of land. One of those spells was a Longhorn Firebeast that hung around only long enough to deal five damage to Tan, the only damage he took the entire game.
In contrast Tan came racing out of the blocks – turn 1 Rootwalla, turn 2 Mad Dog, turn 3 Blightcutter.
Lysák drew then tipped his hand to reveal a hand full of land.
When you're battling for Top 8 the last thing you need are draws like that.
Final Result: Iwan Tan beat Zdenek Lysák 2-0 and advances to the Top 8 of Grand Prix-Naples.