Saturday, 7:40 p.m. – Final Round Speculations

Posted in Event Coverage on August 6, 2011

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

Going into the final round before Top 8, there were four players who were locks for the Top 8: Haibing Hu, David Ochoa, Ali Aintrazi, and Luis Scott-Vargas. Beneath them in the standings, there were a whopping ten players fighting for the remaining four slots. Having that many slots up for grabs and that many players fighting for them is incredibly rare. Brandon Nelson, last year's National team member Conrad Kolos, Matt Nass, James McLeod, Jimmy de la Cruz, Owen Turtenwald, Noah Koessel, Shaheen Soorani, Phillip Napoli, and Patrick Chapin were all tied at 30 points, though they had quite a range of tiebreakers amongst them.

The pairings came down pitting Nelson and Kolos, Nass and McLeod, de la Cruz and Turtenwald, Koesse and Soorani, and Napoli and Chapin. As the rounds went by, the results slowly started to trickle in. Considering the tiebreakers, it looked like the players that were going to need the most help were Chapin and Napoli. Unfortunately, they got paired up against each other, which may have sounded their death knell. Chapin won, but he ended up most likely out of Top 8. That meant that McLeod, Turtenwald, Koessel, and Nelson were more than likely going to join the safe ones in the Top 8 after they won. That's quite the powerful Top 8, and virtually guarantees a strong, veteran representation for the Americans at Worlds later this year. 

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