Semifinals: Olivier Ruel vs. Noah Boeken

Posted in Event Coverage on March 24, 2002

By Rui Oliveira

First of all, just to show you even Pro players make bad judgement calls sometimes, Olivier Ruel once played Aven Trooper. It was a mistake but he is mature enough to admit it.

Since players in the semifinals have the the right to see each others deck lists they decided to speed up the process by trading decks for a few minutes. Olivier wanted to play the semifinals as soon as possible because he was sure he would get crushed and this way he could go home as soon as possible.

This meant that they started playing while Lévy and Lippert were still in the third game. In case you are wondering, they couldn't start the game without singing along to Ruel's Ninja Rat ("Everyone was Kung-Fu fighting...").

Game 1

Boeken got a turn two Crypt Creeper while Olivier and his stuffed toys played Acorn Harvest and Aven Windreader. Boeken was stuck at two lands and let his anger out on the table with a resounding blow.

Taking advantage of his opponent's mana problems Ruel dropped Anurid Scanvenger and Diligent Farmhand taking the time to make sketches on his paper tokens while Boeken decided what to do with his third land.

A Slithery Stalker took out a token before blocking the second, as Noah found himself at seven. The French dropped Krosan Constrictor to make matters worse. Boeken drew another card just for curiosity before conceding.

Olivier: "Sorry."

Noah explained that he had kept a hand with Island, Swamp, Looter, Stalker and good cards but the third land refused to show up.

Olivier 1-0 Noah

Game 2

Ruel mulliganed and kept a six-card hand with no Forests. While he was waiting for it Boeken was pouring creatures into play.

Noah (while Olivier was reaching for his deck to draw): "Just slam it!"
Olivier (slamming the drawn Forest unto the table): "It works! Why didn't I do it before?"

The French went through Deep Analysis before he got his game together. He played Nomad Decoy and Basking Rootwalla. Stalker took the Decoy away and the Repentant Vampire kept chewing away Olivier's life totals.

Aether Burst got the Decoy back online and when Boeken tried to retake it Olivier had Shelter waiting for it. Slowly the French was balancing the game out. He tried to speed up things with Rabid Elephant but Noah had Grotesque Hybrid to slow it down. Even with those two monsters Boeken was pinned down by the lowly Decoy as Ruel played Anurid Scavenger to increase his strike force. The Hybrid attacked and the Dutch played a Morbid Hunger.

He pointed it at the Decoy but when Ruel reached for his hand on the table Noah said he still hand't named the target and decided he would do it Olivier himself. This change turned into a discussion that ended with the judge agreeing with Noah.

This problem upset Ruel in such a way that he lost the concentration and conceded a turn later, asking for two proxies for cards he had damaged through some very "heated" handling.

Olivier 1-1 Noah

Game 3

Olivier kept a hand with six lands for the third, and decisive game. Noah took the Constrictor away with a Fiend and dropped Organ Grinder. Ruel stopped them both with Acorn Harvest while he was waiting for a Plains to unload the rest of his hand.

He couldn't find it but he did find Diligent Farmhand. By then the table had changed with Boeken amassing creatures. He played a Morbid Hunger to take out a Centaur Chieftain (being very careful with his target announcing this time, under Olivier's insistence).

The two tokens tried to hold the ground but Boeken got rid of them and started swinging once again. Ruel's Auramancer got Repeled for another free swing. When it returned Olivier decided Boeken was too far ahead to handle. He conceded.

Final Result: Noah 2-1 Olivier.

Noah is now heading into the finals to play the winner of the Barrado-Lippert semifinals.

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