Top 8 Factoids

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

by Randy Buehler

You might be wondering who some of these players are, but this is actually quite a talented Top 8. I'm a little too tired to organize this particularly well, but here's what I know about them:

Bill Stead: He and his brother both played PT Dallas - juniors and one of them played Atlanta but neither has put up a big finish since then. Neither lost on Day 1 of this event. Bill conceded to Bob in the next to last round so they would both have a shot at the Top 8. Dustin Stern then crushed Bob's hopes and dreams in the last round. Bill won his match and made the Top 8, so conceding to his older brother didn't cost him a thing.

Michelle Bush: first woman in an individual Grand Prix Top 8 (Marie Laure Saulnier turned the trick as a member of Legend of Rabbits at Grand Prix Cannes).

Gary Rush: A friend of Alan Comer and Dan Gray from San Diego. #1 seed at the end of the Swiss.

Eric Kesselman: A regular at Neutral Ground New York who started attending Grand Prixs on a regular basis last year. He was a Public Defender in Nassau County, but got disgusted with the system after winning some unwinnable cases and quit. He's taking his time finding a new job and playing a lot of Magic. His skill and love for the game are well known in New York, but his best Pro Tour finish before this weekend was a Top 32 in Rome. This weekend might signal his arrival on the Pro Tour stage.

Casey McCarrel: Pro Tour champion who is quickly reestablishing a spot on the Gravy Train

Steve O: Put Armadillo Cloak on Crosis to attack for the win. Yes, that's all 5 colors. He 3-0ed with a 5-color green deck. More cloaked dragons in the feature match area. Gotta love it. This aging veteran is trying to prove that he's still got it.

Dustin Stern: second straight Top 8 at a Limited Grand Prix for this up and coming Madison player. Look out Pro Tour when this guy makes his debut on the Boat in a few weeks. Barely edged out playtest partner Mike Hron

Jamie Parke: Team Sped original who has grown up on the Pro Tour. Top 8 at Worlds '99.

Honorable mention: Trevor Blackwell didn't lose the entire weekend but he wound up 21st. He thought the tournament started at 9 when in fact the draft started at 8:15. After going undefeated on Day 1 (6-0-1), he went out to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter and didn't leave until 8:30am. He then got into a cab thinking he would arrive at the tournament site just in time to draft. (He even asked a few players what time things started and they told him 9am. The problem is it turned out they were going to play the qualifier!) Since he missed the entire draft, he didn't get any points from rounds 8, 9, or 10. He then started playing again at the second draft and won his table 3-0, winning himself $250 and 1 PT points.

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