Unfortunately, a deck registration error was discovered in Deshaun Baylock's list before the Top 8, meaning he was starting the match a game down before even shuffling. Given Jared Boettcher's potentially explosive Sneak and Show deck, that didn't bode well for the Michigan native.
The silver lining was that Baylock had already locked up his first Pro Tour invite by way of his Top 8. He had recently come close—several PTQ Top 8 appearances—but fallen just short. Now he was guaranteed a trip to the big show regardless of his game loss, or his result from this point forward.
Baylock is relatively green on the GP scene, but Boettcher has had some success before, finishing in the Top 16 of two Modern GPs, Grand Prix Chicago and Grand Prix Columbus. This is his first Top 8 at a Grand Prix and his first Pro Tour invite as well.
Game 2, sort of
After the sting of a game loss at the worst possible time, Baylock was under the gun immediately as a mulligan set him back.
"This is nothing new, this is what I do for a living," Baylock said.
But Baylock started strong, despite his reluctance with his hand and initial game loss, opening on Stoneforge Mystic into a sword of Fire and Ice.
However, it didn't matter too much as Boettcher checked Baylock's hand with Gitaxian Probe, made sure the way was clear, and Show and Telled an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn into play on turn two off Ancient Tomb. When Baylock had no way to interact with the Eldrazi Legend and no way to keep his board intact through an attack, Baylock made a quick exit from the Top 8, but not before picking up his first Pro Tour invite.
Boettcher liked his matchup this round, even if he did get a little help from outside forces. He said Esper Stoneblade was a strong pre-board match and a close post-board match. He was, however, worried about both Dredge and Death and Taxes. Fortunately for him, Death and Taxes was in the other bracket.