The biggest story of the weekend was Owen Turtenwald. Starting the week ranked No. 22, Turtenwald monstered his way past all opposition, including a stacked Top 8, to claim his first Grand Prix title. A player who tends to hide his emotions, Turtenwald was clearly overwhelmed by his success, coming after a career list littered with Grand Prix Top 8s but without an elusive title until this weekend. He now stands at No. 16 in the rankings.
Although that was the biggest move on the table this week, it might not be the most significant. Sam Black is rapidly becoming a major story in this still-young Pro season, and the prolific deck builder is getting tougher and tougher to beat. This time, he made it to the semifinals before falling to Turtenwald. His reward is another two steps up the ranking ladder to No. 8, and it would be foolish to bet against him heading much higher, and soon.
The third ranked player to reach the Top 8 in Washington was Pro Tour Dragon's Maze champion Craig Wescoe, who unsurprisingly played the white weenie deck Death and Taxes, and was unsurprisingly good with it. Also moving up the rankings is Christian Calcano, who managed to squeak into 32nd place in Washington, good enough for 2 Pro Points and a chance to put some breathing room between him and the bottom of our Top 25. Lee Shi Tian of Hong Kong now sits over that particular trap door, perilously close to being the next to fall out of the rankings list.
Next up, it's Grand Prix Albuquerque and Grand Prix Kyoto, where more of the best in the game will be battling for glory, Pro points, and the coveted Top 25 Pro Rankings. See you next time.
|25||Shi Tian Lee||37.23||-1||24|