Late in Day 1, two players with a loss apiece. On one side, Robert Smith, Grand Prix Sea-Tac Champion. On the other, Marc Angers, the hopeful amateur. The winner locks up Day 2 and a chance at a Top 8 run. The loser will have their back against the wall for Round 9.
The first game wasn't much of one, as Smith mulliganed into a one-land hand on the draw that failed to develop. Angers came out quickly with Courser of Kruphix, Nyxborn Wolf and Nessian Courser, all before Smith found his second land.
Angers 1 - Smith 0
For game two, both players went to six. On the third turn, Angers went for an unorthodox play. Here's the situation: Smith had a tapped Oreskos Sun Guide and an untapped Satyr Wayfinder, freshly played. Angers had a Swordwise Centaur and three mana available. Without hesitating, Angers went for the big lifeswing. He played Mortal's Ardor on his creature, then Hunt the Hunter, killing Smith's Wayfinder. Combine that with the subsequent attack, and Angers was up twelve life.
The problem was that Smith wasn't far enough on the back foot. Sun Guide was keeping his life total high. Hunter's Prowess drew him a mittful of cards, while Angers was operating on nearly an empty hand. They traded hits, but Acolyte's Reward from Smith ruined a crucial combat and sewed the game up nicely.
Angers 1 - Smith 1
Smith agonized over his opening seven. With a grimace, he shipped them back. He stayed on six, and they were off. Angers was first on the board with Loyal Pegasus and then the backbreaking Courser of Kruphix. Smith's first play of Setessan Oathsworn was promptly dispatched by Last Breath, and then he passed a blank turn, leaving four mana open for Angers's combat step.
Heedless of the threat of Divine Verdict, Angers attacked, but not before tapping out for voyaging Satyr and Ordeal of Heliod. His read was good: Smith had no play. Revoke Existence rolled off the top for Smith to get rid of the Courser, but he had no answer to the growing threat of the Pegasus. Nyxborn Wolf bolstered the Voyaging Satyr, and Smith was forced to play Raised by Wolves on his opponent's Satyr, just to get the pair of 2/2s. Angers saw victory ahead and got overeager, attacking with both his creatures and casting Gods Willing on his Satyr for Protection from Green. The bestowed Wolf and Smith's enchantment fell off. The blunder didn't matter, however. Smith was too far behind, and the match went to Angers shortly thereafter, to the cheers of his friends along the rail.
Marc Angers defeats Robert Smith 2-1
Both players brought their A-game to Round 9 to finish the day strong, Smith succeeding in his win-and-in, and Angers defeating Frank Skarren to finish at 8-1.