As Day Two of Grand Prix Dallas/Fort Worth winds down, so too do the myriad races going on across the room. We brought you the full breakdown of these yesterday, and here’s where things stand heading into the Top 8.
This was the race of the weekend, and it didn’t disappoint. Both Pascal Maynard and 25th-ranked Alexander Hayne, who have been chasing each other for months in the race for the Grand Prix Pro Points invitation to next month’s World Championship, advanced to the final day of the tournament, with both live for a shot at the Top 8.
It was Hayne who blinked first, dropping his first round of the day and opening the door for Maynard to make a run and eclipse Hayne and the three-point lead he had established with his 11th-place finish at Grand Prix Montreal three weeks ago.
But the wheels fell off the comeback train shortly after, with Maynard dropping two rounds to fall to four losses overall. That ended his chance of picking up the three points he needed to catch up, and it means Hayne — who missed last year’s World Championship on tiebreakers — will be the one who will compete at Worlds.
Speaking of the World Championship
The other thing at play in Dallas was the race for much-needed Pro Points to earn the regional invitation to the World Championship, as determined by the most Pro Points earned over the season. While Pro Tour Magic Origins will be the final factor in how these races play out, here’s where things stand before the Top 8 of Grand Prix Dallas/Fort Worth kicks off.
North America (four spots awarded)
- Eric Froehlich (60 points)
- Sam Black (57 points)
- Ari Lax (54 points)
- Seth Manfield (53 points)
- Paul Rietzl (53 points)
- Owen Turtenwald (52 points)
- Jacob Wilson (51 points)
- Shaun McLaren (51 points)
- Brad Nelson (51 points)
- Josh Utter-Leyton (50 points)
- Steve Rubin (49 points)
Though a number of North American pros showed up to Dallas — and several including Seth Manfield, Shaun McLaren, Mike Sigrist and Ari all made deep runs — the only person who actually managed to improve their position was Josh Utter-Leyton. The world’s 12th-ranked player improved two points in Dallas to move into the top 10.
Europe (three spots awarded)
- Ondrej Strasky (53 points)
- Shahar Shenhar (48 points)
- Antonio Del Moral Leon (48 points)
- Jelger Wiegersma (47 points)
- Ivan Floch (47 points)
- Marcio Carvalho (43 points)
- Martin Dang (41 points)
- Martin Juza (39 points)
Several Europeans made the trip to Texas, and it paid off handsomely for a few. Ondrej Strasky extended his lead by improving three points, while Antonio Del Moral Leon moved into sole possession of third place, giving him the edge on the automatic Worlds invite heading into the Pro Tour.
Asia-Pacific (three spots awarded)
- Lee Shi Tian (57 points)
- Yuuya Watanabe (56 points)
- Jason Chung (48 points)
- Shota Yasooka (44 points)
- Yuuki Ichikawa (41 points)
- Teruya Kakumae (38 points)
No position changes for the Asia-Pacific region, but the trip proved very valuable for Jason Chung, who picked up three points to extend his hold on the third and final automatic bid.
Latin America (two spots awarded)
- Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa (48 points, competing in Dallas)
- Thiago Saporito (46 points, competing in Dallas)
- Willy Edel (42 points, competing in Dallas)
And thus the tie for second was broken. Thiago Saporito finished in ninth place on tiebreaks, picking up four Pro Points to move ahead of Willy Edel after Edel failed to make Day Two. It was a key moment for Saporito, but could have been so much more. He missed the Top 8 on tiebreakers, falling short by just .01 percentage points.
One the Hunt
Finally, we have those players who are chasing not just invitations or trophies, but simply Pro Points so they can advance to the next threshold in the Pro Players Club. With Pro Tour Magic Origins their final chance to pick up points, many prominent players made the trip to Dallas to try and take that critical final step.
Here’s how things turned out after the dust settled on the Swiss rounds.
- Thiago Saporito (46 points)
Thanks to his 9th-place finish, Saporito earned the four points he needed to lock up Platinum for the season, and will be guaranteed that status through the entirety of the 2015-16 season.
Still chasing Platinum (46 Pro Points)
- Willy Edel (42 points)
- Christian Calcano (42 points)
- Alexander Hayne (42 points)
- Ben Stark (42 points)
- Martin Juza (39 points)
- Pascal Maynard (39 points)
- Marco Cammilluzzi (38 points)
- David Ochoa (34 points)
- Nathan Holiday (32 points)
David Ochoa’s Top 8 appearance was more than just a proud moment for Ochoa, it was also what he needed to lock up Gold status for the season. Playing out of the spotlight all weekend, Holiday also quietly picked up three Pro Points in Dallas, and the three he’ll earn from Pro Tour Magic Origins means Holiday locked up Gold with his performance in Texas.
Chasing Gold (35 Pro Points)
- Lukas Blohon (31 points)
- Martin Muller (31 points)
- Josh McClain (31 points)
- Fabrizio Anteri (31 points)
- Luis Scott-Vargas (30 points)
- Matt Sperling (30 points)
- Nam, Sung Wook (30 points)
- Don Van Ravenzwaaij (29 points)
- Jamie Parke (29 points)
- Pierre Dagen (29 points)
- Javier Dominguez (29 points)
- Robin Dolar (28 points)
- Patrick Cox (27 points)
Of this long list of players chasing Gold, two improved their chances in Dallas. Pierre Dagen and Javier Dominguez both earned one point to improve their odds of crossing the threshold at the Pro Tour.