Posted in GRAND PRIX MADRID 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on November 16, 2014

By Oliver Gehrmann

It's the first time Till Riffert and José Rodriguez Pozo have advanced to the Top 8 of a Grand Prix. For obvious reasons, both players wanted to continue to dominate after they had won their respective quarter-final matches in a convincing 2-0 fashion. Riffert had kicked out the veteran Marcio Alexandre Pinto de Carvalho who added his seventh GP Top 8 to his already impressive résumé this weekend.

We should also mention that Rodriguez' nerves had seemingly gotten the better of him in the previous round; he went as far as apologizing to his opponent Andrew Devine when they both shuffled up after the match. None of that might be remembered in case Rodriguez Pozo puts on a great show now, so let's head straight into the first game between these players.

Rodriguez Pozo appeared a little battle-scarred after two long days of intense competition!

Unfortunately for José Rodriguez Pozo, he had to mulligan down to 5 to at least apply some form of aggression against Till Riffert's Scapeshift deck. While he didn't have the worst start, he couldn't keep up with Riffert's acceleration in form of a Sakura-Tribe Elder and a Search for Tomorrow. As soon as the German was up on 8 lands, he tapped mana for Scapeshift and that concluded the game.

Immanuel Gerschenson vs. Ricardo van den Bogaard

Austria's Immanuel Gerschenson was able to eliminate Kevin Grove in his quarter-final match. Grove had tasted glory before, advancing to the Top 8 of Grand Prix Brighton back in 2009. So far, the Davids were wiping the floor with the Goliaths in this Top 8.

Let's not forget Ricardo van den Bogaard who was playing one of the most unique decks we've seen this weekend. It was making heavy use of Through the Breach and Summoning Trap to accelerate into Primeval Titan and Emrakul, the Aeons Thorn. He had to go up against his "neighbor" Steffen van de Veen and he also won in a convincing 2-0 fashion.

Immanuel Gerschenson was wasting no time and coming out strong!

Gerschenson found enough early aggression in a Delver of Secrets in his first game against Ricardo van den Bogaard. The Dutch player was missing non-red mana sources, so he had to pray to the gods and hope their Anger of the Gods would be enough to deal with Gerschenson's aggressors, but a Remand foiled that plan. With both the gods and his mana base letting him down, there was nothing van den Bogaards could do and both players agreed it would be best to quickly move on to the next game.

Games 2

Rodriguez Pozo had a promising start in the second game!

We went back to the second table. Here, Rodriguez Pozo had a very promising start thanks to two copies of Voice of Resurgence. Riffert on the other hand was quickly starting to look for answers. Dig Through Time certainly helped him to get to them sooner rather than later.

He found a Lightning Bolt to buy himself a little more time, but Rodriguez Pozo had a Restoration Angel to stay on track. Just when it looked like Rodriguez Pozo could tie the score, a Cryptic Command bought Riffert yet another turn and he was then up on 7 lands, which meant that Scapeshift was enough to force a handshake.

Till Riffert advances to the finals!

Van den Bogaard was missing some non-red mana sources in the first game. Would it happen again in the second?

On the other table, Gerschenson let out a sigh after taking a closer look at van den Bogaards sideboarding options. It certainly seemed like this Dutchman came prepared for the match-up.

Gerschenson's opening hand featured no aggression, but with three copies of Gitaxian Probe, he was able to work through his deck, eventually finding a Tarmogoyf.

Van den Bogaards found more lands when compared to the first game, but unfortunately, all of them were Mountains again. Gerschenson happily took the invitation, he added a second Tarmogoyf as well as two Delver of Secrets and shortly after, he attacked for game.

Immanuel Gerschenson overcomes Ricardo van den Bogaards!