t was a record attendance for a North American Grand Prix with over 850 players. With the little hand on the clock inching toward the twelve, one hundred and twenty-eight players let out a huge sigh of relief as nine rounds of play came to a conclusion.
There were only three players left with perfect records. Sitting atop the standings with a profitable asterisk next to his name was amateur player Josh Lampert. He had a pair of Spikeshot Goblins in his red-green deck--as nice a foil as you can ever expect to find with only one deck of Mirrodin to work with.
Minnesota standout Gerry Thompson only had one Spikeshot in his deck but was able to overcome that deficit with Loxodon Warhammer and Oblivion Stone. Pro Tour Boston winner Matt Linde was the final 9-0 player with his blue-red deck that touched black for Betrayal of the Flesh. He had some solid rare equipment to help him along the way in Empyrial Plate and Heartseeker.
There was some pretty impressive talent residing in the 8-1 division including a pair of US National Champions in Eugene Harvey and Joshua Wagener. There were a few more Pro Tour winners sprinkled in there as well. Brock Parker, Ben Rubin, and Mike Turian were right up there wit nearly unblemished records.
Former Wizards employee and fiancée to Patrick Sullivan Kate Stavola was one of three women to advance to the second day of competition. Kate had no byes coming into the tournament and was an amateur to boot. She ran off eight straight wins before she lost in the ninth round to fellow amateur Josh Lambert's army of Spikeshots.
Despite the additional sixty-four players there are still only six rounds tomorrow. The were very few draws as a result. It is going to take a pretty gaudy record to make the final draft table and the one hundred players with two losses or more don't have much margin for error.
Tune in tomorrow for all the draft coverage as the process of cutting down this record breaking field from over 850 players down to one happy and undoubtedly tired winner comes to its dramatic conclusion.