Adam is a twenty-three year old network administrator who has been having one of those solid years that can go largely unnoticed. He has performed consistently well stringing together enough money finishes to remain on the Pro Tour without having to dip back into the PTQ circuit. This is the second elimination round at a GP this year for him although it is his first individual Top 8. He was a member of Shenanigans the team that took second at GP DC this spring. The popular TOGIT member is looking forward to another solid season and is hoping to build on the success of this one to earn and invidual Top 8 on the Tour as well.
While this twenty-seven year old waits on the results of an exam to determine his future employment he has been "playing Magic, Magic, Magic". The results have been evident in his performances. He burst onto the scene with his Top 8 at Kobe and recently earned a berth on the French National team alongside Olivier Ruel, and Gabriel Nassif. That squad is definitely an early favorite to wrest the title back from the American team this year.
With a couple more wins today he could also firmly cement himself in the lead for the Rookie of the Year Race. Gadiel Szleifer is not qualified for Worlds which should narrow the field even further. Only GP Nagoya and Worlds remain to affect that race.
Ty is a twenty-one year old student at John Hopkins who was regretting his one Pro Tour appearance at San Diego. Considering his dismal showing there it was hardly worth the Pro point the acquired there. With the amateur prize he would be assured a bigger payday no matter the Top 8 outcome. Now he will have to fight his way through a grizzled field of Pro Tour veterans to bolster his weekends pay. He splits his time between qualifiers at Dream Wizards while at school and Millennium Games in his hometown of Rochester.
Eugene Harvey has to be on the short list of candidates for Best Player to Never Win a Pro Tour. The man who brought CMU and TOGIT together has won a GP though. He is hoping to complement his Limited GP win in Atlanta with a constructed win this weekend. While there is much grousing about the state of American Magic, Eugene continues to post consistent money finishes and is considered one of the best American players in the game.
Jeroen Remie was on the same list as Eugene until Pro Tour: Seattle in July, where he and his Von Dutch teammates took home the big prize. Jeroen followed up that stellar performance with one almost as special - he became the 2004 Dutch National champion. These accolades are simply highlights in a career that has also included a Worlds top 8 in 2003, and an Extended top 8 at Pro Tour: Houston. A win today would catapult him into the top 15 in the Player of the Year race and put him in good position to reap a very healthy payout at the end of the year.
Jeff Garza recently switched shirts and switched leagues. He was a TOGIT regular up until last year when his family moved to New England and he became a part of the TJ's Collectibles family. After crumbling from what looked like a sure Top 8 of the previous year's JSS Championships he won this year in the finals days of his eligibility. He made a rapid transition to the Pro ranks with a Top 8 appearance at GP Orlando. It will be interesting to follow his progress as he attempts to take the next step up in Columbus but in the meanwhile he would be content to hoist a trophy today.
Jan is from Wolfsburg, Germany. He has played in six Pro Tours previously, but his best finish was merely a day 2 appearance at PT: LA in 20012001. He's actually in the states visiting German National champion Torben Tweifel, who currently resides in Virginia. Rene Appel developed the U/W Cog Control initially, but they didn't know how good the deck was before this tournament. Therefore Torben played Affinity, but Jan decided he wanted to play Cogs because it's a fun deck to play and because he didn't want to play mirror matches all day. It looks like he made a good decision.
Blah, blah, blah. Brian Kibler. Blah, blah, blah. Another GP Top 8. Blah, blah. Dragon.
Kibler - "It is my ninth Top 8 however."