by Gary Wise
If the first round of limited play in US Open history is any indication, things just got a little more exciting. With the number of entrants barely exceeding 128, a few unlucky souls were matched up so the field could play in an evenly bracketed single-elimination tourney.
Amongst those players selected (at random) was Casey McCarrel, former PT Champ. Fresh off his six month suspension, McCarrel, who was forced to miss both PTLA and PTNY, no longer has the requisite number of PT points to qualify for US Nationals, and therefore was forced to try to grind out a spot in today's open tourneys.
Paired up in the first round against a green-haired Atlanta native by the name of Zack Franks, McCarrel split the first two games when informed that time had run out. As single elimination doesn't allow for draws, it was decided that the two would play until a life total change, at which point the higher total would win.
Franks, whose opening hand included a Forest, a Deepwood Wolverine, and the (in this case) broken Spore Frog, knew immediately that he wouldn't be taking a mulligan. McCarrel looked at his opening hand, which included lands of all three colors, thought for a moment and decided to take a mulligan. Drawing six cards, Casey once again found himself with all three of his deck's mana types, normally a very desirable draw, along with an Intimidator and a Nightwind Glider, and decided to go down to six. His five card draw, in order, went as follows:
Seal of Fire
After Franks played the first turn critter, Casey played the Mountain and targeted Zack with the Seal. It seems unlikely that he's ever had a first turn kill in limited play before. Casey now enters the 128-player field, with the top four advancing to US Nationals tomorrow.
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