Grand Prix Vienna had arguably the most star-studded Top 8 of any Grand Prix. In a field of over 300, the cream rose to the top.
Winner Kai Budde had been in the top 20 of four previous Grand Prix (including Birmingham, where he placed second, losing to Craig Jones in the finals and Barcelona, where he won) and in the top 64 of the past two US Pro Tours (Los Angeles and Chicago).
Second place finisher Cristian Gregorich was in the Top 64 of last year's World Championships, and was in the Top 16 of Grand Prix Zurich.
Third place finisher Jon Finkel is the reigning Player of the year, and leads the race for this year. He has an astonishing nine Pro Tour Top 16 finishes, including the last three World Championships and last year's Pro Tour New York (which he won). He's also finished in the Top 16 of six previous Grand Prix tournaments.
Erik Lauer, in fourth place, has finished in the top 32 of every Pro Tour stop this season (Chicago, Rome, and Los Angeles).
Randy Buehler, 1998's Pro Tour Rookie of the Year, is in third place in the Player of the Year race this year with his fifth-place finish. He's finished in the Top 20 of every Pro Tour this year, and has finished in the Top 16 of seven previous Grand Prix. Last Year, he started the season by winning Pro Tour-Chicago and finished by taking 12th place in the World Championships.
In sixth place was 1997 World Champion Jakub Slemr, who finished in the top 20 of the 1996 and 1998 Worlds as well.
Dirk Hein, in seventh place, was at Worlds '98 and Chicago '98.
Rounding out the Top 8 was Peer Kröger, with four Pro Tour Top
32 finishes to his credit.
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