[Cork] Grand Qualifier | The Irish Duelist

[Cork] Grand Qualifier

Date: Sunday, March 22, 2009
Tournament Format: Swiss (5 Rounds) + Top 8 Play-Off
Number of Players: 21
Location: Victoria Hotel, Cork

Standings after Swiss
[5-0] 1st: PJ Tierney
[4-1] 2nd: Kieren Digpal (Gladiator Beasts)
[4-1] 3rd: Alex Hayes (Gladiator Beasts)
[4-1] 4th: Mark Slattery (Zombie Synchro)
[3-2] 5th: Patrick Farrell (Synchro Control)
[3-2] 6th: Seán Lynch (Plant Control)
[3-2] 7th: Brian Watkins (Macro Cosmos)
[3-2] 8th: Colin Tobin (Yubel Control)

Colin Tobin [defeated] PJ Tierney
Mark Slattery [defeated] Patrick Farrell
Alex Hayes [defeated] Seán Lynch
Kieren Digpal [defeated] Brian Watkins

Colin Tobin [defeated] Mark Slattery
Kieren Digpal [defeated] Alex Hayes

Kieren Digpal [defeated] Colin Tobin

[2-0] Round 1: vs Stephen O' Driscoll (Batterymen)
[2-0] Round 2: vs David Duggan (Apprentice Monarch)
[2-0] Round 3: vs Kenneth Watkins (Secret Village Control)
[0-0] Round 4: vs Michael Mooney (Dark World Control)
[2-1] Round 5: vs Kieren Digpal (Gladiator Beasts)
[1-2] Quarter Final: vs Colin Tobin (Yubel Control)

Having already qualified a fortnight ago the pressure was off and I could get some solid testing in before Nationals in 4 weeks time. Since Limerick had no qualifiers this season, I got most of the regular players to travel down to Cork to try and qualify. For some it was their first ever Cork event, for others their first Grand Qualifier (Upper Deck International's new name for a Regional Qualifier) and for me, it was a chance to put some theory into practice. My matchups weren't too difficult as you can see above, except for the final round of Swiss and the Quarter-Finals, which were both very difficult challenges and games that went all the way. 4 Limerick players (other than myself) qualified, with 3 of them topping, which was good to see, and Kieren Digpal took the title back to Limerick with a deck that I helped build the day before.

My match with Colin was a real endurance test as we traded blow after blow for well over an hour before I ran out of ways to claw back the defecit in game 3, almost decking out in the process. His deck is scary and with a few tweaks it can do quite well again in the future. What I learned from the game (and the tournament) was to keep track of what's left in my deck at all times, so that I can analyse critical situations a bit better and use that information to figure out the optimal play. Other than that shortcoming I'm happy with the deck's current development path and how I played overall.


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