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CardShark Content - Patrick Sullivan (4/13/2003)

BOHD Sealed Deck at Quantum Cards, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Sunday, April 13, 2003
4 rounds, 9 players, 1 (or 3) survivor(s)

Well at a Sprint sealed deck rating of 5th in the province and with my hotel already booked for Origins, I am clearly looking for a full clean tournament win today in order to try to win the bye into day two of the North American Continentals at Origins. My local arch-nemesis, Jonathan Verrall (who is now part of my local group, Team Quantum) is currently 1st in the province and will most certainly be attending in full regalia. I must defeat this great evil once and for all (this will prove difficult since it's clearly his turn to win).

My apologies for how brief this tournament report will be this time, because my GF is waiting for me downtown at our local brewpub and I just want to finish this TR off so I don't have to do it sometime this week! (also because I want to get it in before the contest deadline, yes?)

So in attendance is:
Fred Cote
John Bernatchez
Jacob Harris
Jonathan Verrall (spelled correctly for once)
Ari MacGee
Matt Mitchell
Patrick Malboeuf (cue dark music)
Chris Heman (or something¡K)

It is a BOHD Sealed Deck and it's my second one. One thing is clear: EOWYN starter is 3 times superior to Mr. Handsome Elf-face. And I open my secret box and inside we find?. EOWYN!! Great this time I have a chance. In my three booster packs, I pull terrible, terrible rares. All elf related (Break the Charge, etc.) and a Southron rare that limits the move rate. If these boosters had been received by someone with a Legolas starter, that person would be most fortunate. So, in a way, I'm happy I got stuck with them in a negative-draft kind of way.

Round one
Me vs Ari's Legolas starter! Yessir!K.
Ari is one of my two most loyal playtesters (her and Steve Judge). We get together once or twice a week downtown at a Second Cup (that the Canadian pronounciation of Starbucks). We have quite a good time on a regular basis. She is the only local female player (besides Jonathan Marchi's gf, Julie, who we never see anymore). We both bid 1 and she wins the toss so goes first. This is a CRAZY slow game and I learn very quickly that my fellowship of Elite Riders extraordinaire MUST GO FIRST. So I arrive at site 6 before her and double to 8. Time is called. CRAP. We both sweep our cards with me getting the timed win. Then the head judge, Verrall, mentions that we have 5 minutes remaining. CRAP. Ari is nice enough to agree that I would have won the game next turn at site 9 so she gives me the full win. Nice move and certainly expected after such a long game (people did this so many times at DecipherCon last year that I was amazed with how honest and ethical the players were).
FW +3 /3
Good: I never get to play Ari in tourneys so this was cool. Reese's Pieces as wound tokens are dee-lish.
Bad: I hate Timed games and I hate Slow games almost as much.
Ugly: I should really bid higher and go first to avoid this stuff¡K

Round Two
Me vs Fred Cote (Eowyn)
I bid 1 again (I don't learn very quickly) to his 2. He goes first.
Fred is clearly owning the game until site 4 where he moves there with Frodo and two illequipped Elite Riders. Lucikly he also has a site 4 Ally. This saves his arse as I play 4 minions with no Wargs (darn). I was one twilight away from winning the game right there. I then move to 4 under the same situation (without the ally). I manage to kill all minions and double to five (I must have been suicidal). After this, Fred's fellowship is clearly unstoppable but my one ballsy move ends up getting me the full win. Fred stopped at site 5 as well and I singled to 6. He then moved to six and stopped. This was the game-winning mistake. He should have clearly doubled to 7. I'm not sure why he stopped (I was seeing a lot of this today), but I felt real bad for him because he clearly regretted the move once he reconciled. I decided that if he had doubled, the game was his. So, I figure if I win today, I'll give him whatever prize I receive since this game shouldn't have been mine to win.
FW +3 /6
Good: SO far undefeated after two close calls and I really really need these wins.
Bad: It's getting pretty stressful
Ugly: My bidding strategy is garbage.

Round three
Me vs Patrick Malboeuf (Eowyn)
I bid 7 to his 5. I start. He is at six burdens cuz of Smeagol. This game played out text-book style with one exception. Patrick stops at site 6 instead of doubling to 7. I am right behind him with a fairly set up fellowship. I consider myself quite fortunate and double past him into seven where I face moderate opposition. Patrick¡¦s Fellowship finally gets completely set up at 6 with 9 companions and he singles to 7 and stops. It is fairly clear to me that I have to double to 9 to win and I do exactly that. He plays very little at site 8 and saves me his surprise at site 9. He gets out 6 or 7 minions but doesn't get lucky with the Wargs. I end up surviving by a close margin.
FW +3 /3
Good: 3 wins means I'm certainly in contention for the full tourney win that I need so much.
Bad: I think that Patrick should have really won this game so I feel almost bad. (I'm already giving all my prize support to Fred because of the same feeling a second ago, so Patrick's out of luck.
Ugly: Nothing really. Moving to 9 with 7 burdens and a ton of pool is fairly suicidal. I got lucky not once but twice in this game. Perhaps even thrice.

Final Round 4
Me vs Jonathan Verrall's Eowyn starter
Well this is what it all comes down to. I know I have to start and I know I have to beat this monster to try and get my bye. I bid 3 to his 5 and he starts. DAMN. This was also a textbook game but I managed to stop him very early (at site 2 I believe with a power 13 Southron that overwhelmed one of his Valiant men). I then double to 3 and stay ahead of the race. Doubling to 5 and then again to 7. I have only lost one companion so it looks like this one is in the bag. I am nervous about doubling to 9 but I know it has to be done. So I move to 8 and he plays an orc with Warg, another (all alone, power 6) and a Sauron Orc power 11. I block the big warg with my big elite rider and dispatch the other orc somewhere. I then have to decide if the power 11 Sauron Orc with 3 vitality will be blocked by power 6 Frodo or power 6 Valiant Man (Household Guard). I decide to block with Frodo mostly out of cockiness but I did think it through a bit. I figured I needed my Household Guards to not have 2 wounds so that they could survive the first skirmish at the next site. However, this still makes no sense because I think one of the two guards was completely healed so he could take a wound no problem. I am 100% convinced that an Eowyn starter with 3 boosters will not have a boost for Sauron. I was half-right. I block Frodo and say ´´Swell I doubt you've got anything for Sauron´´ and then Jonathan makes the long and over-exagerrated motion of playing one of his cards from his hand (it all seemed like slow-motion at the time). I decide to play along and start to open my eyes and mouth in amazement and go NOOOOO (as a joke) and then the card hits the table and it is THE EYE OF BARAD-DUR. I saw Jonathan actually pull this card out of one of his packs earlier and I had forgotten. Frodo is power MINUS ONE. 5 strength to 11. I LOSE. I think I'm going to throw up 'K
FL +1/ 10
Good: I played the game quite well and would have won easily at nine.
Bad: I got cocky, kid.
Ugly: The eye of Barad-hur will continually give me stomach cramps. As Dominic Gaudreault's sister would say, I got cock-slapped.

Jonathan Verrall has the courage to ask me to sign his rare Eye of Barad-Hur which of course I do. I steal Clint Hays' saying and write on the card: ´´Jesus hates this card and so do I´´ and sign it.

There are four players with 3-1 records and no undefeated players. John Bernatchez clearly has a bad strength of schedule and is taken out. The opposition totals of 28 are shared by:
Pat Malboeuf
Jonathan Verrall

There is no way to resolve this because we all faced against 10, 10 and 8 so even through elimination, the tie will remain. It is here that I ante up what I thought to be a Decipher Tournament Rule, whoever won more games earlier on (and hence faced tougher opponents) wins the tourney. This ends up being me so I am clearly biased in offering up this ruling. Jill (store owner) checks the website and fails to find the ruling. We are then set to go to random determination but Jonathan Verrall kindly hands me the 1st place win because I am for sure going to Origins. Malboeuf gets second and Verrall places third.

I can't believe how stressful a local tournament can be when you combine
1. High stakes (winning that bye is important to me)
2. MASSIVE MISTAKE (blocking with Frodo in a game where I will win)

I leave the store with a sore tummy (that Bernatchez links to my two large Tim Horton's coffees (both losers, by the way, thanks anyway Kathy. You're the best in the biz!)
I drive to the Subway to drop off Malboeuf and am happy to know that all four members of Team Quantum will be hitting the Toronto TOC next weekend. Open Format indeed.

So even though I win this tourney, I feel terrible. I won like 2 or 3 boosters and gave them all to Fred for his mistake that should not have been. He pulls Smeagol and foil Citadel of The Stars. Nice.

So that's it. I really hope I win this stupid sprint because I'll be dreaming of the Eye of Barad-Hur for the next few nights for sure!

Fred Cote for being a surprisingly good friend and opponent at the same time.
Pat Malboeuf for providing me with a really funny game and the least stressful one of the day. Great to play against and fun to make jokes.
Verrall for outsmarting me big time and teaching me a lesson I will never ever forget.
Ari for playing with Reese's Pieces and letting me have the full win in our messed up match.
Kathy for getting me coffee´´Kmmmmm´´
Jill for being a really great unpartial ref for moments like these.
Bernatchez for wearing nice soft fleece.
Matt Mitchell and Chris Heman for being new players that seem to really like the game and are sticking with it. Getting better and better.

Me for Lord-knows how many different reasons.

Open Format TOC next weekend. Road trip at 5 in the morning!! Should be A BLAST. It'll be one fun TR, I promise K sorry about the lack of details in this one. I want to go get my pint now!

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