Shuhei Nakamura is the #1 seed based on his 7-2 record in the regular season, and he advances to the finals.
We have a 3-way tie for 2nd – 4th between Rich Shay, Eric Froehlich, and Paul Rietzl. Instead of trying to figure out who is the #2 seed what we’re going to do is have the 3 of them play a full round robin of best 3 out of 5 match series. (So the first two playoff weeks will have 3 total best 3 of 5 match-ups, instead of two.) Whichever one of them defeats the other two will join Shuhei in the finals. If they each go 1-1 then best match win % will be our first tiebreaker, followed by best game win %, followed by another match of Magic.
With the standings so close this season, the playoff scenarios going into the final week are shockingly diverse and complicated. We can still have 1 or even 2 players on 5-4 who miss the playoffs because 4 players get to 6-3. We can also still have a 6-way tie at 4-5 for 4th through 9th!
Here’s how it all shapes up player by player:
Shuhei (6-2) – Has clinched a top 4 spot. If he beats LSV in the final week he clinches a Top 2 seed as only Rich can tie him, and Rich would need two wins to do so.
Rich (5-2) – Has to play two matches yet since his match with Paul was postponed due to technical difficulties. He has clinched at least a tie for a playoff spot as the only scenario where 5-4 can miss is if he is one of the 4 players on 6-3.
Efro (5-3) – Has also clinched at least a tie for a playoff spot since the only scenario where 5-4 misses is if he is one of the 4 players on 6-3.
Paul (4-3) – He is the 4th player in the hypothetical 4-way tie for first at 6-3 that happens if 4 of the remaining 6 matches go exactly the right way. Since he has two left to play, though, what this really means is he clinches at least a tiebreaker match if he wins either one of them. He can also wind up in a 6-way tie for 4th if he loses both his matches. (In fact, he’s one of the keys to that scenario as 4-5 is only alive for playoffs if Paul goes Loss, Loss in week 9.)
LSV (4-4) – Needs to win and then needs one of the following to happen: 1) Rich beats Paul or 2) Web beats Paul, or 3) Brian beats Rich, or 4) Steve beats Efro. Basically, Luis’s match against Shuhei is a win-and-in for Luis as long as we don’t get all 4 of the results needed to have a 4-way tie for first at 6-3. Meanwhile, Luis can back into a 6-way tie for 4th if he loses and 4 other results turn out correctly.
Brian (4-4) – His scenario is slightly better than Luis because he is paired against Rich in week 9 and thus controls his own destiny (since a win from Brian guarantees that Rich does not get to 6-3 and thus that 5-4 is good for at least a tiebreaker match). Like Luis, Brian losing is part of the ‘6-way tie for 4th at 4-5’ scenario.
Kai (4-4) – Functionally the same situation as Luis in that he must win (over Randy) and get a little bit of help, or lose and get a metric ton of help.
Randy (3-5) – I’m not dead yet! All I need is for Paul to lose twice, Luis to lose, Brian to lose, and then Kai to lose to me and we’re golden! Well, as golden as someone tied for 4th through 9th can be, anyway.
Web (3-5) – Functionally the same situation as me: if he wins his match against Paul then we’re 1/5th of the way toward our 6-way tie.
Steve (1-7) – There is no drama in the race for “not last” this time around. A run of crazy-bad luck has left Steve as the only league member headed to next season’s play-in tournament. His match against Eric is still quite relevant to Eric’s playoff seeding though. (It’s also the only match that is not relevant to the 6-way tie for 4th.)
So … there can be a 4-way tie for 1st (at 6-3), there can be a 6-way tie for 2nd (at 5-4), there can be a 6-way tie for 4th (at 4-5), and there are a bunch of scenarios in between. Week 9 should be awesome!
The part of Luis Scott-Vargas will be played tonight by 2010 Vintage World Champion Owen Turtenwald. (OK, fine, he’s won some other stuff too.) The VSL wishes all the best to Luis while he is distracted from the league by the birth of his first child.
Check out the decklists here if you haven’t seen them already.
This is tonight’s schedule (note that Kai is unavailable, but Reid Duke is going to be playing his match for him, and taking his turn in the commentary booth):
All the dust has settled from our Qualifier Tournament and with Kai Budde grabbing the LCQ slot we wound up with a field of 6 Hall of Famers and 4 Vintage ringers for season 5. Here’s the week 1 schedule and I can’t wait to see what decks people bring to the table!