Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Third Time's A Charm; Champ Crowned!!

United States - Nertz...It is never over until it's over. The final table match of this year's Summer Classic Online was simply fantastic. Sara Paseka, Nate Nelson, Jill Younker-Sny, and Christmas Wishart all had a piece of the lead at different times during this 12-handed thriller. It was a match that lived up to it's billing, truly making it a "Classic". The level of play was unlike any match to date, and with the title of Summer Classic Champion on the line, everyone was giving it their all.

The match started with Nate calling Nertz but not winning the hand. Christmas actually scored higher than Nate in hand #1, giving her the lead. The next hand, Sara made sure her presence would be known with a quick 10-point Nertz. As a result, this ended up setting Christmas and gave Nate the lead, who was then followed closely by Sara.

Summer Classic Final Box Score>>>
Tournament Bracket and Stat Tracker>>>

In hand #3 it would be Jill who set Sara with a 13-point Nertz call. Christmas also scored 13 points that hand which put Sara at the bottom of the leader board. Nate was also still clinging to the top spot, with Christmas not far behind. Hand #4 belonged solely to Sara as she scored 21 to put her only 3 points behind Nate who remained in the top spot despite Sara's efforts. When the game looked as though it couldn't get any tighter, Christmas called a 22-point Nertz in the 5th. From top to bottom, all players were within twelve points of one another, the highest having 49(Sara) and the lowest with 37(Christmas).

Christmas called another Nertz in the 6th tying Jill's hand score and setting both Nate and Sara. Nate and Sara fell out of the top spots and landed at the bottom of the leader board in one hand.

Jill having the lead, kept the momentum going by calling Nertz in the 7th. She had extended her lead by 20 points. Sara was still behind her in second place. Jill then struck another blow, making a huge set on the 2-time champion, Sara, in hand #8 that corralled Sara back to last place.

Nate called Nertz in hand #9 and barely prevented Jill from winning it all. After nine, Jill only needed 2 points to close it out. Jill had victory on her mind but the other Nertz players also had plans of their own. Christmas was 18 points back from Jill at that moment and was hoping for a set. Well, a set then came from Sara in the tenth, but Christmas couldn't make the most of it only scoring 1 point. Jill had been set back 10 points.

Sara had seen this before. She needed to make a comeback as she had done earlier in this tournament. She knew just what to do, and did it with a game high 23-point Nertz in the 11th to put herself back in 2nd place. Jill had only scored 5 points giving her 93 at the end of that hand. Sara had 88, only 5 points away from Jill. Christmas was also not far away with 80. Nate had remained stagnant at the bottom of the leader board and no longer in striking distance.

This was it, the comeback story was set in motion and all Sara needed to do was get one more Nertz call. When the 12th hand started, cards flew from both Sara's and Jill's Nertz piles. The top three players were storming their way towards the finish line. When the dust cleared, Sara, had made it to 100 points!... but Jill had made it further. Jill won the Summer Classic Online with 110 points ending Sara's dominate undefeated streak in the process. Jill had faced Sara in two final table matches before playing in this one. The third time was a charm for Jill. She had gotten her revenge.


It will be disappointing if we don't see these four player's in upcoming NNA tournaments. Every player had a chance in this final and all of them made this game a total delight to watch.

So now, Nertz history has been made yet again, and we might be looking at the beginnings of a bitter rivalry between the 2-time NNA Tournament Champion, Sara Paseka, and the Summer Classic Online Champion, Jill Younker-Sny.

Sara is now 6-1 with 759 total tournament points (both the highest of any tournament player). Despite the loss, she still managed to get to 100 points in this match. 100 points is her lowest score...ever. That is nuts! She will be around setting the bar high for feature online Nertz players. I am sure she will be plotting her revenge as Jill did. Her record may not be perfect anymore, but her 108.43 PPG average is still beyond perfect. Early in the tournament, Sara also had a tournament high 32-point Nertz(tied with Meg Holko).

Nate lost steam in the last couple of hands but did lead for 3 hands in this final. He also called Nertz twice. Nate came close to beating Sara and knocking her out of this Classic in his semifinal match. He knows he has got the skills but for now he will have to wait for his next chance. Nate has a 2-3 game record but all of those losses come at the hands of Sara. We will be looking forward to watching Nate's progress in the next few tournaments.

Christmas Wishart needs to be given a "Rookie of the Tournament" award for her collective tournament performance. She is 1-2 with an 88.33 PPG average and a 9.14 PPH average. She has collected 9 Nertz calls in 29 hands played. Most impressively, in this final match she called Nertz twice, won a hand without Nerting, and tied hands with Jill twice even though Jill made the Nertz calls in those hands. This means in 5 of the twelve hands, she had the highest(or tied for the highest) hand score. Christmas also had the second highest hand of the final with 22 points.

Jill has the most hands played of any tournament player and now has a Tournament Championship title to show for all of her tournament experience. Her perseverance cannot be questioned. She has been to three final tables and now can say she is a Champion. But not just any Champion, the Summer Classic Online title will be coveted by Nertz players everywhere. Jill says she "will be practicing" so that she may be ready for any challengers that come her way, veteran or newcomer.

We say GAME ON!

If you would like to test yourselves against these emerging tournament greats, just go to our Online Tournament Page to register for the next Nertz tournament.

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