Wednesday, October 7, 2009
2-Time Champ Battles In Thriller!
United States - Three of the four veterans made it to play in the ACEG MEGA semifinal match. 2-time champ Sara Paseka and veterans Aaron Whitcomb and Natasha Rene Stafford went at one another for 9 hands. Brock Ellis wasn't available for tonight's hardcore exhibition of talent.
ACEG Semifinal Bracket Scores>>>
Full Tournament Bracket>>>
Sara started the match with a 20-point Nertz that put her out in front. Aaron countered in the second with a 27-point Nertz. This only moved him into second place as Sara remained in first with 20 points of her own in the 2nd. Natasha stuck a blow in the 3rd with a 22-point Nertz, which resulted a place swap with Aaron, while Sara, still in 1st place, inched closer the 100-point mark.
In the 4th, Aaron then traded places again with Natasha moving himself back into second place after a 28-point Nertz, while Sara continued her march to the finish after yet another 20-point tally. At that point the scores read as follows: Sara 74, Aaron 63, and Natasha 55.
Sara was within striking distance, but the feud between Natasha and Aaron was starting to heat up. Aaron was bested by Natasha in the second round by only two points. This time Aaron was determined not to let Natasha beat him. However, Natasha, currently in 3rd place, wasn't about to let Aaron get the best of her this time either.
Sara continued the match unaware that the magnitude of her opponent's rivalry would have such an impact on her tournament life. Natasha quickly made back-to-back Nertz calls pulling herself back into second place just 1 point away from the leader, Sara.
Aaron didn't waste anytime in the 7th hand calling Nertz and making a full table set which put him in the lead. In a volley-like fashion, Natasha returned Aarons Nertz call with her own full table set in the 8th.
The ninth hand would prove to be the last of the match. All three vets had a chance to take it. But who wanted it the most? It just so happened that 2 of them did take it. Aaron's and Natasha's rivalry fueled them both to play any and every card they could in the 9th hand up until a Nertz call was made. It was Aaron who ended up calling Nertz but much to everyone's surprise, he did not solely posses the highest match score. Natasha tied with Aaron at 101 points to end the match as both players further solidified their places as arch nemeses.
The 2-time champ, Sara, fell just short of advancing to her 4th final appearance. She had a dominating second round match in which she won in only 4 hands. Sara will be plotting her revenge having already preregistered for the next NNA tournament. It is unlikely that Sara will fall from the #1 spot in the tournament ranking due to both her quality performances in this tournament and her previous ones...especially the ones in which she captured 2 titles.
Aaron and Natasha will face Katie and Meg in the Finals of the MEGA-Nertz Open. Meg Holko, the only champion remaining in this tournament, has the lowest PPG average of all the finalist. That may not be a factor, due to Meg's experience in the finals.
Meg beat Aaron Whitcomb in the finals of the NNA004 tournament. However, rookie Katie McClain just put a beat down on Meg along with another tournament champion in the same match.
In addtion, Natasha Rene Stafford beat Aaron W. in her second round match after advancing on a "bye", so we know she can beat a champ-beater.
Aaron is looking to be the first male ever to win a NNA online tournament. He has taken down the 2-time champ twice in his tournament life.
Katie isn't perfect in her 1st tournament appearance despite her impressive stats. She did lose to rookie Josh Consalvo in her second round match. Katie still currently holds the tournament hand high in which she will be awarded a prize for if it stands. She is also a strong favorite in the "Rookie of the Tournament" running. If her record holds, a victory in the final would likely earn all four tournament prizes. A truly magnanimous feat. However, the veterans in this final will do everything they can to prevent this from happening.
The final match-ups look to be extremely close in talent. All of the finalists have the skill, but it will be about who executes when it counts. We will see next week who can execute!