Monday, September 28, 2009
United States - Tonight the electronic cards were flying. 12 of 12 Nertz players showed for their 2nd round matches and a total of 34 hands were recorded in the 3 tournament games played.
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The first match of the night was the shortest match played. It also had two NNA champions slugging it out. Not only was the last tournament champion, Meg, facing another champion in the early rounds, but she was also facing her talented Nertz-playing sister, Mallory. However, Meg maintained her poise and led the the entire match, winning it by acquiring 114 points. Mallory hoped to advance with her sister and was one her way to when Jill, the other Online Champion, fell to last place just after the 5th hand. Jill then went on a tear, nerting 3 consecutive times to pull herself into 2nd place as Meg was crossing the finish line. Jill finished with 87 points beating out Mallory and winning a trip to the semifinals.
The winners of the second match that was played tonight had to dig deep in the midst of their unusually long 16-hand match. Rookies Katie McClain and Josh Consalvo advanced despite early setbacks caused by veteran Aaron Bartholomew. At one point, Katie was at -37 while Aaron was in first place, and yet she still managed to advance by finishing with 94 points when the match came to an end. Josh also made an impressive comeback to knock the seasoned veteran (Aaron B.) out of the tournament with his 105-point victory.
Katie and Josh now have the daunting task of facing, not just one, but two online champions (Jill and Meg) in their semifinal match.
The last match of the night had a photo finish between two skilled veterans. Natasha Rene Stafford and Aaron Whitcomb went ten rounds. Natasha claimed the victory with 110 points, just 2 points more than Aaron's final game score. Rookie Kathy Nelon Michael put up a fight but didn't finish with enough points to advance.
Aaron and Natasha will face one another again in the semis along with the winners of the AC bracket which will be played tomorrow night.
Things to Note:
Natasha and Katie both had 6 Nertz calls a piece tonight. Jill had 5 Nertz calls in her 8 hand match. Katie's 37 point Nertz in the first round still stands as the tournament hand high. Jill reclaimed her record for the career total number of Nertz calls which now stands at 33.
Of the 32 players that entered the tournament it seems we are seeing more familiar faces endure as this tournament progresses. However, we are also witnessing some talented rookies emerge as well.
2 males have advanced to the semis so far out of a field predominately comprised of females. Another two males still have a chance to advance, so it is possible that this could be the first tournament won by a male. However, both statistics and history indicate otherwise. In addition, with three female champions still in the race, it would be hard to bet against them.
Finally, due to the impressive skill displayed so far, no matter who wins the MEGA-Nertz Open, they will most definitely be worthy of the title.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
United States - For the first time in this tournament a rookie was eliminated after playing in a 1st round match. However, if this rookie would have played in just about any other 1st round bracket match, she may have advanced. The skill level in this first round game was top notch. Veterans Mallory Holko and Christmas Wishart along with rookies April Allbritton and Teresa Rust battled it out in Sunday night's B bracket match.
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April called Nertz twice in this match but didn't win a single hand. Christmas didn't call Nertz any hand but still managed to win two hands. Teresa won three hands and called Nertz three hands but didn't necessarily win all of the hands she called Nertz in. Mallory had four Nertz calls and 2 full table sets and ended up safely securing the win with 102 points.
The impressive play by Mallory and both rookies led to an upset...possibly the biggest of the tournament. Teresa, knocked Christmas (ranked 4th in the NNA Tounrnament System) out of the tournament with her second place finish.
Mallory seems to be on a mission since she witnessed her sister Meg win the last NNA tournament. However, she must face her sister and Jill, another tournament champion, in the next round. The intensity will be turned up a notch for that second round match-up.
Though this game was not as close as some of the others in the 1st round, it received the honor of "Game of the Week" because of the collective skill displayed throughout the match.
8 rookies and 8 veterans have made it into the second round. Nertz fans should look forward to the next couple of rounds as new talent and old favorites rise to the challenge and go for the title of "Nertz Champion".
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
United States - With one match left to be played in the 1st round of the MEGA-Nertz Open, a better picture is emerging from the field of 32 players of which players want the biggest title of the year. One might have guessed that the three tournament champions that entered this tournament would advance to the second round. That guess would have been correct as Sara, Meg, and Jill are now awaiting their second round matches. Surprisingly, all of the rookies that played in their 1st round matches have advanced to the second round as well.
Out of the 11 males that registered for this tournament, only 5 have made it to the second round. The chances of having the 1st male online Nertz champion crowned in this tournament have been cut in half.
2-time champ and accolade giant, Sara Paseka, has gobbled up another tournament record. Sara surpassed Jill in the amount of career Nertz calls made with her 29th Nertz call in her first round match-up. Jill still has a chance to take that record back in this tournament as she, like Sara, has advanced to play another match.
The current tournament hand high is 37 points received by rookie, Katie McClain. If this hand high holds, she will receive a Nertz Scoring Pad from The Nertz Store at the tournament's end. We will see if this record will hold up as the rest of players continue to gun for prizes. Katie is also among the top rookies in the running for the "Rookie of the Tournament" award and the "I love Nertz" bumper sticker that comes with that title.
The chances of a champion winning this tournament have increased. However, the rookies are impressive both in the amount of them that have advanced and their individual stats. Still, it is hard to rule out players with experience. It may come down to who wants the MEGA-Nertz Open title the most...