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The Road to Worlds 2013, Week 1

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

4th April 2013

Welcome to the fourth season of the Road to Worlds articles. This is a weekly series that aims to preview upcoming Regional tournaments, review Regional tournaments that have just taken place, highlight winning decks, interview players, and more.

How can you contribute to this series? First and foremost, I am relying on results and deck lists being promptly entered into this site. I can't write about them otherwise. Other ways you can help include: taking photos, interviewing players, writing previews, and providing background information. Any other way to help the community be a part of your Regional tournament would be appreciated, too. Contact details are at the end of this article.


Predictions

JamesKrisInterviewees
29/81 (35.8%)28/81 (34.6%)26/79 (32.9%)
2012 Prediction Accuracy

As with last year's Road to Worlds articles, this year there will be another three-way contest to see who can predict the most Regional winners. Last year's final results are above. Joining me again this year as a regular predictor is fellow writer Kris Sonsteby (LORE). The third predictor each week will be that week's interviewee. As there is no interview this week, Sean O'Reilly (Jono) has agreed to put his reputation on the line and make the predictions. Sean was the best interviewee predictor in last year's Road to Worlds series, with seven correct predictions out of seven in week 10.

Kris' introduction:
Hot damn, Gorilla, we're back and better than ever! Well, I am anyway. You probably spent your offseason over at the Lincoln Park Zoo peeling bananas and entertaining the humanoids. Serves you right too, after that snow job you pulled on me last year to win our Regional prediction race. Mark my words, Gorilla, my big brain says this year is gonna be my year!

Sean's introduction:
Since there is no interview this week because it is the start of the Regionals, I'd like to thank James for inviting me back to make predictions this year due to my perfect record in 2012. I can only hope to improve by being perfect +1 this time.

And, not to be left out, my introduction:
As the reigning Regional winners predictive champion, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves. I've predicted the most Regional winners last year and the year before. Granted, I had no competition in 2011; but still, I know what it takes to win: Luck, and lots of it!


Week 1 Preview

The complete schedule can be found in the article 2013 Regional Championships Schedule. There are nine Regional tournaments this week:

Saturday 6th AprilSunday 7th April
Second Edition (Standard)
Kaiserpalast
Pressather Str. 113
92637 Weiden
Germany
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Kaiserpalast
Pressather Str. 113
92637 Weiden
Germany
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
The Pommeler's Rest
198 Tower Bridge Road
London, SE1 2UN
United Kingdom
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Sci-Fi City
6006 E Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32807
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
First Edition (OTF)
OKCoyote Residence
2190 Forest Knoll Drive NE, Apt. #201
Palm Bay, FL 32905
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Super Games Inc.
11060 Alpharetta Highway, Suite 134
Roswell, GA 30076
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Draft)
Super Games Inc.
11060 Alpharetta Highway, Suite 134
Roswell, GA 30076
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Fantasy Flight Games Event Center
1975 Oakcrest Ave, Suite 10
Roseville, MN 55113
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Fantasy Flight Games Event Center
1975 Oakcrest Ave, Suite 10
Roseville, MN 55113
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

Kaiserpalast (Second Edition): This is the third year this Vandros IV Regional has been held. It had to be rescheduled due to a low turnout in 2011. Host Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser) went on to win the eventual four player tournament. Attendance rose to eight players last year, helped by three players arriving from the Czech Republic. They dominated the day, taking three of the top four spots. This year, just two players have pre-registered; although recent events at nearby venues show a number of regular players in the area: Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser), ranked 6th in the world; Flo, ranked 72nd in the world; Demandred, ranked 415th in the world; Barbara Richter (R2-B2), ranked 479th in the world; and Markus Eberlein (eberlems), ranked 843rd in the world. Even after a recent loss to his wife, Johannes has to be the player to watch in this tournament. I hereby jinx him.

Kris: Johannes Klarhauser to win. Why? The Kaiser is a former four time Regional Champion, a former British National Champion, and for good measure won an ironman match at Cyber Sunday a few weeks back. If those weren't good enough reasons to pick 'em, he's also wearing the zebra stripes for this contest, so he'll hold all the power between the ropes.

Sean: At the time of writing, there are just two people registered and Johannes Klarhauser is a beast of a player. He is the 6th ranked player in the world and consistently finishes first or second in local tournaments. It definitely would be an unwise pick to go with anyone else based on who is pre-registered.

Past Second Edition Regional results at Kaiserpalast:
2012, won by Vladimir Vrbata (vlasopes) playing [Voy] Voyager.
2011, won by Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Kaiserpalast (Tribbles): The first double-header of this year's Regional season sees a Tribbles Regional follow the Second Edition Regional in Vandros IV. Last year, four players competed in a high scoring game. The top three scored over 2.1 million Tribbles between them, with host Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser) leading the way. As with the Second Edition Regional, just two players have pre-registered so far: Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser), ranked #1 Tribbles breeder in Germany; and Markus Eberlein (eberlems), ranked #3 Tribbles breeder in Germany. Markus won two of the first three Tribbles tournaments at this venue, but his last win was in 2011. Since then, Johannes has won four of the six Tribbles tournaments they have played. He's my pick to win this one too. Double jinx. (If you include the predictions from Kris and Sean, that is a sextuple jinx. Good luck trying to beat the weight of those expectations Johannes!)

Kris: Johannes Klarhauser to win. Why? Did I mention that on top of being head referee for these events The Kaiser will also be on his home turf? It's basically a foregone conclusion that if anyone dares to question his authority, he'll happily serve as judge, jury, and executioner.

Sean: Again, I am going to have to pick Johannes Klarhauser. While it would be great to spread out the Regional wins to different players, I just can't see Markus Eberlein beating Johannes. Markus has won two Tribbles tournaments, but those occurred back in 2011 - however he did place 2nd in a Tribbles side event at the 2012 European Championships. But that is not enough to make me change my mind.

Past Tribbles Regional results at Kaiserpalast:
2012, won by Johannes Klarhauser (Kaiser) playing a rainbow deck.
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Reminder: Big Tribble in Little Qo'noS cards are not legal for play this weekend.

OKCoyote Residence: The only First Edition Regional of the weekend takes place in the Cardassia Region. Last year, First Edition play (in the Continuing Committee-era) was just beginning in the Region so the Regional took the shape of a Block Sealed tournament. Six players participated, and Klingon decks took the top two places. Sean O'Reilly (Jono) was undefeated in that tournament, to win his first Star Trek title in 15 years. This year, with players gaining experience, the format has progressed to Constructed OTF. With a booster box of Voyager as a prize for the winner, six players have pre-registered so far. There isn't much to choose between the top three though, with just 6 points separating Daniel Matteson (OKCoyote), Sean O'Reilly (Jono) and Tammy Vititoe (tamtoe). Daniel and Sean both have a lot more experience with First Edition than Tammy, and they have similar overall winning records too. However, when it comes to Constructed tournaments, Daniel's 47% winning record beats Sean's 32% winning record by a distance. Even though he may sit the tournament out to avoid the bye, Daniel is my pick to win.

Kris: Daniel Matteson to win. Why? Since bursting onto the scene last April, The Gunslinger has taken aim at every facet of our business; from lacing up the boots, to dressing like a zebra, to putting on a headset, the man's literally fired a round at it all. And after splitting a pair of matches with him myself, I know first-hand that if he happens to get Regional gold in his sights this weekend, he's gonna take the shot.

Sean: This is an interesting tournament, not the least because I am playing in it. Everyone is wondering if Thomas "TK" Kamiura will show up. He is currently not pre-registered and his last non-online tournament was two months ago. If he was pre-registered, I definitely would be picking him to win this week since it is OTF. This is the Regional I won last year, but it was a Block Sealed format and I am a better sealed player than a constructed player. That said, I believe the tournament will come down to me or Daniel Matteson (if TK stays away). I will pick Daniel because I don't want to sound like an egomaniac or tip off what I might be playing on Saturday. That reminds me, I better start building my deck soon.

Past First Edition Regional results at OKCoyote Residence:
2012 (alternate venue), won by Sean O'Reilly (Jono) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Super Games Inc. (Second Edition): This will be the third year this Cardassia Regional in Roswell, Georgia has been run. Two years ago, seven players participated and seven different affiliations were played. Last year, there were nine players, but much less deck diversity. The Regional was dominated by three [TNG] Next Generation decks and three [Kli] Klingon decks, taking six of the top seven spots. There are five players pre-registered so far, but the competition looks to be between Nick Culpepper (macgyver221) and Greg Hodgin (tomalak). Nick has the superior rating (1789 to Greg's 1661), more tournament wins this year (5 from 7 to Greg's 1 from 3), and a better winning record (80% to Greg's 66%). However, they are evenly matched when it comes to head-to-head games, each with 5 wins over the other. I'm giving Nick the edge though as he has two wins in their last three games. Nick to win.

Kris: Nick Culpepper to win. Why? Getta loada this... Big Mac's won eight out of every ten brawls he participates in, and is a reigning Regional Champion two times over. Provided he avoids another run-in with the aliens lurking around Roswell, history should repeat itself this Saturday.

Sean: The other Cardassia event on Saturday occurs in Georgia. This looks to be a battle between Greg Hogdin and "macgyver" (Nick Culpepper). While Hogdin has won a Second Edition tournament in 2013 and is the 65th ranked player in the world, macgyver is ranked at 21st and has five Second Edition tournament wins this year. macgyver has a 2-to-1 advantage this year head-to-head against Greg, so I just have to pick macgyver - even if he has to build his deck with toothpicks, duct tape and a coat hanger.

Past Second Edition Regional results at Super Games Inc.:
2012, won by Nick Culpepper (macgyver221) playing [TNG] Next Generation.
2011, won by Nick Culpepper (macgyver221) playing [DS9] Deep Space 9.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Super Games Inc. (Tribbles): The second double-header of the day sees this Tribbles Cube Draft follow the Second Edition Regional in Roswell, Georgia. Last year's Regional was constructed format and offers little help in predicting a winner. The group have played the Tribbles Cube Draft format twice before though, in June and July of last year. Those tournaments were contested between MasterOb1 (MasterOb1) and Kevin Reitzel (draven88). Both were victorious once. Kevin averaged 631,854 Tribbles over the two tournaments, while MasterOb1 averaged slightly less at 607,084 Tribbles. I'm going to pick MasterOb1 to win though. He was the more consistent performer, topping half a million Tribbles in both games. Something Kevin was unable to do.

Kris: Kevin Reitzel to win. Why? Like being the tallest kid in the 4th grade, Mr. Reitzel's experience puts him a head above the rest. Considering he's put over a million on the board in two of his past five Battle Royale's, I’ll stake my reputation as a broadcast journalist on him coming out on top without going over the top.

Sean: With the new cards from Big Tribble in Little Qo'noS not yet legal, I will have to base my decision on recent tournaments and the Tribbles player in Georgia doing the best lately is Kevin Reitzel. He has scored 1,000,000 (pinkie smirk) Tribbles in three of his last seven tournaments - including two of the last three. He obviously is a well-accomplished breeder and knows how to play the game well. Nick Culpepper/macgyver will probably be his toughest competition, but he only scored 240,131 Tribbles in one of his two tournament wins in the past year. Kevin, I feel, is the man to beat.

Past Tribbles Regional results at Super Games Inc.:
2012, won by Kevin Reitzel (draven88).
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Reminder: Big Tribble in Little Qo'noS cards are not legal for play this weekend.

Fantasy Flight Games Event Center (Second Edition): This Andoria Regional has attracted between 18 and 26 players each year for the past four years. Putting up those numbers, it should be no surprise that it has been the highest attended Regional each year since 2009. With eleven players already pre-registered, it looks set to continue that streak for another year. Among those pre-registered players are two former World Champions: Mike Harrington (Ajnaran) and Matthew Frid (bandana8472); three previous winners of this Regional: Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13), Mike and Matthew; and four players with a rating above 1700: Mike, Kris Sonsteby (LORE), Nat Kirton (Nate Jeezy) and Keith Morris (Foreman). Any way you look at it, the eventual winner is going to have some tough games on their hands. Having written that, none of these players recent records really stand out. Those that have played this year have some tournament wins under their belts, but nobody is dominating. Mike and Kris have the best constructed head-to-head records at 78% and 75% respectively, so I'll pick one of them to win. My coin flip says Mike to reclaim the title he won back in 2011.

Kris: Mike Harrington to win. Why? I've been managing The Natural for over a decade and if there's one thing I can tell about him it is when he's focused. Well, the man's focused right now, Gorilla, and considering he's the only legend in this business to hold both the AWA and T2E World Heavyweight Championships simultaneously, I gotta believe when MinnMania's over he'll be the last man standing.

Sean: Anyone want to roll an 11-sided dice to figure out who will win this tournament? With seven players ranked in the top 100 in the world it figures to be more like a mini-Continental Championship. You have 2011 World Champion Mike Harrington who is always on his game, achievement master Matthew Hayes coming in from North Dakota, Nat Kirton (who somehow I once beat during Continentals Day 1 of First Edition when GenCon was held in Milwaukee), and Keith Morris who has played just three times in the last 18 months - but won two of those tournaments. None of them are my picks. I have to go with Kris Sonsteby. Not too many people can say they beat Mike Harrington in a tournament, won the tournament and still went down in rating points. He's good. He's also a Facebook friend and if I don't select him he might unfriend me. Good luck Kris!

Past Second Edition Regional results at Fantasy Flight Games Event Center:
2012, won by Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13) playing [Voy] Voyager.
2011 (alternate venue), won by Mike Harrington (Ajnaran) playing [TOS] Original Series.
2010 (alternate venue), won by Matthew Frid (bandana8472) playing [TNG] Next Generation.
2009 (alternate venue), won by Kevin Jaeger (Hoss-Drone) playing [DS9] Deep Space 9.
2008 (alternate venue), won by Barry Windschitl (JamesValEson) playing [Bor] Borg.

Fantasy Flight Games Event Center (Tribbles): Last year's biggest Tribbles Regional, returns for a second year in Andoria. 15 players contested the title last year, with Mike Harrington (Ajnaran) winning a low scoring final table. Rescue was the most popular power played last year, with Bonus and Go also making notable appearances. This year, Chris Volk (volkerii) looks dangerous, having topped 2 million Tribbles in his last two tournaments. Steve Nelson (Boratus) has won four of the ten Tribbles tournaments he has played in this year, but his most recent deck hasn't performed too well. Mike Harrington (Ajnaran) is a consistent breeder with two wins out of five this year, and good placings at the other three tournaments. Justin Kaufman (CrimsonRavage) has two wins and a second place at his last three tournaments, while Matthew Hayes (karonofborg13) hasn't finished lower than second place at his last seven tournaments. I feel that any of these players could win the title, but I'm backing last year's winner Mike to retain his title.

Kris: Nat Kirton to win. Why? The Beast from the East is on a Battle Royale roll in the Land of 10,000 Champions, winning at both the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and Ides of March PPV's, and with tag team partners The Old Pro and The Natural also participating it could easily degenerate into a handicap match out there.

Sean: The easy answer looking at the numbers would be Matthew Hayes as he has bred over 78 million Tribbles. But that is because he seems to play in a Tribbles tournament every weekend. Got to love his dedication! I could also pick Kris here, but I won't. Instead, I'm going for an upset. I'm choosing Steve Nelson. He has four Tribbles tournament victories this year. I just hope he's not going to play his Rescue Battle deck that netted him a pity Tribble last month.

Past Tribbles Regional results at Fantasy Flight Games Event Center:
2012, won by Mike Harrington (Ajnaran) playing a Discard deck.
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Reminder: Big Tribble in Little Qo'noS cards are not legal for play this weekend.

The Pommeler's Rest: The first Regional on Sunday is London's Omarion Nebula Second Edition Regional. In the past, it has attracted between six and eight players for a minimum of five rounds. Sadly, the local players have only been victorious once in the past five years, as invaders from other parts of the country (and other countries) have thrown a spanner in the works and walked away with the title. Intelligence doesn't indicate any invaders planning to attend this year, so I'm 50% confident a local player will take the title. Nicholas Yankovec (nickyank) is the player in form, with three tournament wins out of the six he has played this year. Those performances have seen Nick's rating rise 47 points in three months. Daniel Giddings (Danny) is just behind Nick with a 42 point rise in his rating since the turn of the year. After several close finishes, Danny notched up his first tournament win in February, and has been terrorising a certain player (whose name may, or may not, be James) ever since. Those ratings points had to come from somewhere, and the Hoskin brothers are (not) proud to say it is from them. 2012 World Championships runner-up William Hoskin (Gumbo) only has one tournament win from nine this year, and has seen his rating tumble 46 points; James Hoskin (RedDwarf) hasn't come close to winning his last seven tournaments, and threw away 41 ratings points in the last two tournaments alone. The wildcard is Doug Hughes (gtdoug). At last year's Regional he turned up with a starter deck, but was persuaded to borrow a deck from Nick. He then soundly beat Nick and myself 100-0 with it. For this tournament, the smart money is on Nick. However, I have a tradition of modestly choosing myself to win the London Regional, so I'll continue with that. Shake your heads, roll your eyes, and say it with me: "Worst. Decision. Ever."

Kris: Will Hoskin to win. Why? Like a 2 a.m. bar close at the local VFW, I gotta pick somebody and in what looks like a pretty evenly matched field I expect Wee Willy's 2012 World title fight experience will give him an edge. Unlike you, the junior Mr. Hoskin has also offered me a bribe... err... a charitable donation for backing him, and as you know money talks, Gorilla, money... talks.

Sean: Hmmm, should I pick someone (James Hoskin) that will allow me to make future picks here, someone that could get me banned from ever selecting again (Will Hoskin), or a safe pick (Nicholas Yankovec)? I'll choose the safe pick, but for good reasons. Nicholas has won four of the last seven tournaments he's played in, including the UK Nationals in December. He played Klingon in three of those victories... so I'm guessing Nicholas will stay with what has worked in the past and it will bring him Qapla'!

Past Second Edition Regional results at The Pommeler's Rest:
2012, won by Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme) playing [SF] Starfleet.
2011, won by Stuart Motley (Damulak) playing [E] [DS9] Earth Space 9 / Deep Space 9.
2010, not played.
2009 (alternate venue), three-way tie won by William Hoskin (Gumbo) playing [Rom] Romulan, Nicholas Yankovec (nickyank) playing [Dom] Dominion and Steve Upton (nagisteve) playing [Car] [Rom] Cardassian / Romulan.
2008 (alternate venue), won by Stuart Motley (Damulak) playing [Dom] Dominion.

Sci-Fi City: The final Regional of the weekend takes place in Orlando, Florida. This Second Edition Cardassia Regional normally sees eight to ten players participate. It was originally dominated by Geoffery Peterson (Madred) for three years. Then he entered his on-off-on-off-on(again) retirement from the game. He has only played sporadically in the last two years, but did take the runner-up spot at the 2011 World Championships. Geoffery's main challenger would look to be Thomas Kamiura (Bosskamiura). Even though Thomas hasn't pre-registered, his unexpected appearance and win at last year's Regional must put him in contention. The same can be said for 2011 winner Eric Robinett (rycar60), who has two wins from three tournaments under his belt this year, and seven wins in his last eleven tournaments. In overall wins, Geoffery just about edges out the other two with a 77% constructed record, versus Eric's 75% record and Thomas' 69% record. In head-to-head, Geoffery and Eric each have one win against each other. Thomas beat Geoffery the one time they played, and Thomas has five wins from eight games against Eric. Its close, but I think Geoffery will just about take this one.

Kris: Eric Robinett to win. Why? I'm sure you don't remember, Gorilla, but I used to manage The Ravishing One back in the late 80's, and even then he had a mean streak a mile wide. My sources tell me he's only become more rude with age, and after picking up wins in seven of his last eleven contests, I'm inclined to trust them.

Sean: Another tournament close to my heart and another tournament very hard to choose a winner - especially if you-know-who that is not registered may show up. Tournament director Rick Kinney selected this day so Geoffery Peterson could play in it. Geoffery, who has only played once since finishing 2nd at Worlds in 2011, would be a very difficult challenge for any player. However, two others not registered could beat him: Thomas Kamiura and Eric Robinett. Eric has struggled lately when his Borg could not assimilate and Tragic Turn could not kill as needed. As I said earlier, Thomas just hasn't shown up at tournaments in two months. So who to pick? Well, don't pick me. If this was Austin Powers CCG (I game I highly recommend you play if you are going to GenCon this year because it is fun like Tribbles) I would say I would be in contention... but not here. I will pick Eric TK Geoffery. I have a good feeling he will come off the bench for the victory.

Past Second Edition Regional results at Sci-Fi City:
2012, won by Thomas Kamiura (Bosskamiura) playing [TOS] Original Series.
2011, won by Eric Robinett (rycar60) playing [Bor] Borg.
2010, won by Geoffery Peterson (Madred) playing [TNG] Next Generation.
2009, won by Geoffery Peterson (Madred) playing [Dom] Dominion.
2008, won by Geoffery Peterson (Madred) playing [Kli] Klingon.


Next Week

The real fun begins in Week 2 of the Road to Worlds. Nine tournaments to review and another seven to preview may see me having my annual Road to Worlds breakdown much earlier than usual. If I can keep it together for long enough, there will be an interview with a winning player, statistics, and much more.

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