fter eight rounds of sealed, the field of 530 has whittled down to 64 players. At the top of the standings is Hiroto Yasutomi, an amateur who stands to gain a lot of money tomorrow, as he is eligible for the amateur prize along with whatever main event tournament winnings he may earn. The other undefeated player is Masatake Shimada, a player who has been around a long time but has no big accomplishments. Right below them with 7-0-1 records are Worlds finalist Jin Okamoto, and "The World's Best Player", the ever popular Go Anan. Katsuhiro Mori continues his comeback from retirement, finishing up the day in seventh place. After his tenth place finish at Pro Tour Kobe last month, one has to wonder why he bothered to leave the game in the first place. Other players drafting tomorrow include Koichiro Maki, Masahiko Morita, Osamu Fujita and noted constructed specialist Kazuya Hirabayashi. Recent Pro Tour Champion Masashiro Kuroda will have to wait another day to bring home more trophies, as he failed to make day two.
Aside from the Japanese players, there is a foreign group present this weekend as well. Sam Gomersall and the Ruel brothers have been in Asia for about a month. They went to Pro Tour Kobe, then to Grand Prix Hong Kong, and are ending their trip with this event. It's turned out to be a good idea so far, as all three will be drafting tomorrow. Gomersall is in sixth, Olivier in 44th, and Antoine squeaked in at 59th. It'll take a little work for the Ruels to make Top 8, but Gomersall is on pace to earn a spot at the final table. He certainly seems to like Magic, as even after these last three events he'll be going home and playing in Grand Prix Birmingham next week.
But enough about today's sealed rounds- it's time to draft. Check back tomorrow when we find out who will walk away victorious.