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Live Coverage of 2004 Grand Prix Sendai

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日本語の取材へ

After bouncing around the Pro Tour without much success, Ichiro Shimura has finally made his presence felt, winning Grand Prix Sendai. Shimura, a twenty-one year old university student, took his lumps at three Pro Tours and focused on improving his game. Many who know Shimura expected him to have a breakthrough tournament, and it happened this weekend. Shimura admitted that much of his success could be attributed to the notorious Loxodon Warhammer, which was in his sealed deck yesterday, as well as his first draft deck and Top 8 deck today. In the final draft of the weekend, Shimura even got a Grab the Reins to go with the powerful piece of hardware.

  

Top 8 Final Standing

 1.  Ichiro Shimura (Japan) $2,400
 2.  Masashiko Morita (Japan) $1,700
 3.  Yusuke Sasaki (Japan) $1,200
 4.  Antoine Ruel (France) $1,000
 5.  Jin Okamoto (Japan) $800
 6.  Toshihisa Yamanaka (Japan) $800
 7.  Hiroto Yasutomi (Japan) $800
 8.  Ippei Sogabe (Japan) $800

(Click here for complete final standings)

At the final table, Shimura had to get through veteran player Masahiko Morita. As a part of the highly successful PS2 team with Katsuhiro Mori and Masashiro Kuroda, Morita has been an accomplished player in team formats. As far as individual achievements go, he had been to the finals of an individual Grand Prix three times prior to today without taking home the championship trophy, and this time he'll have to settle for second place once more. If the past is any indication though, it's only a matter of time until Morita clears the hurdle.

The lone foreigner in the Top 8 was Antoine Ruel. For more than a month, Antoine has been on a whirlwind tour of the world along with his brother Olivier and Sam Gomersall. He started with Grand Prix Madrid, came to Japan for Pro Tour Kobe, went to Grand Prix Hong Kong, returned to Japan for this event, and will take a brief rest at home before attending Grand Prix Birmingham next week. This was Ruel's third Grand Prix in the Mirrodin/Darksteel booster draft format, and he's mastered the format with a few bumps in the road. At Madrid, he needed a win in his last two matches to make Top 8, but couldn't pull it off. In Hong Kong he needed to win in the last round, but missed Top 8 once more. This weekend, the third time was a charm. He played his way to the Semifinals, before losing to Morita. If he's disappointed with not winning a Grand Prix today, he'll have yet another chance next weekend.

Japan has been producing plenty of new, talented players over the last few years. If Ichiro Shimura's growing reputation and performance this weekend are any indication, we shouldn't be surprised to see him achieving Pro Tour success in the near future.


Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Toshihisa Yamanaka   Yusuke Sasaki, 2-0        
8 Yusuke Sasaki   Ichiro Shimura, 2-1
       
4 Jin Okamoto   Ichiro Shimura, 2-1   Ichiro Shimura, 2-0
5 Ichiro Shimura    
       
2 Antoine Ruel   Antoine Ruel, 2-1
7 Ippei Sogabe   Masashiko Morita, 2-1
       
3 Masashiko Morita   Masashiko Morita, 2-0
6 Hiroto Yasutomi    

EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
  • Final: Masahiko Morita vs. Ichiro Shimura
    by Toby Wachter
  • Semifinals: Ichiro Shimura vs. Yusuke Sasaki
    by Toby Wachter
  • Quarterfinals: Ippei Sogabe vs. Antoine Ruel
    by Toby Wachter
  • Decks: The Top 8 Decks
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Draft Report: Drafting With Antoine Ruel
    by Toby Wachter
  • Info: Day 1 Introduction
    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Round 13: Ichiro Shimura vs. Toshihisa Yamanaka
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 12: Hiroto Yasutomi vs. Jin Okamoto
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 11: Koichiro Maki vs. Akira Asahara
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 10: Olivier Ruel vs. Kazuki Katou
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 9: Sam Gomersall vs. Katsuhiro Mori
    by Toby Wachter
  • Draft Report: Drafting With Jin Okamoto
    by Toby Wachter
  • Draft Report: Drafting With Katsuhiro Mori
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 9: Pods
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Introduction
    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Info: Day 1 Wrap-Up
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Decks: Day 1 Undefeated Decks
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Round 8: Antoine Ruel vs. Ko Okada
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 7: Kazumasa Shiki vs. Hiroki Yamashita
    by Toby Wachter
  • Feature: Artist Randy Gallegos
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 6: Sam Gomersall vs. Osamu Fujita
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 5: Masashi Oiso vs. Junichiro Bando
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 4: Itaru Ishida vs. Satoshi Nakamura
    by Toby Wachter
  • Round 3: Tsuyoshi Fujita vs. Masayuki Higashino
    by Toby Wachter
  • Feature: Interview With Kazumasa Shiki
    by Toby Wachter
  • Dech Tech: Deckbuilding With Kuroda
    by Toby Wachter
  • Feature: Grand Prix Sendai Playback
    by Keita Mori
  • Info: Day 1 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 1 Introduction
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff
Pairings Results Standings
Final
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