Grand Prix Vienna
Grand Prix Vienna had arguably the most star-studded Top 8 of any
Grand Prix. In a field of over 300, the cream rose to the top.
Winner Kai Budde had been in the top 20 of four previous Grand Prix
(including Birmingham, where he placed second, losing to Craig Jones
in the finals and Barcelona, where he won) and in the top 64 of the
past two US Pro Tours (Los Angeles and Chicago).
Second place finisher Cristian Gregorich was in the Top 64 of last
year's World Championships, and was in the Top 16 of Grand Prix Zurich.
Third place finisher Jon Finkel is the reigning Player of the year,
and leads the race for this year. He has an astonishing nine Pro Tour
Top 16 finishes, including the last three World Championships and last
year's Pro Tour New York (which he won). He's also finished in the Top
16 of six previous Grand Prix tournaments.
Erik Lauer, in fourth place, has finished in the top 32 of every Pro
Tour stop this season (Chicago, Rome, and Los Angeles).
Randy Buehler, 1998's Pro Tour Rookie of the Year, is in third place
in the Player of the Year race this year with his fifth-place finish.
He's finished in the Top 20 of every Pro Tour this year, and has finished
in the Top 16 of seven previous Grand Prix. Last Year, he started the
season by winning Pro Tour-Chicago and finished by taking 12th place
in the World Championships.
In sixth place was 1997 World Champion Jakub Slemr, who finished in
the top 20 of the 1996 and 1998 Worlds as well.
Dirk Hein, in seventh place, was at Worlds '98 and Chicago '98.
Rounding out the Top 8 was Peer Kröger, with four Pro Tour Top
32 finishes to his credit.