Semifinals: Bob Maher vs. Alex Shvartsman|
The two players discussed the number of Grand Prix wins between them while they shuffled their decks. Alex noted he had six Grand Prix wins to his name, while Bob noted that he only - only! - had two. They continued to discuss their situation, and Alex explained that he was spending a lot of his time on his store, which is why he had so few Pro Tour points. The decks were put down and Bob lost the roll. Alex would play first.
"Better," declared Shvartsman, upon looking at his hand. Bob kept his hand; Alex led with a second-turn Rift. Bob met that with a turn 2 Silver Knight, which Alex showed up with a second Lightning Rift.
The Silver Knight swung into combat, and then Bob dropped a second Knight into the fray. "Bad times," declared Alex as he dropped to four. Alex matched that by throwing a Lay Waste into the yard, which dealt four damage through the Rifts to Bob. Bob calmly responded that he had effects, and then went looking for a plains with a Dragon.
Alex played his fifth land, a Temple of the False God, then passed his turn. Bob played nothing on his turn - but the two attacks of the twin knights were rapidly chewing Alex's life away, dropping him to two. Alex tossed away a Solar Blast during his turn and hit Bob for five, which dropped him to eleven, and then cycled away a Starstorm.
Bob quietly looked across the table as Alex looked at his hand despairingly. He let the priority go and Alex moved onto untapping. Alex has nothing during his turn - and Bob hard-cast a Renewed Faith, bringing him to seventeen. A turn later, Akroma, Angel of Wrath ended yet another game.
Alex wished his opponent good luck as he looked over his seven cards. In quiet voice, he noted that he would kept as he led with a mountain. Bob led with a Forgotten Cave, then a Secluded Steppe as Alex gradually cycled away his hand. Alex cried out "Yeah, baby!" as he flung down Misguided Rage, knocking Bob to one land. Bob dropped a mountain and played a Rift; Alex played Lay Waste, knocking out a land.
Alex dropped a Thoughtbound Primoc on the table, and in response Bob cycled away a Renewed Faith that brought him to twenty-two. He dropped a second Rift on the table and gave the Primoc a look.
Then Rorix showed up on Alex's side, which brought the Great One to fourteen. Bob responded by dropping a third Lightning Rift on his turn, but he was down to six life with four land on the table. It wasn't looking good for Bob at the moment. Bob dropped a Temple of the False God and looked over his cards. He was, in fact, lacking the white mana to play Akroma's Vengeance... But as he cycled away a Steppe, he dealt six man to Rorix through his triplicate Lightning Rifts. He untapped and then found his second white, before passing the turn back to Alex who could only grumble as his Primoc was the only beast left standing.
Alex swung in with Primoc who, like Rorix, met a burst of lightning and fell from the sky. Alex dropped yet another land - and for the second time, in two rounds, Akroma, Angel of Wrath slapped him silly. Alex was down to twelve, and cycled away a Starstorm in the hope of finding another source of damage. Unfortunately, Alex ran out of gas and Akroma finished him off on the next turn.
Sadly, that was the end of Bad Form for the day. Alex announced he had kept his Rifts in for that game. Bob responded that he added in Wipe Clean and two Temple of the False God, going up to twenty-nine land against Alex. He informed Alex he had sideboarded out the Vengeances.
Alex had boarded in three Menacing Ogres, four Primocs, and four Misguided Rages.
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on Jul 14, 2003: