Playing: Sprue Posse Open #6 Preview and The Invitational Bubble

Our final open tourney of the season is this Saturday and with it goes a slot to the Sprue Posse invitational tournament in December. So who exactly is going to the invitational? We have a pretty good idea already despite no formal invitations or RSVP's being filed. That said we have our Player of the Year rankings to go on and it paints a pretty clear picture:

Rank Name Rating Tourney Wins Points

1 Regul, Jon 1630 1 7.0
2 Shepard, Ryan 1625 1 10.0
3 Townsend, Brad 1625 1 8.5
4 Burdine, Patrick 1625 9.5
5 Northover, Mike 1620 7.5
6 Alvarez, Sergio 1620 1 5.5
7 Wang, Anthony 1615 7.0
8 Moss, Jonathan 1610 1 2.5

This is your top 8 right here and it gives you a pretty accurate snapshot of who might be going to the invitational. But there's just one problem, the open winner this Saturday is getting a slot and one of the guys above will be getting bumped because of it. On top of that some of them might get caught by other players improving their scores even if those players don't get the automatic invite. Can some of these players improve their ranking to prevent that? They could if any of the above were playing this Saturday. All of them opted out for various reasons. That means we know none of their ELO ranks will be changing. That puts some of them in jeopardy. It also allows for rampant speculation and schadenfreude!

Who is getting bumped for certain then? The lowest ranked guy who doesn't have a tourney victory. That moves Anthony Wang out of the winner's circle (for now) and on the alternate list no matter what. The tourney winner will definitely replace him.

What about the other two competitors who haven't won an open yet: Burdine and Northover? Burdine's spot is safe. He's too highly ranked to get bumped by anyone since no players are in striking distance. Northover? He could slip in a scenario where an already established player ties his ELO rank, has a higher tourney point tiebreaker and then another player gets a secured tournament victory to dump him from the Top 8 as well.

So what are these scenario's to look for? We can view an early potential player list for this weekend. These two are likely entrants:

Rank Name Rating Tourney Wins Points

10 Mann, John 1605 7.5
14 Pait, Robert 1600 4.0

Most likely to obtain a slot if he plays well: John Mann

John has put together several near misses early this season finishing 4th and then 3rd in the February and April tournaments before some disappointing finishes later in the season. I still think he can bounce back though and my smart money is on him doing well this tournament, either winning it outright or potentially scoring high enough to break into the top 8 via rating alone.

Positional favorite beyond the rest of the field:
Robert Pait

Robert has turned in several decent performances in the last two tournaments but has had trouble getting past the 1600 baseline. Still, the tournament points are used as tiebreakers and he has 4 of them and expects to get more. That puts him ahead of anyone in "the field" on tiebreakers assuming he can string some wins together. Short of winning and getting an automatic slot, he could be a favorite for the alternate list if he performs well on Saturday.

Always a threat: "The Field"

The nice thing about the Sprue Posse Open is that anyone can win, and if you win, you are indeed "in" the invitational. Anyone participating Saturday has a chance to get an invitational slot. All they have to do is win the tournament.

Good luck everybody!

1 Response to "Playing: Sprue Posse Open #6 Preview and The Invitational Bubble"

  1. Loquacious October 19, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    Good luck to all- may the best guys go.

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