Why we need to read the prospectus

In a very casual way, I pulled up the Standard records of this year’s top eight to make a vague guess at how they might do (click here to see that post). Humorously, the final result is almost an inversion of how everyone did on day one of Worlds, with the two worst performers, Jamie Parke and Antti Malin, making it to the finals.
One is reminded of the standard investment disclaimer of “past performance is not indicative of future performance.”
However, we also may be looking at the effect of (1) learning a great deal from the practical “shakedown period” of the first six rounds, and (2) having a team to work on the matchups for you. I have no idea who Antti turned to, if anyone, but Jamie Parke had the backing of Jon Finkel, Gab Nassif, and others in trying to figure out how to take down each matchup. As Brian David-Marshall pointed out in the coverage, even though Jamie was completely blown out by his playtest partner playing Ikeda’s Blightning Beatdown deck during testing, playing fifteen or sixteen games against it gave him a comfort level that he wouldn’t have just from looking at the list, and taught him the obvious mistakes that he needed to avoid.
Faced with the problem of taking a deck that had critically underperformed into a key series of matches, Jamie was able to rely on a cadre of experienced players to assist him in working out a strategy for dealing with his problematic first-round matchup. Not only do you benefit from the experience of tremendous players when you’re in a position to have this kind of help — you also get to have an extra person-day or more of playtesting, because your friends can afford to stay up all night to do testing, while you get enough sleep to make sure you don’t make obvious errors during a day of best-of-five matches against incredibly tough opponents.
Or, more briefly, this is why we can’t just build a bracket based on how the first day turned out.

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