Update (4:15 PM): Details on how many people will be admitted from the Grinders to Worlds added in the fifth paragraph below.
There’s free Wi-Fi where the Worlds event is taking place, so I might as well make updates here concerning what’s going on. The paragraphs go from oldest to newest.
Thursday is for the Grinders tournament, where players attempt to play their way into Worlds. In the Grinders, there are 125 Junior players, 160 Senior players, and a whopping 457 Masters players. Juniors will play seven rounds, Seniors will play eight, and Masters will play eight as well, but with two flights.
During the first round of Masters, a fire alarm went off. Lights started to flash above the play floor and an announcer came on stating that everyone had to evacuate the building. Pokemon players are cool because everyone just sort of laughed, got up, and calmly exited. Some players just stayed seated since it was fairly obvious no one would die, but unfortunately, a few scooped up their decks, basically ruining their games. The judges then announced to halt all play, freezing the games. They confirmed the alarm originated from a kitchen and that there was no real threat, and so everyone was told to come back to the building. A hotel announcer came on and repeated it was a false alarm several times, but the emergency lights kept flashing and the main lights were dimming up and down. It eventually stopped and the Seniors were told they could resume their games after everyone settled in. Less than ten seconds later, time was called for them, which generated a few laughs. Those that scooped their cards up were allowed to restart their games and as of this posting (at 12:40), they are still playing.
The previous posting about Worlds being in Kona, Hawaii next year has been confirmed today. As usual, the tournament will take place at the Hilton. If you want to go there, you better play hard this upcoming season or have a lot of money to go yourself!
At the beginning of Round 3, it was announced how many people will be admitted to Worlds from the Grinders. For Masters, there are currently two flights running – the top 12 of each flight will be admitted to Worlds for a total of 24 Masters players from Grinders in Worlds. Additionally, four alternatives (two from each flight) may be admitted if people who have invites do not show up in time to claim their seats for Worlds. Toward the end of the Master’s Round 3, it was also announced how the invites for the Juniors and Seniors will work. For Seniors, 30 of them will be allowed in Worlds, with four alternatives. For Juniors, the top 32 are in Worlds with five alternatives. This year is a good year to be playing in the Grinders!