Those being the exact words of Tournament Director Howard Markowitz just before 12:45 p.m. today when Stephanie Kardos, Miss Gammon 2007, began pulling out names from a bag filled with numbered chips to determine the pairings for Round 3 of this million-dollar event.
And what a round it will be! (See pairings here.)
Will Mike Corbett take down the amazingly popular Victoria Smirnoff who has promised first-prize money of more than $500,000 to cancer research if she wins it all?
How will it go for David Wells against Nack Ballard the world’s #1 player?
Falafel versus Holm, Kazaross against Svobodny, Jacobs versus Wachtel, Humke versus Lylloff, Trabolt versus Tsinis, Jonas versus Bennett… wow! And so many other incredible matches taking place this afternoon in Round 3 and even more tonight in Round 4.
And who is Iakovos Iakovidis? Actually, an online qualifier from Greece who is virtually unknown to the backgammon world – and he out-rolled Backgammon Giant Malcolm Davis in Round 2 yesterday and faces Andreas Märtens this afternoon.
Iakovos, or a friend who is here with him and is also playing in the event, told us in Greek that they have never played on a real backgammon board until now - there is no live action on their island in Greece and they play only online! Double wow!
Many of the top players in the world have been hanging in there until now with few upsets – notably Francois Tardieu going down in Round 1 and Malcolm Davis in Round 2 – but we can expect to see a few more of those as this event progresses.
We really have to run now to work on photos from yesterday’s action, these take hours to prepare, and upload.
We’ll also be posting the pairings from all Consolation Rounds play until now later today and the list of prize money to be paid out.