After eight "regular season" Bassmaster Elite Series events, we're now down to the postseason two events that will determine the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year and all of the prize money that goes with it.
And if you've gotten used to the regular season scoring system, you've got some adjusting to do. As we move to the final two tournaments during Toyota Trucks Championship Week, there will be a new system in place that guarantees some drama.
Here's how it works.
First of all, the postseason tournaments are abbreviated events that run just two days each. There will be no "cuts;" all 12 anglers will fish both days of both tournaments.
Second, the Angler of the Year points that the Toyota 12 have accumulated over the course of the regular season have been adjusted going into the postseason. In short, everyone's regular season points total has been divided by 10 (we've moved the decimal one place to the left).
That means, for example, that 12th place angler Gerald Swindle's score has been changed from 1,740 points to 174 points. Everyone's score is rounded to the nearest whole number, so Michael Iaconelli's 1,754 points is cut to 175.4 points and then rounded to an even 175.
Next, for every angler in the Toyota 12 who won a regular season Elite event this year we're adding two points. For example, take Mark Menendez's 1,775 regular season points, divide by 10 to get 177.5, round to the nearest whole number to get 178 and then add 2 because he won the Lake Dardanelle event. Menendez enters the postseason with 180 points.
This chart tells the story of each of the Toyota 12:
As you can see, the adjustments do two things: (1) They reconfigure the AOY leaderboard going into the postseason, and (2) they tighten the race very dramatically.
Here are the Toyota 12 in order of their adjusted points:
There's now a four-way tie for fifth place and a really tight grouping of anglers between fourth and 12th place. Kevin VanDam leapfrogs Skeet Reese in the race by virtue of having won the Smith Mountain Lake tournament. Similarly, Mark Menendez and Tommy Biffle pass Gary Klein and move into that knot of anglers in fifth place by virtue of their wins at lakes Dardanelle and Wheeler.
For the two postseason tournaments, scoring will be different, too. Points will be awarded as follows:
An angler must weigh in a legal fish in order to earn any points at all. Ties in the final standings after both postseason events will be broken by tallying the postseason catches of the tied anglers. The angler with more weight wins.
In the end, each of the Toyota 12 is fighting for his share of the Angler of the Year prize pool. The 12 spots will be paid as follows: