Group A (excluding Canada)
#1 Italy (1)
2-4 South Africa (10), France (5), Denmark (6)
Alternate: Ireland (8)
Out: Albania, Brazil(2), China Macau, Estonia(3), Finland, Kenya, Japan, Pakistan, Romania(4), Slovakia, Trinidad
#1 Netherlands (2)
2-4 Russia (8), Sweden (6), China(3)
Alternate: Argentina (9)
Out: Austria, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Hungary, India(4), Israel(1), Jamaica, Korea, Latvia, Mexico, Portugal, San Marino, Scotland
#1 Norway (1)
2-4 Egypt (10), Poland (2), Bulgaria (3)
Alternate: Iceland (9)
Out: Bangladesh, Belgium(4), Bermuda, Bosnia, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Georgia, Monaco, New Zealand, Spain, Ukraine
#1 USA (3)
2-4 Germany (1), England (2), Australia (11)
Alternate: Turkey (4)
Out: Belarus, Botswania, Greece, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Philippines, Reunion, Serbia, Switzerland, Thailand, Venezuela
Group A, which I should know the best (review work for Canada), I did the worst on! I thought Estonia might be dangerous (they play a fair bit on BBO), but inconsistent - instead they were fairly solid. Romania was quite surprising. Brazil is always a concern, but I had liked a few other teams better.
In Group B I had thought about Israel and India, but had liked teams like Sweden and Russia better. I needed more I in my picks.
Group C was close, except for the disappointing Egypt. The Belgium team had prep'ed well with BBO matches against the Cayne squads, and I'm pleased I was wrong about them.
Group D was close too, except for Australia which started in awful form.
Canada started in good form, had a few bad patches, climbed back into a playoff spot, and then drove off the track at the end of the last match, finishing 5 VPs out of 4th spot. Clearly they just needed to do better on a few key hands and they would have qualified. Still they were not playing in the form to win the whole shebang, so they faced exit at some point.
My R16 Open Picks
Italy v India -> Italy
Israel v Romania -> Israel
Brazil v China -> Brazil
Netherlands v Estonia -> Netherlands
Norway v Turkey -> Norway
Germany v Belgium -> Germany
Poland v USA -> USA
England v Bulgaria -> Bulgaria