Channel Madness: Late Lead Changes Bring Round 1 Upsets, 2016 Champ Fails To Advance


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The polls are closed, the votes have been tallied and 16 Channel Chiefs have emerged victorious in Round 1 of the 2017 CRN Channel Madness Tournament Of Chiefs.

After nearly 100,000 votes, let's find out who made the cut to move into Round 2 as the Solutions 16.

We'll start with Infrastructure, where some late lead changes shook up the region. Terry Richardson of Hewlett Packard Enterprise turned on the jets against Extreme's Bob Gault, winning 57 percent to 43 percent.

Meanwhile, his compatriot at HPE, Scott Dunsire, surged past Eaton's Curtiz Gangi 56 percent to 44 percent.

That means Richardson and Dunsire will face each other in Round 2, marking the first time we've had chiefs from the same company go head-to-head in Channel Madness. Call that a literal win-win for HPE!

Elsewhere in the region, Cisco's Wendy Bahr finished strong against Commvault's Ralph Nimergood 54 percent to 46 percent, while F5's David Helfer sailed past APC by Schneider Electric's Shannon Sbar 67 percent to 33 percent.

In the Hardware region, tournament rookie Bill Lipsin of NetApp has broken a lot of brackets, engineering a come-from-behind victory against 2016 Champ Sandra Glaser Cheek of Brocade Ruckus. Lipsin trailed throughout most of the match but dug deep to win it 55 percent to 45 percent to move into the next round.

In a nail-biter that came down to a difference of fewer than 50 votes, John Byrne of Dell EMC was able to fend off a fierce performance by Polycom's Nick Tidd, winning it 51 percent to 49 percent.

HP's Stephanie Dismore bested Samsung's Greg Taylor 56 percent to 44 percent, and Lenovo's Sammy Kinlaw didn't miss a step in his 81 percent to 19 percent win over Aruba's Donna Grothjan.

In the Cloud region, the most heavily voted matchup of the round pitted Rob Rae of Datto against Eric Martorano of Intermedia. After a few lead changes it was Martorano who emerged victorious, 53 percent to 47 percent.

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