November 17th 2012, 2:40 PM MST - Dean Saglio has come forth to assert himself as the master of Donkey Kong.
The score to beat is 1,079,400.
You read that right—one million seventy nine thousand four hundred. On his first full game!
Considering that there are only three players all-time who have ever achieved a score that high on an arcade machine, the texture of the tournament has just been defined. Nearly all competitors are now playing for second and third, and they know it.
Second place may already be spoken for, as Jeff Willms (whose gameplay is not being live-streamed at this time) is reported to have put up a mammoth 1,037,200.
In a recent interview, Hank Chien described the field of Donkey Kong competitors as having improved greatly over the past year.
The first three hours of play here in Denver have shown that he wasn't kidding.
The other players now have their work cut out for them, and it is an unenviable task indeed.