With a top 8, players can have a loss and still participate to the finals.
Thats true, but almost half your field is in the finals and many of them would've had 2 losses.
I think 18 ( I could easily be wrong on this) players = 4 rounds. By the end of the 4th round you would've had at best 2 undefated and 2 players with one loss
Round#. Undefeated/1 Loss
Anyway. Best 2 out of 3 is still the needed in my opinion. I could easily see the mulligan disappear and a time increase to a full 60 minutes. Which essentially would add near (or even more than) 15 minutes of actual game time. So discounting say 6 minutes for setup(s) that gives each game an average of 18 minutes for 3 games. I imagine that this should yeild a significant increase of 2 game completions. To combat the crappyness that is a 1-1 tie with an incompleted 3rd game I'd like to see an overitme rule. Finish out the active turn (having the game stop mid turn is just aweful), and then give players 1-5 (total, and I'd vote for 3) turns to complete the game. Then hand out a win based on stories won, then a tie. Granted this will extend games beyond the 60 minutes, but still gives the organizer time to make all other prepations for the next round so the time 'in between rounds' isn't so severe.
This would GREATLY cut down on the number of 1-1 ties. For a major tournament, and I mean major as in worlds, regionals, stalheck, or any other championship... I'd expect/want to play in a tournament for 6,7,8,9+ hours. While I know it often is, major events shouldn't be treated like local events where the game ends when its bed time. Granted, knowing your playerbase and meeting there needs should take higher priority, but I would hope that for a 'major' event people would be make the time.
Then again, this is partly due to me thinking if it seems more important perhaps people will make it more important so it actually becomes important. Don't get me wrong, I love this game's community and don't want to see it turn into some 'other' game's playerbase(s), but part of the draw of a tournament is that it is important.
Organizer: "Oh, I don't know if that'll be the best day. I have a major Call of Cthulhu tournament that day."
Potential Player: "Hmm, how long is it gonna run?"
Organizer: "Based on our playerbase... probably 6-7 hours or so."
Potential Player: "Oh wow, I never heard of that game, whats it like?"
Organizer: "Its great! I can show you how to play if you think you'd like to play. Its a major tournament, but its pretty open to new players as well."
Potential Player: "Ya, maybe I'll give it a shot. How does a deck normally run?"
So on and so forth. *mumble something about it being a really affordable game mumble*
I know that I've picked up dozens of games simply because there was an important tournament around. Granted, I haven't stuck with all of em (some my choice, some not my choice), but I played! And thats the first step.