January 9, 2005

Magic and Rockets

Posted in General at 7:41 pm by Ian

Yesterday, I went to the Pro Tour qualifier for Pro Tour Atlanta. It was a team sealed tournament, so I needed some other guys to play with. My team consisted of me, my friend Jason from work, and Dave, the brother of my coworker Jeff. Dave lives in SLO, so we didn’t have a lot of opportunities to practice together as a team or actually meet each other, but Jason and I practiced together weekly, honing our skills and reaching the absolute strategic pinnacle of our respective games about three weeks ago, at which point we went out of town for the holidays and forgot everything. Kind of like high school.

But rather than get up early on Saturday to drive two hours down to Costa Mesa, we went down the night before. Jason’s friend Steve works at a law firm in downtown LA that has a box at the Staples Center, so we went to see the Lakers play the Rockets with him and his wife Esther.

I had never been to a pro basketball game before, and it was pretty cool. Especially when the dessert cart came around. But I assume that’s pretty standard for a ballgame.

That morning, after a delicious breakfast, Jason and I set out to the tournament site. We had discussed possible team names the day before, but had not decided on anything. Our two likely choices, after rejecting No Use for a Name, Minty Fresh Dave and the Flossmasters (a pun based on Dave’s last name), and E Cartae Victoriam (rejected because we couldn’t remember enough Latin to tell if we were declining that correctly) were The Evil Team and Something Pithy. However, this morning we had a new contender, because Jason had dreamt that I awoke him in the middle of the night to suggest a new team name: Paco 2000. Although we had no idea what this was supposed to mean, you can’t just blithely ignore when destiny reaches out to you like that.
Sweet Sweet Victory
Before we got to the tournament site, we stopped to get paper. Though you aren’t required to keep written record of the events of the match, in the event of a dispute, the judge is much more likely to take your side if you have written notes and can reconstruct the match. We stopped at a dollar store, and I purchased a small journal to keep track of things (pictured). Jason got one with butterflies.

There were 27 teams total, and it was announced that there would be 6 rounds of Swiss, follewed by top 4 semifinals. The finals would be done with a separate draft.

Our first match loss came in the fourth round at the hands of Skillz that Killz, a team that would go 6-0 in the Swiss and who I can only assume won the semis, too. We won the next one, and in any sane tournament, we’d have been able to draw the last match and make it in. Alas, in this tournament, we had to play the last round. I heard later that my opponent in that last match had recently quit his job after winning over $100K playing poker. Let’s just say that he’s a better poker player than magic player.

And then we lost in the semis. All three of us. In a way, that was better. I’d have felt really bad if my loss had brought my team down. But when we all three lose, well, it just wasn’t meant to be.



  1. Liza said,

    Sucks that you didn’t win…

    I played some card game the other week and our team name was called “hamster” or something. The other team was called “Natalie Portman.” They won the first round. I was annoyed that I didn’t think of that name since there’s no way you can lose if your team name is “Natalie Portman.” So as a challenge, we switched our team names. After the switch, we won the whole game.

  2. JT said,

    I love Paco 2000. That’s genius.

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