Tuesday, February 16, 2010

GP Oakland Highlights

Watching the coverage for a big event is definitely not at all the same as going to the event.

For me in particular, who didn't participate in the main event, I barely paid any attention to what was going on at the other side of the room. I was pestered a lot about not participating in the main event, but I never participate in an event in which I don't feel like I have good chances. Many good players build a deck the day before and somehow win a bunch of matches, but I'm not that spontaneous. Not even in Standard, where I actually know every single card and know what they do. I prefer being at the stage where I can play the deck in my sleep before attempting to battle 9 rounds with it.

Extended is still an unknown format to me, so it didn't seem wise to go into a big event without complete confidence. I did a lot of other things, though. And I had a massively good time.

Some highlights...

  • Big events are great places to sell cards. I sold 7 Relic of Progenitus for $4 to the dealers. 
  • I got my Maelstrom Pulses signed by the artist of the card; I really like the art for this card, and it's been my desktop background for a while.
  • I played in 5 sanctioned side events. Four Standard queues and one Draft. I won one of the Standard events, the Draft, and split in the finals of another Standard queue. I won a total of 60 Worldwake packs.
  • I made a critical misplay in round 2 of another Standard queue against Vampires, losing me the game.
  • Round 1 of the last Standard queue I did, I was paired against my friend, which was a little unfortunate. But we battled it out, and I lost to his Valakut Ramp. 
  • I did a Team Draft and 2 Cube Drafts; both Cubes belonged to and were designed by Matthias Hunt, who also designed an "Extended Vampires" deck that took a couple people to Day 2, including Peter Knudson who I was rooming with (He has a Feature Match you can read here) If you're curious about the Vamp-Pox decklist, you can find it here
  • I stayed at the Main Site with my friends Ong Wei Jian and Ben Weitz, who both attend Caltech (my alma mater) - it was great to see them again! I wish more Techers went out to big events! 
  • Morgan Chang, Bryan Greer, and Anthony Loman made Day 2 and Bryan made it into Top 64! I'm very happy for them.
  • The site was right next to Chinatown, and we went out and ate a great dinner at a Chinese place. Yum! Love Chinese food.
  • I almost missed my flight out of Oakland. I made it to the plane 5 minutes before scheduled departure. Phew. It was because I idiotically took the wrong BART train. >_< 
It was the funnest Valentines Weekend I'd ever spent! But then again I barely remembered it was Valentines Day. I was even more surprised to find out the Olympics had started that same weekend. But I was definitely happier playing Magic the whole weekend. Fuck sports and fuck Hallmark holidays! :) Let's go play some Magic.