Wed, Oct. 24th, 2007, 02:21 pm
Off to New York
Well... despite a fairly poor performance in Valencia, I was able to return to the UK and take part in the "Store Challenge Finals". This involved making a new deck for a format I had no practice in. Fortunately, the deck I put together then managed to win the entire event (after a Thursday morning of making and testing it...). My prize is a bunch of boosters, one of each card from the latest set (which means I've practically finished getting all the cards from the new set about two weeks after its release... scary), and a flight to New York. Oh... the hotel is also paid for. Must be nice.
This means that I'll be in New York from December 5th to December 10th. Errm... so don't try finding me during those days unless you happen to be in New York?
So... today was my first day of not playing Magic all day! Do I mean that in a "while in Spain" sort of way or not? I´ll let you decide!
Either way... I have been wandering around a bit. Some of the other people wre not actually leaving Spain until 4ish so we were able to get some lunch together and meet up with one of the Irish player´s Spanish friends (well... someone who lives in Spain, at least). I am now staying in a youth hostel which, for Valencia, seems pretty reasonably priced (I think it works out as 50 pounds for the two nights... this is with a double bed and pretty nice facilities. The kitchen looks great... I´ll probably cook something rather than going out to grab a meal tonight).
The plan for tomorrow is to go out with a pad of paper and a pencil and sit around doing some sketching. This might change at the last minute... but considering the sort of architecture there seems to be around here, I don´t expect it will. Oh! That reminds me... I went to a park that used to be a river. It runs inbetween two roads and has multiple bridges over the top of it. It varies from well maintained to areas of sandiness.... it was nice to walk along. The weather has been much better after the original heavy downpour (being the one that caused the venue to flood and day one of the ProTour to be cancelled... whoops!). I also realised, in a vaguely depressing way, that I had brought along an umbrella but neglected to bring any sunblock. Pessimistic, huh?
On a Magical note... I may have randomly gained some respect from other players by demonstrating my skills with Lorwyn drafting (Lorwyn being the new set... drafting being... a thing with cards... nevermind). After two team drafts, my personal record stands at 5-1. Despite this, my team-mates seem to have put in pretty poor performances. The result of the first one was 5-4 in our favour (this being when I had won 3 of the games and the other two guys had managed to scrape out a single win each... strong!) while the next one was a result of something like.... 3-6.... where two of the wins for my team were me. Hmmmm. It was all fun, either way. It´s also meant I´ve had a chance to get to grips with this new format and really see how things work. I had a promised a tournament report for a friend´s website for the prerelease I did before the ProTour (mostly a fun thing) but I´m tempted to write about my views of drafting instead. I think it would be easier to write and much more relevant.
Okay... I´m going to be logging off in 20ish minutes... so if you´re online you can message me on MSN. My plan for this evening is to relax in the social area... maybe meet a couple of people but, failing that, I´ll read a book or something. A night walk is tempting... but I´ve had way too little sleep over the last few days as it is.
See everyone soon!
Sat, Oct. 13th, 2007, 03:20 am
Today I am... totally scrubbing out! 0 wins, 3 losses. Mmmm... sooo good. If I lose another round I'm just dropping and doing side events. Bah... and I actually did testing for this and now it's all just going down the tube. Oh well....
I´m making an LJ post... that can only mean one thing! I´m in a different country and wanted to see what the internet looks like from here. It´s in Spanish until you log into a page and then it goes "Oh... you..." and goes back to English.
So far I have checked into my hotel room. Then I checked out of that hotel room as it clearly only had 2 beds when the room I was meant to be in should have 3. I then checked into another room which does have 3 beds. Clearly a plus.
My plan now is to make up some decks from the decklists on the "top secret UK testing group" message board. Possibly I also make up one for an archetype we didn´t even look at (but it´s probably underpowered, to be fair... famous last words... it´ll probably win the whole thing now). First day of play is on Friday, although the tournament hall is open tomorrow so there will be side events being held all over the place. Looks good to me. Pft... who needs testing? It´s all about the drafting!
Also... I am hungry. I should wander around and see what things I can put into my mouth.
Hi All... this will be a particularly vague post until I get some more information, but it will good information regardless.
Basically... I have won 11 matches and lost 5. This means I have not made the top eight, but I have...
a) Qualified for the next ProTour
b) Got a bunch of ProPoints
c) Won money
d) Surprised a few people, including myself
So it's all good. Now I just need to fill out some forms and work out just how much I've won. Oh... and bask in the glory. That seems pretty important, too...
ETA: I finished 25th out of... 320ish. This means I am awarded 6 pro points (one place off getting 7... bah) and a cash award of $1900. It's going to be directly wired into my account, so this means I can't close my dumb ass Barclays account at the moment. Also, I am qualified for the next individual protour in Valencia, although I would have to buy my own plane ticket. Damn... if only I had just won a large sum of money. Oh yeah...
I rock still.
Sat, Apr. 21st, 2007, 09:32 am
ProTour Day Two
So, despite my whining post from yesterday, I have managed to make day two with consecutive wins. This is pretty nice, considering I played the first 4/5 rounds in "dumb bastard" mode which resulted in my 2-3 record. Once I woke up and played the deck well everything started going much better.
Interesting point... during the final match of the day which I had to win for day two, I was dead on the board. This means, my opponent can just swing and kill me (unless my "secret creature" turns out to be a really unlikely card... but it actually doesn't matter). My opponent doesn't take advantage of the board state and doesn't kill me. I wreck his board position over the next two turns thanks to drawing the card I needed off the top of the deck and I win the game and, later, the match. If I had lost that game, I would be out.
He was actually taking so long to make a decision on what to do I nearly just conceded the game to hurry on to the second game and try to salvage the match. When he failed to kill me and I knew I had only one way out... well... wow. When I drew one of my outs? Fan-fucking-tastic. Winning the match? Oh hell yes.
Anyway... making money actually seems like a possibility now. Remember to check back in the morning to see if someone needs to tell the university that "my plane got cancelled" or that I am "stuck in Japan". That only happens if I make top eight (I think I need to win pretty much every single match... maybe allowed one loss later in the day), so I expect I will see people Sunday night... but who knows? I seem to be playing well today... I just played a very good game against my first round opponent (which resulted in a very close first game that I won and a completely one-sided second game) so... yeah.
ETA: Still rocking. I am now 9 wins and 3 losses having not lost since. Plus I was just interviewed for the magicthegathering.com podcast. Wheeeee... I'm famous.
Currently standing at 2 wins and 3 losses... slightly infuriating actually. I played against the same style of deck four times in a row... and then played against a deck I have a great chance of beating but lost when my deck flailed around and did nothing instead of... well... doing something. The second game was the most annoying, as I had a good idea of his hand apart from two cards and made a play that meant I would win next turn... except the two cards were two copies of a spell that let him win instead. Bah.
If I win out then I still make day two, but now I do have to win out to do that. *whines*
Will see how it goes.
Happy Birthday to Katy! Sorry... I wasn't able to get online at all yesterday :/
Moving on... I need to be moved on. Only two computers in all of the protour lounge and there are plenty of people who want to use them. More updates later...
Okay... maybe an over reaction. Typing is proving very slow due to the keyboard lying to me. Oh... I should mention... I am in Yokohama. Shouldn't be too much of a surprise to most but I thought I should mention it.
My trip was made marginally harder by my flight being cancelled as Katy has already mentioned. This meant I had to find a hotel for one night, without a reservation. Ah... I have turned the keyboard into QWERTY. Punctuation still hard... and not allowed to press the same key twice for some reason. Need to press shift whenever I want to. Ah well... it passes the time.
So, hotel was found although quite expensive, just over 10,000 yen. I plan on contacting the airline who messed me around and pointing out that this expense was directly due to their screw up and try and demand they cover the cost. Oh, and losing an entire day of my holiday... that seems like it would be worth mentioning.
I managed to find Chinatown... I was not looking for it at the time but I found it anyway. Now I just need to find the Starbucks that is in it so that I can meet up with other English Magic players and talk strategy. Slight worry in that... I thought starbucks popped up like weeds? Is there really only going to be one in all of Chinatown? Oh... and I just worked out how to do question marks. Go me. Seems unlikely I will get much tourist stuff done seeing as that was vaguely pencilled in as my thing to do yesterday. I guess I might get some done tomorrow though. Of course, I am mostly here for the Magic, which makes me a huge dork. Oh... where the hell is the AT key? Kinda makes it hard to log on to MSN, although at the time of writing it is going to be late-o-clock anyway. Two in the morning over there, I suppose.
As an aside, which arguably makes it on topic considering how disjointed my entire writing has to be at the moment, I seem to not be able to sleep when I travel. Of course, this meant I had not had sleep for about... thirty hours when I finally managed to get into Yokohama. Then I had to find a hotel. Did I go straight to sleep? Nope... once in bed I was wide awake and read for another hour. Smart. With any luck I have adjusted to Japan time already though. Also, I have realised that the essay I was planning on planning... was not really right. Thankfully I think I have got a new topic that I can plan for. Shame it also seems I can not work on planes either. I am totally screwed when I get back as this had been a large part of my plan. Whoops.
Where the hell is the apostrophe?? I keep doing it by accident but can not reproduce it when I want it. Hence having to write can not.
Anyway... consider this my postcard to let you know that I am not dead. Also, my tournament is only a couple of stops down the line and does not require me to travel to a central station and change as I originally thought. How lucky. I have now been blinded by a camera flash. They have a wall with everyone who has stayed at the Hostel. I guess this is a ritual blinding. Also, I have been laughed at for playing Magic already and I have not even got a card out. Strong.
Randomest paragraph ever.
I am going to stop now... with any luck someone in the English party will have a laptop with wireless and I can log on to MSN when people are online. On the plus side, I know all the buttons that will let me check some webcomics. Unless they laugh at me for that, too...