To get in the spirit of the history-making largest ever Magic tournament, we’ve asked a few of our favorite Magic personalities for their origin story—how they started playing Magic, their first tournament, and their first GP. Check back all month long for their stories, and get in on the conversation yourself with #MyMagicHistory!
What’s your Magic origin?
#MyMagicHistory began in a sports cards store in 1994. I was just 11 years old and I lived walking distance from what we called “The Shop” and got to know the owner and the guys that worked there. I didn’t have much of an allowance, but the guys let me do random chores like sorting cards to earn store credit. I spent my store credit on sports cards, hoping to pull a Lakers or Dodgers player I could show to my dad.
One day The Shop got a shipment of these Magic: The Gathering cards. A game that let me play with my cards? Awesome. My friend and I both picked up a Revised Edition (well, we had no idea what it was called at the time—it was just “Magic cards”) Starter Deck and tried to learn the rules.
Over the next couple weeks, we knew what must have been around 50% of the rules, which was enough to play if you could improvise the rest. We had a copy of the card Fireball, and the only thing I remember about it was not having any idea what it did, but agreeing that it got to stay in play and be used every turn. My favorite card was Unholy Strength, and I knew what that card did.
I eventually learned some more rules and then taught my older brother, my younger brother, and my dad to play. I’d like to say I taught them because I wanted to share the experience with those closest to me, but in reality I just needed opponents. I was hooked!
My first tournament was at a comic book store. I didn’t win a game and an adult at the store traded me commons for my best rares since I didn’t know any better, and I cried later when I learned that I had been ripped off. But I didn’t quit. The first time I won prizes at a tournament I felt like I could fly. The first time I lost to Kai Budde in a Pro Tour feature match (in 2002), I felt like I was just learning to play again, unsure of how the cards even worked. That was kind of where my Pro Tour story began. The rest of that story is still being written.
What gets you excited about how #GPVegas will make Magic history?
What gets me most excited about #GPVegas is witnessing first-hand a collection of Magic players larger than I ever thought would be assembled, had you asked me 10 or 15 years ago. I hoped with all my being that other people would start to love this game as much as I do. I didn’t want tournaments to go away!
I feel safer these days about that.