An Inspirational Invitational

Wednesday, December 8th – This past weekend we hosted the StarCityGames.com Richmond Open featuring the Invitational, and it was a huge weekend for Magic. Glenn Jones brings you the highlights and links to deck techs and more!

Highlight from the Weekend: Shaheen Soorani rips up a stack of Preordains, making a statement.

Hi, everyone—it’s the guy with the laptop here. This past weekend marked the conclusion of the 2010 StarCityGames.com Open Series, and we went out with a bang. Players from all over the country gathered in the Greater Richmond Convention Center for three solid days of spell-slinging. Of course, the primary draw was the first StarCityGames.com Invitational, and the accompanying $50,000 prize purse. Six Standard grinders filled on Friday night as players struggled to earn a last-minute qualification for the weekend’s main event. Our own Lauren Lee
captured the metagame perfectly

on Invitational eve with an analysis of the winning decklists.

One-hundred and thirty competitors sat down on Saturday morning. Events Manager (and data-mining machine) Jared Sylva took time out of the busiest
weekend he’s ever had to do an on-site metagame breakdown for your
reading pleasure.

Valakut was clearly the order of the day, with RUG Control not far behind. One can attribute the popularity of both archetypes to Dan Jordan Standard streak—after demolishing two Standard Opens, it wasn’t a surprise to find RUG Control and its worst matchup both increasing in popularity.

A stacked Top 8 culminates in an epic final match between Gerry Thompson and Alex Bertoncini!

One of the tournament’s major talking points was the popularity of ramping strategies, but one player in particular came prepared to defeat
Valakut Ramp. Taylor Raflowitz’s R/G Ponza strategy earned him a
Deck Tech

and 18th place after he scooped the last round to friend and Top 8 hopeful, Mike Pozsgay. Pozsgay wound up in a heartbreaking 9th place, with testing partner Caleb Durward landing in 10th right behind him. Pozsgay and Caleb were among several players piloting a particularly potent B/R Vampires list. If you want the lowdown on this
aggressive archetype, be sure to check out Evan Erwin and Lauren Lee
Video Deck Tech

on the boys and their weapon of choice.

 Our first StarCityGames.com Invitational Top 8 was, for lack of a better term,

First seed Andrew Steckley ran the tables on Day 1 and played a mere two matches of Magic during the Day 2 Swiss. Two-time Grand Prix Champion and threepeat Open finalist Gerry Thompson breaks Constructed formats on a regular basis, while Patrick McGregor had lost round 2 after a first-round bye to a
flight delay

and bounced back to make the elimination rounds. Our reigning Player of the Year Alex Bertoncini appears to be a charmed man in Star City Games tournaments, while Adam Cai has been no slouch in that arena. Of course, Charles Gindy seems to run pretty good in Standard, having won a Pro Tour, an Open, and a National Championship over the past few years. Legacy stalwart Keith McLaughlin and rogue Mono-Black Control player Jessie Butler rounded out the top of the standings on Sunday evening.

The winner of the SCG Invitational!

The tournament closed beautifully—I couldn’t have written a better narrative myself! Gerry Thompson, third seed after Day 1, found himself sidetracked at 9-3 and playing round 13 against Tom Ross on GGs Live, with Top 8 on the line. His victory there set the tone for the rest of the
tournament—the Thompson train made no other stops as he blasted through Keith McLaughlin,
Charles Gindy in the semis,
and StarCityGames.com
Player of the Year Alex Bertoncini in an epic
final match.

After spending all year stuck with second places, Gerry fulfilled Chapin’s Monday forecast with a victory for the ages.

To see our redesigned page and to read all of our StarCityGames.com Open Series articles, including Top 64 decklists and complete coverage of our Standard and Legacy Opens,
click here.

To view complete photo coverage, head on over to our
Facebook page.

We’ll see you in Kansas City—2011 is going to be our best year yet!

Glenn Jones
Coverage Content Manager