It’s that time of year again, where every Pro Player with eleven points or more starts dreaming about the Duelists Invitational. Whether it’s Alan Comer pointing out that he spent hours typing in decklists for GP Denver so you could metagame for your upcoming PTQ, or Matt Vienneau admitting there aren’t many reasons to invite him but asking for your vote anyway, most of us are hoping you’ll pick us as one of the players on your ballot.
I’m no exception…I’d love to go. When I realized that Barcelona was going to give me enough points to qualify for the ballot, I began thinking that maybe this would be my year. I’ve been a fairly popular writer in my day, after all, and that’s often pretty significant when it comes to the ballot. Making a top 8 even added some legitimacy to the idea…I’m good enough and people like me!
But the more I think about it, the more I think this shouldn’t be my year. In concentrating on romance and my own Magic, I’ve let my writing slip and it’s been a while since I’ve written something I consider really valuable. Moreover, the sign of a really good player is consistency, not one single result. I think I’m ready to be one of the game’s top players, but Barcelona is my only really good finish at the Pro Tour level.
So here’s my thought: I’ve got a year on the gravy train, where I can concentrate on PT formats and not put all of my energy and time into the qualifiers. I’ve got a supportive girlfriend who wants me to do well and will help me make time to test and prepare for this year. And, after my recent hiatus, I think I have some things worth writing about. If I can perform well this year and contribute to the Magic community with my writing, I’ll be back in a year and will ask for your vote. But for now, there’s someone else I want you to vote for.
I want you to vote for Rob Dougherty, owner and founder of Your Move Games. If anyone out there knows the eight people they want to vote for and I’m one of them, cross me off and replace me with Rob. If anyone out there hasn’t voted and doesn’t know who to vote for, vote for Rob.
First, let’s look at Rob’s achievements in Magic. He’s a Pro Tour Champion (part of Team YMG that won the first team Limited PT). He’s had multiple top 8s. He designed The Utility Belt, the deck all of YMG played at PT: NY, which took both him and the Hump to the top 8 and helped me finish in the money at my first Pro Tour. This year, Rob is near the top of the Player of the Year race. He has shown he is one of the top players in the game.
Another reason to vote for Rob is that he’s done a lot for Magic outside of playing. Rob holds nearly all of the New England PTQs, and Your Move Games has become one of Magic’s major forces in significant part due to the strong player base Rob has cultivated and nurtured over the years. I can say with 100% confidence that if it were not for Your Move Games and the strong player base and regular tournaments it offers, I would not be on the Pro Tour — period.
Of course, this is his business and he has been rewarded financially for his success. But there was definitely a cost in Magic terms for him. Because Rob was the organizer for so many qualifiers, he could almost never try to qualify for the Pro Tour himself. We all knew he was one of the best players in the world, but for a while it looked like he might not get on the Tour at all. He had to travel out of state to qualify finally, and then quickly put an end to that nonsense by finishing in the top 8 and hitting the gravy train right away.
Rob is the ultimate gamer. When I once proposed putting him on a desert island with six beautiful women, he asked if I could make it seven so they could draft. He plays Titan after hours at Pro Tours, is virtually unbeatable at Settlers of Catan, and will pretty much play any game on offer. If he is invited to the Invitational, you will see his love of the game and of gaming in his decks, his play and his report.
The only reason not to invite Rob that I can see is that his atrocious spelling will affect his report somehow. Fortunately, team YMG has at least one decent speller out there somewhere who can edit as needed.
Send Rob Dougherty to the Invitational where he belongs.