I have an awful habit. The abyss that is my computer contains no less than a half dozen incomplete articles. There are a few reasons why I don’t finish writing what I start; first and foremost being that I normally think they’re awful, beyond any literary repair that I am capable of. Awfulness certainly doesn’t stop many of you from submitting articles, but it sure stops me. In any event, I’m determined to finish this article.
I didn’t have a problem with pre-banning Extended. Whenever the same card (in this case, Tinker) is present in every tier 1 deck, people complain. Let’s be honest, the bannings of Goblin Recruiter, Hermit Druid, and Oath of Druids were just to make Rock playable again. The decks that they were featured in were not on the level of any of the Tinker decks. Many people got the idea by playing RDW, and just playing absurd amounts of artifact removal. Others played the best deck and took measures to fight through the hate. Then Gabe Walls played some awful deck that he thought was good, and T16’d. Sounds like a perfectly fine metagame to me.
My preparation for the Grand Prix involved convincing my fellow Arizonans to actually go the GP, begging them to play respectable decks, and least importantly, fine-tuning my old deck. Besides fixing the blatant metagame errors (four Masticore/ zero Mindslaver main) I made at the Pro Tour, I also gave my deck the ability to go off with Stroke of Genius and Metalworker. With three Strokes, three Gilded Lotus, and three Cunning Wish, I could simply win by tapping Metalworker to fuel a large Stroke of Genius, (hopefully) drawing a Voltaic Key, using it to untap the Metalworker and play a Gilded Lotus, giving me the Blue mana to continue playing Stroke of Genius and Voltaic Keys, until I had enough mana to Stroke an opponent out.
Well my preparation was a giant, giant failure. The esteemed Dan Lawver broke a nail while on his way to class one day, while Ryan Rocco’s parents wouldn’t let him go after seeing him trip on a stick on the sidewalk and scraping his knees. By some cruel act meant to torture me, something possessed Phimus Pan to switch to Red Deck Wins (with zero banned cards), when he had tested nothing but Twiddle Desire (with a billion banned cards). Listen up folks, if it’s gonna get banned… it’s good. As for the changes to my deck, I did not target any of my opponents with Stroke of Genius, and I decided not to play with Welding Jar, which would’ve been excellent at the GP. Alas, I left for the GP with Anthony Avitollo and Phimus Pan.
There are essentially two types of people you can go on road trips with, the Anthony Avitollos of the world, and the Phimus Pans of the world. When you are driving six hours somewhere, do not think of it as a chore, some arduous task you have to endure before doing whatever meaningless thing you were going to do after arriving at your destination. Think of it as an opportunity to enjoy the company of your fellow road trippers. Like myself, Anthony was quite excited to go on the trip, an entire weekend to ignore the trials and tribulations of our everyday lives. We rediscovered the lost art of conversation with topics from previous Magic: the Gathering related road trips, college pep band, and the finer points of being tethered by the bonds of marriage (like Anthony) versus the enormous opportunities of the common bachelor (like myself). Phimus on the other hand, was quite the sleeper, and less the chatter. On the rare occasion he decided to speak, it was usually to complain about something trite. The road trip as a whole is never enjoyable unless the driving is also enjoyable.
Upon arriving to the site, we meet up with one Jameson Wheeler, who I wrote about during my Cincinnati days. He’s in the finals of the GP Trial with Keith Thompson, who may or may not show up later in the report. Since Wheeler has better things on his agenda to do than play in the Grand Prix, he scoops for the packs. In the interest of continuity, I’ll say that nothing spectacular happened between here and the start of the Grand Prix.
Here’s the fantastic deck I took into battle:
3 Rishadan Port
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Shivan Reed
4 Ancient Tomb
4 City of Traitors
1 Bosh, Iron Golem
4 Voltaic Key
4 Grim Monolith
2 Thran Dynamo
3 Gilded Lotus
3 Cunning Wish
3 Stroke of Genius
4 Tangle Wire
1 Myr Incubator
2 Chalice of the Void
As far as decklists go, it’s alright. If I had to play it over again, I’d cut both Dynamos and play an extra Gilded Lotus and the fourth Rishadan Port, as well as cutting some of the more narrow cards in the sideboard for Welding Jars. Even without Cunning Wish, the colored mana given by Gilded Lotus outweighs the unlikely draw of a pair of two-mana lands and a Dynamo, pretty much the only situation where the extra mana is crucial. Do not try to glean tech from this, most of this deck is banned. I like to cheat while it’s legal.
Given the backlash against tournament reports containing epic tales of trips to Subway, I won’t tell you that the Steak and Cheese sub I had during my three byes was delicious.
Round 4 – Chris Bonser – Enchantress
For those of you practicing for your SATs, analogy time! I am to Enchantress as Zvi is to Turboland. What does this analogy say about Chris’s deck choice? If you said”OMG its cuts/stains/barns!” then you’re right, but I’ll punch you in the face for talking like a gamer.
All three games he got what I’d like to call the nuts. Turn 3 and 4 Words of Wind lock with Seal of Cleansing thrown in for good measure. The only problem was that in the second game, I took his last turn. Some people watching claimed that I played his deck better than he did, and that he wouldn’t have gone off on me. He killed with Words of Wind lock, and actually killing with Cloud of Faeries was simply a matter of time (pay attention kids! That’s foreshadowing).
When being Mindslavered, I couldn’t use Words of Wind cause then I’d be locked! My plan was just to draw him out using Enchantresses. Since he didn’t actually play spells that let you untap in the top fifty-seven cards of his library, I just had to be quite frugal with my mana. I managed to get him down to three cards left in his library, and then discard all of his Words of Wind. The Mindslavered turn took a good twenty-five minutes, leaving us with eight minutes left on the clock, enough for me to win, but not him (assuming he didn’t add anything aggressive back into his deck) In the third game, he sufficiently locked me before I got going. However, he had a whopping two Cloud of Faeries for damage sources. Needless to say, we ran out of time.
3-0-1 (really 3-1)
Round 5 – Paul Rietzl – Psychatog
While both of us drew in the last round, we had quite different outlooks on the draw. He said that he had made mistakes that cost him a win, where I escaped with a draw.
In the first game, I had a turn 1 Grim Monolith, which accelerated me into all sorts of mana and a Stroke of Genius refilled my hand, but that hand contained little action. Nonetheless, I had a billion mana in play and eventually I drew enough threats that he had to counter them all. Chalice for two (normally a test spell) actually resolved, so I knew the coast was clear to play out the rest of the hand that I had been building up, which was sufficient to kill him.
For the second game, I could tell you most of the play by play, but I still don’t know how I managed to win. It involved a large amount of land for each of us, but no Isochron Scepter or Fact or Fiction for him, and two Rishadan Port for me. The Ports prevented him from playing an early Psychatog without any backlash. I eventually (and by eventually I mean ten lands or something), started casting mana artifacts, essentially giving him four real counterspells. Then I cast Tangle Wires, Tinkers, and other such gibberish. Finally I got a Mindslaver to stick, used it, and he responds with a Fact or Fiction, which reveals a Psychatog. So much for card advantage. I take his turn, and see Force Spike and a land. The draw step reveals the second Psychatog.
4-0-1 (really 4-1)
Despite being demoralized before the match, and playing the match as though his Grand Prix was over, he managed to overcome losing to me (quite embarrassing I might add) to T8.
Hrmm, I think now is a good time to mention that everyone else from AZ is terrible at magic, at least based on their stellar results from this Grand Prix. Phimus and Anthony had two or three losses each, Mitchell was still on the nine match points that his byes gave him. James Bond and Awwix also made the trip, and both were done playing in the GP by the start of round 6. But not me!
Round 6 Brian Stroh – Psychatog
The first game is a nice example of why its good to play cards that are going to get banned. I have a billion mana before he can play stuff, then I can cast a bunch of spells that he has to counter before Psychatog actually kills me. He can’t counter them all with only four Counterspells in his deck. In the second game, Annul and various artifact kill spells stunt my mana and I’m never really in the game.
I’d like to take this time to point out how my descriptions are much longer than my losses. It’s not because I remember them any less, or would like to bring out the high points of my tournament, but because I just didn’t do anything in most of my losses. If you want to hear about my game 2, I could say that I had mostly artifacts for mana, and most of those artifacts were in my graveyard.
The third game was quite interesting. I build up a decent amount of mana, but take ten or twelve points of damage while doing so. He is quite counter-light, but he’s able to Duress me and keep me off of building up a giant hand. The play gets interesting when he plays a lethal Psychatog. I have a Damping Matrix, and use a Chalice for two to force the Matrix through. Surprisingly, the Chalice sticks. Then I play the Matrix.
The Psychatog attacks. five life. I draw a Dynamo and play it. Four life. Land. Three life. Gilded Lotus. Two life. Monolith (heh) one life. Metalworker. Blocker! My next draw is a Chalice of the Void, which I set on three counters, effectively locking him out of the game. The only problem with this is that I’m locked out of the game too. I sided out my Bosh, Iron Golem and my Masticore, and Damping Matrix prevents me from using other artifacts. My options are to try to draw into Stroke of Genius and forty-some mana without Voltaic Key, or to Upheaval. I have the win if he doesn’t have Fire / Ice, as even counterspells let me replay the majority of my mana. I Upheaval floating seven, he grumbles and scoops up his cards. No mana floating! I play a City of Traitors, and a Chalice for zero, Tinker it away for a Myr Incubator and activate, then drop the other Chalice, also on zero, to prevent any Chrome Mox shenanigans. After the game, he is disgusted with himself and shows me the Fire/Ice.
5-0-1 (really 4-2)
After the game is over, I realize that I actually had more outs than I thought. If I draw one of the Mindslaver or the Myr Incubator, I can cast it, then Tinker away my Damping Matrix (Tinker would be countered by Chalice, but the Matrix would still leave play), which leaves him with Stifle as an out (unlikely in a deck with Cunning Wish) instead of Fire/Ice (very likely). Anything involving Tinkering my Chalice for three is dangerous, as then Cunning Wish or Rack and Ruin wreck me.
Round 7 – Ben Rubin – Dump Truck
Both games are a massacre. I’m not broken in game 1, and his triple Duress, triple Seal of Cleansing draw makes a mockery of me. I keep him under triple Rishadan Port for sometime, but when he gets five land in play, the maindecked Tsabo’s Web seals my fate. In the second game, I play a turn two Gilded Lotus and make a crucial mistake by not Tinkering my Monolith for a second Lotus, then casting Cunning Wish for Stroke (or Mystical for Stroke, if Duressed). Of course, my only Lotus meets a Seal of Cleansing, and I’m without Blue mana for the Stroke. An Energy Flux later and I have my first (real) loss of the day.
5-1-1 (really 4-3, and out of contention for Day 2)
Round 8 – Cameron Herzog – Red Deck Wins
There’s some talk about all of the 6-2s making it, and the possibility of even more making the cut. This starts some debate among the 5-1-1 people about drawing, but I don’t think anyone ended up drawing with a 5-1-1 record. Maybe people actually read AlphaLackey’s junk and play out of the spirit of competitiveness! Ha.
Game 1 was the textbook Red Deck Wins draw. Two Jackal Pups with a Wasteland and a Tangle Wire prevented me from ever getting off the ground. My Ancient Tomb damage didn’t help things. The second game was the textbook Tinker draw against Red Deck Wins. An excess of mana artifacts topped off with Gilded Lotus and Chill halted his offense. One Pillage prevented Masticore from having his day in the sun, but a Tinker put him out of his misery. The third game was ridiculous. My draw featured turn 2 Chill, turn 3 Chill plus Chalice for one with a Masticore and six mana ready. His draw was turn 2 Slith Firewalker, then a morph, then Tangle Wire. I never got that chance to play my Masticore.
After playing for the second day and losing, I was quite demoralized. I searched out the 8-0, and all around good man Mike Abraham, to help salvage some dignity. After playing a few games with his Hermit/Dance deck, someone told me that in fact, a few 5-2-1s did make the second day. Lucky me, I had the best breakers at 5-2-1 and made day 2 in 57th place.
Even though I benefited from day 2’ing with such an abysmal record, I was quite upset at the fact that the GP seemed to have an extra round on day 1. There were fewer than three hundred in the Grand Prix, and many six-hundred-plus-man Grand Prix were also eight rounds. The more I think about it, they should always have an appropriate number of rounds so that the majority of the X-2 players make the second day. People still have to play well to make money on Day 2, and the extra rounds decrease the effect on manascrew or other bad beats.
****Aside on Playing the tournament****
I can’t believe how often people ask me what record I need to reach a certain plateau in the tournament. When people say,”What record do you need to make day 2,” I tell them that after eight rounds, the top 64 people will make day 2. Quite simple. If you believe that you can spare a loss and still be fine to make whatever goal you have, then you’ll get that loss early. This happened to me at PT: New Orleans. My goal was to make day 2. I was guaranteed Day 2 after five rounds, at 5-0. I then proceeded to lose six in a row, mostly because I had already made my goal and anything else was just gravy. I”played the tournament”.
Now when someone asks me how many more wins I need for T8, I tell them”one, the next one.” I know that I just commented on the tournament structure above, but it didn’t stop me from playing each match, one at a time. I think this attitude has allowed me to do very well in elimination matches. I’ve never lost once making the T8 of a PTQ.
After eating at Denny’s for the third night in a row (including one Thursday in Phoenix), I go from wide awake to dead asleep in the span of thirty minutes. I think it was the food.
Eating and Sleeping stories are sure exciting.
GenCon SoCal was a giant joke. It was nothing compared to DragonCon during Grand Prix: Atlanta. Sure there was the occasional Stormtrooper, but there were hardly any people at the convention. The booth area was primarily a bunch of new game demos, and few actual dealers. Despite the abysmal attendance, the worst was the fact that the booth area (including the dealers) were forced to open at 10am and close at 6pm. This meant there were no late night wheeling and dealing of hot cards (Anthony had plenty of extra 1.x stuff to sell) and no way to get new sleeves in the morning. If you had to play round 1, you had to do it with older sleeves. Ridiculous.
I was planning on re-sleeving before Day 2 started, but I was going to play two rounds before the booths opened. I never got enough time to go purchase sleeves and break them in, so I played all of day 2 in used sleeves. Fortunately, none of them got marked as they normally do. I’m brutal on my cards, and the sleeves end up taking the abuse.
Round 9 – Ismael Covarrubias -“antitinker”.dec
The fact that this guy actually T32’ed is astonishing. Let me recap some of his plays in the first game. Turn 1 Polluted Delta, end of turn, sac Delta, cast Brainstorm. It wasn’t like he needed Blue either, as he had three Blue sources in play on turn 4 when he cast Shadowmage Infiltrator, with a Blue open. On my fourth turn, I Upheavaled, floating a billion mana. Nice Play.
In the second game, he decided not to play a third land after keeping his first seven. He said after our difficult match that he didn’t understand how he lost to Tinker, and pointed at his Pernicious Deed, Naturalize, and various counters like Forbid. I pointed to his Call of the Herd and Shadowmage Infiltrator. I feel dumber for writing this paragraph.
Round 10 – Jon Sonne – Psychatog
I have a broken start, with turn 1 Metalworker plus some artifacts, but my second turn only allows me to Stroke for five, since I don’t want to let him have counter mana and I still want to play around Force Spike and Daze. My new cards offer no true threats other than Tangle Wire, and he is able to cast his Rack and Ruin and then Cunning Wish for another one, so I’m down four artifacts and I’m back down to a normal amount of mana. However, I eventually draw into enough threats that the only counter that works in each situation is Counterspell itself.
He draws and plays all four of them without much manipulation. After he plays all of them, all I have left is a Metalworker, which actually deals ten damage before meeting the crispy end of a Fire/Ice. After an eternity of non-action by either player, he Fact or Fictions into a Psychatog. I decide that its time to Upheaval. I replay Myr Incubator and Masticore, with mana open to activate Incubator, to which he responds with Vampiric Tutor and Cunning Wish for Diabolic Edict. I make a mistake by casting a Thran Dynamo that I don’t need, which forces me to play Ancient Tomb instead of an Island to activate the Incubator.
His turn post Upheaval is two Chrome Moxes and Engineered Plague. On my turn, I play my first Blue, an Island, so that I can Cunning Wish. I also attack with Masticore to put him at two. I plan on getting the Masticore Diabolic Edicted, so my game is either to play my second Upheaval and replay the Incubator(my last damage source other than Metalworker) as well as a Chalice of the Void for zero (to stop Mox, Mox, Plague again). Failing that, I’d have to Stroke him out, which wouldn’t be too difficult, considering he only has twenty cards left in his library. However, he decides to imprint the Diabolic Edict on Isochron Scepter.
I don’t cast Cunning Wish at the end of his turn. I play my second Blue source before attacking, and Cunning Wish for Stifle when he activates his stick. Go Cunning Wish! After the first game there are less than five minutes left in the round so I sideboard not to lose, and he doesn’t manage to get tog lethal in time.
Round 11 – Anthony Impellizzieri – Angry Hermit
I’m sure glad I beat this guy. More SAT practice for you future collegiates. Anthony is like a high school freshman the first week of class. That is a simile. Basically, he thought he was the coolest kid on the planet because now he was in high school. The simile is especially effective, because its somewhat age appropriate. He was no older than sixteen. He thought he could intimidate me by nitpicking about my shuffling, and trying to get me to keep my lands tapped after tapping them, etc, etc. I play back at him by calling a judge for the most mundane thing ever, not expecting to be ruled in my favor (it had something to do with Tangle Wire).
In any event, he activates Hermit Druid and Krosan Reclamations for Mox Diamonds in response to Tangle Wire. He plays a City of Traitors and the Mox Diamond, and Corpse Dances. Too bad he didn’t stack his graveyard and he gets back a Hermit Druid. I look through his graveyard, don’t see any Reanimates, so I Chalice of the Void for one, and he decks himself after drawing his last Mox Diamond. After the first few turns in the second game, its quite obvious that he is not going to win with Hermit Druid.
His Duress sees a Stroke of Genius, a Damping Matrix, a Triskelion, and whatever card he ends up taking. He casts Buried Alive, then Mystical Tutors for Corpse Dance. However, he fails to realize that his City of Traitors dies when he played his Blue land to Mystical Tutor. This leaves him with only two land. He Vampiric Tutors for the third land, so I Tinker for Mindslaver and activate it. He has a fourth mana source in hand, as well as a Vampiric Tutor, so I tutor for the other Sutured Ghoul and Corpse Dance and let his Ghoul die. Triskelion is able to take it home shortly after that.
I joked with the once 8-0 Mike Abraham that I would finish higher than him when all was said in done. Now I was a mere one match away from being higher than him. I was also in the same bracket was one Ped Bun, who was Funeral Pyre’in people out with his old school Oath of Druids/Enlightened Tutor deck. What some of you don’t know is that Ped was the designer of the original Tutor-based Oath deck that Bob Maher used to win PT Chicago back in 2000. In addition, Ped is one of the nicest people I know. cool.
Round 12 – Steve Jarvis – Psychatog
Both games are quite similar. Before, I had success when I was quite manaflooded against Psychatog. This time I was land light, and was forced to rely upon my artifacts for mana. Steve’s deck was similar to the Type 2 Tog decks of last year, only with artifact removal instead of creature removal. Imagine how hard it was to keep an artifact in play. I hope that he wasn’t playing like he did against me every game. He basically emptied his hand very early (Chrome Mox and Isochron Scepter), and relied upon an Isochron Scepter with Counterspell to take it home. It did quite admirably against me, when I couldn’t play more than one spell a turn.
Round 13 – Keith Thompson – lol.dec
Before I get into the meat of this match report, let me say that Keith is really a nice guy. That being said, he has to be the biggest lucksac on the planet. If someone would like to tell me how on Earth he wins, please do so. It’s not just the magical cards he’s lucky at. He’s a special ed teacher, and somehow does not have to write IEPs. Writing an IEP for a special ed kid is not unlike doing your taxes. I’m an aide for special ed kids, and the teachers at our school do nothing but write IEPs, and this guy doesn’t have to write any! How lucky. I’m sure you care about MtG much more than IEPs. I wish I did anything either game.
In game 1, a simple Seal of Cleansing plus a Seal of Fire took down my entire board, while a pair of morphs did their work. In game 2, the greatest play at the entire GP took place. Keith’s turn 1 was Ancient Tomb, Chrome Mox, morph! Onslaught Block Limited has just sped up by two turns! It was obviously enough to go the distance, as I didn’t really do anything that a Burning Wish for Pulverize couldn’t handle in time.
Round 14 – Josh Fleisch – Rock
Why do people think Rock has a good match-up against Tinker? He had an excellent draw, with turn 2 Diabolic Edict for my Metalworker, then two Uktabi Orangutans by turn 4. In response to his second one, I cast Stroke of Genius for ten. Yeah, I won that one. In the second game, his discard and such got a bigger chunk of my start, but I was still left with nine mana and six turns to draw something against a Troll Ascetic. I ripped Tinker. At that point, I really had nothing to get besides Myr Incubator and hope that his last card or the next wasn’t a Pernicious Deed. It wasn’t.
9-4-1 28th place
Two brutal games that really showed how stupid the Tinker deck is, and why I chose to play it. No matter how good you can claim a match-up to be, you can flat out lose to a Stroke for ten, or Port/Wire/Upheaval-induced mana denial. It’s not uncommon for cards like Rack and Ruin to do nothing against the explosive draws the deck can produce. I slowed it down a little with Gilded Lotus and Cunning Wish in an effort to fuel more consistent draws. With so much targeted artifact removal, the Wishes ended up being quite clunky. I should have had Welding Jars at the minimum, and probably removed Cunning Wish altogether. I don’t know why people played so much targeted artifact removal. It’s just a bad tempo play against a deck that can produce so many artifacts by the time you get mana to play one of your artifact destruction spells. The better way to go about it is with either one-mana discard, or dedicated hate cards like Pulverize or Energy Flux. I would go into more detail on how to beat Tinker, but Tinker went the way of Nick Burr and Trey Van Cleave.
Before the GP, I said I would’ve been disappointed if I didn’t make money. Given the amount of games I simply just won or just lost, I was extremely happy with making money. I was very disappointed in the preparation of my fellow Arizonans. Between the not going, the not testing, and not doing well, it wasn’t the greatest of GPs for our squad.
Before I end this report, I want to share a story about Mitchell Tamblyn. After failing to acquire the 2-2-1 record needed to make the second day after his 3 byes, Mitchell said that he was quitting magic, and would pay gas money for us to take his brother Alex home. We agreed, since Alex was going to play in the JSS the next day. Needless to say, Mitchell could be found playing in the PTQ the next day. How can you not, as there were only thirty-two people! After reminding him that he quit a few times, I watched him as he T8’d the PTQ. About the same time Alex made the T8 of the JSS. Mitchell lost his match while Alex won his. Instead of waiting an hour or so for his brother to finish, Mitchell left.
We had an extra spot in our car, and didn’t mind taking Alex home, but I was surprised by the brotherly support. I still haven’t seen any of that gas money either. Just thought I’d share.
Alex Tamblyn -“Winning” the JSS, holding his own in the GP, and being my equal in paper football.Anthony – for enjoying a road trip, despite not doing well at the GP itself. For realizing that Magic makes him bitter, instead of just being bitter about Magic and making the rest of our lives miserable. Mike Abraham, Ped Bun – for gracing the GP with your presence.
Jameson Wheeler – for not destroying my car, and for stealing a giant-sized air freshener for it.
My opponents on day 1 – for winning your other matches, allowing me to make day 2.
Rocco, Lawver – Not going!Mitchell Tamblyn – Not paying!GenCon Booths – Not open!
Nick Eisel – Not unbanned! I was almost looking foward to seeing Nick at the GP. To quote Nick:
I received and (Nice editing Knut) email from the DCI informing me that I was more than welcome to play in the PTQ season for Kobe and also play in GP: Anaheim. This email was not from a mailing list, and was addressed directly to me. If this isn’t proof of how ignorant and unorganized the DCI is, then I don’t know what is. I’ll print out that email and see you at the GP.
Surprisingly, his name is still on the suspended list….
[Careful there sparky, keep picking on the editing and I’ll post your next one unedited, so everyone can make fun of your infinite smiley faces and inability to capitalize”ptq.” Oh yeah, and your inability to spell the word”forward” (look up at the Nick Eisel line). – The ever-vengeful Knut]The JSS – I could care less about the JSS personally, but I’ve noticed a recent phenomenon in JSS challenges. The scoop. For some reason, kids think that an extra box is worth giving up the $1000 scholarship for. If I were WotC, I’d consider changing the one scholarship per season rule at the challenges. I know JSS luminaries like Max McGuffin would win seven challenges in a single season, but winning three challenges a year isn’t that absurd, especially if you’re one of the best in your area. After all, you didn’t stop Kai from winning more than one Pro Tour a year. Alex Tamblyn scooped for a box at PT: New Orleans, then got his finals opponent to scoop for the box at the GP. I’d much rather be able to play for $1000 than be concerned with my ability to play in the next JSS.
That’s all I got.