Grand Prix Scorekeeper, Scott Larabee has access to a nifty Pro Tour player database that allowed us to peek at the past performances of all the Top 8 competitors. Rather than do the traditional Top 8 profiles we decided to take a look at the professional Magic careers of these players.
Brian Kibler’s resume is by far the most impressive of the eight players. Kibler goes back to Randy Buehler’s Pro Tour in Chicago 97 where he posted an unimpressive finish. He went on to win money that season in LA and won Grand Prix Toronto. He does not pop up again until the 99-00 season when he posted a Top 32 at Grand Prix Seattle. He attended PT LA and Worlds where he just finished in the money. It is interesting to note that with that appearance at World’s Kibler began a rather impressive string of 20 consecutive Pro Tour appearances. His streak is still active. His best finish over that run was third at Chicago with his famous Rith/Fires deck. This was the fourteenth GP that Brian has played in. He has already won two of them and has a 2nd place finish. He has three 6th place finishes. He has only failed to win money once—and that was a 35th place finish on breakers!
Ben is a popular young player that everyone predicts great things for. His first Pro Tour appearance was in 1999 at London. He played in the following Pro Tour: Chicago and made the Top 64—a money finish. He had an undistinguished season the following year. He played in every Pro Tour but Worlds last year and had three money finishes. This is his first Top 8 appearance at either a Grand Prix or a Pro Tour. He is following up on a Top 32 appearance in Atlanta and a 9th place finish at Pro Tour Boston.
Antonino De Rosa
Antonino’s first Pro Tour was the same as Stark’s. He played in all the Pro Tours the following year—including Worlds—and finished as high as 18th in Tokyo with four finishes in the money. The following year he played in every Pro Tour with a string of undistinguished finishes interrupted by 19th in San Diego and 50th at Worlds. He also made the top 32 of each Grand Prix he played in including a 5th and 6th place finish in Tampa and Atlanta respectively. He had four money finishes last year and finished in the money in seven of the eight Grand Prix’s he played in. He has one GP Top 8 this year at London.
The Heiss goes way back to Los Angles 97-98 where he finished 82nd. He played in three Pro tours the following season and had two money finishes including 13th place in Rome. Then for all intents and purposes falls off the tour for three years. In 99-00 he posted a 9th place at GP Memphis and doesn’t pop up again until Osaka in 2002—nearly another three years. He played in two Pro Tours last season and one GP without a money finish. He is a popular Magic columnist on Star City Games and periodically writes for the Sideboard as well.
Sideboard reporters John and Mary were delighted when their hometown favorite from Colorado made his first Top 8. Jonathan Cassidy has only one Pro Tour under his belt. In Chicago of last year he failed to make Day Two although he has won the Colorado State Championships and was a regular on the JSS circuit.
Gerry Thompson just popped up on the Pro Tour last season with three appearances—Boston, Houston and Venice without any Day Two performances. He did post a money finish at Grand Prix Atlanta.
Michael Krumb has no Pro Tour appearances to his credit but posted a 20th place finish at his first GP in Minneapolis. He has played in two other GPs but his first remained his best performance before this weekend.
Justin Smith was an amateur coming into this event and will celebrate the loss of that status with a $1,500 payday on top of whatever else he might win.
Congratulations to all the players on their impressive addition to their resumes this weekend!