2009 Grand Prix Chicago: Top 8 Profiles

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Name: Gabriel Nassif
Age: 25
Hometown: Paris
Occupation: Magic/Poker Player

How many times have you played on the Pro Tour/Grand Prix Day 2?
About 45 / about 20

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 6.7 / 9

Other previous Magic accomplishments: a bunch

What was your record?
Day 1: 7-1-1
Day 2: 5-0-1

How did you prepare for Grand Prix-Chicago?
Played a bunch of games at R.I.W. Hobbies in Michigan with Chapin and Bucher.

What deck are you playing and why?
I’m playing Counterbalance/Top because I thought it was the best strategy. I got the decklist from Luis Scott-Vargas the night before (thanks Luis).


Name: Brian D. Six
Age: 20
Hometown: Akron, OH
Occupation: Student

How many times have you played on the Pro Tour/Grand Prix Day 2?
3 GP / 1 PT

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: none.

Other previous Magic accomplishments:
T64 at PT Berlin
10th at GP Los Angeles

What was your record?
Day 1: 8-1
Day 2: 4-1-1

How did you prepare for Grand Prix-Chicago?
Asked for help from Doug Linn, Michael Steinke. Tested with Rick Edminster.

What deck are you playing and why?
RG aggro, too good not to play.


Name: Brian Kowal
Age: 34
Hometown: Madison, WI
Occupation: I work at PowerNine.com.

How many times have you played on the Pro Tour/Grand Prix Day 2?
Bunches. I usually scrub out.

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: this one.

Other previous Magic accomplishments:
I’ve built some decks.

What was your record?
Day 1: 8-1
Day 2: 5-0-1

How did you prepare for Grand Prix-Chicago?
Got sick. Couldn’t brew. Got a deck from Cedric Phillips. Thanks dude.

What deck are you playing and why?
Black discard/LD splashing green and white. Popularly known as the “Hander/Lander”.


Name: Tommy Kolowith
Age: 21
Hometown: Graften, WI
Occupation: Student

How many times have you played on the Pro Tour/Grand Prix Day 2? 0

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 0

Other previous Magic accomplishments:
Name The Vintage Event

What was your record?
Day 1: 7-2
Day 2: 6-0

How did you prepare for Grand Prix-Chicago?
Playing in two trials, made top 8 in the first and won the second, with zero testing besides goldfishing the deck.

What deck are you playing and why?
Ad Nauseum I didn’t spend any time preparing for the event so I picked up the closest thing to the old Epic Storm deck. I like combo in legacy due to its raw power and the fact that a majority of the decks out there are just byes.


Name: David Caplan
Age: 20
Hometown: Toronto
Occupation: Student

How many times have you played on the Pro Tour/Grand Prix Day 2? 2

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 0

Other previous Magic accomplishments:
Legacy Champs Top 4

What was your record?
Day 1: 8-1
Day 2: 4-0-2

How did you prepare for Grand Prix-Chicago?
Testing with Lam Phan for almost 2 years on the same deck. Many Legacy tournies.

What deck are you playing and why?
Canadian Threshold, because testing has proven it to be the best deck, plus it’s fun to play something you co-created.


Name: Paul Rietzl
Age: 23
Hometown: Los Angeles
Occupation: Headhunter/Executive Recruiter

How many times have you played on the Pro Tour/Grand Prix Day 2?
20 ish

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: now 3/0

Other previous Magic accomplishments: Once beat Dave Humphreys in an untimed match.

What was your record?
Day 1: 8-0-1
Day 2: 4-0-2

How did you prepare for Grand Prix Chicago?
Chatted a bit with Gabe Walls and Josh Ravitz, shuffled all the black cards I own and took the first 75.

What deck are you playing and why? B/g agro because I wanted a deck with Hymns


Name: James Mink
Age: 22
Hometown: Fishers, Ind.
Occupation: Economist, Statistician

How many times have you played on the Pro Tour/Grand Prix Day 2?
0

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 0

Other previous Magic accomplishments: Won a box of Saviors in a $10 box tournament. Won a Grand Prix Trial.

What was your record?
Day 1: 7-2
Day 2: 5-0-1

How did you prepare for Grand Prix Chicago? Read forums, tested a couple times, and found what worked for the deck.

What deck are you playing and why? Dragon Stompy. It’s easy to play. I always finished each round with 20+ minutes to spare. Random mises with Blood Moon.


Name: Andy Probasco
Age: 24
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Occupation: Waiting for Wizards to get my application.

How many times have you played on the Pro Tour/Grand Prix Day 2? 0

Number of GP/PT Top 8s: 0

Other previous Magic accomplishments: Mostly high finishes in Vintage events. Finalist in “the Great Designer Search.”

What was your record?
Day 1: 9-0
Day 2: 3-2-1

How did you prepare for Grand Prix Chicago?
I’d been playing Legacy weekly for months.

What deck are you playing and why?
Counterbalance-top, metagame for the mirror. Lots of tournament results and testing just put the deck on top.

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