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Photo Essay: Scenes from Day Two

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Like most Pro Tours, this one is featuring non-stop side events for those that either aren't in the Main Event, or aren't in it any more. When I checked in on them, the side event staff had already run well over a hundred events, and that was just early Saturday afternoon!


Speaking of side events, while most are your more typical fare, this one coming up on Sunday is one of the most esoteric formats I've ever heard of. The format is Kamigawa Block Constructed, it's Highlander style (so only one of each card except for basic land is allowed in your deck), the decks are 15 cards, sideboards are 3 cards, and you don't die if you can't draw a card. The banned list is Dampen Thought, Sink Into Takenuma, Nezumi Shortfang, Three Tragedies, and Waking Nightmare. The winner gets a 5 gig Zen Micro audio player. What wins in that crazy format? Your guess is probably better than mine, but I can't wait to see how it plays out.


Meanwhile, the Pro Tour continues on for the 107 players that made it to Day Two. Sixty-four of them will be taking home prize money once the smoke clears, but only eight will get the coveted chance to test their might on Sunday for a combined prize pool of over $100,000 and the chance to level up those Players Club benefits.


To get there, they'll probably need to prove their worth here, in the feature match pit. Each round eight players compete here for the chance to move up in the standings, and we've seen several great stories unfold here already this weekend.


So, what are you in for?

The Players Lounge has been a popular addition to the tour this season, but it's a lot more fun to be competing than lounging. It gets pretty empty in here during the drafts and when the rounds begin. During these times only those who've already been eliminated find themselves in the lounge. It can be a great time for commiseration, and there's often a knowing, rueful smile for the others in the room, all of whom share your situation. It's a scenario that has played out each Pro Tour this season, but it's not often that you see Kai Budde and Raphael Levy here rather than at the tables so early in the event.


For those that do make it to Sunday, there are just three rounds of single elimination between them and Pro Tour fame. While they're duking it out for the chance to take home the $30,000 first prize, we'll be broadcasting the whole thing on our live webcast, starting 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time. Randy Buehler and Brian David-Marshall will be there for the commentary, watching from this booth.


While making my way around the room, I noticed that one of the vendors was advertising a rare Mirage deck display box for sale. These glass deck cases were given away to the winners of the Mirage prerelease events back in 1996 and are evidently quite rare now. The price today? A hefty £650. The part that kills me is that I won one of these myself at the Las Vegas Mirage prerelease, but lost it during one of my many moves in the Los Angeles area. Up 'til now I thought my worst Magic loss had been when my cat bit a jagged hole in my Mox Pearl!

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