The Biggest Ass in Texas is a resident of Austin, where he works for a Customer Service Corporation.
He has qualified for the Pro Tour four times but has not made day two yet. He has played competitively since Stronghold and has many top 8's under his belt.
I'm Not Normal Enough - 10.11.01
I'm very happy with the extent of submissions I've gotten. Don't stop now though. If you think you've got what it takes, send me an article. One thing to remember though, I'm all about quality out of my writers. We could just be 'another magic site', but we're not. I'm not going to post just any and every article as a featured article. When I put my efforts forth, you're going to get something out of it.
In other news here in Texas we have Magic every weekend. That might not seem strange, but what I mean is that we have a PTQ every weekend within driving distance. States occupies the weekend where we don't. It’s a Magic competitor's dream come true.
And I'm going to miss most of it.
I had planned on attending each of these events, and now I'm not. It boils down to this past weekend when I was forced to reevaluate why I was doing this. Why do I play competitively? It ends up I don't have fun when I win, or when I lose. And this weekend I lost because I made a mistake. I tapped my mana wrong. In the last turn, of the last round, I tap my mana wrong.
Admittedly, I felt I was dead and that there was no way I could win.
Instead, my opponent blocked my all out attack in just the wrong way to give me a chance. If I hadn't of already tapped the wrong lands.
I beat myself in my head for at least an hour. My girlfriend asked me why I do it. Why, indeed? I could not give an adequate answer. I'm faced with looking at Magic as an addiction and not a game. I do it for the slight thrill of winning a PTQ. And that thrill does not happen very often.
But after some time thinking about the whole thing, I realized something about what I get out of playing Magic. What I get out of going to the PTQ's, of playing. And it’s not winning.
What I have found I enjoy the most is helping others. In playing the fun games. In everything that is not competitive about the game, I enjoy myself.
Before the tournament started a friend from Dallas had two IBC decks to play around with, U/B/W and Domain. The tournament season was over, most likely never to be heard from again and here he and I are, playing IBC.
And it was the most fun I've had playing IBC ever. Because all the playtesting was done. All the learning, all the competition, everything, it was all over. And I could just have fun. And I loved it.
Several people came up to us and asked why we were playing it, and we answered 'bored' or 'why not?’ And honestly, we were playing because we love to play Magic.
I think that this weekend I learned something again. Somewhere in the qualifications, the Pro Tours, the winning money, I forgot what I came into the game for.
I came to get down.
I mean I came to have fun.
I have always been a gamer. Boardgames, AD&D from when I was 7, Battletech (with the metal miniatures), Cthulu, 183X, etc. I've played the games.
I've won, I've lost, but I've always tried to have fun.
The complicating element was when it stopped being friends and started being a competition. It started meaning prizes and money. It meant trips around the world. That value was intense enough to put me into the place I didn't want to be. I talked about being a monster when I wrote for another website. Being a jerk when I played and all that. And mostly I've stopped that. But I hadn't stopped feeling horrible inside when I lost.
So out of all the PTQ's this month, I've attended one. Three more to go, and I'm not attending any of them. I've got two Halloween parties to attend on successive weekends. I've got friends that gather once a month that I haven't seen in three months because of Magic. I put off seeing my mom who lives 2 hours away to go to Magic events. That's screwed up priorities I think, and something I want to fix.
But I'm not quitting. I do enjoy the people, and the games, I just am controlling how much I partake. Next month is States, and I'll be there.
After that, one more PTQ to go before the season ends. Not great odds for me to qualify. But honestly, it doesn't bother me nearly as much as how I've neglected the rest of my social life.
A friend of mine talked about how I'm the most 'normal' Magic player he knows. I'm the only one that talks about other things more than I talk about Magic. And to him, I think I should say something, "I'm not normal enough."
Take a look at the rest of your life. Is it lacking because of magic? Make sure that you balance out your life.
Until next time,
Pojo Magic Editor