Old Pro Tour stories: Amsterdam 2010

Pro Tour Amsterdam wasn’t a memorable Pro Tour for me because of my performance in it. Most likely because I wasn’t participating. Why was I there then?

Well, back then there were ‘Last Chance Qualifiers’, which were just as they sound. They ran an extra qualifying tournament the day before the Pro Tour at the venue, and if you did well enough, you’d be in. I’d never been to a Last Chance Qualifier before, and I never would again. (I did also attempt to go to PT London, but that’s a whole different story)

Amsterdam was one of the few geographical locations that felt reasonable to travel to, and hey, they used to have a lot of side events at Pro Tours as well, just in case I didn’t win.

‘Not win’ doesn’t quite do it justice either. In an embarrassing turn of events, I didn’t even make it to the venue in time for the LCQ. The plan was to fly in, get the train to Centraal, then walk East towards the venue. I hadn’t been there before, but I thought I could tell where the exit would be, and I’d memorised the route from there.

Naturally, I managed to leave on the wrong side of the train station, thus making my directions lead me in quite the opposite direction. I couldn’t quite tell if it was correct or not, and by the time I’d found a map out in public and discovered my mistake, it was too late, I didn’t have enough time to reach the venue.

Oh well. At least there were side events.

I also remember about this Pro Tour (extended) that I sort of thought that White Weenie would be a good deck, but lacked confidence in expressing that. Thus, I sort-of-jokingly suggested it to people, but not really. Then two White Weenie decks made it to the top 8, one of them winning. Thus, I missed my chance of predictive greatness.

In between side events I ended up mostly hanging about and talking to people. Here are some highlights, where I was:

– Discovering one of the UK’s most enthusiastic Eternal Format players wrapped up in a tablecloth like a mummy, sleeping on an unused table. A Judge eventually spotted him and moved him on, but he just found a more secluded table.

– Being startled by a sudden noise, turning to see Cedric Phillips angrily** yet accurately tossing his PT draft deck in the garbage.

– Speaking to some UK guys who were playing 2HG (2 person team event) in a side event, distracted by an angry European ranting about his poor draws, expressing dissatisfaction that he hadn’t drawn his Baneslayer Angel, which at the time was quite the expensive card. (25 to 30 pounds, I seem to recall, I may be wrong) I thought it was over, before he expresses ‘Fucking Baneslayer!’ and rips it in half, then into smaller pieces and storming off. His team mate is speechless, and the surrounding players are either wincing, laughing, or both.

– Being introduced to iced coffee by judge friend Kim, which has become my default drink should I ever find myself in a Starbucks or similar.

In hindsight, I probably should have spent less time hanging around at the venue, and more time being cultured, visiting museums and whatnot. But that would need to wait for the next time I travelled there. This time, I was too busy walking to and from my hostel which was not particularly close to the venue!

That’s pretty much all I can remember of that ill-fated venture. Not because of any memory-altering substances you understand, it’s just that nothing earth-shattering happened, and most of my memories of exploring have been replaced by my more recent exploration. I did learn some lessons about making EXTRA sure what exit I am leaving train stations from though…

Till next time.

-S.M.

** Cedric wrote a tournament report about ‘Disasterdam’ here! I am guessing it was round 6.

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