Pool Deck Worked
That left only Bob and Carlos with three decks to choose from -- "Mind," "No," and "Pool." Bob smiled at the former World Champion, "Hey we can both get a deck here for 8/25." He bid the full amount on "Pool" and left the decision in Carlos' hands.Ok, so "playable" isn't the most awe inspiring praise ever and they were mostly congratulating Bob for getting the deck with the full complement of cards and life, but I'll take what I can get.
"If you outbid me it's fine. I didn't realize that 'No' had all these 2/1 creatures."
Carlos let Bob take the deck for 8/25 and took "No" for himself at full price.
Bob came into the auction looking to get a deck with as many cards and as much life as possible. He was happy to get that but even happier to discover the deck had three Stalking Stones and four Blinkmoth Nexus -- after the fact. Carlos, on the other hand, ended up with a deck that had pretty shaky mana with two Glimmervoids, few artifacts, and contradictory cards like Shortfang/Juntu Stakes. Antoine showed me his notes on the deck and claimed there were only 18 playable cards in the whole deck.
While the auction itself doesn't count toward the final standings, you would have to chalk it up as a victory for the reigning Invitational Champ, who worked the system to get a playable deck at full price while doing some damage with his comments before the 16 players even sat down to play the first game.
I really should have added the fourth Stalking Stones to the deck, though. I knew that at the time, but I couldn't think of what to cut. In reality, the direct damage of Barbarian Ring and Keldon Necropolis never got used. [I think you just lost your one remaining reader. -- ed. (hey, you can't steal Dan's gimmick! -- sr. ed.)]
Anyway, it was great fun watching the deck in action by a real professional. There's no link, but if you download Magic Online you can watch the recorded games at any time. Bob won the first match easily against Sam Gomersall with the Burn deck, lost 2-0 against Masashiro Kuroda with the deck everyone (including me) thought was the best deck, Light, (after getting Masashiro down to two life in game one before the life gaining of the Sword of Shadow and Light kicked in) and won 2-0 against Eugene Harvey with the Two deck. You can check out the results by looking up rounds 4, 5 and 6, and read all the rest here.
Just to throw in a tiny bit of politics, it's interesting to note that this American game of Magic The Gathering only had four out of 16 players in it's Invitational come from the States. That would have been unheard of just a few of years ago. This isn't due to any decline in America but simply the rest of the world catching up, and there are a lot more of them than us. Sounds just like real world, doesn't it?