“You are contaminated.”

Thus ends the first biography of   Jon Finkel [my Hero] by author David Kushner [Masters of Doom]. A Casino Pit Boss has seen the author chatting with a known card counter, and Mr Finkel wants to remain uncontaminated thus Mr Kushner must move on so Mr Finkel can continue to play…A pretty perfect ending to a not so perfect book…
Jonny Magic is a quick read—ideal for anyone interested in background information on the greatest game created in the last 30 years or one of the greatest athletes of our generation.  This book is fun to read—a lot of the early bullying stories and later gambling tales are really eye opening. Mr Kushner has unearthed some interesting background details & covers most of the high points in Finkel’s life.
However, this book mostly misses the point when trying to draw larger social conclusions that are so far not evident in the facts of Mr Finkel’s life. Mr Kushner would have done better with more subjects and more time in the trenches with Magic Players. The book would have been rewarded by a more laser like focus on Magic and less discussion of poker and black jack—chapters of why some people play magic for reasons other than money, would have been refreshing.
More focus on Jon Finkel and why “when he plays a card it is amazing, and when you play the same card it is just ok”—the story of what makes Finkel the best Magic Player requires more analysis of what makes a good Magic player and what playing Magic means. That story, which is the story I bought the book to read, is not meant to be the story of this book and still remains to be written.

What is evident in Finkel’s life so far is that he is the best magic player ever. How he got there is detailed, what he did while he was at the top of his game is discussed, where is he is today is addressed. Unfortunately, what exactly that means is left to the reader to figure out.

Legacy of the Crystal Shard–D&D Encounters S16 S4

Another fun week of D&D Encounters at Mercenary Market.
I had planned on the adventurers fighting their way through Kessel’s Trap, but unfortunately we did not get there. Here are the mini’s that I was planning to use.

I set up behind the screen–I really like the NPC Cards that WotC has provided

I have switched back to using a fountain pen. I had forgotten my dice–only had my Pathfinder Skull & Shackle dice in my bag–so I had a MtG Spin Counter, but I know people have issues with this so I had to borrow a die from one of my players.

We now have two DM’s running at MM so my table was much smaller and more manageable.

Brandon & Thor

Brandon did not have the best time–his treasure was not that great–his rolling was poor–just not his night.

Thor continues to have a blast with his broken glass canon.

Jeff is playing a paladin & is really doing a good job of it–tonight’s fight was rather tough & he took the brunt of it, but it was a quality adventure.

Gibby was an awesome new player at our table running a Half-Orc Barbarian

Things got tense in the dwarf forge fairly quickly.

The players were off to a good start clearing the way.

But then they started dropping.

Thor has a fantastic character sketch.

There is no session planned for the next two weeks–Cody wishes you all a Very Merry Christmas!

Desolation of Smaug

Last night Jack & I drove over to the Spectrum to see the latest Peter Jackson Masterpiece

we meet Mouse & Thomas.

Chase was there

Jack & I played some Magic.

 And we meet this guy.

We also played some Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit


The line was not that long–it was sold out but there were seats available during the show.

The movie was ok.

The drive home was a blur.

Guardians of Meletis gets Frisky!

Another great morning of Magic with the Tuesday Crew. Lisa made amazing cinnamon rolls.

Jack went undefeated again. He is really playing well.

Derek’s deck RW Deck has really started to turn the corner after we tuned it last week.

Evan went 1-1, he is using his little brothers deck & when he goes big he goes VERY BIG!

Alexander has not worked much on his deck & really needs to lower the mana curve of his RW Aggro deck. Liam is playing Esper and having fun, but needs better cards to really make the deck work.

Dylan is playing Dimir and loosing everytime–at this point I think he may be just sandbagging until Prerelease where he kills everyone.

Dylan also laid out the worlds greatest card of all time

and then enchanged it with Ordeal of Thassa, which is funny but does not really work!

I can think of no time in which this would be a useful play–am I missing something?