A Bad MTG Year

21:06 Tue 28 Nov 2006. Updated: 08:42 04 Dec 2006
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In the 2005 sfmagic Player of the Year race, I stayed in contention until the second-last week, and then only dropped out of contention because I had to miss the final draft. In this year’s race, I have very little hope of even making it into the top five.

The “rawest” stat I track, game win percentage, shows that I have fallen from the extremely high score of 66.12% to the decidedly mediocre 52.16%. I’ve won just over half as many tournaments as last year. The statistics show it very clearly: I have dropped from the ranks of the strong players.

I don’t find this surprising, because I’ve dropped off significantly in terms of both passion and concentration. Where before I avidly read all the strategy articles and thought about how to apply them to my own game, now I read them desultorilty if at all. I have no drive to practice. When I’m playing, I usually have the drive to play well, but not always—even that has waned at times during the year. All of this, plus my not playing online, plus the addition of more strong players to the group, add up to my not doing well.

Partly this comes down to time, too. I spend more time writing, for example. That seems like a good thing. But I suspect that I also lost a certain amount of concentration and drive for it this year. I’ve had a bad year, and that definitely plays a part. Preoccupation with problems has absolutely taken away from my passion, concentration, and enjoyment of the game (and of other things). Even if I continue to spend more time writing and coding, even if I spend less time on MTG, it remains important to bring everything to bear on it when I do play (or do anything else).

A familiar lesson (and recurring theme): do with presence. Engage with the activity. Focus. When doing, that doing should encompass all. And in addition: play. Enjoy the game, for it remains a game.

Do mindfully, do playfully. Do.

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