Introduction

Posted in Event Coverage

By Josh Bennett

The Pro Tour has generated its fair share of traditions, and the mythos surrounding the Los Angeles stop is the richest of them all. It is one of the oldest on the Tour, and has borne witness to the evolution of the game. It has seen the triumphs of the first greats, and the rise of new ones.

This familiar battleground has been conquered in the past by Trevor Blackwell, Steve OMS, Tommi Hovi and Shawn "Hammer" Regnier, and as always, speculation is rampant over who the next champion will be.

It has always taken place aboard the Queen Mary, a cruise liner-turned-hotel, which sets it apart from Pro Tour New York, another long-standing event. The stories and memories of the years before are brought back as soon as you set foot inside.

This is the last year for the Boat. The reaction to this news has been one of nostalgic disappointment, but hasn't dulled anyone's fighting spirit. The competition is intense, and the show will definitely reach the heights of its predecessors.

The format for PT-LA '01 is Invasion-only Rochester Draft. There is an apparent consensus among many pros that the most powerful colors are red, black and blue. Walking around the practice drafts the night before, it wasn't uncommon to find four or five people drafting black cards. It will be interesting to see how players react to such conditions.

Returning champions Steve OMS and Blackwell are early favorites, as well as "Safe Bet" Jon Finkel, and Dustin Stern, who is on a very hot streak. His Top 8s at GP Dallas and GP New Orleans speak highly of his skills in Limited. Don't be surprised to see him at the top this weekend.

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