Player Profile: Jon Finkel

Posted in Event Coverage on August 23, 2012

By Wizards of the Coast

Country: United States of America
Invitation Source: Top Pro Points, At-Large
Lifetime Pro Points: 486
Professional Magic Accomplishments:

  • Member of the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame
  • Pro Tour New York 1997-98 Champion
  • 2000 World Championships Individual Champion
  • Pro Tour Kuala Lumpur 2008 Champion
  • 1998 World Championship Team Champion
  • 2000 World Championship Team Champion
  • Grand Prix Rio de Janeiro 1998-99 Champion
  • Grand Prix Boston 1998-99 Champion
  • Grand Prix St. Louis 1999-2000 Champion
  • All-time leader in Pro Tour Top 8s with 14
  • Player of the Year in 1997-98
  • Winner of 2000 Magic Invitational and was immortalized as the Shadowmage Infiltrator

Player of the Year Top 10s: 5

  • 1997-98: 1st
  • 1998-99: 2nd
  • 1999-2000: 3rd
  • 2000-01: 9th
  • 2002-03: 9th

Pro Tour Top 8s: 14

  • Chicago 1997-98: 3rd
  • New York 1997-98: 1st
  • 1998 World Championships in Seattle: 3rd
  • Chicago 1998-99: 5th
  • Los Angeles 1998-99: 2nd
  • Washington D.C. 1999-2000: 3rd
  • 2000 World Championships in Brussels: 1st
  • Chicago 2000-01: 5th
  • Los Angeles 2000-01: 4th
  • Chicago 2002-03: 3rd
  • Yokohama 2002-03: 4th
  • Kuala Lumpur 2008: 1st
  • Dark Ascension in Honolulu 2012: 3rd
  • Avacyn Restored in Barcelona 2012: 5th

Grand Prix Top 8s: 9

  • Rio de Janeiro 1997-98: 1st
  • Zurich 1997-98: 6th
  • Boston 1998-99: 1st
  • Vienna 1998-99: 3rd
  • Kansas City 1998-99: 5th
  • St. Louis 1999-2000: 1st
  • Pittsburgh 1999-2000: 3rd
  • Amsterdam 2002-03: 2nd
  • Washington D.C. 2003-04: 4th

National Team Appearances: 2

  • 1998: 1st
  • 2000: 1st

No one else at the Players Championship can match Jon Finkel's achievements in the game of Magic. After Finkel was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, however, he had a less-than-triumphant return to professional Magic. After stumbling in his first few tournaments back, players started to wonder whether Jon had what it took to ever win again.

"Yeah he was great back then, but he just isn't good anymore."
"I don't think he even cares enough to test."

Then Jon won Pro Tour Kuala Lumpur.

While that silenced Jon's critics for a while, it didn't take long for the peanut gallery to start up again.

"Sure he's good at Limited, but he just doesn't practice enough to win at Constructed."
"How is he supposed to keep up with players who play Magic Online for 20+ hours a week?"

That time around, Jon's critics may have been onto something. Jon was spending a lot of time focusing on his company, and not a lot of time trying to figure out what deck he should play at the next Pro Tour.

But then Jon decided that he wanted to start winning again.

So, he did.

After surrounding himself with a team of top deckbuilders, including Sam Black, and Patrick Chapin, Finkel was able to Top 8 the last two Pro Tours. Now, Finkel is once again universally considered one of the best players in the world.

And that isn't likely to change anytime soon.

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