by Randy Buehler
Jon Finkel had to play against his own deck in round 11. Not only that, but he and his opponent - Noah Boken - were 2/5ths of a 5-way tie for first place as the round began. Finkel is running Zak Dolan's deck from the first ever World Championship (in 1994). It's a mana denial deck full of all the Type 1 power cards, but the creature selection is bizarre (it includes one Ley Druid, one Bird of Paradise, Clone, Doppelganger, Old Man of the Sea, and Time Elemental), and his permission content consists of one copy of Counterspell. Boeken is running the mono-blue Tinker deck that Finkel used to win the 2000 World Championship.
As result of the auction where they acquired these decks, Finkel began their games at 7 cards and 15 life while Boeken started at 6 cards and 17 life. Finkel played Ancestral Recall on his first turn and then Black Vise plus Strip Mine on his second. Boeken had only two land in his draw so his hand started building up cards - quite painful with Black Vise in play. Next Finkel played a Ley Druid and an Old Man of the Sea so he could start attacking. Finkel announced to the room "I am beating with Ley Druid . . . and I am winning." Mostly, though, it was the Vise and the Strip Mine that did Boeken in.
Boeken chose to draw first in game 2 and Finkel started with a land, a Mox, and a Bird of Paradise. On his second turn Finkel used Strip Mine to destroy Boeken's first land and then dropped ... Time Elemental! Finkel actually managed to lock Boeken at no permanents! Finkel bounced whatever land Boeken played and eventually drew into a Serra Angel. Finkel added insult to injury by playing Kismet and Boeken scooped.
Finkel wins 2-0.