Ruel, Aten Capture Final Fan Votes

Posted in Event Coverage on March 23, 2005

So it's come to this.

After seven weeks of voting, all but three spots in the 2005 Magic Invitational have been decided. Before R&D can reveal their personal selection, you the readers get your final say in our Fan Favorite ballot. We've included nearly 40 of the top players yet to receive an invitation, leaving the rest in your capable hands. (Profiles by Brian David-Marshall)


Antoine Ruel (10.42%): Antoine gets lost in the shadow of his brother's larger-than-life personality, but had the best 12-month span of any player in the game.

Tim Aten (8.84%): Tim is on a short list of players who are equally capable at a feature match table or as a featured writer.

Top 10 vote-getters

  • Brian Kibler (7.7%): Rumors of the Dragon Master’s retirement were greatly exaggerated -- he will be in Philly.
  • Eric "Danger" Taylor (6.6%): Simply known as EDT, Taylor is THE Magic theorist with a passion for the game that belies his age.
  • Gerard Fabiano (5.7%): Mischievously entertaining player can extract more humor from a bad joke and value from a bad card than anyone else on the Tour.
  • Antonino De Rosa (5.52%): Smarter than he acts and as funny as they come, he can always be counted on for a spicy Feature Match.
  • Raphael Levy (4.75%): The Grandfather of the French Magic scene.
  • Aeo Paquette (3.46%): Made the Top 8 of the first two Pro Tours he ever attended.
  • Kamiel Cornelissen (3.28%): With little fanfare, Kamiel simply wins and wins and wins…
  • Anton Jonsson (3.28%): Three straight Pro Tour 8s in Limited events. THE Limited specialist.
  • Other Nominees

  • Jose Barbero: The public elected a sentimental favorite from the Latin American Region, but the Pros claim Barbero was robbed of an invite that should have been his.
  • Jeff Cunningham: Canada’s resident genius has advised Aeo and The Mauler to Top 8 finishes and always seems to be in the money.
  • Murray Evans: The Mauler has been at it since he was 10 but has come into his own with a pair of Top 8s over the last two seasons.
  • Justin Gary: Pro Tour-New Orleans winner was also on the last U.S. National team to win it all.
  • Rich Hoaen: On a ridiculous streak of money finishes in Limited Pro Tours over the last three seasons.
  • Dave Humpherys: There is no other player who has been playing the game as well for as long as Dave.
  • Tsuyoshi Ikeda: One of Japan’s top Limited exports.
  • Itaru Ishida: His Grand Prix Singapore win was his fourteenth GP Top 8, tying him with Kai Budde for second on the all-time list.
  • Frank Karsten: Had his breakout tournament in Nagoya with some help from The List.
  • Shu Komuro: Currently leading the Player of the Year race thanks to a win in Nagoya and a couple of GP Top 8s.
  • Craig Krempels: The reigning U.S. National Champion and self-proclaimed “nice guy.”
  • Masashiro Kuroda: He has made the Top 8 of the last two Japanese Pro Tours but rarely attends events outside of Japan -- but watch out, world, he’s free on the weekend of Philly!
  • Masahiko Morita: Thirteen Grand Prix Top 8s without ever leaving the APAC region until this season. This could be a breakout year.
  • Shuhei Nakamura: Pro Tour-Columbus finalist recently started racking up the frequent flyer miles and cropped up in the Top 8 of Seattle.
  • Jin Okamoto: The Last Emperor was at the forefront of the current Japanese surge and continues to excel.
  • Neil Reeves: Don’t be fooled by his “aw-shucks” demeanor -- Neil has one the game’s keenest minds.
  • Paul Rietzl: One of the game’s best sound bites whether he is playing the game or watching it being played.
  • David Rood: Pulled together an unlikely pair of Gabs to win the last Pro Tour.
  • Terry Soh: He will be associated with “The Bluff” from the Top 8 of Pro Tour-Nagoya for the rest of his Magic career.
  • Jon Sonne: One of the most deliberate players in the game is the “Big Man” on the TOGIT roundball team.
  • Gadiel Szleifer: Gadiel has been getting it done in Limited and Constructed, quickly rising through the ranks as one of America’s best players.
  • Gab Tsang: His victory in Atlanta marked the longest span of time between Top 8 appearances, stretching from 1997 to 2005!
  • Kenji Tsumura: Japanese Pros call him their Rising Star and expect him to continue to post finishes like his Top 4 in Atlanta.
  • Gabe Walls: America’s ambassador to the Magic world, Gabe plays host to Road Warriors from around the globe.
  • Nick West: Nick designed the extremely popular Scepter-Chant deck that carried him to the Top 8 in Columbus and put the English Magic scene back on the map.
  • Jelger Wiegersma: Another player whose remarkable success is overshadowed by some of the larger Dutch personalities.
  • Dave Williams: Consumate gamer. Loves to play and plays to win.
  • Marc Zajdner: No one has ever been at an event Mark was attending and asked, “Where is Mark Zajdner?” Truly larger than life.
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