by Elliot Fertik
Although Rolled Up Aces is a relatively new team, its members have been on the Pro Tour for a long time. Shawn Keller finished second at Pro-Tour New York '99, and his twin brother Thomas finished 22nd at Worlds in 1999. Dan Clegg has a bunch of top 32 finishes, and finished 14th at this year's Worlds. Shawn and Dan are from Standford, and Dan is from San Francisco.
Shawn and Dan have been teammates before; they had a team with Alex Hsu in Pro Tour DC in 1999, where they finished 5th. Thomas and Shawn had semi-retired from Magic recently, as they found school and poker more enticing. But with the increased amount of money on the Tour, they decided to get back into the game. Although they only have been able to practice together six or seven times, they have often discussed strategy over IRC or on the telephone. They gave a lot of credit to Ben Rubin, who they say gave them a lot of sound theoretical advice. "We have to give Ben props," they said.
The team did have a specific strategy during draft, although they declined to reveal it, noting that they didn't want their opponents tomorrow to know it. In generally, the team focused mostly on drafting decks that could beat their opponent's deck; for example, drafting Oraxid when the opponent was playing red.
They felt that there was a lot of luck in the sealed deck portion of the Pro-Tour, but their biggest complaint was the fifty-minute rounds. The team would rather see seventy minutes rounds, and perhaps then get rid of the five extra turns. They also wouldn't mind a lunch break during the tour, although they admitted that a lunch break would be hard to fit in along with the seventy-minute rounds! They also didn't care for the long days that a team Pro Tour seemingly brings, as they felt very tired towards the end of the day and made some mistakes that they ordinarily would not have.
Finally, where did their name come from? Apparently, "Rolled Up Aces" is the best poker hand possible in seven card draw poker. "We definitely had some rolled-up aces today," they said. Tomorrow, against Team Car Acrobatic Team, they'll need some more.