by Kim Eikefet
In 2000 Pro Tour New York, Holland's Kamiel Cornelissen had to win one of his last two matches in order to break into the Top 8. However, he drew in both matches, and in the last one he was only one bitter turn away from winning. Now, he has made up for that. The Dutchman went 10-2-2 in 2000 Pro Tour Chicago and went into the playoff as the seventh seed. "It's great," Kamiel smiles.
The 19-year old student from Anschede, Holland was one of two players who had perfect 7-0 records after the first day. His CounterRebel deck had worked to perfection, although Kamiel admitted that he had been a little lucky. "I played one mirror match, and it was a lot about luck and drawing the lands and the Rebel Informer," he says about the first day.
The second day didn't start well for him though. Kamiel's two first opponent played Fires, and he lost both of them. Thoughts of New York all over again flew through his head, but he was able to win the following three matches and then he could draw into the top 8. "I like my deck because I can play control or aggressively depending on what my opponent is playing. And with Rebel Informer main deck, I can almost always win against other rebel decks," the Dutchman says.
One of the main things Kamiel had tried to accomplish with his deck was to make it viable both against control and against aggressive decks. "You have to find a balance so that you have a chance against both decktypes," Cornelissen thinks. One of his strengths is that he is a solid deckbuilder, and Kamiel made the initial design of his top 8 deck. Then, before the Pro Tour, he discussed sideboard tech with Bram Snepvangers and Sturla Bingen before deciding on the final configuration. But even with a sideboard that includes a lot of anti-creature cards like Mageta the Lion, Wrath of God, Rout, CoP: Green and Dominate, Kamiel isn't optimistic before the playoff. "I think the finals matchup is pretty hard. My deck isn't really tuned to beat Fires. Jon Finkel has a good version against me. So I'll just take one round at the time and try to beat him," Cornelissen says.
He still enjoys the competition, and the challenge to beat other good players. Kamiel has been around for a good while; he has been playing Magic for five and a half years. Apart from his eleventh-place finish in 2000 Pro Tour New York, he also finished 23rd in this year's Team Pro Tour along with his two younger brothers - one of which is the current Dutch National Champion. So although he has never made a Top 8 before, and even though he thinks his chances are bad, he will try his best to defeat first Jon Finkel, and then any other opponent that may stand in the way of him and the title. "I'd like to win," he admits. "But I don't think I'm the favorite of this."