In a pairing of two of the Pro Tour's grizzled veterans, New Jersey's Jon Finkel and D.C.'s Donnie Gallitz paired up in a match that got a little ugly.
With Gallitz passing to Finkel during the draft, he knew that Jon's deck was more than just optimal, passing just breakers as Troubled Healer and a sixth pick Mageta the Lion. When the two competitors sat down for the match it was apparent that Donnie wasn't feeling his legendary, confident self.
Game one started with a Gallitz mulligan followed by a Finkel onslaught including a 3rd turn Diving Griffin and a 4th turn Voice of Truth to Donnie's Belbe's Percher. After losing the Griffon to Donnie's Steal Strength, Finkel played a Mine Bearer, stabilizing the table. After a Whip Sergeant hit play, Jon lowered the boom with Mageta, who he feels is vastly overrated. Donnie, whose RB deck had little creature-kill, could only sit and wait as Jon finished him off with the help of a Troubled Healer and a Counterspell. As victory neared, Jon started an intensed barrage of trash talk at Donnie, normally one of the PT's most vocal participants.
Game two began with Donnie hurling a couple of semi-serious taunts Jon's way while dropping a Spur Grappler and a Lacolith Grunt. Jon retaliated with Troubled Healer and Devout Witness, the latter of which died in combat to a Steal Strrength. Donnie's strong start was upended by a flood of land cokming off the top of his deck, and it wasn't too long before Jon's creatures, outnumbering Donnie's two to one, were able to press for the kill with the help of an Ensnare.