Posted in Event Coverage on March 14, 2015

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Huck Seed has four World Series of Poker bracelets, including a main event victory in 1996. More recently, Seed won the NBC Heads Up Challenge in 2009, catapulting him from the status of cult poker god to actual celebrity. One could only imagine how surprised I was to happen upon Mr. Seed playing in round 1 here at Grand Prix Cleveland.

Huck Seed plays Magic!? How did he learn? Why is he here? It was crazy. Here he is, this internationally recognized personality, wandering about the room with as much subtle anonymity as someone that’s 6’ 7’’ could possibly possess.

I had the opportunity to get to the bottom of things when Seed was called for a round four feature match against Jamie Katz. Seed had drawn the round prior and he forgot to take his sideboarded cards out of his deck for the first game. He called a judge on himself and took a game loss. In the “second” game, Seed found himself on the receiving end of Katz’s Alabaster Kirin with Ghostfire Blade attached.

I sat down with Seed after the match to ask why we’re seeing him at a Magic Grand Prix.

Four months ago, Seed’s 11 year old son started getting into Magic after seeing some friends play. Seed learned the basic rules and played a half-dozen games with his son. At that point, he was just playing to spend some quality time with his son. They went to a local Friday Night Magic and started to gain a more solid understanding of the rules.

After a couple FNMs, Seed began to understand the deeper strategy in the game. He brought his son to the Fate Reforged prerelease and his son went 4-1 to win a bunch of packs.

Seed had been friendly with David Williams, the two frequently crossed paths in both professional and personal endeavors. He described calling Williams’s phone, “Hey Dave, I love Magic!”

Since then, Seed and Williams have grown a lot closer. Seed goes over Williams’s house to draft and watch Magic Online. Seed laughed about his confusion after watching Williams play a match in the Vintage Super League. He recognized Magic as a catalyst for his friendship with Williams.

Seed initially planned to bring his son this weekend, but the scheduling of the whole situation didn’t work out. Most Magic dads would have canceled the trip, but Seed had already mentally committed himself, “I’m excited about Magic. I wake up and I can’t wait to jump onto Magic Online.”

Why wouldn’t he be here?

This is Seed’s first big tournament. It’s clear that he still has a lot to learn about the game, but it’s clearer that he’s determined to do so. After his feature match loss, Seed was eager to ask how I would’ve played specific turns. I doubt this is the last we’ll be seeing of Seed at big Magic events, especially if he continues playing with the likes of David Williams.

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