Top 8 Players of Grand Prix Houston 2018

Posted in Event Coverage on January 29, 2018

By Corbin Hosler

Making the Top 8 of a Grand Prix is a momentous achievement, whether it’s your first (in your first-ever GP) like Brian Yin, or your second in a row like Joe Demestrio.

These are the eight players who accomplishment the feat in Houston!


Name: Axel Martinez Ocampo

Age: 35

Hometown: Cuernavaca Moredos

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Nationals champion! I’ve played 8-10 Pro Tour and have two Grand Prix Top 8s.

What colors was your Sealed Deck? White-Black, going 8-1.

What was the best card in your Sealed deck? Settle the Wreckage

What were your draft decks, and records with them? White-Black going 3-0 and then White-Black going 1-2-0.

What common or uncommon do you most want to open in the Top 8? Ravenous Chupacabra

What does this Top 8 mean to you? I play too much Magic Online.


Name: Joe Demestrio

Age: 22

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Back-to-back Grand Prix Top 8s!

What colors was your Sealed Deck? 8-1 with blue-green.

What was the best card in your Sealed deck? Crashing Tide.

What were your draft decks, and records with them? 2-1 and then 2-0-1 with white-black.

What common or uncommon do you most want to open in the Top 8? The four-mana excellent Limited design Ravenous Chupacabra.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? The Top 4 in Santa Clara meant the world. B2B is surreal.


Name: Bradley Yoo

Age: 28

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Top 8 at Grand Prix Washington DC

What colors was your Sealed Deck? 8-1 with red-green.

What was the best card in your Sealed deck? Needletooth Raptor and Forerunner of the Empire.

What were your draft decks, and records with them? Blue-Green Merfolk 2-1 and then Black-Red Pirates 2-0-1.

What common or uncommon do you most want to open in the Top 8? Merfolk Mistbinder.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? I’m now locked for Silver!


Name: Randy Perez

Age: 28

Hometown: McAllen, TX

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Day 2 at Grand Prix Vegas 2017 (Modern).

What colors was your Sealed Deck? White-Black, going 8-0-1.

What was the best card in your Sealed deck? Champion of Dusk.

What were your draft decks, and records with them? Red-White, going 2-1, and then Green-Blue Tempo 2-1.

What common or uncommon do you most want to open in the Top 8? Ravenous Chupacabra.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? Hopefully recognition of my hometown Magic community and inspiration for the youth at my local store Myth Adventurs.


Name: Rob Swarowski

Age: 38

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Previous Magic Accomplishments: One Grand Prix win in the 90s, three overall Grand Prix Top 8s.

What colors was your Sealed Deck? 9-0 with green-blue-black double cost in all three colors.

What was the best card in your Sealed deck? Vraska, Relic Seeker

What were your draft decks, and records with them? Red-White Dino Pirates, going 3-0, and then White-Black Vampires going 0-0-3.

What common or uncommon do you most want to open in the Top 8? Chupacabra!

What does this Top 8 mean to you? It’s nice to be back, it’s been a real long time.


Name: Brian Yin

Age: 30

Hometown: Pullman, WA

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Spiked a Prerelease… I think?

What colors was your Sealed Deck? White-Black Vampires

What was the best card in your Sealed deck? Profane Procession

What were your draft decks, and records with them? White-Black Vampires 3-0 and then Blue-Red Merfolk 3-0.

What common or uncommon do you most want to open in the Top 8? Foil Island.

What does this Top 8 mean to you? My first Top 8… actually it's my first competitive event, so the start of my learning Constructed next?


Name: Ben Yu

Age: 32

Hometown: West Hills, CA

Previous Magic Accomplishments: Jacob Wilson life mentor

What colors was your Sealed Deck? Bant, went 7-2.

What was the best card in your Sealed deck? The Immortal Sun.

What were your draft decks, and records with them? 2-0-1 with a four-color monstrosity, then 3-0 with Blue-Black Control.

What common or uncommon do you most want to open in the Top 8? Foil Flood of Recollection


Name: Phimus Pan

Age: 32

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Previous Magic Accomplishments: SCG Legacy Open Winner

What colors was your Sealed Deck? Black-red splashing Elenda, the Dusk Rose

What was the best card in your Sealed deck? Etali, Primal Storm

What were your draft decks, and records with them? Red-Green Aggro, 3-0, then Green-White Dinosaurs 2-0-1.

What common or uncommon do you most want to open in the Top 8? Ravenous Chupacabra!

What does this Top 8 mean to you? Time to play some more Magic!

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