Back at Grand Prix Copenhagen, Frank Karsten brought you the story of Thomas Pedersen, the twelve-year-old that went 8-1 on Day 1 of his first Grand Prix. Now here in London we have an example from the other end of the age spectrum that proves Magic really is a game for all ages.
In the feature match area for Round 8, still undefeated then, we had Sergio Sacco. Sacco, from Italy, is 66 years old, retired and a pensioner. I spoke to him after his match—another victory—to get his story.
Sacco was here this weekend with his wife. I mistakenly assumed that he might be one of the truly old-school players that have been around since the beginning of Alpha. Instead, Sacco told me he started comparatively recently with the Champions of Kamigawa block. The story of how he came into the game is a heart-warming one. He was off work with an illness. While he was stuck at home convalescing his wife went to look for a game they could play together. She came back with Magic: The Gathering and the rest, as they say, is history.
Both of them haven't stopped playing since (his wife was also competing here this weekend). While he mostly plays at home with his wife, they do travel to play in more competitive events. Their home city, Turin, has about twenty stores and they try to play an event once a week. On top of that they play PPTQs and Grand Prix (but only the European ones).
I asked him if this was his best Grand Prix performance.
"By far," Sacco chuckled. "It's the first time I've even qualified for Day 2."
I asked him what deck he'd brought here for the weekend and why.
"Mardu Dragons. It's simple to play. I'm not very good at playing control or the more complicated decks," Sacco admitted. "I prefer mid-range ... decks with creatures."
Sacco said a few times that he "wasn't very good." I think he was being a little harsh on himself. At the time I spoke to him he was 8-0, after all, and very nicely positioned, both with record and deck, for Day 2.
Magic: The Gathering—a game for the young, and the young-at-heart.
Thanks to Riccardo Tessitori for helping out with translation.