Grand Prix Rio 1998 Results
January 29-Feb. 1, 1998
Grand Prix-Rio Was Hot, Hot, Hot!
The competition at Grand Prix-Rio, held at the Museu Histórico Nacional, amply demonstrated the warmth and passion of the people of Brazil. February is the peak of summer in Brazil, and the heat was prevalent in the buildings as well as in the numerous red-burn decks that competitors brought to play. In fact, no color was more common among the 638 competitors than red. Despite the lack of air conditioning, people eagerly came from cities all around the country to watch and play a game they truly enjoy. Even between rounds, players were competing in side events to win more dual lands from the Revised Edition prize packs. In addition to the large number of Brazilian players, competitors came from other South American countries, as well as from North America, Europe, and Asia, to compete for $10,000 in prize money, plus travel and lodging expenses to Pro Tour-Los Angeles.
Walking through the museum was like taking a walk through the past. Some players brought decks containing nothing but dual lands, showing no fear of Blood Moon or Wasteland. Others who performed well at the event played the "Prison" deck, which uses Winter Orb and Icy Manipulators to completely lock down an opponent, and Necropotence to bring out the dreaded Drain Life. Other players who performed well used combinations like Gerrard's Wisdoms and Earthquakes or Counterspells and Ophidians. Many participants went away with a new appreciation for some cards they had never playing with before.
The top player from Brazil was Carlos Jeucken de Almeida from Rio de Janeiro, who finished fourth, taking home $600. De Almeida, who began playing Magic with Revised Edition, played a red Sligh deck with the addition of Death Spark for some recursion. After the event, de Almeida admitted that he was a bit nervous and had made a few mistakes. However, he was happy to have had the opportunity to play against top players, and felt the Grand Prix was a good lesson for future competition.
Unfortunately, passion for the game could not make up for lack of experience at this level of play. The finals were dominated by Americans, whose decks relied on cards that were perhaps less appreciated in this region. Steven O'Mahoney-Schwartz (in his second consecutive Grand Prix weekend) and Jon Finkel met in the finals with two very similar decks; each player used a combination of Land Tax and Tithe to pull all of the land out of their decks to pump up their creatures enchanted with Empyrial Armor. They also used the white-weenie beatdown approach, forcing opponents to deal with them or watch from the sidelines. However, the Brazilians were very gracious hosts and showed good sportsmanship even though they couldn't match these tough decks.
Finkel eventually emerged as the victor, defeating O'Mahoney-Schwartz two games to one. Despite bringing a Prison deck, Finkel ended up borrowing a deck from Darwin Kastle, who was busy winning the Duelist Invitational. A veteran of the Antiquities era of Magic, Finkel has a reputation for leaving opponents wondering if their decks really work. Ironically, his toughest opponent of the weekend proved to be his cab driver, who brought him to the wrong museum on the first day. His tardiness incurred a first-round loss, which would be Finkel's only loss of the entire tournament.
At the awards ceremony, it was clear by the applause how much the players from Brazil appreciated both the local players who made the Final 8 as well as their guests from around the world. Each of the Top 8 players were rewarded by Devir (Wizards of the Coast's Brazilian partner) with paid trips to Pro Tour-Los Angeles in March, in addition to their cash prizes. Many participants and onlookers were emotionally moved by the success of the event and excited about the new level of enthusiasm for Magic in Brazil.
|2||Steven O'Mahoney Schwartz||$1,200|
|3||Carlos Jeucken De Almeida||$600|
|6||Romario Tavora Britto||$375|
|7||Rodrigo Cesar Barbosa||$375|
|8||Julio Cesar Conceicao||$375|
|9||Paulo Henrique Miranda||$250|
|10||Jose Ricardo P. Castro||$250|
|11||Celso M. Hino||$250|
|12||Raphael Pinto Da Rocha||$250|
|15||Felipe De Andrade Manuel||$250|
|16||Gustavo Veiga Morale||$250|
|17||Rafael Dei Svaldi||$150|
|18||Rene Luis Crema||$150|
|19||Sergio Soles Checa||$150|
|22||Diego Forte Ingracio||$150|
|24||David De Aguiar||$150|
|25||Edson Correa Tavares||$150|
|27||Raul Abreu De Assis||$150|
|28||Marcelo F. Cordiolli||$150|
|31||Marcelo Carvalho Porto||$150|
|32||Fernando De S Fernandes||$150|
|33||Arnaldo Camara Quagliato|
|34||Matheus Chaud Castro Quinta|
|35||Eduardo Valentim Belotto|
|36||Diogo Macedo Rollwagen|
|37||Marcelo De Moraes Antunes|
|38||Alexandre Aguena Arakaki|
|39||Douglas Rodrigues Ferreira|
|43||Andre Leao Barreto|
|44||Sergio Longo Junior|
|45||Ronei Dos Santos Passos|
|46||Ralf Brilhante Alvim|
|47||Daniel Hiroshi Beppu|
|48||Phillip Adolf Do Nascimento Massi|
|50||Guilherme Dei Svaldi|
|52||Alexander Correa Guimaraes|
|54||Eduardo Leme E Lima|
|55||Raphael Colombiano Garcia|
|56||Paulo Sergio Medeiros|
|57||Marco Aurelio De Almeida Filho|
|58||Leonardo Vieira Pretti|
|59||Bruno R. A. Juliani|
|60||Regis Fernandes De Farias|
|62||Fabio Lemos Stahlschmidt|
|63||Alex Tavares De Souza|
|64||Joao Carlos Gouveia|