As the end of the season nears, many players across the World find themselves jockeying for Pro Points that could help them reach a higher Pro Player Club levels, or even earn them invitations to the 2015 World Championships.
Jason Chung from New Zealand has found himself on 42 Pro Points, which is 4 shy of the 46 he'd need to reach Platinum at the end of Pro Tour Magic Origins. Thankfully, being qualified for that Pro Tour means that Chung only needs to find 1 more Pro Point between this event and Grand Prix Dallas/Fort Worth next month.
"Do you know what Shota's record is?" Chung interrupts my scribbling to ask.
Chung is currently ranked 4th in the Asia Pacific region for Pro Points. The top 3 APAC get invited to the World Championships, and the first two spots are locked up by Lee Shi Tian and Yuuya Watanabe on 56 points each. Shota Yasooka is currently in 3rd place with 44 Pro Points to Chung's 42. A good result for Yasooka this weekend could lock Chung out of the World Championships.
I give Chung the bad news: "He's 6-0."
Like Yasooka, Hall of Famer William Jensen also has 44 points. "I locked up Platinum at GP Charlotte," Jensen admitted, and it was a good thing too, as he'd just taken a second loss to Canada's Alexander Hayne, who like Chung, had 42 points to his name, and needs to find a single Pro Point somewhere between now and the Pro Tour.
"I'm looking pretty good for the uncapped GP Pro Points slot for the World Champs," Hayne explained. Pascal Maynard, Teruya Kakumae, and I have been in and out of first place for that, but after Grand Prix Charlotte I'm now 7 points ahead."
Last week, Hayne had explained on social media that he didn't really need any of the Pro Points from Grand Prix Singapore any more, but that he'd hate himself if he skipped it and it turned out he did need them after all.
"Do you know what Shota's at now?"
"I don't know Jason, probably 7-0 now."
"Not really, I don't actually know."
Part of me knew I should probably tell Chung that Yasooka had fallen to 6-1, but it was just too much fun watching him squirm.
"Have you told everyone my twitter name is @sqlut yet?"
"Not yet Jason, no. I have no idea how to pronounce it, anyway."
Looking to join the Platinum Club: Jason Chung, Reid Duke, Alexander Hayne, William Jensen, and Martin Jůza.
Martin Jůza had further to go, with 39 points to his name. "I'm off to Grand Prix Lille after this, but that's it. I don't know anything about Legacy, but my friends assure me they have a good deck for me."
On even less points was Reid Duke, with 37. I asked what he felt he needed to make Platinum.
"A good finish here and a good finish at Grand Prix Montréal," Duke replied casually, "and a good finish at the Pro Tour, too." If anyone could do it, it was Reid Duke.
"I've played this game long enough to know that anything can happen. I'll just take it one step at a time," Duke said with a smile and a shrug. What a guy.