Profiles by Brian David-Marshall
Welcome to the voting for the 11th annual Magic Invitational!
This one's simple...who's your favorite player?
Note: Due to World Champion Makihito Mihara's absence from the Invitational, his spot passes down to the second-place finisher in the Fan Favorite ballot. However, Olivier Ruel is unable to attend, so third-place finisher Craig Jones earns the invitation to replace the World Champion.
Winner: Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa (29.4% of votes): Paulo put Brazil on the Magic-al map once he started flying to the Pro Tours for which he was qualified, dragging past and future stars to play with him all over the world.
Paul Cheon (1.4%): Seemingly coming out of nowhere to become the 2007 U.S. National Champion, Paul Cheon has parlayed a pair of Grand Prix finals appearances and a series of solid finishes into making himself a Pro Tour fixture for a long time.
André Coimbra (9.5%): While Portugal's Andre Coimbra may have just missed making the Top 8 of Grand Prix–¬Montreal, his template for Predator decks has become a PTQ staple in the past few weeks.
Jeff Cunningham (4.1%): In addition to his wonderful tenure at The Magic Academy, Canada's Jeff Cunningham was the runner-up at last year's Invitational—although his report from that event was first in the mind of anyone who read it.
Antonino De Rosa (2.8%): Antonino just made his third Top 8 of U.S. Nationals in as many years playing another offbeat deck in Constructed ... this one featuring Dark Confidant and high-cost cost spells like Greater Gargadon and Hit/Run.
Gerard Fabiano (3.0%): The always smiling New Jersey native took a pie to the face to garner votes for the Invitational.
Rich Hoaen (3.6%): Richie has been letting people peek in on his drafts for the past two years and was Kenji Tsumura's personal Limited guru.
Craig Jones (10.8%): The Prof has been keeping a field journal about what it is like to play the game at the highest levels for the past few years and everyone got a fly-on-the-wall view as Craig won the 2007 Great Britain National Championship title.
Osyp Lebedowicz (3.6%): This New Jersey native pied Gerard in the face to help Fabiano garner votes for the Invitational.
Marijn Lybaert (3.0%): A rising star from Belgium, after making the Top 8 in Geneva Marijn followed up with a Top 8 in Yokahama playing what many people feel was the best mono-red build in the tournament.
Quentin Martin (1.2%): Your weekly source for Limited Information, Quentin just missed the Top 8 in Geneva—which would have been his second Limited Pro Tour Top 8 in as many seasons.
Billy Moreno (2.1%): Billy continued to build his resume as one the game's most exciting deckbuilders with the explosive Dirty Kitty at the 2006 World Championships and Steve Sadin's winning CounterFlash deck from Grand Prix–Columbus.
Shuhei Nakamura (5.9%): In addition to playing more Magic than just about anyone on the planet, Japan's Shuhei achieved Level 6 status in the first two seasons of the Players Club's existence.
Julien Nuijten (1.5%): The former World Champion continues to travel around the globe playing and writing about Magic.
Takuya Osawa (.2%): Osawa has done everything he can possibly do to insert himself into the argument about the game's top Limited players, with multiple Grand Prix Top 8s and a win last season as well as a second-place finish this year.
Ben Rubin (1.1%): Despite playing on the Pro Tour since he was a junior competitor at the very first event, Ben can still usually be found playing deep into Day Two at most PTs. The Californian player also finds himself on the Hall of Fame ballot for the 2007 class.
Olivier Ruel (11.6%): Another season, another PoY race. Olivier's return to the game finds him in the Top 10 for the last leg of the 2007 mad dash for the Player of the Year title and well within striking distance of the title that eluded him in 2005.
Luis Scott-Vargas (.6%): After being a member of last year's team, Luis finds himself captaining the 2007 U.S. National team after he won the title with his innovative OmniChord deck.
Helmut Summersberger (1.0%): Austria's Helmut may be the new Jelger as he quietly racks up money finish after money finish at every level of competition.
Sebastian Thaler (3.7%): Last season's Rookie of the Year, Germany's Sebastian Thaler has found himself in a position to make the Top 8 of the last three Pro Tours ... only to run afoul of Kenji in the final round of two of them.
read posts from voters!