The Streak is over.
For the first time since the inception of the Pro Tour - 48 events - Darwin Kastle is not playing. It's not the same as Cal Ripken's 2632 consecutive games, but it certainly deserves mention in our community.
Kastle, one of the original members of New England's powerhouse team Your Move Games, didn't go down without a fight; he flew to San Diego to play in the Last Chance Qualifier tournament last night, but fell short in his attempt at a slot.
For a long time, Jon Finkel shared the distinction of attending every pro event until the New Jersey resident willingly chose to skip Pro Tour - Kobe earlier this year, leaving Kastle alone at the top of the mountain. Not even staff fixture Mark Rosewater has attended every Pro Tour.
Kastle's streak was certainly impressive, encompassing 8 Top 8's including a win in the team format in Washington, DC. To be sure, we haven't seen the end of Kastle-perhaps he'll be beginning a new streak in Seattle.
The current active streak belongs to Gary Wise, at 43 consecutive Pro Tours (Dallas 1997-present). Wise will be with us until at least Worlds this year, at which point he says he's walking away. If he does stop, the torch will probably pass to France's Raphael Levy and Kastle's YMG teammate Dave Humpherys, both of whom have current streaks of 35 events (since Worlds 98 in Seattle).
Other magnificent streaks:
- Dave Price attended 41 events straight, from the tour's inception through Chicago 2003. Ironically, he walked away with an invitation to PT Venice, where Goblins became a viable strategy again.
- Alex Shvartsman's streak currently stands at 33 events, tracing back to PT Rome '98. That's a lot of T-shirts.
- Kai Budde's streak is almost as long-30 events dating back to his win at Worlds 1999.
- Zvi Mowshowitz didn't go to PT Amsterdam this season, but prior to that the last one he missed was Mainz in 1997-a streak of 34 consecutive PTs.
- Mike Turian and Mike Pustilnik would both have had streaks at least in the high 30's, but each missed one event in the middle. Turian holds the current record for longest time on the "gravy train" (holding invitations to events based on Pro Points), going back to the beginning of 1998.