"I hate mornings," said Billy Moreno as he sat down to his Round 2 feature match. The Texas native had just recently returned to his homeland after a stint in New York that helped him improve his competitive stature considerably. His time playing on the East Coast saw him finish as high as the Top 8 of Pro Tour–Los Angeles in 2005.
Moreno's opponent for this match was none other than Pro Tour–Hollywood champion Charles Gindy.
Billy's new beard puts the 'more' in Moreno
The judge handed the players a marker to spell out their names on the feature match playmat.
"No 'S'?" Moreno asked his opponent. Gindy glanced at his nametag and sheepishly realized he had spelled his first name "Charle."
"I don't know how to spell my name, I guess," said Gindy, before turning to the judge to get the marker back.
Moreno kicked the game off with a 0/1 Tarmogoyf. He appeared to be playing a green-red-white Junk deck this weekend, following up his 'Goyf with a Figure of Destiny and a mana base that threatened to deal more damage to him than his opponent's creatures.
Gindy was playing Elves, the deck that catapulted him to stardom on the Pro Tour in Hollywood, opening on a Llanowar Elves and following up soon after with a Wren's Run Vanquisher. Moreno revealed a surprise card few have seen since Time Spiral Block when he used a Fiery Justice to wipe out his opponent's creatures. If he was surprised to see the "timeshifted" burn spell, Gindy didn't let on, using a Slaughter Pact to kill Moreno's Tarmogoyf.
Gindy then managed to resolve Garruk Wildspeaker, which quickly went to work pumping out 3/3 tokens. Billy was struggling to stay in the race as he was stuck on three lands, two of which were Horizon Canopy and Brushland, a combo that had drastically reduced Moreno's life total. When Gindy was able to start attacking his opponent with a Treetop Village in addition to his Beast tokens, Billy quickly conceded.
Charles Gindy 1, Billy Moreno 0
While they prepared for Game 2, Gindy appealed to a bystander to see how the player had done during that round. The player, presumably a friend, excitedly began explaining how he had won. A judge quickly interceded to ask him politely not to communicate with the players in an active match.
"But the Pro Tour champion asked! I have to oblige!" the fan jokingly responded.
Charles Gindy, PT–Hollywood champion.
The second game started a bit stronger for Billy Moreno as he was able to quickly come out of the gates on his opponent by way of a turn-two Kavu Predator
followed up by a Spectral Procession
. Gindy tried to apply his own pressure with a pair of Tarmogoyfs
and a Thoughtseize
, but when Moreno revealed a hand that included Snakeform
, there was an audible "gulp" sound from Charles Gindy.
The players battled on, with Charles adding a Chameleon Colossus to go alongside his pair of Tarmogoyfs and Billy Moreno adding a 'Goyf of his own. A triple block from Gindy on Moreno's Kavu Predator forced Moreno's hand, and he used a Snakeform to turn the Colossus into a 1/1. Following combat he used a Tarfire to finish off one of his opponent's Tarmogoyfs, and the life totals stood 14-13 in Gindy's favor.
The game started looking long, but Billy made a misplay for which he immediately berated himself. Forgetting he had sacrificed a Horizon Canopy to draw a card, he used a Fiery Justice on his opponent's Tarmogoyf—but the creature was a 5/6 thanks to the Canopy in the graveyard. Gindy nodded and happily gained 5 life, then untapped and used a Profane Command to give his 'Goyf fear and deal a hefty chunk of damage to his opponent. Moreno quickly extended his hand in defeat.
Charles Gindy defeats Billy Moreno 2-0.