A RECAP: THE SECOND EVER HUNTER BURTON MEMORIAL MAGIC OPEN 2015

Hunter Burton Memorial Open II – March 28, 2015

The second Hunter Burton Memorial Open took place on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Like the first event, this one was also held at the Fort Worth Convention Center. It took place in the curved rooms next to the arena in the old section of the convention center as opposed to the newer room used in 2014. There were 157 players for the second annual event. Once again, the Swiss format was Standard followed by a top eight draft using original Modern Masters boosters.

Hunter Burton’s parents raised the cash purse from $5000 to $7500 for the 2015 event. The winner went home with $1000 and a watch worth another $1000, second place took home $800, third and fourth each received $700. Fifth through eighth each received $600. Nothing feels worse than finishing ninth in a big tournament. To take away a little bit of the sting of defeat, the Burtons paid $400 to ninth place. Then $100 each to tenth through sixteenth place and $50 to seventeenth through thirty-second place. While the Burtons like the way their tournament pays big prizes to the top eight, just the way their son Hunter would have liked, they also like seeing prizes go deeper to a larger number of players finishing outside the top eight.

While the Hunter Burton Memorial Open prides itself on being a highly competitive Magic tournament, the event also puts a premium on fun with its selection of promotional materials as well as side events. Along with the special top eight dice and poker chips that we saw in the first edition of the Hunter Burton Memorial Open, the second year’s offerings included a blue barreled pen and a commemorative pocket knife. Along with the serious competition of the main event, there was also the whimsy of the Fancy Hat DC-10 Tournament. In this fast-paced event, players competed in single elimination rounds using a brand new booster pack each round in a format that doesn’t use basic lands. It’s a pure-fun format that’s almost certainly never been played in a tournament environment. Collin Rountree was the winner, taking home $100 and a fancy top hat along with the highly-sought-after limited edition six-sided Hunter Burton die.

Collin Rountree holding trophy wearing hat showing cash

In the top eight Modern Masters draft, Jasonn Tate took a first pick Tarmogoyf that didn’t end up making it into his red/blue draft deck. Some attributed his perfectly rational decision to draft the one-hundred-dollar-bill as the reason his draft didn’t result in a winning deck. It’s more likely that he was simply outmatched in his quarterfinals match against eventual champion Haibing Hu. Haibing Hu has been one of the state’s great booster draft players for many years. For Haibing, from Houston, the greatest challenge of the day was reaching the top eight playing Standard, a format he hardly ever plays.

It is important to point out the amazing amount of talent there was in this top eight, particularly in the realm of limited play. While Jasonn Tate, Michael Ramos, Shawn Hughes and Henry Vi are all good Magic players, Haibing Hu, Aaron Tobey, Scot Martin and Michael Ferri excel at booster draft. It’s notable that all four of these great limited players all reached the top eight of a challenging constructed tournament. It’s amazing that these four drafters faced each other in the semifinals of this top eight draft.

In honor of Haibing Hu’s brilliance in limited formats, I want to list the top eight Modern Masters booster drafts first. You can find the top eight competitors’ Standard deck lists a little further down.

Here are the top eight draft decks of the second annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open. They are listed by the players’ final finishing order.

1st place – Haibing Hu – Blue/White Affinity
2-1 vs Jasonn Tate
2-0 vs Aaron Tobey
2-1 vs Scot Martin

10 Island
7 Plains
2 Arcbound Worker
2 Frogmite
2 Myr Enforcer
2 Runed Stalactite
2 Blinding Beam
1 Court Homunculus
1 Meadowboon
1 Sanctum Gargoyle
1 Esperanza
1 Etherium Sculptor
4 Faerie Mechanist
1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
1 Mulldrifter
1 Pestermite
1 Traumatic Visions

SIDEBOARD:
1 Paradise Mantle
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Plumeveil
1 Amrou Scout
1 Gleam of Resistance
1 Terashi’s Grasp
1 Test of Faith
1 Dampen Thoughts
1 Erratic Mutation
1 Spell Snare
1 Traumatic Visions
1 Vedalken Dismisser
1 Mad Auntie
1 Raven’s Crime
1 Warren Weirding
1 Desperate Ritual
1 Fury Charm
1 Grinning Ignus
1 Pyromancer’s Swath
1 Citanul Woodreaders
1 Incremental Growth
1 Krosan Grip

2nd place – Scot Martin – Five Color Green
2-0 vs Shawn Hughes
2-1 vs Michael Ferri
1-2 vs Haibing Hu

9 Forest
3 Plains
3 Swamp
1 Island
1 Mountain
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Skyreach Manta
1 Bound in Silence
2 Pallid Mycoderm
2 Saltfield Recluse
1 Drag Down
1 Horobi’s Whisper
1 Slaughter Pact
1 Eternal Witness
2 Giant Dustwasp
1 Imperiosaur
3 Kodama’s Reach
2 Penumbra Spider
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Sporesower Thallid
1 Thallid Shell-Dweller
1 Woodfall Primus

SIDEBOARD:
1 Dakmor Salvage
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Arcbound Wanderer
1 Bonesplitter
1 Etched Oracle
1 Runed Stalactite
1 Dispeller’s Capsule
1 Flickerwisp
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
1 Saltfield Recluse
1 Sanctum Gargoyle
1 Aethersnipe
2 Deepcavern Imp
1 Facevaulter
1 Thieving Sprite
1 Tar Pitcher
1 Citanul Woodreaders
1 Moldervine Cloak
1 Riftsweeper
1 Sylvan Bounty
1 Thallid

3rd place – Michael Ferri – White/Red Giants
2-1 vs Henri Vi
1-2 vs Scot Martin

8 Plains
7 Mountain
1 Vivid Crag
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Avian Changeling
1 Cloudgoat Ranger
1 Feudkiller’s Verdict
1 Gleam of Resistance
1 Hillcomber Giant
1 Kithkin Greatheart
1 Otherworldly Journey
2 Veteran Armorer
1 Figure of Destiny
2 Kitchen Finks
1 Blind-Spot Giant
1 Crush Underfoot
3 Glacial Ray
1 Hammerheim Deadeye
1 Rift Bolt
1 Stingscourger
1 Thundercloud Shaman
1 Thundering Giant

SIDEBOARD:
1 Arcbound Stinger
1 Hillcomber Giant
1 Saltfield Recluse
2 Test of Faith
1 Jhoira of the Ghitu
1 Manamorphose
1 Plumeveil
1 Absorb Vis
1 Facevaulter
1 Mad Auntie
1 Stinkweed Imp
1 Syphon Life
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Fury Charm
1 Lava Spike
1 Stinkdrinker Daredevil
1 Tar Pitcher
1 Hana Kami
1 Life from the Loam

4th place – Aaron Tobey – Black/Blue Control
2-0 vs Michael Ramos
0-2 vs Haibing Hu

10 Swamp
7 Island
1 Bonesplitter
2 Careful Consideration
1 Echoing Truth
1 Errant Ephemeron
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
1 Take Possession
1 Blightspeaker
1 Death Cloud
1 Death Rattle
1 Dreamspoiler Witches
1 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Faerie Macabre
1 Horobi’s Whisper
1 Marsh Flitter
3 Rathi Trapper
2 Thieving Sprite
2 Warren Pilferers
1 Murderous Redcap

SIDEBOARD:
1 Aether Spellbomb
1 Lotus Bloom
1 Bound in Silence
1 Erratic Mutation
1 Logic Knot
1 Perilous Research
2 Spellstutter Sprite
1 Vedalken Dismisser
1 Absorb Vis
1 Drag Down
1 Faerie Macabre
3 Peppersmoke
1 Raven’s Crime
1 Street Wraith
1 Thieving Sprite
1 Warren Weirding
1 Doubling Season
1 Echoing Courage
1 Hana Kami

5th place – Henry Vi – White/Red Rebel Giants

1-2 vs Michael Ferri

10 Plains
7 Mountain
1 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Amrou Scout
2 Amrou Seekers
1 Avian Changeling
1 Cenn’s Enlistment
1 Cloudgoat Ranger
1 Hillcomber Giant
2 Ivory Giant
2 Kithkin Greatheart
1 Otherworldly Journey
1 Blind-Spot Giant
1 Brute Force
1 Crush Underfoot
1 Pardic Dragon
1 Stingscourger
1 Sudden Shock
1 Thundering Giant
2 War-Spike Changeling

SIDEBOARD:
1 Arcbound Wanderer
1 Angel’s Grace
1 Dispeller’s Capsule
1 Gleam of Resistance
1 Sandsower
1 Terashi’s Grasp
1 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Tidehollow Sculler
1 Dampen Thought
1 Reach Through Mists
2 Blightspeaker
2 Death Denied
1 Drag Down
1 Festering Goblin
1 Fiery Fall
1 Hammerheim Deadeye
2 Lava Spike
1 Tribal Flames
1 Echoing Courage

6th place – Jasonn Tate – Red/Blue

1-2 vs Haibing Hu

7 Mountain (originally recorded as Forests)
7 Island
2 Plains
1 Vivid Crag
1 Aether Spellbomb
1 Bound in Silence
1 Electrolyze
1 Lightning Helix
1 Aethersnipe
1 Errant Ephemeron
2 Latchkey Faerie
1 Logic Knot
1 Mulldrifter
1 Pestermite
1 Brute Force
2 Empty the Warrens
1 Fiery Fall
2 Grapeshot
1 Mogg War Marshal
1 Molten Disaster
2 Rift Bolt
1 Stingscourger
1 War-Spike Changeling

SIDEBOARD:
1 Dakmor Salvage
1 Arcbound Wanderer
1 Feudkiller’s Verdict
1 Veteran Armorer
1 Mothdust Changeling
1 Narcomoeba
1 Peer Through Depths
1 Death Rattle
1 Festering Goblin
2 Stinkweed Imps
1 Warren Weirding
1 Brute Force
1 Crush Underfoot
1 Lava Spike
1 Rift Elemental
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Stinkdrinker Daredevil
1 Echoing Courage
1 Nantuko Shaman
1 Tarmogoyf

7th place – Shawn Hughes – Five Color Green

0-2 vs Scot Martin

9 Forest
2 Island
2 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Swamp
2 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Sarkhan Vol
1 Perilous Research
1 Petals of Thought
1 Riftwing Cloudskate
1 Fiery Fall
1 Duskwood Baloth
1 Echoing Courage
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Masked Admirers
1 Moldervine Cloak
2 Nantuko Shaman
1 Penumbra Spider
1 Sporesower Thallid
2 Sporoloth Ancient
1 Thallid
1 Thallid Germinator
2 Thallid Shell-Dweller
2 Tromp the Domains
1 Verdeloth the Ancient
SIDEBOARD:
2 Arcbound Stinger
1 Bonesplitter
1 Otherworldly Journey
1 Mind Funeral
1 Latchkeye Faerie
1 Peer Through Depths
1 Reach Through Mists
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Festering Goblin
1 Pththisis
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Hammerheim Deadeye
1 Rift Elemental
1 Torrent of Stone
1 Duskwood Baloth
1 Greater Mossdog
1 Moldervine Cloak
1 Sylvan Bounty
1 Walker of the Grove

8th place – Michael Ramos – White/Green Affinity

0-2 vs Aaron Tobey

5 Plains
5 Forest
1 Island
1 Academy Ruins
1 City of Brass
1 Glimmervoid
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Grove
1 Arcbound Stinger
1 Arcbound Worker
1 Etched Oracle
1 Frogmite
1 Myr Enforcer
1 Myr Retriever
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Court Homunculus
1 Dispeller’s Capsule
1 Path to Exile
1 Sanctum Gargoyle
1 Test of Faith
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
1 Erratic Mutation
2 Etherium Sculptor
1 Petals of Insight
1 Divinity of Pride
1 Shrapnel Blast
1 Reach of Branches
1 Rude Awakening
1 Search for Tomorrow

SIDEBOARD:
1 Pallid Mycoderm
1 Echoing Truth
1 Mothdust Changeling
1 Vedalken Dismisser
1 Death Denied
1 Festering Goblin
2 Street Wraith
1 Syphon Life
1 Trygon Predator
1 Blood Moon
1 Desperate Ritual
1 Citanul Woodreaders
1 Durkwood Baloth
1 Greater Mossdog
1 Riftsweeper

Of course, before these guys had the opportunity to draft Modern Masters and win a bunch of money and a thousand-dollar watch, they had to earn their spot in the top eight by playing eight rounds of Standard. Here are the top eight decklists in order of Swiss finish.

Top Eight Draft

1st place after Swiss – Henry Vi – Goon Squad Aggro (Mono Red)

0-2 vs Skylar Aschenback with GW Devotion
2-1 vs James Miller with Jeskai Control
2-1 vs Brian Heine with Mono Red
2-0 vs James Black with Sultai Control
2-0 vs Justin Hassan with Jeskai
2-0 vs Aaron Neuding with Jeskai Combo
2-1 vs Michael Ramos with GW Devotion
2-0 vs Bassel Said with RG Flyers

4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Firedrinker Satyr
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
3 Zurgo Bellstriker
1 Mardu Scout
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Hordeling Outburst
4 Wild Slash
4 Lightning Strike
4 Stoke the Flame
20 Mountain

SIDEBOARD:
3 Roast
2 Arc Lightning
1 Magmatic Chasm
2 Outpost Siege
2 Scouring Sands
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
1 Peak Eruption

2nd place after Swiss – Michael Ferri – Mono Red

2-0 vs Michael Wingard with Jund Devotion
1-2 vs Timothy Thomason with GR Devotion
2-0 vs Anthony Lopez with UW Dragon Control
2-0 vs Matthew Vaughters with Jeskai Tokens
2-1 vs David Pierce with Mono Black Aggro
2-1 vs Matthew Oakley with Mono Red Devotion
2-1 vs Justin Maguire with Temur Control
2-0 vs Drew Iafrate with RG Dragons

20 Mountain
4 Firedrinker Satyr
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Monastery Swiftspear
3 Zurgo Bellstriker
1 Mardu Scout
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Wild Slash
4 Lightning Strike
4 Searing Blood
4 Hordeling Outburst
4 Stoke the Flames

SIDEBOARD:
2 Arc Lightning
2 Scouring Sands
2 Goblin Heelcutter
2 Peak Eruption
2 Hammer of Purphoros
2 Lightning Berserker
1 Harness by Force
1 Roast
1 Hall of Triumph

3rd place after Swiss – Scot Martin – All-In Abzan

2-1 vs Matt Feudot with GR Devotion
2-1 vs Andrew Tibbett with Jeskai Tokens
2-1 vs Josh Crowe with Mono Red
2-1 vs Shawn Hughes with GW Devotion
2-1 vs Mike Schmoyer with GR Devotion
2-0 vs Ivan Contreras with Abzan Midrange
003 vs Jasonn Tate with Abzan Aggro
003 vs Aaron Tobey with Abzan Aggro

3 Anafenza, the Foremost
4 Siege Rhino
4 Fleecemane Lion
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
4 Rakshasa Deathdealer
1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
3 Hero’s Downfall
4 Dromoka’s Command
3 Abzan Charm
3 Bile Blight
3 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
3 Temple of Malady
4 Windswept Heath
1 Temple of Silence
4 Mana Confluence
2 Caves of Koilos
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Temple of Plenty
1 Llanowar Wastes
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
2 Plains
1 Forest

SIDEBOARD:
2 Glare of Heresy
3 Drown in Sorrow
2 Virulent Plague
1 Back to Nature
1 Hero’s Downfall
2 End Hostilities
1 Anafenza, the Foremost
3 Duress

4th place after Swiss – Jasonn Tate – Abzan Aggro

2-1 vs James Miller with Jeskai Control
2-1 vs Kevin Cox with Abzan Midrange
2-0 vs Tuan Doan with Abzan Midrange
2-0 vs Jamie Smith with Naya
2-0 vs Steve Lawton with Abzan
2-1 vs James Sung with Abzan Aggro
003 vs Scot Martin with Abzan Aggro
003 vs Haibing Hu with GR Devotion

4 Warden of the First Tree
4 Rakshasa Deathdealer
4 Fleecemane Lion
3 Bile Blight
3 Dromoka’s Command
3 Hero’s Downfall
2 Abzan Charm
3 Anafenza, the Foremost
2 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Boon Satyr
4 Siege Rhino
1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
1 Murderous Cut
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
4 Windswept Heath
2 Temple of Silence
2 Temple of Malady
2 Llanowar Wastes
2 Cave of Koilos
2 Mana Confluence
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Plains
2 Forest

SIDEBOARD:
4 Thoughtseize
2 Glare of Heresy
2 Valorous Stance
1 Hero’s Downfall
3 Drown in Sorrow
1 Archfiend of Depravity
2 Whisperwood Elemental

5th place after Swiss – Shawn Hughes – GW Devotion

2-0 vs Alex Androup with GW Devotion
2-1 vs Haibing Hu with GR Devotion
2-1 vs Andrew Sullano with GW Devotion
1-2 vs Scot Martin with Abzan Aggro
001 vs Paul Boggess with GB Devotion
2-1 vs Mickey Humphries with Mono Red
2-1 vs Blake Freeman with Abzan Control
2-1 vs Justin West with Temur

4 Elvish Mystic
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Sylvan Caryatid
2 Den Protector
4 Deathmist Raptor
4 Courser of Kruphix
4 Polukranos, World Eater
4 Whisperwood Elemental
2 Genesis Hydra
4 Mastery of the Unseen
4 Windswept Heath
4 Temple of Plenty
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Blossoming Sands
2 Plains
9 Forest

SIDEBOARD:
3 Fleecemane Lion
4 Valorous Stance
2 Hornet Nest
2 Ainok Survivalist
2 Setessan Tactics
1 Plummet
1 Den Protector

6th place after Swiss – Aaron Tobey – Abzan Aggro

2-1 vs Jean-Claude Cornu with Mono Black
2-1 vs Bassel Said with RG
2-0 vs San Juan Ramirez with Mono Red
2-1 vs Matthew Oakley with Mono Red Devotion
1-2 vs James Sung with Abzan Aggro
2-1 vs Brock Mosley with Jeskai
2-1 vs Justin West with Temur
003 vs Scot Martin with Abzan Aggro

2 Forest
1 Plains
4 Windswept Heath
3 Caves of Koilos
3 Llanowar Wastes
3 Temple of Malady
4 Temple of Silence
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
1 Herald of Torment
3 Wingmate Roc
4 Rakshasa Deathdealer
4 Siege Rhino
4 Fleecemane Lion
3 Anafenza, the Foremost
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
3 Bile Blight
3 Hero’s Downfall
3 Abzan Charm
2 Thoughtseize

SIDEBOARD:
4 Drown in Sorrow
1 Thoughtseize
1 Boon Satyr
1 Murderous Cut
2 Ultimate Price
1 Glare of Heresy
2 Herald of Torment
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Bile Blight

7th place after Swiss – Haibing Hu – GR Devotion

2-0 vs Brian Heine
1-2 vs Shawn Hughes
2-1 vs John Pierfelice
2-1 vs Linh Nguyen
2-1 vs Eric Maier
2-1 vs Mike Schmoyer
2-1 vs James Sung
003 vs Jasonn Tate

4 Elvish Mystic
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Courser of Kruphix
1 Boon Satyr
4 Eidolon of Blossoms
4 Polukranos, World Eater
4 Whisperwood Elemental
2 Genesis Hydra
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4 Crater’s Claws
4 Temple of Abandon
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
10 Forest
1 Mountain

SIDEBOARD:
3 Nylea’s Disciple
3 Reclamation Sage
2 Nissa, Worldwaker
2 Xenagos, God of Revels
2 Genesis Hydra
2 Setessan Tactics
1 Arbor Colossus

8th place after Swiss – Michael Ramos – GW Devotion

2-0 vs Joshua Watts
2-0 vs Wesley Jackson
2-1 vs David Palmer
1-2 vs Justin West
2-1 vs Christopher Hill
2-0 vs Braeden Rogers
1-2 vs Henry Vi
2-0 vs Brock Mosley

1 Blossoming Sands
4 Windswept Heath
4 Temple of Plenty
1 Wooded Foothills
8 Forest
2 Plains
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
1 Banishing Light
4 Mastery of the Unseen
1 Soul of Theros
1 Reclamation Sage
3 Genesis Hydra
4 Courser of Kruphix
4 Whisperwood Elemental
4 Polukranos, World Eater
1 Temur Sabertooth
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Voyaging Satyr

SIDEBOARD:
2 Valorous Stance
2 Surge of Righteousness
1 Banishing Light
4 Fleecemane Lion
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Dromoka’s Command
2 Nissa, Worldwaker
1 Temur Sabertooth
1 Setessan Tactics

The Aftermath

The second annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open proved that the event could survive and flourish. We had more players and bigger prizes. Even more importantly, the event began to grow legs. More people knew about the tournament and were impressed with the event itself as well as the cause behind it.

Year 2 Watchpromotional items

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT SERIES: Common Ground Games

2018 SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT SERIES: Common Ground Games

All of us on the HBMO staff are pleased to announced our sponsor spotlight series. Each week we will bring light to one or more of the incredible sponsors that helps make our event so successful. These companies have graciously donated money, products, time, and advertising to our event and to the cause of spreading awareness for suicide prevention.

This week we highlight Common Ground Games.

Common Ground Games Staff

Having only opened in May of 2013, Common Ground Games has fast become one of the top gaming stores in the Dallas Texas area. The owner, Jamison Sacks has years of game store knowledge that he has cultivated into a store well known for trading card game tournaments and board game events. Jamison has also pioneered a game store that is accepting of gamers from all walks of life. Common Ground Games prides itself in having a strong community and being a safe environment to enjoy your hobbies.

If it’s consistency and organization you are looking for, Common Ground is your store! Jamison was recently featured in a short video by Wizards of the Coast offering information and advice to other store owners about how to maintain consistent and positive events.

The Common Ground storefront offers a large dedicated gaming area that hosts daily events and includes a game library for demos of the most popular titles. Open seven days a week, it makes sure it has a day for a game you enjoy.

Common Ground Games

The Hunter Burton Memorial staff would like to thank Jamison Sacks and Common Ground Games for their continued contribution to our annual event and assisting in spreading awareness for the prevention of suicide. You can visit their website at the link below to check out the Common Ground Games event schedule and all the products they have to offer.

VISIT THE COMMON GROUND GAMES WEBSITE HERE

Common Ground Games

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT SERIES: Madness Games & Comics Plano

2018 SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT SERIES: Madness Comics & Games Plano

All of us on the HBMO staff are pleased to announced our sponsor spotlight series. Each week we will bring light to one or more of the incredible sponsors that helps make our event so successful. These companies have graciously donated money, products, time, and advertising to our event and to the cause of spreading awareness for suicide prevention.

This week we highlight Madness Comics & Games in Plano, Texas.

Madness Plano

Madness is not only one of the largest pop-culture and gaming stores in the area, but rather one of the largest in the United States. For years Madness has been a mainstay of Dallas area gaming and in its current location can hold 300+ card payers for a single event. If there is a gaming component you need, this more than 20,000 square foot store is sure to have what you need.

For our 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open, the owners of Madness have generously dedicated nearly an entire weekend to helping out. They will be flying in Magic the Gathering pro player Gerry Thompson to their store where any player can donate money to the HBMO and in return either play at game of Magic against Gerry himself or sit down and do a deck tech session where Gerry will discuss the ins-and-outs of the deck you may be playing at the event. Finally, Gerry himself will be participating in the Hunter Burton Memorial Open as a competitor in the Modern Main Event!

If you are interested in participating in any of the special events happening at Madness in Plano, here is a brief rundown of the Gerry T. schedule:

Gerry Thompson, Pro Tour Amonkhet Champion, Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan Finalist, and number six ranked player in the
world, will be joining Madness Games and Comics on February 23rd and 24th to help raise funds for Hunter Burton Memorial Inc., a non-profit dedicated to spreading awareness for suicide prevention.

Gerry Thompson Challenge
Friday February 23 rd 5PM-11PM
Want to face off with one of the premier players in the world and see how you do? Gerry will be taking on challengers Friday evening!
Participants who donate will be able to challenge Gerry in their format of choice including Standard, Modern, or Legacy.
Participants who donate at level two will also receive a special thank you gift!
Level 1 – $5.00 cash donation
Challenge Gerry to a game of Standard, Modern, or Legacy!
Level 2 – $10.00 cash donation
Challenge Gerry to TWO games of Standard, Modern, or Legacy and receive a special thank you gift!

GerryT Deck Tech
Saturday February 24 th 2PM – 8PM
Here’s your chance to sit down with Gerry and discuss strategies, tourney practices or Pro Tour experiences. Gerry will be on-hand to help participants get their deck ready for the Hunter Burton Memorial Open. Get input from one of the world’s best on sideboarding, card choices, lines of play, and any other questions you may have!
15 Minute Deck Tech – $20 cash donation
Deck techs will be SCHEDULED by time slot, and scheduling will be done on a first-come first-serve basis starting at the Challenge Gerry event on Friday, February 23rd . Your donation secures your spot, and you may donate multiple times to secure a longer deck tech.

All donations must be made in cash.  100% of all donations will go to the Hunter Burton Memorial Inc.  Madness Games & Comics is passionately committed to supporting Hunter Burton Memorial Fund. We welcome Gerry in helping us raise awareness and participation.

The Hunter Burton Memorial staff would like to thank Madness in Plano for their continued contribution to our annual event and assisting in spreading awareness for the prevention of suicide. We encourage you to stop by their store and show support yet another amazing sponsor of the Hunter Burton Memorial Open.

Madness Comics & Games
3000 Custer Road
Suite 310
Plano, TX 75075

(972) 943-8135

VISIT THE MADNESS COMICS & GAMES WEBSITE HERE

What This Event Means To Me: Erin’s Story

This is a piece written by Erin Giddings, a friend of Hunter’s and also a valued member of our event team. This is his (mostly unfiltered) story about what our annual event means to him. With all of the hype surrounding the tournament and the prizes, we wanted to share a more personal perspective as a reminder of why we work so hard to make the Hunter Burton Memorial Open happen each year!

What This Event Means To Me: Erin’s Story

I have had the honor and the pleasure of being involved with the Hunter Burton Memorial Open since its beginning more than 5 years ago. I recall the day sitting at a BBQ joint with the other people involved and hearing the idea of what the Burton family wanted to do to honor and remember their son. I was excited at the opportunity to finally make a difference for a cause I was passionate about!

To start this story however we have to go back farther than just knowing Hunter Burton. The full picture starts in 2008 when I opened a game store in North Texas. At the time I had been involved in the gaming industry for over 9 years and was excited to start a new chapter of my career as a business owner. A journey that would prove to be very difficult.

I lost almost everything shortly after starting the business. My fiance left me for someone else, financially things were bad, and I had some serious health issues building behind the scenes. I personally struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide. With the help of people like my mother, my store manager Mike Stover, and some new friends made through the store, I was able to move forward and get back on my feet.

One of those friends was Brandon Mills. Brandon was one of the brightest parts of my time in the gaming industry. He picked me up when I was down, he had a beer with me when I needed it, and he would light up a room when he was there. B or B-Mills as we called him became a close friend and one I will cherish the rest of my life.

There came a day however that I didn’t think was possible. I hadn’t seen Brandon in almost a month. He was busy with work and working on a promotion, I was busy running a business. On this day however I opened up the store email and a very direct email informed me that Brandon had passed away.

I thought it was a joke, someone’s cruel prank. I showed my manager and said, “no way, who would be such an A$% to do something like that!?” Then it hit me… it wasn’t a prank.

When Brandon’s best friend Collin called me to explain, I found out that Brandon had gone out with co-workers that night and seemed happy as can be. Celebrating the raise he just got at work, why wouldn’t he be. That night Brandon went home and took his own life. He left a note to his family that said, “There is nothing you could have done, I’ve wanted this for a long time.” It was utterly heartbreaking for me that Brandon was someone who helped pick me up and keep me going, and all the while he was struggling to do the same.

I remember sitting in the funeral home during Brandon’s service. I was in the front row and every time they began singing church hymns I broke out crying. Just feet away from me in that casket was a friend that saved me, and I couldn’t save him. I helped carry his casket to the grave site and I just kept looking at his mother and thinking, “I can’t even imagine the pain she feels. I can’t understand how this could happen.”
William Brandon Mills passed away on May 4th, 2011. He was 26 years old.

So let’s fast forward now. Hunter Burton was a Magic player in my store for a few years. He was a member of our first store sponsored MtG team and always had what I called his “entourage” with him. There were always some Magic players following him around. I my experience with him he was always respectful to me and in the times I got to know him he struck me as a pretty nice guy.

I remember one night I was outside the shop talking to a new player who was discouraged due to not doing very well in an event. Hunter was nearby smoking a cigarette at the time. I told the new player that “Hey, it takes time to get better at these card games. Time, practice and patience is the key.”  Hunter was just sitting there smoking his cigarette and I looked over and said, “Hey Hunter, how long did it take you to get good at playing Magic? I’m trying to explain that people shouldn’t get discouraged not being good right away.” You know what Hunter said? “Uh, I was just kinda naturally good at it, but yeah practice doesn’t hurt.”

I look back now and laugh at that every time. He wasn’t trying to be a jerk, he was just being Hunter, straightforward and honest. He wasn’t wrong by the way, he was just naturally good at Magic the Gathering.

The rest of Hunter’s story is one better told by his close friends and family. However when I learned of Hunter’s passing and received the invite to Hunter’s funeral I was once again heartbroken. The moment I pulled into the funeral home parking lot, the memories of Brandon came rushing back. I walked in, I sat down, and I couldn’t stop thinking about why these two young men’s lives had ended so soon and what could I have done. After the service I walked out, said pleasantries to friends and family and then left fairly quickly. I wanted to stop by Brandon’s grave and pay respects.

Yes, you read that correctly. I was sitting in the same funeral home, at the same cemetery to see another friend, a customer, a gamer, put into the ground way before their time.

When someone asks me, why do you volunteer for the Hunter Burton Memorial Open my answer is easy. I do not want anyone to ever have to sit and think, “What if I could have done something?! What if I had just known?!” My goal is to spread the word to everyone I can, that no matter what you are going through or what life has thrown at you, there are options to help and there are people who care. Just speak up!

Dona, Greg, and Casey Burton have honored me with a platform to help spread this awareness and to honor their son in the best way possible. Alongside the other volunteers, the ever-growing list of sponsors, and all the friends and family that support the event, I am confident we are making a difference in someone’s life… and that’s all I need. Just one life to be saved so that a friend doesn’t have to suffer the way I did and that a person doesn’t have to hurt the way Brandon and Hunter had.

I want to bring gamers together and talk about a topic nobody wants to discuss. I want to make sure we stand together as support for women and men in the gaming community who might be suffering. I want to have a difficult conversation without people feeling uncomfortable admitting they are hurting or depressed. I want to let people know it is and will be okay.

What does this event mean to me you ask? It means everything.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and by doing so show support for this cause. I truly hope that regardless of if you play games or not, you will stop by the Hurst Conference Center on Sunday February 25th and join us as we celebrate Hunter Burton and spread awareness that hopefully helps save a life.

 

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT SERIES: Darkhound Studios

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT SERIES: Darkhound Studios

All of us on the HBMO staff are pleased to announced our sponsor spotlight series. Each week we will bring light to one or more of the incredible sponsors that helps make our event so successful. These companies have graciously donated money, products, time, and advertising to our event and to the cause of spreading awareness for suicide prevention.

Black Border Outline Banner Darkhound Studios LLC

This spotlight goes to Darkhound Studios who for the second year in a row will be supplying a custom top eight playmat for the Modern Format main event. In addition, Darkhound has made the custom fifth anniversary playmat that is for sale in our web store as well as being a part of our VIP pre-registration package.

Darkhound Studios LLC is a company based in Arlington, Texas that specializes in custom card game supplies. Their products include foil tokens, playmats, dicebags, and much more. Owned and operated by Jamie Gary and William Strzelecki, both avid Magic the Gathering  players, the duo travels across the United States to set up and promote at MtG events. Competitive Magic players may also recognize their items from several Star City Games Open events they have attended as a vendor.

The Hunter Burton Memorial staff would like to thank Darkhound Studios for their continued contribution to our annual event and assisting in spreading awareness for the prevention of suicide. You can visit their website at the link below or stop by their booth at the 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open to check out all the products they have to offer.

DARKHOUND STUDIOS WEBSITE: CLICK HERE

Hunter Burton 5th Anniversary Logo Black OutlineWolf Token

HB Playmat
HB Playmat

 

2018 Pre-Registration Contest

Want to win a FREE sealed booster display of Unstable? All you have to do is pre-register for any of the four large events happening at this year’s Hunter Burton Memorial Open to be entered into the drawing!

All players who Pre-register through February 16th, 2018 will be entered. Prizes will be awarded as follows:

Grand Prize:   1 Sealed Booster Display of Unstable, 1 EXTREMELY limited custom foil Huntmaster token

Runner-Up:  Two lucky winners will receive 1 EXTREMELY limited custom foil Huntmaster token each.

This is one of the only ways to obtain these Huntmaster tokens outside of the VIP Registration Package and with less than 150 made they are sure to be sought after!

We will announce a winner on Monday, February 19th so make sure you are subscribed to our blog (located on the front page) to get notified when the announcement goes live. If you haven’t already pre-registered but want to enter the drawing, click the link below so you can get in on the action!

Pre-Register HERE

We look forward to seeing you at the 5th annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open on February 25th, 2018 in Hurst!

The 2018 HBMO Will Be Streamed LIVE!

We have a major announcement! This year for the first time ever, the 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open will be streamed LIVE! Thanks to our sponsor Wilkinson Rhodes Events, we will have live coverage all day of the Modern Main Event with additional coverage of the Standard PPTQ $1k and Legacy tournament!

Coverage will include Jeff Zandi and Brian “Motumbo” Augustine on commentary with additional sideline reporting from Kaesi Corne. There will be interviews with world renown players like Gerry Thompson as well as event staff and members of the Burton family.

Spread the word, the 2018 HBMO can be watched from anywhere in the world! Subscribe to our Twitch channel now to make sure you are notified about new videos and when our live coverage begins!

Sunday, February 25th  – Live Coverage Begins @ 10:30am CST

HUNTER BURTON MEMORIAL OPEN TWITCH CHANNEL: HERE

An Amazing Event For A Wonderful Cause!