Events To Look For At The 2020 HBMO

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It’s no secret that the best gaming event in Texas is just around the corner, but other than the two big main events, do you truly know the scope of events at the Hunter Burton Memorial Open? Let’s take a look at some of the extras you may have missed:

This event kicks off the weekend and is different then anything you will see at ANY major gaming event in the world. Meet our VIP guests, the staff of the HBMO, rub elbows with sponsors and vendors, and all the while enjoying live music, live art, dinner and drinks! In 2019 this event sold out, so in 2020 you will not want to wait on registering for this event! Dinner and a drink are included with each ticket. ($50 first ticket, $25 per +1 ticket)

Sponsors from all over the country have donated items to be used in our silent auction. These items aren’t just gaming related, which means anyone can find something to bid on all to support a great cause. (Varies)

Not only is this a Chaos Sealed event, but it comes loaded with extras to remember one of our founders. Jeff Zandi! This event gets you six random packs spanning the history of Magic the Gathering followed by three rounds of an awesome sealed event just as Jeff would have loved. If that’s not enough, this event gets you a custom Jeff Zandi Angel playmat and a special secret Jeff Zandi item that won’t be announced until the event starts! ($100 entry, SPOTS EXTREMELY LIMITED)

BOARD GAME LIBRARY (Saturday, March 28 & Sunday, March 29)
Don’t play trading card games? NO PROBLEM! This year we will have a board game library set up to let you and your friends come enjoy a different side of gaming! Pay $5 to check out a board game and play until your heart is content! Spread the word, bring all your friends! Try new games or play your favorites! $5 gets you hours of fun. ($5 to checkout 1 game as a group)

ARGENT SAGA – BY ALTER REALITY GAMES (Saturday, March 28 & Sunday, March 29)
ARG brings their newest competitive Trading Card Game Argent Saga to the HBMO! Did someone say Championship?! Expect some awesome news coming soon about Argent Saga at the 2020 HBMO for a large scale event and side events!

Last year Commander was one of the most popular side events. For 2020 we have expanded this to have its own area with on demand pods as well as organized tournaments. Just a casual player? That’s fine too! We have commander for every type of player!

MAGIC THE GATHERING $1k TOURNAMENTS(Saturday, March 28 & Sunday, March 29)
Standard, Modern, Legacy, Pioneer & More will be represented as competitive $1,000 cash tournaments across both days of events. These are being sponsored by amazing companies who made generous contributions to ensure all formats get represented!
($30 entry)

VINTAGE $500 MTG CASH EVENT (Sunday, March 29th)
The biggest cards in Magic the Gathering come out to play for our Vintage cash tournament. If you needed a reason to break out the Mox or the Lotus, we’ve got you covered! ($20 entry)


2020 HBMO Pre-Registration Is Live!

Important Announcement

Last week we officially launched our pre-registration and hotel discounts for the 2020 Hunter Burton Memorial Open on March 27th – 29th! We are so excited to have all of our events up and available for pre-registration to ensure all participants traveling in from out of town can secure spots in any major event, all weekend long!

In addition, discount hotel rooms are available for just $99 per night at the connected Hilton Hotel until March 11th, so don’t delay in booking yours to save money and be directly connected to all the events!

Spots for some events are extremely limited so DO NOT WAIT TO REGISTER!

Registration for all HBMO events here: CLICK HERE TO PRE-REGISTER

Discount Hotel Rooms at Connected Hilton here: CLICK HERE FOR DISCOUNT HOTEL

You can see all the events and sponsors listed on our 2020 Event Details page!

2020 Hunter Burton Memorial Open
March 27-29, 2020
Hurst Conference Center, Hurst TX

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2020 HBMO Format Announcements

Howdy Hunter Burton fans, I’ve been around on Facebook and chatted with a bunch of y’all over the past few weeks, and many of you have been extremely curious to hear the news we have today.

I’ve worked with Wizards of the Coast and our local store affiliates for the past couple of months to make something happen for 2020, and we get to finally announce that today. I hope everyone is as excited as I am to hear about the format for the main event and more!

The 2020 Hunter Burton Memorial Open Main Event will feature $10,000 in cash prizes, and the format will be Modern. The winner will receive an invite to a Magic Player’s Tour event. 

We’re back on Modern again this year, and for a few reasons. First, we have had a ton of support for Modern, and we know that some of our biggest fans come out of retirement to play every year. Modern is an established format, and many of you have decks you have played for years. Pioneer is the latest and greatest, and we’re going to support that format as well. In fact, we have a second announcement today.

Our big Sunday event will be presented by Doc’s Comics and Games, and features $5000 in cash prizes. The format will be Pioneer, and the winner will also receive an invite to a Magic Player’s Tour event. 

That’s right. For the first time, we have PT invites. And not just one. Two. Modern winner gets their name on the giant trophy, and gets to play on the PT. Pioneer winner also gets to play on the PT.

As usual, we will have some additional cash events, as well as a large schedule of side events, including increased commander support. Expect to hear more about that shortly.

I’m super excited for Hunter Burton 2020, and the opportunity to send two of our players to the next level of play for the first time. See you all at the 7th annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open on March 27th-29th at the Hurst Conference Center in Hurst, TX!

Pre-Registration and Hilton Hotel discount codes coming this week so stay tuned!

Our 20/20 Vision & A Long Overdue Thank You!

It has been several months since the 2019 Hunter Burton Memorial Open. It has taken our team a few months to get back on our feet and start the planning for our 2020 event… alas, that time is now!

First, we owe you all an apology. After the event we lacked in communication and in responses to questions on social media, recap posts and more. For that I will take sole responsibility. All we can do is apologize, explain and ensure we don’t let that happen again.

The HBMO team has been a very small unit of volunteers since its formation seven years ago. In the last few, we grew… to a total of four members. One month before our 2019 event we lost one of our most coveted and beloved team members, Jeff Zandi which not only left us short handed but also grieving. With help from some amazing people and sponsors we were able to hold our ranks and make the 2019 event the biggest and best HBMO yet (with nearly 1200 turnstile attendance across all three days.) After however, we all needed to take a step back, to grieve, to rest, and to regenerate our energy for the even bigger 2020 event. This meant the three of us stepped away to be with family, catch-up at our day jobs, and take a solid deep breath.

With all of that said… WE ARE BACK!!!

Now, before we get too far into this, there is an important detail we need to cover. A massive THANK YOU to all of you that attended our 2019 event. Because of you, we set a new HBMO attendance record. Thanks to you, a community of gamers and non-gamers alike came together spreading awareness to the growing issue of suicide in our community and in this country. We are eternally grateful for your support of this important cause and our event.

Second, to our sponsors. Simply put, we can’t thank you enough. I want to say a special thank you to a few of you here (in no particular order):

Ultra-Pro and Legion Supplies, you showed up in a big way to make every attendee walk away with something special. The level of support you gave is beyond what a simple thank you can cover.

Alter Reality Games, your custom donations and support were so generous and thoughtful. Jim and Brad you have been pillars in this industry, donating any chance you get and being outspoken for amazing causes! Thank you.

Reaper Miniatures, Ed and Bill you made major contributions that helped raise nearly $2000 for the foundation, thank you so much for all that you did!

Star City Games, yet another year that you supported our event and helped us promote beyond our reach. Thank you to Pete and the SCG team for all that you do!

Wizards of the Coast, Nelson Brown… you are just a lovely and amazing human. Thank you for your continued support and all that you do for Magic the Gathering!

Retro 51, Vickie, George, Richard, and all the team behind those amazing custom writing pens… WOW! You made our VIP packages one of the best in the gaming world with your contribution. Thank you!!!

Park Hill Fine Art Portraits, thank you so much for your donation. Having you as a sponsor has helped bridge our gaming community with non-gamers and helped make our opening event so special!

Generation X Comics, Wayne and Tabitha… you did it again! You made special events happen this year that honestly just wouldn’t have been possible without your help. Thank you for all that you do in the community!

Li-Kun, Elliott your music graced our ears and our hearts during the live stream and we thank you so much for letting us premiere your new music at our event. Thank you for supporting this cause!

Wilkinson Rhodes, Garrett, Bilinda, India, Thank you so much for your guidance and advice during our event planning. Your contributions were amazing!
Card Kingdom, Your team helped make events happen this year and your contribution was perfect to add a little extra to each area of the HBMO. Thank you!

Pluckers Wing Bar, Jamie man, you helped us out adding some local Texas flair and chicken wings to our event! Thank you to you and the Pluckers organization for all the gift cards!

Common Ground Games, Jamison thank you for standing by our cause and doing what you do. Your support for the last years has been much appreciated!

A very special thanks to:
AKON, the longest running anime convention in North America
Panini America, the best in the sports card industry
Madness Comics & Games in Denton, Jim Thank you!
Peachstate Hobby Distribution, Sito, Dan, Larry… You guys are amazing!
Direct Damage Cast, All the love Calvin! Thank you!!!
Doc’s Comics & Games, Murdock, you are a wonderful human! Thank you!
Darkhound Studios, your custom contributions have been a huge part of making our event special! Thank you!
Recycled Entertainment, your story makes us so proud to have you as part of the HBMO. Thank you!

Comic Asylum, Chris Mettler, Common Ground Games, Miniature Exchange, and everyone that donated to the Jeff Zandi memorial event, our deepest thank you!

To our Vendors & Artists: You all made amazing contributions! Thank you so much for all that you do! Dark Hound Studios, Reaper Game Store, Doc’s Comics and Games, Miniature Exchange, and Recycled Entertainment

To our judges… Thank you for all of your hard work. You are the nuts and bolts of what we do on event day and your hard work and dedication to our cause is amazing! Thank you for helping make 2019 (and every year) special.

Brian Valdez, Garrett Wilkinson, Rachel Laven-Purcell, Dequan Watson, Gerry Thompson, and Bryan Gottlieb:
We cannot thank you enough for what you have done for our event. You volunteered your time, your money, your services, your expertise, and your kindness to making the Hunter Burton Memorial Open special. You have helped us raise the awareness and professionalism of the event beyond measure. Dona, Joe and I are so very thankful for everything you have done for this foundation and most importantly this cause.

Now that our long overdue acknowledgements are done, we have some BIG NEWS!!!

First, The HBMO will have a booth at AKON in Dallas, June 28th – June 30th in the gaming hall at Dallas Fair Park. Stop by and see us to say hello, make a donation or purchase a T-shirt!

Second, the 2020 Hunter Burton Memorial Open will include new and improved aspects such as RPGs, board games and in some way, we hope to include Magic the Gathering Arena!

Last but certainly not least, WE HAVE LOCKED IN OUR 2020 date! That’s right, we’ll be returning to the Hurst Conference Center for THREE DAYS OF EVENTS!


The 7th Annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open will take place on MARCH 27th – 29th, 2020



Are you ready for 2020? Our team is hard at work planning the event so we’ll have lots of announcements in the coming weeks (including an introduction to some of our new team members!) Stay tuned as I am so excited to let you all in on the plans for this upcoming year.

Erin Giddings, Dona Burton, & Joe Klopchic
Director of Operations , Founder & Treasurer, Tournament Organizer
Hunter Burton Memorial Open

Full Event Schedule Announcement

By Joe Klopchic

Howdy folks! You might recognize my name from last year’s Hunter Burton Memorial Open. I had the privilege to Head Judge the event last year, and it was an amazing experience. This year I’ve worked with the HBMO team to come up with a new slate of events to cover the two days that the event now features. I get to premiere some more specific event details to you here today, and we have quite a lot to go over. Let’s dive in.

First, we have the Main Event. Just like in 2018, we’re battling Modern this year for $10,000 in cash prizes. Unlike in 2018, the event extends over both days of the show. Players joining the event will all be eligible to play in 8 rounds of Swiss on Saturday, and everyone who finishes with at least 18 match points (that’s 6 wins) will advance to play on Sunday. We want at least 64 players coming back for day 2, so if less than 64 players get to 6 wins, we’ll invite the top 64 players in the standings.

On Sunday, our returning players will battle 5 additional rounds of Swiss before we cut to the top 8 and play playoffs to determine our 2019 champion. All of the action will be broadcast live on our twitch channel with commentary from our team of Gerry Thompson, Bryan Gotlieb, DeQuan Watson, and Brian Augustine.

Y’all want to know how the cash breaks down though right? Here is the payout:

1st: $1800
2nd: $1000
3rd/4th: $800
5th-8th: $600
9th-16th: $200
17th-32nd: $100

As always, we’ll have additional prizes to sweeten the pot, including a custom HBMO pen from Retro 51, a custom HBMO Playmat by Darkhound Studios, the massive Diesel watch, and HBMO 2019 dice. The top 8 will also have their names added to the trophy.

Bad beats in round 8 on Saturday in a win-and-in, and you want to play something competitive on Sunday? We have it covered. Sunday will feature a new tournament honoring our friends that have passed in the last year. It breaks our hearts to run this show without Zanman but we’ll take the time to remember both Jeff, and other Magic friends who have passed on to the next plane. The Tribute to Texas Magic Classic is a $5,000 cash Standard tournament. It starts bright and early alongside day 2 of the main event, and players will battle Swiss rounds plus a cut to top 8. The prize payout is:

1st: $800
2nd: $600
3rd/4th: $400
5th-8th: $300
9th-16th: $100
17th-32nd: $50

Looking for Standard or Legacy on Saturday, Modern on Sunday? We also have $3000 in additional cash to give out in a $1k on each day. On Saturday, the GAM Podcast has sponsored a Standard 1k, while Card Kingdom has sponsored a Legacy 1k. Those events begin at noon. On Sunday, Park Hill Portraits has sponsored a Modern 1k that starts at 11AM.

Prizes for each $1k are:

1st: $400
2nd: $200
3rd-4th: $100
5th-8th: $50

Wow. We made it through $18,000 in cash prizes worth of events, but we aren’t quite done. Many of you let us know that you don’t have the time or competitive Modern/Standard deck to jump into one of our more competitive fields. Don’t worry, we got you. This year we’re debuting a slate of scheduled side events to help anyone jump in and play some Magic.

Want to draft? $20 Ravnica Allegiance drafts.

Commander? $5 and we’ll set you up with 3 others with 100-card decks, and toss in some prizes.

Sealed? 10AM and 3PM both days. $40.

Constructed? We have events on the hour for various constructed formats. $20 each.

What are prizes though? For 2019, we’re taking a page out of what many other large events have done, and are introducing our own prize currency. In Hunter Burton style, we have specially commissioned poker chips to be awarded as prizes in our side events. One poker chip can be exchanged for a Ravnica Allegiance booster pack.

Fan of Two-Headed Giant? On Sunday we have a sealed event just for you, sponsored by Direct Damage Cast. The great folks over at that podcast will be playing in the event and have some extra prizes to hand out during it. It’s 1PM on Sunday, and will feature Ravnica Allegiance 2HG Sealed.

Finally, I have one special event to announce that you may have heard a bit about already. On Sunday afternoon, we’re hosting a Chaos Sealed event to honor our great friend Jeff Zandi. It’s going to be something special for everyone. Several stores such as Comic Asylum, Common Ground Games, Madness Games Denton, Madness Games Plano, and more in our local area have stepped up to and donated a bunch of packs from Magic’s history. There are some real gems in this lot. The event is $100 to enter, and gets you your 6 sealed packs, a playmat, deckbox, sleeves, and some other goodies as well. We want this to be the event that Zanman has always dreamed of running. For now, we’re capping at 16 entries based on the packs we have, but as donations continue, more slots may become available.

Here is the full schedule of events, including prizes for the events.


Just boosters and chips? That’s it? Nope. Those poker chips you’ll win all weekend, you can get more than just Ravnica Allegiance boosters for them. This year we’re debuting the HBMO Prize Wall, where you can exchange your prize chips for Ravnica Allegiance boosters, other Standard or not-so-Standard boosters, the 2019 t-shirt, sleeves, playmats, and a swath of other goodies we have assembled.

That’s it for now. I’m super excited for the event this year, and I hope everyone finds an event or three to play in, pick up some prize chips and awesome prize wall items, or finds their way into the money in the main event. If you’ve already decided your fate, you can preregister for all of our cash prize events, as well as the VIP cocktail party on Friday night right here. 

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at the 6th Annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open, March 15th – 17th, 2019!!

The Legend Lives On – Jeff Zandi

Foreword written by Erin Giddings…

As hard as it is to say goodbye to our friend Jeff, it’s truly become apparent in this last week just how many lives Jeff Zandi has truly touched in his storied Magic the Gathering history. Zanman was honestly one of the nicest and most genuine human beings on the planet. His spark and his love of Magic the Gathering was infectious! The legacy he leaves behind will never be matched, the positive spirit he embodied will never be forgotten.

This article is our dedication to Jeff “Zanman” Zandi. It includes the last story he wrote for our HBMO website (never before published) and a video interview with Jeff that was conducted prior to our 2018 Memorial Open event that has only been viewed by Jeff, Dona Burton, and myself prior to this post.

Zanman, we are going to miss you big guy… but rest assured you will never be forgotten.

This year at the Hunter Burton Memorial Open on Sunday, March 17th, we will be hosting a dedicated event in Jeff’s name. It will be a Chaos Sealed event (because Jeff loved limited and he always had a flair for making Magic interesting.) Thanks to a number of local DFW stores and several friends of Jeff, we will make it happen! This event will be limited to 16 players (although depending on donations that number could increase prior.) Proceeds from this specific event will be given to Jeff’s family.

In addition, we will be bringing back Jeff’s patented “0-2 Drop” Masters Draft! We had originally retired the event after last year, however we have unanimously agreed to bring it back! 8 lucky competitors on Saturday and 8 more on Sunday will have the opportunity to draft a Masters set FREE OF CHARGE! Like in year’s past, you must play in the main event that day, have an unlucky 0-2 start, drop from that event, and be one of the first to sign up. Jeff made this event, he loved holding it, and as long as donations permit we will always continue the tradition!

So, without further delay, here is Jeff’s article written for our website. Having read it right before posting this, it had me balling like a newborn baby. I have never read a piece that somehow, in someway happens to be so perfectly placed. When Jeff wrote it, he was still very much here and planned to be here to see it posted. The fact that he’s not… well I honestly don’t have the words for that. If you knew Jeff, my personal suggestion is to have the tissues nearby… this was by far the most emotional piece he ever wrote about Hunter in my opinion.

Time Traveling With My Friend Hunter
By Jeff Zandi

I doubt that time travel technology exists, but I still think about it a lot. I’ve had all the same time travel fantasies as other people. I really don’t think about going back in time to stop Hitler. When I was a teen, all I wanted to do was go back in time to buy valuable comic books for their ten cent cover price and then make a fortune bringing them back to the present to sell them.

Lately, I’ve had some experiences that feel like what I believe real time travel would be like. I was back in my old home town and I saw a guy I thought I recognized. He looked exactly like this friend I used to hang around with when I was a kid. Then I realized I had to be mistaken, because the guy I was looking at was twelve years old and the guy I was friends with would probably be my age by now. Still, seeing something so reminiscent of something from forty years ago felt to me like actual time travel.

It happened again when I was attending a tournament in Denver just a few months ago. Sitting at a table talking to some of his friends was a guy that I swear looked exactly like my friend Hunter Burton. Exactly like the twenty-six-year-old Hunter that I last saw six years ago. It really was an uncanny feeling. It wasn’t just a passing resemblance, either. I watched him from thirty feet away, unable to hear his voice but watching him talk to his friends at the table in the same kind of animated way that Hunter used to. I didn’t think I was losing my mind and I didn’t think that Hunter had dropped through a hole in the time/space continuum. I knew very well that this was just a guy that resembled my old friend. I knew that if I walked up and introduced myself, heard this person’s voice, saw his face close up, the charm would be broken and it would be completely obvious that it wasn’t Hunter. I kept my distance because it was fun, just for a minute, to feel like my friend was actually there in the room with me. It felt like real time travel.

I try to be a rational person. I prize myself for my brain because my body and face haven’t really gotten me that far in my life. I try not to be superstitious, but I know it happens sometimes. Like the way I didn’t want to walk up to the person in Denver that looked like Hunter. It’s hard, but life is better when we get past our superstitious hangups. Like being afraid to talk about a loved one that you’ve lost because you’re afraid it will just make you and other people sad. I want to be free to talk about all the people in my life, the ones I talk to every day as well as the ones I haven’t been able to see in a few years.

As you get older, it’s a simple fact that more of the people you care about will pass away. Superstitions are often about fear. I fear getting cancer, it seems to me that so many more people are getting cancer than ever before. I have no statistics to back up this claim, it’s just the way the world seems to me. My rational brain tells me that talking about cancer doesn’t cause me to get cancer. I either will or I won’t. I don’t need to be afraid to talk about it. Suicide is the same way. Talking about suicide doesn’t make it worse, doesn’t make it more likely, or less likely, to affect my life.

Suicide isn’t a way to define my friend Hunter Burton. It just happens to be the way he died. I can talk about Hunter without making it a conversation about suicide the same way that I can talk about my mom without making it a conversation about cancer. Talking about the people I love, even after they’ve left the earth, helps keep them alive to me and makes me feel less afraid.


Jeff Zandi’s 2018 interview prior to the 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open. It was cut a little short at the end and unfortunately has less optimal sound quality but the video itself is completely unedited. It has only ever been viewed by Jeff, Dona Burton and myself prior to being posted here. These interviews with the three of us were done as a way to promote and talk about the HBMO. Ultimately only one video of Dona’s was ever used.


Jeff… there are hundreds of people right now remembering playing Magic with you. Every one of them including myself look forward to the day we get to do it again my friend. I’ll do my best to make you proud at this year’s 2019 HBMO. We all will!

2019 Hunter Burton Memorial Open
March 15th – 17th
Hurst Conference Center
Hurst, Texas
In Memory of Hunter Burton AND Jeff Zandi!

The Loss Of A Legend… Jeff “Zanman” Zandi

It is with great sadness and the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Jeff Zandi. A founder of the Hunter Burton Memorial Open, a pillar of the Magic the Gathering community, and one of the kindest human beings someone could ever meet.

Six years ago he along with the Burton family started this charity foundation and the now annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open to celebrate the life of his good friend and their son Hunter. On a mission to keep Hunter’s spirit alive and prevent other families from going through the same tragedy, Jeff developed an event that Hunter would be proud of and the Magic community would learn from. Without Jeff Zandi there would be no HBMO.

This year at the 2019 Hunter Burton Memorial Open we will have an event on Sunday, March 17th dedicated to Jeff that embodies his love of Magic and the immense amount friends he’s made along the way. Details of the special event and our full event schedule will be delayed a few days. As you can imagine right now we would like some time to process and mourn the loss of our friend, a member of our family.

“I’ve spent this morning remembering great times with Zanman. The day trip to Houston for a Rangers game. The first time we judged together. Countless (134 … he counted) Guildmage meetings. Building the Hunter Burton Memorial to be what it is. I’ll remember Jeff forever and my heart goes out to his family and friends. I wouldn’t be the same without him.”
– Joeseph Klopchic, HBMO Team

Jeff 2

“Jeff Zandi was someone I respected more than words can do justice. At the end of the day, Jeff made this event what it is. This team is a family. This cause brought us together, and this event helped channel our passion. To say I’ll miss Jeff is an understatement. I promise to always make sure the HBMO represents something Jeff would appreciate and always make sure his spirit is represented at the core of this event. It was an honor to know you Jeff. My thoughts and love go to Willa and Lawson today.”
– Erin Giddings, HBMO Team

Jeff Zandi in 2016 HBMO shirt

“I will miss Zanman – one of the most awesome, kind, unique, giant-hearted humans on this planet. I will miss our meetings at Joe T’s to discuss the HBMO and many other things in life. Most importantly, I want to thank Jeff for welcoming my son Hunter into his home as if he was a member of his family. Hunt loved Zanman so so much. Thank you Zanman!”
– Dona Burton, HBMO Founder

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Jeff Zandi has no peer and no equal. His devotions to God, to his family, and to Magic are unmatched. He has positively impacted an overwhelming number of lives in his short time on this planet and his always positive energy will be greatly missed.

Zanman left us last night on February 15th after suffering a heart attack. His wife Willa and son Lawson appreciate your thoughts and your prayers during this time.

Jeff 5

2019 Pre-Registration Is Live

It’s finally here! The 2019 Hunter Burton Memorial Open is exactly one month away and we have everything you need for registration right here.

First, just in case you didn’t already know, this year’s event is on March 16th & 17th at the Hurst Conference Center in Hurst, Texas. In addition to it being a two-day event, this year we have added our Texas-Sized Welcome Party on Friday, March 15th at the Hilton Hotel connected to the event.


Discount rooms are available until February 22nd at the connected Hilton Hotel. Each room has a fridge, microwave and coffee maker. Parking is covered and FREE all weekend. There is direct access from parking garage to your floor for convenience. The facility also has an indoor 24-Hour pool and hot tub. The hotel Restaurant serves breakfast starting early and a bar to relax at in the evening.



Now, I’m sure you want all the details before you register right? Well here is everything you need to know about registering for the event:

– Entry into any 1 event on Saturday or Sunday
– 1 Ticket to the invite only Texas-Sized Welcome Party on Friday, March 15th
– 1 HBMO Custom Playmat from ARG (pictured below)
– 1 Retro 51 Custom HBMO Fine Writing Pen (pictured below)
– Access to a VIP only room with unlimited coffee and water on Saturday & Sunday
– VIP Only check-in line at the event
– Participation Bag with Legion Sleeves & Deck Box and Ultra-Pro Relic Tokens & Life Pad.

HunterBurton_virtual-1 playmat4


Modern $10k Main Event – $50.00 (Star City Games SUPER IQ)
– Entry into the Modern Format $10k tournament on Saturday, March 16th
– Participation Bag with Legion Sleeves & Deck Box and Ultra-Pro Relic Tokens & Life Pad.
(This event cuts to the top 64 who will play on Sunday)
(Sponsored by Legion Supplies, Ultra-Pro Supplies, & Wizards of the Coast)

Standard $5k Main Event – $40.00 (Star City Games SUPER IQ)
– Entry into the Modern Format $10k tournament on Saturday, March 16th
– Participation Bag with Legion Sleeves & Deck Box and Ultra-Pro Relic Tokens & Life Pad.
(Sponsored by Legion Supplies, Ultra-Pro Supplies, & Wizards of the Coast)

Texas-Sized Welcome Party – $60.00 (Extremely Limited)
– Casual lite dinner and a beverage included (Beer or wine available for ages 21+)
– Live Music and entertainment
– Exclusive silent auctions
– Meet VIP Guests such as Gerry Thompson, Bryan Gottlieb, DeQuan Watson, and others
– Chat with vendors, sponsors, volunteers, the HBMO team and other HBMO contributors
– A +1 ticket can be purchased for an additional $40.00 during registration

There are plenty of other events happening at the 2019 Hunter Burton Memorial Open!

Saturday, March 16th
12:00pm – Standard Format $1k Tournament (Sponsored by the GAM Podcast, Seattle)
12:00pm Legacy Format $1k Tournament (Sponsored by Card Kingdom, Seattle)
Commander Pods
Sit-n-go Booster Draft Pods
High-Roller Draft (You’ll have to be at the event to get the details!)

Sunday, March 17th
Modern Format $1k Tournament (Sponsored by Park Hill Portraits, Ft. Worth)
Two-Headed Giant Special Event (Sponsored by Direct Damage Cast, West Coast)
Commander Pods
Sit-n-go Booster Draft Pods

6th Annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open
March 15th – 17th, 2019
Hurst Conference Center
1601 Campus Drive

Sponsored By:




2019 Sponsor Spotlight Series: Alter Reality Games

Every year we highlight and honor our top sponsors and contributors with our Sponsor Spotlight Series. These articles give you a deeper look at the amazing people and companies that make the annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open happen! Please take time to check out their website and their work to thank them for helping spread awareness about suicide in the gaming community!

Today’s spotlight is ALTER REALITY GAMES based in Cleveland, Ohio!


Jim McMahan wanted to have something to do in retirement so Alter Reality Games (ARG) opened April 15, 2001 and started as a hobby, toy memorabilia store in Cleveland, Ohio. Sports memorabilia in Cleveland however just wasn’t doing well, so the company began to sell Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z and Magic the Gathering. Soon following in 2002 the YuGiOh trading card game arrived onto the scene in the United States and that is when most people around the world got to know ARG. After nearly 10 years, in 2013 ARG did the unthinkable! Listening to so many players ask why YuGiOh didn’t offer larger cash tournaments like companies do for other games like Magic, they launched the ARG Circuit Series.

“Today, I like to describe the Circuit Series as how ARG specializes in all games smaller than Magic, but the secret weapon that makes our company so strong is that we are a major player in the MTG vending community. For the past 13 years my partner Brad has been able to run the card side of business and I am able to focus on the Circuit Series.”
– Jim McMahan (President & Founder of Alter Reality Games)

Fast approaching his company’s 20th anniversary, Jim has expanded and adapted once again! In 2018 the company started ARG Customs. It focuses on custom cloth and rubber playmats as well as store and team Jerseys.

“Being able to print our own playmats is a huge cost saver and allows us to be more versatile in things like promotional items and advertising.” – Jim McMahan

On top of launching a new side of the company, in 2018 ARG helped launch the Dragon Ball Super Card Game alongside Bandai in the United States. Adding it to Circuit Series events was just the tip of the spear as throughout the year ARG ran all large-scale organized play for the game including massive regional level events with upwards of 500 players!

“We had a lot of success on the tournament scene as Bandai might just have their most popular US TCG in their history. What might be the most exciting thing yet is the future. We plan on making Dragon Ball Super stronger, growing ARG Customs as well as taking the Circuit Series to new levels.” – Jim McMahan

Are you ready for the shocker? ARG hasn’t stopped at there! It was hinted and later announced in late 2018 that Alter Reality Games would be launching their own trading card game, Argent Saga. A trading card game that is  being hailed as a game by gamers, for gamers.

“Argent Saga is created by gamers we have met over the years. The management team for the game was hand selected by me. We also plan on showcasing players that play trading card games in the Argent Saga TCG and the lore we will introduce.”
– Jim McMahan

The Hunter Burton Memorial Open is proud to have Jim and Brad from Alter Reality Games as part of this year’s event on March 16th & 17th at the Hurst Conference Center in Hurst, Texas. As an amazing contribution, ARG Customs has donated the VIP Playmat for this year’s event.

(Playmat design by Brian Valdez)

“Suicide has not personally touched me, but I have seen how suicide has affected those who loved ones have committed suicide. I love when our communities come together and gamers give back.  I feel like ARG is in a position to do our small part and hopefully help bring awareness to prevent suicide.  We need to learn the warning signs and effective interventions to help.” – Jim McMahan

“I am so thrilled to have ARG on board for this year’s event. Jim and I have had the pleasure of working together over a number of years now and to have he and Brad be a part of something so special to me is just an amazing feeling. I can’t thank them enough for the charity work they do and for making such a big impact on our 2019 HBMO!”
– Erin Giddings (Director of Operations for HBMI)

Make sure you check out for all of your CCG/TCG needs!

Jim Brad ARG

A Best Friend’s Perspective: Alex’s Story

This is a piece written by Alex Huebner, a best friend of Hunter’s. This is his (mostly unfiltered) story about his time with Hunter Burton. 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!


I remember the very last time I saw Hunter Burton and that thought has haunted me ever since. We had not spoken in a while when he happened to show up to a booster draft at our local game store Area 51 in Grapevine, Texas. We caught up and the last thing I said to Hunter was “see you later.” Unfortunately, I was wrong; I wasn’t aware of how Hunter was struggling internally because he was always one to keep his feelings inside. To Hunter, it was the macho thing to do. We would lightly discuss issues we were having but wouldn’t get too personal because we didn’t want to seem “vulnerable.”

I first met Hunter when I was 15 at Shotokan Anime in Hurst, Texas and I wasn’t too fond of him at the start. He was very abrasive and could sometimes just be a downright jerk. It wasn’t until later that I realized that’s just how Hunter was; if he liked you, he would poke fun at you and, if he didn’t, then he wouldn’t talk to you at all. By the time I was 17 we had come to understand each other and were hanging out from time to time at the shop, but eventually Shotokan closed and we all went our separate ways. A few months later Collectibles Continuum opened up in downtown Mansfield and a mutual friend of ours, Jason Tams, convinced me to check it out since it was close to where we lived. I remember walking in and seeing Ian Jasheway and Hunter sitting there playing magic and thinking it was weird since Ian and Hunter didn’t really get along.

After several months of us playing magic together at Collectibles Continuum we became a very unlikely group of friends called “The Trio,”. We had a lot of good times together, whether it be sitting in Hunter’s car bumming Wi-Fi from whatever local store we could get it from, going bowling, or seeing movies with Jeff Zandi. We were a bunch of goons. One time, Ian jumped off his garage to sneak out of his house to hang out with me, and when I told Hunter about it, he obviously needed to see this. The next night Hunter and I were dropping Ian off and then planning to go do something and Ian wanted to join us, so Hunter pressured him into jumping off of his garage again, and at the highest point, telling him “If you land and roll you will be fine.” Long story short Ian shattered his foot and ended up in a wheelchair for several months. Hunter felt bad but would never admit it, but he made sure to go out of his way from then on to help Ian travel and hang out.

My favorite memory I have of Hunter goes back to when we were younger. I received a phone call from Hunter around 9pm telling me that he would be at my apartment in 30 minutes and that he had a surprise. Hunter showed up with 2 six packs of beer and said we were going to have a race to see who could finish theirs first. Me being young and not used to drinking lost the race pretty quickly. After we were finished Hunter said, “Let’s go play laser tag.” We hitched a ride and went to the arcade by my house. While we thought we were hot stuff and winning the laser tag war, it turned out that we had not hit a single person the whole game. All we could do was laugh. Afterwards we decided it was time to get some food in our stomachs, so we could sober up, so obviously we went to Waffle House. I was a little too intoxicated, so I went to the restroom and threw up so loud that everyone in the waffle house heard me. Hunter of course thought it was hilarious.

I am both Honored and sorrowful to be writing this article. I have written a little in my life, but nothing has felt more important than this. I learned a lot from knowing Hunter, and the most important thing I learned from all of this is to never take someone for granted because you never know what someone is going through even if they look fine on the outside. I have since learned to live in the moment and take nothing for granted and I want anyone that needs someone to talk to, or even just someone to listen to, to know that I am here for them.


Thanks Alex for that really touching piece! We all look forward to seeing you at this year’s Hunter Burton Memorial Open to hear more stories about your times with Hunter!

If you are suffering, don’t hold it in. It’s okay to talk about it! Call the National Suicide Hotline to get the help you deserve!  1-800-273-8255