Tag Archives: Hunter Burton Memorial Open

Choose The HBMO on Amazon Smile!

Did you know that you can choose Hunter Burton Memorial Inc. as your charity of choice on Amazon.com? That’s right! Your normal shopping online could donate money to Hunter Burton Memorial Inc. at NO COST TO YOU!!!

Here are some details about how it works and how you can set it up on your account:

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from over one million organizations to support.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?

On your first visit to AmazonSmile smile.amazon.com, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.


How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.


You can donate and contribute to suicide awareness and prevention just by shopping normally online. It may not seem like much, but to our foundation it means the world! Thank you so much for your continued support!

To see more information about the Amazon Smile program and receive additional details please visit  https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/

ZanMan Goes to GP Las Vegas

Team member Jeff Zandi attended the Magic the Gathering Grand Prix in Las Vegas earlier this year and repped his HBMO gear all the way. Here’s his recap:

Grand Prix Las Vegas

Magic events don’t get any bigger than at a Grand Prix, and nothing’s bigger than a Las Vegas Grand Prix. I couldn’t wait to get on the plane. Five nights and six days in sunny Las Vegas, spreading the word about the Hunter Burton Memorial Open all along the way. I wore a different HBMO t-shirt each day in Vegas, starting of course with the dark green 2014 shirt from our first-ever event. Here is the tale of my five day adventure at Grand Prix Las Vegas.

It seems like a natural fit, big-time Magic in the city where gaming happens 24-7. Wizards of the Coast wasn’t always sure that “Sin City” was a good fit for their family-friendly image. Long ago, in 2001, Las Vegas hosted their first Grand Prix. 462 players played Extended constructed. It would be twelve long years before Vegas got another chance to host big-time Magic. In 2013, Las Vegas hosted its second Grand Prix, this time featuring Modern Masters sealed deck and booster draft. It was the largest-ever Magic tournament with 4500 players. Two years later, lightning struck for a second time. Grand Prix Las Vegas 2015 featured Modern Masters 2015 and was so large it had to be cut into two separate events. The combined attendance set another record with nearly 8000 players. The Grand Prix returned to the Nevada desert again last year. This time, the draw wasn’t another Masters set, but three separate Grand Prix events running back-to-back-to-back. A Legacy Grand Prix started on Thursday, June 15th, with 2656 players. A day later, a limited GP with 2692 players. Finally, a colossal Modern GP began on Saturday with 3401 players. It was the biggest week of competitive Magic ever held in a single location.

Thursday at the Grand Prix

When the mega-huge halls opened at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday, June 14th, I was confronted by an eight-foot-tall Karn, Scion of Urza. There will be dozens of Magic cosplayers at the event this week but none as imposing or impressive as this one.

Jeff Zandi and Karn in 2014 HBMO shirt

This year’s Grand Prix Las Vegas started off with a bang on Thursday with a day full of special qualifying tournaments for a Beta booster draft to take place on Sunday evening after the end of the GP main events. There were eight qualifying tournaments, each limited to 256 players. The winner of each of these eight qualifying tournaments would take part in a historic Rochester draft Sunday night using extremely rare Beta booster packs, Magic’s very first edition from twenty-five years ago.

I’m playing in the first Beta qualifier, bright and early on Thursday morning. My event is Dominaria sealed deck and I get a reasonable green and black deck splashing blue for Cloudreader Sphinx, Tatyova, Benthic Druid and In Bolas’s Clutches on the back of three Islands and one Grow from the Ashes. My deck is bomb-free and not amazing. My hits are Phyrexian Scriptures and Urgoros, the Empty one along with Sporecrown Thallid with three spells that make Saproling tokens. Going 5-0 will be difficult. This event reached its player cap of 256 players and we are only playing five rounds of Swiss before the top eight. It’s necessary to go 5-0 in order to reach the top eight. Then you have to win the top eight Dominaria draft in order to qualify for Sunday’s Beta Rochester draft. It’s a serious challenge but an attractive enough one to attract a lot of Pro Tour talent.

playing next to David Williams

After winning round one 2-1 against Joe Dubois from Boston and his blue/white deck, I find myself seating one table over from my old friend David Williams. Nowadays, David crushes poker tournaments, Magic tournaments and televised cooking competitions. Over twenty years ago, David was the eighth (and youngest) member of the Texas Guildmages while he was still in high school. A lot has happened since then. He told me a week ago that his highest priority at Grand Prix Las Vegas was to win one of these Beta qualifiers. I hope he gets there. In round two I play against Amos Montineau from Utah. There are a lot of Utah players here this week, Amos says he only had to drive about three hours to get to Vegas. I give Amos one of the 2018 commemorative poker chips from February’s fifth annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open and explain to him how our Magic community in Texas is trying to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention. I brought enough poker chips to give one to everybody that I play throughout the GP. Amos is playing white/green and I’m fortunate to get past him 2-1. I lose in round three to Kyle Montgomery. He’s in town for both the Grand Prix as well as the World Series of Poker. I defeat a local player in round four, Michael Blair, and then intentionally draw with my opponent in round five to finish 3-1-1. My man Dave was 4-0 but lost in the last round.

Friday at the World Series of Poker

My pal Hunter loved poker, though not as much as Magic. Hunter was a good poker player. It’s kind of amazing that he never decided to play in the World Series of Poker. The World Series of Poker has taken place every year in Las Vegas since Benny Binion hosted the first one at the Horseshoe in what is now old downtown Las Vegas in 1970. Today, the World Series of Poker is composed by a series of tournaments starting at the end of May and running to the middle of July. Grand Prix Las Vegas inevitably overlaps with several of the WSOP events.

I have wanted to play in the World Series since back in 1999 when the movie Rounders came out and me and a lot of my Magic buddies went poker-crazy. Back then, if we weren’t traveling to a Magic event on Friday night, the gang was playing poker at my house. My wife was putting up with a houseful of Magic players two and three nights a week. Three years ago, I decided to finally try my luck at the World Series. 2015 was the first year of a new very large event in the WSOP called The Colossus. It set the record for the most players in a single poker tournament. I also played in the Grand Prix that week, of course, which also set a record for biggest Magic tournament. A certain number of players, like myself, were in both record-setting events. I’d love to know how many played in both.

HBMO poker chip on steps of World Series of Poker

It’s been years since the World Series was played downtown at the Horseshoe. Today, the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is the home of the World Series of Poker. The tournaments are so large that they create a special entrance on the back of the Rio just for World Series players.

Jeff Zandi in 2015 HBMO shirt

My partner in crime this weekend is Maitland Griffith. He’s a committed competitive Magic player. I haven’t been able to pull him into poker yet. Late on Thursday afternoon, he rode over to the Rio with me so that I could sign up for Friday’s poker tournament. Then he and I took a very short cab right over to Caesars Palace to eat the best buffet on the strip.

The World Series of Poker is well-organized and as I find my seat on Friday morning, the parallels between large poker tournaments and large Magic tournaments are everywhere. At a big Magic tournament they try to have a judge for every 25-30 Magic players. At the World Series, obviously, they have to have a dealer at every table for every nine or ten poker players. The announcements at the beginning of the tournament remind me of those at a Magic tournament. There are some dos and don’ts, and then the head official tells the dealers to “shuffle up and deal.”

In my tournament, each player started with 5000 in chips. The starting blinds (forced bets) were twenty-five and fifty. The blinds bets were raised every hour, or level. Every two levels, there was a twenty minute break. I survived the first two levels, and the second two levels. I was moved to another table at the start of level five and never got a good footing there. I was knocked out halfway through level six, at which point the blinds were 150 and 300 and at which point there was an ante of fifty in chips for every player every hand.

I wasn’t happy to get knocked out of the poker tournament but the experience was very satisfying and I know I’ll be back to play in another World Series of Poker event next year. It’s the second most fun thing you can do with cards after Magic.

Saturday at the Grand Prix

It’s Saturday at the Grand Prix, the first day of the limited event. There are 2000 sealed deck players today. Everyone who is 6-2 or better after eight rounds will qualify to return for day two, which will be all booster draft. We’re playing with Dominaria again, just like the sealed deck Beta qualifier that I played on Thursday. Yesterday, 2700 players participated in day one of the Modern main event. My roommate Maitland Griffith went 7-1 and is battling in day two of that event today while I play sealed deck.

Jeff Zandi in 2016 HBMO shirt

My card pool for this tournament is not exciting. As much as I love to play red cards in general, I don’t like red as a main color in Dominaria sealed deck. However, in this particular pool of six booster packs, the best two colors are red and blue. I’m playing Traxos, Scourge of Kroog with ten other historic spells with which to untap it. I have Forebear’s Blade, and Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp, and Adeliz, the Cinder Wind. I have Fight with Fire and Ghitu Chronicler to get back Fight with Fire. I splashed black for two cards, Cast Down and Rona, Disciple of Gix. The worst cards in my deck are a pair of Short Sword cards that I’m playing to help me with Traxos, Zahid and Valduk, Keeper of the Flame. The deck is fine, but it’s not good.

Officially, I entered today’s GP with no byes. Then my first round opponent doesn’t show up for the match. That’s a first round bye in my book. I win round two against another citizen from Utah, a guy named Doug. Then I meet Brandon from northern California in round three. I win game one but lose the match. Brandon still gets a poker chip. I win round four against Jeremy from Minnesota. He’s genuinely interested in coming down to Texas to play in the next Hunter Burton Memorial Open. Connor McKay tells me that he is from “west of the Rockies” when we play in round five. Again, I win game one but lose the match. I’m 3-2 now and one more loss will sink my dreams of drafting on day two. Justin from Salt Lake City takes me down in round six. Once again, I win game one only to be overturned in games two and three.

Sunday in the Pro Tour Qualifier

The thing I would most like to be doing on Sunday at Grand Prix Las Vegas is participating in the Beta booster draft. That’s not going to happen. The next best thing I could be doing is playing in day two of the sealed deck Grand Prix that started yesterday. That isn’t going to happen, either. If I had excelled in the Senior event of the World Series of Poker, I’d could be looking at a very good payday today. That also isn’t going to happen. Instead, I’m taking one more shot at Dominaria sealed deck today in a Pro Tour Qualifier. Not a PPTQ, a real PTQ. The winner of this tournament qualifies for the Pro Tour and wins a travel award. It’s the real deal. I’m excited to take one more shot in one of the best sealed deck formats in a very long time. Dominaria was a wonderful twenty-fifth birthday present from Wizards of the Coast to all of us.

Hunter Burton would have loved this weekend. I admit, it would have been easy for non-Magic adventures in Las Vegas to have distracted him from the Magic-related adventures. That’s a factor that everyone over twenty-one has to deal with at Grand Prix Las Vegas. If he could have been here, however, Hunter would have loved all the Magic events this week. One thing that I always appreciated about Hunter was that he liked all the competitive forms of Magic. He played tons and tons of constructed, but was always thrilled to booster draft as well. Sealed deck was a distant third choice for Hunter, but if he were here at the GP with me, I know he would have rolled up his sleeves (just kidding, Hunter didn’t wear shirts with sleeves) and battled some Dominaria sealed with me.

Joining me in Sunday’s sealed deck adventure is Maitland Griffith. He just missed on a high finish at the Modern Grand Prix yesterday right up until the very last round of day two. One day later, he’s shaken off the disappointment and is ready to battle once again. His wife arrived late yesterday and helped to cheer him up. She’s pretty amazing. She shared their leftover bacon with me this morning. It’s easy to make friends with me if you have bacon.

My sealed pool is not amazing. The two colors that go together the best and offer the most utility are black and green. That means I can play exactly one of my seven rares (I opened a foil rare). It’s a decent one, Phyrexian Scriptures. I also have a couple of very good uncommons including The Eldest Reborn, Icy Manipulator and Grunn, the Lonely King. On the sideline are two rare dual lands, Benalish Marshal, The Mirari Conjecture, Grand Warlord Radha and Verix Bladewing. Verix Bladewing costs 2RR but I still thought long and hard about how to splash for it. I know I made the right decision sticking to black and green.

Jeff Zandi in 2017 HBMO shirt

My first opponent is Jefferson from Salt Lake City. I’ve been running into people from Utah all weekend. He’s playing green/blue and I win 2-0 fairly easily. In round two it’s Anton from Kentucky with white/black. Our three games are grindy as hell and he wins game three with very little time left on the clock. I’m 1-1 now and probably out of contention for the top eight. They structure these Sunday PTQs at Grand Prixs in such a way that if the event maxes out you have to go 6-0 to qualify for the top eight. This event did not reach maximum capacity so there is some chance that one loss could top eight, although it’s unlikely. We’re basically playing for prize wall tickets now.

In round three I meet Eduardo from Mexico. He wins game one easily with his black/blue deck. When he’s about to lose game two, I believe my opponent tried to cheat. He stacked up his lands and thought for a long time, then played two cards for which he needed a total of nine mana. My radar was tingling as soon as he stacked up his lands. I asked him to spread out his lands so that I could see that he had enough mana to pay for both spells. He did so. That’s when I noticed that he needed for three of his nine lands to make black mana for the two spells he played. He only had two lands that made black, as it turned out. Huh. When I pointed out the problem he quickly scooped up his cards. I know exactly what he did and I might be able to prove it but I didn’t call a judge. I don’t think the case is going to be strong enough to definitely get him disqualified. So we play game three, but it’s not fun at all because I’m having to watch Eduardo extra closely. I don’t think we had any issues in game three and I squeaked out the win with just minutes remaining.

My round four opponent is a friend, Bryan Spellman from Denver. Bryan is a level three judge whom I was introduced to by Joe Klopchic back when both of them were mere level two judges like myself. I love it when judges are good at competitive Magic, and Bryan certainly is. Bryan is a brooder, and he is not thrilled to have to play me this round. He knows how much I love limited in general and sealed deck in particular. It doesn’t help his mood when Joe Klopchic comes around in a rather jovial mood. That’s not where Bryan’s at, however, Bryan is all business. Now Bryan and I are men of science and don’t believe in luck, but Bryan certainly did mulligan to five cards on the play in games one and two and lost both of them.

In round five I meet Brandon from Denver, he tells me that he is familiar with Bryan Spellman’s excellent judge work there, as well as Scott Marshall, one of my great judge heroes. Brandon’s deck is black and green like mine and we play three very long games in which we each use almost every card in our decks. Each of us is choosing to draw when possible. He wins game two and I choose to have him play first in game three. He mulligans and goes on to lose just barely. I play a gentleman from Japan in round six, he is also 4-1. He’s a good player but we have a little trouble understanding each other and it makes our games move a little slowly. I manage to defeat his black/white deck in two games.

It’s so unlikely that I could get into the top eight at 5-1 that my sixth round opponent and I go ahead and cross the gigantic tournament floor to pick up our prize tickets without much regard for the Swiss results of the tournament to be posted soon. I run into Maitland at the prize wall and he convinces me to at least go back to the tournament area and check on those standings. You have to understand the scale of these Las Vegas Grand Prix events. The area where the PTQ is being held and the booth where you pick up prize tickets and the prize wall are all in the same room, but it’s a room big enough to park a pair of Boeing 747s in. Possibly three jumbo jets would fit in here. It’s been a long weekend and I’m limping a little as I head back to the PTQ stage just as Swiss results are being posted. I finish in fifteenth place with fifteen points. The top eight included three 6-0s and five 5-0-1s. It’s possible one of those draws was not intentional. It’s not a top eight, and it’s not a tournament win, but it’s a decent way to finish four days of competition.

Joe Klopchic and I spend the evening checking out an excellent Asian-fusion restaurant that happens to be hiding out in a terrible tiny casino far off the strip. The restaurant is called Fat Choy and it came highly recommended by David Williams, who definitely knows where all the good food is in Vegas. Joe and I each had two pork belly bao (pictured) and then he had a noodle dish and I had a rice bowl. The place has a very simple menu that includes what I’m told are some very decent hamburgers and sandwiches as well as modern Asian dishes. It was wonderful and strangely cheap. It’s located in the Eureka Casino on East Sahara Avenue a mile or so east of the strip. I’ll definitely eat at this place again the next time I’m in town.

Joe Klopchic at Fat Choy

The rest of the evening is spent doing low-impact gambling back at the Westgate where Maitland and I stayed both this year and last. Maitland and the missus went to a different Asian restaurant from the list Dave gave us and they had a fabulous meal as well. At some point, the long weekend catches up to you. My plane doesn’t leave until the early afternoon, I don’t need to turn in early, but I’m just plain tired.

On Monday morning, I make the most of my last day in Vegas. I get one more swim in at the Westgate, then I pack up my stuff. That’s no easy task. The idea is to underpack for the Grand Prix so that you have room in your bags to take stuff home with you. I have swag from the Grand Prix, swag from the World Series of Poker and lots and lots of cards and card boxes. My suitcase is so full it’s about to explode and I’m worried I’ll be forced to check it when they see it at the gate.

Jeff Zandi in 2018 HBMO shirt

I think about my friend Hunter as I take my last cab ride of the trip from the Westgate to the airport around lunch time. Hunter and I never did Vegas together, but I know he would have enjoyed this trip. It’s strange the way that some people’s memory just stays with you, sticks to you, in a way that others just don’t. They say that you never make friends when you’re an adult the way you did when you were a kid in school. That’s been pretty true for me. Of course I’ve made lots and lots of friends through Magic, all of which I met after my thirtieth birthday, but really close relationships have been few and far between. I think about Hunter all the time, partially because of my involvement with the annual charity event, obviously. I think about Hunter all the time, but I really don’t think about the way that we lost him, which, of course, was suicide. It’s my friend and the way that he lived that’s important to me, not the way that he died.

The New HBM Outreach Program!

Hunter Burton Memorial Inc. is excited to announce that it will begin a new step in its outreach program for suicide awareness. Starting in November of 2018, the HBMI team will begin venturing out to stores during special advertised events and talking to stores and their players about what the internal store communities can do to help those who might be struggling.

“This initiative will change the dynamic of what we do as a foundation. It moves us forward to the next step in uniting the gaming community across the country in the battle to prevent suicide.”
– Erin Giddings
Director of Operations for Hunter Burton Memorial Inc.

“The goal of the foundation is to bring awareness to a major at-risk community all the while celebrating Hunter Burton. This new outreach program will help us do both!”
– Dona Burton
Founder/Treasurer of Hunter Burton Memorial Inc.

What exactly will this new program entail and how can you be involved? We’re glad you asked! Here are some of the details so far:

  1. What it is: Stores/Businesses can sign up across the country to host a special HBM Outreach Event. These can be any type of positive atmosphere event including a gaming tournament, meetup, casual gaming session, mixer, etc. and is not just limited to Magic the Gathering.
  2. How to do it: For a business to sign up they simply need to email HunterBurtonMO@gmail.com about their interest and the event idea they have in mind. If/When accepted there is a form to fill out. This form and at least a $100 donation will be returned to HBMI and the event scheduled.
  3. What it entails: The business will get advertising on the Hunter Burton Memorial Open website as well as the Hunter Burton Memorial Inc, website. In addition they will be listed as a sponsor for the 2019 Hunter Burton Memorial Open for their tax deductible donation. Of course there will also be a FREE entry into ANY ONE EVENT at the 2019 HBMO held on March 16th and 17th to either a winner or lucky participant. Last but not least, stores in Texas (and other states depending on schedule and accommodations) will have a member of the Hunter Burton Team visit during the event to talk to the attendees about what they can do to help their fellow community members and do their part to maybe save a life.

Are you a player who wants this event at your game store or business? Ask your store about hosting one of these outreach events. The more players that ask about it, the more likely the store is to want to participate! Scheduling begins October 1st, 2018 so start talking to them today!

Are you a business that is interested in holding one of these events? Contact us today to see what we can set up. We are always looking for non-gaming partners such as breweries, restaurants, coffee shops, stores and more! We want to work with you!

Spread the word, the HBM is coming to a store near you very soon!

Following Helps the Cause

With the planning behind the scenes in full swing, the team here at Hunter Burton Memorial Inc. want to make sure you stay up to date on all the HBMO news. To do that, we are ramping up our campaign on the web and social media to keep you informed.

With that said, right now the biggest thing you could do to help us out is to follow our channels. We are on almost every platform so feel free to choose those that work best for you (or all of them if you are so bold!) From all of us here on the team, we thank you!

Facebook: @HunterBurtonMemorial
(See our updates and connect with our team directly)

Twitch:  https://www.twitch.tv/hunterburtonmemorialopen
(Watch the HBMO and soon to be announced content LIVE!)

Twitter:  @HunterBMemOpen

SnapChat:  HBmemlopen-mtg
(Live content including updates from our team and motivational stories)

Instagram:  HunterBurtonMemorialOpen
(Pictures and news updates)

And most importantly, don’t forget to subscribe here on our website to get all of the news stories directly to your email inbox before they post anywhere else!

March will be here before you know it… Get ready!IMG_2779

The Biggest HBMO Ever Is Coming: 2019

Today marks a historic day for the Hunter Burton Memorial Open. For us (the HBMO event team) it is truly an amazing time for us. We can finally share with you the overall plans and date for the 2019 event!

We are unable to start talking about our 2019 event however without first taking the time to once again thank all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors, partners, and most of all the players and attendees who donated to the 2018 Hunter Burton event. Without you, the upcoming event wouldn’t be possible.

A quick note from Dona Burton herself:

“The 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open was by far the most amazing year so far. The support of not only the Magic the Gathering community but also the volunteers, sponsors, and contributors was phenomenal to say the least. I am speechless with regards to how amazing the 2019 event is already shaping up to be. I truly believe everyone will be just as amazed and excited as I am for the coming year.”

Now, without further delay let’s get started with the big news as there is just so much to announce!

The 2019 Hunter Burton Memorial Open will be at the Hurst Conference Center in Hurst, Texas on…


MARCH 16th & 17th, 2019



It’s a Two-Day Event!

That’s right, for the first time EVER the Hunter Burton Memorial Open will be a two-day event! This means more big events, more prizes, and more reasons to attend. These additional events won’t just be limited to Magic the Gathering.
That’s not all however as we have more amazing news to tell you. So…Much…More!

With the addition of a second day we are finally able to have the Saturday Modern $10k tournament that will continue on day two. This will allow competitors to play a set number of rounds on day one followed by a reasonable night’s sleep with the conclusion Sunday morning. Yes, you read that correctly. The 2019 Hunter Burton Memorial will feature a Modern Format $10k on Saturday with its conclusion on Sunday!

Sunday Will Be Just As Big For Everyone!

So now you ask, “what about the rest of us on Sunday?!” Well we have now added (and you may want to sit down for this one)… a Standard $5k tournament on Sunday! Yes, you are reading that right! Sunday is a Standard Format $5,000 tournament open to everyone.

That’s A Lot Of Big News So Surely That’s It Right?

HA! No way! We have a whole list of things to announce. So many in fact that we are just going to number them off one by one so you can easily digest each and every bit:

There will be MAJOR side events on both Saturday and Sunday. That includes Legacy, Modern and Standard formats as well as Drafts and Commander. As we get closer we’ll announce these events but it’s safe to assume that if you play Magic the Gathering you will have plenty of reasons to attend both days!
We would also like to announce that the side events will now be held in a separate area from the main events. This will allow for better communication, staffing of judges and overall better organization without such low player caps.

We received your feedback about the food options at the 2018 event. Unfortunately due to some miscommunications last year the concession options were not as we expected and were not up to a standard we would have liked. Because of this we are working closely with the Hurst Conference Center to ensure the 2019 food options are much improved.

In 2019 we will have more vendors at the event for all attendees to shop from. In addition, we will have some great new sponsors coming on board (some pretty big names) adding major contributions to the cause.
If you would like your store or business to be involved, contact us! The upcoming 2019 event will have more opportunities to be involved for businesses and individual volunteers.

As with anything this far in advance some things could change, but here is a list of important dates to bookmark so you can stay up to speed on what’s happening and when!
– Begin Accepting Donations – June 1st
– Begin Accepting Vendor Applications – June 30th
– Begin Accepting Sponsorships – July 31st
– Begin Accepting Volunteer Applications – September 15th
VIP Registration Opens – November 1st
Pre-registration Opens – December 15th
HBMO Happens March 16th & 17th

This year we are making a greater push to do more things for the cause of suicide awareness and prevention. To do this we are starting a string of new initiatives including satellite events in stores (not just in the Dallas area) as well as a new and improved social media campaign. There we will be very open and honest about the behind the scenes of the HBMO and begin allowing Erin Giddings (our Event Coordinator) to start including “Real Talk” segments. These will be very direct videos and messages about the cause in an effort to connect all year long with our audience and do our best to make a positive impact on the community. These new initiatives  are just a first step on our mission to spread awareness.


There is so much more in the works behind the scenes that we just can’t share… yet. That said, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to our blog (right here on the website homepage) to get all the news directly to your email inbox or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. We’ll have Twitter and Youtube coming soon as well!

Last but not least, here is something we need from you. Please help us by sharing this story on whatever your preferred social media platform is to help spread the word! Post it in your MTG groups, share it with your local game store, tell your friends next time you meet to cube draft. If everyone tells one person they know (or even someone they don’t know) about the 2019 HBMO, we would be eternally grateful!

Thank you from the bottom of our heart and we look forward to seeing you in March 2019!

Instagram: HunterBurtonMemorialOpen
Snapchat: HBmemlopen-MTG
Facebook: @HunterBurtonMemorial

The 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open Recap!

IMG_2779 IMG_2810 IMG_2805

After a full year of preparation, the 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open has now come and gone. This year’s event far surpassed the numbers of previous years hitting almost 600 unique attendees across the day! Between event entries, donations, and silent auctions, thousands of dollars were raised to help spread the awareness of suicide in the gaming community.

Let’s take a quick look back at our 2018 event!

As Sunday, February 25th drew near, registration across all of the HBMO events began to grow beyond initial expectations. Some of the larger side events even capped out prior to the morning of. The 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open was shaping up to be a very special and very important event!

By the time on-site registration closed Sunday morning, 427 players were entered into the Modern Format Main Event. Another 64 (capped number) were ready to play in the Standard PPTQ $1k event, and over 40 players signed up to battle in Legacy Format for a Beta Savannah and Gaea’s Cradle! It was shaping up to be a great day of gaming and a solid effort of spreading awareness for suicide prevention.

The opening ceremonies started at 9:15am and included a quick speech from our event coordinator, Erin Giddings about the importance of reaching out to let people know if you are suffering. With an inspirational start, head judge Joseph Klopchic followed it up with a brief yet precise players meeting to get round 1 of the main event underway.

Over the course of ten main event rounds the new banned list changes for Modern Format started to play out. It quickly became apparent that the hype surrounding Jace, the Mindsculptor and Bloodbraid Elf may have been overplayed just a little going into the first Modern event since their unbanning. As rounds went on a clear favorite emerged between the two, but not nearly as much as players may have expected.

Here are the top 8 decklists from the Modern Main Event!

  Guo Quan Lim – 1st Place     Joshua Willis – 2nd Place
4 Snapcaster Mage 4 Monastery Swiftspear
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion 4 Goblin Guide
2 Gideon of the Trials 4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Bolt 4 Rift Bolt
3 Lightning Helix 4 Lightning Helix
4 Path to Exile 4 Lava Spike
4 Spreading Seas 3 Skullcrack
2 Logic Knot 4 Boros Charm
3 Cryptic Command 3 Searing Blaze
2 Supreme Verdict 2 Shrine of Burning Rage
2 Search for Azcanta 3 Wooded Foothills
1 Secure the Wastes 3 Arid Mesa
1 Negate 3 Bloodstained Mire
4 Celestial Colonnade 1 Scalding Tarn
4 Scalding Tarn 2 Sacred Foundry
4 Flooded Strand 1 Stomping Ground
2 Steam Vents 4 Inspiring Vantage
2 Hallowed Fountain 3 Mountain
1 Sacred Foundry SIDEBOARD
3 Island 2 Path to Exile
1 Plains 3 Relic of Progenitus
2 Glacial Fortress 4 Destructive Revelry
2 Sulfur Falls 2 Kor Firewalker
SIDEBOARD 1 Searing Blaze
1 Eidolon of Rhetoric 2 Searing Blood
1 Celestial Purge 1 Skullcrack
1 Wear//Tear
1 Negate
2 Dispel
3 Spell Queller
1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Detention Sphere
1 Wrath of God
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Archangel Avacyn
  Gabriel Nicholas – 3rd Place
James Teeple – 4th Place
4 Ancient Ziggurat 4 Monstrous Carabid
4 Cavern of Souls 4 Street Wraith
4 Unclaimed Territory 4 Desert Cerodon
4 Horizon Canopy 4 Horror of the Broken Lands
1 Island 2 Archfiend of Ifnir
1 Plains 3 Beast Within
1 Seachrome Coast 3 Faerie Macabre
4 Aether Vial 4 Fulminator Mage
4 Thalia’s Lieutenant 3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Kitesail Freebooter 3 Living End
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben 4 Violent Outburst
4 Meddling Mage 3 Demonic Dread
4 Noble Hierarch 1 Kari Zev’s Expertise
4 Phantasmal Image 1 Stomping Ground
4 Mantis Rider 1 Overgrown Tomb
4 Champion of the Parish 1 Blood Crypt
4 Reflector Mage 1 Forest
1 Kessig Malcontents 2 Swamp
SIDEBOARD 4 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Mirran Crusader 4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Auriok Champion 3 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Gaddock Teeg 1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Xathrid Necromancer SIDEBOARD
2 Izzet Staticaster 3 Ricochet Trap
1 Kataki, War’s Wage 3 Shriekmaw
2 Sin Collector 3 Ingot Chewer
1 Vithian Renegades 3 Brindle Boar
2 Grafdigger’s Cage 2 Avalanche Riders
2 Dismember 1 Jund Charm
  Thomas Matchett – 5th Place   Bobby Deaton – 6th Place
2 Forest 4 Ethereal Armor
4 Urza’s Mine 4 Gladecover Scout
4 Urza’s Power Plant 4 Hyena Umbra
4 Urza’s Tower 4 Daybreak Coronet
4 Grove of the Burnwillows 4 Kor Spiritdancer
4 Ancient Stirrings 4 Slippery Bogle
4 Chromatic Sphere 4 Rancor
4 Chromatic Star 3 Gryff’s Boon
4 Relic of Progenitus 2 Spider Umbra
4 Expedition Map 3 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Sylvan Scrying 2 Spirit Mantle
3 Kozilek’s Return 2 Path to Exile
3 Blood Sun 1 Misty Rainforest
2 World Breaker 1 Dryad Arbor
3 Wurmcoil Engine 1 Forest
4 Karn Liberated 1 Plains
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 1 Arid Mesa
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger 3 Razorverge Thicket
SIDEBOARD 4 Horizon Canopy
1 Kozilek’s Return 4 Temple Garden
1 Dismember 4 Windswept Heath
1 Crumble to Dust SIDEBOARD
2 Nature’s Claim 2 Gaddock Teeg
2 Oblivion Stone 2 Rest in Peace
3 Thragtusk 1 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Abrade 3 Stony Silence
3 Thought-Knot Seer 2 Seal of Primordium
2 Dromoka’s Command
1 Spirit Link
2 Path to Exile
Brock Mosley – 7th Place
  Minh Tran – 8th Place
1 Reclamation Sage 4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Primeval Titan 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder 4 Lightning Bolt
2 Anger of the Gods 4 Path to Exile
2 Khalni Heart Expedition 3 Cryptic Command
4 Lightning Bolt 3 Lightning Helix
1 Summoner’s Pact 3 Logic Knot
2 Explore 1 Negate
1 Primal Command 4 Serum Visions
2 Farseek 1 Secure the Wastes
4 Scapeshift 2 Search for Azcanta
4 Search for Tomorrow 2 Electrolyze
2 Courser of Kruphix 2 Supreme Verdict
3 Forest 1 Spell Snare
7 Mountain 4 Flooded Strand
2 Cinder Glade 4 Scalding Tarn
4 Stomping Ground 3 Celestial Colonnade
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle 1 Field of Ruin
3 Windswept Heath 1 Glacial Fortress
4 Wooded Foothills 2 Hallowed Fountain
SIDEBOARD 1 Sacred Foundry
1 Grafdigger’s Cage 2 Steam Vents
2 Chameleon Colossus 2 Sulfur Falls
2 Obstinate Baloth 3 Island
2 Tireless Tracker 1 Plains
1 Beast Within SIDEBOARD
1 Anger of the Gods 2 Engineered Explosives
1 Shatterstorm 1 Wear/Tear
1 Ancient Grudge 1 Settle the Wreckage
2 Relic of Progenitus 1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Crumble to Dust 1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Nature’s Claim 1 Negate
2 Dispel
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Geist of Saint Traft
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Celestial Purge
2018 Winner – Guo Quan Lim – Jeskai

IMG_2807  IMG_2801

IMG_2792  IMG_2790

IMG_2788 IMG_2785

IMG_2783 IMG_2782

Congratulations to all of the top competitors from the 2018 Hunter Burton Memorial Open! We look forward to seeing them back to defend their top spots next year.

As amazing as the event was, it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of some amazing sponsors! The Burton family and our entire staff would like to say thank you to the people who made this year possible:

Courtney Trotter     Tiffany Franzoni     Caroline Koch    Christina Cruz     Keaton Watson  Willa Zandi    Garrett Wilkinson   Jim Shuman    Jeff Zandi   Brian Valdez    Erin Giddings    Brian Augustine   Joe Klopchic   Emily Klopchic   Jeff Higgins   John White   John Trout  Johnathan Dean   Sydney Townley   Jarred Feight   Mitchell Nitz   Brian Leonard      Mikey Elwell    Josh McCurley   Matthew Hoskins   Sara Anderson   Emma Bareis   Tim Hardick

Ani Alters – Custom Altered Cards
AKON 29 – America’s Longest Running Anime Convention
Common Ground Games (Dallas, TX)
Darkhound Studios – Custom Gaming Supplies
Design Realm – Custom T-shirts, Decals & More
Doc’s Comics & Games (Frisco, TX)
Funimation Entertainment
Generation X Comics & Games (Bedford, TX)
Haus of Magic
Madness Comics & Games (Plano, TX) – One of America’s largest game stores!
Madness Comics & Games (Denton, TX)
Miniature Exchange LLC (Grand Prairie, TX)
Recycled Entertainment (Amarillo, TX)
Retro 1951 – Life’s too short to carry an ugly pen!
Star City Games.com
Ultra Pro – The best known brand in gaming supplies!
Wilkinson Rhodes Events
Wizards of the Coast
Cole Kirkman – In loving memory of Kelci Lawrence from her loving family
Emily Klopchic
Erin Giddings – In memory of William Brandon Mills
Joe Klopchic
Keaton Watson
Murdock Belt
Vickie Giddings
Warren Moody
… and a number of others who preferred to remain anonymous but whos contributions made a great difference in our event!

Last and certainly not least, a very special THANK YOU to the Burton family. Without the generous contribution of Greg, Dona, and Casey there would be no HBMO. This team is so grateful to be a part of this event and to help make a difference in the community that we love. Thank you for making the Hunter Burton Memorial Open a reality this year and for future years!

We appreciate all who attended this event and everyone who watched our live stream from around the world. The Hunter Burton Memorial Open will return in March of 2019 for an even bigger and better event! We look forward to seeing you there.

The 2018 HBMO held a large Legacy format event sponsored by Common Ground Games. Here are the top 4 decklists from that tournament!

Huang, Albert – 1st Place Lakhamni, Sherwin – 2nd Place
4 Omniscience 3 Mother of Runes
3 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn 1 Spirit of the Labyrynth
4 Force of Will 1 Sanctum Prelate
4 Cunning Wish 2 Mirran Crusaders
4 Show and Tell 2 Recruiter of the Guard
4 Lim-Dul’s Vault 2 Serra Avengers
4 Brainstorm 3 Phyrexian Revokers
4 Ponder 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Preordain 4 Stoneforge Mystics
4 Thoughtseize 4 Flickerwisp
1 Flusterstorm 4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Polluted Delta 4 Aether Vial
4 Scalding Tarn 1 Umezawa’s Jitte
2 Underground Sea 1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Volcanic Island 1 Batterskull
4 Island 9 Plains
1 Swamp 4 Rishadan Port
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All 4 Wasteland
3 City of Traitors 3 Karakas
SIDEBOARD 3 Cavern of Souls
3 Leyline of Sanctity SIDEBOARD
1 Echoing Truth 2 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Firemind’s Foresight 2 Containment Priest
1 Flusterstorm 2 Path to Exile
1 Hurkyl’s Recall 2 Council’s Judgement
1 Noxious Revival 2 Rest in Peace
1 Pyroblast 2 Surgical Extraction
1 Release the Ants 1 Palace Jailer
1 Rushing River 1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Surgical Extraction 1 Manriki-gusari
1 Through the Breach
1 Wipe Away
1 Eldamri’s Call
Williams, Keith – 3/4th Place Lupa, Micah – 3/4th Place
9 Plains 4 Dark Ritual
4 Wasteland 4 Cabal Ritual
4 Rishadan Port 4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
3 Karakas 4 Lotus Petal
1 Cavern of Souls 4 Brainstorm
1 Flagstones of Trokair 4 Ponder
1 Mishra’s Factory 4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Mother of Runes 2 Preordain
4 Thalia, Gurardian of Thraben 4 Infernal Tutor
4 Stoneforge Mystics 1 Past in flames
4 Flickerwisp 1 Tendrils of Agony
3 Phyrexian Revokers 1 Ad Naeseum
2 Recruiter of the Guard 1 Dark Petition
2 Mirran Crusaders 4 Cabal Therapy
1 Serra Avengers 3 Duress
1 Palace Jailer 1 Island
1 Sanctum Prelate 1 Swamp
4 Aether Vial 2 Underground Sea
1 Batterskull 1 Volcanic Island
1 Sword of Fire and Ice 1 Bayou
1 Umezawa’s Jitte 1 Tropical Island
4 Swords to Plowshares 4 Poluted Delta
SIDEBOARD 2 Bloodstained Mire
2 Cataclysm 2 Misty Rainforest
2 Council’s Judgement SIDEBOARD
2 Containment Priest 2 Xantid Storm
2 Rest in Peace 2 Ground Seal
1 Path to Exile 3 Abrupt Decay
1 Manriki-gusari 1 Empty the Warrens
1 Ethersworn Canonist 1 Toxic Deluge
1 Recruiter of the Guard 2 Fatal Push
1 Sword of the Light and Shadow 1 Echo’s Truth
1 Grafdigger’s Cage 2 Chain of Vapor
1 Surgical Extraction 1 Duress

A Recap: The First Ever Hunter Burton Memorial Magic Open

judge staff with trophy and motorcycle

The first Hunter Burton Memorial Open took place on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. There were 169 players at the inaugural event. The format was Standard for the eight Swiss rounds followed by a booster draft using the original Modern Masters set printed in 2013.

Hunter’s parents, Greg and Dona Burton, began work on this event over six months previous when they reached out to friends of Hunter’s. They wanted to create an annual event that would remember their son, who took his own life in July, 2013. The Burtons envisioned a tournament that would feature everything that Hunter loved about Magic. A competitive atmosphere and impressive prizes were a must. The Burton family delivered big time.

Five thousand dollars in cash prizes, all for the top eight finishers. A case of booster packs awarded to players outside of the top eight. An impressive trophy onto which the names of the top eight finishers would be engraved. A wristwatch valued at over a thousand dollars for the winner. Limited edition playmats and dice for the top eight finishers.

The playmats were not created specifically for this tournament. They were, in fact, from Grand Prix Richmond, which took place two weeks before the Hunter Burton Memorial. These playmats featured artwork from Eternal Witness, Hunter’s favorite Magic card. David Ashcraft, a local player and friend of Hunter’s, collected eight of these special playmats, at significant personal expense, and gave them to the tournament.

As a matter of fact, the image of Hunter’s favorite Magic card was everywhere at this event. On the top eight playmats, on small buttons given away by the event, painted on the custom Harley Davidson motorcycle brought into the hall by Hunter’s father Greg, and tattooed on the leg of Hunter’s sister, Casey Burton. At the end of the day, just for good measure, a single copy of Eternal Witness was found in the champion’s booster draft deck.

It was an extraordinary day of healing for Hunter’s family and for the Texas Magic community. Hunter’s mother and father and sister were at the event all day long. Players who knew and missed Hunter sat down and talked with Hunter’s family throughout the day. Greg Burton showed off his motorcycle, literally covered in custom painted images from Hunter’s favorite Magic cards. Hunter’s sister Casey picked out the Tissot watch that was given to the tournament champion Robert Berni. Hunter loved high end watches and the Burtons began a tradition at this tournament of awarding the winner with the kind of watch that Hunter would have loved.

Tissot watch

The tournament was officiated by a top flight team of Texas judges led by David Hibbs. The highest ranking judge in Texas, David was one of the first judges in Texas to reach level three in Wizards of the Coast’s judge program.

Top Eight Standard Decks

These decks are listed in the order they finished in the Swiss portion of the tournament. Also included are the opponents faced by each of the top eight players during the Swiss rounds.

1st after Swiss – Hal Brady – Golgari Dredge
2-0 vs Courtney Smith
2-0 vs Parker May
2-0 vs Erica Dow
1-2 vs Philip Marschall
2-1 vs Lawson Zandi
2-1 vs Radley Coplan
2-0 vs Alex Huebner
2-1 vs Ian Jasheway

7 Forest
7 Swamp
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Golgari Guildgate
3 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Grisly Salvage
4 Herald of Torment
2 Shadowborn Demon
3 Elvish Mystic
2 Deathrite Shaman
4 Nemesis of Mortals
4 Commune with the Gods
4 Nighthowler
2 Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
4 Lotleth Troll
4 Satyr Wayfinder

2 Whip of Erebos
3 Golgari Charm
1 Shadowborn Demon
4 Mistcutter Hydra
2 Thoughtseize
3 Lifebane Zombie

2nd after Swiss – Brock Mosley – Black/White Control

2-1 vs Daniel Getreu
1-2 vs Tuan Doan
2-0 vs Jeffrey Serwinski
2-1 vs David Honn
2-1 vs Robert Tatu
2-0 vs Christian Flodstrom-Sconce
2-0 vs Jon Toone
2-1 vs Michael Ferri

3 Pack Rat
3 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
3 Lifebane Zombie
3 Desecration Demon
2 Obzedat, Ghost Council
4 Thoughtseize
2 Underworld Connections
2 Read the Bones
3 Bile Blight
4 Hero’s Downfall
2 Devour Flesh
1 Whip of Erebos
1 Ultimate Price
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
12 Swamp
4 Godless Shrine
4 Temple of Silence
2 Orzhov Guildgate
4 Mutavault

2 Doom Blade
1 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
1 Devour Flesh
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
2 Underworld Connections
1 Erebos, God of the Dead
2 Sin Collector
3 Duress
2 Revoke Existence

3rd after Swiss – Robert Berni – Mono Black Control

2-0 vs Carver Hayes
2-0 vs Kevin Grubbs
2-1 vs Andy Truong
1-2 vs Robert Tetu
2-1 vs Cory Brister
2-0 vs Max Dressler
2-1 vs Cory Schultz
2-1 vs Jeremiah Linebarger

17 Swamp
4 Mutavault
4 Temple of Silence
4 Pack Rat
4 Desecration Demon
4 Hero’s Downfall
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Thoughtseize
4 Underworld Connections
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
3 Bile Blight
2 Devour Flesh
1 Doom Blade
1 Ultimate Price

4 Duress
3 Lifebane Zombie
3 Dark Betrayal
2 Erebos, God of the Dead
2 Devour Flesh
1 Doom Blade
4th after Swiss – Tuan Doan – Mono Black Control
2-0 vs Max Dressler
2-1 vs Brock Mosley
2-1 vs Ryan Cox
2-1 vs Josh Stewart
2-0 vs Shawn Hughes
2-1 vs Alex Huebner
Draw vs Linh Nguyen
Draw vs John Schemmel

15 Swamp
2 Watery Grave
4 Temple of Deceit
4 Mutavault
4 Pack Rat
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Desecration Demon
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4 Thoughtseize
1 Ultimate Price
3 Devour Flesh
3 Bile Blight
4 Hero’s Downfall
4 Underworld Connections

2 Notion Thief
1 Bile Blight
2 Erebos, God of the Dead
3 Duress
2 Dark Betrayal
4 Lifebane Zombie
1 Doom Blade

5th after Swiss – Linh Nguyen – Green/White
2-1 vs Matthew Lowry
2-0 vs Jason Blackmor
2-0 vs Clinton Whitehurst
2-0 vs Alex Andrup
2-1 vs Trevor Hunt
2-1 vs John Schemmel
Draw vs Tuan Doan
Draw vs Philip Marschall

8 Forest
7 Plains
4 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Plenty
2 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
2 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
4 Experiment One
4 Fleecemane Lion
3 Loxodon Smiter
4 Soldier of the Pantheon
4 Voice of Resurgence
4 Advent of the Wurm
4 Selesnya Charm
4 Boon Satyr
2 Gods Willing

1 Archangel of Thune
2 Celestial Flare
2 Courser of Kruphix
3 Mistcutter Hydra
3 Rootborn Defenses
2 Unflinching Courage
2 Unravel the Aether

6th after Swiss – David Palmer – Blue/White Control
2-1 vs Michael Ferri
2-0 vs Stephen Marshall
0-0- 1 vs Shawn Hughes
1-1- 1 vs Jacob Brockette
2-1 vs Andres Hernandez
2-0 vs Ivan Contreras
2-0 vs Aaron Vesper
2-0 vs Trevor Hunt

5 Island
3 Plains
2 Mutavault
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Temple of Enlightment
4 Temple of Silence
4 Temple of Deceit
1 Elixir of Immortality
2 Syncopate
2 Quicken
4 Azorius Charm
4 Dissolve
3 Divination
4 Detention Sphere
3 Jace, Architect of Thought
4 Supreme Verdict
4 Sphinx’s Revelation
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Aetherling
1 Fated Retribution

2 Pithing Needle
2 Gainsay
2 Last Breath
2 Blind Obedience
2 Jace, Memory Adept
1 Fated Retribution
1 Negate
1 Revoke Existence
1 Trading Post
1 Opportunity

7th after Swiss – Philip Marschall – Blue/White Control
2-0 vs Louie Vandermolen
2-0 vs James Stokes
2-0 vs Mahendra Raval
2-1 vs Hal Brady
2-0 vs Leonard Untung
2-1 vs Justin West
0-2 vs John Schemmel
Draw vs Linh Nguyen

11 Island
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Temple of Enlightenment
1 Azorius Guildgate
3 Mutavault
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Godless Shrine
4 Cloudfin Raptor
4 Judge’s Familiar
4 Frostburn Weird
4 Tidebinder Mage
4 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Master of Waves
1 Ephara, God of the Polis
4 Detention Sphere
2 Bident of Thassa

3 Jace, Memory Adept
2 Revoke Existence
2 Glare of Heresy
1 Domestication
1 Claustrophobia
1 Rapid Hybridization
1 Nullify
2 Gainsay
2 Negate

8th after Swiss – John Schemmel – White/Red
2-1 vs Drew Iafrate
2-0 vs Chris Schoppe
2-1 vs Aaron McNeely
2-1 vs Michael Taggart
2-1 vs Justin West
1-2 vs Linh Nguyen
2-0 vs Philip Marschall
Draw vs Tuan Doan

10 Plains
4 Temple of Triumph
4 Sacred Foundry
4 Mutavault
4 Brave the Elements
3 Boros Charm
2 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
2 Spear of Heliod
4 Dryad Militant
4 Soldier of the Pantheon
4 Boros Elite
3 Imposing Sovereign
4 Precinct Captain
4 Daring Skyjek
3 Banisher Priest
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos

2 Boros Reckoner
1 Banisher Priest
1 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
1 Boros Charm
1 Renouce the Guilds
2 Gods Willing
2 Celestial Flare
3 Glare of Heresy
2 Electrickery

Top Eight Booster Draft:

Players found the prospect of drafting in the top eight a little odd after playing Standard for eight Swiss rounds. The reason behind the top eight draft was another nod to the memory of Hunter Burton. Hunter was a great constructed player (he took a Zoo deck all the way to the semifinals of Pro Tour Austin in 2009) but he also loved booster draft. Having a booster draft at the end of a long day of constructed play also ensures that the winner of the tournament will be a truly fine player, a player capable of dominating two very different formats on the same day.

The top eight finishers were seated randomly around a table. The players found their Eternal Witness playmats and limited edition top eight dice waiting for them. In the middle of the table was the large Hunter Burton Memorial trophy and five thousand dollars in one hundred dollar bills. Once randomly seated, each player knew that his quarterfinals opponent was seated four places away from him, directly across the table. Furthermore, each player knew that he could not play the player on his direct left or right side until the finals.

top eight players drafting MM

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

1st place – Robert Berni – White/Green Sword of Fire and Ice
2-0 vs Linh Nguyen
2-0 vs Hal Brady
2-0 vs Philip Marschall

9 Plains
7 Forest
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Adarkar Valkyrie
1 Amrou Seekers
1 Avian Changeling
3 Flickerwisp
1 Ivory Giant
2 Otherworldly Journey
1 Path to Exile
1 Test of Faith
2 Veteran Armorer
1 Echoing Courage
1 Eternal Witness
2 Giant Dustwasp
2 Masked Admirers
1 Moldervine Cloak
2 Penumbra Spider
1 Sporesower Thallid

1 Gleam of Resistance
2 Sandsower
1 Terashi’s Grasp
1 Veteran Armorer
1 Citanul Woodreaders
1 Greater Mossdog
1 Hana Kami
1 Penumbra Spider
2 Sporoloth Ancient
1 Thallid Shell-Dweller
1 Walker of the Grove


2nd place – Philip Marschall – Green/White + Black/Red with Knight of the Reliquary
2-1 vs Brock Mosley
2-0 vs David Palmer
0-2 vs Robert Berni

6 Forest
6 Plains
1 Mountain
1 Swamp
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Vivid Grove
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Skyreach Manta
1 Amrou Scout
1 Auriok Salvagers
1 Blinding Beam
1 Bound in Silence
1 Cloudgoat Ranger
1 Feudkiller’s Verdict
1 Ivory Giant
1 Saltfield Recluse
1 Death Rattle
1 Executioner’s Capsule
2 Citanul Woodreaders
2 Durkwood Baloth
1 Giant Dustwasp
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Sporoloth Ancient
1 Thallid Shell-Dweller
1 Tromp the Domains
1 Knight of the Reliquary

1 Aether Spellbomb
1 Arcbound Wanderer
1 Blinding Beam
1 Ivory Giant
1 Kithkin Greatheart
1 Pallid Mycoderm
1 Deepcavern Imp
1 Citanul Woodreaders
1 Echoing Courage
3 Greater Mossdog
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Krosan Grip
1 Thallid Shell-Dweller
1 Woodfall Primus
1 Errant Ephemeron
1 Perilous Research
1 Vedalken Dismisser


3rd place – Hal Brady – Blue/White + Black Affinity
2-0 vs Tuan Doan
0-2 vs Robert Berni

8 Plains
7 Island
1 Swamp
1 Terramorphic Expanse
3 Arcbound Stinger
1 Bonesplitter
2 Myr Enforcer
1 Bound in Silence
1 Court Homunculus
1 Meadowboon
2 Sanctum Gargoyle
2 Test of Faith
1 Echoing Truth
1 Esperzoa
1 Etherium Sculptor
2 Faerie Mechanist
1 Mulldrifter
1 Perilous Research
1 Traumatic Visions
1 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Kitchen Finks

1 Vivid Marsh
1 Epochrasite
2 Frogmite
1 Amrou Seekers
1 Cenn’s Enlistment
1 Otherworldly Journey
1 Faerie Mechanist
1 Latchkey Faerie
1 Mothdust Changeling
1 Perilous Research
1 Take Possession
1 Vedalken Dismisser
1 Blightspeaker
1 Death Denied
1 Death Rattle
2 Thieving Sprite
1 Warren Weirding
1 Fury Charm
1 Hammerheim Deadeye


4th place – David Palmer – Red/Blue Storm
2-1 vs John Schemmel
0-2 vs Philip Marschall

9 Mountain
6 Island
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Vivid Creek
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Careful Consideration
1 Dampen Thought
1 Peer Through Depths
1 Perilous Research
2 Reach Through Mists
2 Desperate Ritual
2 Empty the Warrens
2 Glacial Ray
1 Grapeshot
1 Grinning Ignus
3 Lava Spike
1 Mogg War Marshal
1 Pyromancer’s Swath
1 Tribal Flames
1 Electrolyze
1 Manamorphose

1 Chalice of the Void
1 Myr Enforcer
1 Absorb Vis
1 Death Denied
1 Pththisis
1 Raven’s Crime
1 Street Wraith
1 Thieving Sprite
1 Fiery Fall
1 Stingscourger
2 Tar Pitcher
1 Tribal Flames
1 Citanul Woodreaders
1 Greater Mossdog
1 Reach of Branches
1 Summoner’s Pact
1 Thallid
1 Tromp the Domains
1 Worm Harvest

5th place – Brock Mosley – Red/Blue Flyers
1-2 vs Philip Marschall

7 Mountain
7 Island
1 Academy Ruins
1 Vivid Crag
1 Vivid Creek
1 Aether Spellbomb
1 Arcbound Worker
1 Myr Retriever
2 Pyrite Spellbomb
2 Echoing Truth
1 Errant Ephemeron
1 Mulldrifter
1 Reach Through Mists
2 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Traumatic Visions
1 Vedalken Dismisser
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Glacial Ray
2 Mogg War Marshal
2 Rift Bolt
1 Ryusei, the Falling Star
1 Shrapnel Blast
1 Electrolyze

1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Runed Stalactite
1 Cenn’s Enlistment
1 Erratic Mutation
1 Mothdust Changeling
2 Peer Through Depths
1 Traumatic Visions
1 Absorb Vis
1 Festering Goblin
1 Rathi Trapper
1 Blood Moon
1 Brute Force
2 Hammerheim Deadeye
1 Rift Elemental
1 Thundering Giant
1 Thallid Shell-Dweller
1 Plumeveil

6th place – Tuan Doan – Blue/White + Red Flyers
0-2 vs Hal Brady

6 Island
6 Plains
1 Mountain
2 City of Brass
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Vivid Creek
1 Bonesplitter
1 Epochrasite
1 Runed Stalactite
1 Amrou Seekers
1 Blinding Beam
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
2 Hillcomber Giant
1 Kithkin Greatheart
1 Saltfield Recluse
1 Veteran Armorer
1 Echoing Truth
1 Errant Ephemeron
1 Esperzoa
1 Keiga, the Tide Star
1 Latchkey Faerie
1 Pact of Negation
1 Pestermite
1 Fiery Fall
1 Rift Bolt
1 Lightning Helix
1 Oona, Queen of the Fae
1 Plumeveil

1 Paradise Mantle
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
1 Sanctum Gargoyle
2 Erratic Mutation
1 Perilous Research
1 Petals of Insight
1 Drag Down
1 Festering Goblin
1 Peppersmoke
1 Fiery Fall
1 Stinkdrinker Daredevil
1 Thundercloud Shaman
1 Thundering Giant
1 Citanul Woodreaders
1 Incremental Growth
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Trygon Predator

7th place – Linh Nguyen – Green/Red + White Monsters
0-2 vs Robert Berni

8 Forest
7 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Avian Changeling
2 Blind-Spot Giant
1 Countryside Crusher
1 Fiery Fall
1 Greater Gargadon
1 Rift Bolt
1 Stinkdrinker Devil
1 Thundering Giant
1 War-Spike Changeling
1 Citanul Woodreaders
1 Durkwood Baloth
3 Giant Dustwasp
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Nantuko Shaman
1 Penumbra Spider
1 Reach of Branches
1 Search for Tomorrow
1 Sporoloth Ancient
1 Sylvan Bounty
1 Verdeloth the Ancient

1 Chalice of the Void
3 Kithkin Greatheart
1 Crush Underfoot
2 Fury Charm
1 Molten Disaster
2 Stingscourger
1 Stinkdrinker Daredevil
1 Tar Pitcher
1 Echoing Courage
1 Moldervine Cloak
2 Sylvan Bounty
1 Thallid Germinator
1 Thallid Shell-Dweller
1 Walker of the Grove

8th place – John Schemmel – Black/Blue Faeries
1-2 vs David Palmer

11 Swamp
6 Island
2 Latchkey Faerie
2 Pestermite
2 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Blightspeaker
3 Faerie Macabre
2 Horobi’s Whisper
2 Marsh Flitter
1 Rathi Trapper
1 Raven’s Crime
2 Thieving Sprite
2 Warren Weirding
2 Mind Funeral

1 Spell Snare
1 Bridge from Below
2 Deepcavern Imp
2 Dreamspoiler Witches
1 Facevaulter
1 Faerie Macabre
1 Festering Goblin
1 Mad Auntie
1 Stinkweed Imp
3 Syphon Life
3 Warren Pilferers
1 Warren Weirding
1 Dragonstorm
1 Fury Charm
1 Echoing Courage
1 Lightning Helix

The Aftermath

The first annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open was rewarding in so many ways. Money was collected for charity. That first year the charity in question was North Texas Easter Seals. Texas Magic players had a big, new tournament that the community could call its own, a unique tournament on the event calendar. The Burton family enjoyed a connection with an important part of Hunter’s life. Hunter had chased competitive Magic hard and fast since first qualifying for the Pro Tour in 2008. Hunter traveled the world and accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in prize money. The Burtons announced that they were committed to several more years of the Hunter Burton Memorial Open, promising to make them even bigger and better than this first one had been.

A month later, Robert Berni gave a shout out to the first annual Hunter Burton Memorial Open when he won Grand Prix Phoenix. When Robert was asked how he prepared for the Grand Prix, he said, “I won the Hunter Burton Memorial a few weeks ago.”