Magic: The Gathering Player Throws Tournament, Sells Rare Card for Nearly $15K
Magic: The Gathering player Pascal Maynard caused an uproar at a Grand Prix tournament in Las Vegas last month when he chose the rare Tarmogoyf card during the competition's draft portion. The foil card's green element did not fit with Maynard's red/white split deck, but its value was too enticing to pass up. He passed over a common red Instant, Burst Lightning, to snag the $500 card.
Fellow players immediately began criticizing Maynard's decision, accusing him of "selling out" and throwing the tournament for a relatively small sum. Responding to the criticism, Maynard quoted Magic player Martin Jůza, who he says asked him, "Would you pay 500$ [sic] to have Burst Lightning in your draft deck?" You can read Maynard's full Facebook post on the subject below.
No one expected what happened next. Maynard auctioned Tarmogoyf on eBay, with the starting bid set at a lowly 99 cents. Within two-and-a-half hours, bids had reached $1000. The card eventually sold for $14,900 and received five canceled bids in excess of $15,000.
Maynard's Tarmogoyf was more valuable than other copies, not only because of its condition, but also because it was marked as being a part of the tournament. It is also likely that the controversy the tournament player created in drafting the card helped increase its auction value.
Maynard is planning to donate half his eBay winnings to Gamers Helping Gamers, a scholarship program for Magic: The Gathering players. He did not advance through the semi-finals, but hopes to use his winnings to participate in more tournaments in the future.