Rob Castellon of #robcastellonfacts fame was from my local game store back in New Hampshire. People were surprised he did so well without a pro-filled “super team” to help him make this deck:
But, Rob did have a super team. All of the good players from Toys worked with him tirelessly after their day jobs to get him ready for the Pro Tour, and–since he won $10k–it sounds to me like it was worth it.
I have to admit that I am–personally–a little jealous. You see, I remember back in 2005 when Rob and his brother Mike walked through the door of toys for their first FNM. I remember their noob’ish mistakes. Rob would later tell me that it was MY explanation of the rules to him that day that would later motivate him to become a Judge. I never had any such motivation, and before I knew it Rob was a level 2 Judge asking me if I wanted to take the level 1 test. I would take that test and pass, but I felt no sooner did I turn around than Rob was flying around the country to big tournaments while I would be grounded in NH.
My stories about plays slowly stopped impressing him as he rubbed elbows with names I would only read about on the internet, and he would experience so much more than Toy’s had to offer.
I did not.
You see the truth was I was scared. I was scared of becoming a Judge even though I knew the rules so well because I was scared I would fail. I was scared to go to all of the big tournaments for the same reason. Rob was not, and he quickly outgrow me.
So, watching him win $10k at the Pro Tour all I could see was my own shortcomings. All I could see was my own wasted potential because of my unwillingness to put myself out there, to break out of my shell and give MtG a real chance. However, in saying that, I can think of no one else more deserving than Rob. Because he did what I did not, because he was willing to put himself out there and TRY.
And that is the moral of this story: Never be afraid to try.