Annie RKH
Share this page
Annie RKH’s posts
Blog Post

Players of Magic:The Gathering Who have Discovered the Magic of Poker

Here at RankingHero we are particularly fond of Magic:The Gathering. And not simply because we love all strategic, community-building, subculture-generating addictive games (though these would all be valid reasons in themselves). We have an additional very special reason for this affinity with MTG - our own founder and RankingHero ambassador, @Pedro Canali, is a champion of the game. Back in 2004, in his very first professional tournament, Canali won the Pro Tour-Columbus with a deck called “Affinity” :)


Magic:The Gathering is a collectible card game which revolutionized this sector of the gaming industry in the 1990s. It has continued to thrive to this day, with millions of fans all over the world, professional tournaments and championships, as well as amateur leagues and communities, and a huge secondary market for Magic cards. Each game represents a battle between mighty wizards who employ spells, artifacts, and creatures depicted on individual Magic cards to defeat their opponents.

In the early 2000s, at the time of the poker boom, MTG became something of a “breeding ground for world class poker players”. Rather than the rules of the game itself, it was the strategic thinking, and above all, the culture and lifestyle associated with poker that attracted many MTG players. And the money, of course. Unlike MTG, poker made it possible to make a living without compromising on the lifestyle. 

Successful poker players with a background in Magic: The Gathering include WSOP bracelet winners, WPT and EPT champions, and online poker wizards. 


@David Williams:
"I think the biggest correlation is that it teaches the brain how to work. It's problem-solving, logical deduction. Most people aren't sharpening their brains constantly. We've been honing our skills for years; high-level thinking is pretty much all we do. That's great training for playing poker under pressure."

@Brock Parker:
"Poker is a job, 'Magic' a game. I never want to play poker in my free time. 'Magic' you can. You can't make a living at 'M:TG,' but it's just the more enjoyable game."

@Isaac Haxton:
"Some guys have done it for eight years by the time they get to 21, and that makes us better; If you get deep in a tournament and aren't used to the high-pressure situations in person, it's a problem. 'Magic' prepared us for that."


Photo from a 2013 blog entry by PokerStars ambassador Katerina Malasidou, poker notables - including the 2009 MTG World Champion @Andre Coimbra - relaxing with Magic:The Gathering 

 ManuB from Team Winamax
@Manuel Bevand  from @Winamax mentions on this fascinating blog post how his skills aquired from MTG translated into poker to give him an edge 

Below you will find a non-exhaustive list of notable players who share a passion for MTG and poker; you can check their profile pages on RankingHero to see their live poker tournament achievements:

@Adam Levy  @Andre Coimbra  @Andrea Dato  

@Anton Morgenstern @Brock Parker @Christopher DeMaci   

@Dario Minieri @David Williams @Eric Froehlich 

@Gabriel Nassif @Isaac Haxton @Jose Ignacio Barbero 

@Justin Bonomo @Kevin MacPhee @Manuel Bevand  @Mickey Petersen 

@Noah Boeken @Scott Seiver 






"You can't make a living at 'M:TG,' but it's just the more enjoyable game." so true ;). Thanks for this excellent article ;). Who's in for a #MTGCube :) ?