Professional play[edit | edit source]
Paul Rietzl grew up in Boston, near the game store Your Move Games, owned by future Hall of Famer Rob Dougherty, and was a longtime member of Team Your Move Games. Rietzl played his first Pro Tour, PT Osaka, when he was 16 years old, and his first major result came at Grand Prix Anaheim in 2003, where he made the top eight. The top eight also featured future Hall of Fame members Ben Stark and Ben Rubin. Rietzl would lose in the quarterfinals to Peter Szigeti, taking 6th place in the overall standings. Rietzl went on to make the top eight of the very next North American Grand Prix, in Oakland. Again, Paul lost in the quarterfinals, taking 7th place.
From 2002 to 2006, Rietzl was a regular at the Pro Tour. He didn't make any top eights, but put up some solid performances, including a 14th place finish at Pro Tour Kobe 2004, and a 26th place finish at Pro Tour San Diego 2004. However, after Pro Tour Charleston 2006, Rietzl took a break from competitive play, his only Pro Tour until 2009 being Pro Tour San Diego 2007.
After his break, Rietzl returned to competitive play with a splash in 2009. Rietzl made his third Grand Prix top eight at Grand Prix Chicago. He made it to the semifinals this time, losing to Andrew Probasco, and took third place in the tournament. Rietzl's result at the event qualified him for Pro Tour Honolulu 2009. He prepared for the tournament with various prominent players including Ben Rubin, Gabriel Nassif, and Brian Kibler. Rietzl made his first Pro Tour top eight in Honolulu, losing in the semifinals to eventual winner Kazuya Mitamura. He has not missed a Pro Tour since.
Rietzl would have the biggest success of his career in the 2010 season, winning Pro Tour Amsterdam 2010. The Pro Tour was noted for one of the most impressive Sunday rosters in Magic: The Gathering history, which included Kai Budde, Brian Kibler, Guillaume Wafo-Tapa, and future Player of the Year Brad Nelson. Rietzl's win would be all the more impressive for the fact that he did not lose a single game within the top eight, beating Thomas Ma, Michael Jacob, and Brad Nelson 3-0 in best of five game matches. Rietzl prepared for the Pro Tour with various pro players, but gave particular credit to Gabriel Nassif, who helped design his deck.
Rietzl went on to make his third Pro Tour top eight in as many years at Pro Tour Paris 2011. Rietzl defeated Patrick Chapin in the quarterfinals, and Vincent Lemoine in the semifinals to face Ben Stark in the finals of the tournament. Ultimately, Paul lost 3–1 to Stark, finishing in second place. Pro Tour Paris was held alongside Grand Prix Paris, which started the day after the Pro Tour. Having secured his place in the Top eight of the Pro Tour, Rietzl took the unusual step of entering the Grand Prix, largely because he believed he would lose quickly in the quarterfinals to Patrick Chapin. After three byes, Rietzl went 6-1 in the Grand Prix, earning a place in Day 2 of the event; this meant that he was playing the top eight of the Pro Tour as well as Day 2 of the Grand Prix. Ultimately, Rietzl took 24th place at the Grand Prix despite also playing in the top eight of the Pro Tour, and forfeiting a match in the Grand Prix due to having to play his Pro Tour quarterfinal match. Rietzl's overall record for the weekend was 24-6-1.
Rietzl's fourth Pro Tour top eight came in the 2013–14 season, at Pro Tour Theros in Dublin, where Rietzl and Patrick Chapin played a black-white midrange deck that would ultimately result in 9th place finish for Chapin and a 6th place finish for Rietzl, losing 2–3 in the semifinals to Makihito Mihara. He came close to a fifth top eight later in the season, at Pro Tour Journey into Nyx in Atlanta, but he finished 13th. Rietzl's overall performance during the season qualified him for the 2014 World Championship, where he finished 12th.
Rietzl became eligible for the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame in 2011, and in 2014, he was voted into the Hall, placing second with 72.59% support. He was inducted at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir in Honolulu, alongside Guillaume Wafo-Tapa and Makihito Mihara.
In the 2014–15 season, despite not finishing in the top eight of any Pro Tours, Rietzl managed to accumulate enough pro points to qualify for the World Championship for a second year running. This was in large part due to consistently solid Pro Tour finishes; he finished 40th, 35th, 27th and 60th respectively at the season's four Pro Tour events, and also put up two Grand Prix top eights, at GP Salt Lake City and GP San Jose. He could not reclaim his seat at the World Championship in 2015–16; with 55 points in the season, he ended was three short. Until Pro Tour Eldritch Moon, he had finished in the money at nine straight Pro Tours, but barely missed in Sydney, finishing 99th.
Accomplishments[edit | edit source]
|2003–04||Grand Prix||Anaheim||Extended||13–14 December 2003||6|
|2003–04||Grand Prix||Oakland||Limited||7–8 February 2004||7|
|2009||Grand Prix||Chicago||Legacy||7–8 March 2009||3|
|2009||Pro Tour||Honolulu||Block Constructed and Booster Draft||5–7 June 2009||3|
|2010||Pro Tour||Amsterdam||Extended and Booster Draft||3–5 September 2010||1|
|2011||Pro Tour||Paris||Standard and Booster Draft||10–13 February 2011||2|
|2012||Grand Prix||Seattle-Tacoma||Limited||3–4 March 2012||6|
|2012||Grand Prix||Mexico City||Limited||24–25 March 2012||1|
|2012–13||Grand Prix||Anaheim||Block Constructed||26–27 May 2012||2|
|2012–13||Grand Prix||San Jose||Team Limited||13–14 October 2012||1|
|2012–13||Grand Prix||Portland||Modern||11–12 May 2013||8|
|2013–14||Pro Tour||Dublin||Standard and Booster Draft||11–13 October 2013||6|
|2013–14||Grand Prix||Albuquerque||Standard||23–24 November 2013||8|
|2014–15||Grand Prix||Salt Lake City||Limited||6–7 September 2014||5|
|2014–15||Grand Prix||San Jose||Team Limited||31 January–1 February 2015||2|
|2015–16||Grand Prix||San Diego||Standard||8–9 August 2015||3|
|2015–16||Worlds||Seattle||Special||27–30 August 2015||3|
|2015–16||Grand Prix||Oklahoma City||Modern||12–13 September 2015||7|
|2015–16||Grand Prix||Madison||Limited||10–11 October 2015||5|
|2016–17||Grand Prix||Louisville||Team Limited||10–11 September 2016||4|
Pro Tour Results[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Top 200 All-Time Money Leaders
- Lifetime Pro Tour Top 8s
- Lifetime Grand Prix Top 8s
- List of players by lifetime Pro Points (requires Planeswalker Points login)
References[edit | edit source]
- Grand Prix Anaheim 2003 Top 8 Player Profiles. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2014-01-29.
- Rosenberg, Mike (2015-08-06). PAUL RIETZL'S ORIGIN STORY. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-08-11.
- Final Standings. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-08-11.
- Final Standings. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-08-11.
- ChannelFireball Author Profile. ChannelFireball.com. Retrieved on 29 January 2014.
- Pro Tour Honolulu 2009 Top 8 Profiles. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2014-01-29.
- Semifinals: Pings and Swings. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2014-01-29.
- Rietzl Sweeps to Victory in Amsterdam. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2014-01-29.
- Rietzl, Paul. A Champion Returns. TCGPlayer.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-29.
- Stark Flies High with Planeswalkers in Paris. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2014-01-29.
- Willoughby, Tim. Finals: Paul Rietzl vs. Ben Stark. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2014-01-29.
- Willoughby, Tim. Feature: Paul Rietzl's Long Weekend. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2014-01-29.
- Pro Tour Theros Final Standings. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-08-11.
- Pro Tour Journey into Nyx Final Standings. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-08-11.
- FINAL STANDINGS. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-08-11.