Playing with the goal to have fun

I am watching the Lone Star Lhurgoyf and they have raised an interesting point. When you play in a large event you should have a goal.

Is the goal to win it all or win more than 50% of your games or to make the least amount of play mistakes?

There is a big difference in winning and having fun. It is very hard to win all of the time but it is not that hard to have fun most of the time.


My goal at SCGCon was to make top 32. My goal normally at a large event is to do better than 70% win rate.

last edited by moorebrother1

In my experience as a competitive player, an athlete, and a coach- the best mindset I’ve found is to be process oriented. Consider yourself successful if you’ve done everything you wanted to prepare both skill wise and physically (SLEEP!), executed whatever your plan is to the best of your ability, and minimized controlable mistakes. If you do those things the victories come. But you’ll have more fun too, because winning/losing becomes secondary.

I only play 1-2 sanctioned events a year, the rest of the time is spent at my friend's house and lgs testing wacky ideas and putting them through gauntlet of "top tier" decks.

When I do play the large events, I'm there with a small group of friends and the goal is always "do better than the rest of the group."

We like to talk alot of trash to each other so doing best gives you the most trash talk points...

It's a simple goal.

@moorebrother1 Excellent choice of viewing material!

As I said in the discussion, my goal for Champs is to do something like Top 32 or Top 16. That said, I find I play at my best when I'm not taking myself or the event too seriously, so I should probably lower my expectations for EW . . .

You got 13th at SCG Con so I believe you can make top 32. My goal at SCG Con was top 32 and I was 20. Day one I played on 2hrs of sleep and probably played the best magic that I played in a year. So, you never know.

There was a time when all I cared about was winning. It made me edgy, even nervous during play. I’d make mistakes because of it. Losses would cause me to tilt. I’m great at math and can calculate probabilities on the spot. I remember one situation in a GP where my opponent had to draw 5 consecutive bolt spells from the top of his deck to beat me and he did. 5 of 5 left in the deck. I felt bad at the time, because it felt like a ridiculous beat. But he was shuffling and I was cutting his deck, it happened perfectly randomly. Now I feel bad for the guy because he should have used that luck on a lotto ticket (nearly the same odds!) instead of beating me in a single match of competitive magic.

Now my approach is to go out and have the most fun I can. Learn as much as I can, and evaluate my decision making process after the match. I still make plenty of mistakes, and they still mean the same to me because I am a competitive person at heart, but overall my experience is so much better.

Honestly, people should have goals at EW like playing all 9 rounds without going tilted. Or a goal like if you make a mistake in a match and you play through it without being upset at yourself - whether you win or lose.

Maybe your opponent hasn’t put in the same amount of time you have in preparation, maybe they didn’t travel as far as you did to get there, but they still love the game as much as you do and spent their time and money investing in the same tournament you did. Always show respect to your opponent, in victory and defeat.

last edited by Guest

I'd expect everyone's main goal is to have fun. Considering this is vintage I don't think anyone is grinding it for planeswalker points. The thing is that everyone's idea of what is fun is very different. For a spike doing well and having fun are synonymous! But there's lots of other people who just like playing their pet deck, or doing something wacky. So everyone's goals are likely based on that. I think the key is to set realistic goals though. If you do in expecting to make top 8 there's a very good chance you leave disappointed.

Personally my goals are to go better than .500, not make any giant punts, and drink some beer afterwards. I also find that I hate playing slow, grindy decks at longer tournaments because I get sick of playing magic by about round 5. So I'm just gonna slam shops and see how it goes.

Really great points in this thread!

To build off @wfain‘s point: a pro for setting a high goal for yourself is that it can motivate you to put in the prep work. You can’t expect to Top 8 if you’re not gonna drill practice matches, perfect your list, and deeply familiarize yourself with the meta, but wanting a strong finish can be the fire that makes you do those things.

@stuart for me, setting a goal related to a finish or result is actually counter-productive. We can’t control that- no control over matchups, die rolls, top decks, shuffle distributions, etc. It is, therefore, not worth worrying about. Very simply, I seek to maximize my preparation physically and mentally, maximize my enjoyment (by giving myself a chance to win and a deck I enjoy the mechanics of, ie no battle of wits), and minimize my controlable mistakes (missing on board math or forgetting revealed information).
Anything else is not in my control and shouldn’t be worried about.

(I do have some skins on the wall btw, SCG top 8, GP top 16)

last edited by wfain
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