Ben Seck’s return to the Pro Tour

The first half of BDM’s The Week that Was looks at the return of former pro player and Kibler co-worker Ben Seck (now at Zynga, by the way) to the game.
When the Pro Tour came back to San Diego earlier this season Ben decided to play in some Public Events and had his eye on the Sunday Draft Challenge or perhaps one of the Magic Online events but found himself playing in a 200+ person Extended PTQ with a version of Gerry Thompson’s Thopter Depths deck that was so dominating throughout that qualifier season.
“Being in the zone” would be a good way to describe Ben’s run through that stacked PTQ in San Diego, as he did not lose a single match en route to qualifying.
I was one of Ben’s match wins on the way to his PTQ victory, as he beat me in round four of the PTQ. I wrote about that PTQ and the round four match here. I punted game three in our match, but Ben is a very good player, so I don’t know if I would have won otherwise. Notably, I also recently mentioned Ben in this column as an example of treating a play error as a learning experience rather than a ‘bad’ experience.
Most fun, however, is this sequence of pictures that starts in the finals of the PTQ, in game three:
Zoo rush!
Ben considers a wave of attackers from his Zoo opponent.
TBS makes the play
Engineered Explosives clears the board, but only after Ben takes a giant pile of damage.
Do I live?
With no other recourse, Ben goes all-in on the Marit Lage token and then has to wait and see if his opponent is going to burn him out. EOT Bolt you, untap Bolt you…
The moment of victory!
And no third Bolt! Ben gets to untap with Marit Lage and swing for the PTQ win!
For the record, Ben’s opponent had three Lightning Bolts in hand, but only one red source on the board. If he’d topdecked a red source of any kind, Ben would have lost. That said, he still played optimally for that very rough game.