The Strange Case Of The $15,000 Magic: The Gathering Card

On June 3 we told you the story of professional Magic: The Gathering player Pascal Maynard and his notorious swiping of a valuable card during competition play. That story just got a little bit weirder.

Some background: in Magic competition play, competitors build their decks during a 'draft' period. Booster packs are given to the players, each selects one card from the pack and passes it along to the next player. During this process, Pascal opened a new deck and spotted the Tarmogoyf card.

This presented him with a dilemma. The Tarmogoyf card wouldn't be a good addition to the Magic deck he was building, but it was a super valuable card in real terms. In foil form it's the most valuable card currently in print with a value of over $300. Pascal had a choice: take the card most appropriate to his deck and try and win the competition, or take the valuable card and the guaranteed money.

Pascal did what most players would do in that position, he took the money.

The plot thickened. After the tournament — which he lost in the semi-final — Pascal put the card up for sale on eBay. The auction garnered a lot attention. The winning bid was ridiculous. $14,900. It made headlines.

But there was one itty bitty problem: the bid was a fake.

In fact, a large number of the bids were fake. The auction was full of what Pascal called "trolls". Many of the bidders simply did not reply. As you might guess Pascal is feeling a little burned by that.

However, it's not all bad news. In the time since the auction, Pascal Maynard's situation has improved. His Magic: The Gathering "financial situation," as he puts it, has improved. He needs the money a bit less, so his plan has changed.

Pascal Maynard is putting together a second auction, except this time it's a silent auction over Facebook, meaning that potential bidders simply place the highest bid they're willing to pay without any knowledge of what other people are bidding.

A second difference: this time Pascal is giving 75% of the money he gets from the card to the Gamers Helping Gamers charity. Pascal said their is no reserve on the auction. The highest bidder wins no matter what. If the highest bidder turns out to be another fake, then the card will be sent to the next highest bidder.

Major props to Pascal for doing this. He has the potential to make a lot of money from this notorious card and he's using the opportunity to do something special. Hopefully, this time the auction will attract less "trolls".

Thanks Trjn!


    He's running the auction himself, taking bids by private message instead of using a reliable third party? I wouldn't trust that to be run properly, personally.

    That's a good twist.

    Most of those outrageous bids on eBay for things are fake. Like instances of people seemingly bidding $50,000 for a Tumblr screenshot and that kind of thing.

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