On August 5th, 2007, I walked into the ballroom of a Charlotte, NC hotel for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Regional Sneak Preview of Tactical Evolution. Armed with a $20 bill, I registered for the event and marveled at the hundreds of people from all walks of life gathered for a prerelease with extra fanfare. This event was my first time leaving the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina for a card game event, and it wouldn’t be my last.
This article is neither about my story nor about that day. Here, I’m simply giving a glimpse at some of the lessons that I have tried to hold on to after spending 13 years mesmerized by a long line of card games.
Lesson #1: Success in this hobby is defined by the friends you make.
Major championships oftentimes can be planned out and function the same as music festivals or other highly social events. I’ve forged some of my dearest friendships on the road while sacrificing opportunities to light other sparks back at home. I will always maintain that the human aspect of the game is better than the actual game itself.
Lesson #2: Play to your “outs”.
Nothing is more tantalizing and disappointing than failing to achieve a goal seemingly within reach. But oftentimes, a retrospective analysis of one’s actions leading up the decisive moment can reveal inconsistencies in how one set out to achieve that goal. Optimal decisions require a constant drive to re-evaluate how best to grant oneself the greatest chance of success.
Lesson #3: Just keep calm.
The only real control we have is over ourselves, and any attempt to seek control over anything else is simply a lesson in madness. It’s possible to make the most optimal decisions and still lose. It’s possible to say all the right things and not get a call back. The only true path in life is the one you walk alone. If you dwell on things outside of your control, it’s all too easy to lose count of the ways you can make a change. So, keep calm, breathe, and stay inspired.
Lesson #4: Minimize distractions.
I’ve worked a variety of jobs in vastly different work environments, and my key takeaway from all of them is that the best work is done in an environment individually conducive to oneself. With that in mind, I personally approach studying, writing, playtesting, exercise, and any other task hellbent on minimizing or ignoring outside distractions so I can give 100% of myself to the challenge I face.
Lesson #5: Yeezy’s aren’t a free pass to wear whatever you want.
In my opinion, this lesson should be self-explanatory but allow me to preach to y’all for a minute: I see way too many people at events wearing Boost 350s expecting that the rest of their outfit can be trash. No Beelzebub, those lime green shorts do not match the aesthetic of your satanic death metal tee. However, Dabbers Cards and Games is expanding its line of clothing constantly so check back to see our newest releases!
Please, feel free to reach out to me or Dabbers with ideas for articles or other written content you’d like to see on the Dabbers blog. My twitter fingers are constantly itching!