Category Archives: Jeremy Aaranson

Why You Should Get a Real Job

Editor’s Note: Hey everyone, Corbin here. Keeping up with your Magic is a serious commitment, and isn’t cheap. While this is a fun article that pokes fun at some of the “mtgfinance” stereotypes, there are a lot of useful tools and helpful authors to help keep you ahead of the game when it comes to maximizing your money in Magic. We do a lot that here on MTGPrice, but we know that taking a step back and laughing is healthy as well. With that in mind, enjoy!


*This is intended as satire of the current state of MTGFinance. All views expressed are 100% true. If you feel like complaining, feel free to let me block you on Twitter @xemitsellsmagic. I would also like to thank Nick Becvar and the Cartel Aristocrats for contributing to this manure masterpiece*


Hey Guys! I’m sure the title of this article grabbed you guys faster than an underpriced Ebay auction. I’m here today to write a piece about why you should be working for a real company instead of trying to make mtgfinance millions on cardboard crack. After a recent debate on Twitter, I decided to write a short piece about why it’s much better to be a cubicle monkey than risk it all grinding the tables of a GP or trying to hit the next big spec.

1.       401ks and Health Coverage.

Should you decide to risk your future grinding Magic, there’s a couple things about reality that are going to slap you in the face. You know that sweet 400% return you just made on Worldbreaker? Well, you’re going to need to sell a couple hundred copies to pay for that cavity you got while eating convention center food and forgetting to brush your teeth the last 300 days.

Also, who needs a retirement fund? Well, actually everyone. You can’t guarantee that Magic will still be around in 50 years and that GPs will still exist in their current form. They might even release Version 5 of MTGO by 2065!

2.       Profit Margins

Let’s say that Otto Ogre sells $4,000 of magic cards a month with a profit margin of 20% on those cards. Congrats! You make poverty wages while the IRS thinks that you’re making quite a bit more before you show them receipts of what you spent! Oh wait, you didn’t keep your receipts? Looks like penalties and audits have Storm in the real world!


On top of that, what if you have a bad GP experience? I don’t think the phone company accepts bulk rares, and you can’t buylist a bunch of cards to many shops in your area for real prices. Have fun waiting 10 days for Channel Fireball to process your cards and send you a check in the mail. And don’t forget what can happen if your cards aren’t Near Mint!

3.       Wages

It’s great that you traded up $750 in a weekend at a GP. However, you still need to get money for those cards, which in most cases leaves you with selling back to a vendor. Plus how many hours did you put into trading over the weekend? Forty-five hours? You could’ve saved yourself a drive and made more working for the Golden Arches instead of trading for those Golden Myrs. I enjoy counting pennies as much as the next person, but the only thing you’re going to be counting is food stamps if you choose to live life as a GP Grinder.

4.       Failed Specs

You know that one card that your buddy was testing for a Pro Tour? Well now you’re sitting on a couple hundred copies of Mana Bloom and you still need to pay rent for that place that doubles as a Magic card closet.


Not every card can be a Sphinx’s Revelation, but you should have had a revelation by now that speculating isn’t easy money. The only thing you’ll be seeing is your profit going red with your bills blooming out of control. The next thing you know, all the “hard” work that you put in will have crumbled to dust.

5.       Social Life

You know what really impresses people? Telling them you hustle cardboard in a sweaty , crowded convention center every weekend. I hope that gets you really far in your dating life as well, because you’re going to need a really heavy Briber’s Purse to keep that relationship going with a Muggle. Your kids are going to really look up to Daddy being gone every weekend, trying to Becvalue his way to extra diapers for them.

6.       Living an independent life

It’s great that you don’t want to be Cubicle Carl for the rest of your life; I admire you for your dedication of sleeping on floors and couches every weekend. Feel free to be a sovereign citizen in the 20 hours you spend every weekend driving to a different city. You know who actually can do MTGFinance right? The people who own their own shops, and they’re not making money hand over fist either! The owner of The Card Nexus had a good point when he said that “I think way more people like the IDEA of being their own boss than the reality of what that entails.”

But you could get lucky! If you somehow get demoted to being a buyer for a store at a GP, you could get McDoubles instead of a single cheeseburger for every meal! What a truly generous feast. In all seriousness, for all of the basement dwellers reading this article, you should go to college. .001% of all people reading this “article” on MTGPrice can actually do MTGFinance for a full-time living. Save your parents another four years of disappointment and work on a career, and not delusions of “MTGFinance job”.

Choosing MTGFinance is like selling cards at SCG Prices. It feels bad, and you look bad. Saying that you’re self-employed is almost as bad as an idea as buying 200 foil Illusionist Bracers. Work on investing in better cards, and work on investing in a better future for yourself. I hope you have enough cards to put a down payment on a house, or car. You also can have fun looking through job websites with nearly no marketable skills after your six-month stunt lands you into declaring a Chapter 11 (hint: that’s bankruptcy).

7.       Conclusion

To summarize, stop refreshing the #mtgfinance tag on Twitter and incessantly checking MTGStocks. You guys are already smarter for having read this “article.” Take a deep breath, think your options over, and stop living in Dominaria. Otherwise, you’re in for a truly Gruuling life.


Floor Reports: Grand Prix Indianapolis

Hey Guys!

GP Indy was a great time this weekend. With 11 vendors in the room, there were plenty of opportunities to get top dollar with so much competition for the bucks in your binder. I figured I’d share my opinion of GP Indy with you, so that you guys can come to recognize the GP scene more. As a disclaimer once again, I’m not a writer, only a finance guy who wanted to express my opinion.

For this GP, I decided to ogre a few cards in my collection. Ogreing is named after a well-known vendor called Ogre, who is present at pretty much every GP. It’s pretty simple. You get a two or four-row and fill it with cards by price that you want to get on each card. Using top loaders or sticky notes,  write how much you want for each card and have each vendor pull out the cards if they’re okay paying the price of the card in your column. It saves the vendors a ton of time, and allows you to get top buylist for each card.

Let’s get in to the 11 vendors and what each of them brought to the GP!

MTG Deals

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MTG Deals attended their first Midwest GP in quite a while. They came strong out of the gate with a buy price of $30 on Gideon and $57 on Jace, Vyrn Prodigy, as well as a strong buylist price of $5 on Anafenza and $4 on Oblivion Sower. With Sower appearing to be a failed buy for now, it was a good weekend to dump copies at a break-even point. I didn’t sell anything to MTGDeals, but I did buy a few cards from them. Like most vendors, they had a played section case for deals that appealed to players of all stripes. I found a warped reliquary tower promo for $1 which I kept for personal use, and a beat up Thoughtseize for 13 that I traded for a monastery mentor. I hope to see them in the future for more sweet deals in their played case, and hopefully next time I will have cards to sell them on their hotlist.

Tales of Adventure 

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Tales had a strong buying crew this weekend. Adam; normally a floor grinder for Ogre was buying for them in his usual tophat. They seemed eager to buy cards, and were definitely asking every person walking by if they could see their binders. I also didn’t sell any cards to them, but Adam’s power of persuasion incited my need to spend a couple dollars on a playset of Splinter Twin. Their other buyers were also friendly, and they definitely had a line on Friday of people waiting to sell cards. With bulk buy prices of 11 cents per rare and $4 per thousand on bulk C/U, many people were outing bulk to them throughout the weekend.

Hotsauce Games 

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Hotsauce was an interesting experience to say the least. Although it didn’t seem like they had stellar buy prices outside of Ulamog at $12, they definitely had enough people selling to them to make it a profitable venture. Aaron Werst, a bubbly shop owner from Indiana, was in attendance with quite a few people stopping by to see how he was doing and sell him some stuff. Joe Bernal, a well-known grinder when he’s playing, was buying for them this weekend as well. I didn’t get the numbers I wanted on cards I showed them, but their deals sure were hot. I picked up a played Tropical Island for $90, a foil Time Spiral Vesuva for $15, and a played Volcanic Island for $175. I sold the Vesuva to Coolstuff for a dollar more, and expect to get a premium in trade in the future for the dual lands. I highly recommend stopping by this booth in the future to buy some cheap cards out of their case.

Coolstuff Inc. 

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Coolstuff has always been known as a great booth to sell and buy casual cards from. They definitely lived up to my expectations this weekend. After picking through my ogre box, they pulled out about 20% of my cards. Getting $1 on Wild Slashes, Chaos Warps, and Jet Medallions sure added up fast. I was able to trade in for a LP Mana Drain with their store credit bonus of 25%. I also got about $150 in cash from them for the other cards that I sold them. They didn’t have the cheapest prices in the room as far as selling cards went, but they were definitely paying high numbers on random cards throughout the weekend. Their buyers are also some of my favorite people to work with, as they know how to chat with the players instead of grumpily offering numbers on cards with a dour face.

Pink Bunny Gaming 

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Pink Bunny has always been an interesting case for both me and other sellers in the room. Their online reviews are quite bad, and I have always stayed away from their booth due to past experiences of them cancelling my orders. In my opinion, they seemed to have turned over a new leaf at this GP. Their head buyer Damien was extremely charismatic this weekend, and after a lengthy discussion about buying tips convinced me to sell him some cards. Their prices on them were fair , and they matched a couple of top buylists in my ogre box on cards that they were confident they could move. I hope to see a repeat performance from them in the future, and cautiously advise you guys to stop by and see their prices at the next GP.

Aether Games 

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Aether came out swinging this weekend. Not only were they offering insane prices on competitive cards, they also were vending two GPs simultaneously on two different continents, splitting up their buying talent. After trading a Mox sapphire for Tasigurs and Eidolons at Buylist last weekend, I was really happy to make a profit selling those cards to Aether. They took over a hundred Tasigurs and 40 Eidolons from me, as well as many Constructed staples such as a complete set of 40 shock lands and over 20 fetch lands. Aether is still my go-to place to sell competitive cards, as I’m not sure that anyone can beat buy prices above TCGLow. It could have been possible to crack BFZ Event Decks and almost get 40 free cards after selling them Hangarbacks, Tasigurs, and Whisperwood Elementals. I sat down with Keith multiple times, and he was quick and professional when buying from me. They also had pretty good deals on Expeditions, such as Temple Gardens at 45 that seemed to disappear whenever I turned to look at another case. Aether has been my first stop when the doors open at every GP for the last couple of months, and I see no reason to go to another vendor first. However, it also has become well known that they are not interested in casual cards in the slightest, so I don’t advise selling any EDH cards to them unless you want to hear lower numbers than normal.


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Pastimes looked through my ogre box and pulled out around 50 copies of Roast and Silkwrap that they bought for $1 each. I was pretty happy with the profits, but not happy with the mood of their buyers. They didn’t seem happy to be there, and should have greeted each potential seller with a smile on their face. I haven’t really sold much to Pastimes in the past, and honestly I haven’t seen a reason to do business with pastimes at almost any GP. They haven’t paid higher than any other vendor in the room for a while, and it seems to be locals that like to sell to them to support their shop.


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I haven’t seen MTGFirst at a GP for quite a while. They didn’t seem to have great buy prices or sell prices. However, they had a shelf entirely full of alters which looked really amazing.  The prices weren’t that much more expensive than the normal cards, but I wasn’t in the market for alters at this GP. If you see them in the future, I recommend stopping by to see what they have in stock alter-wise,  but they seemed tepid at best for selling to based on their hotlist and the amount of people selling this weekend.

Q&A Magic 

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Q&A Magic debuted for their first time this weekend.  AJ from Gray Ogre decided to open his own booth, and he had Ogre working the booth for him this weekend as well. As always, when Ogre is working at any booth, you need to stop by. I’m not sure what it is about Ogre besides his smile, but he could charge $20 to talk with him at GPs and people would line up to say hi. Due to Ogre working at Q&A , they had a considerable amount of traffic this weekend. In order to stay competitive, they raised buy prices on their hotlist to match other vendors this weekend.

They seemed determined to make a name for themselves on the circuit, and this GP was a great start to it. Ogre picked through my Ogre box and didn’t find anything, but he did find a small amount of cards in my binders that he paid handsomely on. However, they also weren’t without their faults. AJ had the persona of a brick wall when dealing with many people this weekend. Although I was happy with my experience, quite a few of you reached out to me on Twitter about how you were treated at his booth. I also wasn’t happy with his practice of pulling out cards and putting them on the mat, and then downgrading them for condition right before adding cards up. Hopefully this practice will cease soon, as it made me feel uncomfortable seeing my $9 sell price on Sacred Foundry go down to $7 right before I was handed cash.  As a newcomer to the scene, I still recommend stopping by Q&A magic in the future to see some of their deals and buy prices. They also were willing to negotiate on cash buys for random foils such as cascade bluffs and shizo, death’s storehouse. Being flexible might not make the best margins for them, but it sure made me a happy customer!

Alter Reality Games 

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Alter Reality Games didn’t bring much to the table this weekend, besides overpriced Modern Masters packs compared to the rest of the vendors at $12. I was quoted about 20% lower prices than top vendors like Coolstuff and MTGDeals. I also wasn’t happy with the mood of their buyers. They didn’t seem to interact with any of the sellers sitting next to me, and didn’t attempt to make conversation or friendly banter with anyone. The mood of a buyer is important to me, as I want to feel happy sitting down across from you while selling cards instead of listening to grunted numbers. After a negative experience as well at SCGSTL, I’m going to stay away from these guys for a while. Once again, this is just a personal view of mine. If you had a different experience, feel free to leave comments or reach me on twitter @lengthyxemit.

Dave & Adams Card Shop 

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Dave and Adams brought the most high-end inventory by far with hundreds of graded pieces of Power. They picked through the rest of my Ogre box and took the dregs, as well as a couple commander and Khans cards. I struck up a conversation with the head buyer, and chatted for a bit while he bought cards from me. I’m sorry that I can’t remember his name, but it was definitely one of the top experiences buylisting this weekend besides Aether and Coolstuff. Even if someone is only buying $200 of cards from you, he should be able to talk about bad beats stories with old cards as well as how D&A runs their operations with one of the largest gaming spaces in the United States.  I gained a lot of insight about the price of Pokemon bulk as well ($40 per k minimum is insane!) and walked away happier with some cash and their business card in my pocket. Even though they didn’t have the highest buy prices in the room, the experience of buylisting to them will definitely make me a repeat customer. They also had sealed high end product such as Collector’s Edition, Legends, and a Revised box that were cool to look at though a bit out of my price range.

Pastimes as TO

Disclaimer: This weekend was Halloween and RPTQ weekend, which may have led to the numbers below. However, it should also be noted that there was a RPTQ on site Friday afternoon.

So as many of you read from my tweets, pastimes TO’d an interesting GP this weekend. Pastimes rented one event hall for Friday, two for Saturday, and one for Sunday in order to accommodate all of the players for the GP. The thing is, they didn’t even need the second hall Saturday because not enough people showed up! A $70 fee to enter a GP is approaching ludicrous territory. Pastimes seems to have overestimated the amount of people willing to pay $70 and have $700 tier one decks.

On top of that, myself and a couple friends attempted to enter a Legacy Win-a-Box and ran into trouble. They were asking $20, more than twice the cost of a box for them since they rake in $160 per event. After looking online, it said that their Legacy Win-a-Box was $15. We showed it to them, and they still insisted that it was $20, as well as the Legacy side event also being $20. After being frustrated, we decided to not spend another dollar at Pastimes that weekend and instead play casual Legacy in a corner of the room. I honestly will most likely not attend another Pastimes GP for quite a while after this weekend. After attending both GP Chicago and GP Indy, it’s time to ask for a better TO in the Midwest than Pastimes.

The low attendance also had an effect on the vendors. Friday was very good for all of them, but after Round 2 of Saturday, there were very few people selling to any of the vendors for the rest of the weekend as some of my pictures show even in between rounds when people are normally selling. I think most of the vendors made an okay amount of money, but due to the lackluster attendance were not able to get enough cards in to make the Grand Prix as profitable as any others this month. Fetchland buy prices had also stabilized across all of the vendors, plateauing at $20 on Polluted Deltas instead of being higher like other GPs this month. Bloodstained Mire was the most sought after fetch this weekend for some reason, and at least four of the vendors had none in stock by the beginning of the GP. As of the time of writing the article, I’m still not sure where the meta is that prompted the high demand for Bloodstained Mires this weekend.

Anyways, thanks for reading. Once again these are my opinions, and I’d love feedback on your experiences at GP Indy.  Until the Next One!


Bonus Questions:

Question: Biggest Trap in MTGFinance?

Using TCG Mid for trades – Coolstuff Buyer

Condition of Cards . On older cards, SP to MP Prices vary a lot and can be the difference between a $3,000 Black Lotus and a $5,000 Lotus – Ogre.

Foils newer than Zendikar for eternal staples. There’s just too many and they’re printing for millions of players – Floor Grinder.


What’s one thing Sellers should know before sitting across from a buyer?

Having a binder of bulk rares with a couple $4 dollar cards in it. It wastes both of our time –Aether Buyer.

Unorganized Binders – Tales of Adventure Buyer.

We’re trying to make a living. Understand that we do need to make a profit on these cards, and sometimes can’t afford to pay high on certain cards because they don’t move well for us. –Anonymous Store Owner.



Floor Reports: Grand Prix Madison

Editor’s Note: Hey everyone, something special for you today. Jeremy (@LengthyXemit) is one of the true binder grinders of the world. While other people are running around at a Grand Prix having fun, he’s off sorting 40,000 bulk cards or working with the dealers on site. I’m thrilled to have him sharing his thoughts on recent events with us, and today we have a report on the Grand Prix in Madison that just wrapped up yesterday.
My name is Jeremy. For those of you who don’t know, I attend pretty much every Grand Prix to grind Magic cards so that I can pay for college. I supply pretty much all the cards at my LGS: Valhallas Gate. I’ve written GP reviews on Reddit in the past and was invited to post one here. There were quite a few interesting developments at GP Madison that I thought you guys should know about. First off though, let’s start with the mainstay at every GP.



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Power Nine was the first booth that anyone saw on their way into the convention center. The shop is owned by Dan Bock, a controversial figure in the mtgfinance world if one were to go by the feedback shown on both Reddit and Twitter. However, I had nothing but a positive experience when dealing with them at this GP. They were making offers on any card that approached the booth, something that is interesting for people looking to Ogre five-row boxes of bulk cards by sorting cards into rows of the prices they want to get for each card and having vendors pick through the box. Ogre himself was again working for them this weekend, with a smile on his face and a fat stack of cards on his buy mat. I sold around $400 of cards to Power Nine over the weekend, and was also able to get 15 cents on certain rares that they picked out in my bulk rare box. Their booth always had people selling to them even at the beginning of the rounds, most likely due to the fact that their actual shop was less than a half an hour from the event.


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CoolStuffInc was the next booth over. I sold a little under $700 of cards to their buyers Mark and Jason. They were both very friendly and bought small things like Emblems that most people don’t realize you can buylist. I mainly sold them stuff that I knew they were paying the highest on from looking at their buylist online. They did not deviate from the buylist given to them at the beginning of the GP and did not change buy prices on anything over the weekend.


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Chimera was one of the fresh faces at this GP. It seemed like they brought every single sealed product they had, as well as every single graded card. Their buylist was noticeably lower than any other vendor, and I didn’t sell them anything. However, they also brought damaged and foreign binders that are commonplace for any vendor at a Grand Prix. As a player, you can get a discount on a played or foreign card, and they liquidate stock that has been rotting on their shelves for a while. Because I was one of the first people on site Friday, I got one of the first looks at their binders. I was able to pick up a Heavily Played Alpha Clone for $10, and six 9th Edition Russian Grave Pacts for $4 each. I picked up the Clone for my personal Old School deck, but the grave pacts are going to make great trade fodder for local commander players in my area

Channel Fireball Pic

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Channel Fireball had a great buylist sitting next to Chimera. They were offering generous trade amounts in credit for certain cards, something that you could certainly use to your advantage when trading into older format staples. Unlike GP Oklahoma City, they weren’t just offering credit on foils this time around and as a result it seemed to me that their booth was much busier this time. I sold them $200 of casual cards such as Auriok Champions and Field Marshals. The buyers were friendly enough, but it seemed like they had a small amount of high-end inventory compared to Grand Prix in the past.

Aether Games

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Aether has consistently had the highest buy prices on staples at the past three Grand Prixs I have attended, and this time was no different. They had the highest buy prices on fetch lands at the beginning of the GP, hoping to snag as many as possible from people looking to cash out at 100% profit in under a year. They were also the only vendor to stock the popular Hareruya sleeves, and people were happy to pay $12 for 3 packs of them. I sold Aether close to $1500 of popular staples such as fetchlands, shocks, and Modern Masters 2015 staples. They were also paying $50 on the popular Tasipurr playmats . Their buylist Friday for Jace, Vryn Prodigy was $60, which was high enough that I would have sold them all of my copies if I had any remaining. I think they got their fill of Jaces, as their buy price slowly dipped down each day. Ojutai also spiked throughout the tournament from SCG results, and their buylist went from 13 to 15, then 16, then 20 and then finally going as high as 22. They were also selling Knight of the Reliquary for $9 on Friday, and then put them on their buylist for as high as $10 on Saturday. I also bought quite a few staples from them that were priced around TCGLow, such as Beta basics , Stony Silences and Tasigurs. I picked up Russian Khans fetch lands that only commanded a 30% premium compared to their English counterparts which did not reflect current Ebay and TCG prices. I feel that these are a good investment, as there is very little Russian Khans compared to English out there and there are no Russian Onslaught fetchlands.

Savage TCG

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Savage TCG was the other new vendor at this Grand Prix. Their prices were mediocre and were not competitive enough on staples for me to sell them to them. They probably had the lowest traffic of all of the vendors in my opinion, but the people that did sit down with them were selling them hundreds of cards at a time, perhaps taking advantage of certain buylist numbers that I wasn’t aware of.

Pink Bunny Games

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Pink Bunny was also there. Normally, I tend to stay away from them after multiple bad experiences both online and in person. At this GP, they were in the top three average buylist prices out of all the vendors for everything. They seemed quite happy with the amount of people standing in line waiting to sell cards to them. I didn’t sell them anything, but did pick up two copies of Lion’s Eye Diamond for $65 that I had wanted for my personal storm deck.

The Fetch Frenzy

Flooded Strand
Almost every single vendor wanted as many fetches as they could grab their hands on at the GP. Aether started out with the highest buylist on polluted Delta at $20. On Saturday, Pink Bunny started offering $21 on Deltas in order to get copies in. Aether responded by matching their buy price of $21 a couple of hours later. ChannelFireball didn’t pay any higher than $18 all weekend on Deltas, and CoolStuff didn’t deviate from $17. The other vendors offers were lower than this according to the buylists and numbers that I asked each booth about.

Pro Tour Profits

A well known pro set the tables abuzz Friday night. Tomoharo Saito decided to buy out every copy of three cards at the GP from each vendor. He bought out Ojutai’s Command, Hangarback Walker, and Oblivion Sower. Ojutai’s Command had been seeing play in the “Dark Jeskai” Standard deck. The night before Dark Jeskai would run the tables in the SCG Standard Open, Saito had already bought out the entire hall of this card. Hangarback Walker has not dipped too much after its reprint, and he may have bought these to restock his store in Japan. The card that could have the most interesting financial performance is Oblivion Sower. Saito bought out all copies under $7 (over 200 copies), which means that he might have a sweet tech that he is saving for next week’s pro tour. The fact that he was paying higher than TCG Mid at the time raises quite a few eyeballs. I personally traded for the few remaining copies on the floor Saturday morning from people that hadn’t heard the news yet.
Overall, GP Madison was a blast. Vendors are clamoring for fetch lands, and a well-known player might see a financial windfall if his speculating pays off at the Pro Tour. I was able to play Randy Buehler in Old School Magic, which was definitely a cool experience and shows that the format is starting to grab even the most well-known players. While I was able to grab the first two games, Buehler absolutely stomped me the next seven games.
I hope you guys can learn something from my opinions and information from GP Madison.
Feel free to comment below or reach out to me on twitter @LengthyXemit

Bonus Question:
If you had $100 to start your MTGFinance portfolio what would you buy?

“Collection at buylist” – Ogre
“Original Zendikar Lands at a quarter or less” – Ryan Bushard
“Bulk Rares at 10 cents as long as I had an out”- CoolstuffInc Buyer
“Bulk C/U at 3 per K” – Floor Grinder.
“A collection from a local player” – this editor