|Tomoharu Saitou |
|Born||14 December 1983 |
|Pro Tour debut||2000 Pro Tour Chicago|
|Pro Tour wins (Top 8)||1 (5)|
|Grand Prix wins (Top 8)||4 (24)|
|Lifetime Pro Points||506|
|Planeswalker Level||50 (Archmage)|
Tomoharu Saitou(齋藤 友晴Saitō Tomoharu) is one of the most successful professional Magic: The Gathering players and the owner of Hareruya Store in Tokyo.
Magic: The Gathering is both a collectible and digital collectible card game created by Richard Garfield. Released in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast, Magic was the first trading card game and has approximately twenty million players as of 2015, and over twenty billion Magic cards produced in the period from 2008 to 2016, during which time it grew in popularity.
Saitou debuted at Pro Tour Chicago 2000.An 83rd-place finish meant he fell just short of making money. Later the same season, he made his first standout finish by reaching the top eight of the Asia Pacific Championship. His quarter-final opponent was to have been Peter Chao of Taiwan. However, Chao was not able to attend the final day of competition, and asked Saitou for a prize split. The judges ruled this to be bribery and disqualified Saitou, Chao, and Satoshi Nakamura who had acted as their interpreter.
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.
After two seasons off tour, Saitou returned the Pro Tour in 2003–04, and to the elimination rounds at the premier level by finishing eighth at Grand Prix Nagoya. In 2005, he made his first Sunday appearance on the Pro Tour. Alongside Tomohiro Kaji, and Kenji Tsumura, he reached the top four of Pro Tour Atlanta. Saitou's team, One Spin, lost in the semifinals to the eventual champions Nova, with Saitou losing to Gabriel Nassif.
The 2003–04 Pro Tour season was the ninth season of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. On 23 August 2003 the season began with parallel Grand Prixs in Yokohama and London. It ended on 5 September 2004 with the conclusion of the 2004 World Championship in San Francisco. Beginning with this season Wizards of the Coast moved the Pro Tour schedule farther backwards in the year to synchronize it with the calendar year. The season consisted of 26 Grand Prixs and 7 Pro Tours, held in Boston, New Orleans, Amsterdam, Kobe, San Diego, Seattle, and San Francisco. Also the Master Series tournaments were discontinued and replaced by payout at the end of the year based on the Pro Player of the year standings. At the end of the season Gabriel Nassif was proclaimed Pro Player of the year, the first player after Kai Budde's three-year-domination period, and also the first player to win the title without winning a Pro Tour in the same season.
Grands Prix (GPs) are professional Magic: The Gathering tournaments, awarding cash prizes, Pro Points and invitations to Pro Tours. They are open to all players and are usually the biggest Magic tournaments. The first Grand Prix was held on 22–23 March 1997 in Amsterdam (Netherlands). By the end of 2018, 654 Grand Prix events have been held, the biggest being GP Las Vegas 2015 with 7,551 competitors, making it the biggest trading card game tournament ever held.
Nagoya (名古屋) is the largest city in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is Japan's fourth-largest incorporated city and the third-most-populous urban area. It is located on the Pacific coast on central Honshu. It is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Kitakyushu. It is also the center of Japan's third-largest metropolitan region, known as the Chūkyō metropolitan area. As of 2015, 2.28 million people lived in the city, part of Chūkyō Metropolitan Area's 10.11 million people. It is also one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world.
In 2006, Saitou won Pro Tour Charleston as a member of Team Kajiharu80, along with Tomohiro Kaji and Shouta Yasooka.At the next Pro Tour, held in Kobe, Saitou made his first individual top eight appearance. He lost in the quarterfinals to Pro Tour first-timer and eventual champion Jan-Moritz Merkel. At the end of the 2006 season, Saitou was dubbed the PoY maker, because in the past two seasons his teammates, Tsumura and Yasooka, had won the Player of the year title. The following year, it would be his turn.
The 2006 Pro Tour season was the eleventh season of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. On 18 December 2005 the season began with parallel Grand Prixs in Lille and Charlotte. It ended on 3 December 2006 with the conclusion of the 2006 World Championship in Paris. The season consisted of 22 Grand Prixs and 5 Pro Tours, held in Honolulu, Prague, Charleston, Kobe, and Paris. At the end of the season Shouta Yasooka from Japan was proclaimed Pro Player of the year. At the Worlds in Paris the second class of the Hall of Fame was inducted. The inductees were Bob Maher, Jr., Dave Humpherys, Raphaël Lévy, Gary Wise, and Rob Dougherty.
Shouta Yasooka is a Japanese Magic: The Gathering player. He is best known for his success in the 2006 Pro Tour season, when he won Pro Tour Charleston with Tomohiro Kaji and Tomoharu Saitou, as well as the Player of the Year title. In 2015, Yasooka was elected into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame.
Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay and about 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.
In 2007, Saitou made his fourth Pro Tour top eight that year, in Yokohama, losing to Kazuya Mitamura in the semifinals.He also top eighted Grand Prix Singapore, and won Grand Prix Strasbourg. At the end of the season, he won the Player of the year title, making him the first player to do so without either winning a Pro Tour or reaching the top eight of multiple Pro Tours.
Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan by population, and the most populous municipality of Japan. It is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area.
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%. The country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department.
The 2008 season saw Saitou finishing third at Pro Tour Berlinand making the Top 8 of three Grand Prix, but falling 20 points short of defending his title.
The 2008 Pro Tour season was the thirteenth season of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. It began on 15 December 2007, with Grand Prix Stuttgart, and ended on 14 December 2008, with the 2008 World Championship in Memphis. The season consisted of twenty-one Grand Prixs, and four Pro Tours, located in Kuala Lumpur, Hollywood, Berlin, and Memphis. The Grand Prixs from June until August were designated Summer Series Grand Prixs, awarding more prizes and additional Pro Points. At the end of the season, Shuhei Nakamura became the fourth consecutive Japanese player to win Pro Player of the year. Dirk Baberowski, Michael Turian, Jelger Wiegersma, Olivier Ruel, and Ben Rubin were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
In 2009 Saitou won back to back Extended Grand Prix in Singapore and Kobe. The following season, he made the top eight of three more Grand Prix, winning in Columbus. At Pro Tour Amsterdam it was announced that Saitou would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Two weeks before his induction Saitou was disqualified for stalling at Grand Prix Florence. He subsequently received an 18-month suspension from the DCI.One day before the Hall of Fame induction ceremony Wizards of the Coast announced that Saitou would not be inducted due to his suspension.
|2000–01||APAC Region Championship||Kuala Lumpur||Special||22–24 June 2001||DQ 1|
|2003–04||Grand Prix||Nagoya||Standard||28–29 August 2004||8|
|2005||Grand Prix||Osaka||Team Limited||8–9 January 2005||4|
|2005||Pro Tour||Atlanta||Team Limited||11–13 March 2005||4|
|2005||Grand Prix||Matsuyama||Limited||14–15 May 2005||7|
|2005||Grand Prix||Beijing||Extended||26–27 November 2005||6|
|2006||Pro Tour||Charleston, South Carolina||Team Constructed||16–18 June 2006||1|
|2006||Nationals||Ōta, Tokyo||Standard and Booster Draft||25–27 August 2006||8|
|2006||Grand Prix||Sydney||Limited||7–8 October 2006||3|
|2006||Pro Tour||Kobe||Limited||20–22 October 2006||7|
|2007||Grand Prix||Singapore||Extended||3–4 March 2007||8|
|2007||Pro Tour||Yokohama||Block Constructed||20–22 April 2007||4|
|2007||Grand Prix||Strasbourg||Block Constructed||19–20 May 2007||1|
|2008||Grand Prix||Vienna||Extended||15–16 March 2008||4|
|2008||Grand Prix||Copenhagen||Standard||23–24 August 2008||2|
|2008||Pro Tour||Berlin||Extended||31 October–2 November 2008||3|
|2008||Grand Prix||Atlanta||Limited||15–16 November 2008||6|
|2009||Grand Prix||Singapore||Extended||21–22 March 2009||1|
|2009||Grand Prix||Kobe||Extended||18–19 April 2009||1|
|2009||Grand Prix||Melbourne||Limited||10–11 October 2009||2|
|2010||Grand Prix||Oakland||Extended||13–14 February 2010||8|
|2010||Grand Prix||Madrid||Legacy||27–28 February 2010||4|
|2010||Grand Prix||Columbus, Ohio||Legacy||31 July–1 August 2010||1|
|2012–13||Grand Prix||Sydney||Limited||19–20 January 2013||3|
|2013–14||Grand Prix||Kyoto||Team Limited||23–24 November 2013||4|
|2013–14||Grand Prix||Atlanta||Limited||24–25 May 2014||2|
|2014–15||Grand Prix||Sydney||Limited||23–24 August 2014||6|
|2015–16||Grand Prix||Santiago||Limited||29–30 August 2015||2|
|2015–16||Grand Prix||Lyon||Limited||30 October–1 November 2015||3|
|2015–16||Grand Prix||Mexico City||Limited||30–31 January 2016||2|
|2016-17||Grand Prix||Rotterdam||Team Limited||12–13 November 2016||3|
Last updated: 1 February 2016
In 2001 after Grand Prix Kobe, Saitou was suspended for 18 months due to consecutive disqualifications. A prize split was interpreted as being bribery resulting in a disqualification at the Asian Pacific Championships.Following that Saitou was disqualified for inappropriately attempting to get his opponent disqualified. As a result of these disqualifications, the DCI suspended Saitou for 18 months.
In 2010, Saitou was voted into the Hall of Fame.However, two weeks prior to the induction Saitou was disqualified during Grand Prix Florence leading to an 18-month suspension from the game. Wizards announced without further explanation that Saitou would not be part of the Hall of Fame based on the 2010 ballot.
Gabriel Nassif is a French professional card player. He is known for his continuous success on the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour and was the 2004 Pro Tour Player of the Year. He also enjoys playing poker, having moderate success at the World Series of Poker in recent years. In 2010, Nassif was inducted into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame.
The Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour Hall of Fame was started in 2005 to honor the most successful Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour players. The first inductions came on the tenth anniversary of the first Pro Tour event, and new Hall of Famers will be determined annually. Players who are eligible for the ballot can be voted in the Hall of Fame if they get more than 60% of the election committee's votes. As of 2018, there are 48 players from 12 different countries in the Hall of Fame.
Kenji Tsumura is a professional Magic: The Gathering player from Japan. He is one of only eight players to have reached the top eight of a Pro Tour more than five times.
Shuhei Nakamura is one of the most successful professional Magic: The Gathering players. He has reached the Top 8 of six Pro Tours and won seven Grands Prix, as well as being the 2008 Pro Player of the Year. In 2011, he was inducted into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame.
Jelger Wiegersma is a Dutch Magic: The Gathering player. Though no longer a professional player, he still regularly attends Pro Tours. He won Pro Tour Seattle 2004 as a member of team Von Dutch with teammates Jeroen Remie and Kamiel Cornelissen. He also won two Grand Prix, in 2003 and 2008. In 2008, he was elected to the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame.
The 2007 Pro Tour season was the twelfth season of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. On 9 February 2007 the season began with Pro Tour Geneva. It ended on 9 December 2007 with the conclusion of the 2007 World Championship in New York. The season consisted of 16 Grand Prixs and 5 Pro Tours, held in Geneva, Yokohama, San Diego, Valencia, and New York. At the end of the season Tomoharu Saitou from Japan was proclaimed Pro Player of the year. At the Worlds in New York the third class of the Hall of Fame was inducted. The inductees were Kai Budde, Zvi Mowshowitz, Tsuyoshi Fujita, Nicolai Herzog, and Randy Buehler.
Antoine Ruel is a professional Magic: The Gathering player. He has reached the top eight at the Pro Tour four times, including a win in Los Angeles in 2005. With eighteen Grand Prix top eights, he is among the most successful Grand Prix players of all time. In 2009, Ruel joined his brother Olivier in the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame.
Masashi Oiso is a Japanese Magic: The Gathering player. He is one of the most successful players to have played on the Pro Tour, being one of only seven players to have reached the top eight six times. Along with Kenji Tsumura, he is the player with the most top eights to have never won a Pro Tour. In 2012 Oiso was voted into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame. His induction was conducted at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica in October 2012.
Steven O'Mahoney-Schwartz is an American Magic: The Gathering player. At the height of his career in the late 1990s, he was considered one of the best players. He is well known as a friend and teammate to Jon Finkel.
Tsuyoshi Ikeda is a Japanese Magic: The Gathering player. His success include four top eights at the Pro Tour level, and six on the Grand Prix level, including one win. He is ranked 12th on lifetime pro points.
Michael Pustilnik is an American Magic: The Gathering player. His success include a win at Pro Tour Los Angeles 2001, two other Pro Tour top eights, and seven Grand Prix top eights. Pustilnik is one of six players who won a Pro Tour, a Grand Prix, and a Masters tournament.
Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa is a Brazilian Magic: The Gathering player. In 2011, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa became the youngest player to ever reach 300 lifetime Pro Points. He was elected into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame in 2012 as the first player from South America, and has twelve Pro Tour Top 8 finishes, which puts him second for the most Pro Tour Top 8s of all time.
Yuuya Watanabe (渡辺雄也) is a Japanese Magic: The Gathering player and former World Champion. With five Pro Tour top eights and 27 Grand Prix top eights, Watanabe is best known for his Rookie of the Year title in 2007, and his Player of the Year titles in 2009 and 2012. He is one of only three players to become Player of the Year more than once. He was elected to the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame in 2016, along with Owen Turtenwald, but removed in May 2019 after a cheating scandal involving marked card sleeves.
Guillaume Wafo-Tapa is a French Magic: The Gathering player. Best known for winning Pro Tour Yokohama in 2007, Wafo-Tapa's career has featured three other Pro Tour top eights, and six Grand Prix top eights. He is also known as a deck designer and for his strong preference for control decks. In 2014, Wafo-Tapa was voted into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame.
Makihito Mihara (三原槙仁) is a Japanese Magic: The Gathering player best known for winning the 2006 World Championship, 2011 Team World Championship and being inducted into the 2014 Hall of Fame. Mihara's resume includes four more Pro Tour top eights, and eight Grand Prix top eights, including two wins.
Owen Turtenwald is a former American professional Magic: The Gathering player. He has won a number of awards during his career, notably the 2010 Vintage World Championship and 2011 and 2015-16 Player of the Year. In 2016, he was inducted into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame. He was briefly a member of the Magic Pro League in 2019 before being removed and replaced. He has not participated in any Wizards of the Coast sanctioned Magic: The Gathering tournaments since then.
Paul Rietzl is an American Magic: The Gathering player. His greatest success was his win at Pro Tour Amsterdam in 2010, but his resume includes three more Pro Tour top eights, and thirteen Grand Prix top eights, including two wins. He was inducted into the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame in 2014.
Tom Martell is an American Magic: The Gathering player. He won Pro Tour Gatecrash in 2013. His other notable finishes include another Pro Tour top 8 at Pro Tour Paris 2011, as well as three Grand Prix wins.
|Preceded by|| Pro Player of the Year |