Jamie Parke has 3 major top 8s, including Worlds 1999, Worlds 2008 and PT ATL 2014. He also has 4 GP Top 8s and as you can tell by the dates is one of a very small group of players with a top 8 in 3 different decades. He currently lives in Philadelphia and trades equity options.
Look at cards and compare them with the other cards being spoiled. Look for synergies like Subterranean Scout + Nantuko Husk.
Reading the draft: Don't focus on this skill too early. First focus on learning the cards and becoming familiar with what's good and isn't. Identify the really good commons. When one of these picks come late than you can start reading the draft.
Find others who are strong where you are weak but more importantly you need people who you are friends with. It's imperative that you get along with each other.
A week play-testing with the Pantheon looks like people playing what ever deck they want against other decks and having an organized draft a few times a day.
Look up rules. Ask rules questions. A deeper understanding of the rules will lead to more victories.
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