Jake Mondello is a 19 year old dedicated Magic player, clocking an impressive 10-14 hours a day on Magic Online. He has 2 Grand Prix top 8's in his record, one in Cleveland and the other in Quebec City. Currently chasing Silver level - and almost there with 14 Pro points this season. Jake lives in Connecticut.
Click to Tweet: I got a ton of value from Jake Mondello when he shared his story on #MTGProTutor today! Click here: http://bit.ly/mtgprotutor-ep73
Identifying which aspects of a Magic match were due to variance instead of his own mistakes was a difficulty Jake experienced early on in his career.
He felt unlucky and found it hard to determine what, if anything, he was doing wrong in matches. After a while Jake began to closely analyze his games and realize small mistakes he made, which helped define what elements of the game were out of his control.
After losing a PTQ he asked Mike Sigrist, who he had met at another tournament, to help go over his pick order and practice Drafting.
Over the course of a week they Drafted as much as they could along with Devon O’Donnell. When something interesting took place they would pause and discuss whatever aspect had cropped up, then proceed with their games.
One of the heaviest losses Jake has experienced came at Grand Prix Miami.
He wanted to take a shot at qualifying for the Pro Tour, but ended up losing against Seth Manfield playing for Day 2. Jake says he punted, giving up an advantage he had that led to him losing the game. He attributes his mistake to “playing scared.”
While a difficult loss, this helped Jake learn to play to win instead of playing not to lose.
Jake points to his first Top 8 at Grand Prix Cleveland as his proudest moment, but it comes tinged with a touch of disappointment.
He managed to take second place at the tournament, losing to Bill Tsang for First place. This was another match where Jake attributes his loss to playing scared, but it helped solidify his mindset of coming to tournaments to enjoy himself and have a good time with his friends. Dominating every tournament he goes to is an unrealistic point of view to maintain, and Jake has worked to keep that mindset in check.
Complaining about luck is a big mistake in Jake’s playbook.
He finds that the art of complaining distracts players from what they need to do in order to win the game. Once someone has allocated mental energy to complaining they have taken the first step towards giving up. Sometimes your opponent will draw everything they need in the perfect order, but sometimes you will too.
Don’t let one match define how you feel about your entire Magic career.
Drafting can be higher risk when it comes to pumping real money into Magic Online.
If you are starting off low, Jake recommends playing a constructed format like Pauper to build up a collection first. The daily events and 8 man single elimination matches are some of the highest value. Having a friend that plays online can make it easier to procure good cards early on, as you can trade whole decks back and forth until you build up a proper collection.
Magic has helped Jake develop a drive which enables him to go out into the world and strive to achieve his goals. As a recovering agoraphobic, Jake found that Magic was instrumental in being able to travel and live his life to the fullest.
Pen & Paper
Player Cards for Tokens
Jake urges players to learn from every Magic experience they have, and to make sure they enjoy themselves while doing it.
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