Jeux Viens à Vous Gabriel Nassif Part II
9) How would you define in one word, yes only one, each of the following people:
Long hair of this era! (Laughter)
He had an incredible DCI ranking back then! I don’t know if everything was clean! (Laughter)
Back then he was my pet peeve.
As we talked about cheating, back then, a player told me precisely he was a "magician" with cards.
I have never heard a anything about it!
Well, you never know... But then Kai has always had a mega clean reputation.
I didn’t know him at the time, I arrived a bit later, but I would say passionate, when he speaks of something, he’s always passionate.
The GOAT (greatest of all time)
Fafa ... UFO!
Otto was my first friend in Magic
Alex ... Mono red!
Me? In a word? Damned...
I don’t think about myself very often...
This is often the most difficult to define...
Just put Luck... Lucky.
Chicago 2003 with Amiel Tenenbaum, Fred Courtois, Christophe Haim, Florent Jeudon, Raphael Levy and Noah Boeken
10) You are streaming for a living, as you told me. I must shamefully admit that I heard about Twitch but I don’t know how it works. Can you explain how one can stream for a living?
Streaming in France, is especially very much related to Twitch, it's a site where people watch your games and chat with you while you play. Revenues come from ads, subscriptions and donations made by the fans wanting you to continue. The more people watch, the more your income increases.
I was lucky not to start from scratch as people already knew me. But the current biggest streamers started with zero viewers or just their buddies leaving their stream open. Magic's biggest streamer was not famous at all originally.
One must have an opportunity because one won’t earn a thing at first. If you live with your parents it can be an opportunity but it takes time.
To get an idea, how many people follow you?
When I stream, I have around 200 to 600 viewers.
I started with 50/60 viewers about a year and a half ago.
Magic biggest streamers have between 1000 and 2000 viewers, even if now there are more views thanks to Magic arena, because other players came from other games like Day 9, you know who it is?
He is one of the best-known gamers, he has something like 4000 viewers. And to give you a comparison point, the biggest Dota streamer has 20 000 viewers. Ninja on Fortnite, do you know Ninja?
Well... no (At this point in the interview, I think to myself I'm getting old... ^^)
He's Fortnite's biggest international star, earning about $ 1 million a month. He made a stream where he played with Drake the rapper (Phew! I know him!), it reached 1 million viewers.
Tell me if it's indiscreet but compared to poker, do you earn the same? Less?
No, I obviously don’t earn as good a living, Twitch, without detailing, represents half of my income, the other half comes from the articles I write for Channel Fireball, a card sales site. That’s not much for now but it's enough for me, with the poker money we bought an apartment, my wife earns a good living so it's ok but I earn much less than with poker.
How long have you stopped poker?
1 year and a half.
Are you much happier now? More fulfilled?
I think so! Online grind is not ... mega fulfilling especially that I was not making efforts to progress, I've always been a little lazy on that.
Yes fulfilled, interacting with people, having a lot of people telling they come home from work and are happy to see you play, it's nice.
I feel overall happier even if currently I lack motivation to do things, I would like to recover a new motivation to do more things thoroughly...
11) You are 35, you are married, you maybe think to have children. In the end, you never had a typical job. Do you sometimes think of finding a more stable activity in order to be sure to support your family? Are you setting a limit or are you trusting your instinct?
It crossed my mind but I am under the impression that even the poker was rather stable, maybe not on the medium or long term where the overall level increases, laws that can change and so on. But I feel that what I do is relatively stable, but, honestly in the end, I do not know what stable jobs mean... things are going so fast... unless being a doctor or a lawyer...
I was offered a job in a gambling club opening in Paris, for instance, so I think I have a solid reputation in the game business.
I don’t worry too much about it. I spend very little, I live quite sparingly, we have an apartment so I don’t worry too much, I trust my instincts as you say.
Poker players usually play at night, so you live off the beat, things become hard with children, I don’t know if you think about it? On Twitch do you play during the day? At night ?
Many streamers have children. I would need to change my schedule from my current time. One important thing about streaming is to be there at the same time every day, but I don’t think it's a problem when you have kids.
What bother me most is that I'm still out of step with Liz, we don’t go to bed together, we don’t get up together. On the other hand from when she comes back from work until she goes to bed, we spend time together so it's much better compared to poker where I started tournaments at 8PM.
I even wonder if it's not a better job in order to have children.
12) The best/worst question…
The most beautiful combo?
I have never been much of a combo player! The first coming to mind is Illusion donate, I don’t know why... I don’t know if it's the most beautiful combo!
The shittiest combo you've seen or played?
Necro armageddon, I don’t even know if people were playing that... it's not very combo-like not to have land! (Laughter)
Best deck you played?
This one is asked from time to time, it's not that obvious ... New Orleans Pro Tour in 2003 I played Charbelcher / Mana severance, it was one of the best I played.
There was also Dragonstorm at the world championships in 2007 in New York.
Worst deck you saw or played?
Which I did play? There were some, especially recently! (Laughs) There was one or two Pro tour I played really bad games, Maze's end I think... In Pro tour it was great! (Laughter)
And the worst deck you saw in front of you?
Oh boy! Back then there were many ... but I won’t make fun of a guy...
But honestly I don’t remember one in particular
The worst one, without mocking?
There was Didier Parent who had the worst DCIC ranking. It’s impressive to see how players could rank poorly when there was still the ELO system. One wonders how that guy can have ranked so low! It's crazy ! (Laughter)
The friendliest player?
The least friendly player?
A real bad guy in Magic? Magic players are pretty cool in general, well cheating ones are not the coolest... Otherwise I think of friends like Thomas Shaw or Emmanuel Vernay, in a game of Magic you don’t really want to be paired against ! (Laughter)
Back then there were players who knew how to pressure, Thomas indeed, Franck Canu...
Clearly it was a weapon they used!
Exactly, I remember the French championship in Dijon where Thomas played an always loosing deck against the opposite deck and wins the two rounds with the rules.
That's funny, recently I was in his home and we talked about it! Against Fabrice Raby?
You had to tell you that you picked 7 cards with Temporal Spiral, and he won at least one of the rounds on it!
The most committed, thinkful Pro player?
Back then, maybe me, but I’ll take a more recent example. Gerry Thompson who really is committed in both the game and the social aspect.
During the last world championship, he boycotted by losing several thousand dollars because he didn’t like the way things were going.
The most WTF Pro player?
Farid, honestly! (Laughter)
What’s he doing now?
I think he is in Thailand, he is still playing poker, he is speculating on magic online, apparently it works pretty well, he qualified for a Pro tour a year and a half / two years ago, I’ve seen him there... The same Fafa, he has not changed! (Laughs)
For those who don’t know him, how can you describe him in a few words?
He's a UFO, he's basically hyperactive, it's quite intense, it's cool to be with him but living with him can be tiresome.
Moreover he was brilliant back then! When he started playing he was the best limited player in the world.
UFO, brilliant, talented.
I am under the impression that he suddenly appeared then.
In fact his story is he was originally a card dealer! He was into Magic only for business!
He did not know the rules, he bought and sold cards but without knowing the rules!
And one day in Ostelen, he decided he was going to play, he loved it, he too became obsessed with the game. Here’s an anecdote, Wizard of the coast had made a program giving out foil Wastelands for each match one played and as he was in all the drafts in Ostelen, he was the person with the most foil Wastelands in the world!
He went from trader to player, he won the first Pro Tour he played, the first French player to win a Pro Tour!
He was playing with an unbelievable speed! He is hyperactive, and one can see it!
It was pretty impressive to see him play...
But it was the same with poker...
Everybody talks about Isildur for earning a lot but Farid has set up bankrolls like no other in the history of poker! I don’t know all the stories but when he got broke and has $200, a few days later he plays 300/600 with 100,000 on his account. (Laughter)
He did it several times. Playing 16 hours a day, he really was a UFO, it's not overdone!
13) If you were to give me 2 people from the world of games, one for his professional qualities and the other for its human qualities, not that both qualities are conflicting.
Reid Duke or Gerry Thompson on the human level.
Gerry Thompson is very involved in the game as well as the social, charitable level. He auctioned his decks, his trophies and so on for charity, he boycotted the Worlds. Moreover his childhood was not easy, surely a bit of a depression too, I respect him a lot.
Reid Duke, he's just the nicest guy in the world, he is nothing but kindness and one of the best players.
Professional level is not easy, Richard Garfield maybe.
I’m really amazed that he keeps creating games.
Yes, he really is motivated.
If you had to ask a question to a player you see or not, who would it be and what question would it be?
I hate this kind of question! One question is not much! (Laughter)
It's a classic but a guy like Stu Ungar, how did he become so good then. What made the difference?
How did he come back after being a drug addict, too.
Yes, he kept being impressive, he died young, the legend.
14) Could you tell us about an author or an important work for you, whatever the context: literature, theater, cinema, games and so on... that you would like our readers to discover or rediscover?
Some music artists come to my mind.
My brother is in the music industry, when he started his first label in our former apartment, his first group was a guy named Syd Matters, he did not become a mega star even if he is relatively famous but I’ve always loved his songs.
For books, I can’t say what to read according to the 6 books I’ve read the last 10 years, but there is one I think everyone should read, Thinking fast and slow, it talk about how the brain works and all the biases we have when we think of something.
Basically in the brain you have the system 1 and the system 2, the system 1 is fast, intuitive and functional and the system 2 is a little more logical.
It's something we should learn in school, all the biases we can have, it's mega important.
Gabriel with Patrick Chapin and David Williams
15) The day you leave the world of games, one way or another, what would you like to be remembered professionally and above all humanly for?
Professionally, to have been one of the best Magic player ever. This image of one of the best players of all time is pretty cool anyway! (Laughter)
But I don’t even know if it's that important... Humanly, I would like to keep this reputation of the always smiling guy, always in a good mood, having a kind word, I hope to remain this way, always.
Yeah, me smiling, being lucky to do what I do.
16) Gabriel, considering your professional and personal life, are you happy?
Yeah, I’m happy.
I haven’t always been happy these past few years, even though I’ve never been depressed because I always was aware of my luck.
Am I tremendously satisfied with what I'm doing? No, but I am happy.
Do you think that if you had kept on playing poker, you could have been depressed?
I don’t know... I know something had to change anyway.
Maybe I chose the "easy way" but I could have found solutions to the problems and work a lot on myself but I think I wanted to get back to Magic. I believe it was the right time, there is the flourishing Magic arena bringing back many new players, and a lot of old ones coming back, it is rather a success so I feel my choice is rather justified.
A pro league has been announced for next year, I think I am the one who got the most screwed according to their star system, but it’s pretty good.
A thing you said made me thing about something, but I forgot! (Laughter)
Oh yes! I don’t know if you've already thought about it but did someone ever offer to work directly for Magic?
Yes, Dave Humphreys has already mentioned it to me.
The door is open ... for all the big Magic players I think, guys like William Jensen, me. Unofficially they have already asked me, even if for a foreigner it’s a bit more complicated because you need to justify your value compared to an American, but yes the door is open I think.
Would you be tempted?
Yeah that could be cool, it means moving but yes I could be tempted.
But I'm always wondering, would I be good enough for the job?
After being successful in Magic and poker as you were, do you still doubt your ability to adapt?
Yeah, you never know!
I think I maybe was successful because of the suitable way of thinking on the moment, even if I think I would succeed, but I still have doubts, I don’t say I won’t succeed but I still have doubts...
Even if I think it would work anyway!
Do you want to add a last word?
No it was cool, thank you for taking the time for the interview.
What do people say as the last word?
What they want, some want to talk about one last topic, dedicate something...
No, well I've always been lucky as much as with my family as with Magic, poker all that...
I thank you very much Gab and keep your simplicity, your humility and of course the smile we know.
2-0 Gab? Ok!
Others interviews and my Facebook :
English Version :
Richard Garfield :
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