Class of: 2006
Hometown: Willowdale, Ontario
Debut: Pro Tour-Dallas 1997
Career winnings: $133,773
Lifetime Pro Points: 238
- "The Wise One"
- Four Pro Tour Top 8s, including a win at New York 2000-01
- Made the Sunday stage with three different teams
- One of the game's top writers, with Wise Words and Limited Skills required reading for the Pro scene
- Embraced the world-travel lifestyle of the Pro Tour
Gary Wise has a Magic resume that any player in the game would kill to have: four Pro Tour Top 8 finishes including a win at Pro Tour-New York, played with three different teams in those finishes, was the third-highest money winner on the entire ballot, was one of the top Limited players in the world, and had a peak median finish that was among the very best in his class.
Yet it may have been Gary's contributions outside of the red zone that led to his first-ballot election into the Hall of Fame. Gary was one of the most influential writers in the game. He was one of the first players to write about, and embrace, the Pro Tour lifestyle. He also was the first writer to tackle Limited formats on a regular basis, and was even banging the drum about up-and-coming Japanese Pros long before anyone else inked their names into the collective Magic consciousness.
During the first year of the Hall of Fame's existence Gary continued to exert his influence on the game through punditry. He was a vocal advocate for the voting process and helped shape public perceptions of what the Pro Tour Hall of Fame was and should be about going into the future. It was disappointing but understandable when Gary chose not to be as vocal during Year Two. Gary chose not to write about the Hall this year because he felt he was already going to be drawing a lot of support based on his written contributions and did not want to exert any undue influence over the process.
"I thought there was a decent chance," admitted Gary when asked whether or not he was expecting to get in. "On the numbers alone, I don't think I was in the top five candidates, but the popular sentiment seemed to be that my extracurricular work on the game would be a difference-maker. When I did get in, it was a moment of great relief, because I was named as sixth or seventh on a number of [public] ballots. I also didn't feel like I'd have much of a chance after this year.
"I have some accomplishments as a player I'm very proud of. Making it to Sunday on three different teams, winning Pro Tour-New York, making seven straight Limited top 32s in 1998-00, playing every Pro Tour from New York 1998 to Worlds 2004, but the truth of the matter is those accomplishments hardly made me Hall-worthy. There are guys on the ballot who didn't make it in who were far better Magic players than I was. To me, that means my induction has everything to do with my writing about the game."
Gary looked back at his first Pro Tour event, which was in Dallas: "I remember the excitement. I was with a very powerful contingent of Toronto players, all of whom were already accustomed to the whole thing. It represented the accomplishment of one set of goals and the beginning of a new set, so it felt really important to me."
Just like Bob Maher and Dave Humpherys, Gary's best memory of the Pro Tour – from the countless ones stored in his brain – is of winning a Pro Tour. Along with Scott Johns and Mike Turian, Potato Nation won Pro Tour-New York 2000-01. It was something he had always imagined. What he could not have imagined was the existence of a Hall of Fame – which is surprising considering Gary's penchant for promoting the game's best players.
"I was always an advocate for increasing the pro game's profile, so I guess I could have recognized the possibility, but only in a best-case scenario, and I didn't think I'd be one of the guys who made it in. Really, this whole thing is a real validation of the time I spent arguing for developments that recognized the best players."
And who would Gary like to thank for his election into the Hall?
"Everyone, really," gushed Gary. "The guys who I called teammates, both in the tournament and test-group sense; the people at Wizards who provided me the chance to travel around the world doing something I loved; the readers; my dad for instilling the love of games that got me here."
By Event Type
|Pro Tour-Los Angeles||2/28/1997||112||2||3||0||0|
|Pro Tour-New York||5/30/1997||152||3||3||0||0|
|Pro Tour-Los Angeles||3/6/1998||318||1||4||0||0|
|Pro Tour-New York||4/17/1998||18||9||3||2||0|
|1998 World Championships||8/15/1998||20||13||7||1||0|
|Pro Tour-Los Angeles||2/26/1999||21||9||4||1||0|
|Pro Tour-New York||4/30/1999||42||8||5||1||0|
|Grand Prix-Washington D.C.||6/18/1999||176||0||2||1||3|
|1999 Canadian Nationals||7/9/1999||34||5||0||1||0|
|1999 Worlds Championship||8/15/1999||7||13||5||1||0|
|Pro Tour-Washington D.C. (Team)||9/3/1999||28|
|Pro Tour-Los Angeles||2/4/2000||243||2||4||1||0|
|Pro Tour-New York||4/14/2000||25||9||5||0||0|
|Grand Prix-St. Louis (Team)||5/13/2000||8|
|Grand Prix-Pittsburgh (Team)||6/24/2000||24|
|2000 Canadian Nationals||7/1/2000||10||8||4||0||0|
|2000 World Championships||8/4/2000||87||10||8||0||0|
|Pro Tour-New York (Team)||9/28/2000||1|
|Grand Prix-New Orleans||1/6/2001||160||1||3||0||3|
|Pro Tour-Los Angeles||2/2/2001||19||10||4||0||0|
|2001 Canadian Nationals||7/21/2001||5||10||5||0||0|
|Grand Prix-Columbus (Team)||7/28/2001||42|
|2001 World Championships||8/10/2001||94||10||8||0||0|
|Pro Tour-New York (Team)||9/7/2001||71|
|Pro Tour-New Orleans||11/2/2001||181||3||3||0||0|
|Pro Tour-San Diego||1/11/2002||12||10||3||1||0|
|2002 English Nationals||5/26/2002||6||9||3||1||0|
|2002 World Championships||8/16/2002||20||12||6||0||0|
|Pro Tour-Boston (Team)||9/27/2002||3|
|Grand Prix-Los Angeles||11/23/2002||155||1||3||0||3|
|2003 Canadian Nationals||6/21/2003||44||5||4||1||0|
|2003 World Championships||8/8/2003||253||5||7||1||1|
|Pro Tour-Boston (Team)||9/12/2003||3|
|Pro Tour-New Orleans 2003||10/31/2003||141||4||4||0||0|
|Pro Tour-San Diego||5/14/2004||23||10||5||0||0|
|2004 Canadian Nationals||7/3/2004||93||1||4||0||0|
|2004 World Championships||9/2/2004||303||1||5||1||0|
- Gary had two distinct careers in Magic; one as a highly successful player and another as one of the game's most influential voices.
- He began playing professionally at Dallas 1997 and posted his first money finish at Mainz, placing 29th.
- Four more Top 32 finishes followed over the next two seasons with another Top 64 before Gary crashed through into Sunday at Worlds in 1999.
- Gary's next trip to Sunday was a triumphant turn at Pro Tour–New York 2000 with Potato Nation, flanked by Mike Turian and Scott Johns.
- Gary's column Wise Words was a groundbreaking look inside the world of professional Magic. His Limited Skills column was one of the first to regularly tackle Limited play.
- Gary made seven straight Limited Top 32 finishes from 1998-2000.
- Gary's third and fourth Top 8 finishes came in back-to-back Boston Pro Tours with two different teams – all in all he made three team Sunday finishes with three different teams.
- Gary was one of the first players to embody the Pro Tour lifestyle, moving around the world to stay on top of the game's latest developments. Included in that globe-trotting adventure was staying with Ben Ronaldson at Hampton Court Palace outside of London for nearly a year.