My OkCupid Affair With A World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player

This story sounds mean. It's about a girl judging a boy because he's a nerd (like so many of us!) that she met on OkCupid. But that's the point: Judging people on shallow stuff is human nature, and the magic and absurdity of online dating is how immediately and directly it throws that into relief. One person's Magic is another person's fingernail biting, and no profile in the world is deep enough to account for that.

Australian Editor's Note: We disagree with the US author of this post, more: Alyssa Bereznak Just Reminded Us That Women Can Be Predators Online Too

Earlier this month, I came home drunk and made an OKCupid profile. What the hell, I thought. I'm busy, I'm single, and everybody's doing it. Sure, I'd heard horror stories, but what was the worst that could happen?

Two weeks into my online dating experiment, OKCupid had broken me down. It was like the online equivalent to hanging out alone in a dark, date-rapey bar. Every time I signed on, I was hit by a barrage of creepy messages. "Dem gurl u so foine, iwud lik veru much for me nd u to be marry n procreate." Or "your legs do look strong." So when I saw an IM from a guy saying, "You should go out with me :)" I was relieved. He seemed normal. I gave him my name. "Google away," I said. Then dinner was ready, and I signed off without remembering to do the same.

We met for a drink later that week. He was thin and tall, dressed in a hedge fund uniform with pale skin and pierced ears. We started talking about normal stuff — family, work, college. I told him my brother was a gamer. And then he casually mentioned that he played Magic: The Gathering when he was younger.

"Actually," he paused. "I'm the world champion."

I laughed. Oh that's a funny joke! I thought. This guy is funny! But the earnest look on his face told me he wasn't kidding.

I gulped my beer and thought about Magic, that strategic collectible card game involving wizards and spells and other detailed geekery. A long-forgotten fad, like pogs or something. But before I could dig deeper, we had to go. He had bought us tickets for a one-man show based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's life story. It was not a particularly romantic evening.

The next day I Googled my date and a wealth of information flowed into my browser. A Wikipedia page! Competition videos! Fanboy forums! This guy isn't just some professional who dabbled in card games at a tender age. He's widely revered in the game of Magic that he's been immortalised in his own playing card.

Just like you're obligated to mention you're divorced or have a kid in your online profile, shouldn't someone also be required to disclose any indisputably geeky world championship titles? But maybe it was a long time ago? We met for round two later that week.

At dinner I got straight down to it. Did he still play? "Yes." Strike one. How often? "I'm preparing for a tournament this weekend." Strike two. Who did he hang out with? "I've met all my best friends through Magic." Strike three. I smiled and nodded and listened. Eventually I even felt a little bit bad that I didn't know shit about the game. Here was a guy who had dedicated a good chunk of his life to mastering Magic, on a date with a girl who can barely play Solitaire. This is what happens, I thought, when you lie in your online profile. I was lured on a date thinking I'd met a normal finance guy, only to realise he was a champion dweeb in hedge funder's clothing.

I later found out that he infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people I sort of know, including one of my co-workers. Mothers, warn your daughters! This could happen to you. You'll think you've found a normal bearded guy with a job, only to end up sharing goat cheese with a world champion of nerds. Maybe I'm an OKCupid arsehole for calling it that way. Maybe I'm shallow for not being able to see past his world title. But if everyone stopped lying in their profiles, maybe there also wouldn't be quite as many OKCupid horror stories to tell.

So what did I learn? Google the shit out of your next online date. Like, hardcore. Also, for all you world famous nerds out there: Don't go after two Gawker Media employees and not expect to have a post written about you. We live for this kind of stuff.

Australian Editor's Note: We disagree with the US author of this post, more: Alyssa Bereznak Just Reminded Us That Women Can Be Predators Online Too


Comments

    Well, you're a bitch.

      Nothing about whether he was a nice guy; no mention of him suggesting they play together... if he was an arsehole then fair enough, but "striking him out" just because he still plays MtG?

      No wonder you're still single.

        She reminds me of this scenario (pre-internet)

        - Sorority girl meets and dates handsome guy. During dinner she discovers guy is a gaming geek. Sorority girl dumps handsome nerd, and then publicly embarrasses him.

        Only difference is now the public embarrassment goes beyond the classroom, but extends around the whole world. The person who wrote "Well, you’re a bitch," had it correct IMHO.

          I completely agree. The author is shallow beyond belief.

            Not only is she shallow but she clearly failed at half her research. He DOES work as a hedge fund manager.

            She lost out - he's a good looking guy with a heart of gold and she's a shallow selfish witch. He dodged a bullet on this one.

              Does it count if the hedge fund is made up of the managers own money? Say, if it was the managers multi million winnings from card games?

      I'd prefix that with total... Total bitch.

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted

        I'd dispute the characterization of "elitist bitch"; there's nothing remotely elite about her. Of the two of them, only one has done something well enough to be called a champion at it. And she's one to talk, calling him a liar; I'm fairly confident her profile isn't upfront about the fact that she's a shallow, judgmental prick.

        Yes she's not "elitist" in any way she is shallow and pathetic. Stop being a moron and learn how to insult people.

          Elitist doesn't mean she's better than other people. It means she thinks she's better than other people, which she obviously does.

      Fuck oath. What a troll.

      +1 Troll bitch.

      You guys are just railing on her senselessly here just calling her a bitch. (Look her up, you should be saying "homely bitch".)

      Not just a bitch, but a lying-ass bitch. "Earlier this month, I came home drunk and made an OKCupid profile." What a load of bullshit - she doesn't want us to think that she might be lonely or frustrated or *gasp* human, so she explains it by saying she was drunk. But, nonetheless, she stays on OKCupid for a much longer period, presumably when sober. When you start an article with a lie, and unfortunately, a stereotypical excuse for behavior you (and no one else) is ashamed of, the rest of what you say is simply garbage. Where on her profile did she state, "I am a technology blogger who may exploit our date for laughs at your expense."

      Agreed. This woman is a nightmare. The guy sounds pretty nice. Unless there is something she is leaving out (doubtful), then I would say that she is a horrible narcissist and should probably remain single until she gets some therapy.

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted

        It should probably be noted then; Jon does play in high-level poker tournaments, and made a considerable amount of money in casinos at one point. I'm unsure how well he does nowadays, but I doubt he's doing badly.

          Hold up...most of the poker players I've met over the years are complete tools and asshats, while the Magic guys generally sweet, intelligent and have more interesting pursuits. I wouldn't rank poker above Magic as a selling point to any female worth her lady bits.

          Hang on, checking Google...and...

          Yep, he's cute! I'll happily share a date with him if this judgmental disgrace to the XX is too stupid to give the guy a real chance! <3

        Couldn't agree more.

      Wow... first of all: Alyssa, you're a gigantic a$$ douche. Secondly, way to sound and behave exactly like a junior high bully. It's such a shocking surprise that you're still single and pathetically searching for "Mr. Right As Long As He Isn't Into Anything Other Than My Hideous Face and Twilight." I can't imagine why any man with half a brain would even want to hold a conversation with you let alone be alone in a room with you. /Buh.

      Also, if somehow the poor bastard that dated this hoebeast is reading this: you're amazing, dude. Maybe someday I'll play you in a tourney. ;-)

      What Jake said. Way to judge people on their hobbies, dumbass.

      Agreed. This is the first time I have read an article and wished physical pain on the author.

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

        You'd have gone on a date with a girl, who is perfectly fine in any other capacity, disliked her hobby, and then gone home and wrote an article on your blog using full names dedicated solely to how ridiculous she was and how much better than her you are because she is the former world champion in something you don't like?

        The issue is not her not liking him because of his hobby. Its her dating life, and she can make her decisions. The problem is her being so arrogant, shallow, and nasty about it that she would go home and spend so much time writing this up just because of that hobby. Its like you liking tacos, and me going home and calling you a stupid, ridiculous idiot because you don't like tacos.

          Right. There's nothing wrong or unusual about not connecting with someone because of divergent interests. Lots of dates don't go anywhere. Going home and trying to publicly humiliate that person you happened not to click with is new (at least on the global scale allowed by the internet) and disgusting.

        Oh Alyssa, you so crazy!

      Wow. Not only are you a bit standoffish, but seem rather full of yourself. "Nerd" is thrown around like it's a BAD thing. I work in the gaming industry. I DO NOT play Magic, but have respect for the strategy you must have to play that game. Let's also touch base on the fact that you tried to find an online date and didn't do the leg work. Had you done what he most definitely did (Psst... it's called RESEARCH) you wouldn't have accepted the date nor publicized how petty and terrible you really are. Enjoy the single life and size D batteries, sister, because you're just the worst.

      To the guy she went out with: Keep it real man. Do what you do, CHAMP.

      If he lied about being a gamer, then you definitely lied about being worthless. Since when is not mentioning something that wasn't prompted a lie?

      I'm throwing my vote into the bitch pile.

      I completely agree. What kind of a narcissistic idiot would even think posting something like this would be okay? Does she not hear how unbelievably shallow she sounds? Geez.

      Well what did you really expect to find on an online dating website? But then again anybody who judges a person based on them playing cards as a hobby is probably the same kinda person who ends up getting shot during a bank robbery just because the robber doesnt like the way they are looking at them, and nobody even remembers them after a few months. just saying

      Wow. I'm really speechless right now. You don't even find it interesting that you went on a date with someone that's literally famous in that community? It didn't sound like he seemed very odd as a person, you just couldn't get over that one fact. Frankly, I don't feel you deserve to meet a good guy.

      Nothing wrong with Magic, and nothing bitchy about feeling deceived because someone deliberately hides who they are in their profile. I think she's right - he should have listed Magic: the Gathering as his #1 pastime, and if he wanted to meet someone with other interests, he could mention that, too. Plenty of us beautiful, hot female geeks would have found him attractive on paper, Magic and all. Would that be so awful for him? Or is he tired of women swarming around his world-champion-ness at meets? The more I think about it, the creepier he seems. Wish he'd just pick a burner and explain his motive for hiding what is likely an overriding passion for him. But yeah, lesson learned, Google first, Alyssa. I want to see what happens with a guy who is clear with you, and the quirks that evolve in a situation in which you actually have a stake. Much better fodder for post and your delightful writing. Carry on! Good luck!

    Wow, what a bitchy move you did. Heaven forbid someone has a hobby that they're exceptionally good at and can earn a shitload of money from tournaments. But oh no, it's NERDY!

    I'm just gonna say this: You're a horrible person, and with that sort of attitude you'll probably die single, which is a good thing - because I feel sorry for anyone who gets into a relationship with you, you shallow, mean woman.

    well that's just crazy! frankly, if someone turned out to be a hedge fund worker, that's what would put up alarm bells for me!

    good luck in the world of online dating... lol! "everyone else is crazy but me"

      He isnt a hedgefund worker...

    Wow what a surprise a chick who is a total c**t is single.

      Here here!

    Way to be a terrible person and do a great disservice to your gender.

    As for your question; "shouldn’t someone also be required to disclose any indisputably geeky world championship titles?" If they should be required to disclose that then people like yourself should also be required to disclose that you're nothing more than an egotistical mouth-breather.

    I'm also astounded that you think him leaving out that he is a world champion in Magic on his profile constitutes being a liar. It also makes me wonder how low the standards must be for hiring at Allure media for you to make the position of editor. Or did you perhaps lie on your resume to get the position?

      My nose is blocked 3/4s of the year, I'm physically incapable of not breathing through my mouth ._____.

        Beconase. Your doctor should be able to prescribe it. It's a nasal spray of a low dose of a steroid. Because it's delivered locally there is very little chance of any side effects and it's very effective (although it takes a few weeks for initial effect).

        Breathing through the nose is better for your health, if you can.

        Anyways, having been in your position I'm in complete agreement that 'mouthbreather' is a poor choice of insult as a lot of people have little choice in the matter.

    Id like to know where exactly he lied in his profile too. He just didnt mention a hobby. He didn't even mention the game until you did.

    If you want to claim he lied through omission, I'm guessing you didn't mention that you are a cow in your profile so you would be just as guilty of that.

    wtf is wrong with a guy that plays Magic as a hobby? hes not a criminal or a sex offender; hes just a bloke who likes to play a card game. big fucking deal. i expected that out of all people a gizmodo writer would be a little more accepting about it.
    if he's not your type, then so be it. but don't be a bitch and give him shit about it...

      Yeah, I wonder if she'd do the same if he was the world champion at Texas Hold 'em, another 'card game'.

        They were my thoughts exactly when I first read it. If he was a poker champ she wouldn't be thinking that. At the end of the day what's the difference. Both are card games with elements of skill and chance that give you money if you are world champion at them.

        Stupid girl is stupid.

          He actually is a poker champ as well. He won 3.5 million. Oh and there's a book about him.

          He is a WSOP champion too. :)

          According to hiw wikipage, he is actually a poker pro aswell.

          Amusingly, if you look at his wikipedia page, he now spends more time playing Poker than Magic :-)

      I know, she writes for Gizmodo but she wants to call other people geeks...

        +1!

          http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/08/alyssa-bereznak-just-reminded-us-that-women-can-be-predators-online-too/

    Alyssa, Did you also mention in your profile that your shallow, stuck up and have your head so far up your own ass to think you are some sort of judge on what is ok for people to be into?

    Just as your advice says to Google your date, now your unsuspecting future dates will have the luxury of seeing what a pitiful wretch you are when googling Alyssa Bereznak BEFORE saying No Thanks to you..

    My thoughts exactly, sounds like some little intern didn't properly guage her target audience.

    *slow clap*

    Is this just a massive troll to generate traffic?

    Also, good luck in the afterlife being someone's toilet, bitch.

    Also: "This story sounds mean"

    No, sorry, it is mean. You publicly berated a person who has a hobby playing a card game - a well paying one, from the sounds of it, and act like a shallow, judgemental sack of crap. Which is exactly what I'm going to do now.

    I can imagine other dates you will have:

    "He's stunning, but he works as a system administrator and owns a Microsoft Server 2008 book bigger than a dictionary!! DUMPED."

    "He's amazing, but he has a commodore 64 gathering dust in his garage! DUMPED!"

    "He's dreamy, but I then found out he does video editing on a computer! DUMPED!"

    "I didn't find porn on his computer, but a collection of MAME roms and King of Fighters as his most played game! RAPE!"

    "He has a DVD collection of 1970's exploitation films! DUMPED HARDCORE!"

    "He has a collection of (insert anything here)!! DUMPED."

    "He's a journalist on Gizmodo, a gadget site! DUMPED!"

    "He had something unexpected about him I don't like, and can't look past because I'm a gigantic black hole of ass! D-D-D-DUMPOBREAKER!"

    "He isn't a vapid, shallow asshole who has no hobbies other than calling his friends "brah!" DUMPED-DO-KEN!"

      lol
      oh Fistbeard, you so crazy.

      She's basically coming off like 30 Rock's Liz Lemon in the "That's A Dealbreaker!" episode.

      Only far less sympathetic.

    I find it incredibly unethical to degrade someone in a public opinion piece like that. So what if he engages in a hobby you disapprove of - be it gaming, MtG or Warhammer minatures? Bad date from your view, but don't attempt to publically humiliate the guy.

    You should really read what you've written, the comments in reply to your post and Elly Hart's article on this site and ask exactly why it is you're still single.

    You'll find the answer has nothing to do with the perceived faults of others.

    I've been on online dating sites before and let me tell you, that you are the epitome of all girls that are on these sites.
    You think that these sites are full of desperates, let me tell you what its like from a blokes point of view. It's full of stuck up, emotionally and psychologically challenged women like you. Where do you get off?

      I met a lot of really great guys via online dating, and as much as I would love to say that you're wrong... the impression I got from the guys I met was that I was truly a "catch" compared to the rest of the women on there. And for me to be a "catch" must mean that there are far too many women like Alyssa trolling internet dating sites.

    Seems like Alyssa's attempt to make him look bad just backfired HARDCORE.

    Agreed. That's why we published this counter point: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/08/alyssa-bereznak-just-reminded-us-that-women-can-be-predators-online-too/

      XD Awesome but card should be number 0 or in the negatives. 9 being 9 digits above nothing seems far to generous

    The dude doesnt even sound like a bad guy! He didnt do anything wrong, he just talked about his hobbies!

    What the f**$ is wrong with you?

    That's not it at all. He went on OK Cupid dates with 2 other people she just happened to know.

    Whats wrong with that? They were separate events. He's just going on first dates, nothing wrong with it all.

    He's not a wanker. He's just a dude on a dating website. Leave him alone.

      Wait, that wasn't a troll?
      My internets is slipping.

      Indeed. I whole-heartedly agree with you.

    This is blowing up on twitter, the internet now has a name for you, and it's quite similar to that first comment.

    The intro to this article is also rather pathetic.

    Wow you are a massive hypocrite.

    I can imagine a lot of guys would think you had claimed to be a "nice normal journalist" and then find out you were a "hideous techno geek" and would run screaming.

    Then again, this would be a good thing as it would save them from enduring your "personality".

    Seriously I have never seen such a hypocritical rant about a nice guy with a clean, active (and SOCIAL) hobby who you decided to fuck over because he didn't fit your dream stereotype.

    Maybe save it for your blog next time, atleast if you want to maintain some shred of respectability.

    Writing someone off who is passionate about something, and not only that, but extremely good at it?
    You deserve mediocrity, and he deserves someone much nicer with a beautiful heart.

      Well put.

    Actually... it sounds like she is kinda jealous that he could potentially earn more money by doing a "hobby" then she does working.

      Especially since she is an intern. And it shows.

        She's giving Gizmodo a bad name. I never been to this site before. I remember the name from the iPhone leak fiasco, now it will be for this article.

      The dude is a managing partner at a hedge fund firm in addition to everything else.

      Dumb bitch is dumb.

        so judging based on money is fine but not if she doesn't like his hobbies?
        hmmm something is wrong here

    This was horrifically unprofessional. Someone needs to be fired.

      Send her to FOX news.

        HAAAAAAH!

        That is exactly what this slanderous, horrible bitch needs. Fox news. Then, she will only be taken seriously by other stupid people.

        EXCELLENT!

          Responding to crass generalizations with more crass generalizations? Making fun of nerds is foul ball, but essentially calling conservatives "stupid" is fair play?

          And if your response is "It's okay to call them stupid, cause they are", go ahead and score yourself another point for being a nitwit.

            I think the point was that FOX is a platform for slanderous ignorance, not that 'conservatives are stupid'. If you are trying to say that all conservatives take FOX news seriously, then I ask you; what is the crass generalization here? I would say, though, that anyone who believes that FOX 'news' is anything but propaganda* is and idiot.
            *not limited to NewsCorp or its subsidiaries

              Yes exactly, FOX news is good at connecting dots that shouldn't be connected and they like their news spun harder than a tweeker on a 4-day binge.

                love all the FOX news haters who probably watch the same thing on the other side and claim it isn't biased.
                If you have a problem with how she did it, then you are that guy.
                This is a fact: be honest about everything when you are going on a date, you're more likely to meet someone who shares your interests. She is not "awful" or "bitchy". She is normal. I'd have done the same thing a hundred times over. If I went out with someone and she shared her LOVE of fashion with me, I'd probably not be very interested.
                If you don't like it, too bad.
                Grow up.

                  You are telling others to "grow up" in defense of her? You miss the point: it was fine if she disliked his hobby. What's the issue is her attempting to deface the man's name for the entire world based on something he shouldn't be ashamed of.

                  She is passing judgment on him for nothing. The man was being modest in his profile: and was open in the conversation she started with him. She fished for something to make fun of him for. And for that, she is a bitch. The fact that you don't understand what she done either means you didn't read the article, or are just as empty as she is.

                  Use that brain in your head boy before it starves to death. Would you write a mutli-paragraph article bashing the date because she shared her passion for fashion? Are you that petty? If yes, stop being a noob and if no, then why the hell are you defending someone who is?

                  He WAS honest about everything, you tool. That's why she decided to dump him and publicly humiliate him and act like people with "nerdy" interests belong on some kind of registry so shallow douchebags like her (and, apparently, you) won't date one by mistake.

                  Quit trolling your own posts Alyssa.

    I think all this article did is guarantee him a lineup of dates for the next 12 months!

      Hah! I sure hope so.

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