This is a discussion of the new tournament ratings system.

Primarily I want to focus on one concept, but this topic will entertain all issues related to it. The concept I want to discuss is the monetary effect of the new system.

Quite transparently the system encourages more tournament attendance, which means more revenue. That is not the point. That is the obvious fiscal benefit for the corporation.

But what about the effects of money from the player's standpoint?

What if, let us speak hypothetically, eight players planned to draft together. They find a small store that can handle match results quickly and post or announce pairings quickly as well. These eight players draft exclusively with one another to ensure no interference.

This is how they draft: after each paying, they receive their product. Each player blindly (figuratively) grabs the first card they can from each pack. That is, players pick for expedience rather than card quality. This makes the draft process take hardly any time. This process is repeated until each player has drafted a "deck." Deck construction takes no time. Each player uses all 45 cards drafted with no concern for adding lands.

The players are paired. For each match, players will alternate concessions. That is, each player will concede or not as predetermined by the group for each match. Thus players will win a predetermined amount of match points. The games will consequently proceed quickly. In the next draft, different players will concede and win as predetermined to balance/spread match points fairly (or not if the group decision is to improve certain players' scores).

The draft can be completely in minimal time, cards can be pooled and sold and proceeds split among the group. The cost of the draft is largely reimbursed as a result.

This process would allow players to conspire to gain match points at a rate far exceeding that of normal player's competing. This is cooperation. Game theory and money win.

The potential pitfall is the vagary of the term "bribery" as used in the MtG Tournament Rules. If this predetermination can be considered bribery -- which would seem to require that the point benefit be considered a "reward or prize," contrary to the examples provided in the Rules document, which consist of prizes of direct monetary or indivisible value such as cards, event invitations, or vacation offers -- then this plan is illegal in tournament play. Otherwise, this games the system.