Gaming Divergence

So my current dilemma is this: Many of my gaming friends seem to be focusing more on playing poker, whereas I’m more interested in playing Magic, especially doing booster drafts. Both activities require a critical mass of 6 or more people, which means our gaming groups – which overlap considerably between these two – are fragmenting.

Moreover, we’re starting to have unrelated scheduling conflicts: Subrata and I tend to put aside Wednesdays for board gaming and/or comic books, Subrata plays in a constructed-deck Magic group on Mondays, one fellow is busy Tuesday and Thursdays, another has given up Magic entirely, other people are just plain busy at random intervals… which makes it difficult (and therefore frustrating) to organize a game, even with several days’ (or a week’s) notice.

I’m not desperate enough to play Magic to consider Magic Online, especially since MO only supports Windows, and I think my basic aversion to paying for (and even using) Windows will dissuade me from going that route. (Though if they ever came out with a Mac client I would sign up in a minute. No, really.) But I am thinking of investigating the organized draft events at local stores such as Superstars or Game Kastle. I’m a little reluctant since I’m always kind of nervous to jumping into a brand-new social environment like that, and I have no idea what it would be like. Worrying that I’d be a fish among sharks also has something to do with it, but more viscerally I wonder if the people who would attend would be “not my kind of people” for whatever reason (not geeky enough, too geeky about Magic, a lot younger than me, or whatever).

I enjoy poker, but I don’t want to play it to the exclusion of Magic. Whereas I’d consider playing Magic to the exclusion of poker. Of course, board gaming is the most consistently-available gaming venue among my friends, but I’ve been gradually getting burned out on board games.

What to do, what to do?