Power and Toughness—Grand Prix Vegas Nightmare Friday (#GPVegas Part One)

An hour and a half after I got into a black car (what our non-yellow cabs are called in NYC) I arrived at JFK’s Terminal 4, stood in another line for a few minutes and then did half an hour in the security line. A few clicks behind me was Rolex.

“Why don’t you come back here and wait in line with me?” he asked. “Because where I am is so much better.” I said. It was only five minutes better.

Once through security we collected our belongings, put our shoes back on, and headed to the gate. On the way we stopped and ate Panda Express. It wasn’t very good but I lied and said it wasn’t bad. Panda meat is fine.


I also bought new shoes.


Then our flight was delayed an hour and Rolex and I waited.


We finally made it, paid the $40 cab fare from the airport. Boom.


The Palace Station has the best art in it ever. Not really. I mean, art’s a funny thing, right? So these paintings in a non mauve room without the silver frame, presently differently, and maybe less digital looking (or even MORE digital looking) would be at home in any blue chip gallery in NYC. Who knows?


Rolex and I met up with Bones and Rolex’s bro from back in the day, Dave. We then ate food at the cafe. At midnight a special went into affect and I got a $3.99 hamburger with fries (then added bacon, cheese, and a fried egg – this upped it to an $8.99 burger). Everyone else had eggs, bacon, toast, and hash-browns for $3.99, except Bones who’d already eaten at In-N-Out Burger.


I asked Bones to get me a toothbrush. When I arrived he handed me this children’s Snoopy pulsating tiny toothbrush. I have never had a greater dental cleansing experience. “You better believe it,” said Bones.


Vegas looks like this at 7:15am from the Palace Station elevator. Mars also kind of looks like this.


I love palm trees.


This photo accurately depicts what casinos feel like.


Part of the Palace Station Casino/Hotel.


The Magic bus takes you to the Magic venue.


Then you see this line. This is the front of the line to get in for people who’ve preregistered. The line for the people who haven’t registered is well past the 100 spaces available. Had someone from Cascade Games or a judge said “You are way past any chance of getting a playmat and can sign in later tonight or tomorrow – you do not have to wait in line,” at any point I would have left. They didn’t. So, I stayed.


I got in line here with a Kiwi, a Canuck, a Swede, and a Mariners fan. We made the most of it.

Actually, this line would’ve been pretty unbearable without these awesome guys I was standing with. We made jokes, told stories, and more or less had the best possible time standing in line for four and a half hours. I ran into Mike, the Canadian, several times over the tournament. He and the Kiwi didn’t do so hot. I never saw the other Swede and the Mariners fan again.


The line kept going behind us. We are around the building. That’s how long the line was.


Then it kept going and eventually bent around itself.


Two hours later we rounded the corner and were in the front of the building.


Once inside any hope of a quick registration evaporated and madness set in.


This asshole, and one of my roommates, skipped 1000+ spots in line, had no shame, then won a GPT and had three byes. What a prick. My money is on him rage dropping round four. (Update: he X-3’d.)


At various points we were allowed to sit down.


Almost there! We are not VIP!


As I write this Wizards hasn’t posted to yet, so everyone from my day one report will not be named. Oh well. This guy was awesome and I beat him in my first Mini Masters match. Death Denied was a bomb for me.


After opening a foil Bob I played this fella and curved out insanely well with what seemed to have become a blue/black faeries deck.


Here’s me with my foil Bob. I checked all the booths for the best buy price and $125 from Cape Fear Games (aka MTGO Traders) was clearly the highest.


This is what I converted Bob into.


This guy beat my ass at Mini Masters in round three. My third pack was garbage and his deck was good.


The only dude I saw tabling all weekend.

After waiting in line for four-five hours to check in and then half an hour for Mini Masters to start I figured my day of waiting was over.


Rolex and I then waited an hour to sign up for an eight person RTR block draft pod. When we finally sat down a judge gave me some serious attitude and then threw our packs to us, told us we were on our own to report to the big shitty mess of a judges’ station in the center of the room, and that was that. I couldn’t wait to leave. I drafted every gate I saw then every gatekeeper. Pack two I didn’t see anything interesting or good. Pack three I didn’t observe a single pick after the first (a gate) and blindly chose one card per pack and placed it on my pile of picks, never looking, and passed it to the guy on my left. When all the cards were taken I stood up, told Rolex I was dropping, and threw my deck in the garbage.

I walked around for a bit and had some of the artists draw ogres on the backs of card proofs for me. Of the three artists I asked Jeff Miracola’s was by far the best. Daarken didn’t even seem to try.

I went back to the draft and waited for Hunter to finish so we could get the fuck out and go eat dinner. The shuttle to our hotel stopped running from 7-10pm for no reason and we had to wait in line to get a cab for 20 minutes. Did I mention that we had to wait in line on Friday at all? Well, we did. A lot.

We ate at the hotel. I had too much pasta and regret none of it because pasta is the best. If there’s a food I could eat everyday forever I’d choose pasta with red sauce (and some veggies hopefully).

Dave (not Bones) and Rolex played/shot/tossed/whatevered craps for a bit and I wandered upstairs to bed. I don’t remember laying down but man did I sleep hard. Bones and Sean came back from the casino later on and they didn’t wake me even a little bit.


I almost always got this elevator ride with a view from the 21st floor to the ground floor of Las Vegas. This is how intense the sun is here.


And this is the breakfast I chose to power me through day one of Grand Prix Las Vegas.

Could my rage be abated? Find out next week in my full day two (and three) GP Vegas report.

Thanks for reading,

MTGO: The_Obliterator



Archived Comments

9 Archived Responses to “Power and Toughness—Grand Prix Vegas Nightmare Friday (#GPVegas Part One)”
  1. Caitie D says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m in love with you.

  2. Big Dave says:

    I AM in love with you.

  3. Matt says:

    Why drop from the draft? Why ignore your picks, and throw away perfectly good cards?

    • Matt Jones says:

      Matt – I was pretty unhappy/upset, and just not into it. I’d already tried to get Rolex to not draft while we were in line for an hour and then after we signed up I tried to get our money back/drop out of the draft because it was taking so long to fire. After the judge was rude to us without reason my mind was just out of it. If I could’ve grabbed some kid and had him/her play in my place I would have! But, alas, I was stuck. I drafted as many gates as I could pack one and took relevant good cards (of which there were very few for whatever reason). Pack two was super mediocre/bad though I admit my eyes were looking through lenses of disappointment and near-rage at that point so a ghost-dad probably wouldn’t have cheered me up. Oh well! Pack three my rare was awful and my deck had little to no direction. Simply put: I didn’t want to draft anymore and was ready to go home. The thrill of drafting I had when I stood at the front of the registration line was a distant memory. I needed food and rest and got it shortly after. I threw away the cards b/c I wasn’t playing with them and had zero cards of value. Sometimes it just feels good to windmill slam a stack of cards into the garbage (as an artist I tend to do seemingly non-sensicle feel good things more than your average Joe).

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