Wow, by the time you read this I will most likely be on a plane on my way to GP Las Vegas (unless you wait in front of the computer at night, hitting refresh until The Scrub Report launches). I haven’t even been playing for a whole year, and I’m off to participate in one of the most insane events in Magic: The Gathering history! Cool! All everyone could talk about was prep, prep, prep. We have to prep for GP Vegas. Have you practiced? Are you ready for GP Vegas? Now I can firmly say I have sufficiently prepped for GP Vegas, and I’m going to show you how I did it.

Scrub 1

Step 1: Ascend up to hell.

First, I took two trains from Brooklyn into Manhattan. I used to work in Manhattan. I try to stay away from Manhattan. I used to wait tables at a very expensive, high-stress restaurant in Midtown and now it kind of holds “resonant stress” for me. Ever since I quit for (much) greener pastures at the Shop, my life’s been amazing. It was the catalyst that pushed me into playing Magic. I made amazing friends since my start at the store (many of whom I’m traveling with to Vegas), and I’ve learned a lot about being a good friend, a valuable employee, and a manager. Now, walking through the hot, crowded streets around 53rd and 5th, I’m reminded how much better my life is now. It’s a moving realization. I’m a very lucky guy.

Step 2: Succumb to the Psycho-Architecture, 'Mister X'-style

Step 2: Succumb to the Psycho-Architecture, ‘Mister X’-style

Next I made my way to the place where I would finally get the preparation I needed for GP Vegas. It was time to hone my picks, zero in on the best possible options, practice my observation skills, and observe the best choices in a large pool. So, with socks and underwear on my mind, I headed to Uniqlo.

I don't like to play with cards in other languages (don't know the cards well enough), but I will buy socks in Japanese.

I don’t like to play with cards in other languages (don’t know the cards well enough), but I will buy socks in Japanese.

If you’ve never been to a Uniqlo, you really should check it out. They present their whole store like a mix between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s insane in there.

Step 4: Festival of socks.

Step 4: Festival of socks.

I was on a budget while shopping for the necessities of this trip to GP Vegas mainly because of Craps. Did I fail to mention that I love to play Craps? I do. I’m actually saving up to lose my shirt at the Craps table. So, when a person’s short on cash and in need of the basics, it’s important to find the best variety-to-cheapness ratio. Like here:

Step 5: Marvel at the super display.

Step 5: Marvel at the super display.

But I soon hit my first unexpected snag! I went up to the register with a basketful of socks and other basics. “I’m sorry,” the pleasant cashier shrugged, “but I’m afraid our system’s down and we don’t know why. We also don’t know when it will be back up and running. You should try our store at 34th street.” Huh? A bleached-out, preppy group of snots behind me started hooting and hollering, but I smiled and shrugged back. “I’m so sorry,” she said to me. I replied, “No, I’m so sorry for you, this is going to be a nightmare of a day, isn’t it?” Her knowing smile said it all.

Step 6: Lower your expectations.

Step 6: Lower your expectations.

So, no problem, off to another place to buy cheap-but-colorful essentials. H&M is what I call an “emergency” place to shop. Their style isn’t quite as tight and put-together as Uniqlo. I’m a sucker for good taste. If my budget and body-type allowed for it I would squeeze myself into Comme des Garçons. It’s all about a matter of taste. We should talk more about this in the Magic community. Anyway, desperate times called for desperate measures, and I needed some socks to play Magic in! Plus, this light-box poster was so bright and insane looking:

This is how they melt your brain.

This is how they melt your brain.

After a bunch of okay picks in an average pool I was ready to head off and start building my deck begin packing for GP Vegas. But before I went back to the safety of Brooklyn, I stopped off for a regrettable Subway sandwich (what was I expecting?) where I saw a woman throw an empty cup at the cashier’s head. Yes, for real.

Step 7: Regret.

Step 7: Regret.

Finally, all ready for Vegas! I’m going to win it all, according to Hugh. I mean, anything’s possible, right? And when I’m running this list, how can I be beat?

Giaco's Awesome Deck... Err... Suitcase

Pants (4)
Magenta Shorts
Jean Shorts (Light Blue)
“Hulk Purple” Purple Shorts
Burgundy Dress pants

Shirts (6)
Colorful Plaid Short Sleeve Button Up
Muted Plaid Long Sleeve Button Up
“Don’t Give Up” Light Teal T-shirt
“Kurt Vile —Fall Demons” Gray T-Shirt
“I d20 BK” Black T-Shirt
“Twenty Sided Store” White T-Shirt

Socks (10)
Gray Striped
Blue Striped
Green Ankle
Yellow Ankle
Blue Ankle

Unmentionables (5)
Light Blue Boxer Briefs
Black Boxer Briefs
Green Striped Boxer Briefs
Orange Boxer Briefs
Crocodile Boxers

Utility (8)
Small Toothpaste
Degree “Adrenaline Series” Everest Scent Deodorant
Belt with “Forest” Mana Symbol
Light Blue Swim Suit

Shoes (5)
Patchwork Toms
Navy Blue Vans
Suede Light Tan Desert Boots
Sideboard (Carry On Bag) (7)
Pair of Sunglasses
Copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Black Bic Pens
Flip Flops (necessary for 100-degree Southwestern metagame)

2013-06-19 10.37.30

All in all, I think I’ve done everything I can to prep for GP Vegas. Wait, what’s that? You all have been testing SEALED? Oh no… I think I misunderstood…

"First Pick."

“First Pick.”

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