Grand Prix Kansas City Pairings demo

Many of the midwest folks, and quite a few others thanks to us running the Sides at Magic Pro Tours, are familiar with my scrolling pairings software. the original software was written by Jim Tweig about 8 or 9 years ago to give us a way to better use our fairly restricted store space for PTQs at the original Misty Mountain Location on Monona Drive.

It evolved a little, but then Jim got a real life and the updates stopped.

…flash forward to a couple years ago when Jordan Baker took it upon himself to write a new version of the handy program and make it cleaner, simpler and better. Wow has he succeeded. The new and improved software (called RTools) has been a constantly expanding, useful program. Jordan introduced a browser based tournament pairings sytem that allows people to find their pairings without ever looking at a screen. load in the “Epic” URL, type in your DCI number and it will give you a list of the events you’ve played in since we started using the newest version of rtools, select the event you’re currently playing in and as soon as we put up pairings, you’ll see your table assignment at the top. check back after the round starts for an approximate time that the round will end. If you have an internet browser of even marginal capability on your phone, you can use this awesome feature at any event we run!

… jump ahead one more time to the tool we’ll be adding for Grand Prix Kansas City. So far the scrolling pairings, which work really well for events up to a couple hundred people, presented a problem in the 1000 player range for processor speed to move all those lines of code, as well as time delay for waiting for 1000 lines of tables to scroll across the screen. The new RTools solves that issue (at the expense of hardware, but, cest la vie). We’ll have 4 remote desktop computers hooked up to our network and we’ll push pairings to those machines. those machines will be hooked to 46″ HD TV Monitors set up around the room. Each computer/monitor will have a letter range it displays independently from the scorekeeping or source computer, much like the old paper pairings letter displays, hopefully knocking each display down to less than 300 players per monitor!

Why is this technology so cool?

Simply: speed.

We have done some time comparisons on events in the past using the scrolling pairings and conservative estimates put it at saving 3-5 minutes per round in administrative time. Printing a couple sets of pairings, taping them up, walking out with them, getting them posted, then having the players squeeze around to look at the 12pt font to find their pairings all takes time. The scrolling pairings hit the video monitor within 30 seconds of the previous round last result going in and players are finding their seats immediately. You can see the pairings from 15-20-30 feet away fairly easily so you don’t have to crowd in to see your placement (plus now you can check on line, so some players will never actually look at the board!)

At an event with 8-10 rounds of swiss in a single day, saving 5 minutes per round means you get done with your day almost an hour earlier. an hour. That’s an extra hour for drafting, supper, or hitting the karaoke bar 🙂

So come join us at Grand Prix Kansas City and you can say “you were there” when this game changing technology hit the big stage for the first time. Plus you should come out and get your limited edition North American GP Series Long box and your GP KC Deckbox!

The following video is a quick sample of how it works. It’s only pushed to the machines that will be running the big monitors, but we’ll have them all hooked up to 46″ displays on site!


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