GP OKC Playmats are shipping and GP Madison updates

If you were a player at GP OKC who did not receive your playmat and opted for the “mail me one!” option, those playmats are hitting the post office this week. They will be coming in a Legion branded triangle “tube” and should be arriving at your indicated address over the next 4-5 days.  Thank you all for your patience!

GP Madison has almost 1000 Preregistered players and is still trending towards a 2500-2600 player event.  The cap has been lifted from 2000 to 2250 and Friday’s hours have been expanded to open at Noon instead of 2pm to help accomodate check in and the drafting we expect these extra players will want to do.   I would *highly* recommend Preregistering online *here*, if there are any spots left by the time Friday of the event rolls around, it wont be that many and it would be a pity to travel to the event only to find out we’ve sold out!

I just found out that Aaron Forsythe and Ben Hayes from MtG R&D will be coming to GP Madison!  I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to talk them into doing some gunslinging for us Saturday afternoon.  Check the onsite monitors in the room for updated info on when and where that will be happening!


GP Madison Changes

When I scheduled this event about a year and a half ago I thought if we got 1700 for Madison we’d be pushing it.  I took into account a new set, proximity to the Pro Tour and the general awesomeness of Madison as a whole. I set the initial room size and layout based on a 2000 player cap (expecting we’d be closer to 1700 if it went well).  When I crunch initial preregsitration numbers into the tracking spreadsheet I use (designed by L3 Rob McKenzie) that compares this data to others, it’s telling me we’re well on our way to 2500 players total.  So I went back to the proverbial drawing board, did a room redesign and added 400 chairs. This allows me to lift the cut off to 2250 players and still leave some extra room for between rounds and folks who are not playing in the main to hang out.

In addition to changing the cutoff number, I am moving start time for Friday to 12pm (noon) from the usual Legion start time of 2pm.  This will allow us a little more time for check ins, for players to play grinders, and we can move one of the Saturday scheduled events over to friday to alleviate some of the early round space constraints.  We will be holding all on demand (8 player) side events on Saturday until we determined there is enough room.  If you’d like to come down and draft or play in another 8 player event on saturday, I’d suggest you wait for early afternoon, though we will start some if space is available for us.

I’m hoping this makes everyone a little more comfortable on Saturday, and allows us to get much closer to what our current total expected attendance to be. I want as many people who want to be able to play in GP Madison to be able to play!

That being said,  Preregister now! If the preregistration trends continue, we will run out of the 2250 spots slightly before registration on site. If you don’t preregister online, you may not get to play at all!


2015 Legion Tin at GP Madison

In addition to the playmat and deckboxes above, Players at GP Madison will be able to acquire a limited edition (only 1000 made) tin with the GP Madison Art. This tin is the culmination of the year of Legion GPs and is FREE to any players who played in all 3 Legion GPs.  The tin will sell for $10 with a $3 discount for each GP you played in, free if you played in all 3!  Supplies are limited and are limited to 1 per person, to GP players only on a first come, first served basis. (If 1000 players come to pick up their Tin, and you are not in those first 1000 players you will not get one, even if you played in all 3 events!). You can get your tin when you check in on site to get your GP Madison playmat and GP Promo card (Deckboxes will be given out with your sealed pool at deck registration). We will have a complete list at check in and will confirm with you what your cost (if anything) is including your Madison preregistration.

Thinking back, GP Minnesota 2001

Earlier today GP Madison attendance passed the number of participants at my 1st GP in Minneapolis, almost exactly 14 years ago. It was a fair number for the time, especially considering the world trade center had been brought down just over 2 weeks before… many people opted not to make the trek. Here we are, a decade and a half later and attendances continue to grow. I am staring at the likely hood that for the first time in my career I will have to enforce the attendance cap. I hope to be able to increase the cap a little with a room layout redesign. But even considering I can do that, historical comparisons indicate this event would top 2300 if the registrations continue in the pattern of the last roughly 2 years of my GP events.

Last weekend I ran my 2nd to last GP. It’s possible I could be brought back, but for the foreseeable future… This is it. Madison is likely to be the last hurrah. 2 months ago when the 2016 GP schedule was made public I felt an outpouring of support that left me emotional more times than I care to count. I am humbled and honored so many of you have shared your opinions and appreciate what I do and have done over the last 18 years as an Organizer.

I spent a lot of time talking to folks in OKC last weekend. They wanted to thank me for years of events, show me their support, and wish me well. It was touching and occasionally tear inducing and I thank each of you for your time and good will.

I’d like to share the thing that hit me the hardest at OKC, the first moment I had to step away to collect myself. When we open the doors (I open doors at 2pm) there is usually a bit of a crowd outside. For the last several hours inside the room we’ve been getting everything in place and getting ready to, as I usually say when its door time, “release the hounds!!!!!”.

I gave the word and the doors were opened and the players streamed into the GP hall. They almost always hit the stage in a bit of a crush and the staff wheel, flow and give instruction as we try to bring the players into the appropriate lines and get them served quickly.  And there is always that moment, I would argue it is the most perfect moment of the whole weekend, that moment when the initial surge is settling in. Players have sorted into the appropriate lines and the staff are starting to chew through the lines, helping the players, registering them, answering questions, moving them along and then it just… Gels. It’s almost like a “snap to grid” setting in drawing software. It’s a perfect moment in time when the initial chaos has been brought to heel and order has taken over and the lines begin behaving like lines should and the staff all have their rythem.

I don’t always get to see that moment. Sometimes I’m called away to solve an issue or finish up a last piece that didn’t quite get done before the doors opened. But its my favorite moment. And I’m sure to be watching for it at GP Madison.  It gives me goosebumps even just thinking about it. And I look forward to seeing it one more time from the stage at Madison.

See you all real soon!


Grand Prix OKC starts tomorrow!

So the bad news is that over The last couple weeks, we lost a couple of our originally scheduled artists: Jeff Miracola and Kieran Yanner due to work scheduling issues.  The GOOD news is we picked up Dan Frazier !  Yay!  COme down and see Dan, Clint Cearly, Dan Scott and RK Post.  Play in some events including our VIP sealed which lets you win supper out with these amazing artists, your TO (me) and head judge (Toby Elliot, his schedule permitting!)  We’ll go somewhere awesome in Brick Town right next to the convention center and have a great night eating, talking about magic and all kinds of other stuff. These dinners out have become among my very favorite parts of GP weekends.

Registration onsite ends at 9pm, you can register online up to 10pm. And after that, no dice, so get your registration in and we’ll see you tomorrow!


GP Madison Room block update

Well, that was fast. Apparently I just had to give up to make it happen.  Just got the word: They say everything looks good from their side.  Apparently when the date was originally put in someone erroneously entered 8/24 as the cutoff date and the compter occasionally kicks back to it. It’s been fixed (again).  There is now a direct link on the hotel page for GP Madison HERE.   Rooms are available until sold out OR until Sept 24th. I checked the link myself and got a room to book. so it should be set!


Sheraton Room block for GP Madison

I’ve gotten a few calls asking about the room block at the Sheraton for GP Madison,  It was officially scheduled to end today (the 1st) but we asked them to extend it and were told that it would be good up to 2 weeks out from the event. that does not appear to have happened, however.  We have calls in to the Sheraton and will update here once we resolve it and are able to book in again.

Thanks for your patience.