Hello everyone, and I hope I find you in good spirits today! Just in case you haven't read my other blog post, I'm pretty much writing up a list of rules that I've learned so far while attempting to grind it out to pro-ness. I will soon be telling you a little bit about my recent experience at a National Qualifier down in Orlando, Florida. If you're not in the mood to read much (EVEN THOUGH YOU SHOULD BE, AHEM) the title is a very apt description of some of the things I will be bringing up.
Part 1 (FNM, The night before National Qualifiers)
FNM has been a pretty integral part of my Friday nights for a while now. There is something about going to an FNM and crushing the hopes and dreams of fellow MtG players (Just kidding, I promise!). The best part about the night was seeing some of the decks that the newer players brought. One gentleman crafted a lovely delight containing some 200+ cards, in 3-4 colors. Watching him attempt to shuffle was very pitiful, and I offered to help him shuffle half of it. I also found myself laughing pretty heavily when that deck got Jace, The Mind Sculptor -12'ed.
By the time Top 8 rolled around (12:20AMish) I received a text message from the person that agreed on driving us up to National Qualifiers the next day, saying that he could no longer make it. The next 30 minutes or so was spent calling people super late at night trying to figure out how we were getting to qualifiers, who was riding with who and who was driving!
Rule Number 6: Plan stuff out early, and don't forget a back up plan!
I ended up taking 6-7th place at this FNM, and instead of getting booster packs, I ended up spending my winnings on a new set of dice! Whenever I meet new people at events, I try and see if people are willing to trade D6s as well.. This is what you end up with:
Part 2 (WHY DOES IT SMELL SO BAD?)
We managed to get a couple more people to go with us, and the ride was pretty uneventful. At one point I fell asleep, and I guess during that time I actually sleep-spoke about my Valakut deck and trades. Did everyone else laugh about it? Of course.
After we entered the shop, we quickly found a empty table and began some play-testing. This is where things started to get bad. A couple older people wearing weird shirts (later I found out these were Pokemon Judge shirts) told us that we needed to get up for them. We grudgingly agreed, and moved over to the other side of the room. This is when the room started to fill up. The trickle was slow at first, then the prepubescent monsters started to swarm in.
I'll always remember the look of unconstrained, uncontrolled hunger of those that were there to get there grubby little fingers on the new Pokemon set. I still sob softly to myself when I think of the HUNGER (or at least when I remember the smell).
Before I forget, the venue was decently sized. It's probably able to hold 100 or so people comfortably, and offers only one bathroom. I really didn't expect them to double book the venue. Yet, the room was soon filled with about a million Pokemon fans. They also had a majority of the store marked off for them, leaving about 4 small tables for the National Qualifier.
Oh, did I mention that I'm from Florida, and it was like 100 degrees outside that day? Yeah.. It was cooler outside then inside. I don't play MtG for the aerobic aspect of the game. I don't play the game to sweat all over my cards.
Let me sum up this whole tournament for you:
1) It was hot. Probably a million degrees. Everyone was sweating.
2) It was stinky. It's a room filled with trading card game fans. Think about it.
Rule Number 7: Please wear deodorant, or at least take a shower. Don't make people suffer more then they already have to.
3) It was crowded. Every time someone moved, or breathed.. it would cause a domino like affect, and my chair would get jostled.
4) It was very loud. Do you really need to squeal about something Pokemon related? PLEASE NO.
5) I was very angry.
I'd easily rate this as one of the worst tournaments I've ever been to. I guess I've been spoiled by my local shops, and I can truly say that I'll never make the journey to that venue again.
Part 3 (PREORDAIN GUY)
I can happily say that I've never felt like I've been talked down to because I'm a female while playing MtG. I've had the usual stuff happen to me, generally one of these: 1) Oh, you're here because your boyfriend brought you right? 2) If you're looking for the clothing store, it's two doors down.
During my second match, I sat down to a nice enough looking opponent. It wasn't till his turn 1 play did I actually realize what sort of pain train I was in. He laid down a single Island, tapped it, then played Preordain. The next 20-30 words out of his mouth included something along the lines of: "You know what this card does right? Basically, I get to "SCRY". Do you know what "SCRY" means? IT BASICALLY MEANS I CAN LOOK AT MY TOP 2 CARDS, AND BLAH BLAH, IT DOES STUFF BLAH BLAH. GIRLS DON'T REALLY PLAY MAGIC RIGHT, LOLOLOLO" At this point, I just thought he was joking.. I mean seriously... I've seen someone Preordain like 8 billion times.
I know it's very important to not let people get into your head while competing in MtG, but the atmosphere mixed with this guy's personality definitely rubbed me the wrong way. I found myself miss-playing and doing pretty terribly. I should have turned the situation into a positive thing and taken advantage of his stupidity. The only thing that made this situation good was that it was one of the best learning experiences I've ever had. You can't let stupid people and terrible atmosphere ruin something that you love/enjoy.
Rule Number 8: Don't let crappy things get to you. It's important to keep a clear head, and not let that loss or two affect your next game. You can always win out!