Friday, June 5, 2015

GP Vegas 2015: Prep Days

Like approximately 700 other judges and scorekeepers, I was on staff for GP Vegas last weekend. Unlike most of them, I was on staff for all seven days. It was a long, extraordinary week, and there's lots to say about the many amazing (and a few frustrating) things that happened.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were all setup days. As it turns out, pre-registering sealed pools for 3,000 players and putting together boxes of packs, playmats and registration forms for the rest takes a little bit of time.

It turns out that the packaging for Modern Masters 2015 isn't very efficient, so the GP hall looked a lot like this after we got the packs out of the boxes:

I started Monday off on Team Sealed Pools with about 40 of my compatriots. I got through 18.5 before a delicious lunch of pizza arrived. (Half because, well, I didn't want my tablemate stuck finishing the pool he had just started before he got to eat.) After lunch, I switched to the box-making team for a change of pace, but I was back to Team Sealed Pools for all eight hours of my shift on Tuesday when I more than doubled my Monday output.

That was fortunate because we had to exceed our Monday total of 1200 pools by a *little bit* to get to 3000 total by Tuesday night. We succeeded, because there were a ton of awesome people working very hard at a pretty tedious task.

A member of the coverage team was taking photos of awesome packs and sweet sealed pools while were registering to post to social media after the event started, and was also keeping track of foil mythics opened. 

I started Monday off with a Foil Dark Confidant in my second pack, and I hit a double-foil pack midday on Tuesday — All is Dust and one of the rare artifacts — but that was the extent of the excitement in my sealed pools.

Well, almost. I also cracked this sweet thing:

Yep, that's a rare. Yep, there are three of them. Yep, I listened to the "Is Finkel playing this weekend?" jokes for the rest of the weekend. And ... I also decided that this was a sign that I need to start collecting MM2015 Shadowmage Infiltrators.

I mentioned earlier that I swapped tasks on Monday afternoon for a change of pace. I joined the team downstairs that was working on these:

Each of those boxes contained a GP playmat, six packs of Modern Masters 2015, tokens, a promo Griselbrand, a publicity waiver, and a deck registration sheet, color-coded by event.

I spent most of my time on Team Boxes folding the cardboard boxes into shape, more because I'm too clumsy to roll packs and papers into playmat burritos without making a mess, and in part because I've had lots of practice and am pretty quick at it.

Wednesday was a completely different beast. Team Sealed Pools and Team Boxes had accomplished their tasks, and all that was really left was setting up the hall for Thursday morning.

Prep staff doubled between Tuesday and Wednesday, fortunately, or we might not have accomplished it all. Here's a shot of the staff room Wednesday morning: 

My Wednesday started off with Team Basic Lands. Wizards shipped ... a lot of basic land for this event, and we had to get it out the land station boxes that were in the inner land station cases that were in the outer land station cases.

I guess if you wanted to say that was code for something, you could say that it was code for making a giant mess:

I rescued one of those boxes to use later in the week for the Modern Masters boxes I was going to open, but the rest were mercilessly stamped on, unfolded, and otherwise crushed into dumpsters.

Tablecloths arrived shortly after we finished cleaning that up, and we spent the rest of the afternoon putting tablecloths on the 10 different sections of the room — 8 GP splits, each color coded and tied to a planeswalker or Legendary creature from MM2015, and two side event areas.

By the time that was done, it was nearly time for my 4:30 sides scorekeeper briefing, which I'll get into a little bit when it's time for the Thursday/Friday post.

The one thing that stood out to me the most during the prep days was the amount of consideration that had gone into the processes leading up to GP Vegas. This was my first time working with ChannelFireball and Cascade Games. The smoothness and effectiveness of the three prep days were credits to the time and effort they put in before the hall ever opened for staff.

Also, the prep days were a blast.

No comments:

Post a Comment