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How was your GP/Conference?

Mr. Z, Rival’s Duel podcast co-host Nole Clauson, and I, rolled into Grand Prix Denver on Sunday, Dec. 4. We came down on Sunday because of the Judge conference hosted the next day at Advantage Games, and I Want More Comics.

Neither of us wanted to play in the main event, so Sunday seemed like the most reasonable option. Zane (Mr. Z), made his way to the side events table so he could jump in at least one event. Nole and I headed to the vendors. We both had a list of items we wanted to find, and a few cards to sell. Truth be told, Nole had quite the stack as he was selling some cards from people within his local community as well.

Before arriving at the event, Nole gave Zane and I a chance to look at what he was selling to see if we might be interested. Zane selected a few cards while I selected a Masterpiece Invention from Kaladesh, Rings of Brighthearth, that I needed for my judge breaker Commander deck.


We looked over several vendors before finally settling on one that met our criteria – they had what we needed!

Yes, that's an Unhinged Plains. Yes, it is foil. Yes, it cost $15!

Yes, that’s an Unhinged Plains. Yes, it is foil. Yes, it cost $15!

Nole had quite the stack for the vendor to go through so I left him to it after picking up a couple of pieces for the Ad Nauseam project. Wanting a little money, I headed over to the CoolStuffInc.Com booth and sold a couple of Eternal Masters Force of Will. My wallet a little fuller, I made my way to artist’s Mark Tedin’s booth.

One of my favorite things about going to Grand Prix is seeing the artists that bring to life this game we love so much. While I am not huge on alters (I like them, don’t get me wrong), I really enjoy having them sign cards. In this case, I was wanting to have two Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, a media promo Mana Crypt, and an Ertai, the Corrupted signed. I noticed there was no one in Mark’s line, at the time, so I moved up to his table.img_1501

I never know what to say to the artists.

“Hi, I really like your work, can you sign my cards?”

That’s pretty much my go-to statement. While they take the time to sign, I drop a few dollars in their jar, scoop up my cards, offer a very warm thank you (perhaps a crisp high five would work better?) and move on.

It feels like a very cold interaction, but I really don’t know what else to do/say.

Mark wished me luck on the rest of my day as I started to re-sleeve my cards. I informed him I wasn’t there to play as much as I was there to get these cards signed. I smiled, thanked him again and headed out.

We rendezvoused with another Wyoming player, Daniel White of Casper, talked with some judge friends (hi Cassidy, Adena, and Vicente!), picked up a few more odds and ends, and finally headed to dinner.

On a side note, I recently shaved my beard. No one recognized me! Well, I think Cassidy did, or he bluffed really well.

After, we traveled through Denver to Westminster and checked-in to our hotel. By the way, if you’re staying at Cottonwood Inn and Suites in Westminster, be aware they will charge you an additional $120 incidental fee. The money is refunded upon check out, but be warned. If you don’t have it, they cancel your reservation.

The following morning, we headed to Advantage Games, and I Want More Comics. We had agreed to assist in setting up for the conference so we wanted to be there early.

Set up was quick and soon the conference began.

Local L3 Bryan Spellman welcomes everyone to the judge conference.

Local L3 Bryan Spellman welcomes everyone to the judge conference.


I don’t want to bore you with details, but the conference was good. I learned about a more expedient way of doing deck checks, the theory and math of shuffling, replacement effects, layers, enjoyed story time with Uncle Scott (Marshall), fostering a community, and watched a game show.

We wrapped up around 4 pm and went to Red Lobster for dinner. After socializing with some friends from Laramie for a bit, we headed back to our hotel room. The three of us sat up planning a project before finally drifting off to sleep.

On Monday we began our trek home. In order to avoid ice-packed and snow-covered roads, we decided to take the long way home to Sheridan via Laramie. This added a couple hours to our trip but it also added a level of safety. The time extension seemed agreeable.

Today, we have all returned to our lives. These types of events oft leave me with questions. Some answered, some not. Sometimes energies are renewed, (thank you Arthur!), sometimes goals seem further away.

Overall, I am pleased we attended. It was good to spend time with both Zane and Nole, and good to do some planning. Hopefully, we can take some of the energy and drive, and develop this project.

Did you attend GP Denver? Or, maybe you were at the conference, please, let us know about your experience in the comments!

Magic JudgePatrick Cossel is the publisher of the Forge Herald. He is a writer, gamer, father, husband, and Level 1 Magic Judge. He can be reached at pcossel@gmail.com

© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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