Sunday, September 16, 2012

An Overall Success

I honestly can't believe how things turned out. Stress ran through my veins the entire week leading up to this Magic tournament. I don't think the stress actually left until round three of the tournament. I'm the type that needs everything perfect or I get peeved that something is wrong. Even little things, things that don't need anything done to them, need to be perfect. Looking back at it now, I'm glad I was that way because this entire event turned out to be perfection. And I think it was because of every single person that came to play and to help out.

True, I had a lot to do with the overall success of this event and I deserve a well placed pat on the back for everything that happened. All the emails that I sent and all the work that I put into this to get everyone to come was all my doing. And to have a turnout of 72 people coming and playing Magic for a great cause was phenomenal.

I always felt that Magic tournaments were the type of place where everyone is so competitive and in it for themselves. I've been to quite a few where people that lose get very upset and people that win brag a lot about their wins. But when you bring up that this is a tournament for a great cause, you notice more about people. You notice that people enjoy playing the game and like to have fun doing so. Seeing so many smiles on people playing a game that is usually so competitive really makes things worth it. Even people that didn't win a game stayed a kept playing. That's the magic in this game. When you can get people together for a great cause, it starts to be more about the cause than about the victory.

From the beginning, I felt like this would be such an amazing event. Even before I got any of the artists involved for prizes and silent auctions, I felt that even if we got 20 people to come to this it would be a great turnout. But once I started getting some of the most popular Magic artists to help out with donations, I kept getting more and more interest. An event that I felt would be small turned out to have over 70 people show up. A huge success in my book, especially for something so new and unsure. People can say they will show up on Facebook but will they actually show? Will people actually want to give money to someone who has never ran a tournament like this before for charity? Do people still have kindness?

Then they started showing up at 9:20am, forty minutes before registration even was suppose to begin. From then on, I knew that something like this was going to be important.

Once the games began at 11:30am, people started having fun and I could finally see all my hard work come to fruition. I could actually see all my stress leave and I was able to smile at everything that I have accomplished. As the day progressed, everyone continued to have fun. I made sure that every raffle we had was held between each round so people weren't standing around, something I felt was a huge positive. The silent auctions had people taking pictures of throughout the day. More people were shocked that I was able to get all the stuff I did. When it's for a good cause, people are generally more open to help.

After the event was over, seeing everyone help clean up and make sure we were done was fantastic. I can't thank everyone enough for that. In all actuality, I can't think of any words that can describe how thankful I am for everyone involved. Players, artists, staff, event hall, everyone. It was one of the best things I have ever done in my life and I want to continue doing things like this. More and more people want me to do this again next year and I'm pretty positive I will continue to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by doing these events. Overall, we raised $4278. Each time I see that number, I can't believe it. No words can describe my feelings.

I know that there are things we could do better for next year and I plan on fixing that for everyone. I do hope we get more people next year and make even more money for a great cause. I can't thank each and every one of you enough for all your support. My girlfriend and I will never forget you. Just wait til next year. I have a lot of things I wanted to do this year that we couldn't. We'll make those things work next year.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tournament Update #17 - Raffles and Auctions

Next Saturday is the big day! I am so excited and nervous and anxious and all sorts of other emotions. I don't know how to describe my feelings. I hope that everyone enjoys themselves next weekend and I hope we get a lot of fun games going, even for those who are not playing in the tournament.

I am 99% sure it will be sanctioned so we will be getting Planeswalker Points for this. I'll double check today and post it on Facebook but right now, I'm pretty positive.

Remember that everyone who comes gets a free pack of 50-count sleeves (perfect for Return To Ravnica sealed in a couple of weeks) and a free deck box (until supplies run out).

We will have three door prizes that will be given out after pairings have occurred but before the match begins. I'll explain more how this will happen but the 3 prizes are:
*1x Tezzeret vs Elspeth Duel Deck
*1x FOIL Entreat the Angels
*1x SIGNED Chaos Orb
At this time I will also be pulling the name for the winner of the Preregistration Raffle, which is 1 copy of each SWORD from the Scars of Mirrodin Block.

I finally went through everything that I have received from people and compiled my list of auctions and raffles as well as the Top 8 Mats and the next 8 signed cards. So without further ado, here we go. Bear with me, it's a lot.

The Top 8 will be given play mats of their choice, starting with the first place person and going down to the 8th. The mats available will be:
*4x Adam Paquette (landscape mats)
*1x Lars Grant-West (signed Grand Prix Providence mat)
*1x Jason Felix (Perilous Myr)
*1x Matt Stewart (cat)
*1x Bud Cook (Zealous Strike)
The first place person will also be walking away with a signed print by Michael Komarck of "Knight of the Reliquary."

9th-16th PLACE
The next 8 will receive packs as well as signed play sets of power cards from Innistrad
*9th-11th will receive signed "Delver of Secrets"
*12th-14th will receive signed "Doomed Traveler"
*15th-16th will receive signed "Midnight Haunting"
Packs will be given after 16th place as prizes until we run out.

Our raffles are going to be done a little differently. Before each round (starting with round two) we are going to pull one of the various raffle items out of a hat and raffle it off. There will also be altered cards as well as Volkan Baga's signed and sketched art books that will be raffled off at the same time. So we will do about 3-4 raffles before each round. Someone will pull the ticket out of the bag of tickets and read the number. Whoever has it wins. Pretty simple. The price will be an arm's length for $10, which I feel is pretty fair. I'll have 4 huge rolls of tickets so hopefully that will be enough (if not, we'll have to send someone to go get more). The raffles are the following:
*4x Daarken Artist proofs
*4x Daarken SIGNED prints (call to the grave, bat, skeletons and archwing dragon)
*1x PLAYSET CardKitty altered lightning bolts
*8x Volkan Baga SIGNED and SKETCHED artist book
*Altered Cards (various amounts. Final number will be available at the tournament)
*2x Michael Komarck SIGNED prints (Oriss, Samite Guardian and Finest Hour)

The other stuff will be silent auction. I don't have prices to start everything out at but that will be available at the event. There are 18 silent auctions so hopefully people will get a good amount of variety in this. Here are the items:
*3x Daarken SIGNED prints (Birthing Pod, Bloodghast, Korlash)
*6x Lars Grant-West SIGNED prints (Terastodon, Glimmervoid, Woodland Cemetery, Giant Octopus, Iron Dragon, Pact of the Blind)
*Cyril van der Haegen SIGNED artist proofs (includes actual playable cards Circu, Dimir Lobotomist and Maelstrom Archangel)
*Nils Hamm Faerie playmat
*Franz Vohwinkel's "Rowan" original art and SIGNED foil card
*3x John Avon SIGNED prints (Zendikar Swamp, Alara Forest and Gaze of Justice)
*Steve Prescott Fauna Shaman playmat
*2x Steve Prescott signed artist proofs (Rhys the exiled and canyon minotaur)
*3x Michael Komarck SIGNED prints (Elspeth Tirel, Sorin Markov and Rafiq of the Many)
*Eric Deschamps "Grand Abolisher" painting
We will be accepting Credit Card, Cash and Check for the silent auctions. Some items will be bundled together. More information at the event.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tournament Updated #16 - Sponsors

I had a sponsor page on the top but for some reason, none of that worked. So here is everyone that I got to sponsor so far. There will be some other ones that are coming later on but here is the main draw for everyone to see!

Arkham Asylum Tournament Organizer, Norwich, CT


Mike's GameLounge, New London, CT

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tournament Update #15 - Daarken and The Game Lounge

Like I said in my last post, I had one more artist (well, two, but I'm waiting to hear back from that one) left to receive stuff from and I got them today. Daarken was able to give me some awesome donations for this event.

Yup. Daarken.

His list of cards is astounding. With well over 60 cards (the Gatherer site has 70 so far), Daarken was able to donate four artist proofs and seven prints! I was so excited to get these in the mail today and I really hope that you are too. So, here are the proofs that I got.

So we have Call to the Grave, Vanishment, Preyseizer Dragon and Archwing Dragon. Remember, artist proofs are very rare items. From what I've been told by artists, they only receive 50 of them from Wizards of the Coast to do with as they see fit. So it's really awesome that artists are willing to give up such rare items for this tournament. All four are signed in gold ink on the bottom of each card, which I really like.

Up next are the seven signed prints. I could sit and name them all off but that would spoil all the awesomeness that these prints are. If you don't know what they are after looking at them, I'll be putting the names of each one. Each print is signed in gold ink as well.

So we have Dementia Bat, Drudge Skeletons, Korlash, Heir to Blackblade, Call to the Grave, Archwing Dragon, Birthing Pod, and Bloodghast. You don't know how hard it was for me to not take the Bloodghast print for myself. It look fantastic in person.

Another donation I received was from The Game Lounge. There will be an Unlimited Chaos Orb (that I will be getting signed) and a FOIL Entreat The Angels. More than likely these might be door prizes. More on that soon.

So there you have it. Unless I get any late minute additions, I have now posted all the prizes and donations that I have received. In the next few days, I will be figuring out what I will be doing with everything and let you all know. So please keep spreading the word! This will be an awesome event for everyone.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tournament Update #14 - Lars Grant-West

I went to the PTQ that was in East Hartford, CT today and artist Lars Grant-West was their guest and I was able to get some pretty awesome stuff from him. Known for cards like Extraplanar Lens, Glimmervoid and Seachrome Coast, Mr. Grant-West is pretty popular and his art really goes with all the cards he has done. His gift for the event was six signed prints from various art. I picked up three Magic prints - Glimmervoid, Terastodon, and Woodland Cemetery - as well as three non-Magic prints which are all pretty damn awesome. So, without further ado...

There was also some other awesome stuff that I was able to get. Like Nils Hamm and Matt Stewart did, Lars Grant-West was able to sign four playsets of Doomed Traveler. Three of them will go into the top 16 prizes and the other playset will go up for raffle. There is also a playmat that Lars did for the Grand Prix in Providence last year that he donated and signed.

Just a few more things to go! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tournament Update #13 - Cyril van der Haegen

I first found out about Cyril van der Haegen on a post on Star City Games' website. Cyril was diagnosed in 2011 with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a form of leukemia that has his immune system destroying his platelets in his blood, as well as smoldering myeloma. SCG is raising money for his hopeful cure and I reached out to him to let him know of the tournament and my 5K race that I am doing with all the money going towards the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which will help find a cure for him and so many others. Cyril has done over 30 cards for Magic: the Gathering, including Braid of Fire, Circu, Dimir Lobotomist and Maelstrom Archangel. This donation is extremely unique. When he found out about this fundraising event, he wanted to help so much but knew he couldn't donate a lot since he's trying to raise money as well for his own illnesses. Instead of nothing, Cyril sent artist proofs of 31 out of his 34 cards, which are all signed and include recent reprints. Three of the cards - Circu, Dimir Lobotomist, Maelstrom Archangel and Hada Freeblade (Worldwake GameDay edition) - are actual playable signed cards.

I'm really excited about this lot and hope that you guys and gals will be too. If you want to help Cyril and learn more about his health problems, please go to his account. I think all Magic players should help the artists that supply the art to their favorite cards.

The event is getting closer! Only a few more weeks! I know people have asked about possible side events that might happen and those are up in the air. If they do, it would possibly just be one side event that would probably be a few rounds/single elimination. I'm going to play it by ear on this one and let you guys know when it gets closer. I still have a few more things to announce (two more artists and some non-Magic related stuff) and that will happen within the next week or so. Once all the artists have sent their donations, I can officially announce what we are doing with everything and what the prizes will be. So keep watch for that update as well!

Until next time!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tournament Update #12 - UltraPro

As I said in previous posts, I tried contacting everyone regarding this tournament. I really wanted to try and get corporate sponsors as well. I was lucky enough to get a donation from Star City Games but I knew that I wanted more for corporations that help players with Magic: the Gathering. So I reached out to UltraPro, the maker of sleeves, deck boxes and card binders, and received an email back from the Director of Marketing, Frank Whittaker. He was very interested in helping out this event and make it become a huge success beyond what I was imagining.

UltraPro has graciously donated some awesome stuff - 100 deck boxes and 100 packs of 50-count sleeves. What does that mean for you, the player? Well, simply put, the first 100 people who come to the event get a deck box and a pack of sleeves for free. If you preregister for the event, you will be guaranteed to receive this product! So it's definitely beneficial to preregister. I can't promise that there will be enough stuff for people if you don't preregister for the event.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! The event is getting closer! I still have a few more artists to get stuff from so look forward to those updates!