Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Road to WPN (Part 13)

[This is part 13 in a series, and assumes that you've already read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, and Part 12]

I forgot to mention one important fact back in Part 11. On the day of our M12 Launch Party, Patrick (the store owner of Novel Places) and I worked out a scheme whereby folks could preregister AND prepay for events through his web store. In order to incentivize this, he will offer a 10% discount to anyone who does so (this deal ending 24 hours before the event, so we don't have someone show up in the parking lot and try to "preregister" on their smart phone before stepping in the store). That website is:

July 25, 2011: I sent in a question to my WPN rep today asking him about how long it takes for moving up to Core Level (a question I posed to myself at the end of Part 12). It turns out that Casual events are logged automatically, but sanctioned events get processed on Tuesday - so the scheduled August 13 event at Beyond Comics would NOT be processed in time to beat the August 14 deadline of registering to run an Innistrad prerelease.

July 27, 2011: Today our local paper (The Gazette, which is actually a series of local papers throughout the county, divided into sub-county blocks) ran a photo (in the Damascus/Clarksburg version of the paper) taken at the July 16th M12 Launch Party at Novel Places (see Part 11 for that story). Here's how it appeared in the paper:

I hope they don't mind me including this here!
The photo was taken by Patrick at the event. Hopefully this will draw some attention from upper Montgomery county MTG fans who may not have known about events here. Notice how they kindly included the date and time of our next event!

Also today, I contacted by WPN rep, as Novel Places still had not received their copies of the M12 Rulebooks that Beyond Comics had received. Brian got back to me and said that for some reason Novel Places was left off the list to receive these. He told me he would investigate, and get back to me.

July 28, 2011: Brian got back to me, and gave me a phone number to call for customer support. So, I called, following his instructions as to what number to select at the robo-menu, etc. After about 20 minutes on hold being told how important my call was, I got to speak to a WotC customer service person who, upon being told why I was calling, asked "did you try ordering them through the WER?"

"These are not something you order. They were just automatically being sent out."

"Oh. Hold on. Let me check on something." [wait, wait] "Those are being sent out in batches. If he hasn't received them by Monday, call us back and we'll see what needs to be done."

"Okay, but I was told by my WPN rep that this store had been left off the list."

"Wait until Monday."

I emailed Brian to give him the update. He emailed back, essentially telling me to forget what the Customer Service person said. "Don't call back Monday...I will take care of this for you."

It's nice to have someone who has your back, y'know?

August 3, 2011: Brian emailed back to say he has asked that some rule books be sent to Novel Places. Hopefully that request won't take long to be filled!

August 5, 2011: After the deadline passed for the 10% preregistration discount today, Patrick had had three people preregister and prepay for tomorrow's M12 Draft event. I am not ashamed to say that I am a bit nervous. My older son and I can join in if need be to help get us up to 8 (and actually, Sebastian wants to join in regardless of need), but that would still require at least 3 more walk-ins if we are to have enough for a sanctioned event. If need be, we can always run as a casual event as we did the first time, but that would be a bit of a let-down after increasing our numbers for the Launch Party.

One of the preregistrants was someone who has attended my two events at Beyond Comics, so it's nice to see that getting the word out at the events of my other site is working. I try to plug each store at the other to encourage "cross-pollination", and help each site get to the 30 unique participants we need for Core Level.

August 6, 2011: WOW.

Sebastian and I arrived a little later than I had hoped to today. We got to Novel Places around 12:45 or so, for an event where registration was to start at 1. We got there to find 4 or 5 people waiting to join the event.

And not 1 of them was a person who had preregistered for the event!

As I struggled to get my "grab bags", card sleeves, and netbook set up, more arrived. By the time I was up and running, we had 9 people waiting. And that only included 1 person who had preregistered! I processed names (and new DCI cards - 4 by the time I was done) and sold grab bags and sleeves....

and the next thing I knew we had 11 people signed up (including my son). 11. One short of the "12 players or more" requirement for Core Level.

I can't let that happen. Cover me, boys - I'm going in! I signed myself up, and we had 12. I could hardly believe it.

Turns out that photo in The Gazette did better than we could have hoped! A mother whose son plays Magic saw the photo, and told another mother whose THREE sons all play, and one of those told his friend about it...and we had 5 players, 4 of whom had never attended a DCI event before. Outstanding.

We also had someone who had attended my M12 Sealed two weeks ago at Beyond Comics, who brought a friend of his. All told, we had 8 people who had never before played in a DCI event at Novel Places, putting us that much closer to our Core Level goal.

We ran 2 pods of 6 players for draft, with three rounds of Swiss. My drafting is as horrible as I remembered, and by Black/Red/Green bloodthirst deck did horribly in the first Round (although I almost had him in game 2 - I just fizzled and couldn't get in the last 2 damage). After game 1 of Round 2 I cut the Black and tried to strengthen the Red/Green build. It performed better, but still not good enough. In Round 3 I faced off against the other no-win person in the pod, one of the 4 DCI newbies. He won Game 1. I had a rather impressive Game 2. And I would have had him Game 3 - when I had a realization...

Whichever one of us won this match would have 3 match points, which would earn that person 1 DCI promo card by the prize structure I had established. And let's face it - if I want any of the DCI promos, I can help myself from the leftovers. But this guy, in his first tournament experience, does not need to end up 0-X for the day. So, I conceded the game, and therefor the match, so he could end the day with a match win.

Here's where the Core Level Report Card stands as of right now...

We are SO close!
August 14 is the deadline to register for an Innistrad prerelease. August 15 is the deadline to register to run Friday Night Magic in September. If I could somehow run a casual event at Novel Places in the next week that included at least 9 people who have never played there before, and/or 2 more events at Beyond Comics with a total of 11 people who have never played THERE before, then one (or both?) site(s) could have a prerelease and September FNMs.

I don't know if I can pull off either one of those, but I have tentative plans for 6 of us who have never played at Beyond Comics to meet up this coming Friday night and play M12 mini-master with packs of my providing. That would leave us still needing 1 more event and 5 more unique players. Another option is to run the M12 Draft scheduled for Saturday August 13 at Beyond Comics as a casual event rather than sanctioned. The problem (as mentioned before) is that the sanctioned events don't get processed until the following Tuesday. If I run this as a Casual Event, however, it will count immediately. I think I will have to wait until I can see how many we get at that event. If I pull off the Friday night deal, and we do only need 5 more unique people, AND if 5 new people show up on Saturday....

That's a lot of "ifs". I never expected this WPN stuff to be such a nail-biter!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's is all I can say about your blog (if I can call it that) of "Road to WPN". And btw this is Marc4s, I dont know if you remember me or not but I been to the first MTG at beyond comics, the second one after that, and the draft at novel places yesterday August 6th,and I'm also attending the draft even at beyond comics nxt sat. P.S. I think you are doing an awesome job at Gathering (no pun intended) all these people for these events, kudos, I really hope you can get the Friday night magic Going.