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A couple days seems like forever now. Planning a Modern Masters GP has been a wild ride. I started this journey by renting a hall bigger than two football fields. As one of my judges who used to work at Home Depot pointed out last night, the building is bigger than his old Home Depot store.


I then made plans with my staffing manger to recruit 151 staff people. (Judge + Admin staff)

My goal has been and continues to be, to create a great experence for the players in the event. Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate the attendance continuing to grow at the incredible rate it did. Take a look at the chart that shows the actual registration and then the light blue area that is the projected attendance if this rate continues.


GP Vegas Attendance Projection

I like to think that I’m good at my job. I know that some might disagree. However, I do know that there is a point where I cannot deliver a good experence with the room and staff we have. I want the players in the event to have a great time and that degrades as we pass 4500 and it completely falls apart in the 6000 person range.

If attendance continued at the current projected rate we end up with at least 6629 players and it is possible that it exceeds 7000 players. I just can’t serve that many people.

So I had to make one of the hardest decisions I have faced. Do I cap the event, knowing that this will create hardship and disappointment for some players? Or do I keep registration open and be sure that the event is going to be a bad experence for everyone?

So I made a decision. Yes, I reversed myself. Yes, I was wrong and I’m sorry. If you would like a apology in person I will be happy do that. I really am sorry. But I made the best decision I can under these conditions.

The good news is drafts are easier to run than GPs. It’s just straight up easier to manage the player experence in a draft based event than a huge GP, especially if that GP is the largest TCG event in history. So I’m working with my team to create a draft based event using Modern Master packs for anyone who I am forced to turn away from the GP.

Details ASAP.

And sorry.




  1. How did you make the decision to cap at specifically 4500, rather than 5000 or any one of a bunch of other possibilities?

    • We made this decision due to a variety of factors – access to an accurate floor plan, an honest evaluation of how many people we could provide an excellent experience to with the judges and scorekeepers available, and a desire to have a cushion to handle any last-minute issues that came up (for instance, needing to create additional preregistered sealed decks on Saturday morning).

  2. This is literally unprecedented in Magic history, and it should be obvious that you are doing your absolute best. I can’t think of a TO that could have done better, although I can think of several who might have completely failed to have th GP function at all. Our faith in you is not misplaced, Tim.

  3. What time zone does your blog use? It says this was posted 7 hours in the future (8:05pm).

    • My guess would be Greenwich Mean Time

    • It’s probably defaulted to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). East Coast is -4, West Coast is -7, so if you’re on the West Coast, that would explain it.

  4. You had a tough row to hoe, here. I, for one, believe that you made the best decision possible. Know that you have much support, even if there are some vocal angry folks out there. Thanks for putting the event together, I am looking forward to it!

  5. there was going to be over 1k in players trying to sign up saturday is what this suggests and im so happy i dont have to wait for them all to do it anymore.

  6. I think that given the circumstances, this is probably the right move to make. It is insane just how fast this thing has grown in the past week, and despite the naysayers out there, this is a good thing, and this Grand Prix is going to be insane!

    There’s also an important distinction to be made here… you aren’t capping attendance to the building, just players in the Grand Prix main event. (Though if it gets too big the fire marshals might have a say in the matter!)

  7. I tried e-mailing but have yet to get a response so I’ll ask here, VIPs are garennteed a play mat right?

    • Yes, VIPs were guaranteed a playmat. If this wasn’t taken care of at the event, please let us know.

  8. can you post a list of the preregistered players so we can verify you have us on your list?

  9. fwiw I understand why I have not gotten a response as I can only imagine how crazy you and your staff are working right now and I realize hat number of players are way higher than you expected…

  10. Tim – no apologies necessary, you have been forthright and very honest in all your communications to us all. I for one am looking forward to an awesome event!

  11. This is really wrong. I would feel sorry for you if you didn’t make the post about “Galactus eating the world”. You apparently had several players who saw this coming, asked if there was going to be a cap, and instead of sitting down and really considering it, you dismissed it with great bluster. You instilled false confidence in people attending your event. I suggest in the future, when your customers ask you a question, you actually think about the answer.

    • This.

    • Yup, definitely this. Not very smart.

    • I remember when I first read his post earlier this week, all I could think was “famous last words”.

  12. Tim – one congrats on an awesome turnout but can I make a pitch on how this could be handled with a bit let bad feelings if cap is hit?

    If the 4,500 cap is hit take “standby” reg. The Standbys would still pay the $60 and fill out the paperwork. They would show up at pack opening time and be handed 6 packs just like anyone playing but they would only be added to the regular player pool on a 1 for 1 basis with people who drop when a regular player opens the pool and want to keep it instead of swapping. That keeps you at or near cap. If not enough people drop they keep the six packs they opened (and if you can work it with Wizards get the participation Planeswalker Points) so they’re getting what they paid for.

    In a sealed format with pool swapping there will be a fair number of drops so a number of the standbys could play and even if they don’t they still get the packs they opened and began to reg.

    Just a thought.

  13. Anyone who doesn’t understand that a Grand Prix with more than twice as many people as any other in history is impossible to organize on short notice is really dumb. Maybe you should have announced a cap at 4k, 5k whatever it’s going to be in advance but I understand not wanting to turn away players. When attendance is this high the event isn’t going to be perfect and I, at least, understand and have realistic expectations. Thanks for the work I look forward to the event.

  14. “Or we can take option 2, Preregister. If you are worried. please just preregister. Then you know you have a spot in the event and I know how many of my 5500 chairs to set up in the room. If in the very unlikely event we have more than 6000 players preregister. Then on Friday afternoon while you all are playing in the FREE minimaster I will take a truck over and pick up the chairs I have on hold, swing by Best Buy and get another laptop for my long line of back up SK’s, add more rooms to the GP from the meeting rooms down the hall from the GP and things will be fine.”

  15. Even though I’m not participating in the event (and quite a few people have already pointed out to me how stupid I am, considering I’ve only left Vegas 2 days ago), I actively follow the latest developments / this blog.
    If someone would have asked me who the goto guy is to make an event of this size a) happen and b) an enjoyable experience for as many players as possible, I would have sent them right your way.

    So far, you still have to disappoint me. The event will be great, I hope you don’t cap out and don’t have to turn away everyone and I’m somewhat sad I didn’t just hang around for a few more days in Vegas.

    All the best and keep up the great work and communication!

  16. Can you divulge the cap you’ve chosen?

  17. I think you made the right decision. You only have so many judges, and so much product and space. Better to run an event that you can handle that everyone who attends has a good time at than to run an event with too many people that everyone hates.

  18. I am crushed! Went to preregister and left the DCI # at home, came home to finish and I see it is closed. That will teach me to delay……sad old lady here 😦

  19. Well, I now have a plane ticket for vegas, and can no longer reg for this event…. I have been looking for a contact # as I read reg closed at 9pm PT time and it’s 9 ET time and reg is closed online…… I read all week long that I had until Friday when I got there to register…. and now home from a long day and find this out…..

  20. You did what you had to, when you had to

  21. I’m curious as to why they couldn’t split the tournament into to gp’s. Tim, I’m sure gp vegas will be the best gp ever!

  22. Does it apply to the Guinness world record?

  23. I wonder how many people are gonna get screwed over because they had already paid for their flight and hotel but didn’t preregister. Especially since Tim said before there would be no cap, and he’d take all comers.

    • So let me get this straight… There are people that preregistered a flight and preregistered a hotel room but didn’t preregister for the the event which is the only reason to have preregistered the first 2?…. *face palm* That ones on them no sympathy here.

  24. Don’t be sorry. If anyone saw this coming I’d be surprised.

  25. GPVegas is capped at 4500 but I think there will be more players. Seems bad forbiding to play someone who already have a flight and an hotel in Las Vegas and is not registered yet.

    • It seems like a pretty terrible idea to plan a trip out for a specific event and not sign up for the event ahead of time.

  26. Though your efforts are obvious, preparedness is critically flawed. This should have become obvious when the MMA GP Vegas was announced and became instant lengthy threads on numerous MtG pages… A bit surprising at that. Granted EDC week, being in the entertainment capital of the world there are plenty of local industry/venue organizers and coordinators that should be accessible. Space shouldn’t be the issue as much as competent personnel… Although there are 5k attendees at your disposal.

  27. My favorite part of the event was spending 70% of it standing in lines, then getting to the front of the line and having a very rude person sign you up. Then wait an hour for the event to start, then wait and hour to get the pairings. Worst grand prix/open of my life you could not have done a worse job. My group was already upset waiting in like for 5-6 hours just to get into the building for a playmat your staff being rude was just ridiculous. Granted there were TONS of people there and they were getting irritated, that is NO excuse to be rude to your paying customers. The judges were also rude and condescending (or at least the two that came to my games were).

    Long story short, NO in our magic community will ever be attending a Cascade Games event again poorly organized, the staff was rude, and it was 90% lines 10% play, there is no excuse for being rude.

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  1. […] cap.  But his community outreach after the fact was commendable, he was incredibly transparent in his explanation, and from all accounts his staff seemed ready to go at launch and the event seemed to run […]

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