One of the best Grand Prix of the year, Grand Prix Atlanta is only a few days away and we are getting excited here at Roxie. Not only is Atlanta a great venue for this event, it is also our home base. This is a Legacy event so it may sway some players away but there are tons of side events going on to satisfy any type of player. Along with other things to do in the city, we decided to provide a Grand Prix Atlanta travel guide for the upcoming weekend. This guide is no regular guide though and we are gearing with the Magic player in mind. So take a look and read about all there is to do this weekend in Atlanta.

 

The Event

Let’s start off with the main event itself, the Grand Prix. This event will be hosted by Phoenix Games and is being held in the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The cost is $40 for the main event and you will receive a promo Lotus Cobra, which is the first time the promo will be given out. Most people will also receive another item as tradition with these events. They can range from useful and nice like the play mat from Grand Prix Anaheim, to mediocre like the shirt from Grand Prix Nashville, to just plain shitty like the dog tags given away at Grand Prix Baltimore. Since Phoenix Games gave out the dog tags last time, there is a change that we may get them again. Apparently they think we are all 10 year old kids stuck in the 20th century and that these dog tags would be a hit. Either way, you should receive something.

Here is the event overview:

Grand Prix Atlanta $30,000.00 Main Event
Format:
Legacy
Entry Fee: $40
Start: Tournament begins at 10:00 am on Saturday & 09:00 am on Sunday.  Registration times available above for Friday and Saturday.
Structure: Swiss Day1 event open to all players, Day 2 will begin with Swiss play and culminate in a Top 8 Single Elimination play off.
Prizes Subject to Change but currently are:
1st Place = $3500 Plus Invitation and Plane Ticket to the Pro Tour
2nd Place = $2300 Plus Invitation and Plane Ticket to the Pro Tour
3rd & 4th Place = $1500 Plus Invitation and Plane Ticket to the Pro Tour
5th to 8th Place = $1000
9th to 12th Place = $600
13th to 16th Place = $500
17th to 32nd Place = $400
33rd to 64th Place = $200

Of course they have the sleep in special for people with byes, but at $20, it may not be worth it just to skip the players meeting.

 

Next are side events, and there are tons of them. Without getting into the details of each event, here is an event schedule of the weekend:

Friday, June 29, 2012
Noon – Hall opens to public
Noon to 8:00 pm – Last Chance Grand Prix Trials, EDH & 8 Player Public Events
Noon to 9:00 pm – Main Event Registration
5:00 pm – Legacy TCGPlayer Bronze Qualifier With Bonus Booster Pack Prizes
6:00 pm – Standard $500 TCGPlayer Gold Qualifier
7:00 pm – Sealed “Chase The Foils”
Saturday, June 30, 2012
8:00 am – Hall opens to public
8:00 am to 9:45 am – Main Event Registration
10:00 am – Day 1 Legacy Main Event
11:00 am to 8:00 pm – EDH and 8 Player Single Elimination Public Events
2:00 pm – Saturday Standard – “Finished In Time For Dinner!”
3:00 pm – Extended TCGPlayer Bronze Qualifier With Bonus Booster Pack Prizes
4:00 pm – Sealed $250 TCGPlayer Silver Qualifier
5:00 pm – Modern TCGPlayer Bronze Qualifier With Bonus Booster Pack Prizes
6:00 pm – Saturday Sealed 2 Headed Giant
Sunday, July 1, 2012
8:00 am – Hall opens to public
9:00 am to 7:00 pm – EDH and 8 Player Public Events
9:00 am – Day 2 Legacy Main Event
9:00 am – Sealed $1000 TCGPlayer Platinum Qualifier
10:00 am – TBA
11:00 am – Sunday Morning Modern Mash
12:00 pm – Standard $1000 TCGPlayer Platinum Qualifier
1:00 pm – Legacy $1000 Star City Games Super IQ Event
2:00 pm – Sunday Sealed 2 Headed Giant
2:00 pm – Sunday Standard – “Finished In Time For Dinner!”

Plenty of Magic all weekend starting on Friday around Noon.

The Venue

The Hyatt Regency Atlanta is one of the best hotels downtown. For those who haven’t been to Atlanta during Dragon Con, this is one of the host hotels and holds some of the biggest panels during Dragon Con. The building is located in the heart of downtown and can be accessed by the Marta Subway station across the street along with various parking lots in the area. Parking downtown can be expensive so look around for lots doing $5 – $10 for the day if you are not staying at the hotel. If you are staying at the hotel, Phoenix Games does have a $99/night special and they are even reimbursing a random person per night who uses this deal. The hotel may charge for parking in their lot even for guests as this is a trend in major cities. The hotel was recently redesigned and it has your typical amenities (pool, hotel bar, restaurants, etc). The hotel is also located across from the Peachtree Shopping Center and can be accessed by the street or a pedestrian tunnel. The mall has a food court and will definitely be cheaper than eating at the hotel. If you haven’t eaten it before, I highly recommend Chik-Fil-A as your food choice. It’s an Atlanta institute. For more dining options, there is a Hard Rock Cafe, Hooters, Ted’s Montana Grill, Benihannas and a few other places in the area. Finding food will not be an issue at this Grand Prix.

The City

A few things about the city:

Atlanta is a major city and does have it’s fair share of homeless people. Be ready for them when you are walking around outside. If you are not from an area that has a big homeless population they know every story in the book to get money from you. Things will range from them giving you directions to them telling you how they got this way and that they just need some change. Although you may be inclined to help, they will accumulate if you do. Give one change and you may have another one come up to you asking for more. The best thing is to not give them any money. Atlanta has set up things that look like parking meters all over the area that are meant for homeless donations. While I’m not sure how effective they truly are, if you decide that you do want to help, put your money there and not in the hands of one of the panhandlers (on a side note, panhandling is illegal downtown but that doesn’t mean much of anything).

Atlanta is also very hot (hence the reason it’s called Hotlanta) in the summer. If you are not from the region, be ready for 95 degree weather mid day with a heat index that would make it over 100. This will only be an issue if you plan to walk around outside during the day (but with so many side events, why would you want to leave the building?). The event is in walking distance from local attractions so if you do head outside, dress accordingly. Atlanta is also humid and has the occasional smog issue so that is another thing to remember. Taxis are located all over the place but are pricey.

Local Attractions

So, let’s say you decide to come for the weekend but want to see what else the city has to offer besides Magic. Well there are places within walking distance that would be enjoyable. Atlanta does have the largest aquarium in the world called the Georgian Aquarium. This place does not disappoint and is great for a few hour visit. Next to the aquarium in the World of Coke, a museum attraction dedicated to Coca Cola which was created in Atlanta. For the journalist types, there is the CNN center, which does tours daily of the worlds first 24 news network. These are all near Centennial Olympic park, which was created during the 1996 Olympic games. These attractions are about a 15 minute walk from the Hyatt.

If you are looking to venture out a bit more, there is Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for the nature types, while the High Museum has a good collection of art and currently has an exhibit from street artist KAWS. There is also Zoo Atlanta but depending on the heat, I don’t think it would be ideal to visit.

After Hours

Done with Magic for the night? Looking to unwind and kick back, there are options. There are hotel bars at the Hyatt, the Marriott Marquis and the Hilton. The best part is that all three of these hotels are connected by walkways so you never have to go outside. The best of the three would be at the Marriott Marquis (which is just a cool looking hotel anyway) called Pulse. These places have a great atmosphere but will be a little expensive. Other options include places like Hooters and Hard Rock Cafe. If you want to head north on Peachtree, you will find local favorite Vortex as another option. The place has great burgers and a bar that stays open late. As for adult entertainment, the closest place is the Cheetah, which has a full bar and a restaurant. Of course, this is for the 21 and up crowd.

Tips for a good time

As with any major event there are always a few tips to make sure your experience is the best:

-Watch your items. This is the most important thing. Even though you have heard it everywhere it should be repeated. As someone who has personally left behind decks that have disappeared, make sure you keep a track of everything you have. The less individual items you have the better. Put multiple decks in one big deck box so you are less likely to lose one. Keep an eye on your stuff during trades.

-Bring snacks. It is cheaper to get them before you have to put them at the hotel but either way make sure you have something to snack on between rounds. If you don’t have time to get food you will be playing hungry which is never good. Also a bottle for water that you can refill. Staying hydrated is key.

-Be sanitary. Again, tons of people, tons of coughing. Wash your hands with soap when you can and stay away from the person who is sneezing all over the place. Also, showering is key. There are a lot of stinky magic players out there. Also, don’t leave your trash all over the place.

-Bring friends. Magic is more fun with more people so drag your friends along, even if they aren’t playing in the main events. There will be a lot of casual games going on so you can stay entertained.

-Bring cash. Some vendors has credit card minimums and cash can make your transactions move faster. It is also good in case you have to do some private vendor purchases off site. Cash is good for establishing a budget too. You know how much you can spend and avoid overspending that can occur with credit card purchases.

 

Well, I hope this provided a good guide for the event and the area. If I have forgotten anything, let me know in the comments. The Roxie Card team will be there all weekend so stop on by and say hi.