This week’s In Development – GP Oakland 2010

After a week off due to illness, I’m back in print with this week’s In Development that’s all about GP Oakland.
I had a great time at the GP, but I think I made a fundamental error when I accepted a draw in round four. If you’re interested in my take on Gifts, the ground-level GP Oakland experience, or tournament-level strategy, you may enjoy this week’s In Development.

Hurray for bilingualism


This is a great interview with Tomoharu Saitou, discussing his Hypergenesis deck with the assistance of everyone’s favorite bilingual Judge (and GP Trial winner) Riki Hayashi.
I need to buck up my own language skills; then maybe someday I can help interview a Korean player for CFB. While you all wait for that to happen, I recommend checking out the rest of the excellent GP Oakland coverage at ChannelFireball.

The sights of GP Oakland

I hope everyone who made it to GP Oakland this weekend had an excellent time. Big time congratulations go out to local player Matt Nass for taking down a GP just one week shy of his Pro Tour debut.
You can read about my GP experience in my In Development column this week. I had a lot of fun and learned something useful for my future PTQs and premier-level events.
In the meantime, I’ve uploaded a photo set from the GP, which you can find here. I didn’t have time to take a lot of pictures, so I mainly have some from the preamble to the event and a smattering of others taken while I was being deckchecked in round five. Here are a few highlights:
Grand Prix Oakland 2010 - Ray sets up for ggslive
Ray Punzalan sets up for ggslive’s web coverage of the feature matches
Grand Prix Oakland 2010 - Bram Snepvangers
Bram Snepvangers ponders an ugly board
Grand Prix Oakland 2010 - Elves taking over
The ugly board
Grand Prix Oakland 2010 - Martin Juza
The piercing gaze of Martin Juza
Grand Prix Oakland 2010 - Jon Loucks
Jon Loucks gains a billion life

A GP Oakland morning

After an utterly hectic week that included more illness than I tend to lack (notice my lack of a column over at CFB), i’m now up at 6am getting ready for day one of GP Oakland. Following my own advice, I have my deck sleeved up and ready to go, with a printed deck list as well as all the playing accouterments I’ll need. All I have to do this morning is put those items into my backpack next to the food and the water bottle and head out.
In the meantime, it’s breakfast, showering, feeding and medicating a pet, and then a forty-five minute drive from home to the Marriott in downtown Oakland.
If you’re reading this and will be at the GP, good luck, and if they give us a lunch break try to wander the couple of blocks over to Oakland China Town, which is right by the venue and has all manner of good stuff to eat.

Some upcoming GP trials for Oakland 2010

Are you planning on attending Grand Prix Oakland, February 13-14? If so, you may want to hunt up one or more local GP trials to make a run at those all-important byes.
I’ve just spent some time with the Wizards Store and Event Locator page and come away with the following Bay Area GP trials:
Black Diamond Games in Concord
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (925) 681-0600
Coordinator: gary@blackdiamondgames.com
Date: 1/23/2010
Games of Berkeley in Berkeley
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (510) 540-7822
Coordinator: Ralph_colby@hotmail
Date: 1/24/2010
Game Kastle in Santa Clara
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (408) 243-4263
Coordinator: events@gamekastle.com
Date: 2/6/2010
Superstars in San Jose
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (408) 777-8277
Coordinator: captainmalreynolds@gmail.com
Date: 2/6/2010
Who’s On 1st in Dublin
Name: Grand Prix Oakland Trials 2010
Format: Extended Constructed
Phone Number: 1 (925) 829-4600
Coordinator: captainmalreynolds@gmail.com
Date: 2/7/2010