5 DOs and DON’Ts for a TCG Tournament




I know you are thinking, “What the heck is a TCG?”. It’s a valid question, not that many people are familiar with the abbreviation.

TCG stands for Trading Card Game. Some of the most popular TCGs include: Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and Force of Will.

Yes, just like you see in Poker, or many video games, there are huge trading card game tournaments. I’m talking thousands of players in one massive room for 12 hours a day, sometimes spanning entire weekends.

Here is a brief guide on what to do and not to do if you find yourself preparing for a huge event.

1: DO Come prepared. For these events, you need to have each and every card written down on whats called a “deck list”, and it has to be turned in before the event starts. At every event you will see players scrambling to attain cards from other players and vendors moments before deck lists are required for turn-in. These cards are not cheap and they become even more expensive the closer you get to the tournament. If you make sure to have every card needed BEFORE arriving at the event, you will have a leg up on the competition, and it gives you time to relax. Order cards you need from TCGPlayer.com weeks before the event to make sure you have everything you need.

2: DO Uber Everywhere. A tip I got from national Yu-Gi-Oh champion, Patrick Hoban. In his blog titled, “Save Money While Traveling to Events”, http://articles.alterealitygames.com/save-money-while-traveling-to-events/, he mentions how Uber is a great way to get around in big cities. Avoiding parking and renting a car, it also helps to avoid the stress of driving in big, unfamiliar-to-you, cities.

3: DON’T skip the shower. It seems obvious, but if you haven’t been to a large TCG event, then there is a smell that you have never smelled before. It’s the fedora, neck beard, plumbers crack essence that we are trying to avoid here by SHOWERING. Don’t skip it to save 5 minutes.

4: DO eat breakfast and bring snacks. These events usually start at 10 AM sharp, and they can get done anytime between 9 PM and Midnight. There aren’t lunch breaks and you will get hungry. Sometimes you can sneak in a trip to the fast food place outside the convention center between rounds, but don’t bank on it. A healthy breakfast and a few granola bars, chips, and fruit for throughout the day should tide you over until the post event steakhouse feast with your fellow players/friends.

5: DON’T sell cards at the event. Most of these companies running the premier tournaments rent out spaces for authorized vendors to sell cards. Only authorized vendors can sell at these events. Multiple times have I seen players doing well in events only to get kicked out of the venue for trying to make a quick 5 bucks from a fellow player.

Now obviously there is much more that needs to be covered before one takes a crack at a premier Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic, or Pokemon event. This is a good place to start.

5 DOs and DON’Ts for a TCG Tournament

2 thoughts on “5 DOs and DON’Ts for a TCG Tournament

  1. astuiber says:

    Nice article, I never really got into these types of games. But it’s really cool to get an insiders perspective on what to expect and what to do.


  2. trschoen0627 says:

    I was not sure what TCG stood for prior to reading this article. However I had actually attended one of these probably a dozen years ago when I was very young. I believe I tried playing with Yu-Gi-Oh cards and it was nothing like I expected. Being a relatively young kid, the guy I was playing against was a full-grown and extremely competitive individual. In the end I just decided to forfeit because the event was nothing like I was expecting. The rules, the use of cards, was nothing like I thought Yu-Gi-Oh cards or tournaments were like. It was not something I have done since.


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