How to Steal at a Grand Prix
Grand Prix Richmond 2014 is looking to be the biggest constructed event of all time. With the price of cards going up, and events getting bigger and harder to monitor, now is the perfect time to start your new career as card thief. Stealing has never become easier or more rewarding! With plenty of targets, and easy access to vendors you’ll never see again, a GP is a utopia for the less-than-honest. Let’s take a look at the best ways to get thieving at a Grand Prix.
Hit them During the Round
Magic: the Gathering is a mentally intense activity, and chances are good that your mark’s attention will be focused on beating their opponent. Table space is at a premium, and first time GP goers will sometimes leave their deck box on the ground during a round. This is the perfect opportunity to swipe their expensive sideboard! Plus you don’t have to feel so bad about taking their main-deck… they can still compete, right? It’s also pretty easy to snag a backpack that isn’t wrapped around a chair or a leg, or a binder sitting on a chair. They can’t even trust their opponent to look out for them, because they’ll likely be too occupied to notice.
Cards in Cars
Finding a decent parking spot at a Grand Prix can be pretty challenging. Most people will have to park somewhere off site, or in a more remote location. Take a quick drive around and see if you can see any card boxes sitting on the back seat of a car parked on nearby streets. It’s pretty simple — if you’ve got the guts — to just smash a window and grab tens of thousands of cards in a matter of seconds. Of course this all gets a lot more discrete if the car is unlocked, or the window is rolled down. I wouldn’t advise breaking into random trunks unless you’re adept at lock picking.
Become and Opportunistic Trader
Make sure you go and start a trade with someone who is already in one. If their attention is divided between you and one or two other people, there is no way they will see you slip that fetch-land from their binder into your pocket. Only take cards that have multiples in a binder sleeve, because it makes it harder to notice if it is missing. Having multiple cards in a slot also stretches the binder pages out a bit, which helps with the next trick.
Find someone who is using top loading binder sleeves and give their binder a little shake into your backpack. This simple little trick works great, and still leaves them with a full looking binder to slide back onto the table. Watch out for side loading binder pages though, as those won’t lose any cards via shaking. This will make you look quite silly if you get caught.
Be sure to make a legitimate trade while you’re skimming cards from their binder.
Don’t Touch the Lost and Found
Judges sometimes hold items for players, or manage a lost and found box. It might seem easy to walk up to the desk and claim to have lost a red deck box, or a black binder, but think again. Judges / tournament staff are trained to spot this behavior, and will drill you about the contents of the box / binder. They will ask you what is in your sideboard, what color sleeves you have, or the organization of your binder. This can get you into a world of trouble, so I suggest avoiding it completely.
Find the Player Who Has Everything
Some idiots will bring everything with them at once. They brought their deck for the event, a side event, their trade binder, and their cube. They have so many things with them that they couldn’t possibly keep track of it all at once. When they sit down to play, they won’t have space for all of it, and that’s when you strike. Nab that cube sitting on the floor next to them. Walk off with a binder full of money that was just sitting between the legs of his chair. It’s honestly too easy.
There you have it, just a few of the many ways you can rip someone off at a Grand Prix. The turnaround on a theft like this is staggeringly fast. Swipe some valuable cards and hit a vendor. Their collection will be stripped into a thousand pieces before they even know it is gone. The best part is, you get to take all that cash and run in some side events yourself. Just remember, when you sit down to play after all that (not so) hard work… keep an eye on your stuff.