Magic cruise to visit

There will be Magic on board a cruise ship visiting Grand Cayman in 2011.

The popular collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering has an estimated six million players in more than 70 countries.

Players regularly compete in tournaments both locally and on a world level and Legion Events is running a special tournament cruise from Galveston, Texas to the Western Caribbean between 6 and 13 February.

It calls at Cozumel, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Originally, the cruise was set for the Pacific itinerary of the Carnival Splendor but following a fire on that vessel the new schedule was announced, now aboard Carnival Conquest which is the largest ever ship to sail from Galveston.

Steve Port of Legion events was philosophical about the schedule alteration.

“Life’s an adventure!” he commented.

Incredibly popular

Stephen Wilkins of Gameshack explained that the card game is incredibly popular, with professional tours, world championships,

grand prix and invitational tournaments happening all over the world.

“The Magic: The Gathering World Championships have been held annually since 1994. It is the most important tournament in the game of

Magic: The Gathering, offering to the winner a cash prize of $45,000.

Originally open to all competitors, Worlds is now an invitation-only event and the last Pro Tour of each season. The invitees are mostly top finishers from the National championships, the top-ranked players of the DCI and high-level pro players.

“After the first five World Championships were all held in the United States, Worlds were held in various places outside the US, most of which were either in Europe or Japan.

Besides the main event Worlds is always a huge gathering of Magic players, who come to watch the pros and compete in side events,” he said.

Sanctioned events

Gameshack Cayman is an official Magic: The Gathering store which is sanctioned to host official events and issue ratings sanctioned by the Duelists’ Convocation International body.

“In order to play in sanctioned events, players must register for membership and receive a DCI number.

The DCI maintains a global player ratings database based on a variation of the Elo rating system and members have access to their entire tournament history online.

“The DCI sanctions tournaments for a variety of games. As of 2009 the DCI has sanctioned more than two million Magic tournaments,” added Wilkins.

He said that there would be Cayman events during 2011 which would be announced shortly.