Worlds in San Francisco: Travel Guide!

Posted on September 26, 2011


By Matt Sperling

For everyone who qualified for the World Championships in San Francisco this year, you’re in for an amazing vacation.  As someone who has visited Paris, Amsterdam, Japan, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, and other countries to play Magic, I can assure you that making a Magic trip into a vacation is very possible.  When I went 1-4 in Standard in Paris and was eliminated from contention before the first draft even started, it stung a little, but not that much.  I was in one of the world’s greatest cities, and there was a ton of stuff to do.

Without further ado, here’s my list of things to do in San Fransisco if you find yourself out of contention in the tournament:


Uh-oh.  I have some bad news.  I wrote this travel guide when they announced the venue for Worlds.  That was before the Planeswalker Points announcement.  It now turns out you have to play all 18 rounds of Worlds, even if you aren’t in contention.  Seriously, how could any of us possibly leave that many (any) potential Pro-level Planeswalker Points on the table?  Remember, the system doesn’t record (and I’m starting to think no one will remember) whether you play against LSV for top 16 in round 18 or against the 3rd man on the Latvian squad for 2nd to last place in round 18.  If you win, you get [something times something times something times 3] points, and if you lose you get zero.  I’ve deleted my travel advice in order to avoid the appearance of selfishly giving you terrible advice in order to gain an edge in the PWP standings.

It isn’t clear what Pro-level Planewalker Points will be worth in the coming year(s), but one thing’s for sure; leave the video camera and sunblock at home when you travel.

The forecast for SF in Worlds is whatever they set the convention center air conditioning to.  Usually it’s around 68 degrees.  The sights will include a few Magic dealers, a place where you can buy a hot dog for $6.50, and a land station with basic lands.

I’d tell you to get there early or leave late, but I know how difficult it is to get additional time off work or school and also how expensive an extended stay gets.  The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz will be there when you visit SF again in 10 or 15 years, just see them then.  The Planeswalker Points from beating Wilhelm Donkengruber in round 16 will no longer be available.

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