FRIDAY-SUNDAY

I freely admit that I have thrown the 20-sided die. I have moved little painted figures of trolls, elves, and fanged dragons across a map while pretending to be one of them. Yes, I have played Dungeons & Dragons. Actually, I preferred a game called DragonQuest—the math was better. And the key to successful role-playing games is the sophistication of the arithmetic used to simulate reality. The key to card games, of course, is how well you can cheat. That said, I have no clue when it comes to CCG—collector card games—and the king of the genre, Magic: The Gathering. This is unfortunate, because there’s some serious money on the table at the Grand Prix Tournament—$15,000 cash. Plus, a chance to compete with the pros in London. Professional Magic: The Gathering players? The more I learn about this game, the less sense it makes. I don’t even understand the jokes: “What do you get when you put a Benalish Hero in an Ice Cauldron? Betty Crocker.” But I do understand the money. I’ll just have to figure out how to hide a Red Elemental Blast up my sleeve. Whatever that means. Gather at 6 p.m. Friday, June 18, 8 a.m. Saturday, June 19, and 9 a.m. Sunday, June 20, at the Sheraton National Hotel, Columbia Pike & Washington Boulevard, Arlington. $25 to participate, $5 to observe. (770) 753-0030. (Dave Nuttycombe)