Dice City Games: Supporting Pro Players In Silver Springs

Dice City Games in Silver Springs, Maryland. Photo Credit: Jimmy Cooney

Born in Montgomery County, Maryland, Jimmy Cooney, owner of Dice City Games now resides in Fairfax, Virginia. He first immersed himself in gaming at seven years old. It was at that young age he bought his first Warhammer miniature. Becoming a fan of fantasy-type games was inevitable for Jimmy having read books like The Hobbit and Chronicles of Narnia growing up. He says that once he discovered Magic: The Gathering, “Magic was the perfect combination of everything I loved.”

Although he quit gaming in his teenage years, he would find himself working in restaurants, grocery stores, retail, and filmmaking. However, the gaming spark would return after a meetup with some friends to play board games and Magic: The Gathering.

In 2015, Jimmy would write a business plan for Dice City Games. The store name would become a moniker representing the Washington D.C. area even though the store’s location is in Silver Springs, Maryland – a D.C. suburb. According to the Wizards of the Coast Store & Event Locator, the store is the only one in Silver Springs. Before the store’s official location launched (right before Black Friday), he spent 2015-2016 with pop-up stores. Jimmy says the store’s initial inventory consisted of his collection and savings he had in the bank.

Dice City Games Appeals To A Global Customer Base

Jimmy estimates that the store is 1/5 Washington D.C. players and 4/5 Marylanders. However, the store has attracted visitors from Sweden, Lithuania, Peru, and Japan. Moreover, before the COVID pandemic, Jimmy says that there were players who would drive down to his store from New York City to play in Magic: The Gathering Pre-Releases. With a global appeal and a passion for branding, Jimmy sponsors competitive players – like Benton Madsen – in the Magic: The Gathering scene. Additionally, his store attends conventions such as SCG Con where he features a “Show & Tell” concept – like bringing large Magic: The Gathering cards – to make an impression on the players in attendance.

Just stopped in to see the place – they have a mindblowing selection of games, clearly curated with a love and knowledge of board games. A MTG tourney was getting started and they have a full bookshelf of D&D materials – including old school modules and books, and some alternate systems like GURPS. AMAZING game store!

Also – met the owner, Jimmy and he was super friendly.

Eric Newdom, Dice City Games customer review on Facebook

Operating A Business & Success As A Competitive Player

To facilitate his operation, Jimmy has an Inventory Manager (Chris), a Buyer (Germo), and a Magic: The Gathering Sales & Inventory representative (Danny). Additionally, he shared with us that his Director of Online Commerce and Sales, Jesse, is also an investor in the business. He also has 12 part-timers who assist with conventions and events, however, no more than 10 employees work at the store. His goal for his team at conventions is to buy and offer those selling, 25% more in credit. Jimmy says that the rapid growth Dice City Games experienced in 2017-2019 culminated at Command Fest 2019.

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Currently, there are 32 seats available at Dice City Games for Magic events. Although Jimmy hosts the events, he’s an experienced competitive player as well. For example, he shared that he won the first Eternal Weekend tournament. Additionally, he ranked in the Top 32 in two Star City Games Standard Open events and won a Star City Games Classic Team Sealed event. Moreover, he shared that he usually plays old-school Magic – the Legacy format. Legacy is a format the store is very passionate about supporting. The price of the format may be discouraging to some. However, Jimmy says his employees help introduce new players to it by building budget decks.

A Look Into The Future & Potential Brand Expansion

While Jimmy did want to open a restaurant in conjunction with his store, unfortunately, he says that Montgomery County is not very business-friendly. However, he hasn’t let that deter him as he aspires to expand the brand of Dice City Games. Early concepts involve the expansion into collectibles, he says. One of these collectibles could center around retro video games which Jimmy says he has a large collection of. On another note, he would like to bring large events emulated after the “North American Old School Cup” and run them off-site every Thursday night leading into Eternal Weekend.

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