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NDC's Black Lotus Tourney

Frank Tavern, III

Hey, everyone. . .I'm Frank Tavern, III. . .a Level One judge from western PA and I just *HAVE* to send this report in. Why? 'Cause I'm just so happy that this is my first tourney that I've organized, ran, and head judged!!!

The tourney was set on June 29, 1999 at New Dimension Comics in Cranberry Township, PA. It was an Extended event with a final eight consisting of a booster draft (Saga, Legacy, Destiny). 20 people showed up to this wonderful event. . .all of them with hopes of getting that first prize of a Beta Black Lotus!!!

The five preliminary rounds of Swiss went OK. . .considering that this was my first tourney that I've sanctioned, I noticed a lot of stuff off the bat really quick. For starters, even though I use the Reporter for my non-sanctioned tourneys, I knew very little about some of the features that were in it. . .I tried to input a warning, and was told that I had to enter judges into the Reporter. . .also, I found myself looking around in the Handbook (and when I got home, the Web) to see what exactly I had to send and where. . .it's probably right in front of my eyes, but I'm just too tired to see it :(

The tourney itself went rather smoothly. . .the first round lasted a bit too long, as I didn't write down when the round started. . .and when I found out what time it started (a friend called and said the time it started, since he left shortly there after). With some resistance from the Reporter (it's great software. . .I just realize that I need to learn it better!), I got the second round off without a bead of sweat!

My players were, for the most part, well behaved. . .I opted for Rules Enforcement Level 3, since the prize was a Lotus. . .but I did find myself using common sense when I was dishing out warnings.

Three warnings were given. . .one of which warranted a duel loss:

1) A newer player was playing a Spike deck and dropped a Pendelhaven on turn 4 (I think) in round 2. I just gave him a warning for an illegal deck and made him jettison it from the event. . .after the game was over, I gave him a basic forest to replace it. . .people who were watching the game thought I went easy on him, but given the fact that the Pendelhaven was from Anthologies, the poor kid probably thought that it was legal (after all, he told me, it was white bordered).

2) The most serious penalty I gave was to someone in the top 4 after three of five rounds. During someone else's match, the person blurted out that there was an Oath of Druids on the table after a player missed it for five turns (the Oath was controlled by the other player). . .the player started to use the Oath and almost won the game. . .I gave the guy who blurted out the help a warning and a duel loss, as the info was vital and the game ended later than it was going to.

3) In the booster draft finals, a player (the eventual winner) shuffled his deck, drew his hand, and his opponent put a land in play when they both realized that there was a Sigil of Sleep that was Erased in an earlier game still in the removed from play zone. Checking the guidelines, it called for a duel loss. . .I couldn't go for that. . .if it was later in the game, maybe, but off the opening hand. . .no way! A warning sufficed, and the Sigil of Sleep was left out of play.

Rulings that I had to make were few and far between. . .I found myself holding Beat the Judge contests while the tourney was going on. . .some of the more prominent rulings I made were:

- A Pox can kill someone who has a Worship in play.

- A player cast Arcane Lab and then tried to Impulse. . .nope can't do that!

- Forking a Meditate = 1 skipped turn and 8 cards.

- Forking a Goblin Grenade yields 10 damage and 1 lost Goblin.

- Engineer Plague and Slivers means nightmare for the judge (I think I may have messed up that ruling. . .I said that a Muscle Sliver coming into play would be 1/1 with a Plague in play with Slivers named).

- Goblin Patrols that block don't take damage (removed from combat. . .I hope I read into that right!)

- And yes, you can get rid of Gaea's Blessings with effects that remove cards from the graveyard from the game. . .this one annoyed several people...but they'll get over it.

Also, during this tourney, I had my padawaan Judge, Andy, help me out. Andy, who isn't even a judge, was knighted for today, by me granting him a Level 0 status for the day. . .he was a big help, making some rulings and directing people to go where they should be. . .I don't think the tourney would have been as smooth if it wasn't for him. . .he was a tremendous help. . .thanks again, Obi-Wan :)

After it was all said and done, I am thinking that I have to do this again, and I am probably going to go to a few other stores and see if they want sanctioned tourneys, too! It was a blast and I think I can handle it.

Just have to work on a few things now. . .

1) My Level 2 test. . .I can't wait until someone around here has one!

2) Were does all of this stuff go!!! I hope I can find out what to send and where to send it soon!!

3) Prep time is essential. . .I spent about three hours prepping for this.. .until I get better, I think that I might need some more time

4) Learn the Reporter. . .I need to learn to use it efficiently. . .that 30 minute delay between the end of Swiss and the draft was killer. . .I don't think that I'm doing that in the again in the near future!

5) Side Events. . .I guess I'm going to have to get someone else to help out. . .as I think a side event would have been cool today. . .maybe next time!

6) More advertising. . .I had a lot this time, but I have to get the word out more. . .next time postings on the Dojo and a few other areas, too!

So, until the Unlimited tourney comes around on August 31st, I'm outtie.

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