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Mercadian Masques Prerelease-Dallas, TX

Helio Rosental

On Satuday, September 25, 1999 we had our Mercadian Masques Prerelease tournament organized in Dallas by Ed Fox. Our judge staff is composed of two level 2 judges, Jim Shuman and Jeff Zandi, three level 1 judges, including myself and several assistants. We also had the honor of having the presence of Mad Hatter, now Wizards of the Coast representative.

The registration started on time, 8:00 with a long line of excited people. We got organized and started registering our guest in two different tables, with two people in each. The audience was a mix of experienced players and new players. Since I personally issued about 35 new DCI cards, I would risk to say that almost 40% of our audience were new players. In about one our, we're done with registering people and were handling the late arrivals.

We've printed a FAQ about the new cards and placed a copy on the walls. We make the formal anouncements and about 9:30, we start distributing the product. Shortly after that, the players started to register, build their decks, turning the registration form in and getting their lands. At 11:00 we start our first of 8 rounds of swiss.

As expected, in first two rounds we got some calls. All calls were very simple to answer and were more about game mechanics than specific card rules. The tournament kept in a very steady pace, in a very peacefull and friendly environment.

Two calls I will atribute to be of relevance to mention besides the normal "No, you can't play this spell" or "Yes, it works this way". The first was in round 5. Active player counts his permanents and finds that, since he started the game, he either skipped drawing a card or his opponent played an extra land. He then look at me and the other judge which just approached the table, and ask us what he should do, draw a card or the opponent place the card he have just drawn on top of his library. I asked him if he saw the other player doing anything wrong. Since the answer was no, I explained to him that keeping track of the game is both players responsability, there is no back track and ask them to proceed with the game.

The other incident was on round 6, when a player plays a card and then proceeded to look through his library, thinking he played one of the new mercenary cards. The opponent called judge and since we're playing in a pre-release and REL2, I explained the situation to the players, explained what would have happen if the tournament would be run in a different REL, shuffled the offending player's library and ask them to proceed with the game.

At this point, a lot of players droped from the main tournament and I get busy in running side events. Two boosters drafts, some 10 pack sealed and we reached the end of our day.

To finalize this report, I'd like to congratulate Ed Fox and his staff for giving me the opportunity to work with them. We've been working together for more than a year now, and the quality of his staff is absolutely fantastic. As a player and as a judge, being around this kind of people is a guarantee of good time.

Helio Rosental
Sep 28, 1999

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