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Mercadian Masques Prerelease-Indianapolis, IN, USA

Mitch Smithson

Tournament Report
Mitch Smithson, Level III Judge
Mercadian Masques Prerelease Tournament
September 25, 1999
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.

That day started off rather well. All the staff that was to travel with me to the event (which is an hour or so from my home) was on time. We were able to fit all the product and prize support (plus everything else needed to run the event) into the back of one of our judge's car (a mighty Celebrity station wagon) with room for another staff member. The rest of the staff split up into two other cars along with the much needed computer. We had the station wagon checked out the day before (a complete tune-up, oil change, tires checked, etc..) and were told everything was fine. WRONG! About 20 minutes into the trip, on a major interstate, the tire on the wagon goes flat. Needless to say, we had a horrible time getting everything into my little compact car (but some how we did!), and minus half of our staff, we finally made it to Indy an hour and a half after registration was suppose to open! Did I mention the fact that we only had half our staff?! There were a couple of staff people from Indy who were working with us, and luckily (with LOTS of hurrying and scurrying) we were able to get all 300 or so players registered and round one underway only 15 minutes behind schedule (with a skeleton crew!)!!! Organization is great.

About the middle of round three, the rest of the staff finally made it down (turns out the starter on the wagon was shot!!), just in time for booster draft sides!! Yeah!! They cranked it up and, still in good spirits, ran great drafts all day!!

So here are the specifics: -294 players in the main sealed deck event, with 33 booster draft sides, and one standard constructed side.

-7 Swiss rounds (we only run seven rounds, and give out prizes based on records. More players get prizes, and it pleases them to no end).

-We had, after everyone showed, six level 2 judges, two level 1 judges, two judge trainees, and a few other admin staff, plus myself.

-We had no major rules problems, since sixth edition rules and templating are really self explanatory (I love 6th Ed.). The biggest problem we had was the tardiness of the event staff. But with a little diplomacy and apologies, everything worked out great!

Biggest Player Complaint: -WHAT IS HAPPENING TO RED? HUH? Give it some Viagra! Its lost its potency.

Things to remember: -Pre-releases are supposed to be fun! Remember, the K value and rules enforcement of such events have been adjusted to show this. As with all tournaments, you should always use your best judgment with regards to penalties, but remember to maintain the integrity of the event (we had a couple of sharks looking to win matches on penalties that would warrant game losses in PTQs). Don't be too lenient, but don't be too hard-nosed. These events are also a chance for you to relax and have fun as well. Use your judgment on where to draw the line.

-Pre-releases are a great place to put newer judges on side events, especially if they are booster drafts >:) ! The drafts are a bit more relaxed, and the newer judges have a great chance at learning a lot without all the pressure.

-Diplomacy..diplomacy..diplomacy: always remember to listen carefully to what players are saying to you. When they are done, it doesn't hurt to repeat everything back to them to make sure of the situation. When you give your ruling, feel free to explain why you ruled the way you ruled. Don't go overboard, however. There is a line between making a ruling, nonsensical babbling, and coaching. Make sure to only do the first :). Just be fair.

Overall, it was a great event, and the players and staff were really pleased with its success!

Mercadian Masques Players' Favorites:
Forced March (a Black Wrath of God?)
Bribery (You get to do WHAT with my deck!?)
Unmask (Duress/Ostracize for free!)
Mercenaries (cool for limited)
Rebels (see mercenaries)
Magistrate's Scepter (retooled Time Vault!)
Groundskeeper (GEDDON.)

Mitch Smithson
DCI Tournament Organizer
DCI Level III Judge
Simply Magic Events Coordinator

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