As a level 1 judge, it is my "sworn duty" to write a single report each
year. After reading the reports of other judges, I decided to write a
"Year in Review" report looking back at 1999. I know that this isn't
following the guidelines for the judge reports but I decided to show what
a judge can do on an individual level.
Working at a local comic book shop, I get to play every saturday in group
games. Our shop actually charges players $1 a day to allow you to come in
and play. I don't question this as some players come in and never make a
purchase. A few players have even been caught shoplifting.
I've contacted one of the local gaming groups about U-Kon, the annual
gaming convention on the University of Kentucky campus. With only 6 weeks
to go, they haven't posted any fliers or even talked to the local gaming
shops. There's a gaming shop 200 feet away from the student center and
they have yet to ask for local support. I go on a shopping/trading
rampage and obtain about a 100 packs of cards including 40 packs of german
I go to the Urza's Legacy Pre-release tournament held by Andon. I don't
do too well in the tournament so I partake of a booster draft. My last
pack contains a foil Eviscerator and I make a request of the head judge,
asking if I can use a normal Eviscerator instead as I have often
misshuffled cards and damaged them in the process. I've immediately
grasped the idea that rare foil cards will go for a pretty penny on the
internet. The head judge allows the proxy use.
I host my own tournament at the end of the month. 28 players show up to
the poorly advertised event. I post flyers of my own in all of the local
gaming shops at my own expense. I get no prize support from the comic
book shop I work for, but then again, I didn't expect any.
I give out a single caution to two players at the same time. They are
playing with Urza's Legacy cards before the cards are legal. Fortunately,
they're playing each other so no complaint is made by anyone. Otherwise
the tournament runs smoothly.
Because the convention is poorly advertised, only a few vendors are there
and one of them "sells" me a box for my first booster draft at 10% off
from retail value. We use the box and get several complaints as I charge
$12 for the first draft. This is just enough for me to pay for the box,
offering 12 packs as a prize.
I hold a reasonably priced booster draft as well, thanks to Collectibles
Etc. the card shop down the road. Someone who works there runs to the
store and comes back with a box of Urza's Legacy. The cost for this draft
is only $10, but we draft 4 packs apiece with a 4 pack prize for the
winner. The draft isn't sanctioned so I take the eighth slot and I win it
with Bone Shedders and Unearths.
My freebie packs of magic are well received and the 40 german packs tend
to be very nice. One player gets a Serra Angel and a "disk" in his pack.
The convention organizers think I have some excellent contacts with WOTC
as they were unable to get any prizes worth showing up for. Little do
they know I obtained the cards through multiple trades of cards.
Personally, I wish there was a way to get boxes of cards cheaply for
booster drafts and prizes.
I get home that night and in my mailbox are two cards, a counterspell and
incinerate. I was hoping to use the cards as prizes and laugh at the
I start selling Pokemon single on Yahoo auctions, making a good profit
from it. Since I work at a local comic shop I get first shot at cards.
The local computer gaming shop is selling booster packs for normal retail
price. I buy a box and start selling.
We move the comic book shop I work for. I discover a lot of Collector's
cards for magic and put them on display. Also buried amongst the
treasures are dozens of Arena lands and about 20 beta commons and
With weeks to go, I get an e-mail claiming that WOTC needs more judges for
Origins. It's too late to me to get off from work for it and once again,
I suffer from poor planning and timing.
I quit the comic book shop. I'm making minimum wage there while I'm
making twice as much in technical support for a local printer
manufacturer. My quitting isn't taken too well as Magic play has died at
the local shop. When I worked Saturdays, I told everyone who called that
someone would eventually be there to play Magic even if it was me. When I
quit Saturdays, the new weekend employee never persuaded players to come
in to play. Magic has died at the store. Fortunately for them, they now
hold Star Wars tournaments including regionals.
Origins. I have to work at my job the entire weekend and spend the time
My former employer has a grand opening sale at their new location. I give
them a box of 5th edition starter decks to give away during the weekend.
The store doesn't contact anyone about prizes or giveaways except for the
local radio station.
I work the Urza's Destiny Pre-Release tournament and regret it. I take a
day off from work and drive by myself. I work the entire day and get 2/3
of a box and 2 pre-release cards. I also miss the fun of playing in
pre-release tournaments. The tournament is cut short because the
organizers have had no sleep after a long drive. I've persuaded several
players to stay in the main tournament as we would normally run side
events until we ran out of cards. This proved to be not the case and I
had several disgruntled players on my hands. The organizers also didn't
feed me. Always feed your judges.
I stop by the comic store and I see several of the starter decks I'd given
to them for the grand opening. They're being sold at regular retail
price. I grimace but say nothing.September
Mercadian Masques Pre-release tournament. Learning from the last
pre-release, I decide to play. My friends and I travel to a different
location then we normally play at. I make the final eight and lose
because I forget the when a player drops to zero life he's dead. I dealt
one point of damage to my opponent. He reacted by gaining five life. I
forgot that I could deal another point of damage in reacting to his life
gain and kill him. Failure to do this will cost me the semi-finals.
During the tournament, one of my opponents stares at me for a few seconds,
then says "Hey, I know you. You're the judge that runs the state
championship tournament every year!" I beam with pride, being recognized
as a judge months after I worked the tournament.
The second day, only 16 players showed up so the tournament was replaced
with a series of booster drafts. The organizers were one pre-release card
short of giving one to everyone so I volunteered to forfeit my card.
Kentucky States Championship. Since I'm pathetic at deck construction, I
decide to work States. The kind folks who run this event feed me, not
just once but twice! Feed me and I'm yours.
I get pelted with questions about the Echo Counter rule. Several players
were arguing about the use of counter to show that echo had been paid. I
refer such complaints to the head judge. This later becomes a debate on
the judges list.
I see few other questions, but I do get to be the "hand of god" as I watch
a game. I get to reach into the playing area during one player's turn and
I double tap on an Endless Wurm that he forgot to sacrifice his Rancor to.
I hate to do this, but this is a serious tournament and "Life's not fair."
I play in a local, poorly advertised tournament and win with an obscure
deck. There's only 7 players and everyone else is playing a deck that
will never be posted on The Dojo. I claim my box of cards and crawl out
of the gaming shop before everyone realizes the I was a semi-professional
playing novices. Not only did I win the tournament, I did it with a
Kormus Bell/Mystic Compass/Stinging Barrier deck.
Hmmm...After seeing what the other players played I'm considering going
back to host a deck building seminar for the other players. I'd have to
do it using my own cards but I'll consider the sacrifice a down payment on
my future karma. Plus there should be a convention coming up in Feburary
Level 1 Judge