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Indiana State Championships

Jenny Ulman

Indiana Convention Center
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
November 21, 1999

Format: Standard Constructed
Number of Players: 128
Rounds: 7
Tournament Organizer: Mitch Smithson, Level III, SimplyMagic Events Coordinator, Head Judge
Event Staff: Mitch Smithson, Level III; Jenny Ulman, Level II; Lee Savage, Level II; Dave Mallasch, Level II; Rick Dean, Level I; Jim Hall, Judge in Training

The SimplyMagic event staff arrived at the Indiana Convention Center at 7:30 am. Dave and I (Jenny) set up and began registration, Mitch manned the computer, and the other staff set up easels for postings, table cards, and organized the judges station.

It would have been a typical morning if it weren't for the surprising number of people who showed up for the state championships (Mitch and I were praying for 80). With 128 people showing up, we didn't get registration closed until 10:15. We were very pleased with the turnout and happy that we didn't have that 129th person, or it would have meant eight rounds instead of seven.

We were able to start the main tournament at 10:30 with Mitch's opening announcements. The pairings were posted and round #1 was underway. When the clock started for the first round, I began my usual job of setting up the side tournament sign-up table and sectioning off an area of space for drafting, deck building, and side event play. Then I proceeded to roam the floor of the main tournament looking for interesting situations.

Nothing too interesting happened during the first round until after time had been called and players were taking their six extra turns. The situation happened with the final match, on the 6th turn.

The active player was at 3 life (he had already won the first game and this was game two). The non-active player was at 7 life. If the AP would have drawn his card and said, "Done," he would have won the match 1-0. Instead he attempted to Hammer his opponent, who in response Misdirected it back at him taking him to zero life. The match became a 1-1 draw! The moral of the story being--players should always be aware of the game state.

The reason I mentioned this is because this is a good reason why we send a judge over to any match still unresolved after time is called. With a judge present, the spectators (mostly the AP's friends) were less likely to interfere in any way with the outcome of the match. We find that when a judge is observing a match closely, no one gets too close or makes loud comments. This procedure also speeds up the time it takes to print new pairings for the following round.

Close to the beginning of round #2, the first booster draft filled up. I assigned Rick to oversee it (his nickname is The Draft Nazi). We have a system for drafts where I assign a judge to each draft, they collect the money and bring it to me in exchange for product. Then they are in charge of running their draft and handing out prize vouchers. The winners (first through fourth place) can bring their voucher to me to claim their prize. The system works extremely well and still allows me to help out with the main tournment (deck checks, floor judging, lunch run, etc.). It is also an excellent way to keep track of product. Normally we need two side tournament judges, but the drafts filled up so slow (they usually do at our constructed events) that Rick handled them all day by himself (we only ran 5 drafts).

During round #2, one of the judges discovered a player with a snow-covered island in play. The judge issued him a warning and had him replace it with an island. The player had marked it as an island on his decklist and it was an unintentional mistake as far as we could tell.

Also during round #2, another judge made an incorrect ruling regarding Contamination. His ruling was not appealed by either player to the head judge so it cost the player a game (but it did not effect the outcome of the tournament in any way). The situation was that the AP had a Contamination in play. It was his upkeep and he chose to sacrifice his Nether Spirit to Contamination to pay its cost. In response, his opponent sacrificed his Powder Keg to kill the Nether Spirit before Contamination's cost was resolved. This should have worked, but the AP called the judge who incorrectly ruled that there was no chance to kill the Nether Spirit because it had already been sacrificed. It was an unfortunate situation, but a learning experience for all involved about the workings of "the stack."

It seems that many people still have trouble understanding "the stack." The question of how Engineered Plague and Crusade work on "the stack" was posed to me during round #3. My answer was simple (or so I thought), "They don't. They are continuous effects." This answer lead to puzzled looks and an explanation of what this meant. I find, as a judge, that many people get tripped up on the new vocabulary (state-based effects, continous effects, static abilities, triggered abilities, etc.). It is a good thing that my "weekday job" is a seventh grade English teacher. I'm used to breaking down vocabulary in order to teach it to my students.

Rounds #4 was extremely uneventful, but I trained another judge on the appropriate way to deck check. The deck check went smoothly.

At the beginning of round #5 the Standard Constructed Side Event filled. This was a special side event because the winner would receive a Mox Ruby. It was only open to the first 16 people to sign up. I, in fact, chose to run this side event myself because a constructed event is easy to monitor and still help out Rick with booster draft product and prizes. Mox tournaments are great because they usually go quickly (as they are single elimination), they turn a great profit, and the players don't mind the $10 entry fee for a chance at a Mox).

Since much of my time is taken up coordinating and monitoring side events, I don't get a lot of floor time late in the day. I was off of the main event for the 6th and 7th rounds, but I heard from other floor judges that there had been some problems with deck checks at the top tables.

I closed side event registration after the seventh round began, because we never continue running side events once the swiss rounds end. It takes too long to finish up if we do. As I monitored the finals of my Mox tournament, I taught Rick how the fill out the Quick Sanctioning form to help me get the paperwork taken care of for Mitch.

In the final 8 portion of the tournament I helped clean up the room (like all good judges do...especially if they want to use the site ever again) and observed the matches in progress. I was not assigned to a specific match, but Mitch did assign Lee, Dave, Jim, and Jon (another SimplyMagic Staff member, Level II, who chose to play in the tournament, but did not make final eight) to each of the quarter final matches.

The quarter finals were:

1 Mike Jeffers vs. 8 Andy Wright
2 Judah Alt vs. 7 Kerry Stump
3 Steve Zimmerman vs. 6 Klaus Hueburt
4 Matt Lackey vs. 5 Granger Peterson

Three green decks were present, two black decks, one white deck, one blue deck, and one red/green deck.

When the semifinals began, Jim went to take his judge certification test and Lee and Dave watched the matches.

The semifinals were:

Mike Jeffers (green deck) vs. Granger Peterson (red/green)
Judah Alt (white deck) vs. Klaus Hueburt (black deck)

The finals was very exciting because Granger won his semifinal match and was now playing to defend his title as the 1998 Indiana State Champion! Klaus's deck was good, but Granger top decked an Avalanche Rider when they were both at two life to seal his victory!

Congratulations Granger!

All in all, the tournament ran smoothly and the day went well.

From everyone at SimplyMagic, Happy Holidays!!!!

Jenny Ulman
Level II Judge
SimplyMagic Side Events Coordinator

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