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Nemesis Prerelease-Crystal, MN

Nick Hable

TO and overall Head Judge: Steve Port
Head Judges of the Pods: Black Pod-Me, Blue Pod-Marc Aquino, Red Pod-Chris Rocco
Other Judges: Marc Dudda and Chris Schafer
Staff Members: Phil Bruton, Josh Lueck, Josh Zwadlo, Marci Port, Sarah Neil, Didier Collard, Nick Collard, Josh Noll, Aaron and Phil (Can't remember last names), Marc Haase. Sorry for anyone I missed.
Also on hand: Darrell Wyatt

Total attendance for the tournament was 247 for all three pods, with an additional 50 to 75 people just playing in side events. As it took a while for the sides to get going some of the staff played in the main tournament then ran side events all day long. Total number of sides ran was 27 with a ten team unsanctioned sealed deck at the end for judges and anyone who was still around and wasn't sick of Magic yet.

As this was my first large tournament, I was a little nervous about head judging my pod. All of my nervousness went away as the day went on. Since I am small in stature and was lacking a microphone, I had someone help me with the announcements at the beginning.

Chronological List of my Tournament Experience:

Friday 8:00pm: I pack up my computer, a change of clothes, my notes, and my clipboard for the trip to Casa Dudda, my place to sleep for the night.

9:30 pm: I arrive at Casa Dudda and find that all other guests for the night have arrived. For the rest of the night Steve and me work on getting our computers networked so we can share a printer for the tournament the next day.

Midnight: I head off to bed.

Saturday 6:30am: I am woke up (kicked) by the TO and start getting ready to head out to the site.

7:20am: I arrive with a few of the other judges and staff to the tournament site. We start setting up.

9:00am: We start taking registration and the Black pod starts to fill.

9:30am: My pod is full and the tournament is under way. The generally announcements are made and the players are let loose to start registering their decks. I give them a half an hour. By the time I get done with announcements Blue pod is almost full.

10:00am: I am informed that about 15 more players will be added to my pod. I get them going on deck registration as soon as possible.

10:15am: Still waiting for latecomers to finish. I let them finish and go back to all of the other players and make a few more announcements. I then have them do a deck swap. The method I used was for them to switch across then pass one place to the right. This method I think is effective for the prereleases because it lessens the confusion and traffic towards the registration area. Using this method also assures that some players will get their original deck back. I give the players another half an hour to build, register their decks, and get their land. I also informed them that they were able to swap up to five lands for five other lands.

10:30: Got the other group of players going on deck building. I used the same swap pattern as the other players.

10:45: Deck building was supposed to end, however, a bottleneck developed at the land stations. In the TO's unending well of knowledge, he set up an additional land station.

11:15: I was informed about a technical problem with the pod divisions. Apparently, I was informed, Dennis Green of the Vikings got on the computers and mixed up the players in the pods. This problem ended up switching a few players from black pod to blue pod and from blue pod to black pod. This meant that my pod would have to wait for blue pod. After things were all sorted out only about 4 players got switched.

11:30: First round pairings went up for both pods. In the spirit of competition between Marc Aquino and me, the race for the most efficient pod was on.

11:55: After a few more announcements I started round 1.

The rest of the day went pretty much according to schedule. Seven rounds of Swiss parings and a 30-minute lunch break completed in 8 hours. For all those wondering I won the competition for most efficient pod. There were very few rulings given and surprisingly fewer penalties.

Rulings and Interesting Situations:

#1. Player A had declared blockers with a rebel. After which he wanted to then go and search for another rebel and block with that too. I ruled that this is not legal as you cannot play instants during the declare blockers step. Later in the day, I did find an instant you could play during the Declare Blockers Step, Fog Patch. The reason Fog Patch can be played is because it says specifically on it that it can only be played during the Declare Blockers Step.

#2. I was asked if Laccolith Rig could be played on one of your opponent' s creatures and what would happen if it were put there? I ruled that this legal as the card doesn't prohibit it. If it was placed on one of the opponent's creatures that you (controller of the enchantment) were able to choose where the damage went if you wanted to.

#3. I was asked if Laccolith Rig was placed on another Laccolith creature how much damage could that creature do? I ruled that both the creature's ability would trigger and the enchantment would trigger. That means that the controller could deal damage equal to the creature's power twice. It works this way because the ability isn't a replacement effect.

#4. I sat down at the last match of the sixth round. It was a stalemate. Since both players had one lost and one draw another lost or draw would knock out both players from prize contention. One player said they should just flip a coin. I immediately intervened for this practice is really illegal. Once I explained why it was illegal and that a player could concede at anytime, one player conceded to the other. Then they talked about who would have a better chance in the next round, since they did not involve any kind of compensation for the losing player, I decided that it was not collusion.

#5. Also in the sixth round, a player came up to me with a problem with the number of points he currently had. I asked him where he thought the problem was. He said that in the third round he got credited for a draw instead of a win. I asked him why he hadn't asked earlier like as soon as he noticed the problem. He said that he didn't notice it until now because he checked his points this round, and not any other round. This was hard to believe, as the points are printed next to his table assignment each round. Anyway I talked to his opponent for the third round and he concurred with his opponent that he should have gotten a lost for the round. I decided that because he had waited so long to do anything about the mistake that changing it now would corrupt the tournament. My reasoning was that since he had played two other rounds at the wrong number of points that he had an unfair advantage over the players who played at the right level of points. I, however, was overruled by the Head Judge and TO of the tournament.

Sorry about the length of the report but I had a lot of new experiences and wanted to get them all in. A few final notes... Congratulations to both Marc Haase (Hadji) and Josh Lueck for successfully (I hope) testing for Level 1. If anybody has any questions or comments for me I can be reached by e-mail at nicholas.a.hable@uwrf.edu .

Take care and play on,
Nick Hable

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