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The Dutch Vikings

Gijsbert Hoogendijk

4,5,6 February 2000
Attendance: 319
Head Judge: Dan Gray

We got an invite from Jeff for either LA or NY and of course I choose LA. Jaap and Jan Willem (JWB (Jon on wizards judge staff list)) were going too, but through some misunderstanding only JWB and me went. Jaap is going to NY though so be aware.

The 2nd of Feb we are all packed and ready at the airport, and I don't have a seat, WHAT!! Apparently they overbooked the plane, so now they are looking for volunteers to take a flight through Chicago and take $300 as a redemption. We thought that quite fair for a 6 hour delay, so we said we'd volunteer. When everyone has boarded there is one seat left and we have to choose, either one goes on the direct flight or we both take the other flight but get only paid once, well this is what we did is there is no reason in waiting at LA airport for like 4 hours alone. We are quite bummed about it but well we have little choice. Still we get $300 which is some nice pocket money.

We arrive at LAX and take a bus to the car rental. When we want to rent a car it turns out you have to be 25, so I have to rent it and drive it as JWB won't be 25 for another 3 weeks. We go to a near motel and watch some tv. After a good nights sleep for JWB and about 30 mins for me (I hate jetlag) we get up around 7. Get ready and going at about 7.30 and are at the Queen Mary after only 30 mins driving wow it was closer then I thought (LUCKILY).

We arrive and check in, but apparently WotC has booked our rooms for Weds/Thurs as well and now we are registered as a "no show", but after some waiting we have our room. We dropped our bags in the room and went looking for other people of the magic community. After a 40 mins walk we arrived at the room were breakfast is served (the boat is HUGE) and see some known faces we meet up with Christer Ljones and Oyvind Odegaard (sorry I dont have those funky O's on my keyboard) We still know Christer from Tours where I judged him in the quarter finals. After a small chat we go looking for some WotC personel. We get to see alot of the QM and it takes is about another 30 mins before we get into the tournament site. We meet up with the WotC crew and help a bit with the setup. We help for a while but when Paul Barclay shows up there is nothing more to do for us it appears. I ask Paul if he brought his misprint deck, which he of course has, and I ask if he feels like facing my bears. We go to the practice room (we were there earlier but it was close to empty then) and it is packed. We meet up with the Dutch players and Paul and I start beating each other with our crappy decks. It was fun sitting next to Kai Budde and beating the crap out of someone with a Bear Cup (Portal) with Bequeathal and Frog Tong on it :-) JWB and Paul play a couple of games but tuned decks are a bit much for Paul's pile to handle. We do some more hanging around go to the Bar for some drinks. Registration starts, nothing to do for me go back to the Bar drink some more. Then Jeff comes around and says he'll pay for dinner, apparently as Long Beach is dead at night he orders pizza. While we wait we want something to do Jeff brings in like these 1000's of commons he scraped of the floor from the practice room and asks if anybody wants to play. JWB and I give each other a wink and after discussing for a while what and how to play we introduce them to commoncrapmagic (We'll explain it at the bottom for those of you who are interested) we played multiplayer and when everybody had about 5 turns, the pizza's arrived, that was the end of the game. Then we went off to bed and to be fresh in the morning. We went to bed around midnight.

The first day of the PT means getting up early, as the wanted to have us at the site at 7. So we had to get up at 6 for shower and breakfast. At breakfast they surprise us by telling that breakfast isn't included so we have to pay for that ourselves, we were quite shocked to learn it costs $10 but then again you NEED breakfast when judging so... We met up with Paul again and went to the site. We collected our shirts and had a nice day of judging, the personal stuff on the tournament can be found below. First day goes pretty smoothly and at the end we go out for a little steak (this is a an understatement) it was one of the best steaks I ever had. We drive back and fall asleep around 1 am.

The Second day is more of the same we get to sleep half an hour extra. At the end of the day we do a judges draft, with Nemesis, the long awaited new expansion. We draft at one of the draft tables used for the PT and play at the feature match tables. In the end Thomas Pannell wins it taking home the cards including a foil "Lin-Sivvi". We go to the side event room and play some more and finally go to bed around 3.30. The conclusion is that Nemesis looks pretty cool to draft with.

The third day, we're still judging the main event. During the draft we get to write down the cards the players drafted. After deck construction and some waiting around for the video crew to be ready or something the Qfinals finally got underway. JWB gets to judge the match between Brian Selden and Kurt Burgner and I get to sit in on Chris Benafel and Erno Ekebom. After the QF's we have a nice lunch with the players and I get to judge the SF match between Kurt Burgner and Trevor Blackwell. After that we just hang around on the boat, getting cards signed, watching the finals, trading away our foils, stuff like that. And of course we played loads of side events and finally get back in our room at 5.00.

The next day we go to Universal Studios with Tom van der Logt and Jeroen Remie (both Top 64) and have loads of fun hanging out there. Back at the boat we watch the Pokemon movie on the TV and fall asleep shortly after that. On tuesday we wake up pack our stuff and go to the airport and everything went very smooth.

Personal Views


After the amazement about the size of the ship was over, I thought it a great site to run such a big event and as it was the 5th time PTLA was held I'm apparently not the only one. All in all it was a great weekend in which I learned a lot and had loads of fun.

These are the most interesting situations presented to me during the weekend:

Day 1:

Bram Snepvangers calls for a judge so I go to his table. Bram was the first lvl 3 in the Netherlands and basically mentor to us vikings. In 50% of the cases he calls over a judge it is some real wacky situation or it seems something most people wouldn't get a judge for (picking cards up from the floor when you dropped one for instance). This situation was definitely one of the wacky kind. He and his opponent couldn't figure out if his untapped Island had summoning sickness. As his opponent had played natural affinity and he needed the island both to block and the mana to bounce one his opponents lands it was a pretty important fact. I'm quite stunned about the question as it just revolves about did I tap the land I layed last turn or not. I don't have an immediate answer ready, so I am wondering over to Paul Barclay. While on the way Bram catches up with me and says they figured it out themselves, they forgot he hadn't played a land last turn but the turn before that so it wasn't an issue anymore. I'm still wondering about it and ask Paul about it later, who comes up with a pretty good solution: Determine randomly which land was laid last turn. I think it's the only fair way to do it.

In one of the later rounds I am watching a match in which one guy is 1-0 (lets call him player A) up. He has a disadvantage on the board in game 2. During that second game a judge comes up to his table and asks him stuff about his decklist, he has an error on it and is "awarded" a game loss. The game loss is for the game in progress. He scoops and goes onto to win the third game. Why do I write this down? Well by giving that game loss for the current game that player actually didn't get a penalty, he just lost a game he was going to loose anyway. So I wondered why the penalty isn't given to players for the next game, so I ask Dan Gray about it and he says that that is a administrative nightmare, especially if you notice it during the last game of a match, so it carries over to the next or even to another day. I can see the point but still feel it isn't totally right.

Day 2:

I am wondering around at the end of a round and sit in at a random table. They have just started the third game and there is about 6 min's of play left. During a turn I couldn't understand why something happened and asked the players about it, the player I'm sitting next to (A) asks me: "Don't you have anything better to do, then keeping us up? We want to finish this match". I'm totally shocked by this reaction but decide to talk to him about it when the match is over instead of saying anything now. Why I didn't understand the situation was because I didn't know the exact wording of a card. A Barbed Wire comes on the table amongst other things and during the course of that game I correct that players life total about 3 times because he kept forgetting the Wire and something else I can't remember. So when the match is finished I ask of player (A) that I could understand his reaction but if he next time could please react a little less attacking because I'm just a human being try to do my job. His reaction: "Well you didn't do a good one and you shouldn't be here if you didn't know what that was about". I try to counter with: "But I did correct some stuff in that game". To which he basically just walks away. I was totally stunned. I am about to go after him and give him a warning for failure to respect a judge, but decide to talk it over with Dan. I go to Dan and explain him the situation, he tells me that player hasn't been a gentleman all weekend and he will look into it. He talks it over with Jeff and in the end nothing happens. I'm quite disappointed and ask about it. Dan says that next time he will get penalized.

Later that day I sit down at a match and player A taps two mana and casts Tiger Claws (CC 3), player B reacts to this immediatly and points out to me this was the second time and points to the judge who made the earlier ruling. I go upto the judge and ask him about it, he confirms and I discuss with him which penalty should be given. We come to the conclusion that as a judge was watching there shouldn't be a penalty for misrepresentation as it will be corrected and it is assumed the player doesn't do it on purpose as the judge is watching. Player B does't agree and wants the HJ, in the end the ruling stays and player B is not happy.

At the end of the day I remember what influence it has to sit on a match. Players will act and react different to everything in their environment just because YOU are sitting there. So be very sure of what you are doing when you sit down at a match and ask yourself if you will be able to handle the situation when something arises.

Day 3:

I am happy to get the opportunity to get to judge both Qfinals and Sfinals, nothing happens though so an uneventful day in that respect.

Jan Willem:

Let me start with a big thumbs up for the hard-working people at WotC who organized the 5th Pro-Tour Los Angeles. If there was any mishap, I sure didn't notice. I had a great time in LA!

Day 1:

First let me apologize to all the people who's names I forgot. I'm terrible at names and only tend to remember the names of people after having met them on several occasions.

During PTLA the judges where divided in judge teams, with each team having a specific task. Each team had a senior judge and 3 or 4 other judges.

After the first draft our team was in charge of handing out the result slips and judging tables 100+. After the first round, one of the judges in my team was called to the side-event area to help out there and after round 2 our senior judge was called away. My team kinda dissolved after that and I turned in to some sort of floating judge, a role I greatly prefer so I didn't realy mind. I still had to hand out the result slips each round so I started drafting random judges to help me. ( whoever was nearby at the start of a round ) There were one or two judges who started to avoid me at the the beginning of a round, I wonder why?

Day 2:

On the second day I was doing deck-checks. Having checked a deck round 1 I decided to start counting all decklists to make sure that all are correct. I was quickly joined by some other judges and it didn't take us long to find the first faulty decklists. Several players recieved penalties for not writing down ALL 45 cards that they drafted.

After the second draft I again noticed several players handing in their decklist after 5 minutes. I mean, there is 30 minutes of deck construction, why hand in your list after just 5 minutes? You don't get extra points for being the first you know? There are 30 minutes! Use this time! count, count, count again!

We (the judges) counted every list and again there were several that didn't add up. Please prevent this from ever happening to you and count carefully, otherwise we will!

Day 3:

I was very suprised when I was asked to tablejudge a Qfinal. Pleasantly suprised that is because it is something I really enjoy doing. As I sit down at the table I write down the name of one of the players and then turn to the other asking his name. He looks at me in disbelief and says "You know his name but you don't know mine?" and I go "No, should I?" He just shakes his head and tells me his name; hey, nobody ever pointed Brian out to me so how should I know?

The first game of this match is televized but it turns out to be a very long and boring game so when they are finally done the cameras quickly turn to another table.

That's about it, I really had a great time in LA and I hope to be able to come back some day, there's nothing quite like "The Boat".

O yea, Commoncrapmagic.

Picture this: a whole bunch or random commons, like the ones that litter the floor after several PT players played a practice / money draft. Pick up those cards and shuffle them a bit. Now each player draws a hand of seven cards an you start to play. Don't add lands! every card can also be used as a land of its color. You all draw cards from the same library. When somebody's hand is empty all players discard and draw a new hand of seven cards.

We (the Dutch Vikings) invented commoncrapmagic during PT Rome after several drinks. Gis and I attracted several spectators when we where playing it in London. For added fun: play this game Ironman style.

- Ironman style
Continueous replacement effect
Whenever a card goes to the graveyard, rip it up instead.

I hope you enjoyed reading our report as much as we enjoyed judging at PTLA.

Gis & JWB
Dutch Vikings

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