Before I write about the tournament I need to fill in some of the
background details (this may be quite long).
Three weeks before the tournament is due to take place Roy Williams tells
me that he heard there was a PTQ for New York in Swansea. This made no
sense to me, as I run all of the Swansea tournaments, and would have
surely been asked by Wizards if I wanted to run one months ago. Anyway, on
Friday 17 th February I recieve the UK tournament and PTQ listing for the
upcoming months. Hmm, I am running a PTQ on the 26th.
My search for a venue begins on the following Tuesday. My regular venues
(the University bars) are quickly discounted, as they are generally quite
full of people on a Saturday, and anything up to about 80 people could
turn up. Trekking around the town centre in search of venues it soon
became clear that the only suitable venues (ie big enough and open long
enough) were hotel function rooms. Of these
the cheapest would cost £150, giving me a breakeven of something stupid
like 56 players. Hmm, bad.
The finding of a head judge met with slightly more success. I emailed
Chris Bagnall of Bath, asked him if he wanted to do it, and he agreed
(and even said he would bring his computer).
As the week goes on I decide that, if I have not found a venue by Friday,
I will ring up wotc and tell them I am cancelling the event. Several
alcohol fuelled brainstorming sessions in the bar give more possible
locations, all of which are already booked. Finally someone realises that
there is a big room on campus that we had not thought about - the Arts
Hall. On the Friday I go in there and enquire about booking it, finding
that it is both unused and will only cost £60, from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm (I
had to book it in blocks of hours for some reason).
With the venue found, it was time to advertise. At this point people had a
maximum of 1 week and 1 days notice of the event, if they saw the
newsgroup ad and shop posters on the day they were put up, basically
leaving no time for potential players to cancel any of their pre-arranged
At this point I also advertise for an extra judge for the event to work
with me and Chris.
On the Thursday before the tournament I get my third judge - Patrick
Tucker AKA Spike, who has worked PTQs and used DCI reporter before. Sweet.
Now my event is sorted, have venue, have judges, and wizards will be
sending out my prizes and stuff which should arrive on the Thursday. Hmm,
wrong. The product arrives on the Friday afternoon, in the half hour gap
where my parents go out. The courier company leave a card and say they
will re-deliver next week. This would be slightly too late I think.
So..I get up really early on the Saturday so I can get to the depot in
Llanelli (20 mins drive from my house) for 6:30 am, just so I can do silly
things like give players prizes, pay judges, and run side events.
Gathering all of my things together, I got to the venue at 7:50 am. The
room was locked, so went to find the porter to open it. His information
was that I had it booked from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. After arguing with him
for a bit he let me in to the room, telling me I could not borrow any big
tables from a nearby building because it was full of sleeping Welsh people
who had come down for the Eisteddfodd. (general cele. bration of a
minority language, artifically kept alive, and keeping down our education
Therefore I had to use the table that came with the hall. These were
examination decks, which were angled. The best way to use these way to use
2 for each match put to together, and just hope the cards did not slide
off them. I was not sure how many people were coming, so I set up enough
for 40 people - I could always put more later.
Chris and Spike both arrived about 9:15 ish. There was one big table to
set up the computer on so this was moved to the side and became the judge
station. Registration started at 9:45, with me taking the money and Chris
entering players into the computer. We did not let anyone register until
they had given us a decklist, which made sure that everyone handed one in.
Registration closed at 10:15, only 15 minutes behind schedule, with 23
players entered. I had previously advertised the event as 6 rounds, 7 if
more than 64 players, but the general consensus was that anything more
than 5 rounds/top 8 was excessive, so that is what we did.
Chris gave the general tournament announcement and the event began. As
there were 3 of us, we used a rotating system whereby two would deck check
and the other be on the floor/computer in each round. Once the deck check
was completed, then everyone was doing everything. Decks were checked for
randomization, marked cards/sleeves, the decklist was legal, and they
matched the list.
In the Swiss portion, the most common judgement given here was for marked
cards - no pattern, for generally worn sleeves. One player was instructed
to replace his two foil cards with non foil versions, as they stood out
from the rest of his deck. One player was given a warning for an
insufficiently randomized deck, as we were waiting to give a deck check,
he performed a single seven pile shuffle and then presented his deck to
opponent. He was given a warning and a lecture on why just pile shuffling
does not randomize your deck.
Other interesting rulings:
1. Player A attacks with animated treetop village. Player B incinerates
it. Player A controls a Sacred Ground. Both players assume it will come
back into play and are confused when Chris told them it did not "the rules
killed it, not the effect".
2. Player A casts Illusions of Grandeur. Player B activates Nevinyrral's
Disk, saying "in response". Player A puts the illusions in the bin. I ask
player A what he meant by in response. His reply is, "as soon as it comes
into play". Player B says that's what he thought the other player said. My
reply to this is "player A you lose the game". Both players are confused
so I explain that he lost 20 life before he gained it, as the triggerred
abilty was still on the stack.
In the final Swiss round, there were 3 intentional draws, leaving one
person on nine points that could sneak into the top 8. When the dust
settle the top 8 were.
David Maher (3 Deuces)
John Ormerod (Tradewind Survival)
Roy Williams (Trix)
Madog Williams (White Weenie)
Mark Burgess (Green Weenie)
Mark Humphries (Counter Slivers)
Simon Cox (Lackey Burn)
Matt Bailie (Counter Oath)
Simon bt Dave
Mark H bt Mark B
John bt Matt
Madog bt Roy
It is worth noting here that Dave had won all of his previous matches 2-0
(and ID'd the final round) and not suffered a single point of damage the
whole tournament. The curse of the top seed strikes again.
Madog bt John
Mark H bt Simon
Madog won despite having a game loss for his deck not matching the list
(he was playing a snow covered plains and had only listed plains)
Madog said that he was not able to go to New York due to work commitments,
and offered the place to Mark in exchange for the first and second place
boosters. Mark accepted. They then played out the final and Madog crushed
Marks slivers mercilessly 2-0.
One side event draft was run, although we had to wait over 2 hours for all
of the people, as one of the participants was sitting a judge test, and
taking his time about it. (He failed)
The side event was won by Roy Williams, giving him a 15 match limited
Before leaving I had to tidy the place up and put ALL the chairs back in
their original positions.
On arriving at the pub I realised I was missing the mobile phone I had
borrowed off my mother for the day. I walked back long the same route and
found it on the pavement where it had fallen out.
Philip J Brett
DCI 273371, Level II Judge