|Atlanta Planeshift Prerelease
The Set Up
Approximately 350 players showed up for the Planeshift Pre-Release in Atlanta on January 27, 2001. Normally, events in Atlanta are held at a hobby shop called The War Room just north of the city. I've seen it at capacity at around 200 players. The Tournament Organizer, Anthony Edwards, knew that it would not hold the expected amount of players since many of the surrounding states were not holding Pre-Releases. He decided that it should be held at a local hotel. The Head Judge, John Loniak (Level 3), arrived with his entourage of judges and support staff around the same time Suzy Life (Level 1) and I did the Friday night before. Anthony, Deke Young (Level 2), and a host of other support staff were already there setting up the hotel conference room. We finished around 1:00 am and woke up the next morning around 8:30 am to begin working the tournament.
Taking a flight
I had been assigned staff duties for the tournament. This entailed helping the flight judges distribute product to actual deck checking. I did this until around 3:00 pm. We had hoped that the fourth flight (yellow flight) would have at least 36 players when it started. When it started to get close to the specified amount, the judge assigned to the flight decided that she did not want to be the Head Judge but wouldn't mind being an assistant judge. I was asked to take the flight and was very enthusiastic about it. Just before 4:00 pm, the flight still had only 26 players signed up, so we decided to start since it was late in the day. Even though I had a few "new-to-tournaments" players and only one assistant judge who assisted up to the start of the second match, the flight actually went quite speedily and efficiently and therefore ended at 10:00 pm.
Player plays Barrin's Spite targetting two creatures of his Opponent. Opponent, in response, plays Rushing River with kicker targetting one of his own creatures that was targetted by Barrin's Spite and a creature of Player. The players's question was, "Does Barrin's Spite become countered when one of it's targets becomes illegal and if not, does Opponent choose whether to sacrifice the creature or return it to his hand as read in Barrin's Spite text?" I ruled that Barrin's Spite is not countered since it still has one valid target. I also ruled that Barrin's Spite "does all that it can" and "in order". "That player chooses and sacrifices one of them" comes before "Return the other to its owner's hand", so Opponent sacrificed the creature that was targetted by Barrin's Spite.
Players who found cards
What I thought was great about my players was that they would come to me when they found cards just lying around. I've never experienced this. It was refreshing to see players be conscientious of other player's cards. The cards ranged from random commons to a full Type 1 deck of really rare and expensive cards. I handed the common/uncommon unsleeved stacks back to the players since I thought these were intentionally left behind. I graciously took the stacks with rares in them, thanked the players for their integrity, and put the cards in a safe place in the admin area. The players worked a deal with me to keep the cards had no one claimed them by the end of the day.
Zpaacrhker - Scrambled to protect the innocent
There was a player in my flight who had been doing very well. In the fifth of five matches, he didn't show. According to DCI Universal Tournaments Rule 22, players who fail to arrive at their seats by the end of any round will be dropped from the tournament. This is also listed as infraction type 116 in the DCI Penalty Guidelines. I had assumed that the player had left because of an emergency. Why would a player simply not show up to their match if he was doing so well? So, I marked the match slip as a drop for the player. To my surprise, he showed up just before the match ended. He then pleaded with us not to drop him so that he might receive prize support, so we edited the results so that he was not dropped. He actually won prize support but again was nowhere to be found. He then showed up later. The player seemed to have no respect for the game or the prize support.