|2001 GP Prague - HJ Report
Prague, one of the most wonderful cities in Europe, hosted a Grand Prix the second weekend of march. The hotel was a great place and was right across from the site which is always nice. When I entered the site for the first time I was amazed. The hall we would use had a HUGE window facing the city center, I think it was 50 meters long and 10 meters high. The view was spectacular!
Gis relaxing after the tournament.
The tournament was sealed deck on the first day and boosterdraft on the second. For some players this was a very unlucky tournament, a couple of players weren't allowed into the Czech Republic because your passport needs to be valid for at least a couple of months more, you'll read more about the other unfortunate ones later. After the regular announcements at the beginning of a big event the amplifier died. So for the first two rounds I had to do without. I managed but my throat was pretty sore after that. The main problem arose when the main scorekeeper took a small break. The two previous rounds one of the judges had asked him if he could show how DCI reporter worked with scanning. So while the scorekeeper was on a break the newly instructed judge thought that he would help out and started scanning the scores. He made a small mistake, which ended up in a huge mess. There were a lot of matches where the winner was recorded incorrectly, so we had to get them all to the front and change the pairings. We had a delay of about an hour. We also caught a guy who had added some nice cards to his sealed deck, he stated: "I gambled and lost." We deckchecked him and he was ready for the disqualification that followed. At the end of the first day there was a Dutchman at 7-0 and 6-1 I'm not saying this because they are Dutch but, because of what happened to them on day 2.
Mr. Hoogendijk takes finals judging very seriously.
Sunday morning, the start of day 2 saw 60 players instead of the normal 64. Two of the players were just late, they could still play, but had to take three losses in the first draft. One played, one dropped. And then there was a player missing from the first and second table, indeed the two Dutch players I referred to earlier. They didn't show up during the draft, or during the first round. Five minutes before the end of the round I told the scorekeeper he could drop them. Of course with one outstanding result left they finally showed up. They had been locked in their hotel room and yes they would take the three losses and play. The full story of this incident can be read at the sideboard coverage of GP Prague. In one of the earlier rounds on sunday, a judge was called over to a table and one of the players asked the judge to shuffle his deck. Before his opponent could say anything the judge had already shuffled the deck. The opponent objected heavily to the shuffling. What had happened was that the opponent was suspicious of the shuffling technique of the player, when he was offered the deck he shuffled it in three piles. The player then asked a judge to shuffle it when he got the deck back from his opponent. I gave the player a warning for procedural error - major. There was no way to check the original randomization of the deck and a judge had once told him it was always legal to ask a judge to shuffle you deck, when you weren't happy with the way your opponent did it. It was a weird situation. After that little happened and I look back to it with a good feeling.
I want to thank all the judges, staff and people from the Sargona (the local distributor) for making it a great event.
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Click here for Sideboard.com coverage of Grand Prix Prague.