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Standard Tournament (Edmonton, AB)

Mark Comey

I recently ran and judged a local tournament in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This was the third tournament I have run at The Realm, a local gaming store. It's also the third tournament I have run ever, and the fifth tournament I have judged at. I picked up Magic about a year ago and passed my level 1 judge's test about two months ago. The turnout was about 18 people about the same as the last two tournaments I ran. It was a standard constructed tournament and some of the better area players preparing for the Canadian Nationals showed up test their decks. It was run at REL 1 and was a 16k event.

The tournament started late again. It was supposed to start at 2:00 but didn't start till 2:30. I hate starting late. At least Garry Hough phoned. Mike Handfield and Scott Chaffey also showed up late by about 5 minutes, but I was able to pair them against each other. 18 people showed up which isn't bad for a constructed tournament.

Vampiric Tutor is no longer legal in Type 2 much to the dismay of some players

Deck checks: I have been doing deck checks for a couple of tournaments now with everything going pretty smoothly. Not today. The tournament are REL 1 so I don't use decklists so I only have to check the actual decks. I didn't check all the decks but 3 decks were caught not being legal. There was one deck with two proxy Absorb's, another with Vampiric Tutor, and a 3rd with a 13 card sideboard. Since this event was run at REL 1, the penalty at this REL for an illegal desk is a game loss. At REL 1 with illegal decks any illegal cards are removed from the deck and legal cards are substituted. With an illegal sideboard the sideboard is removed from the rest of the tournament. A game loss for an illegal deck definitely makes you more careful in the future.

With a lot of blue counterspell decks more matches were going over the 30 minute mark. During 2 out of 5 rounds the time limit was used to it's fullest. A normal round takes 50 minutes. If I deck check a player (and it takes 5 minutes), you add 5 extra minutes to the players match that was deck checked. If time is called there is 5 extra turns. So using this format it is pretty easy for a round to take a full hour. After which you still have to do pairings and post them.

Play of the day between Joseph Chan and Matthew Connell - Spot the error

  • Joseph is at 4 life
  • Joseph taps a pain land to cast Dromar's Charm to gain 5 life
  • Matthew responds with Urza's Rage (without the kicker)
  • Joseph says OK
  • The players continue the game, adjusting life totals
I walk by, (yes I actually watch the games as I am walking around.)
Judge: Did you OK that Urza's Rage
Joseph: Yes
Judge: You're dead. 4 life - 1 life for pain land leaves you at 3. Urza's Rage resolves before Dromar's Charm.

Playing in a tournament, especially your first few is a learning experience. Running and Judging one is an even more intense experience. When you are playing most of your concern involves you, and how things effect you like pairings, tournament organization, rulings, and prizes, not to mention actually playing the game. Running and judging a tournament you are concerned first and foremost with the players. Then rules, prizes, DCI reports etc. Mistakes happen and quite often you can't fix them - only learn from them.

In one of the matches on Saturday I gave a caution and a 2 minute time extension for slow play. Because of the time extension I gave, the person who received the caution actually ended up winning the match. Looking back, the time shouldn't have been extended. The match should have ended in a 1-1 draw with a caution to the player playing slow. I would like to commend both players for their attitude and the way they dealt with the situation. Nobody whined, nobody complained, and nobody made a scene. If they did it would have made the situation a lot worse, but because of the way they handled it I am able to learn from the situation, and everyone else at the tournament was spared what would could have turned the whole tournament sour. I will make mistakes and some cannot be corrected. I will learn from them.

Thanks To everyone who helps make these tournament worthwhile by coming out and playing in them.

Special Thanks To the players involved in a bad ruling and the way they dealt with it. They were both very professional and have my gratitude.

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