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Southern California Regionals - Judge Report

Christopher Wong

Event
May 13, 2002
Standard, Type 2

Judges: Dan Gray - Level 4 Head Judge
James Takenaga, Level 2, Chris Wong, Level 2
Brad McKay, Level 1, Miki Urban, Level 1

Regionals were held at the Costa Mesa Women's Club. Initial seating was for a 226-person event, but with an overflow of participants, the final count came out to 297. In order to fit the large amount of participants, a few more tables and chairs that could be scrounged up were readied and the kitchen area was cleared so that participants could play in there as well. Although large, the Event went very smoothly with only a few minor interruptions throughout the tournament.

The Event was run like many other Costa Mesa Events. The changes that were made for this event were a tighter enforcement of the rules given the REL 3 status of the tournament and a small announcement that I made after round 1. After pushing in many chairs and collecting a lot of garbage that had accumulated on the top of the tables, I instigated the "Garbage = Warning" system. This rule is usually enforced in the Pro Tours, but I thought it was appropriate for this function given that many players believe that their moms are running the tournament and will pick up after them. Happily, after that announcement, the garbage levels decreased dramatically and I didn't have to give any warnings out at all.

Here are some of the game rulings that were given during the event.

Cards are discarded for Sickening Dreams when the spell is put on the stack
Player A has 5 cards. Player A plays Sickening Dreams discarding 4 cards. Player B wants to Sudden Impact in response, but Sickening Dreams states that "As an additional cost to play this spell..." means that Player A has no cards in hand. Player B's Sudden Impact goes off dealing 0 points of damage.

Here are some of the more interesting situations that came up during the event.

Player A has just cast Haunting Echoes Player B. Player B, playing Psychotog, has no counter and has had all of his win conditions (Haunting Echoes, Psychotog, Nightscape Familiar, Upheaval) removed from the game. Player A has thoroughly looked through Player B's entire deck which is now roughly half the size of Player A's deck. Player A has asked for the concession and Player B refuses. There is over half an hour left in the round and this is game 3. I am alerted to this situation. I take aside Player B and ask what his methods for a win are. Player B believes that he can deck Player A and that Player B needs to beat him. I then come back to the table and ask Player A flat out how he intends to beat Player B. Player A answers that he is simply going to draw a card, discard if his hand size is greater than 7 and then say go. He intends to deck Player B. Since Player B's deck size is dramatically lower than Player A, and that Player A has made his intentions clear. I suggest that he concede the match. He does.

Player X and Player Y are playing a game that has gone into extra turns. Player X is playing mono-black control while Player Y is playing UG madness. There is a compost out in play and Player Y has a numerous cards in hands while Player X has pretty much nothing in hand. The problem stems from Player Y drawing cards out of turn. Player Y claims that Player X played a Slay last turn and thus is drawing cards. It is a very fuzzy situation with Player Y drawing and putting cards back on top of his library and then drawing cards again while trying to explain the situation. My gut feeling is that Player Y has drawn too many cards and that Player X isn't telling me the entire story, but the game situation is such that I cannot rectify it. I try to get the story out of Player X but he is unsure of how the last 5 turns have proceeded as well. Player Y is complaining vehemently and I have to motion to him many times to please be quiet. After all the explanation and seeing that neither Player X nor Player Y can come up with the same story or situation, I am forced to give both players a warning for a failure to agree on reality and that the game will end as a draw as what was indicated by the game state when I arrived at the situation.


Dan Gray, Head Judge hard at work
A Player sitting at the top table after round 5 was disqualified from the tournament after simply spacing sideboard cards through the deck and then presenting without shuffling. He knowingly stacked his deck. He was previously given a warning for doing this before in the tournament.

Player A says that he is going to play, and then proceeds to draw a card. Player A is given a warning - Procedural Error, Major and is forced to Paris. In the second game Player A then says he's okay and when Player B says that he is going to mulligan, Player A remarks that he is going to Paris as well and shuffles his hand into his deck. Player A is given another warning - Procedural Error, Major and gets a Game Loss since this is his second warning for a similar infraction.

Player A is supposed to play Player B. Player C is supposed to play Player D. Player A instead plays player D (who is sitting at the right table) while Player C plays Player B (who is also sitting at the right table). Player A and Player C are given game losses and are told to find the right tables and begin their matches.

During Round 7, I was called over to watch a match between Player X and Player Z. During Round 8, I was again called over to watch a match between Player X and Player Y. Note that in this situation, Player X is the same player and I was called over by Player Y and Player Z. Player X is given a caution during Round 7 for drawing a card out of turn (he did not look at it). Player Z was not finished with his turn and Player X acted too quickly. My feeling is that Player X is trying to push the other player into ending his turn too quickly. In some situations, this is a calculated move by players into forcing their opponents to end their turn and in turn, give themselves an advantage. In others, this is simply miscommunication. The former was the situation here, as I had to give another warning during Round 7 to Player X, which upgraded the previous caution to a warning. During Round 9, I was passing by and saw that Player X again was drawing a card out of turn. I was forced to give another warning for a repeated offense, which translated into a game loss.

The last few rounds actually ran very smoothly with just an abundance of spectators. At no point did the tournament get unruly or out of hand. Overall, the Southern California Regionals was enjoyable and I was glad to be part of the judging staff for this event.



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