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GameForce € 500 Sealed Deck Tournament

Henk Claassen

Date: 12 October 2002
Head Judge: Roel Huting
Judge staff: Henk Claassen, Eučne Bos, Corina den Haan
Site: VTA Henriëtte Roelants
Format:Onslaught Sealed Deck with top 8 Booster draft
Attendance: 125


This time we're running a sealed deck tournament. With an expected attendance of more than 100 players I decided to have all deck's pre-registered. With the local judges that usually help me at this event and a couple of local players we managed 132 decks in just 2 evenings of 3 hours each. The first night I spent removing lands and replacing the foils found in the tournament packs and boosters, while the rest was registering. The second night was strictly for registering. It is a kind of service that, if you can provide, is appreciated by most players. This way a player won't register a "very good" deck and receive a "bad deck" during deck swap. Removing the foils makes sure players, not playing with sleeves, don't come up to you and request for proxies for those cards.


Once again the biggest part of the Judge staff arrived with me. One Judge called me up in the morning, saying he was sorry but he was very ill. I said to stay in bed we would manage. We did, but we could have used him during the event.

When Roel Huting, who was to be Head Judge for the tournament, arrived shortly before 10 am the judge staff was complete and we could begin. Registration began on time and proceeded in a timely fashion. By 11 am we had all players registered, 118. More than I could have hoped for so I was having a great time. We seated the players and Roel Huting gave his players briefing. As the players were told that all the decks had been pre-registered there was a spontaneous applause. It was gratifying to see the evening effort had been appreciated.

When the players had received the product and were about to begin deck construction the first late arrivals came in. Four players came up and asked if they would be allowed to enter. It was no problem. I entered them, handed them their product and assigned a seat for them. With only being a few minutes late there would be no extra time for deck construction.

Round 1

By the end of deck construction the last late arrivals came in. A trio of players had gone to the wrong site. They had been mistaken on date and time and thought the site for next weeks PTQ was where they were supposed to be. The question was if the could allowed in the tournament. For me that was no problem, but I would leave that decision up to Roel Huting. He said to enter them but to make sure they would receive no points for the first round. That was easily done so while the first round started I sat them down and they could begin deck construction.

The first round went smoothly with just one small problem as a player accidentally forgot to reveal a morphed creature. While questioning both players they told me that both had agreed to remind each other to reveal each morphed creature. This was forgotten. I decided to give a warning for the problem, but to leave it at that.

If Ebonblade Reaper is face down when he attacks, then the player 'losing half his life' never triggers
We got some question about Morph and triggers generated by morphing creatures. One was about Ebonblade Reaper. A creature that when it attacks controlling player loses half his life and when it deals damage to a player he loses half his life. The question was if it attacked and after attackers were declared and then Morphed, would its controller still lose half his life or not. No, the trigger can only goes on the stack at the moment of declaring it as an attacker. As it had no creature type or ability's when it was declared that part of its ability would not trigger but the second part would if it did combat damage to a player.

Cycling had some players confused too. When Cycling a Krosan Tusker what do you do first? Draw a card or look for a basic land? First look for a basic land, reveal it and put it in your hand, then shuffle your deck. Then draw the card.

By the end of the round all decklists where counted and without too much delay we were going into round 2.

Round 2

As I once said this is traditionally the round to solve decklist problems. Luckily only 4 players had problems. We each would handle one of them. Mine was a 39-card deck. I took away both players' decks and checked the one with the problem in the decklist. He had forgotten to register 1 card, which did cost him the match as it did to all of the other players with problems on their decklists.

Round 3

During round 3 we were having no problems when I got called over by a player. His opponent had sideboarded and put all his sideboard cards the wrong way up. This meant he had a marked deck. I had a talk with Roel Huting over this. I explained what happened and said that I thought this too important to solve with a warning. The knowledge of getting one of your sideboard cards is to big. If not handled properly and decisively, a precedent might be set for the scene. I opted for a Game loss instead of a Match loss. I thought it too severe for a warning but match loss too high, a Judgment call. He was a young, inexperienced player and I thought it unintentional. I told him what he had done wrong and why and what the consequences would be for him.

Round 4

This round would see some unpleasant action. During a random deck check two cards were missing from a players deck and were replaced by two others. You might think failure to De-Sideboard. When checking his other cards the 2 cards missing from his deck were not in his sideboard. This was going to be a big problem. Roel Huting who happened to be doing this deck check went over to the player and asked him to come with him in order to talk about this. The player reacted very defensive and aggressive, didn't want to go with him. He went with him anyway and as Roel Huting told him about the two cards wrong in his main deck and the missing of the two who should be in it, he reacted badly. There was no way he was willing to cooperate to create a solution to the problem. He wanted to play on with the deck in its current state and not in its the registered form. He thought he had the right to change his main deck to his own fashion as he was playing on the lower tables. He said that it was unfair that he should be punished for admitting this. There was no reasoning with him and the only option was Disqualification.

Round 5 and 6

These rounds went without to many problems. With only two no-shows not very exiting and tables 1 and 2 were drawing to secure a place in the finals.

Round 7

When standing and pairings were posted it was obvious that all the high tables would have to play in order to secure a place in the top 8. With 4 players on 16 points and 9 players with 15 points, all players needed to win to secure a slot.
As Roel Huting was standing at the high tables he heard a conversation between 2 players. One player didn't want to play top 8 and go home and would concede his match for a 50% prize split. His opponent accepted this. If he had offered a prize split that had been accepted and than had conceded it would not have been a problem. But offering it in exchange for him conceding the match is a different matter. As they talked about this Roel Huting stopped them and said there was a problem. He came over to the laptop and asked if I had the currant rules on it. These are the relevant passages.

161. Cheating-Bribery

A player attempts to bribe an opponent into conceding, drawing, or changing the results of a match, or two players attempt to determine the outcome of a game or match using a random method such as a coin flip or die roll. Refer to section 25 of the Universal Tournament Rules for a more detailed description of what constitutes bribery.

DCI Universal Tournament Rules
25. Conceding Games or Matches
Players may concede a game or match at any time within the following guidelines. The conceded game or match is recorded as a loss for the conceding player. If a player refuses to play, it is assumed that he or she concedes the match.

The following actions are prohibited:

  • Offering or accepting a bribe or prize split in exchange for the concession, drop, or draw of a match
  • Attempting to determine the winner of a game or match by a random method, such as a coin flip or die
  • roll

Having read this Roel Huting asked me to help him while he talked to the players. We interviewed both players separately and both players told the same story. Player 1 had offered player 2 to conceding the game to him for a fifty-fifty prize split. Player 2 had accepted. When we confronted them together and told this was Cheating and they would be disqualified. Both were shocked and upset. One player wanted to see the ruling and Roel took him to the laptop. The other player went outside to gather his thoughts. Thinking everything was settled I had a quick meal. I saw both Roel and the player still at the laptop and walked over. The player had argued with Roel Huting that there was no reference in the PG that says you can't offer a win in exchange for a prize split. He argued that "Offering or accepting a bribe or prize split in exchange for the concession, drop, or draw of a match" meant that the party being offered the prize split should concede. If there had been "win" in the line we would have been right. I didn't agree, finding that "concession" could both be read as offering to concede of asking to concede. I might be wrong but that is how I feel. Hearing both arguments Roel Huting made a hard decision. He would not disqualify them, erring rather on the side of caution and ask the DCI for clarification on this. If our first assumption was right and both players should have been disqualified, the DCI would take the appropriate action. But as he thought there was a reasonable doubt he would let the result stand, and allow the player to play Top 8. The Judge part of me didn't agree with the decision, but the TO part of me was happy. I didn't want to be the TO who had 3 disqualifications in one tournament.

This took up most of the round and it being the last round of Swiss part of the tournament most players where aware of it. It was a most unfortunate incident and I personally hope never to have this problem again as long as I'm a Judge.

Top 8

The players who made Top 8 got a meal courtesy of the sponsor, and I started handing out the boosters for place 9 until 32. After the meal we were running a bit late. It had been my intention to have a Rochester Draft as this played in this seasons PTQ's. We hadn't announced it so we opted for a booster draft.

The rest went smoothly and Kamiel Cornelissen and Rogier Maaten battled their way to the finals. Both players decided on a prize split. So at 11 pm we finished the tournament.


Afterwards the Judges and sponsor sat around and have a drink and just talked. It had been a great day. The biggest tournament we've held yet. It was a big success, but still with a bit of a bad aftertaste. As we were talking a player came up to us to thank us for running this tournament and said we had worked hard and done a great job and he had a big respect for Judges, we do have a very hard job to do. It was very good to hear that players appreciate what you are doing for them.

So if anyone asked me what grade would I give to this tournament it would be 7,5 out of 10 despite our problems. Even though it sometimes seems that Judging can become routine like, there aren't many tournament I didn't learn anything from. This one has certainly been a big learning experience.

Now it's once again time to get ready for the next big tournament, which will be held in December during the Extended Rotation. Hopefully we will be getting as many players then as we did this time.

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