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PTQ Venice (North Carolina) - Judge Report

Dave Anderson and Daniel Wong

Event: Qualifier Tournament for Pro Tour Venice
Format: Extended
Site: Underground Games, Charlotte, North Carolina
Date: January 4, 2003
Players: 95
Judging Staff: Robert "Bobby" Hall - Head Judge, Floor Judges: Daniel Wong and Dave Anderson
Scorekeeper: James Bailey (Tournament Organizer)

Tournament Setup
The last time I was at Underground Games, the store was very small. I was wondering how we were going to hold the event if more than a handful of players showed. When I arrived I was relieved to see that the store had expanded. There looked to be plenty of room for the event. By the time registration closed and it came time to seat everyone for the first round, we realized we were short tables and chairs in the tournament area. Fourteen players ended up standing at tables in the store's main area that were set aside for miniatures' play. Even in the main tournament area we had one other player forced to stand. The site's owner sent one of his employees out for more chairs, but they did not arrive until the second round. Players were forced to stand until drops made it possible for everyone to have a seat come the fourth round.

*Deck checks had us giving two players match losses for Illegal Main Decklist.

*The interaction of Memory Lapse and Flashback came up during the fourth round of play. I was called to ask where the final resting place of a Roar of the Wurm was supposed to be. The correct answer is in the removed from game zone. Flashback has a self-replacement effect of putting the card into the removed from game zone (rule 502.22a / Odyssey FAQ).

*During round six, a player drew an extra card while resolving his Deep Analysis. A game loss was issued and a new game was started. While looking over my notes, and going through the penalty guidelines, I see that a new game should not have been started. The game loss penalty was definitely appropriate, but the game was still in such a state that it could have been corrected by placing the inappropriately drawn card back on top of the library it came from after revealing it to the other player.

*The most controversial moment of the day came in the seventh and final round of Swiss. Two players at 5-1 were paired together; player A is confident that his tiebreakers are strong enough to make Top 8 with a draw, while player B is uncertain about his chances. Player A tries to convince his opponent to draw, and at one point clearly states that player B is "guaranteed to make top 8" if he agrees to draw. Having already checked the standings to figure out which players were in contention for Top 8, I knew that player A either miscalculated or deliberately lied to his opponent; in fact, they did agree to the draw and player A made Top 8 while player B finished 9th. I did not any action at the time, but in retrospect I feel I should have investigated the situation further even though player B did not complain to a judge afterwards. There is a definite possibility that player A intentionally misrepresented the standings to gain an advantage over his opponent, which if true should not have gone unpunished.

Final Thoughts

Aside from the necessity for players to stand during the first few rounds of the tournament, it ran quite smoothly. I am looking forward to working with Bobby, Daniel and James again at the North Carolina Legions Pre-Release.

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