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PTQ Venice (Netherlands) - Head Judge Report

Henk Claassen

Date: 19 January 2003
Head Judge: Henk Claassen
Judge staff: Roel Huting, Jasper Overman, Kevin Grover, Eelco van Ruth
Site: Wijkcentrum Burggraaf Nijmegen
Format: Extended
Attendance: 102

This would be the last PTQ in the Netherlands for PT Venice. All PTQ's had been 2 slotters just like this one. Being not to far from the German border it would be an international affair. Before starting the tournament we would see 4 nationalities on site. A lot of Germans, a couple of Belgians, a player from Luxemburg and of course a majority of Dutch players.

We started out with 100 players and where just as we were printing the pairings when 2 players showed up, a bit late but as we hadn't posted the pairings yet I decided to enter them in to the tournament and re-pair the first round. So with 102 players we would kick-off. A good average over this cycle, with an average attendance of over 100 players each tournament

The players had been seated alphabetically so sorting the decklist wasn't a problem and between the four of us we had them counted long before the end of round one. It being round one I figured not too many problems would occur, but I was wrong. Players weren't concentrating as hard as they should have been.

Somewhere during round 1 a player activated his Scroll Rack and while drawing the cards accidentally looked at one card too many. So he received a warning and I let him play on, after revealing the card to his opponent. During the second match he accidentally looked at another card while drawing for his turn. That was another warning that I upgraded to a game loss, as it was the same offence. I warned him that is he did it again I would give him a match loss. I also advised him to count out his cards one at a time to make sure it wouldn't happen again. It didn't, well at least with him.

Another player who had a Crumbling Sanctuary on the table had for a couple of turns put the card that were removed from the game by it in his graveyard. When I was called over I listened to what had happened and I gave him a warning, and removed his graveyard from the game. At the end of round 1 when while being in the extra turns two players received a caution for not keeping track of extra turns.

Then there was round 2. With only 3 decklists not in order we divided them up and would do a deck check on al three tables. I thought is best to do it this way so neither player would know something was wrong. Two of the lists were 56 cards in the main deck and so they received a match loss and the decklist were corrected.

The other problem was with the sideboard. A player had registered 16 cards, but was playing with 15 in his actual sideboard. It turned out to be a good idea that I had asked for a full deck check. While looking at the sleeves the judge saw something wrong. He handed me the deck and asked me to look at it. I checked the sleeves first and three sleeves were clearly much older than all the others. These contained Powder Kegs. The only three in his deck. One of his sideboard sleeves was also older, a Haunting Echo's. While he was playing one in his main board, still a bit strange.

He was called over and when confronted with us finding the Powder Kegs he said he didn't bring enough sleeves and had traded with another player for four extra sleeves. He hadn't noticed they were older. At that time we had two options, we could believed him or not. If we believed him it would be a match loss, if we didn't it would be DQ. To be honest, the way he reacted, I believed that he didn't do it on purpose, so we gave him a warning and a match loss next to his game loss for registering 16 cards as his sideboard. We told him to use some sleeves he had in his sideboard and de-sleeve his sideboard. If he needed to sideboard he was to de-sleeve the removed card and use the sleeve on the card he was putting in his deck. A bit of a hassle but that couldn't be helped.

It being a multi lingual tournament like this some miss-communications between players was to be expected. During Round 3 I was called over to a table where a player had just played a Brainstorm. He waited and started to draw for the Brainstorm. His opponent stopped him and called for a Judge. Seeing the board (one island on both sides of the table and both players with a hand full of cards) I questioned both players about what happened. The player of the brainstorm had thought the spell was resolving, as his opponent did nothing. His opponent though was thinking about playing a Daze for it's alternate casting cost of returning One Island to his hand. I turned back the clock until before the Brainstorm was being cast and let them play from there. I didn't reveal the looked at card until after the opponent had decided to Daze or not. It could have been too much of an advantage to know what was being drawn. Before I left the table I told both players to be clearer about what they were doing.

Later that round a judge happened to be watching a game when a player played a fourth land that turn (with him having 2 explorations on the table that was one too many). The watching Judge corrected him and gave him a warning. When I later saw the warning I talked to him about why he gave a warning at what might have been expected to be a game loss. He explained to me that while he was watching the game the player was clearly counting out the land drop like one, two, three and thinking in between. When he played the fourth he said three again. He had clearly been embarrassed about making that mistake, especially as he had a third Exploration in his hand. He figured that with him being there watching and he thought it wasn't intentional, a warning was sufficient. So I agreed with him.

Round 4 would see another incident where a player accidentally would see a card that somehow stuck to the card being drawn. Another incident happened when a player playing a Living Wish picked up his deck instead of his sideboard. He had only seen the bottom 2 cards when he realized his mistake and put the deck down and called me over. I gave him a warning for Procedural Error Major and let him play on. He offered for his opponent to shuffle his deck as he had seen the bottom cards, but I said no. Having seen only the bottom two cards and the rest of his deck still being random and unknown to him I judged it not necessary.

Later that round a player sacrificed a Cephalid Coliseum and drew three cards. He forgot to discard though. This was discovered a few turns later and when a judge was called over it resulted in a game loss. His opponent got a warning too, as he should have seen it happen and corrected him before it happened.

Then during round 5 we had the next incident with looking at extra cards. A player had just sent a Birds of Paradise back to the top of its owner's library via Submerge. He had put it in his hands by mistake. When drawing his card for his turn he noticed that the drawn card was not the Bird in Question but another card. As I was walking nearby I responded to the call. After hearing both players explanation I gave the controller of the Birds a warning for Looking at extra cards and his opponent a warning for Procedural Error Major. He should have seen the Bird wasn't going to the top of the library but to his opponent's hand.

Round 6 was uneventful as the tournament was drawing to its end. While watching a game between a player playing Aluren and his opponent who was playing Sligh, when an Aluren resolved and the turn was being passed the Sligh player played a Morphed creature via the Aluren. I stopped him and told him that the Aluren didn't cover alternate playing styles. If he could play it un-morphed via Aluren he could, but never as a morphed creature even though the cost of playing it was 3 generic mana.

Aluren does not allow a player to put a Morphed creature into play

Round 7 and we would be getting ready for the top 8, but not before another Procedural Error Major as a player targeted his opponent with a Duress. Not a problem except his opponent had a True Believer on the table. He even forgot about it himself and showed his hand and let a spell be put in his graveyard. When the players discovered their mistake they called over a Judge. He gave back the discarded card and gave them both a warning, as both were responsible for the mistake.

After this is was handing out prizes for the players finishing 9 till 16, and moving house. We couldn't play the top 8 at the site as it would add another 60 Euros to the bill, something the organizer thought too high for just 8 players. Se we moved to the other side of the road into a bar. From a well lit, smoke free place to something quite the opposite.

The place was not as bad as it might sound, but it breaks concentration to move. We're just not used to it here. I table judged one of the quarterfinals which was between a Sligh and a U/G Madness deck. We had the worst lighting in the place and I had to correct the life total as a player missed the fact that his opponent used a pain land to get the right kind of color to play one of his spells. After the first game we could move to a stall with better light. They had already finished their match.

Sligh won and I got to table judge the half finals. This time Sligh against Sligh. Well it's obvious Sligh won that game but the version winning was playing Lava Dart versus Firebolt.
It was still a very close match as both players were top decking. In the end the relative cheap flashback cost of the Lava Dart (sacrifice a mountain) won the game.

As both finalists had a slot for Venice now they agreed on a prize split and we were done. The other Judges had already left by then except for Eelco and we had a talk over a drink before going home.

It had been a fun day. It's always great working with good Judges and this time was no difference. And it certainly was a great learning experience.

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