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Report 2008 - GP Vienna - Riccardo Tessitori
Articolo del 16-3-2008 a cura di Tessitori Riccardo
Tessitori Riccardo

Hi all.
Another year, another GP, another report <span>J</span>
Our GP train stopped in Vienna, wonderful Austria capital, in the 15th-16th March weekend.
If you are like me, fond of architecture, gardens and castles, Vienna is one of the cities to add to the list, without any doubt.
General information and results:

Preparing the tournament
When the preparation of a GP does starts? Is it possible that a “simple two days event” requires a big preparation?
Well, I start my job one month before the event, sending the first emails to judges, looking for information about the travel (thanks to Phillipp Daferner and Christian Gawrilowicz for the very detailed travel information), asking for special request from the judges (there is always someone looking for cards in other languages).
The two weeks before the event are the most intense, because there are always last-minute changes and because I like to involve L3s in many detail of the preparation.
This time, I tried something different: I kept the same teams (4 to 6 judges) together in day2; this experiment received good feedback, many judges came to me saying that they had much more information about the others (for reviews) and were able to discover something more about the person and not “just the judge”; judging is not only work, it’s a way to meet great people.
I would like to suggest you George Michelogiannakis article about “Why do we judge”:

Judges and roles
GP in central Europe, beautiful city, successful format… we can surely expect more than one thousands player… let’s hope there are enough judges.
There were 25 sponsored judges and other 26 without sponsorship or volunteers; thanks to all these people who came to the GP paying their travel and hotel, we could survive the long hours of work with a total of 1154 players!
It’s been a while since we decided to have only L3 as team leader in Day1; the number was perfect: 9 L3s for 9 teams (2 Logistics, 2 Papers, 4 Deck checks and 1 Side events); judges were divided in teams depending on level and nationality, so to maximize contacts with other cultures and interaction with different levels.
Day2 is the opposite; team leaders for the main event and head judges for major side events are L2 only, with L3 as backup.
Adam Cetnerowski, L4 from Poland was second HJ on day1 and side event manager on day2.
Carlos Ho, L3 from Panama (currently residing in Spain ^__^), shadowed me both days.
Raul Rabionet, L3 from Spain/Switzerland/Italy/…, was side events manager on day1.
Too Fast!
How did the tournament go and what were our priorities?
Day1 first priority was the time.
I played GP Madrid 2004 (sealed deck with 1353 players) and I slept only three hours.
Many of us judged extremely long events and came back home so exhausted to get sick; I experienced this many times.
That’s why we focused our energy on Saturday on the clock.
I couldn’t believe what my watch was saying when we posted the final standings… NINE o’clock!
Thanks to all 662 players who registered on Friday and to our scorekeepers (Henk Claassen and Federico Calò), we were able to post seatings at 9:30 and start round 1 at 9:58.
Thanks to Arnaud Bourdoux and Christian Gawrilowicz who perfectly managed the end of round procedure, every round lasted between 1:11 and 1:18.
OK, ok, I have to tell you all the truth.
As for almost all European GPs, there were two separate tournaments; what works better than deciding that “every round, the half that has all the results first scores one point; there are nine rounds; good luck”?
Is there a better way to stay focused until the end of the day on everything that may cause a loss of time? <span>J</span>
I admit we had good fun with this challenge, too. When collecting the result slips from the “enemy tournament” ^__^, I went to Arnaud with HIS color result slip in hand, pretending I was about to EAT it to sabotage them!
… but seminars are only at Pro Tours! No, there are seminars at GPs, too :-)
If you play a Grand Prix, you don’t qualify for day2, and you are interested in seminars, just go to the head judge and ask what the seminar topics are for the weekend; every interested judge is welcome!
Topics in Vienna were:
The new Penalty Guide, from Arnaud Bourdoux
Managing difficult players, from Sebastian Rittau
Card Manipulation, from Luis Ribeiro
The L2 retest, from Riccardo Tessitori
Side events
Thanks to all scorekeepers who worked at side events (Federico Calò, Norbert Sepsi, Sebastian Rittau, Martin Golm), we were able to organize:
Around 70 8 men drafts (I might be wrong with this number)
Two Headed-Giant with 54 teams
Sealed Deck trial for Brussels with 145 players
Standard Junior with 10 players
Legacy with 89 players
Extended Grand Melee with 20 players
Yes, you read correctly, GRAND MELEE.
Don’t ask me what it is, I have no idea <span>J</span>
I just know it was a really FUNNY multiplayer tournament we will try to repeat at every GP; feedback from all players and judges is very positive.
The brave judges who worked at this event were Jaroslav Karban (HJ), Andrzej Cwalina (L3), Rostislav Reha, Kersten Rückert and Pawel Kazimierczuk (according to my initial schedule); congratulations :-)
Penalties and DQs
1154 decklists, unfortunately, it’s impossible to have all of them without mistakes; there were 28 illegal decklists (almost all of them had less than 60 cards).
There was one DQ: a player played Life from the loam and, together with the three lands, he returned a spell to his hand (it’s possible that the cards sticked together and that this infraction was not intentional); afterwards, the player didn’t realize that he couldn’t have drawn that precise spell (it was one single-copy he got from his sideboard with a Wish) and played it.
What’s the lesson?
Players can commit mistakes, it’s normal; judges are requested to investigate and decide if a mistake was intentional or not.
Unfortunately, we have no truth-machine to use or registrations to look; we must take decisions, even if we cannot be 100% certain.
Dredge problems
Dredge was the most popular deck (you can see it in the official coverage) and was also the main source of problems; too many cards on the table ^___^, it was sometimes hard to keep graveyard, play and removed from the game zones clearly separate.
More, because it’s way better to dredge than to draw, it happened that players lost track of the cards they had to draw (for a Cephalid Coliseum ability, for example).
I suggest making general announcements at your next Extended PTQs, to remind both dredge players and their opponents to stay concentrated on the game; infractions are quite easy with a dredge deck on the table.
Deviations from the Penalty Guide
I know that we shouldn’t… but I did.
I will now explain you why and I hope you will not condemn my soul to eternal pain :-)
We had 12 pairing boards (6 name ranges per tournament); at the beginning of round 6 there was one pairing board with both round 5 and round 6 pairings (judge mistake, it happens).
Few players (I guess five) got confused and weren’t able to get to the correct table before I started the round; the infraction is Tardiness and the appropriate penalty is Game Loss.
Note: at Grand Prix, there is no fixed time between posting the pairings and starting the round; we make general announcements like “Round X starts in one minute”, and then we start the round when we see that all players are seated.
I was faced to an infraction that was directly caused by a judge mistake; maybe it’s just me who would feel so bad to cause a penalty to another “innocent” person, but I think that a judge mistake that causes a **direct and immediate infraction** is a good reason to **consider** downgrade (note the emphasized words).
We must be cautious when we consider all deviations and we should accept that many situations can’t be easily “fixed”.
It looked simple to me to downgrade the Tardiness penalty to a Warning and give additional time to those matches.
Interesting rulings
I draw my initial hand and I see that I have a card from my sideboard; I call a judge to solve the problem; this is an example of a player calling a judge for his own mistake, immediately and before having the possibility to gain an advantage; the new PG says clearly that it’s a good reason to downgrade the penalty; my apologies to Zdenek Sury for saying that the old PG didn’t say it (Zdenek was right).
My opponent has a Tarmagoyf that is a 4/5 and there are no sorceries in our graveyards; I play Profane Command (a sorcery) and I give -5/-5 to the Goyf; even if the Goyf becomes a 0/0 before the Command goes to the graveyard, state based effect are checked after, and the Goyf survives.
I cycle a Decree of Justice (tapping three lands) and I pass priority; my opponent says “OK”; I tap five lands to put five tokens in play; can my opponent play Stifle on the ability? No, because he said “OK” and let the ability resolve; more, I pay the five mana in resolution, not in announcement.
I play Enduring Ideal and it resolves; the next turn, my opponent plays Gaddock; Gaddock will not stop the epic delayed triggered ability to put on the stack copies of the Enduring Ideal.
I play Dread Return on a Golgari Grave Troll in my graveyard; does it count itself when he determines how many counters he comes into play with? Yes; the Golgari Grave Troll static ability applies before it enters play and, before it enters play, it’s in the graveyard.
When there is a Game Play Error, we don’t consider how “the game state is broken” any more (the concept of “broken game state” was in the past, but it’s no more); we handle Game Rules Violations, Missed Triggers, Illegal Game States… following the current Penalty Guide.
I play Mind’s Desire and I remove a Lotus Bloom from the game. I can play it, because I don’t need to pay its mana cost. I cannot suspend it, because it’s not in my hand.
I attack with a creature equipped with Jitte; my opponent has a creature and Worship. Damage is still dealt and I will put counters on my Jitte.
Again thanks to all the GP Vienna judges!
If you were in Vienna and you want to add something to this report, please reply.
If there is any point in this report that is not clear or if you are interested in knowing more about any detail, feel free to ask and I will be glad to write more… and this is my final ruling!
Riccardo Tessitori