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Report 2008 - PT Hollywood - Riccardo Tessitori
Articolo del 25-5-2008 a cura di Tessitori Riccardo
Tessitori Riccardo

Pro Tour Hollywood, what an exciting name!
Who doesn’t want to play in a PT that takes place in Hollywood? It was just me, or you noticed an increased in the number of players at PTQs, too? ^__^
On Thursday, we used to call the incoming event “PT Faeries”, worried to see 32 Bitterblossoms in Top8 (32 Scions of Oona, 32 Mistbind Cliques, etc etc).
371 players started the great adventure (and the most popular deck was, as expected, Faeries: 101 people played it).
At the beginning of day 2 there were only 29 left and, quite surprisingly, only ONE made Top8; in the final we saw Elves and Merfolks!
Lucky us, the format is various and exciting.
If you want to read many many many stories about decks, metagame, most interesting matches…go to

Now, let’s talk about what happened to the people wearing stripes.
The night before – Judges play, too
Whoever went to a PT or GP surely discovered what judges play: EDH, Elder Dragon Highlander, a non competitive multiplayer format, with 100 cards decks (with the limit of 1x, except for basic lands), and many many unusual cards (and very weird rules interactions!).
If you never played it and want to know something more, go to

There were three seminars:
David Vogin and Jurgen Baert – Investigations
Nicolas Fang – Our failure as judges
Nick Septhon – Communication between players
I encourage people who held the seminars (and people who took notes and/or appreciated one of these seminars) to share it with all of us.
On the web, you can find a huge number of videos about interesting matches, but what about videos on judges?
There will be!
John Carter started a project to create a few videos to teach new judges about running drafts, doing deck checks…
(and, by the way, I got to know Mr. Carter… and he’s much more friendly than the cold and serious Mr. Carter I knew from the Internet! ^__^)
A few rules situations
1 – Reflecting Pool
Reflecting Pool and Vivid lands: even if there is no counter on the Vivid land, your Reflecting Pool will produce mana of any color.
Reflecting Pool and Gemstone Cavern: if there is no counter on the Gemstone Cavern, your Reflecting Pool will produce colorless mana.
General rule: it doesn’t matter if you couldn’t pay the cost of the mana ability; Reflecting Pool cares only about what color of mana would be produced by the resolving ability (and therefore, it cares about any replacement effects like the Gemstone Cavern one)
2 – Ascetic Troll and Wild Ricochet
My opponent controls an Ascetic Troll and plays a removal spell (Nameless Inversion); I play Wild Ricochet.
I can change the target to the Ascetic Troll, since it’s my opponent who controls the Nameless Inversion; then, Wild Ricochet creates a copy of the Nameless Inversion that is still targeting the Troll.
If I want, I can have the copy target the Troll (for example, if all the other creatures are mine); the copy would be countered on resolution (because it’s me who control the copy).
A few judges/players interactions
1 – What would happen if…?
How many times does a player ask a vague question?
I remind you that we shouldn’t risk to give strategical advice to a player; if the question is vague, even if we think we understand what the player wants to know, I suggest to use a sentence like “What do you want to know, precisely?”
Then, I suggest to answer just what he asked (let’s say like this: you don’t need to show him that you know how to play ^__^)
2 – “I can answer only yes/no question”
Talking about how to answer to a player’s questions (a quite popular subject), there are two answers I suggest **never** to use:
“I can answer only to yes/no questions”
“Do it and I will tell you what happens”
I remind you that judges exist to help the players and, to comment on the two sentences above:
Yes, we can answer all rules questions with long sentences, not just “yes” or “no”.
Yes, we can tell “what would happen if I play X on Y and nothing else happens”.
Fogo de Chao
What is Fogo de Chao? What has is to do with Magic?
Well, Magic events are not “just hard work”.
Magic events are **social events**, and one of the traditions in American Pro Tours is Fogo de Chao, a chain of eleven wonderful restaurants, where you can eat an indefinite number of excellent types of meat; it’s a little expensive, but it’s really worth!
If you want more information, go to

Tournament is over, time to go home
Sunday night, the tournament is over, players are going home, the Pro Tour hall is about to be dismantled, and judges go to the official Judge Dinner.
We went to a small Mexican restaurant, very close to the hotel.
Now, think about a boring dinner, with everybody seated at the same place, silent…
OK, now think about the opposite, with everybody moving from table to table, making jokes, talking with everybody; that’s it!
It will be the best souvenir I will bring home, the very relaxed judge dinner (I’m sure you can find some photos on Facebook).
At the end of the dinner, we congratulated again the three judges who advanced:
Seamus Campbell, our new L4 (with the longest applause of the history of judge dinners)
Jason Lemahieu, new L3
Diane Colley, new L3
The new judge manager (Bryan Zembrusky) was with us, of course, and made his first official announcements (congratulations to Jared Sylva, US Nationals HJ, and Gavin Duggan, Canadian Nationals HJ).
Nothing to say about one of the strongest personalities in Magic, our Head Judge Sheldon Menery? Impossible.
At the end of the excellent weekend, he was given an official T-shirt of the Worlds Champions!
Am I talking about Basketball? Not really, sorry.
Baseball? Well…
American football? We are coming close.
Think about Sheldon’s origins… it’s SOCCER.
If you meet him at a relaxed EDH table, you will see him wearing the official Italian National Soccer T-Shirt, la maglietta ufficiale della Nazionale Italiana ^__^
As you can see, this report contains more tales about the social part of the PT, with just a few lines about rules and interactions with players.
The more you travel and interact with people, the more you get to know them personally; when they are not in stripes, they always have something interesting to tell you… and what you look for in an event may change and go much beyond the tournament; if you want to read more, I suggest George Michelogiannakis article “No, really, why do we judge?”:

Thanks to all the judges who made PT Hollywood such an enjoyable event…
… and this is my final ruling!
Riccardo Tessitori