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Report 2009 - GP Prague - Riccardo Tessitori
Articolo del 10-9-2009 a cura di Tessitori Riccardo
Tessitori Riccardo

Good morning to everybody.

It's about six months after my last report (PT Kyoto), I had a quite free spring and summer and had to renounce to a few European GPs, but I will do my best to write to you more often this autumn.

Is Frank Wareman a lucky charm for GPs?
As you surely know, all European GPs with more than 800 players are split in two tournaments; therefore, there are two different scorekeepers and two different head judges.

GP Prague had fifty judges under the supervision of head judges Frank Wareman, L4 from the Netherlands, and Kevin Desprez, L4 from France.

I've been thinking about the GPs n the last four months and I noted one thing:

May, GP Barcelona, 1497 players, Frank HJ2
August, GP Boston, 1504 players, Frank HJ1
September, GP Prague, 1543 players, Frank HJ1

Now, Frank will be HJ2 in GP Paris. are we going to have more than 2000 players?

He's surely a very busy judge and quite a lucky charm!

A few numbers
1000 players registered on Friday; 500 players registered on Saturday morning; 50 judges.

Final standings at the end of day1 posted before 10PM.

199 players qualified for day2; 198 players in the Sunday PTQ; 124 players in the Sunday Legacy; about 100 8men tournaments.

A few rules

Fireball and Illusionary Servant

As you might have already read in the excellent blog by Carlos Ho and Raul Rabionet (), Fireball has a quite weird way of working. Because you don't divide the damages when you announce the spell, the damages are automatically divided in resolution; this means that:

- if you target 3 creatures, wanting to deal 2 damages each, and one of them leaves the battlefield, in resolution you deal *3* damages to each of the two remaining creatures.

- you can kill an Illusionary Servant with a Fireball with X=0

Magma Phoenix + Gorgon Gaze = Wrath of God
You have a Magma Phoenix (that deals damage to all creatures when it leaves play) equipped by a Gorgon Gaze (that gives it deathtouch); if it leaves the battlefield, its ability triggers; when the ability resolves, it checks the source of the damage as it last existed on the battlefield. and sees that it had death touch!

Awakener Druid + Clone = Forest (it happened at a feature match during round 15!)
You control an Awakener Druid, who turned a Forest into a 4/5 Treefolk you are using to attack your opponent. To increase the pressure, you play a Clone and, wanting a second 4/5 Treefolk, choose to copy the Forest/Treefolk. What a bad choice, you just played a Forest for *four mana*!

As a simple rule, copy effects "care only about what is IN the sleeve"; no counters, no enchantments, no external effects. just what is inside the sleeve.

A few policies and tournament procedures

Written life points are private information
If my opponent incorrectly writes his life totals on his scorepad, am I responsible for correcting him? No, because everything he writes on his notepad is considered private notes /information.

What I'm not allowed to do is to lie about life points: "I'm going to five?" "Ehm. Yes!" is not allowed. In the past there was a debate about making life points an official game information (that would require both players keep track of it and both have the responsibility to do it) and I can't guarantee that it won't change.

Tardiness and additional time
Just like every time that the start of a match is delayed (for example for a deck check) or a match is interrupted (for example for a long ruling or even for an emergency long trip to the restroom), we give additional time even for tardiness; it's a good customer service to the players (especially for the player who was at the table at the beginning of round) and it's not a great worry for the potential delay (first because they will be 1-0, second because it will be one of the tables we will keep an eye more that the others).

Extra time sheet
Talking about additional time, in the last two years we have been (successfully) used to keep a sheet of paper just in front of the scorekeeper computer, where all the judges have to note the table where they assigned extra time, so that we can keep an eye on the tables that can potentially delay the tournament.

Result slips directly to the judges
It's with great joy that I announce this new procedure that will be applied in all future GPs: at the end of the match, the winning player is responsible to bring the filled result slip to any judge or to the scorekeeper table.

Yes, players don't have to wait at the table for a judge any more.

Yes, judges don't need to walk for 50 miles (45 to just collect result slips and only 5 for really useful work) per day. (numbers are obviously exaggerated ^__^)

One of the most asked questions at GP Prague is "Can I cut my deck after my opponent shuffled it?"

The answer is no, players are not allowed to cut their deck after the opponent shuffled it any more; the main reason is that one common and easy way to cheat is to mark his own deck and cut it in order to have a specific card in the opening hand.

Hopefully, when DCI rules change (documents might be updated every three months) there will always be someone willing to write an official article that underlines the important changes and, why not, the reasons for the changes.

How to run efficient tournaments
Just a preview: even if it's quite rarely public information, L4+ judges are continuously working on documents and quite a good number of ways to make the Judge Program better.

Today I would like to reveal one of them ^__^

Let's think about the numbers of the last GPs: 1500 players.

Now let's think about big events a few years ago: 600 players, what a difference!

Even if the difficulties (and potential delays) exponentially increase with the number of participants, am I wrong or GPs incredibly tend to finish even earlier than many years ago?

Event after event, year after year, judges have been analyzing, improving, taking their own notes and making their own adjustments to many details, so that tournaments could be run more efficiently.

This year, Kevin Desprez (HJ2 in GP Prague) collected many of these experiences and many of these notes and finally put them black on white, in a document called "How to run a tournament with 1000+ players and still be out for dinner" (no, it's not the official title. it should be more like "Common Tournament Procedures" or, yes, "Running big events").

At the moment, this document is being reviewed by the L4+ (who are the people who regularly have to deal with 1000+ players and really want the day to end way before midnight) and I hope it will soon be available for everybody.

Special award to: Jurgen, Gigi and Gabriele
This feature appears for the second time in these reports and it's my personal way to thank those judges who did something special at the event.

It was Saturday night, players were already out of the tournament venue, there were very few judges left, Frank was having a meeting with the Sunday team leaders. and I was ready to GO OUT!

Dieter (the TO for all European GPs) went to me with a smile and said "We might have a problem, we have stamped product for only 176 players and there will be 199 players tomorrow".

With the extreme confidence that belongs to a very expert judge who never loses controls and takes always care of everything with laser precision ^__^ I said "No problem, I will take care of it, it will take a little more than 15 minutes".

Thanks to Jurgen Baert, Gigi Tognon and Gabriele Politi, who were so kind to me (I guess they were just very unlucky because they were waiting for me and couldn't run away!) and helped me for the following *90* minutes. Thanks!!

A tournament dedicated to: the sacrifices the judges do
One day, I was wondering about how to measure the effort and the sacrifices that judges do to go to a Magic event; two questions came to my mind:

1- How many hours did you drive to go to an event?
2- How many hours/miles did you fly to go to an event?

On Friday evening, I was at the Rome airport, waiting for my 21:50 flight; I checked in, entered the gates area and arrived at my gate. "Canceled, 5:10AM"!!!

Now I have a good third question:

3- At what time did you wake up to go to an event?

Good, here you have my answers:

1- 10 hours drive
2- 22 hours flight
3- 3AM

Now that I'm back home, after having been sick for two days, I can think again about how difficult it was to travel to GP Prague 2009 and I would like to dedicate this event to those judges who were so brave and dedicated to the Judge Program and are able to give similar (or even "worse") answers to these three questions.

. and this is my final ruling!

Riccardo Tessitori