Is that a Judge in your Pocket?

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by, Apr 26, 2001.

  1. I AM, THAT I AM. - GOD

    This is actually an article...but since I did not write it I couldnt submit it as MINE. To whom is the current EDITOR if you can MOVE this as an article please do...This is a website dedicated to truth and justice and standind up against THE MAN when wrongdoing occur....please voice any opinions (I know you will) regarding your own experiences...What we are attempting to do is have DCI look into our allegations for the past 3-4 years of REGIONALS...along with a movement for the Premiere tournaments to be held in KC or St. Louis...instead of the Hobbytown In lLincoln Nebraksa...We also will be having a Petition to have this happen...please support us in our cause for truth and fairness at tournaments...
    Nicholas Knight

    The Pros and Cons of Regionals in Lincoln, NE


    "Is That A Judge In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?"

        First off, let me start this article with the letter that I sent off to the DCI and Wizards of the Coast. After that we will deal with the pros
    of the Regionals in Lincoln.

    To whom it may concern,
        I am writing to draw your attention to what I feel to be a sad
    situation. For the last few days, there has been a considerable amount of grumbling over the recent events at the Regionals in Lincoln, Nebraska held at Hobbytown USA. I have talked with numerous people of my acquaintance and several people in passing and the consensual belief seems to be that there are shady happenings that occur on a regular basis at Hobbytown USA. I feel
    the need to clarify something right from the start. I am in no way trying to get any judgment that was made there repealed. I am not out to exonerate anyone of any possible wrongdoings, real or concocted. My purpose in this letter is to reveal what is on the lips and minds of most every player in our area right now. The topic is the judging staff at Hobbytown USA.
    These are the people representing the DCI in Lincoln, Nebraska and many of us feel that we cannot trust them.

        During Round four, a friend of mine played against a younger player. My friend lost the match 0-2. During the match, my friend thought that he saw the young player make it to the fifth pile while pile shuffling. After the match he kept thinking about this and decided to ask the judge to check the young players deck. They found the young player and he did indeed only have 59 cards in his deck. The young player thought that my friend might have accidentally picked it up when putting his deck back together so the
    judge then asked to look through my friend's deck. The judge counted through the deck and sideboard multiple times. The Judge asked my friend if he had the missing card. When my friend replied that he did not have the card, the judge asked to search his  card-carrying case for it. My friend agreed to the search and the card was not found in his possession. The judge asked my friend again if he had the missing card and once again my friend replied
    that he did not. The judge then took both decks and said that he would be back shortly. The judge came back after a few minutes to tell my friend that he could either produce the missing card now or be disqualified. My friend told the judge again that he did not have the missing card so the judge told him that he was disqualified. My friend asked to talk to someone else and he was directed over to the head judge. The head judge told him that they believed that he had taken the card because he had lost and that he was disqualified. While my friend and the head judge were talking, the judge that my friend had originally approached came into the room with the card
    that had been missing out of the young players deck. The judge said that he found it crumpled in a trashcan and told my friend once again that he was disqualified.
        Now, I do not believe that my friend would do such a thing, but that is not what is being questioned here. My problem with the whole affair was that the judges had made an assumption that he was guilty and ran forward with it. To my knowledge, no one was ever called on as a witness what went on during the game or what may have happened later. They did not try to see if anyone had seen the card. They did not make any real attempt to find out exactly what happened. The young player that my friend played recently
    posted a message on a local bulletin board. He told us that he disagrees with the ruling as well and does not believe that my friend would have purposefully taken the card. The young player also commented on the fact that he and his colleagues had also noticed poor judging throughout the day.

       Later on, another KC player was talking over the situation with the judge and I overheard the judge say that he knew my friend was guilty "because of his body language". I feel that this is a far cry from proof on any day of the week. They had accused my friend of being a cheat, a thief, and a liar. They searched through all of his belongings, not found the card, and once again accused him of being a cheat, a thief, and a liar. I think that anyone's 'body language' would be askew at this point and should not be a factor in any sort of ruling.
    These are the people representing the DCI in Lincoln, Nebraska and many of us feel that we cannot trust them.

        A suspicious occurrence took place last year at a pre-release held at Hobbytown USA. A Kansas City player was there doing well at the time of the last round. The winner of the match would garner himself a spot in the coveted Top 8. He happened to be playing against one of the local members of Team Hobbytown. A judge comes over and informs them that there will be a deck check. A standard procedure at all of these events, and he thinks nothing more about it until they return to inform him that they are going to
    disqualify him. Their claim was that he listed a Rith's Attendant in his
    deck, but had a Dromar's Attendant there instead. He reads the list and points out that he received both Attendants in his sealed deck. So, after a period of deliberation, they decide to give him a one game loss. Now, the funny thing is that he also had a Rith, the Awakener in his deck and had used the Rith's Attendant to cast Rith during the previous round. He had a good deck, absolutely no use for the Dromar's Attendant, and he never sided it in all day long. There was no reason to. I know that he will never let a Team Hobbytown judge review his deck unsupervised ever again. 

    These are the people representing the DCI in Lincoln, Nebraska and many of us feel that we cannot trust them.
        At Regionals two years ago, there was another occurrence that has fueled these thoughts. A local Nebraska player was playing a match. The Nebraska player was found to have had an illegal decklist. At Rules Enforcement Level One that is a game loss. At REL Three, it is a match loss. At this Regionals, the hometown player received a warning.

    These are the people representing the DCI in Lincoln, Nebraska and many if us feel that we cannot trust them.

    If anyone has any fact to support or contradict anything in this article, I would greatly appreciate it if you would send me the information. I truly hate to be judgmental, but I believe that all of this has at least the semblance of suspiciousness. Even more so, I hate to believe that this sort of "impartiality" can occur on a regular basis especially at a Rules Enforcement Level 3 tournament. In my heart of hearts, I hope that I can be presented with enough information to change my opinion of how things are run at Hobbytown USA. Until then, I will continue to believe that there is something 'rotten in the state of Denmark', and that this situation should be rectified.
        Again, I sincerely request for any and all information, pro or con,
    that would shed more light on any of these events. I do not take any of this lightly, nor should you. 

    And so I register this complaint in hopes that someone of authority will look into this and affect some sort of resolution. If I am completely off base pertaining to all of these accusations, I will be more than happy to publicly apologize, but if I am not then something needs to be done.

    End Of Letter

    SO...I have had enough of this negativity and want to move on to happier matters...namely, my terrible showing at Regionals.

    After pulling up to an even record, I decided to press on (being the glutton for punishment that I am). I had spent the entirety of the day Parising down to four and five cards in most every game. I sat through hour upon hour of this grueling torture, all the while enjoying the repartee with my opponents. I count myself lucky to have been matched up with (for the most part) such fun-loving players. I had the pleasure of playing a particularly good-natured soul during my last match of the day. Rick (from Team Decepticon) sat down and we made our introductions before we began our Fires on Fires battle. I lost the first two games in a rather disappointing fashion as I waited turn after turn for any one of eight cards left in my library that could flat out win me the game. Each time I had at least one Rith, the Awakener in hand, a Fires of Yavimaya on the table, and
    enough mana to cast him, attack, and activate his ability. Any of the four Birds of Paradise or the two Brushlands could handle that. Or I could have done it the easy way by casting a Ghitu Fire for some ungodly amount. But I decided instead to simply continue to draw lands.
    After the thrashing that Rick dealt me, he asked if I would like to   play a third game for fun. He set a goal for himself to get a side boarded Questing Phelddagrif into play. I keep a sub-optimal hand only due to the fact that I was tired of shuffling my deck at this point, and proceeded to beat myself into submission with my own painlands to reduce myself down to one life (of course, with some help from Rick as well). When he realized that I was down so low in life, things got a bit silly and some might say very much out of hand.
    As we both waited for Rick to get out the two Birds to cast the Hippo, We emptied our hands as fast as possible, and cluttered the board with every permanent that we drew. With eight Fires of Yavimaya, six Llanowar Elves, four Chimeric Idols and just about every land we had out in play, he was finally able to drop the Hippo and then that was when the real fun began.

    I do not remember which one of us brought it up first, but we decided to see how many Hippo tokens that we could get into play. I think that it was about up to 90 Hippos, before I was able to talk him into trying to deck me with the Phelddagrif's Blue ability. The Green 1/1 Machine really went into overdrive when I dropped Rith and he let me charge across and activate. A little while later I used a Ghitu Fire for 24 on the Two-eyed, two-winged, flying, purple, token-maker. Of course it was only to see if we could pump him up to survive. It took sacrificing all eight of the Fires on the table, but the Hippo lived.

    Now, everyone on our respective teams and most other random players were walking by and gawking at the monstrosity of cards on the table, and just about everyone made the same comment. It was always something to the effect of, "Why don't you just attack and kill him!?!?!". I do not think that anyone really appreciated the aesthetic value of our unconventional game and the reasoning behind our game-play. Oh well, their loss. The most amusing moment though, had to be after time had been called. We were so focused on having a good time that we did not notice that the round was over until a judge was passing by, came to an abrupt halt to stare
    incredulously at the state of the board as he asked us, in a horrified tone, "Are you still playing in the tournament?" We realized then that we had completely forgotten to turn in our result slip. As we apologized and explained the situation, a wave of relief visibly
    washed over him as he took the signed sheet and quickly distanced him from the mess at our table.

    So there the day ended. We said our good-byes and made our way to the exits. Amidst all of the controversy and hubbub, I fulfilled my goal of having a good time and continued my tradition of memorable last rounds (see my article Revenge of the Jedi for more on that).

    Lloyd Dodson
    a.k.a. D.H. Thomas
    Team Regime
    Kansas City 
  2. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    That really sucks. All those people getting jipped for the judge's favor.

    You should've kicked that boy in the nuts.

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  3. Hetemti The Wide-Awake Nightmare

    WTF? Isn't there regulations on how judges operate? If a judge wants to examine my deck, he's doing it in my field of view, and my opponent's field of view. Here in America, when a case is tried, all parties involved bear witness. Doing anything out of sight like that is ludicrous.
  4. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Personally I think the 'friend' screwed up the card. Gut reaction.
  5. Salacious Crumb SevaTheSovietSoapDish

    Hah, biased judges... Its not like thats the first time it happened...

  6. I AM, THAT I AM. - GOD

    Your right it's not the first time that thats happened but were trying to STOP it from happening again and sending a clear message that a JUDGE cannot get away with it.

    Nicholas Knight
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Has the DCI or WOTC responded to this yet?
  8. Mundungu grumpier than ever

    Giz : I dont know that we have enough information to know if he did it or not.
    If the card was found in a trash can, how far away was it ?
    Did he physically have the capacity to go and get rid of it ?

    I general, If there is only one suspicious event each year I donno if its worht considering a conspiracy theory.
    Unless all "misjudgement" have been done by the same judge each year, or if there are many more small events of the kind during the same tourney.

    As far as I am concerned, I always ask my opp. to recount his sideboard in front of me (I do not manipulate the deck myself) to ensure this does not happen, esp against youger players.

    Secondly, If your "friend" lost the games on the battlefield he was probably trying to get a "lawyer win" out of a defeat.
    I think that this behaviour should not be commended.
    If I would find out that my opp. had made such a mistake, and that it indeed was a mistake (young or new player) I would use the occasion to teach him to be careful the next time, explaining him he might end up loosing the game BUT, I wouldnt try to change the results.
    Good for him if he won on the battlefield.

    So all in all, maybe the judges are biased, but I would certainly not encourage your "friend's" attitude of snatching an underserved win.

    Maybe the judges wanted to make a point in this direction "the spirit of the game"
  9. I AM, THAT I AM. - GOD

    Havent heard anything yet.

    I am THE FRIEND in the article. I wasnt trying to Rules Lawyer a win, rather let the kid know he had an illegal deck, I already knew what would legally happen...the opponent would have 5 minutes to replace the card.

    My mistake was the "after the fact" issue whereas I put myself in a sticky situation and was ignorant to the fact that I might be considered "guilty"...I have talked to said KID and he too agreed the situation was BLOWN outta proportion and that the judge --I say Judge because in nearly ALL the instances of favoritism and "suspicious" calls were done by this ONE judge.

    I believe it's an ongoing thing but since I do not go to Lincoln except for maybe once a year I have no proof.
    We all haved vowed NOT to go again..
    I wasnt trying to snatch a win..I was beat and I accept the defeat..I dont accept the way the situation was handeled...

    Theyre are no rules for Judges when handling other peoples decks..its a catch 22...if your aggressive about wanting your deck checked in view they will then cast suspicion and they feel like your questioning theyre sucks.

    Thanks for all responses-- positive or negative.

    Nicholas Knight
  10. Mundungu grumpier than ever

    Well Nicholas, Its good to see that you were the one involved in the dispute.

    I am more enclined to believe you if it is your story than another "i heard from that was told by etc..."

    Also if bad handling always comes from the same judge, then try to sort it out properly, maybe by discussing with the organisers. If he was the Head Judge then yes, you can involve DCI I guess.

    I just felt that your letter does not contain a stron case.

    If you feel one is guilty, then just watch and cumulate evidence, if possible with witnesses from all sides. Or have a petition signed or something.

    Or simply avoid that particular judge.

    I cant say more since I dont know enough of the situation.
  11. Apollo Bird Boy

    I have not personally been to Lincoln. But I have attended several smaller tournaments at a Hobbytown here in Ohio, and I would hope they never get a tournament as big as Regionals. I of course can't speak for the chain, and there are no real shady judging episodes like Nicholas mentioned, but everything there has been horribly run. Byes seemed to be awarded to those who arrived most often. Once, when the person at the store didn't know about Magic, they told one of the players to run the tournament (he got some great matchups, let me tell you). Prizes have gotten changed mid-tournament.

    Again, I can't speak for the entire chain, and I'm sure the people and stores are different, I'm just telling my experiences.
  12. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    I have no opinion of your guilt or innocence in this matter, but I am curious about something.

    If you noticed the pile shuffle ending on the fifth of six piles, why didn't you mention it right away instead of after the match?

    It was wrong, though, the way the judge handled it. Just that you noticed the problem and the mangled card was found, hardly implicates you. After all, it was round 4, and a prior opponent could easily have done the damage, for the same reasons you had been accused of.

    Good luck on getting some answers.
  13. I AM, THAT I AM. - GOD

    I emailed the Head DCI dood James Lee and he responded in a matter of 5 hours. He will be talking to the Head Judge along with the supporting cast ASAP..unfortunately PT Barcelona will be coming up next weekend so I might be a while before I hear back.

    Yes I admit I shouldve said something ASA I saw the pile shuffle...called a Judge...had him count it out for me.... I was at fault for NOT bringing it up when I "thought" something was wrong. Thanks again for all the comments.

    Nicholas Knight
  14. Salacious Crumb SevaTheSovietSoapDish

    i think we should understand that bias is everywhere, and there is nothing we can do to prevent it...

  15. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I hate statements like those above.

    Bias is everywhere, yes. But you CAN do something about it, namely educate and show WHY the bias is unwarranted (in general) or get those biased out of positions of power where they can affect other people (in TeamRegime's specific case, if it's true).

    You must be a passive person, S.C., and that's okay, but I'm going to have to challenge "defeatist" statements like that.
  16. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    Complacency is the 8th Deadly Sin.
  17. Duel Has Less Posts Than Spiderman

    I would nonetheless advice caution. The CPA has a history of dashing headlong into issues.

    Remember Ed Fear!
  18. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    To be blunt, the CPA has a history of doing squat.

    I cannot remember one issue where the CPA has actively gone out to the Magic community to "lead the charge".

    Only Zadok was involved in the Ed Fear case, and he was just gathering information to see IF the CPA should get involved.

    I'm not saying we should or should not get involved in TeamRegime's case either. I'm just saying more information IN GENERAL is always helpful before deciding whether to get involved, not what S.C. is saying and just "sit back and let things happen". If someone DOES feel strongly about fighting something, then they ought to fight it and more power to 'em.
  19. I AM, THAT I AM. - GOD

    I know most of you live down near Atlanta, East, West, North and maybe just a sprinkle of Midwest (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa, )..and maybe this doesnt concern you but I put up a petition to get future "Plains" events that WOTC sponsors , like REGIONALS and be held in Kansas City and or St. Louis...INSTEAD of Lincoln Nebraska--because of it's History of "happenings" and the unprofessionalism we've witnessed first hand....Im looking for people to sign it....we would need your FUll name, DCI number, email address and location...

    I too believe that complacency is a SIN but were all guilty of that at one time or another...and we choose our own battles...I have no clue as to if the petition will change anything but at the very least it will show DCI/WOTC that the "people" are somewhat organized and want choices when it comes to spending our hard earned monies to play Magic...we want FAIR and PROFESSIONAL play environment and dont want to worry about calling a Judge over for fear of beiing laughed at, ridiculed or anything LESS than a unbiased judgment. So I ask you to visit the site, read the Petition (at the very least) and sign it if you feel it would help. This is NOT a solicitation...I just FELT this site is perhaps the only place where I could voice my opinion about Magic and NOT be ridiculed and shunned for having an opinion. (although the're ARE people like that here...<grin>).

    Thanks again.

    nicholas knight
  20. Salacious Crumb SevaTheSovietSoapDish

    sorry, but i doubt that'll work...
    I've tried many petitions in my life:D

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