Welcome to our new home – this blog is the new permanent archive for the Anniversary posts.
Here are the February anniversaries. The following judges have been with the program for 10 or 5 years:
Sebastien Gratiano, St Jean de Braye, Paris, France
John Alderfer, Hermitage, Pennsylvania, United States
Are Saxrud, Fjerdingby, Norway
Joshua Ulmer, Lakewood, Colorado, United States
JD Nir, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Mauricio Flores Pauletti, La Paz, Bolivia
Antonin Marchal, Nantes, Ouest, France
Antoine Bouaziz, Paris, France
Claire Dupre, Tours, Ouest, France
Fabien Durpoix, Belfort, Est, France
Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!
Our featured judge is the legendary road warrior John Alderfer. Judge Emeritus Mike Guptil writes:
“The story of John Alderfer started from humble beginnings. John started out as a volunteer at the Legions Prerelease way back in January of 2003. Looking back it was one of the best things to ever happen for the Judge Program and for me personally. John’s dedication was evident right from the beginning. A week wouldn’t pass without a note from John asking when the next event he could judge. Persistent? You can hardly imagine!
Right from the start it was evident that one of John’s strongest characteristics was his dedication. Once he committed fully to the Judge Program, John attended nearly every event within driving distance. Over the past few years one of the jokes of the Grand Prix Circuit is that John travels with the GP Kit. While I can attest that this isn’t true, the reality isn’t very far off. Since 2007, John has judged 29 GPs. The last North American GP that didn’t feature an Alderfer was in 2008. That my friend is legendary.
Over the years there have been many words that have been used to describe
John and his impact on the Judge Program and community. Some of my
favorites have been “fair”, “experienced” and “wise”. Since that fateful
day in 2003 at a Legions Prerelease, the Judge Program has been made better
by John. Over the last 10 years, John has enriched the lives of countless
judges and players. Even a brief encounter will John will leave a lasting
impression. I’m proud to have known John both as a judge and as a friend.
Congratulations on your anniversary John!”
We also have a pair of Level 3 anniversaries this month. At Pro Tour Geneva in February 2007, Alejandro Raggio and Gavin Duggan both passed their exams.
Here is what Level 4 judge and Regional Coordinator Damián Hiller had to say about Alejandro:
“After being in the program and involved with the game this long, many people have come and gone, but there are very few that I remember from the early days. For as long as I can remember, Alejandro has worked hard to be the best judge possible, offering the fairest play experience a player could ask for. After many years and many positions (which include not only judging, but also TO, Salesman, SK, and Forum Admin), Latin America’s tireless road warrior doesn’t lack in experience. Probably the best in-event judge in the whole Region, whenever you have Alejandro on staff you can rest assured that his share will be done, and likely, he will help you spot which other areas could be improved!
Personally, Alejandro was a big support for me back 10 years ago. By letting me be his assistant on his tournaments whenever I didn’t feel like playing or even just to pass the time, he helped me on my way to L1 (he even gave me my Delphi tests and corrected them!). As we both grew in the program, we developed very different styles of judging, but I think we both learned to understand, respect and highly value what each of us does best and complement on our weaknesses.
For this and likely much more, my thanks and congrats to Ale on his Level 3 5-year anniversary!”
Here is what Level 3 judge and Regional Coordinator Aaron Hamer had to say about Gavin:
“I met Gavin at US Nationals in forever ago (2006). I assumed he was a super senior L3 because he is one of the most deftly brilliant people I’ve met. It was late on Sunday night while Gavin was helping me be a better person that I found out he was only an L2 at the time. I find that as shocking now as I did then.
Gavin has a mind for elegance and subtlety that I can only fail to convey. He’s super scary smart and he conveys it in a way that sort of sneaks up on you and only dawns on you later just how much you learned. And that’s one of the best parts – he’s able to make you think in clearer and better ways by using his words!
Gavin’s energy, skill and communication ability has served him well in his work in the judge program. He has served as a mailing list NetRep, is heavily involved in the maintence of the EDH (now Commander) rules and in countless other ways behinds the scenes.
He’s also one of the nicest humans I’ve ever met, and his enthusiasm is infectious in the best ways possible. Every time I get a chance to talk to him I come away feeling smarter, better, and happier. I know this sounds hyperbolic even for me but I am seriously underselling here. We’re incredibly fortunate to have him around because every time we interact with him we come away better for it.”