Here are the judge anniversaries for October 2012.
Monsuporn Lauhaphand, Thailand
Hector Fuentes, Mexico
Arthur Edson, Michigan , United States
Ivan Morel, France
Mehdi Taboui, France
Stephane Thirard, France
Justin Hovdenes, South Dakota, United States
Sergio Perez Marcos, Spain
Joshua Barkon, Pennsylvania, United States
Masaya Honda, Shizuoka-ken, Japan
Konstantin Schukraft, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
Jorge Sirvent Orts, Spain
John Tong, Queensland, Australia
Matt Danner, Wisconsin, United States
Alex Black, Iowa, United States
Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!
Our featured judge this month is Monsuport Lauhaphand, also known as Smith Lo, from Thailand. Level 2 judge Tammavit ‘Art’ Tasnavites writes:
“When Joel Bantiles asked whether I would be interested in writing an anniversary message for Monsuporn Lauhaphand, the man whom many of us know as Smith, it took me only a split second (as long as this spell is on the stack, players can’t cast spells or activate abilities that aren’t mana abilities) to make a decision. What else may I consider other than a privilege for the opportunity to congratulate the colossal force which has shaped much of the steadily growing Magic the Gathering community in Thailand?
Though I have worked with Smith as a judge for only two years, I have been actively playing in Thailand since early Ravnica. During the early days, the only thing I heard about Smith involved his famous biceps. It may sound funny, but the majority of players in Thailand really didn’t, and arguably still doesn’t, have a clue about what judges do. I was given an opportunity to learn more about him when I entered competitive arena around Zendikar. Among competitive players, Smith has been identified as the most knowledgeable judge in the country. Still, it wasn’t until I joined the Judge community in 2010 that I finally realized the magnitude of his responsibilities.
Being a Judge in Thailand is hard work with little acknowledgement and appreciation from the community, and Smith has been working the hardest among us. He has been like a one-man puppet theater, tirelessly pulling all the strings behind the scene to keep our little, but wondrous, show running. To give a few examples, Smith has been the person who coordinates most of the judge training and certification. He has also been the contact person who ensures that local stores will have a judge to take care of their GPTs. It is simply difficult to imagine how the Thai Magic community will be like without him.
Aside from judge related activities, one may identify Smith as a sociable person whose stomach capacity can be categorized as legendary. I am pretty sure he can eat a whole cow or at least most of it. His other characteristics and abilities include accountability, altruism, battle cry, bushido, trample, protection from black, and punctual.Really, the only downside I have ever experienced with the man so far was his distinctive snore. LOL
We, Thai judges, have been truly lucky to have him as our leader. Congratulation on your ten year anniversary, Agent Smith!”
This month we have another Level 3 anniversary. Luca Simone from Italy was promoted to Level 3 in 2007. To celebrate his anniversary, many of the senior judges from Italy were kind enough to pass along some comments. Here are some of them:
Level 5 judge Riccardo Tessitori writes:
“Luca is known as one of the two oldest judges in our country, and there are no witnesses to determine who was the oldest; he started judging when I had no idea that Magic even existed and, even after all these years, he keeps running huge tournaments very efficiently and he’s still a great source of wise opinions about how to manage the national community. Even more important, Luca is a good old friend that I will always be happy to meet; much more than a judge, he’s a good friend! CIAO LUCA ^__^”
Level 3 judge Matteo “Kalle” Callegari writes:
“Luca was the first judge I ever met when I started playing some competitive events, usually 80+ players with him as the only judge. His ability to run tournaments in the most difficult scenarios is a story all Italian judges know by hearth, including a 350 players PTQ with only 100 tables! His experience and his teachings helped and are helping a lot the shaping of the new Italian judge generations. Thanks Luca!”
Level 3 judge Gianluca Bonacchi writes:
“Luca helped me a lot since the day I became a judge, as he helped a lot of other judges. He is well known by players and TOs in the eternal scenario, I’ll always remember when an organizer told me “If Luca won’t be able to judge, we won’t organize this tournament”. Only the best judges are able to work at this level for a so long time with a family and a job!”
And finally, Regional Coordinator Cristiana Dionisio writes:
“Luca and I have had beautiful and also difficult moments, together we learned form each other, we grew up and became colleagues, friends and a team, together we have built our beautiful community. Thank you for your years of contribution, advice, and help.”