Here are the June 2014 judge anniversaries!
Arnaud Bourdoux, Belgium
Chad Daniel, Kentucky, United States
Walter Zara, Torino, Italy
Simone Zanella, Imperia, Italy
Pedro Jonathan Ramos, Spain
Sebastian Rittau, Berlin, Germany
Trevor Baker, Oregon, United States
John Carlock, Utah, United States
Erik Mock, Florida, United States
Mike Fitzpatrick, Iowa, United States
James Gray, Iowa, United States
Nathan Hurley, Missouri, United States
Francisco Iramain, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
Jeremy Muir, Kentucky, United States
Eduardo Beraldo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Andre Brito, Parana, Brazil
Gary Nibert, Kansas, United States
Jonathan Trevarthen, New Zealand
Koen Hendrikx, Belgium
Steven Briggs, Michigan, United States
Ray Bechtel, California, United States
Blair Simpson, Alabama, United States
Jakub Jahoda, Czech Republic
Jan Odvarka, Czech Republic
Song Khim Ng, Singapore
Payman Ghorbani, Massachusetts, United States
Jose Luis Arrieta, Brazil
Steven Harris, Washington, United States
Eric Coppola, Parma, Italy
Dan Wu, Washington, United States
Christopher Boomer, Illinois, United States
Joep Verhoeven, Netherlands
Yee Nan Liaol, Taiwan
Will Besant, Alabama, United States
Jason Flatford, Virginia, United States
Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!
This month’s featured judge is Francisco Iramain from Puerto Rico. Regional Coordinator Justin Turner had this to say about Francisco:“Francisco is an L2 from Puerto Rico. He has been a judge and a leader of his state for longer than I have been a judge! He has traveled to the Dominican Republic to certify judges and run WMCQ and he is traveling to large events in the US often. I met Francisco in Nashville in 2010 and we’ve been friends since. Since I have become co-RC of Puerto Rico, he has interfaced with me a lot and he has great ideas about the program and why things work the way they do. He gives solid advice on interactions in the region outside his local area and he can hold his liquor! He is a member of the “sicarios”, which is spanish for “assassins” along with L3 Hector Fuentes and his brother, L1 Jorge Iramain and myself, of course. Francisco is a boon to Puerto Rico and is always an energetic, hard-working asset on the floor of any event. I’m very happy to know Francisco and be in the position to write about him on his anniversary. FELICIDADES FRANCISCO!”
This month we have two special Level 3 anniversaries. In 2004, Chris Richter became Level 3 at US Nationals. Level 5 judge, Jason Lems, put together thoughts from a few people about Chris:
“I’m sure most players remember something from their very first FNM: maybe the hilariously casual deck they played or one of their opponents. For me, the memory from my first FNM was of the judge: Chris Richter. He welcomed my brother and me with open arms, explaining how everything would work, making sure we could sit next to each other while we didn’t know anyone else, and going out of his way to find and introduce our opponents to us so that the time we didn’t know anyone else was short-lived. He made it such an awesome experience that it no doubt was a big factor in how I’d spend the next 10 years of my life (and counting).
Over the next few months, Chris and I became great friends, and he slowly taught me more and more about the judge program. Since I didn’t really know any other judges, Chris represented the entirety of the program. When I realized that there were another 1,000 people just as awesome as Chris Richter out there, I was sold – where do I sign up?
(It turns out that the location for signing up was none other than Chris’s dining room, where he certified me for Level 1. (Not to be confused with his wife’s craft room, where he certified me for Level 2.))
Unfortunately, my idea of a program full of people as awesome as Chris Richter would soon prove false. Don’t get me wrong – there are thousands of completely amazing judges out there – but I can count the number of them as awesome as Chris on one hand.
Chris also introduced me to Seamus Campbell (another one of my all-time favorite judges) who had this to say about Chris:
I have been judging with Chris Richter since sometime right around the dawn of time (that is, his promotion to L3 in 2004), and the thing that has always stood out to me about working with him is this: Chris knows that judging is fun. He avoids the trap of taking himself or his position too seriously; he always has a smile or a joke close at hand; and this allows him to remind his fellow judges and the players at his events that Magic tournaments are, at their heart, a good time. Which is also a fine description of Chris: in his heart, a good time. I firmly believe that his message—welcome to my event; have fun; trust that your judges are here to make sure that everything is okay—is precisely the message that is required to continue growing Magic and organized events and enjoying the unrivaled prosperity and success that we have all seen over the last decade.
When Steve Port learned it’s been 10 years since Chris became Level 3, he offered up his side of things:
I have had the honor of working with Chris Richter for his entire career as a judge. He first came to me after I opened my store in Madison. He very quickly became the right hand of Legion Events as he stepped quickly into the role of my judge coordinator for pretty much everything. He was so good at it I would often find myself thinking “crap, event is coming up I need to get on judge staff” and I would call up chris who would hand me a finished list. A large portion of the reputation and position Legion Events has in the world rests squarely on Chris’ back. The moment he tested for L3 at nationals in Kansas City, I very gladly handed the area L3 duties to him and he’s done a significantly better job at it than I ever did or could have done. I’m incredibly proud to call Chris my friend. And incredibly proud of the things he’s brought to the judge community.”
The other anniversary is for Daniel Kitachewsky. He certified for Level 3 at Pro Tour Honolulu in 2009. We asked Level 5 judge, Kevin Desprez, to say a few things about Daniel. He wrote these words to him:
“At the very first time I met you at that Vintage tournament back in 2005, I’ve been greatly impressed. Your technical qualities as well as your willingness to analyze and understand were already noticeable. I don’t think I ever had a doubt you’d go pretty far in the Program. In 2009, after quite a long period of starvation that ended slightly crippling the French Judge Program, you achieved L3, took the lead of the French Judge Program and this coincidentally initiated the renewal of a community who is now led by eight great L3+s. And here we are, five years after PT Honolulu. You’re still here, still dedicated to the Judge Program in France, have expanded your range by taking lead of the L3 process. I can’t wait for 2019 to write something better for your 10-year anniversary ;)”