July 2014 Anniversaries

Here are the July 2014 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Andrzej Cwalina, Poland
Bram Snepvangers, Netherlands
Jacky Yang, Taiwan
David Weitz, Ohio, United States
Ryan Reynolds, California, United States
Victoriano Lim, Philippines
DJonathan Paculio, Philippines

10 years

Robert Johnson, Ontario, Canada
Rahul Chandra, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Gavin Duggan, Alberta, Canada
Michael Goud, Nova Scotia, Canada
Victor Naqvi, Ontario, Canada
Edwin Zhang, Beijing, China
Nathan Brewer, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Torphan Kaewwichean, Thailand
Krisda Tritangkur, Thailand
David Rappaport, Michigan, United States
Chris Waits, Kentucky, United States
Carl Wilt, Indiana, United States
Sashi Kumar Balakrishnan, Malaysia
Cynic Kim, Korea (South)

5 years

Adam Barnett, England, Great Britain
Robert Dersch, Austria
Stefan Ladstaetter, Austria
James Stewart, New Zealand
Imants Belogrivs, Latvia
Charlotte Sable, Ontario, Canada
Weiwen Loh, Singapore
Noel Helgesen, Minnesota, United States
Clayton Potrzeba, Rhode Island, United States
Maciej Sapa, Poland
Jeremie Granat, Switzerland
Sebastian Imhof, Switzerland
Arttu Kaipiainen, Finland
Benjamin Savoy, Switzerland
Ricardo Sierra, Colombia
Jorge Yukio Victoria, Colombia
Daniel Beaupre, Connecticut, United States
Alexsander Benitez C., Colombia
Witold Waczynski, Poland
Piero Nicolli, Ferrara, Italy
Alvaro Alonso Burgos, Spain
Gregoire Mathon, France
yohann Thirapathi, France
Julien Fouque, Sud, France
Mark Mc Govern, Ireland
Tina Dahl, Denmark
Ladislav Loucka, Czech Republic
Jani Havukainen, Finland
Björn Gustavsson, Sweden

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

This month’s featured judge is Sashi Kumar Balakhrisnan from Malaysia. Regional coordinator Wearn Chong said this about Sashi:

Sashi Kumar Balakrishnan

Sashi Kumar Balakrishnan

“Sashi, better known as Loco, is an L2 judge / road warrior from Malaysia. Like most of us, Loco started out as a player and his love of the game eventually lead him to open a Magic shop with a friend. Not long after, he became interested in judging and in 2010 he was certified to L2 by Christian Gawrilowicz. While not as well traveled as John Alderfer, in the past 3 years he’s attended 23 Grand Prixes and one of the things he loves to do is to take pictures of landmarks while doing his trademark headstand. Some of you might have seen the GP Melbourne coverage team’s not-so-succesful challenge! Outside of these, he judges many local events, and when I needed someone to help head-judge a WMCQ in Indonesia he didn’t hesitate to step up and be counted on. As an emcee in real life, Loco’s forte is in communication and the manner in which he carries himself when speaking to others, whether delivering a ruling or just chatting with people, has made a lasting impression on many of them. He also brings a lot of fun to events. Sometimes looks are not deceiving, Loco is quite the party animal! Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary Loco, here’s to many more years to come!”

Loco anniversary

Luckily for many of us, this skill is not on any checklist

This month we also have a Level 3 anniversary: Mark Brown. Mark passed his Level 3 exam 15 years ago! Here is what his Regional Coordinator, Nathan Brewer, had to say about him:

Mark has been a true inspiration for several generations of judges within Australia, taking on the role of mentor, advisor and friend to more judges than I can count.

I first met Mark in a slightly unusual situation: playing a game of Magic at a PTQ in January 2003. This was in the days before I became a judge, and all I knew of my sixth round opponent was that he was a judge, and that he’d been having as bad a day of it as I had. After he exploded a few Dracos at me, I managed to eke out a win against the imposing man with a british accent that the other judges kept coming and talking to, and I didn’t think much more of the encounter until the following year when I rocked up at Nationals to find out how this ‘becoming a judge’ thing worked. He graciously allowed me the opportunity to test despite me approaching him on stage cold while he was busily managing the event (I believe he was the head judge of the event, but I can’t be totally sure as I had no idea what that meant at the time).

From that point on, my relationship with Mark in the judge program grew. He provided me and many others with opportunities to grow and develop at major events and was never shy to provide feedback and advice. He always expects the best of people he works with, and it is to his credit that he generally get it from them.

Mark was the leader of the program in Australia for many years, and it was under his leadership that many of us grew from novices into true judges. His ability to cut through everything to identify the core issues has been hugely inspirational to me in my judge career. In addition to being an L3 for 15 years, Mark has also spent time as an L4, during which time he worked hard to develop much of the behind-the-scenes testing work that we all now take for granted.

To mark the momentous occasion of his 15 year anniversary as an L3 judge, I asked some of his fellow senior judges from Melbourne to share something about their interactions with Mark.

James Mackay, former L4 and RC:

My first interactions with Mark were well before I realised I was not a good player and that my destiny lay elsewhere. When he was easily answering questions that baffled me, like “What happens when my opponent and I both have a Tanglewire?!??”, and standing behind me laughing as I inexpertly piloted Paul Barclay’s “Full English Breakfast” though the 0-X bracket of a PTQ. He inspired me to switch streams, and I’m honoured to say he certified me for L1. I’ve long said I am from the “Mark Brown School of Judging”, where pre-emptive player training and customer service are leagues ahead of entrapment and “Gotcha!” moments. Mark instilled in me a love of the rules that lives on to this day, and both the Judge Program and I are richer for having him in our lives.

Fabian Peck, L3:

I’ve known Mark for almost as long as I’ve been playing Magic, he was coordinating the prereleases along with the local TO and was my first exposure to any sort of organised play. He and the rest of the judging team seemed to be having at least as much fun judging as I was playing but losing far less games, I asked if I could get involved, the rest as they say is history.

Mark led the AU/NZ community as an L4 for a number of years bringing home experience from around the world to an emerging judging community, many of our most experienced judges having been trained by him.

My thanks go to Mark for all his work over these 15 years, we’re fortunate to have him as part of the judge program.

For all that he’s done for the program, for the Judge community in Australia and for me personally, I cannot thank Mark enough, and the 15 years he has given to the program as an L3 has been of immeasurable value. But I do still worry at times that he holds a grudge against me for beating him all those years ago.

About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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