December 2014 Anniversaries

Here are the December 2014 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Scott Marshall from Lakewood, United States

10 years

Georges Rehak from Mississauga, Canada
Iain Shirley from Woking, England

5 years

Ryan Brierley from Manchester, England
Jason Rickards from Jacksonville, United States
Jeff Darran from Durham, United States
William Houser from Orchard Park, United States
Michelangelo Riccioletti from Caltanissetta, Italy
Alessandro Smanio from Verona, Italy
Dan Regewitz from Butler, United States

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

Our featured judge this month is Jeff Darran. His regional coordinator Nicholas Sabin had this to say:

Jeff Darran

Jeff Darran

“Jeff Darran joined the judge program five years ago this month. In that time, he’s been a fixture of the North Carolina Magic community as a judge, as a scorekeeper, and as judge manager for one of the state’s biggest local stores. As Jeff’s RC, and as his friend, it’s my pleasure to congratulate him on five years of service.

I first met Jeff Darran at a judge conference in Atlanta several years ago. While he wasn’t a judge at the time, he still wanted to sit in and learn. It wasn’t until much later that I learned something that is now obvious to anybody who works with Jeff: he loves Magic, and he especially loves judging. If you’ve judged a Grand Prix in the United States, chances are pretty good you know Jeff. His enthusiasm on the floor is infectious, and he’s just as generous in giving out high-fives as he is in helping run great events. He’s even distinguished himself as a scorekeeper; when it comes to local events, there isn’t anybody else I’d rather have entering match results for me.

What you may not know about Jeff is that he’s also enthusiastic about playing. He’s a Legacy aficionado, and even made Day Two of Grand Prix Providence back in 2011 playing Fish. This causes Jeff no small amount of conflict when having to choose between playing and judging Legacy events, but it also lends him a keen insight into how players view the game. While Jeff has a significant background as a judge and scorekeeper, he’s also begun distinguishing himself on the stage at events. He’s even making his debut as Side Events Manager at GP Baltimore this month. Wherever you run into him, you can be sure that he’ll be working hard, and having a great time while he does it. Congratulations, Jeff, on your five-year anniversary. It’s been a pleasure working with you, and I look forward to all the good times to come.”

This month we have two Level 3 anniversaries. Jens Strohäker and Niko Glik certified for Level 3 at Worlds in 2009 at Rome, Italy. (Technically, the anniversary was at the end of November, but we are celebrating it at the beginning of December). We asked each of their Regional Coordinators to put together some comments about them. They each provided their own comment plus comments from a pair of L3s from their region.

The first anniversary is for Jens Strohäker from Germany. His Regional Coordinator, Michael Wiese, has this to say:

What is the secret of his youthful looks?

What is the secret of his youthful looks?

“5 years as L3, that’s a long time and I am proud that I met Jens back in 2004 at the so called “End of Year Tournament” organized by Amigo Spiele. Since then I enjoyed many different tournaments on various places around the world including Worlds New York (the dinner in the steak house is a still legendary “that steak is worth a Judge Foil Meddling Mage? ok I take it!”) or Us Nationals 07 in Baltimore. Also since then his skills as judge grow, while he still looks like 10 years ago. Yeah, I am kind of jealous on the last part, but it’s not his fault ;). He still looks as a guy in the starting thirties. Yes he is much younger than that. He made his L3 at Worlds in Rome, and one of his biggest things he has done was developing the Swiss judge community. So it’s not a big surprise that the 2 L3s from Switzerland wants to say something about Jens as well, isn’t it? He put really a lot of time into the Swiss Judge community and it all works out in the end. Thanks Jens ☺
If you have a chance to met Jens take your time to talk to him, it’s worth the time. I am enjoyed the time I spend with him and I will enjoy the time I am going to spend with him.”

The first Swiss L3 to speak is Jeremie Granat:

“Jens was the first Mentor I had, being there during my surprise Lvl1 test and grilling me on every question I wasn’t sure about before telling me I had passed. He always had time to help our small community, be it during the Nationals as first a floor judge and then the head judge or a PTQ near Germany. He even took it upon himself to drive 7 hours to come to the first swiss conference and get to know all the new candidates and certified judges. I’m really glad to have this opportunity to thank him for what he did in our region and look forward to work with him again (it’s been a while and I still owe him a drink or two).”

The other Swiss L3 to provide comments is Joel Krebs:

“I first met Jens while playing Swiss Nationals in 2011. I had certified as a Level 1 judge a couple weeks back, but I was convinced that I could become the next Swiss national champion. Thus, I wanted to play the nationals rather than judge. After I went 0-6 in the draft portion of the tournament, Jens walked up to me, looked through my deck and commented on how awful it was. That was my first interaction with Jens. It was also the moment when I decided that I would rather focus on judging than on playing competitively. In the coming months and years, Jens continued to push me forward in the judge program, making significant contributions to my Level 2 and 3 advancements. Jens is very good at pushing others to be better and to accomplish more. Not by sugarcoating weaknesses, but by being honest and direct. By walking up to you at your first nationals and telling you how awful your deck is. Thanks, Jens, I’m very grateful for that.“

The other Level 3 anniversary is Niko Glik from Spain. Alfonso Bueno, RC of Spain and Portugal, provided some comments and gathered a couple comments from other L3s in the region. He had this to say:

Maybe Jens made a pact with this guy.

Maybe Jens made a pact with this guy.

“Niko Glik is been one of the fathers of the Spanish judge community. Some years before he made the L3, he built up a judge community in the eastern part of Spain. Back in that time L2s weren’t empowered to test new L1s… well, I mean, most of the L2 weren’t empowered to test L1. There were a few, called L2-trainners, capable to run L1 tests and Niko was one of those few. Niko also collaborated to create the current Spanish community structures.

Over the years Niko has expanded his horizons and for the latest years he is been focused on Score Keeping, therefore in the recent years you may have seen him either behind a computer or wearing the “black shirt”.

But over all the above, he’s a friend. We’ve share travels, tournaments, sometimes we’ve lived stressing situations at the tournaments, but at the end we always manage to enjoy every event!”

Daniel Sole also shared his thought of Niko:

“I first met Niko at GP Bilbao 2006, and, since then, we have had a very good friendship. Since he became L3 five years ago, Niko has been one of the leaders in the Spanish community, and he has always been willing to judge in every part in Spain where a judge was needed. Now he is one of the most active Scorekeepers, he has a lot experience using WER, and he loves giving other judges tips and advices on how to use WER. Gràcies Xugaor!!!!”


Finally, Jorge Requesens added he comments:

“Niko was the very first judge that I saw when I was a lv0. I didn’t know anything about judging and he taught, in just a tournament, things that I still use nowadays. After that, I discovered how fun is traveling or hanging out with Niko. In fact, we talk a little about magic when we meet at the tournaments. Niko, thank you for all the good times and “salsa”. It is always a pleasure ^^”

About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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