September 2015 Anniversaries

Here are the September 2015 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Huseh Lan Chu from kaohsiung, Taiwan, Province of China
Damian Hiller from Montevideo, Uruguay
Chia Hao Chen from Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China

10 years

Mick Wright from Surrey, England
Caue Hattori from Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil
Jose Carlos Moraes from Sorocaba, Brazil
Erkka Moisio from Tampere, Finland
Charles Hinkle from Ridley Park, United States
Miguel Barcelo from Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Luca Beltrame from Conegliano, Italy
Luca Chiassoni from Cortemaggiore, Italy
Pierre Laquerre from Carrieres sous Poissy, France
Konstantin Nivnikov from Moscow, Russian Federation

5 years

Jan De Coster from Kessel-Lo, Belgium
Cyril Crocker from Whitby, Canada
Jackey Shai from Atlanta, United States
Ashton Chapman from Caldwell, United States
Robert Jures from Fallbrook, United States
David Gentry from Waukesha, United States
Aaron Stickney from Roanoke, United States
Michael Kersch from Austin, United States
Pierson Payne from Rock Hill, United States
Matthew Rogers from Auckland, New Zealand
Nick Buras from Baton Rouge, United States
Carl Endres from Glen Burnie, United States
Christopher Hayward from Johannasburg, South Africa
Lucas Horta from Fortaleza, Brazil
Paulo Jose Meira da Silva from Pirassununga, Brazil
Conner Morrison from Bel Air, United States

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

This month’s featured judge is Nick Buras from the United States. Regional coordinator Kevin Binswanger had this to say about Nick:

The Judgefather

The Judgefather

“Nick Buras, or “The Judgefather” as he’s affectionately known, built a community from almost nothing. Louisiana today has a strong and thriving Judge community because of the hard work he put in.

The Louisiana judge community is geographically isolated. There’s a lot of distance between them and the closest major judge community in any direction. Rather than flounder, Nick has helped build strong ties with the judges in his area. The senior judges in the area coordinate frequently on judge development and tournaments. They run judge classes and mini-conferences. Nick has developed and led one of the strongest judge teams I’ve seen in any area. And he’s working on developing judges, especially area judges, in farther flung parts of the state. Nick doesn’t just care about the cities with a developing scene, but he’s actively involved in growing the Magic and judge community all over.

One of the things that makes Nick stand out to me is that he doesn’t seem to have an ego about judging. He is happy to help others, and he is genuinely happy when other people succeed. He is comfortable with his role in the program, and he doesn’t worry about whether he could be doing more or what other people expect of them. He just goes out and does an incredible job.”

This month, we have a trio of Level 3 anniversaries.  First, we recognize Steven Zwanger for his 15-year anniversary as a Level 3 judge.  He certified at Pro Tour – New York back in 2000.  Level 4 judge Jared Sylva had this to say about Steven:

Actually his number is 70007766 because I can’t use the shorter version to put this photo here 

Actually his number is 70007766 because I can’t use the shorter version to put this photo here 

The first thing you should know about Steven Zwanger is that he has a cooler DCI Number than you – 7766. The second is that he has been a outstanding and leading judge now for fifteen years! While many of the earliest vanguard of the judge program have since moved on to other things, but Steven has continued to have a huge influence and impact on the judge community for a decade and a half. I have been lucky enough to work closely with Steven over the past few years and I’m happy to have been asked to share a few thoughts on Steven’s fifteen years in the judge program.

One of the things that has always impressed me about Steven is the way that he just quietly gets things done. A few years ago, while working with him before his time with a meme came into being that perfectly encompassed the experience of seeing a Steven Zwanger ruling appealed. Steven’s little smirk every time that he brought up an appeal that he knew was going to be upheld was a great precursor to the story that you just knew was coming.

Steven’s standing comes not just from experience, but also from his grounding in the fundamentals. Steven has a history of presenting seminars on hard rules topics from triggers to casting a spell. He has had a remarkable impact on hundreds of judges through seminars and just as many though his hands on mentoring on the floor of events. Sure, I can say this, but how about some numbers:

  • 24 judges certified for Level 1
  • 12 judges promoted to Level 2
  • Over 300 reviews written
  • 20.00% on the 2008 Magic Judge Hall of Fame Ballot (Tied for the 6th most votes)

So if you don’t know, now you know. Next time you see Steven, say thanks, then watch him take a call and learn something.”

The other two anniversaries come from a group of judges that certified for Level 3 at Pro Tour Amsterdam in 2010.  First, we have a couple of thoughts about Adrián Estoup from Level 4 judges, Carlos Ho and Damian Hiller:

“From Carlos:

Is this a gaucho-looking picture?

Is this a gaucho-looking picture?

On my first trip to Argentina, there was this local L2 who I had never met, with a gaucho-looking picture on his Facebook profile, who started to talk to me before the event I was traveling to. He advised me on a couple of things to do in Argentina, and even though he didn’t immediately like me, over time he started to share his concerns about the Argentinean and South American community and we became friends. He became a strong community judge with a great passion regarding the development of South America, and for a while we were just waiting for him to become L3 so he could help even more in that building process. Today, Adrián is the RC for the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, and he continues to explore new avenues to keep on improving the Latin American judge community, which has already shows results: we have a few more L3s in the region, including in countries where there was none before. Adrián, thanks a lot for these 5 years of leading the program in Latin America!

From Damian:

It definitely seems much longer than 5 years since Adrián got to L3. That alone speaks for how much Adrián has done and progressed in these years. I remember fondly Adrián’s advancement since I took a special interest in his advancement, since he was one of the first judges I devoted myself to mentor and guide towards L3, taking his step-backs and progresses as my own and having the utmost happiness when he finally reached the level. From there onward we became great partners, with him being my first sounding board for any Magic related topic (and even non-magic related: I’ve started my second degree following his own!) and in my days as RC, he was definitely my second in command: the guy who was to replace me should I get hit by a bus. And he was kind enough not to send one down my road 😉

Today he’s grown into one of our best program leads, wearing the blacks with pride and efficiency as a great judge on the floor and the light blue with passion and drive, gathering our whole region into one with new and higher goals each and every day. Adrian, thanks a lot for being by my side, for leading me and our region, for all the trips and stories together and most of all, for letting me share a part of this 5 year anniversary with you.”


Finally, we have pictorial about Andreas Jepsen by David de la Iglesia:

I first met Andreas at GP Barcelona, in May 2009. We were introduced by the mighty Carlos Ho, and we became instant BFFs. We had for quite some time an ongoing joke where we would count down the days until the next GP we would meet. The legend says Andreas and I were truly like an old marriage, with our fights and everything. 


​Danes fight like kittens (GP Brussels 2010)

Andreas’ happiness and natural joyful attitude over the years has helped me many times. Truth is he’s the kind of guy that makes you be a better person just by being around.



Danish liquor and pickled herring? Don’t mind if I do. (GP Prague 2009)


Since his move to the US I’ve been missing him even more, and I treasure every time we catch up and chat online. We’ve shared travels, many hugs and high fives, and I can’t wait to get more of that. Congratulations Andreas!



I think he’s trying to say LoL (GP Prague 2011)


Happy anniversary to all of you!  Look forward to many more years of judging from you all.


About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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