Here are the July 2016 judge anniversaries!
Benjamin McDole from Tampa, United States
Kyle Knudson from Puyallup, United States
Patricia Kurz from Tacoma, United States
Paul Smith from Ventnor, England
Jerome Pagola from Biarritz, France
Chris Worrell from Mooloolaba, Australia
Andrius Jautakis from Vilnius, Lithuania
Matteo Callegari from Parma, Italy
Christian Oliveros from Renton, United States
Francois-Regis Andre from Paris, France
Danny Batterman from La Jolla, United States
Jason Bouchard from Fort Kent Mills, United States
Russell Braswell from Raleigh, United States
Robert Caldarale from Arden Hills, United States
Alexander Drapailo from Kyiv, Ukraine
Antonio Carlos Faillace from Brasilia, Brazil
Nejc Juric from Ptujska Gora, Slovenia
Matias Karaseur from capital federal, Argentina
Piotr Karpowicz from Elk, Poland
William Logan from Glasgow, Scotland
Luiz A Lopes from Taguatinga, Brazil
Leonardo Maros from Los Angeles, United States
Michael Peterson from Virginia Beach, United States
Boris Robic from Maribor, Slovenia
Stewart Ulm from Somerville, United States
Lee West from Swanley, England
Sean Alexander from San Jose, United States
Vladimir Arneuve from Auch, France
Jonathon East from Paraparaumu, New Zealand
Ken Sawada from Tokoname-shi, Japan
joshua shaferly from Findlay, United States
Richard Warren from Wichita, United States
Philip Weidig from Broad Run, United States
Jingwei Zheng from Wellington, New Zealand
Nicholas Zitomer from Roswell, United States
Allen Vincent Balean from Quezon City, Philippines
Daniel Dutra from Teresina-PI, Brazil
Wang Fang from Beijing, China
Kenneth Fortson from Oakland, United States
Ryan Hoffman from Roanoke, United States
Cai Jia Hui from China
Emilien Picherau from Alencon, France
Vidar Thorsby from Bergen, Norway
Jeffrey Venturino from Davis, United States
Vladimir Votintsev from Izhevsk, Russian Federation
Rodrigo Borba from Amadora, Portugal
Jesse Bradbury from Fayetteville, United States
Cristian Broens from Madrid, Spain
Marien Couvertier from Poitiers, France
Nate Hurley from College Station, United States
Fergus Looney from Dublin, Ireland
Matthew Moore from West Lafayette, United States
Sean Quinn from Sterling, United States
Theo Riviere from Nancy, France
Miguel Ruiz from Alicante, Spain
Ilya Savchenko from Kyiv, Ukraine
Joshua Silvestri from Fremont, United States
Andreas Trejtnar from Schwechat, Austria
Joseph Wiesenberg from Poway, United States
Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!
This month, we are featuring two judges: Kyle Knudson and Joe Wiesenberg! First, we have Kyle. Kyle’s regional coordinator, Scott, sat down with Kyle to talk about his 10 year anniversary:Kyle Knudson, celebrating his 10th anniversary as a judge, is a remarkable individual. Of course, you can say that about most people who stand 6′ 8″ (~178cm for you metric-minded folk) but Kyle is much more than just a gentle giant. Even if you’ve never seen Kyle in a judge shirt, you may have seen him at a Grand Prix. He’s also an employee of Cascade Games, working with Tim Shields (and many other great people) to produce terrific shows, shows that we call Grand Prix; Kyle is the Judge Manager for these Grand Prix, ensuring the well-being of dozens of judges, and doing it well. To celebrate Kyle’s anniversary, we caught up with him, and collected some fun facts.
Scott: When did you start playing Magic?
Kyle: I first started playing around 4th Edition. I played mostly kitchen table magic when I was starting. I wasn’t able to have access to a lot of cards so I would build and rebuild decks with what I had. I found a group to play with in high school and learned the rules a little more formally, but still didn’t have access to a huge amount of cards. I started to get much more into the way the game is played than the actual game because it was the part of Magic I could really explore from the internet. I never really was a serious competitive player. I will occasionally play in an event, but I enjoy being on the other side of the table much more.
Scott: When did you become a Judge, and why?
Kyle: I was hanging out at my local game store (which still exists Game On in Puyallup, WA) in the Mall when Dawna Havnar and Scott Havnar walk in. If you have worked a Channel Fireball or Cascade Games GP in the last couple years (and many have *cough* Vegas *cough*) you probably have met one or both of them. Dawna started judging for the game store and Scott would play and we quickly became friends. She introduced me to the fact that there were larger events. I met Tim Shields and started working pre-releases and PTQs and the rest is history.
Scott: Do you have a favorite card? Format? Set?
Kyle: I always played weird cards and tried to make them work. One of my favorite cards has always been Cowardice. Having that, Serra’s Blessing, and attacking with an army of vigilant Samite Healers entertained me to no end. My favorite set was the original Ravnica: City of Guilds. I was finally able to get cards and support my hobby so I played a ton. I liked it a lot, but ultimately my real passion for magic was Behind the Scenes. [Scott note: I once built a Cowardice deck! I love this guy!!]
Scott: Any interesting Kyle Knudson trivia you’d like to share?
Kyle: I was big into theater both on and off the stage. It’s really where my passion for making chaos look effortless started from. I play a lot of video games. If I’m not at an event there is a good chance my weekend is spent playing a game for far too many hours. Or watching too much twitch.tv. Despite my height, I’m awful at basketball; because of my height, I don’t fit on airplanes very well (and I do travel a fair bit); I will grab that off the top shelf for you; and I don’t wear shoes with laces because they are a lot farther away from me that for most people.
I’m very excited to celebrate the judging anniversary of Joe Wiesenberg, who became a level one judge five years ago this month. Joe is one of the program’s greatest mentors, reviewers, and pun artists, as well as a superb technical judge and leader.
I’ve participated with him at events ranging from old school PTQs, prereleases, Star City Opens and various Grand Prix tournaments. Joe is also one of my best friends, and I count myself lucky to have been able to spend my free time working alongside him for these past five years. I know that many in the community also feel glad to have had a chance to get to know Joe as well.
One thing that folks from outside the southern California area might not know is how vital Joe is to the vitality of judging in the area. He is a keystone of the community, and the bedrock of the program in San Diego. On that note, here’s a quick litho some of his achievements for you to marble at (…I did mention his affinity for puns, right?):
In addition to working with judges regularly in a professional capacity, Joe also runs the judge staffing for a major game store in the San Diego area. Joe has also helped organize and run specialized sessions on investigations that have made a huge difference for many judges that were struggling to find opportunities to hone this hard-to-train skill.
The contribution that has made the most difference for the most people in changed the feel of participating in the judge program, though, are the meetups that Joe frequently hosts for the area’s judges. During these, Joe will hold discussions about the latest rule updates, listen to the judges discuss the events that they have attended and the rulings they had questions or thoughts about, and will put together planned lessons targeted towards new candidates.
This kind of thing isn’t just limited to the work he does within the region. One of the things that I admire most about Joe is the personal attention that he gives to *all* the judges he works with. Joe exemplifies the kind of judge I want to be – someone that respects everyone as a human being, and takes the time to make them feel listened to – someone whose work helps create the sense of family and friendship that makes being part of the Magic Judge community such a special thing.
Many thanks and congratulations, Joe – from all of us in the Southwest, and all of your friends throughout our world-wide program!
Happy anniversary to all of you! We look forward to many more years of judging from you all.