June 2018 Anniversaries

Here are the June 2018 judge anniversaries!

15 years

Carla Graca from Loule, Portugal
Peter Jahn from Belleville, United States
Diogo Santos from Lisboa, Portugal
Fabrizio Sguaitamatti from Lyssach, Switzerland
Julien Winter from Pfastatt, France
Abe Corson from Alexandria, United States
Scott Lipp from Kansas City, United States
Frank Scarber from Port Huron, United States

10 years

Koen Valkeneers from Kuringen, Belgium
David Záleský from Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
Dmitriy Shalyga from Moscow, Russia
Adam Clark from Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States
Peter Stephenson from Coventry, United Kingdom
Nicolas Franco from Ciney, Belgium
Wesley Humenczuk from Overland Park, Kansas, United States
Min Moldover from Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Ramses Gallegos from Tehuacan, Mexico
Eric Levine from St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Joe Frink from Rockwall, Texas, United States
William Yowell from Denton, Texas, United States
Julian Impelluso from Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

5 years

Kayla Blaire from Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States
Sean Holliday from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Drew Rosen from North Caldwell, New Jersey, United States
Louis Annino from Burlington, Vermont, United States
Brad Ruhsam from Nikaho, Akita, Japan
Nikolas Denty from Mississauga, Canada
Michael Roesler from Belleville, Canada
Lyle Warren from Clovis , New Mexico, United States
Ian Adams from Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Benjamin Molay from Gainesville, Florida, United States
Benjemin Harris from Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Wen-Chi Chen from Taichung, Taiwan
Martijn van Steenbergen from London, United Kingdom
Pietro Quadrelli from Portoguaro, Italy
Nikolay Novoseltsev from Kaliningrad, Russia
Colin Eakins from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
Craig Mackie from Rosyth, United Kingdom
Stefano Ferrari from ., Italy
Dap Duong from Mississauga, Canada
Chris Harris from Kenner, Louisiana, United States
Jarosław Pokrzywa from Rzeszów, Poland
Jeff Deppe from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
Dmitry Lebedev from Moscow, Russia
Casey Pordes from Vancouver, Washington, United States
Ian Straka from Rancho Cucamonga, California, United States
Giacomo Alessandro Manca from Cagliari, Italy
Garrett Allen from Lahtam, New York, United States
Bowen Zhang from Niskayuna, New York, United States
Ryan Scullin from Smithfield, Rhode Island, United States
Frank Singel from Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Bryan Paduano from Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Frederico Bastos from Lisboa, Portugal
Chia Lee from Manteca, California, United States
William Ljungberg from Gothenburg, Sweden
Erik Skinstad from Stavanger, Norway
Thomas Jarvis from Atwater, California, United States
Jovan Cupic from Paderbonr, Germany
Kenneth Woo from Toronto, Canada
Placido Galvan from Tracy, California, United States
Hakim Omar-Bujak from Toronto, Canada
Daniel Thunman from Gävle, Sweden
Daniel Jackson from Albany, New York, United States
Omar Marrero from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, United States
Jacopo Traviglia from Varese, Italy
Andreu Vidal from Obertshausen, Germany
Austin Rowley from Harrisburg, United States
Kyle Gonzalez from Lithia, Florida, United States
Alfred Bellinger from Leicester, United Kingdom
yue xiao from äæ, China
Greg Fenske from Mankato, Minnesota, United States
Waldomiro Campos from SP, Brazil
Danny Svensson from Lafayette, California, United States
Aruna Prem Bianzino from Madrid, Spain
Tyler Vogt from Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Chris de Lacy from Exeter, United Kingdom
Zack Mullin from Turnersville, New Jersey, United States
Nick Cook from Canton, New York, United States
Kate Skelly from Brunswick, Maine, United States
axel martinez from cuernavaca, Mexico
Robbie Hallett from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, United States
Brian Achilles from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, United States
Kei Rong from Newton, Massachusetts, United States
Ryan Scullin from Smithfield, Rhode Island, United States
Jesse Ballard from Portland, Oregon, United States
Andreas Canavati from León, Mexico
David Peabody from Poway, California, United States
Benjamin Ulrich from Kaiserslautern, Germany
Pedro Calaes from Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Pedro Sebastian Marquez Jacobo from San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Ted Ray from Daphne, Alabama, United States
Nico Havenner from Davis, California, United States
Tim Mittelstadt from Austin, Texas, United States
Joshua Miller from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States
Xing Chao from Wuxi, China
Joris Dyckman from Yorktown Heights, New York, United States
vincent hesnard from Lyon, France
Andrés Cravioto from Mexico City, Mexico
Rigoberto Emmanuel Rivera Zuñiga from Tampico – Tamaulipas, Mexico
Joel Goggin from Waterville, Maine, United States
Jorge Ceron from Atlixco, Mexico
Riva Arecol – Nathan Rich from Manchester, Connecticut, United States
Lucas Costa from Brasília, Brazil
Benjamin Lisle from St Andrews, United Kingdom
Dmitry Zelyanin from Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Jason Threet from Adairsville , Georgia, United States
Carlos Emilio Hastedt from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Juan Antonio Rivero from Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Juan Antonio Rivero from Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Nick Hall from Manchester, United Kingdom
Erik-Sander Kwebeman from Groningen, Netherlands
junwei zheng from äæ, China
Sangyoon Oh from SungNam-si, South Korea
Adrian Dziuba from Heilbronn, Germany
Dmitry Kalashnikov from Saint Petersburg, Russia
Vladimir Zakharov from Saint-Petersburg, Russia
QJ Wong from Melaka, Malaysia
Eric Searfos-Miller from Centerville, Ohio, United States
Dimitri LEVEQUE from Dijon, France
Rhys Bainbridge from Newport, United Kingdom
Steven Hindharta from DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
Ahmad Dhanani from Vancouver, Canada
Javier Martin Arjona from Berlin, Germany
Brodi Beal from Vista, California, United States

Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work!

15 years!!

15 years!!

This month we have 6 featured judges: Peter Jahn, QJ Wong, Casey Brefka, Josh Stansfield, Bryan Prillaman, and Jason Wong. First we have Peter Jahn celebrating his 15 year anniversary with his RC, Rob:

Pete Jahn is one of my favorite people in the judge program, and I am very excited to talk about his history as a judge and how amazing his fifteen years have been.

I’ve been around for a while in the program. Pete has been around for longer. He has trained some huge number of judges over time. He has 24 L1 certifications in JudgeApps, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because Pete does much more than just kick out a test to certify a judge. He mentors, he builds skills, and he passes along what he knows. I know he taught me how to do deck checks, how to take calls, and how to investigate players for cheating. I’ve seen him do the same for literally dozens of judges, making a huge impact on judges all across the country and world.

I’ve taken road trips with Pete and his wife Ingrid to GPs, to GenCon, to Origins, and to PTQs. We have discussed topics ranging from policy philosophy, fundamental Magic rules, how to deal with problem players, and how competitive players think.

Pete has played competitive Magic extensively, and took that competitive play experience and applied it to judging and training judges.

Pete is also a writer. He has been writing about MTG and MTGO for much longer than he has been a judge, and his tende cay to improve people and pass on things learned is very present there. His State of the Program report on how MTGO is going is a crucial collection of MTGO data, published regularly on PureMTGO, and I use it as a resource quite a bit. He even has one published just June 1st at http://puremtgo.com/articles/state-program-june-1st-2018

Pete is a quiet cornerstone of the judge program. He has not been tremendously actively lately, so many newer judges might not have seen him. If you talk to any judge in the Madison area, or Minnesota, or Chicago that has been judging for more than a couple years, you will have a great story about how amazing Pete is, and how he has helped them become a better judge.

Forging those battlefields

Forging those battlefields

Next up, we have QJ celebrating 5 years in the judge program. His RC, Wearn, has this to say:

5 years ago, the Southeast Asian region received a rock. The rock didn’t seem particularly remarkable. It was solid enough but rough and unpolished. People were not particularly impressed. There were some concerns about where the rock had been before too. But as the rock was slowly ground and polished, it transformed. It became more than what it used to be. And when the rock started to shine we knew we had something special.

I’m sure many in the Judge Program have seen similar transformations. For us here in Southeast Asia, QJ was that rock. From being the one that needed polishing, he’s now one of the foremost judges in our region and doing his part as polisher to make others shine too. He does this regularly both at the many events he attends, and outside of events such as at conferences and through other online channels.

On a personal level, I’m blessed to have received a great friend. I doubt I’m the only one, and I’m sure there are a few others inside and outside our region who can say the same. This is one of the best things about being a part of our Judge family.

Thanks for being with us the past 5 years, QJ. Here’s to many more to come!

Serenading our hearts

Serenading our hearts

This month, we celebrate the Level 3 anniversaries of a quartet of judges who all got their Level 3 certification 5 years ago. First, we will hear from Mid-Atlantic US Regional Coordinator, Nicholas Sabin, who wrote this about Casey Brefka:

“It’s my pleasure to congratulate Casey Brefka on the fifth anniversary of his Level Three certification. While Casey has been known for the last few years for his work as a staple of the Grand Prix circuit and a leader in the Tennessee judge community, Casey’s judge career actually began in New England, where he was one of the linchpins of a burgeoning judge community in the Boston area. Many of the strongest judges in New England — including Elliot Raff, Brogan King (another outstanding judge who relocated to the Mid-Atlantic), and Kaylee Mullins — all benefited from working with Casey. He’s a gregarious presence at events, a dedicated problem-solver, and a loyal friend.

It wasn’t a surprise to many when Casey advanced to Level Three at Grand Prix Miami, back in 2013. Since that time, Casey has taken on an event schedule that would be considered aggressive by all but the most hardened road warriors. While Casey’s burgeoning career as a musician has given him less time for events of late, he’s of great benefit to the events he attends. Casey is what I like to call a Firefighter judge — whenever something is burning down (or about to burn down), throwing Casey at the problem will usually ensure that the problem is resolved quietly and efficiently.

Congratulations on your five-year Level Three anniversary, Casey. It’s a privilege to call you a peer and a blessing to call you a friend.”

Our angelic voice

Our angelic voice

Next, we hear about Josh Stansfield from fellow Southwest US judge, Jeremy Fain:

“In the five years since receiving his L3 certification, Josh has taken up a role as one of the Southwest Region’s greatest resources for judges looking to improve their rules knowledge and familiarity with tournament procedure. Having been christened the ‘Rules Robot’ for his uncanny ability to word-for-word cite sections of rules text, Josh is, without exaggeration, one of the smartest people I know. His formidable knowledge of the rules is tempered with a great generosity of spirit—when I lost a beautiful hand-crafted deckbox Josh had gifted me for Christmas, he took the time, materials, and effort to create another one for me. These and many others are a testament to Josh’s inherent patience, wisdom, and kindness that belies a gruff exterior. That’s right, Josh—your secret is out. We all know you’re a teddy bear. The Southwest is a better region for having you in it, and for five years of leadership and support, thank you.”

Something something something exemplar

Something something something exemplar

Now, we have some thoughts about Bryan Prillaman from Southeast US Regional Coordinator, Nicolette Apraez:

“Bryan seems like one of those judge who have been an L3 forever. I met him at my very first Grand Prix, and he’s been a friend and mentor to me since before I even moved to the Southeast Region. Whether it was discussing Morph Game Losses, pushing me to come into my own on Side Events, steering me in the right direction as I organized my first Conference, or even now helping me get my bearings as RC, BPrill has been an amazing resource. These are only a small fraction of the help he’s provided me over the last few years, and I’m sure anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting him has a similar story to tell.

While Bryan may not be able to attend every event, he gives more to the Program than anyone I’ve ever met. He has been a host of the JudgeCast podcast for 7 years. He’s the Exemplar Program lead and the lead of the Annotated IPG project. And, when his daughter’s busy schedule allows, he can still be found on the floor of Pro Tours, Grand Prix, and SCG Opens. His largest event as HJ was a 720 person Open in Dallas, but he’s slated to Head Judge the SCG Atlanta Team Trios Open at the end of June, where he will likely break that record.

I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years will have in store for Bryan!”

Definitely *not* Ronald

Definitely *not* Ronald

Finally, we will hear from Canadian Regional Coordinator, Jon Goud, about Jason Wong:

“I’m very pleased to celebrate Jason’s 5 year L3 anniversary. Jason’s resume in the last 5 years includes multiple Pro Tours (including one as an L2 in Montreal), GPs, head judging for multiple Starcitygames.com Opens, countless local events, L3 panels, and high-level mentorship. When I was coming up Jason was always someone I looked up to – and not just because he’s 8-foot 62 inches tall – but because he was both a strict mentor with a keen policy sense and a killer tournament judge.

It may surprise you to learn that Jason considers himself a bit on the “lazy” side. Outside of the program this may be true, but he has a very strong sense of what should and shouldn’t be in the judge program. When he is interviewing a potential L2 candidate, leading a Saturday team at a GP, or taking an appeal as the HJ of a premier competitive event, Jason is focused and ‘super effective’!

He’s the kind of double-threat you can trust to mentor and certify judges of any level, and also perform any role admirably on the tournament floor. You rest easy when Jason takes on a responsibility. You can *trust* him.

Let’s talk about trust in the judge program for a second. I know many, many judges who are afraid – specifically they’re afraid of making mistakes and having it completely end their judge career on the spot.

“If I blow a ruling, the HJ will now know I’m a bad judge and I’ll never get on another GP.”

“If I’m wrong on a Knowledge Pool discussion on the forums everyone will jump down my throat and I’ll feel embarrassed (and also people will think I’m a bad judge and I’ll never get staffed for GPs).”

We believe there are secret dossiers of ‘bad judges’ and ‘good judges’ and we’re powerless to control which list we’re on. Not all of these concerns are totally unfounded either. Many feel that they won’t be extended the benefit of the doubt. They can’t trust others with their points of confusion for fear of looking like a dummy – and this slows growth and insulates judges from each other.

I think we could be more forgiving with each other. We could be more open. We could trust each other more.

But you *can* trust Jason. I’ve brought various confusions, worries, and misunderstandings to him countless times in the past and he’s been nothing but patient with me. He hasn’t judged me (pardon the pun), and he never responded to my questions with an “I can’t believe you don’t already know this” face.

He will absolutely give you blunt feedback but it’s never unkind. He exemplifies the philosophies of ‘radical candor’ – that the kindest thing you can do for someone is to look out for their best interests by alerting them to their problem areas and suggest a better path. I don’t know if Jason sees himself as “kind” person, since sometimes the act of attentive listening and responding with honest and direct feedback can be difficult and uncomfortable, but I think his approach takes courage and shows a real caring for others.

I guess that makes him a triple-threat: you can trust him with community development, you can trust him with your tournaments, and you can trust him with your faults and confusions. We’re all better for his presence, and I hope he and his Pokémon stuffed animals continue to keep us on our toes for at least another 5 years :)”

Best wishes to all four of you for your 5 years of Level 3 service!

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

About Ronald

From Seattle, WA
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